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Coho re-listing followup

Thank you Barbara Hall, Klamath Bucket Brigade, for this update:

 

8/30/04 NOAA Fisheries is extending the comment periods to Oct. 20, 2004, for its proposed ESA hatchery listing policy and listing determinations for West Coast salmon and steelhead. The agency has also scheduled community meetings to provide opportunities for public comment and discussion on both these proposals.

 

The meetings will be held:

-- Sept. 14, Wenatchee , Wash. , Chelan County PUD auditorium;

-- Sept. 16, Kennewick , Wash. , Red Lion Hotel;

-- Sept. 22, Newport , Ore. , Shilo Inn;

-- Sept. 28, Salmon, Idaho , Stagecoach Inn;

-- Sept. 30, Lewiston , Idaho , Red Lion Hotel;

-- Oct. 5, Seattle , Wash. , Radisson Hotel (SeaTac);

-- Oct. 7, Roseburg , Ore. , Umpqua Community College , and

-- Oct. 13, Portland , Ore. , Portland Building .

(Dates and locations of public hearings to be held in California will be announced separately.)

 

NOAA Fisheries is conducting these stakeholder and open-house public meetings as part of its commitment to provide opportunities for public input, as well as to provide a formal comment process as required under the ESA, the agency says. NOAA Fisheries' staff will attend and participate in these meetings.

 

Staff will accept oral and written public comments on the proposals during the evening open-house meetings.

 

The evening sessions will be designed in an "open house" format that allows the general public to meet with NOAA Fisheries staff in small groups on specific topics in order to learn more about the proposals and their possible impacts on their communities.

 

The evening meetings will also provide opportunities for the public to make formal recorded comments on the proposals. The preferred means of providing public comment for the official record is via written testimony prepared in advance. However, blank "comment sheets" will be provided at the evening meetings for those without prepared written comments, and facilities will also be provided for recording verbal testimony.

 

The evening sessions will be open from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. They are designed to allow participants to move from station to station to discuss their particular interests with NOAA Fisheries staff. NOAA Fisheries organizers say the format was adopted to allow community members to participate without necessarily attending the entire evening.

 

Attendance at the afternoon sessions will be on a pre-registration basis. The meetings are designed with the following participants in mind: tribal governments; forestry and agricultural interests; home builders and developers; sport and commercial fishing community; environmental community; business community; utility and special districts; local government elected officials and their staff; other locally-based federal and state agencies; and public interest groups.

 

NOAA Fisheries believes the scheduled meetings are an important element in effective and responsive rule-making, and will conduct afternoon sessions ( 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. ) in each community. The agenda and structure of these afternoon meetings will also allow participants to discuss the subject proposals with NOAA Fisheries staff in small groups.

 

There is no need to register for the evening sessions. To register for the afternoon meetings, send an e-mail to James Rapp at jquincey@earthlink.net or mail a request to Rapp at 5845 NE 29th Ave. , Portland , OR 97211 . Registrations should include the following:

-- Name;

-- Title and affiliation;

-- Email address (or mailing address);

-- Location you plan to attend (e.g.: Wenatchee , Roseburg , etc.), and

-- Which of the twp rulemaking issues you wish to discuss.

 

Attendees will be informed by return e-mail (or letter) of the specific location and time of each session.

 

The public meetings are not the only opportunity to provide input on these proposals. People are encouraged to continue to comment and provide input to NOAA Fisheries on the proposals via correspondence, e-mail and the Internet until the scheduled close of the comment period on Oct. 20.

 

For more information, or to obtain background materials, including the relevant Federal Register notices, see http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/AlseaResponse/20040528/index.html.

 

For written comments: Comments should be submitted to Chief, Protected Resources Division, NMFS, 525 NE Oregon Street--Suite 500, Portland, OR 97232- 2737. Comments on this proposed rule may be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for providing e-mail comments is salmon.nwr@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the e-mail comment the following document identifier: 040525161-4161-01. Comments may also be submitted via facsimile (fax) to 503-230-5435, or via the Internet at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ibrm. Comments may also be submitted electronically through the Federal e-Rulemaking portal: http://www.regulations.gov.



