The Upper Columbia River Salmon Recovery Region in north central Washington includes the
Columbia River and its tributaries upstream of the confluence of the Yakima River to
the base of Chief Joseph Dam. The geography is varied and the climate includes
extremes in temperatures and precipitation, with most precipitation falling in the
mountains as snow. Melting snowpack, groundwater, and runoff maintain stream flows.
A large portion of the Upper Columbia Basin is in public ownership. The recovery plan was
completed in June 2005 and adopted by NOAA Fisheries Service in October 2007.
Major Factors Limiting Recovery
- Degraded floodplain and channel structure
- Riparian degradation
- Degraded water quality and temperature
- Impaired stream flows in tributaries
- Excessive sediment
- Barriers to fish passage in tributaries
- Harvest impacts
- Hydropower system mortality on Columbia River
- Predator harassment of spawning fish
- Influence of hatchery releases on natural origin populations
Hatchery and Harvest Priorities
- Use selective harvest techniques to constrain harvest on naturally produced
fish at the currently reduced rates throughout the Columbia Basin.
- Use selective harvest techniques to provide fishery opportunities in the Upper
Columbia Basin that focus on hatchery-produced fish that are not needed
- Recommend that parties of U.S. v Oregon incorporate Upper Columbia VSP criteria
when formulating fishery plans affecting Upper Columbia spring
Chinook and steelhead.
- Increase effective enforcement of fishery rules and regulations.
- Appropriate co-managers/fisheries management agencies should work with local
stakeholders to develop tributary fisheries management goals and plans.
Research and Monitoring Objectives
- Provide opportunities for increased tributary harvest consistent with recovery.
- Incorporate Upper Columbia VSP criteria when formulating fishery plans affecting
Upper Columbia spring Chinook and steelhead.
- Research and employ best available technology to reduce incidental mortality
of non-target fish in selective fisheries.
- Monitor the effects of incidental take on naturally produced populations in the
Upper Columbia Basin.
- Improve estimates of harvested fish and indirect harvest mortalities in freshwater
and ocean fisheries.
- Initiate or continue monitoring and research to improve management.
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