8. Salmonids

Background

Fish in the family Salmonidae (salmon, trout, and charr) are unique in their cultural, economic and ecological role in Puget Sound. Because they utilize a very wide range of aquatic habitat types throughout their life history, they play potentially integral roles in the upland freshwater, nearshore and pelagic marine ecosystems and food webs of Puget Sound. They also provide key trophic links between habitats through their migratory behavior. While there is much variation in the behavior and ecology within and among the different salmonid species in Puget Sound, they typically use freshwater habitats to spawn, after which juveniles emerge and eventually migrate to nearshore estuaries or directly to marine pelagic habitats. Salmonids spend up to several years in marine habitats prior to returning to their natal watershed to spawn. Each life phase is thus dependent on a different suite of abiotic and biotic processes for survival. The use of nearshore habitats by juvenile salmon is thought to be a critical aspect of their capability to ultimately return and spawn (Fresh 2006). Available spawning habitat, appropriate water temperature and flow, and oceanic conditions are also important for salmonid survival and the degree of use of each type of habitat varies dramatically across the salmonid species.

The watersheds and nearshore habitats of Puget Sound currently support 8 species of salmon, trout, and charr (NOAA 2007)(Figure 1), four of which are listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These are Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), chum salmon (O. keta), bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and steelhead (O. mykiss). The recovery plan for Chinook, Hood Canal Summer Chum and bull trout put forth by Shared Strategy for Puget Sound and the Puget Sound Technical Recovery Team was adopted by NOAA Fisheries in 2007. The recovery strategy for these species is based upon the underlying principles of 1) abundance (the number of spawners); 2) productivity (the number of returning fish produced by each spawner); 3) spatial distribution (the geographic distribution of fish populations); and 4) diversity (of the genetic, physiological and morphological attributes)(NOAA 2007).

Data are collected on salmonid abundances in Puget Sound by a variety of local, state and federal agencies including Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife(WDFW), NOAA Fisheries and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Spawner abundances are typically estimated in the field by counting the number of nests (redds) or by counting the number of spawning and/or dead fish. WDFW maintains an online database of watershed-specific spawner abundances (Salmonscape) and also conducts stock status estimates (Salmonid Stock Inventory) whereby each spawning stock is designated as Healthy, Depressed, Critical, Extinct or Unknown based upon recent abundance trends for all species except for Chinook salmon (WDFW 2002). The most recent stock inventory categorization utilized trend data from the mid 1980s to 2000 or 2001 (WDFW 2002).

Chinook salmon

Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Image courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The largest of the salmonids, Chinook salmon typically spawn in larger rivers and their tributaries, utilizing deeper water and larger gravel for egg burial than their congeners. While Chinook fry are often classified as either ocean-type or stream-type depending on the timing of their initial downstream migration, in Puget Sound this has further been subdivided into four broad types of strategies based upon general timing emigration from both freshwater and estuarine habitats prior to eventually migrating to coastal oceanic waters (Fresh 2006). These range from up to a year spent in natal freshwater streams with very little time spent migrating through estuarine habitat to very early emigration from freshwater with up to 120 days spent rearing in natal estuaries and tidal wetlands (summarized in Fresh 2006). This diversity is thought to be critical for the continued survival of this species (NOAA 2007). There is emerging evidence that some Chinook salmon remain in Puget Sound waters as residents with little or no time spent in oceanic waters (O'Neill and West 2009). Following entry into the open ocean via the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Chinook salmon are believed to migrate mostly northwards towards British Columbia and Alaska, remaining on the continental shelf where they typically spend 2-4 years before returning to their natal stream to spawn and die (Quinn 2005, Quinn et al. 2005).

Hood Canal Summer Chum salmon

Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)

Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta). Image courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Chum salmon typically spawn in the lower reaches of rivers with fry leaving fresh water for estuarine habitats within days of emergence. In Puget Sound, they can either remain in their natal estuaries or transition to other estuaries and nearshore habitats to rear before entering oceanic waters. While utilizing estuary habitats, chum salmon primarily feed upon epibenthic invertebrates associated with eelgrass (summarized in Fresh 2006).