 The following is the report before it was updated:
 ___________________________________________________________
Comment Period on the new coho relisting Fed Reg: Proposed Listing Determinations for 27 ESUs of West Coast Salmonids, Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
June 14, 2004  DATES: Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m. P.S.T. on
September 13, 2004

Information that might be helpful in your comments in follow-up to Irma Lagomarsino's reply on including IG hatchery fish in the new listing:

From Historic Decline and Current Status of Coho Salmon in California, Larry R. Brown, Peter B. Moyle and Ronald Yoshiyama, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, Vol. 14, No. 2, May 1994:

"Except in the Eel River, coho salmon stocks in the larger rivers of California are now dominated by hatchery production, and even several small coastal streams receive regular plants of hatchery fish. These hatchery stocks are of diverse origin, but all have included fish derived from outside the river system receiving the plantings and often from outside California. Hatchery stocks have also been used to reestablish extirpated populations or to supplelment depeleted runs, which may partly explain the overall lack of genetic differentiation among coho salmon from different California streams (Bartley et. al 1992.)..." (Emphasis mine.)

From the final listing determination of SONCC coho (Federal Register Vol. 62, No. 87, Rules and Regulations May 6, 1997 pgs. 24588-24609):

"Stock transfers of coho salmon have been (and continue to be) common throughout the West Coast; the nature and magnitude of these transfers varies by geographic region. Compared to areas farther north, hatcheries in central California and southern Oregon/northern California are relatively small and widely dispersed, given the size of both areas. In recent years, large hatcheries in southern Oregon/northern California (e.g., Mad and Trinity Hatcheries) have produced 400,000 to 500,000 juveniles annually, while smaller hatcheries, and most hatcheries in central California, produce no more than 100,000 to 200,000 juveniles each year. There has been considerable transfer of coho salmon among hatcheries or egg-taking stations in central and northern California, with the fish eventually outplanted in either area. Northern California hatcheries have also received fairly large transplants of coho salmon from hatcheries in Washington and Oregon, which have spread to central California through stock transfers. Because of the predominance of hatchery stocks in the Klamath River Basin, stock transfers into Trinity and Iron Gate Hatcheries may have had a substantial impact on natural populations in the basin. In contrast, Cole Rivers Hatchery (on the Rogue River) appears to have relied almost exclusively on native stocks..." [at 24601]

NMFS-NWFSC-24: Status Review of Coho Salmon from Washington, Oregon, and California - Laurie A. Weitkamp, Thomas C. Wainwright, Gregory J. Bryant, George B. Milner, David J. Teel, Robert G. Kope, and Robin S. Waples:

"Southern Oregon/northern California coasts ESU--Hatchery production of coho salmon in the southern Oregon/northern California coasts ESU is greater than in the central California coast ESU, but considerably less than in more northerly ESUs. Large hatcheries within this ESU (e.g., Mad, Trinity) have released 400,000-600,000 coho salmon annually in recent years, with total annual production at approximately 1.4 million coho salmon between 1987 and 1991 . Aside from considerable movement of coho salmon between hatcheries or egg-taking stations in central and northern California, northern California hatcheries have also received fairly large transplants of coho salmon from hatcheries in areas outside the ESU, including the Oregon coast, lower Columbia River/southwest Washington coast [Cascade and Klaskanine], and Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia (Fig. 35)...."
In the geographic boundaries of the SONCC ESU, we have two hatchery populations that are attributed with a special relationship to the overall biological ESU. The Mad River Hatchery coho are determined to be outside the biological ESU and the Iron Gate Hatchery coho are described as having an "uncertain relationship" to the biological ESU. (Without certainty, all regulatory non-voluntary actions taken to protect SONCC coho in the Klamath system are by necessity arbitrary and capricious.)
The remaining five hatchery coho populations are apparently included in the biological ESU, but are not included in the "listed ESU." NMFS defines the listed ESU "to include all naturally spawned populations of coho salmon (and their progeny) that are part of the biological ESU and reside below long-term, naturally impassible barriers in streams between Punta Gorda (CA) and Cape Blanco (OR)."
Apparently, naturally spawned progeny of Mad River hatchery coho are not included in the listed ESU. Again, because of the uncertainty about the relationship of Iron Gate coho to the biological ESU, it is uncertain whether naturally spawned progeny of Iron Gate hatchery fish would then be included or excluded in the listed ESU.
Indeed, there is good reason to exclude the Iron Gate Hatchery coho from the biological ESU. Figure 2 from NOAA Tchnical Memorandum 17, Application of DNA Tecnology to the management of Pacific Salmon - Phylogeographic Structure of Coho Salmon Populations Assessed by Mitochondial DNA by Paul Moran and Eldredge Bermingham, indicates that Klamath River Iron Gate Hatchery stocks are genetically related to coho of South Puget Sound, North Oregon and Washington Coast cluster. (Ironically, the same biological kinship group as that of the Alsea decision.) Iron Gate Hatchery (IGH) coho were determined to be of an entirely different genetic cluster than the Rogue River and Cowlitz coho, which are in the SONCC biological ESU.

