The fish release was part of a ceremony to celebrate the White Sturgeon Recovery Conservation Program effort. Rex Buck, Jr. and other Wanapum Tribal members blessed the fish at the event and spoke of their importance to Wanapum and Yakama Native American cultures. Other speakers at the event included Paul Ward and Donella Miller from the Yakama Nation, and Grant PUD’s Assistant Manager, Chuck Berrie and Senior Biologist, Mike Clement.
Each fish taggedEach fish released contained a passive tag that biologists can use to identify the fish when they are caught. These tags allow the researchers to track their movements, growth, and survival within the river over the next 20+ years. About one percent of the total sturgeon released also contained a sonic tag that emits a signal that can tell the biologists specifically where they are located without the need to catch the fish. These tags will work for up to five years.
Dams are hard on sturgeonDams along the Columbia River Basin have reduced white sturgeon populations. White sturgeon in the middle and upper Columbia River now reside in human-controlled and impounded reservoirs between dams. While these populations are able to reproduce, the juvenile or larval fish have a poor survival rate in the natural river, which leads to population declines. Some researchers believe this is likely due to regulation of river flows; flooding of historical critical spawning and rearing habitats; and increased numbers of native and non-native predators due to habitat alteration, introduction of exotic species, and increased pollution.
Read this full story online.
Water quality success stories provide a wealth of information associated with novel project designs, funding ideas, and useful resource suggestions. Some are clear successes; others supply valuable lessons to help us grow in our understanding of water quality protection and restoration. Stories illustrate successes gained from cooperation among Washington’s citizens and organizations.
Read all of Ecology's water quality success stories, and check out our complete catalog of stories to date.