Steelhead

Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Image by Robert Hines. Courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Unlike Chinook and chum salmon, steelhead are iteroparous, displaying a diverse suite of life history variations with variable time spent in fresh, salt water and estuarine environments. They are thought to leave coastal waters immediately after entering the ocean, occupying marine habitats distinct from that of their congeners, spending 1-3 years at sea (Quinn et al. 2005, Hard et al. 2007). While little is known about the oceanic migration patterns of Puget Sound steelhead, there is evidence that they travel to the Central North Pacific (reviewed in Hard et al. 2007). The resident (non-migratory) form of steelhead (rainbow trout) is also present in Puget Sound (Hard et al. 2007).

Bull trout

Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus)

Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus). Photo by Joel Sartore, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Like steelhead, Bull trout are iteroparous and long lived, potentially spawning in their natal streams several times throughout their lifetime. Like cutthroat trout, bull trout often occupy nearshore marine habitats during their short seaward migration.

Status

Chinook salmon

Listed as Threatened in 1999, Chinook salmon currently maintain 22 of the estimated 30-37 historically present spawning populations that utilize rivers and streams throughout Puget Sound. (NOAA 2007)(Figure 1, Table 1). Many of the populations lost were those that spawned earlier in the spawning season when water levels are typically lower and temperatures are higher (NOAA 2007). There is also evidence that the life history variants that spend the greatest time in freshwater (stream-type) have been severely reduced in recent years, likely because these variants are particularly susceptible to watershed alteration such as damming (Beechie et al. 2006). Furthermore, the few remaining locations where the stream-type life history has persisted appear to be largely dependent on snowmelt for their water and thus may be particularly susceptible to the effects of global climate change (Beechie et al. 2006). The Puget Sound Technical Recovery Team (PSTRT) estimated the historic spawner abundances by modeling the number of individuals each watershed could support based upon habitat characteristics (NOAA 2007). For all populations for which this analysis has been conducted, current population levels are substantially less than the estimated historic levels (NOAA 2007)(Figure 2).

Figure 1

Figure 1. Map of major watersheds in Puget Sound utilized by salmonids (Reprinted from NOAA 2007; courtesy of NOAA Fisheries).

Table 1. Extant populations of Chinook salmon in Puget Sound (NOAA Salmon Recovery Plan 2007).

Geographic Region

Populations Remaining

Strait of Georgia
This area includes the Nooksack River and the San Juan Islands. It is an area greatly influenced by the Fraser River and is utilized extensively for forage and migration by many Puget Sound populations.
North Fork Nooksack
South Fork Nooksack
Strait of Juan de Fuca
This region includes the rivers draining the north slopes of the Olympic mountains, and draining into the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca. Nearshore areas along the Strait are considered to be a major migratory corridor.
Elwha
Dungeness
Hood Canal
The east face of the Olympic mountain range and small streams along the western Kitsap Peninsula drain into this distinct estuary.
Skokomish
Mid Hood Canal (incl. Dosewallips, Duckabush and Hamma Hamma)
Whidbey Basin
The Whidbey basin is the main estuarine area for the major Chinook-producing rivers in Puget Sound, and the migratory crossroads for most Puget Sound populations.
Skykomish
Snoqualmie
North and South Fork
Stillaguamish
Upper and Lower Skagit
Upper and Lower Sauk
Suiattle
Cascade
Central/South Basin
These basins were combined into a single geographic unit largely to reflect correlated risks from volcanic activity and urban-related effects.
Cedar River
North Lake Washington
Green/Duwamish
Puyallup
White
Nisqually

 

Figure 2

Figure 2. Comparison of recent (2000-2004) geometric mean of naturally spawning Puget Sound Chinook populations to estimates of historic capacity of in some Puget Sound watersheds using Ecosystem Diagnostic and Treatment (EDT) habitat models (Reprinted from NOAA Salmon 2007; courtesy of NOAA Fisheries).

