List of Symposia

Several exciting and informative symposia have been organized for our meeting this year:

  • Downstream fish passage facility performance, evaluation, and monitoring
  • Salmonids in the Skokomish River Basin: past, present, and future
  • Uninvited guests at the feast; consequences of non-native species introduction and spread
  • Environmental DNA (eDNA) as a tool for detection of aquatic species
  • Habitat restoration – the foundation for preparing a feast?
  • Salmon predators – orca and many other mouths feed
  • General submissions/contributed papers
  • Poster session

List of Symposia

Downstream fish passage facility performance, evaluation, and monitoring

Chair: Jacob Venard, HDR

Description: The successful implementation of performance evaluation and monitoring of downstream fish passage facilities is essential to determining the success of the facilities. These studies determine whether the facility is meeting performance standards and also help identify issues, troubleshoot problems, and guide next steps for potential improvements. Proper study design and implementation is necessary to accurately determine the effectiveness of the facilities, with great importance to both the owners and operators, and the agencies overseeing these facilities. The goals of this symposium are to provide results of such studies as well as lessons learned and guidance for the successful implementation of these studies, so that the necessary information is attained to accurately evaluate the performance of these facilities as well as guide the design, operation, and potential next steps for meeting requirements. Topics covered by this symposium include the following:

  • Study design considerations: lessons learned to guide effective evaluations (e.g. species considerations, methods/techniques in relation to key information, that they provide to measuring performance
  • Measuring and meeting criteria: examples of how criteria are (or not) being met
  • Essential data/statistics that collecting the important information
  • Study results and what we’ve learned from performance evaluation and monitoring.
  • Application to future facility and/or study design.
  • What did we learn that we did not expect to learn, or vice versa, what didn’t we learn that we expected to learn?
  • Implementation to application: next steps toward meeting performance standards and considerations for future projects

Salmonids in the Skokomish River Basin: past, present, and future

Chair: Phil Sandstorm, Tacoma Power

Description: Tacoma Power completed construction of Cushman No. 1 Dam and No. 2 Dam by 1930 impounding the North Fork Skokomish River and creating Lake Kokanee and Lake Cushman. For a number of years there was no passage above the dams, and the only fish in those lakes were fish that were trapped during construction or planted to maintain a fishery. In recent years Tacoma Power has invested to create adult passage (2013) and juvenile passage (2014) through trap and haul systems. Two conservation hatcheries (North Fork Skokomish River Hatchery and Saltwater Park) were created in 2014 to aid in reintroduction efforts, and monitoring and evaluations efforts have been initiated to further the understanding of existing populations and performance of hatchery programs. This symposium will focus on how the initial construction of the dams impacted salmonid populations in the North Fork Skokomish River, what we are learning while reintroduction and recovery actions are occurring, and future issues that will likely be encountered in this basin. At the end of the session we would like to hold a panel discussion focused on future directions for research efforts and populations as reintroduction and progression towards recovery continue. After a brief discussion the panel of representatives (from multiple agencies) would field questions from the audience.

Uninvited guests at the feast; consequences of non-native species introduction and spread

Chair: Paul Spruell, Eastern Washington University

Description: Anthropogenic changes to the environment often have unintended consequence with respect to community composition and structure. In many cases these environmental changes may allow populations of non-native species to increase in number substantially and may facilitate the colonization of new habitats, thus expanding the range and effect of these exotic species. In this symposium, we will examine the effects of non-native species including consideration of their current and future ranges, their direct and indirect on native species, and management actions aimed at mitigating their effects.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) as a tool for detection of aquatic species

Chair: Sarah Brown, WDFW Molecular Genetics Lab

Description: Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a promising new tool to non-invasively monitor species of conservation concern. eDNA is DNA that is left in an environment (water, air, soil), as an organism passes through and leaves behind shed cells. This DNA can be detected through traditional molecular genetic techniques (qPCR, sequencing, etc.), and can potentially link a species to a geographic region. This technique is of particular interest to rare or threatened species, which are difficult or costly to detect through traditional means. This session will focus on the use of eDNA as a tool to aid in detection of aquatic species.

Habitat restoration – the foundation for preparing a feast?

Chair: Ryan Klett, Colville Confederated Tribes

Description: This session provides a venue for researchers focused on habitat restoration research and improvement projects to showcase their work. Topics include: influence of habitat restoration on salmon productivity, modelling methods to assess the outcome of restoration projects, and integration with recovery strategies.

Salmon predators – orca and many other mouths feed

Chair: Mike Ford, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Description: The recent decline of the Southern Resident orca population has sparked public and government officials’ interests to a degree that is turning the heat up on potential management actions aimed to recover the population. However, salmon are a critical piece of the food web for many other species, and commercial and recreational management must be considered too. This symposium will describe orca prey limitations and some of the other “mouths” targeting orca prey, assess fisheries influence on salmon consumption of other predators, and look at some key salmon predator and fisheries studies that may play a role in developing a predator balance to allow for orca recovery.