Erick simonsen and holly mclellan colville confederated tribes resident fish division
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Erick Simonsen and Holly McLellan Colville Confederated Tribes, Resident Fish Division. Sanpoil River Redband Rainbow Trout. Importance of Redband T rout. Prior to the Grand Coulee Dam 4 anadromous salmonids were present in the upper Columbia River

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Sanpoil River Redband Rainbow Trout

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Erick Simonsen and Holly McLellan

Colville Confederated Tribes, Resident Fish Division

Sanpoil River Redband Rainbow Trout

Importance of Redband Trout

  • Prior to the Grand Coulee Dam 4 anadromous salmonids were present in the upper Columbia River

  • Today 2 of these historical fish persist in their resident forms: redband trout and kokanee

  • Salmonid species are important to the region

    • Healthy ecosystem

    • Subsistence for regional Native American Tribes

    • Provide recreational harvest opportunities

Chinook salmon

Coho salmon

Steelhead/redband trout


Redband Trout Research

  • In 2009 CCT, began a redband trout stock assessment project for the Sanpoil River

    • Redband Technical Working Group

      • Coordinated effort

      • Redband Stock Assessment Protocol (J. McLellan and C. Lee)

  • Goal: To conserve, enhance and restore redband trout populations in Lake Roosevelt and its tributaries, and where appropriate provide opportunities for subsistence harvest by Native American Tribes and recreational harvest.

Redband Trout Research: Sanpoil River

  • Major tributary to Lake Roosevelt

  • Sanpoil River is 103 km long

  • Okanogan, Colville NF and CCT Reservation

  • Redband Trout Stock Assessment

    • Determine life history types

    • Estimate recruitment

    • Estimate growth, age at maturity, and spawner escapement

    • Estimate harvest and describe spatial and temporal harvest characteristics.

    • Genetic inventory

Monitoring Methods Juveniles

  • Screw traps:

    • Out-migrating juveniles captured and PIT tagged in mainstem Sanpoil

  • D-net

    • Capture emergent fry and juveniles in smaller tributaries

  • Back pack electrofishing

    • Count and PIT tag juveniles in tributaries and mainstem

  • PIT tag arrays

    • Detect movements of tagged fish

Monitoring Methods Adults

  • Weir Traps

    • Capture both upstream and downstream fish

  • Telemetry

    • Radio: used while fish are in the river.

      • Finalized a study in 2011

    • Acoustic: used while in the reservoir.

      • Ongoing, partnered with EWU

  • Creel surveys

    • LRFEP survey

    • Sanpoil River

Sanpoil River weir

Fishing Lake Roosevelt

Acoustic tag

Radio tag

Sanpoil River life history types

  • 2009-10 study (Brown et al. 2013):

    • Fluvial: resident

      • Identified populations above barriers

      • Abundance below barriers unclear

    • Fluvial Adfluvial: most of life in river, migrate to tributary to spawn

      • West Fork SP, Bridge Ck

      • Abundance unclear

    • Lacustrine Adfluvial: most of life in a lake/reservoir, migrate to tributary to spawn

      • Spring run: migrate Feb-March; spawn April – May

      • Fall run; migrate August/Sept; overwinter, spawn in spring

      • Life history characteristic of steelhead

Juvenile out-migration 2012 Data

Peterson Estimate (95% CI)

  • Timing

    • Peaks just prior to freshet

    • Runoff unknown

    • Summer/fall peaks

  • Abundance

    • Monthly estimates 600 – 9,000 a month

    • Annually ~20,000*

    • Wide confidence

  • Age Distribution

    • 4 age classes

    • Majority age 1 and 2

Juveniles Bridge Creek 2013

Adult Escapement

Reservoir impacts

  • Reservoir life

    • Harvest, predation, entrainment

  • Creel Surveys

    • Increase harvest during pre-spawn staging

    • Continued harvest throughout year

  • Acoustic study

    • Collaboration with EWU to mark 15 fish

    • Movements:

      • through out lower reservoir

      • 2 documented entrained

      • 1 harvested


  • Continue redband stock assessment surveys in the Sanpoil River through 2017

  • Increase PIT tag arrays and build a more robust weir to increase precision of estimates

  • Plan to implement genetics study in 2014

  • Use data to address fishing regulations changes, reservoir operation issues, and assist with habitat restoration projects


  • Colville Confederated Tribes Resident Fish staff:

    • Jason McLellan, Bill Laramie, Robert Thomas, Branditt West, Shay Wolvert, Todd Nanamkin, Charles Joseph, Leslie Plum, William Dick , Arkie Andrew, and numerous temporary and seasonal workers

  • Redband Trout Technical Working Group

    • Spokane Tribe of Indians staff

    • WDFW staff: Chuck Lee

  • Pacific Northwest Laboratories (PNNL) Rich Brown and staff

  • Bonneville Power Administration, for their support and funding


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