Hood Canal Summer Chum

The summer run of Hood Canal chum salmon was listed as Threatened in 1999. A primary factor in this designation was the recognition that this stock comprises an important and distinct life history strategy within the species (NOAA 2007). Of the 16 historic spawning stocks of Hood Canal summer chum, eight are extant (NOAA 2007)(Table 2). In a recent review of this Threatened Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU), two genetically distinct populations were identified: a Strait of Juan de Fuca population (which includes the extant spawning aggregations Jimmycomelately, Snow, Salmon and Chimacum creeks) and a Hood Canal population (which includes the extant spawning aggregations Big and Little Quilcene, Dosewallips, Duckabush, Hamma Hamma, Union and Lilliwaup watershds)(Sands et al. 2009)(Figure 3). Maintaining diversity within and between these newly two newly identified populations will now be incorporated into the recovery goals for Hood Canal Summer Chum (Sands et al. 2009).

Table 2. Current (extant) and extinct populations of Hood Canal summer chum and supplementation/reintroduction programs (NOAA Salmon Recovery Plan 2007).

Population

Status

Supplementation/Reintroduction

Union River

Extant

Supplementation program began in 2000

Lilliwaup Creek

Extant

Supplementation program began in 1992

Hamma Hamma River

Extant

Supplementation program began in 1997

Duckabush River

Extant

---

Dosewallips River

Extant

---

Big/Little Quilcene River

Extant

Supplementation program began in 1992

Snow/Salmon Creeks

Extant

Supp. Program began in 1992 in Salmon

Jimmycomelately Creek

Extant

Supplementation program began in 1999

Dungeness River

Unknown

---

Big Beef Creek

Extinct

Reintroduction program began in 1996

Anderson Creek

Extinct

---

Dewatto Creek

Extinct

Natural re-colonization occurring

Tahuya River

Extinct

---

Skokomish River

Extinct

---

Finch Creek

Extinct

---

Chimacum Creek

Extinct

Reintroduction program

 

Figure 3

Figure 3. The two populations of the Hood Canal Summer Chum salmon ESU, including streams with spawning aggregations and seven ecological diversity groups (Reprinted from Sands et al. 2009; courtesy of NOAA Fisheries).

Steelhead

Steelhead in the Puget Sound ESU were federally listed as Threatened in 2007 (Hard et al. 2007). WDFW currently lists 53 spawning populations of steelhead in Puget Sound, the majority of which return in the winter to spawn. Less well studied and less abundant, the remaining populations return in the summer and are typically found in the northern portions of Puget Sound (Hard et al. 2007). The two largest populations of winter steelhead are also in the northern part of the sound, in the Skagit and Snohomish rivers (Hard et al. 2007)(Table 3).

Table 3. Geometric mean estimates of escapements of Puget Sound populations for all years of data (from ca. 1980 – 2004 for most populations) and for the 5 most recent years (2000 – 2004). Estimates are based on hatchery and natural spawner (H+N columns) or only on natural spawners (N columns). Hatchery fish are not included in the Puget Sound ESU. NPS = Northern Puget Sound, SPS = Southern Puget Sound, HC = Hood Canal, SJF = Strait of Juan de Fuca, SSH = summer run steelhead, WSH = winter run steelhead, N/A = data not available (Hard et al. 2007).

Region

Run Type

Population

H+N, all years

H+N, 5 years

N, all years

N, 5 years

NPS

SSH

Canyon

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

SSH

Skagit

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

SSH

Snohomish

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

SSH

Stillaguamish

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

WSH

Canyon

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

WSH

Dakota

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

WSH

Nooksack

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

WSH

Samish

684.2

852.2

500.8

852.2

NPS

WSH

Skagit

7,720.4

5,608.5

6,993.9

5,418.8

NPS

WSH

Snohomish

5,283.0

3,230.1

5,283.0

3,230.1

NPS

WSH

Stillaguamish

1,027.7

550.2

1,027.7

550.2

NPS

SSH

Tolt

129.2

119.0

129.2

119.0

SPS

SSH

Green

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

SPS

WSH

Cedar

137.9

36.8

137.9

36.8

SPS

WSH

Green

2,050.6

1,625.5

1,802.1

1,619.7

SPS

WSH

Lk. Washington

247.1

36.8

308.0

36.8

SPS

WSH

Nisqually

1,136.7

392.4

1,115.9

392.4

SPS

WSH

Puyallup

1,1881.5

1,001.0

1,714.4

907.3

HC

WSH

Dewatto

27.0

24.7

24.0

24.7

HC

WSH

Dosewallips

70.6

76.7

70.6

76.7

HC

WSH

Duckabush

16.6

17.7

16.6

17.7

HC

WSH

Hamma Hamma

29.6

51.9

29.6

51.9

HC

WSH

Quilcene

16.8

15.1

16.8

15.1

HC

WSH

Skokomish

439.3

202.8

439.3

202.8

HC

WSH

Tahuya

131.8

117.0

113.9

117.0

HC

WSH

Union

57.1

55.3

55.0

55.3

SJF

SSH

Elwha

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

SJF

WSH

Dungeness

311.2

173.8

311.2

173.8

SJF

WSH

Elwha

459.5

210.0

N/A

N/A

SJF

WSH

McDonald

N/A

N/A

149.8

96.1

SJF

WSH

Morse

132.6

103.0

105.8

103.0

Bull trout

Bull trout in Washington, including the Puget Sound Distinct Population Segment (DPS), were also listed as Threatened in 1999. The US Fish and Wildlife Service conducted an analysis of vulnerability to stochastic events across the spawning stocks of bull trout in Puget Sound, finding the Snohomish/Skyhomish, the Stillaguamish, and the Chester Morse Lake spawning stocks to be at the greatest risk (NOAA 2007)(Table 4).

Table 4. Bull trout risk levels for watersheds in Puget Sound (USFWS data)(NOAA Salmon Recovery Plan 2007)

Core Areas

Local and Potential Local Populations

Information on Abundance, Trends and Distribution

Risk from Stochastic Events

Chilliwack
Little Chilliwack River
Chilliwack Lake is an important source of rearing and forage for most local populations.
Intermediate risk if only the US populations are considered.
 
Diminished risk if both US and Canadian populations are considered.
Upper Chilliwack River
Selesia Creek (British Columbia & US)
Depot Creek (BC & US)
Airplane Creek (BC)
Borden Creek (BC)
Centre Creek (BC)
Foley Creek (BC)
Nesakwatch Creek (BC)
Paleface Creek (BC)
Nooksack
Lower Canyon Creek
Spawning occurs in all three forks of the Nooksack River and its tributaries.
 
Fewer than 1000 spawners; most local populations have less than 100 adults.
Intermediate Risk
Glacier Creek
Lower Middle Fork Nooksack R
Upper MF Nooksack River
Lower North Fork Nooksack R
Middle NF Nooksack River
Upper NF Nooksack River
Upper South Fork Nooksack R
Lower SF Nooksack River
Wanlick Creek
Lower Skagit
Bacon Creek
Bull trout are known to spawn and rear in at least 19 streams/stream complexes.
 
This core area supports a spawning population of migrating bull trout numbering in the thousands.
 
Connectivity and diversity of habitats are excellent except portions modified by dams.
 
High abundance of pink salmon for forage.
Diminished Risk
Baker Lake
Buck Creek
Cascade River
South Fork Cascade River
Downey Creek
Goodell Creek
Illabot Creek
Lime Creek
Milk Creek
Newhalem Creek
Forks of Sauk River
Upper South Fork Sauk River
Straight Creek
Upper Suiattle River
Sulphus Creek
Tenas Creek
Lower White Chuck River
Upper White Chuck River
Sulphur Creek-Lake Shannon (potential local population)
Stetattle Creek-Gorge Lake (potential local population)
Upper Skagit
Big Beaver Creek
Populations are well distributed.
 
British Columbia portion presumed healthy; status is generally unknown.
 
2 areas of concern due to lack of connectivity: Diablo Lake and Gorge Lake.
Intermediate risk if only the US populations are considered.
 
Diminished risk if both US and Canadian populations are considered.
Little Beaver Creek
Lightning Creek
Panther Creek
Pierce Creek
Ruby Creek
Silver Creek
Thunder Creek (Diablo Lake)
Deer Creek (Diablo Lake) (potential local population)
Skagit River (BC)
East Fork Skagit River (BC)
Klesilkwa River (BC)
Nepopekum Creek (BC)
Skaist River (BC)
Sumallo River (BC)
Stillaguamish
Upper Deer Creek
Few known spawning areas.
 