This exclusion of the IGH coho from the SONCC biological ESU is consistent with numerous narratives that indicate IGH coho broodstock originated from the Cascade hatchery in the Columbia River Gorge.

Chapter 4, pg. 13 of the Long Range Plan For The Klamath River Basin Conservation Area Fishery Restoration Program (William M. Kier Assoc. 1991) states:
"The hatchery runs of coho for both Iron Gate and Trinity River hatcheries were created from broodstock from the Cascade Hatchery in the Columbia River Basin. This stock returns to the lower river in September and October, with the peak generally occurring in the second week of October (Hubbell 1979)"

Chapter 5, pg. 6 Iron Gate Hatchery Broodstock states - ..."Insufficient numbers of native coho were returning to the hatchery site when Iron Gate Dam was completed, so coho stocks were founded with eggs imported from the Trinity River Hatchery, Cascade Hatchery in Oregon, and Mt. Shasta Hatchery (CH2M Hill 1985). Since Mt. Shasta Hatchery is on the Sacramento, which does not have coho salmon, the coho from this source may have been from another California stream, such as the Noyo River (Bob Corn personal communication)..."

Apparently, IGH coho stocks were also subsequently fortified with stocks of Columbia River origin . Historic Decline and Current Status of Coho Salmon in California, Larry R.

Brown, Peter B. Moyle and Ronald Yoshiyama, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, Vol. 14, No. 2, May 1994 states:

"...During 1963-1968, adult returns to the Iron Gate Hatchery in the headwaters of the Klamath River never exceeded 500 fish (data in Brown and Moyle 1991a. App.) Following an intensive stocking program begun in 1966 (and continued in 1967 and 1969) with Cascade River (Oregon) fish, adult returns to the hatchery were over 1,000 fish in seven spawning seasons and exceeded 2,200 fish twice, most recently in 1987; numbers typically have ranged between 400 and 1,500 (Hiser 1991.) This hatchery run, therefore, is composed basically of an imported stock."

As stated above, the original listing of SONCC coho ESU excludes populations of coho salmon that are not part of the biological ESU. It also excludes the progeny of fish that are not part of the biological ESU, even though they may be naturally spawned within the geographic boundaries of the ESU.

We know that this exclusion applies to the Mad River hatchery coho and any strays or outplanted fish from Mad River Stock. The exclusion would also appear to apply to the progeny of the Oregon Cascade hatchery (OCH) coho, including outplanted OCH fish - even though they may be naturally spawned.

From the listing document, it is uncertain whether the exclusion also applies to IGH coho, and their progeny from drift or outplanting, even though they may be naturally spawned. Under the assumption that the exclusion does apply, let's examine how this might affect and confuse the status of coho in the Klamath system:

Chapter 5, pg. 2 of the Long Range Plan For The Klamath River Basin Conservation Area Fishery Restoration Program (William M. Kier Assoc. 1991) or LRP establishes that nonindigenous stocking programs commenced more than a century ago:

"Upper basin stocking programs were begun in 1890 by the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries (Fortune et al. 1966). No hatchery was established at this time...Coho salmon were stocked in 1895..." [Note: it appears from the text that these were of Mt. Shasta hatchery origin as were chinook fry stocked during this period. This is coho from the Sacramento system.]

IGH records show that at least 40% of the juveniles released from IGH in the following years were outplanted directly into the tributaries of the Klamath River. Total juvenile releases 1986-87= 205,000; 1987-88=135,000; 1988-89=143,400. (Klamath River Fisheries Resource Plan, CH2M Hill, for USDOI, Feb 1985 ) We know that from 1979-1988, an average 119,796 coho yearlings were outplanted from the IGH annually.

The LRP Chapter 4, pg. 13 states;

" Coho yearlings from Iron Gate Hatchery were transplanted to Indian Creek, Beaver Creek, and Elk Creek between 1985 and 1989 and have resulted in at least some spawning activity in Indian Creek (Dennis Maria personal communication.)"

