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Nisqually Salmon Watchers Training


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This presentation is designed to help Nisqually Salmon Watcher volunteers identify salmon species in the Nisqually Watershed.

Published in: Environment
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Nisqually Salmon Watchers Training

  1. 1. Salmon Watchers2015 Nisqually Salmon Watcher Program Training Slideshow BillPriest
  2. 2. Salmon Life Cycle Life Cycle of Pacific Salmon
  3. 3. Spawning 6” - 18” Deep 18” - 48” long x 12” - 36” wide   Water 6” - 18” Deep Eggs buried in gravel Female builds a series of gravel nests called a redd
  4. 4. The redd grows upstream daily with covering and digging
  5. 5. A Redd
  6. 6. Eggs Eggs are fertilized and develop in gravel nests called redds
  7. 7. Alevin The hatched eggs, called alevins, develop in the gravel getting nutrients from their yolk sacks. yolk sack
  8. 8. Fry/ Smolt Maturation Fr y Smolt
  9. 9. Ocean Adult Ocean-going adult
  10. 10. Spawning Spawning
  11. 11. Death Death
  12. 12. Food Web Many Organisms Rely upon Pacific Salmon
  13. 13. Salmon Anatomy Dorsal fin Adipose fin Caudal fin Anal fin Pelvic fin Pectoral fin Gill cover Gumline Salmon Identification
  14. 14. Lateral Line Dorsal fin Adipose fin Caudal fin Anal fin Pelvic fin Pectoral fin Gill cover Gumline Lateral line
  15. 15. Hooked SnoutMales develop a hooked snout Dorsal fin Adipose fin Caudal fin Anal fin Pelvic fin Pectoral fin Gill cover Gumline Lateral line
  16. 16. Identifying Features 1. Does the fish have spots? Where? 2. What is the coloring? a. Body and head? b. Gumline color? c. Gill cover, other distinctive markings? 3. What size is it? 4. What are the behavioral characteristics? Questions to Ask When Identifying Salmon
  17. 17. Chinook Facts Nisqually Chinook •Spawn throughout the Nisqually River’s accessible length and in larger tributaries, especially the Mashel River and Ohop Creek. • Spring run went extinct in 1950’s. • Fall run of native Chinook was largely replaced by planted and hatchery fish. No new introductions since 1990. Weir to exclude hatchery fish 2012. • Recent run sizes have been 10,000 - 40,000 • Upstream migration July - October • Spawn September - November
  18. 18. Chinook Identification Chinook (“King,” “Tyee,” “Blackmouth”) Small irregular spots on back and on BOTH upper and lower lobes of tail *Can also be a reddish color
  19. 19. Chinook Photo Chinook
  20. 20. Chinook Photo 2 Chinook
  21. 21. Chum Facts Nisqually Chum • Unique native run that is the latest returning chum on the Pacific Rim. • No hatchery production. • Spawns in late December - March. • Recent run sizes: 10,000 to 150,000 fish • Spawns mainly in mainstem Nisqually River below Centralia Diversion Dam and in Muck, Yelm, Murray and McAllister Creeks. • Upstream migration November – March.
  22. 22. Chum Identification Chum (“Dog”, “Keta”) Notice the difference in the coloration of the vertical markings between females and males.
  23. 23. Chum Photo Chum
  24. 24. Chum at our Counter Camera
  25. 25. Pink Facts Nisqually Pink • Unique native run that returns every odd year. • No hatchery production. • Spawns in October – November. • Upstream migration August – November. • Recent run sizes: 100 to 800,000 fish • Spawns in the mainstem, and to a lesser degree in the Mashel River and Ohop Creek. They rarely travel far upstream to spawn.
  26. 26. Pink Identification Pink up to 30 inches
  27. 27. Pink Identification Pink Olive green to green on dorsal side White to pink on underside
  28. 28. Pink
  29. 29. Image from Salmon Nation
  30. 30. Coho Facts Nisqually Coho • A late run of naturally spawning coho is found in the Nisqually, and returns around the same time as chum. No fishery exists for late run coho because the population is at risk. • Most of the hatchery stock is an early spawning population that migrates September – December • Most spawning takes place in the Mashel River and Ohop, Tanwax, Horn, Yelm, Muck and McAllister Creeks. • Recent run sizes: 600 to 13,000 fish • Spawning November - February
  31. 31. Coho Identification Coho (“Silvers”) Notice the kype/ hooked nose on the male Small round black spots Greenish backs Lower sides bright red to purplish.
  32. 32. Coho Photo anks! Coho are powerfully built and can jump waterfalls that most salmon cannot negotiate.
  33. 33. Coho at our Counter Camera
  34. 34. Steelhead Facts Nisqually Steelhead Nisqually Steelhead • Native winter steelhead • No hatchery production • Spawns in April through June • Recent run sizes: gone from 7000 to a few hundred fish • Spawns primarily in the mainstem Nisqually, Mashel River and Muck Creek, though they may use almost any tributary in the watershed • Sport and tribal fisheries closed due to declining numbers • Upstream migration November - April
