Sockeye Recovery and Status
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
The Redfish Lake Sockeye Captive Broodstock Program, a multi-agency and tribal effort started in May 1991, was initiated to protect population genetic structure and to prevent the further decline of Idaho sockeye salmon. The program also produces eggs and fish to reintroduce to the habitat to increase population numbers. Idaho Fish and Game is working with the Bonneville Power Administration to increase the number of smolts the program releases.
Between 1991 and 1998, only 16 wild sockeye salmon returned to Idaho. All of these adults were incorporated into the captive breeding program and spawned at the Eagle Fish Hatchery.
The program releases eggs and fish back to the habitat in a variety of ways. Eyed-eggs are planted in egg boxes and placed in lakes in the fall, presmolts are released directly to lakes in the fall, smolts are released to outlet streams in the spring, and prespawn adults are released to lakes in the fall. A monitoring and evaluation effort is in place to document the success of the different reintroduction strategies.
Over the past twelve years, between 1999 and 2010, 3,193 hatchery-produced adult, sockeye salmon returned to the Sawtooth Valley. For comparison, in the 14 years from 1985 through 1998, 77 natural-origin sockeye salmon returned to Idaho.
|12-Year Hatchery Returns|
|2010||1,355||648 at Redfish Lake Creek, 652 at Sawtooth Hatchery, 55 trapped or observed at other locations.|
|2009||833||584 at Redfish Lake Creek, 249 at Sawtooth Hatchery.|
|2008||650||432 at Redfish Lake Creek, 218 at Sawtooth Hatchery.|
|2007||4||1 at Redfish Lake Creek, 3 at Sawtooth Hatchery.|
|2006||3||3 at Sawtooth Hatchery.|
|2005||6||2 at Redfish Lake Creek, 4 at Sawtooth Hatchery.|
|2004||27||3 at Redfish (2 at Little Redfish), 23 at Sawtooth, 1 at East Fork Salmon River.|
|2003||3||2 at Redfish Lake Creek, 1 at Sawtooth Hatchery.|
|2002||22||8 at Redfish Lake Creek, 14 at Sawtooth Hatchery.|
|2001||26||15 at Redfish Lake Creek, 11 at Sawtooth Hatchery.|
|2000||257||119 at Redfish Lake, 138 at Sawtooth Hatchery.|
|1999||7||All trapped at Sawtooth Hatchery.|
Between 1991 and 1998, 16 wild sockeye returned to Idaho. Between 1999 and 2007, 355 hatchery produced adult sockeye salmon returned to the Sawtooth Valley. Over the previous 14 years, 77 natural-origin sockeye returned.
In recent years, the number of full term smolts produced by the program has increased to approximately 200,000 annually. As a result of the increased smolt production, the number of anadromous adults returning to the Stanley Basin has also increased: