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Restoration of Bull Trout Passage at Albeni Falls Dam

Data Categories movement; habitat use
Dates of Data 2008 TO 2018
Data Set Status In work
Data Set Update Schedule Annually
Date Data Set Published on StreamNet Data Store 07-02-2019
Project Name & Number 2007-246-00
Purpose of Data Set Bull trout in the Columbia River Basin were listed as Threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in 1998 (USFWS 2000). Bull trout populations are threatened by habitat degradation and fragmentation, past fisheries management practices, poor water quality, and blockage of migratory corridors. Pend Oreille River and Lake is a core area within the Northeast Washington Recovery Unit of the Columbia Basin bull trout population (USFWS 2002a, 2002b). Recovery of Pend Oreille bull trout is limited by the fact that dams on the mainstem Pend Oreille River (Albeni Falls and Box Canyon dams) have blocked migration of bull trout between Lake Pend Oreille and spawning/rearing areas (USFWS 2002a, 2002b). Albeni Falls Dam is a federal facility under the responsibility of the action agencies (US Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration, and Bureau of Reclamation). Albeni Falls Dam created two types of problems for bull trout in the Pend Oreille Basin. First, bull trout from natal tributaries above the dam, that either became entrained or had elected to volitionally pass below the dam, were unable to return to spawn in their natal tributaries. (Source populations could include bull trout spawning in the Priest River, inlet tributaries of Pend Oreille Lake, or tributaries of the Clark Fork River below or above Cabinet Gorge Dam.) Second, adfluvial bull trout that formerly spawned in tributaries below the dam and migrated upstream to a cold water refuge in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho were no longer able to do so.

The goal of this project is to provide temporary upstream passage for bull trout at Albeni Falls Dam on the Pend Oreille River. We propose to collect bull trout below the dam using boat electrofishing. Any bull trout captured will be biopsied via hole punch and their DNA sent to the USFWS lab in Abernathy, Washington for rapid analysis within 48 hours. Each DNA sample will be compared to DNA from other bull trout populations in the Priest River drainage, Pend Oreille Lake tributaries, and Clark Fork drainage and an assignment will be made as to its probable region of origin. Prior to release each fish will be implanted with a combination radio-acoustic transmitter to ascertain if the spawning tributary it selected was the same as its assigned tributary. A system of stationary radio receiving stations and airplane/truck/boat surveys will be used to monitor the movement of the tagged fish. This project provides direct on-the-ground benefits for endangered bull trout in the Pend Oreille Basin because it will allow fish, whose migration corridor has been blocked by a dam without fish passage, to return to their natal streams and contribute their genes (which would otherwise have been lost) to the spawning population.
Summary / Abstract Radio telemetry data describing Bull Trout and Westslope Cutthroat Trout movements in the Pend Oreille River basin and Lake.
Broad Biological Groups Fishes
Taxa Salvelinus confluentus; Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi
Location Mouths of potential bull trout spawning tributaries in the Lake Pend Oreille and Pend Oreille River downstream of Albeni Falls Dam, as well as precise locations at Albeni Falls Dam used to determine fine-scale movements of bull trout in relation to dam operations.
NPCC Subbasins (2001 Subbasins) Provincial (Intermountain/Pend Oreille)
Dams Albeni Falls Dam
Keywords Bull Trout; Westslope Cutthroat Trout; Pend Oreille; Albeni Falls Dam; movement; behavior; fish passage
Lead Person and Organization That Created the Data Set Kalispel Tribe
Other Participating Organizations Funding provided by Bonneville Power Administration
Contact Person for Questions About the Data Name:  Brian Bellgraph
Organization:  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Address:  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Ecology Group PO Box 999, MS K6-85
Richland, WA  99352
Phone:  (509) 371-7185
Broad Category of Methods Field; radio telemetry
Data Collection Methods Radio telemetry
File Formats Microsoft SQL Server; any program that can open .csv files (e.g., Excel)
Data structure description The database contained is in its entirety. Any questions about the database and definitions can be directed to
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File Size: 36 MB