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A Newsletter from StreamNet
A Fish Data Delivery Project for the Pacific Northwest
Issue #9 - September 30, 2008
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Welcome to the ninth StreamNet News!

Table of Contents

  1. Protected Areas
  2. Coastal Cutthroat Trout Project
  3. Smolt Trap Project


We have enhanced the information available for the Protected Areas designated by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. Actions included consolidating the background information explaining the Protected Areas designations and developing a new web page ( that explains and provides access to the designations.

When the Council was created in the 1980s it was charged with balancing electric power needs with fish and wildlife values. To meet that mandate the Council funded studies of fish and wildlife and other values along the streams of the 4-state region. The Council used these studies along with other information to form a "Protected Areas" list. Protected Areas are stream reaches where the Council judged that hydroelectric development would have unacceptable risk of irreversible loss to fish and wildlife. The Council then made requests to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Bonneville Power Administration to take special measures to protect these areas from hydroelectric development. FERC and BPA responded with policies regarding licensing, and obtaining energy from, facilities in Protected Areas.

Interest in new hydroelectric dams has been low since the late 1980s. Recently the appeal of renewable energy sources has increased, and many consider hydroelectric power renewable. With interest turned again toward hydroelectric development, the importance of the Protected Areas list has increased.

The Protected Areas list has resided at StreamNet for about 15 years and is available through StreamNetís online data query system and through an online map application. Copies of the paper maps on which the list depends were acquired by StreamNet over the past few years. The documentation describing the creation and implementation of the Protected Areas list, however, was not housed at StreamNet. We recently obtained these as well. In the past few months we created electronic copies of the maps and important documents related to establishing and updating the Protected Areas list. We then created a web page explaining the origins and use of the Protected Areas list, and how to find and use the various resources to make use of the list.

If you are knowledgeable about the Protected Areas list, we invite you to review the new web page and the background resources we have gathered. If you have further information or find an error, please let us know. We wish this resource to be as complete and of the highest quality possible. We can be reached via email at, or by phone at 503-595-3100.


Range-wide status assessments of several cutthroat trout subspecies have been completed. As yet the coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii clarkii) has not had a range-wide assessment conducted. A coastal cutthroat working group was formed several years ago with representatives from state, provincial, federal, and tribal agencies from California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. As a first step toward an eventual range-wide assessment for the subspecies the working group decided to create a database of documented observations of coastal cutthroat.

This project is being led by Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. StreamNet is assisting this effort in two ways. First, we have provided a database for capturing observations data, and these data will eventually be available from StreamNet. Second, we are housing the materials collected in the StreamNet Library. Already over 200 items have been added to the Library in electronic format. Over 600 more items are currently being processed. As these materials are processed they are made available for download at the StreamNet Library.

PSMFC would like to obtain all the data and other materials they can related to observations of coastal cutthroat trout. Data sets, reports, field notes, spreadsheets, notes about incidental observations, and other items are all of interest. If you are able to contribute to this effort please contact Tara Smith at 503-595-3156 or


The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission recently received a small grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to evaluate smolt trap data capture, data management, and statistical analysis procedures. PSMFC's StreamNet staff were selected to conduct this project due to our experience in database design, data management and standardization, programming, and data sharing. Statisticians were subcontracted to evaluate the statistical procedures.

The project will initially evaluate operations at several smolt trap installations in the Central Valley of California. The results of this project may prove useful to smolt trap operators in the Pacific Northwest.

While USFWS's immediate interest is to analyze several specific smolt trapping operations, we at StreamNet hope to better understand the range of field methods and analytical approaches used to collect, summarize, and analyze smolt trap data so that we can better present such data to you. We would like to hear from others who run smolt traps. If you are interested in being part of this evaluation or receiving the results from this project, please contact us by email at or by phone at 503-595-3100.

The end.

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COMMENTS on the StreamNet project, its web site, its data products, or your data needs are encouraged and appreciated. Email us at, or click "Send us your questions & comments" at the top of any page of the StreamNet web site.

StreamNet is a cooperative, multi-agency effort among the Columbia River Basin's state, tribal, and federal fisheries agencies, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NPCC), the Bonneville Power Administration, and the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to compile fish-related data. We compile and make available on our web site information intended to be useful to fisheries managers and researchers, land managers, planners, and others. We acquire, regionally standardize, and georeference data from multiple sources on a number of topics, including fish distribution, fish abundance trends, hatchery returns, harvest levels, migration barriers, hatcheries, and dams. We provide a catalog of photographs relevant to fish species and facilities in the region. Through our "Data Publishing Service" and "Data Store" we archive and provide access to stand-alone data sets created by other entities. We maintain the official list of stream reaches the NPCC has recommended be protected from dam construction, and we are the official keepers of the Pacific Northwest's 1:100,000 scale GIS streams layer. We provide pre-made maps and let you make maps interactively from data in the StreamNet database to meet your needs. We continually work to update these resources, so new information becomes available several times each year. We also provide customized data-related services for participants in the NPCC's Fish and Wildlife Program.

You can learn more about StreamNet at We exist in order to bring useful information to people such as you, and we welcome your questions, feedback, and suggestions. We also hope you will inform your colleagues about the resources available at StreamNet (


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