  35. 35. Steelhead Identification Steelhead
  36. 36. Steelhead Identification Steelhead Small dark spots scattered over entire fish, including tail
  37. 37. Steelhead Photo Steelhead
  38. 38. Steelhead at our Counter Camera
  39. 39. Cutthroat Facts Sea-run Cutthroat • Occur in both sea-going and resident forms. Difficult to distinguish between the two. • Can be found in most fish-bearing waters from high-elevation glacial-fed streams to the estuary • Upstream migration August - June • Spawning December - June • Sport fishing is allowed for coastal cutthroat
  40. 40. Cutthroat Identification Cutthroat Trout “coastal cutthroat trout”
  41. 41. Cutthroat Photo Cutthroat Trout
  42. 42. Sockeye Facts Sockeye • No unique run of Nisqually sockeye • Stray pairs known to spawn in upper McAllister Creek • Usually spawn in streams near lakes, where young fry migrate to rear for 1 - 2 years
  43. 43. Sockeye Identification Sockeye (“Red”)
  44. 44. Sockeye Photo Sockeye A few stray pairs of sockeye spawn near McAllister Springs. There is no native run of Nisqually sockeye.
  45. 45. Review Review
  46. 46. Quiz Photo 1
  47. 47. Quiz Photo 2
  48. 48. • Head blunt, jaw does not extend past the eye • Distinct small spots on dorsal fin • Small scattered spots over entire body • Square-shaped tail • Often has reddish stripe along sides, gill cover reddish • Up to 45 inches in length Name the fish that has: Quiz Question 1
  49. 49. Quiz Photo 3
  50. 50. Quiz Question 2 •Large oval spots on back and both lobes of the tailfin •Rarely travel far up river to spawn - most likely seen in coastal streams •Males develop a large hump on their back (hence the nick name "Humpback" or "Humpy") •Dark band along lateral line •Numerous, small scales •Forked Tail Name the fish that has:
  51. 51. Quiz Photo 4
  52. 52. • No distinct black spots • Dark blue above with reddish-purple vertical markings • Well developed teeth • 30-42 inches in length Name the fish that has: Quiz Question 3
  53. 53. Quiz Photo 5
  54. 54. Quiz Photo 6
  55. 55. • Back and head dark blue-green • Lower sides red-purple • Spots on back and UPPER lobe of tail fin only • Lower gum line is white • 17 to 38 inches in length Name the fish that has: Quiz Question 4
  56. 56. Quiz Picture 7
  57. 57. Photo by 2015 Salmon Watcher Roger Andrascik
  58. 58. Quiz Photo 8
  59. 59. • Head blunt, jaw extends past eye • Small black spots extending well below lateral line • Red “slash” marks on underside of jaw • Yellow colored fins • Silver body • 8-12 inches in length Name the fish that has: Quiz Question 5
  60. 60. Quiz Picture 9
  61. 61. Quiz Photo 10
  62. 62. • Olive brown to dark brown • Spots on upper and lower part of tail • Lower gum line is black • 2 feet to 5 feet in length Name the fish that has: Quiz Question 6
  63. 63. Quiz Photo 11
  64. 64. Quiz Photo 12
  65. 65. Salmon Watching Tips Nisqually Salmon Watcher Tips • Approach your viewing site slowly • Be as quiet as possible • If you need to walk in the stream, look out for clean-looking gravel (redds) • Remember your polarized glasses, data sheet and pencil • Take observation data for 15 minutes only • If you are unsure, take notes and/or a photo and contact us • Observe from the same location each time • Dress for the weather • If possible, view after a rain as soon as the water clears • View before it gets too dark
  66. 66. Reminder 1 Remember not to step on redds
  67. 67. Reminder 2 Don’t count ‘Carcass Toss’ Fish with Clipped Tails
  68. 68. Clipped Tails Don’t count ‘Carcass Toss’ Fish with Clipped Tails
  69. 69. Clipped Tails There are some Chinook with jaw tags out there
  70. 70. Beaver dams provide important juvenile salmon rearing habitat and are usually left alone if naturally constructed Passage often improves when the rains come Photo by 2015 Salmon Watcher Roger
  71. 71. Spawning Behavior
  72. 72. Female Spawning Behaviors •Reach spawning ground after males •Exploring for a good nest site •Exploratory Digging •Real nest building Digging •Probing •Covering Digging
  73. 73. Female Spawning Behaviors: Digging Chinook Digging Coho Digging Chum Digging
  74. 74. Male Spawning Behaviors •‘Tasting’ •Quivering •Male Digging (Displacement) •Crossing Over
  75. 75. Male Spawning Behaviors: Quiver Coho Quiver Pink Quiver
  76. 76. Gaping and Spawning
  77. 77. Aggression Females will fight other females to defend their nest site. Females will fight off males they don’t want to spawn with (or delay spawning). Males will fight other males to establish dominance. This can involve actual fighting, biting, etc. or ritualized displays. Manu Esteve 2000
  78. 78. Male Aggressive Displays Lateral Display T Display
  79. 79. Male Strategies and Tactics Strategies: •Mature Old •Mature Young •Mature Precocious Tactics: •Fight for dominance •Sneak (satellite) •Mimic Female
  80. 80. Thanks Thank-you for your contribution! We couldn’t do it without you.