Fish Monitoring

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(Unofficial) In Season Adult Salmon & Steelhead Counts


Salmon and Steelhead Counts @ Lower Granite Dam 2012-2013

Adult salmon and steelhead returning to the Snake River Picture1
Region enter the Walla Walla River from the Columbia R. or for the rest of our rivers and streams from the Snake River.  Adult fish moving through the Snake River are counted as they move through the fish ladders attached to the four Snake River dams.  Spring Chinook begin to return to the Snake River from April to June with fall Chinook entering the river in September.  Steelhead will begin to enter the Snake River as soon as water temperatures are cool enough usually by September through the following spring.  The total number of Chinook and steelhead which passed through the Snake River beyond Lower Granite Dam, on their spawning migration are illustrated in Figure 1 (right).  The data used to produce this table illustrates a census of the total number of fish moving up river and can be viewed at:  It is important to note that many of the fish passing lower Granite Dam will continue to migrate from the Snake River into tributaries of the Snake River in Idaho and Oregon in addition to Washington rivers.  Only the fall Chinook remain in any large numbers to spawning in the Snake River in October and November.  The spring Chinook mostly enter the tributaries by the middle of June and the steelhead by the middle of April.  What this means in relation to the fish illustrated in Figure 1 is that the Chinook have spawned in September -November 2012 and the steelhead from April -May 2013.



Regional Salmon and Steelhead Trap Summaries

Once salmon and steelhead have migrated into the spawning tributaries leaving behind the Columbia and Snake Rivers they either migrate to pre-spawning within the tributaries as in the case of spring Chinook or steelhead entering the tribs in the fall.  The data provided in the Adult Trap Summaries (Figure 2) illustrate only the fish which migrate in the winter or spring during periods when stream flows allow the traps to be operated.  That being said the in season trap summaries only show the numbers of fish captured and are not an estimate of population size for the given run year.  If interested in understanding the complexities of trapping steelhead it is best to contact the Snake River Salmon Recovery Board at 509-382-4115 and staff will get you in touch with experts in the field collecting the data.  Currently the partners collecting the data illustrated in this table are the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Fisheries on the Walla Walla R, Nez Peirce Tribe Fisheries Joseph Creek, Washington Department of Wildlife on Asotin, Tucannon and Touchet R.


Figure 2.  Adult Spring Chinook and Steelhead counted at the partner operated traps the watersheds listed in the table.  Tucannon River Steelhead are no longer traped and numbers are developed from pittag returns.  Due to population grouping in the recovery plan and the goals set for recovery some of the tributaries are grouped together for steelhead; notice Asotin Tucannon and Touchet.  It is important to also note that the total shown in this figure are not population totals but only the number of adults captured at the traps, discounting fish that may have passed the trap during flood flows or before the trap had been installed for the year.  Hatchery fish captured at traps are being removed from the populations where they do not contribute to the wild population and therefor prevented from spawning with wild fish.  For more information regarding the data in this figure contact the Snake River Salmon Recovery Board @ 509-382-4115, and we will direct you to those who collect and produce the in season counts.  (Last update 4/15/2013)


Adult Salmon and Steelhead Population Estimates

Returning adult salmon and steelhead have been monitored for the purpose of enumerating and tracking population trends in the context of Endangered Species Act protection and restoration for some populations since 1987.  This information has been summarised in the Washington State Governors Salmon Office State of the Salmon Report for the purpose of tracking progress toward meeting population delisting criteria.  To view the historical data go to the following link and view the Snake River Regions salmonid populations.

Past Fish Trends
State of the Salmon

Other Links Real Time Links to Fish Migration

Fish Passage Center