Fewer than 1000 spawners; most local populations have less than 100 adults.
 
Snorkel surveys have found greater than 100 adults in the North Fork Stillaguamish R.
 
Increased risk
South Fork Canyon Creek
North Fork Stillaguamish River
South Fork Stillaguamish River
Snohomish-Skykomish
 
number of adult spawners is 500-1000.
 
System has no lakes. Large portion of migratory segment are anadromous.
 
North Fork Sky considered healthy by WDFW with 470-650 individuals on average, based on redd counts.
 
South Fork Sky considered healthy by WDFW due to increasing numbers, and recolonization is occurring.
Increased risk
South Fork Skykomish River
Salmon Creek
Troublesome Creek (primarily a resident population)
Chester Morse Lake
Boulder Creek
 Area has few known spawning areas.
 
Surveys in 2000-2002 documented 236-504 redds, with estimated 500-1000 spawners.
 
Upper Cedar River and Rex River are the primary local populations in this core area. Upper Cedar River is the only known self-sustaining population in the Lake WA basin.
Increased risk.
Upper Cedar River
Rex River
Rack Creek
Shotgun Creek (potential local population)
Puyallup
Carbon River
Fewer than 1000 spawners; most local populations have less than 100 adults.
 
Known spawning areas are few and not widespread.
 
Area has a low number of local populations.
 
Portions within the National Park and wilderness area provide pristine habitat.
 
Intermediate risk
Greenwater River
Upper Puyallup and Mowich Rivers
Upper White River
West Fork White River
Clearwater River (potential local population)

Chinook salmon

An analysis of 5-year population growth trends for Chinook salmon from 1986 - 2004 was conducted by NOAA fisheries. Of those populations that had been declining from 1986 – 1990, many exhibited positive growth over 1994 – 1998. (NOAA 2007) (Table 5). While productivity was not calculated for the most recent time period (2000-2004), the population means for this period were, in many cases, higher than that observed previously (NOAA 2007)(Table 5). Despite this positive trend, many populations remained low, including the Dungeness River and Skokomish spawning stocks (NOAA 2007)(Table 5).

Table 5. Geometric mean (5 year periods) of spawning abundances, hatchery contribution and productivity (number of return spawners per parent spawner) in Puget Sound Chinook Populations (NOAA Salmon Recovery Plan 2007).

 

1986-1990

1994-1998

2000-2004

Populations

Geom. Mean

%Hatchery Contrib.

Prod.

Geom. Mean

%Hatchery Contrib.

Prod.

Geom. Mean

%Hatchery Contrib.