Chapter 5, pg. 6 Iron Gate Hatchery Planting Procedures, Stock Transfer states:

"Coho yearlings have been released in March and April. From 1986 to 1988 - 40% of the Coho yearlings were planted at the hatchery. The remainder were transplanted into Indian Creek, Elk Creek and Beaver Creek. Iron Gate coho were planted in the Salmon River in 1985."

From the USFS report "Evaluation of Fish Habitat Condition and Utilization in Salmon, Scott, Shasta, and Mid-Klamath Sub-Basin Tributaries 1988/1989" states:

"The CDF&G and Karuk Tribe have cooperatively operated rearing ponds on Indian Creek since 1980. Current rearing activities include one facility utilizing Iron Gate Hatchery chinook fingerlings that has a capacity to produce 80,000 yearlings for release into Indian Creek. Other releases include 24,000 to 48,000 juvenile coho salmon from Iron Gate Hatchery planted yearly between 1986 and 1989, and 8,000 steelhead fingerlings planted in 1983.)

In addition the Klamath River Basin Fisheries Resource Plan CH2MHill Feb., 1985 states:

"Iron Gate Hatchery fish have been planted periodically in the Scott Subbasin (CDFG, Iron Gate Hatchery annual reports). Surplus adult coho salmon (50 fish) were planted in Shackleford Creek in 1971. Surplus adult steelhead were planted in the East Fork Scott River (130 fish) in 1972; Mill Creek (108 fish), Etna Creek (68 fish), and Shackleford Creek (50 fish) in 1978; Etna Creek (100 fish) in 1982; and Canyon Creek (53 fish) and Mill Creek (163 fish) in 1983..."

There is ample evidence that IGH coho, (descended from imported OCH coho,) were widely naturalized or outplanted in the mid-Klamath and its tributaries. It is highly probable that they returned to spawn and that their progeny populate the system. It is uncertain whether these fish are considered part of the biological ESU or the listed ESU. It is also uncertain how one can tell these progeny apart from any "wild" coho or naturally spawning Trinity River coho or their progeny.

There is evidence to point to the a possibility of a significant drift in hatchery coho spawners. Historic Decline and Current Status of Coho Salmon in California, Larry R. Brown, Peter B. Moyle and Ronald Yoshiyama, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, Vol. 14, No. 2, May 1994, references a study of Trinity River hatchery (TRH) coho by (Rogers, D.W. CA DFG Anadromous Fish Branch, Admin. Rept. 73-10.) that determined "Significant numbers of fish (about 40% of adult escapement) apparently spawned naturally in the Trinity River or in the tributaries above the North Fork confluence during 1969 and 1970, mainly in the area between Lewiston Dam and Douglas City."

The Federal Register Notice Vol. 62. No. 87, Tuesday, May 6, 1997 "Rules and Regulations" pg. 24588-24609 announcing the final determination of the Southern Oregon Northern Coastal Coho Salmon ESU as "threatened" states:

..." However, large hatchery programs, particularly in the Klamath/Trinity basin, raise serious concerns about effects on, and sustainability of, natural populations. For example, available information indicates that virtually all of the naturally spawning fish in the Trinity River are first-generation hatchery fish...." [at 24590]

(Note, there is little information coho populations in the Klamath and its tributaries because fish weirs are inoperable and fish counts are not conducted during peak spawning times due to typically high flows at that time. Also, the IGH did not consistently tag its fish.)

The SONCC coho biological ESU included five hatchery coho populations, although these populations were exempted from the listed ESU. This exemption included Trinity River Hatchery (TRH) coho. The listed ESU, however, did include naturalized TRH coho and their naturally spawning progeny as long as they spawned within the geographic boundaries of the ESU.

As previously quoted from Chapter 4, pg. 13 of the Long Range Plan For The Klamath River Basin Conservation Area Fishery Restoration Program (William M. Kier Assoc. 1991):
"The hatchery runs of coho for both Iron Gate and Trinity River hatcheries were created from broodstock from the Cascade Hatchery in the Columbia River Basin. This stock returns to the lower river in September and October, with the peak generally occurring in the second week of October (Hubbell 1979)&"
Chapter 5, pg. 10 Trinity River Hatchery Broodstock states - "Coho stocks were derived from Cascade Hatchery in Oregon..."