North + Middle Fork Nooksack

140

21%

1.29

263

67%

0.45

4,232

94%

South Fork Nooksack

243

7%

0.60

181

35%

1.20

303

46%

Lower Skagit

2,732

1%

0.59

974

1%

3.15

2,597

2%

Upper Skagit

8,020

2%

0.69

6,388

1%

1.60

12,116

4%

Upper Cascade

226

0%

0.88

241

0%

1.34

355

1%

Lower Sauk

888

0%

0.61

330

0%

2.35

825

0%

Upper Sauk

720

0%

0.57

245

0%

1.35

413

0%

Suiattle

687

0%

0.40

365

0%

1.20

409

0%

North Fork Stillaguamish

699

0%

0.92

862

35%

0.94

1,176

31%

South Fork Stillaguamish

257

0%

1.31

246

0%

1.22

205

0%

Skykomish

3,204

14%

0.52

3,172

52%

0.82

4,759

39%

Snoqualmie

907

12%

1.23

1,012

33%

1.68

2,446

14%

Sammammish

388

41%

0.28

145

74%

2.72

243

69%

Cedar

733

9%

0.51

391

17%

0.97

412

21%

Green/Duwamish

7,966

62%

0.50

7,060

71%

1.00

13,172

34%

White

73

56%

7.51

452

82%

1.49

1,417

28%

Puyallup

1,509

15%

1.86

1,657

40%

0.67

1,353

31%

Nisqually

602

3%

4.22

753

21%

1.38

1,295

25%

Skokomish

1,630

69%

0.48

866

69%

0.34

1,479

80%

Mid Hood Canal

87

26%

1.41

182

26%

1.31

202

46%

Dungeness

185

83%

0.12

101

83%

0.70

532

83%

Elwha Nat Spawners

2,055

34%

0.46

512

61%

1.03

847

54%

Elwha Nat+Hat Spawners

3,887

34%

0.67

1,679

61%

1.27

2,384

54%

Hood Canal Chum salmon

Population growth rates for Hood Canal summer chum salmon were all positive over short- time frames (1999-2002), but only two of the eight spawning aggregations (Union River and Big/Little Quilcene River) displayed positive growth rates over longer time scales (1970s – 2002) (Table 6). The latter two are both constituents of the Hood Canal genetically independent population (Sands et al. 2009), and experienced declines in the 1980- 1990s followed by recent increases (Sands et al. 2009)(Figure 4).

Table 6. Mean abundance of Hood Canal summer chum in each watershed and long-term (1970s – 2002) and short-term (1999 - 2002) population growth trends (NOAA Salmon Recovery Plan 2007).

Population

Geometric mean escapement (1999-2002)

Long Term Trend (a value of 1.0 indicates that the population is replacing itself)

Short Term Trend

Union River

594

1.08

1.10

Lilliwaup Creek

13

0.88

1.00*

Hamma Hamma River

558

0.90

1.20

Duckabush River

382

0.91

1.14

Dosewallips River

919

0.96

1.25

Big/Little Quilcene River

4,512

1.05

1.62

Snow/Salmon Creeks

1,521

0.99

1.24

Jimmycomelately Creek

10

0.88

0.82*

*Supplementation programs at Jimmycomelately and Lilliwaup reduced the number of spawners released to achieve escapement naturally.

Figure 4

Figure 4. Annual return abundances of natural-origin summer chum salmon of the Strait of Juan de Fuca region (TOP) and the Hood Canal region (BOTTOM) from 1974 – 2005 (Reprinted from Sands et al. 2009; courtesy of NOAA Fisheries).

Steelhead Analyses utilizing all years of available data (ca. 1980 – 2004) and the 10 most recent years (1995-2004) indicated that most Puget Sound steelhead populations exhibited significantly declining trends in natural escapements, particularly in the southern Puget Sound (e.g., the Cedar, Lake Washington, Nisqually and Puyallup winter run populations) (Hard et al. 2007)(Table 7). Increasing populations were observed in the Samish and Hamma Hamma winter run populations (Hard et al. 2007)(Table 7).

Table 7. Estimates of temporal trends in escapement (E) and total run size(R) (log-transformed) for naturally produced Puget Sound. Positive values indicate a growing population, negative values indicate a declining one. Asterices indicate level of significance (Hard et al. 2007).

Region

Run type

Population

E, all years

E, 10 years

R, all years

R, 10 years

NPSa

SSHb

Canyon

N/Ac

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

SSH

Skagit

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

SSH

Snohomish

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

SSH

Stillaguamish

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

WSHd

Canyon

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

WSH

Dakota

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

WSH

Nooksack

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

NPS

WSH

Samish

+0.067**

+0.061**

+0.019

+0.014

NPS

WSH

Skagit

-0.002

-0.010

-0.021

-0.056

NPS

WSH

Snohomish

-0.019

+0.035*

-0.086

N/A

NPS

WSH

Stillaguamish

-0.065****

N/A

-0.110*

N/A

NPS

SSH

Tolt

+0.025

+0.034

-0.107

-0.021

SPSe

SSH

Green

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

SPS

WSH

Cedar

-0.179**

N/A

-0.299*

N/A

SPS

WSH

Green

+0.008

-0.016**

-0.048

-0.069*

SPS

WSH

Lk. Washington

-0.180

-0.215****

-0.300*

-0.274

SPS

WSH

Nisqually

-0.084****

-0.147****

-0.097

-0.159**

SPS

WSH

Puyallup

-0.062****

-0.074****

-0.103**

-0.103**

HCf

WSH

Dewatto

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

HC

WSH

Dosewallips

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

HC

WSH

Duckabush

+0.017

-0.018

+0.017

-0.019

HC

WSH

Hamma Hamma

+0.291*

+0.264

+0.291*

+0.264

HC

WSH

Quilcene

-0.006

N/A

-0.006

N/A

HC

WSH

Skokomish

-0.075****

-0.136**

-0.109*

-0.136**

HC

WSH

Tahuya

+0.009

-0.002

+0.004

-0.021

HC

WSH

Union

+0.008

+0.002

+0.008

+0.002

SJFg

SSH

Elwha

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

SJF

WSH

Dungeness

-0.076****

-0.093**

-0.083

-0.093

SJF

WSH

Elwha

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

SJF

WSH

McDonald

-0.031

+0.009

-0.362**

-0.221*

SJF

WSH

Morse

-0.006

-0.015

-0.030

-0.050

aNPS=Northern Puget Sound
bSSH=Summer run steelhead
cN/A=Data not available
dWSH=Winter run steelhead
eSPS=Southern Puget Sound
fHC=Hood Canal
gSJF=Strait of Juan de Fuca
 

Bull trout

There is a paucity of reported data on the population trends of bull trout in Puget Sound.

Uncertainties

Because of the wide array of life history types exhibited and habitats utilized by salmonids, the list of human threats as well as environmental and ecological drivers of salmonid abundance is long. These include hydropower, harvest, reduction in freshwater habitat quality and quantity, interactions with other fish, birds and marine mammals, ocean conditions and negative impacts of hatchery-reared salmon (Ruckelshaus et al. 2002). These drivers likely apply to both listed and non-listed salmonids in Puget Sound.

Summary

Salmon and trout are key ecological, cultural and economic components of the Puget Sound ecosystem. The number of Chinook salmon has increased since being listed in 1999, although population numbers remain well below target abundances. Hood Canal Summer chum salmon populations have shown some increases since their listing. Population abundance data for the two listed trout and charr species have not been published in citable reports or other publications.

Literature Cited

Beechie, T., E. Buhle, M. Ruckelshaus, A. Fullerton, and L. Holsinger. 2006. Hydrologic regime and the conservation of salmon life history diversity. Biological Conservation 130:560-572.

Fresh, K. L. 2006. Juvenile Pacific salmon and the nearshore ecosystem of Puget Sound., Published by Seattle Districut, U.S Army Corps. of Engineeers, Seattle, WA.

Hard, J. J., J. M. Myers, M. J. Ford, R. G. Cope, G. R. Pess, R. S. Waples, G. A. Winans, B. A. Berejikian, F. W. Waknitz, P. B. Adams, P. A. Bisson, D. E. Campton, and R. R. Reisenbichler. 2007. Status review of Puget Sound steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss). U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Tech Memo, Seattle, WA.

NOAA. 2007. Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Plan. Shared Strategy for Puget Sound and NOAA Fisheries, Seattle, WA.

O'Neill, S. M., and J. E. West. 2009. Marine distribution, life history traits, and the accumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls in chinook salmon from Puget Sound, Washington. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 138:616-632.

Quinn, T. P. 2005. The behavior and ecology of Pacific salmon and trout. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Md.

Quinn, T. P., B. R. Dickerson, and L. A. Vøllestad. 2005. Marine survival and distribution patterns of two Puget Sound hatchery populations of coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) salmon. Fisheries Research 76:209-220.

Ruckelshaus, M. H., P. Levin, J. B. Johnson, and P. M. Kareiva. 2002. The Pacific salmon wars: What science brings to the challenge of recovering species. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 33:665-706.

Sands, N. J., K. Rawson, K. P. Currens, W. H. Graeber, M. H. Ruckelshaus, R. R. Fuerstenberg, and J. B. Scott. 2009. Determination of independent populations and viability criteria for the Hood Canal summer chum salmon evolutionarily significant unit. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Fisheries, Seattle, WA.

WDFW. 2002. 2002 SaSI Introduction. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, WA.