Historic Decline and Current Status of Coho Salmon in California, Larry R. Brown, Peter B. Moyle and Ronald Yoshiyama, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, Vol. 14, No. 2, May 1994:

"Like the Iron Gate stock, the Trinity River stock is primarily of nonnative origin. The first significant planting was of Eel River stock in 1964, followed by Cascade River (Oregon) stocks in 1966, 1967, and 1970. Noyo River (California) stock was planted along with Cascade River fish in 1970, and Alsea River (Oregon) stock was planted along with Cascade River fish in 1970&"

Chapter 5, pg. 8 of the Long Range Plan For The Klamath River Basin Conservation Area Fishery Restoration Program (William M. Kier Assoc. 1991) states:

..."From 1979 to 1988 the average number of coho juveniles planted was 670,531 annually. Plants ranged from a high of 1,198,696 in 1981 to a low of 156,150 in 1984..."

Chapter 5, pg. 10 Trinity River Hatchery Planting Procedures, Stock Transfers states

"Coho and steelhead were widely transplanted prior to 1984 in the Trinity Basin as far down as Weitchpec and in Hayfork and South Fork of the Trinity drainage. All releases of both species now are made only at the hatchery. Coho are released in March and steelhead are released in March and April. Prior to 1984, plants of both species were a mixture of fingerlings and yearlings. Now steelhead and coho are raised to yearling size before release..."

Historic Decline and Current Status of Coho Salmon in California, Larry R. Brown, Peter B. Moyle and Ronald Yoshiyama, North American Journal of Fisheries Management, Vol. 14, No. 2, May 1994:

Klamath-Trinity entire system to mouth: 93 streams; 1,860 native and naturalized; 16,265 hatchery (Includes Iron Gate and Trinity hatcheries, as well as hatchery fish spawning below Trinity Hatchery based on the assumption that 60% of returning hatchery fish actually enter the hatchery, with the remainder spawning outside (Rogers 1973)

The Federal Register Notice Vol. 62. No. 87, Tuesday, May 6, 1997 "Rules and Regulations" pg. 24588-24609 announcing the final determination of the Southern Oregon Northern Coastal Coho Salmon ESU as "threatened" states:

..." However, large hatchery programs, particularly in the Klamath/Trinity basin, raise serious concerns about effects on, and sustainability of, natural populations. For example, available information indicates that virtually all of the naturally spawning fish in the Trinity River are first-generation hatchery fish. Several hatcheries in the California portion of this ESU have used exotic stocks extensively in the past..." [at 24590]

NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NWFSC-24: Status Review of Coho Salmon from Washington, Oregon, and California - Laurie A. Weitkamp, Thomas C. Wainwright, Gregory J. Bryant, George B. Milner, David J. Teel, Robert G. Kope, and Robin S. Waples:

"Southern Oregon/northern California coasts ESU--Hatchery production of coho salmon completely eliminates the Trinity River system as derived totally from hatchery fish. (Rogers, D.W. 1973.)

California Department of Fish and Game, National Marine Fisheries Service Southwest Region Joint Hatchery Review Committee Final Report on Anadromous Salmonid Fish Hatcheries in California (Review Draft) June 27, 2001:

"Coho returning to the Trinity River are overwhelmingly of hatchery origin. The hatchery stock is considered part of the Southern Oregon/Northern California coho ESU but is not listed&"

From Salmon and Steelhead populations of the Klamath-Trinity Basin, California - Roger Barnhart, California Cooperative Fishery Research Unit April 1994 (Presented at the Klamath Basin Fisheries Symposium, March 24, 1994:

"Coho salmon were placed in one metapopulation."
"The status of wild coho populations in the Klamath River Basin is unknown; there may still be pure strains in tributaries of the lower Klamath River such as Hunter and Terwer creeks. The hatchery runs of coho for both Iron Gate and Trinity River hatcheries were created from broodstock from Cascade Hatchery in the Columbia River Basin (Hubbell 1979). Coho juveniles from both hatcheries have been outplanted to many other portions of the basin, notably the Salmon River and the South Fork Trinity River.
"Based on the history of hatchery introductions and intrabasin transfers of coho the Committee categorized Klamath Basin coho as one metapopulation. The Committee did not attempt to define breeding populations due to lack of information..."

 

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