Past Tagging and Research Projects

Douglas County Public Utility District Survival Study

In 1998 the Douglas County PUD in Washington began a multi-year survival study to determine the survival rate of fish passing through their hydroelectric project (Wells Dam) on the Columbia River. Biomark performed the PIT-tagging, fish husbandry, fish release data collection and reporting during the three year study. The results from the study exceeded the 93% juvenile project survival standards that were set.

Grant County PUD Survival Studies

Grant County PUD funded Biomark to conduct Survival studies from 2001 through 2004 for yearling Chinook salmon passage through the hydroelectric facilities of Wanapum and Priest Rapids dams located on the Mid-Columbia River within the state of Washington. Each year, between 95,000 and 120,000 fish were tagged and released. These studies consisted of fish tagging, fish husbandry, release tank loading (with known PIT tagged fish), fish releases with helicopters, data analysis and report writing.

Bull Trout Synthesis Report (Click Here for Synthesis Report)

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service' 2000 Biological Opinion (BiOp) for the operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) directs the Action Agencies to determine the presence of, and use by, bull trout Salvelinus confluentus in the mainstem Snake River and McNary Reservoir. In response to this, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, asked a team, consisting of personnel from Biomark and Battelle, to conduct a review of studies done on bull trout use of the lower Snake River and McNary Dam reservoir and associated tributaries. For this project we conducted interviews with USACOE and other agency personnel who had conducted fish research at the dams. We also conducted an extensive search of records and reports on the presence of bull trout at the Lower Snake River dams - Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite, as well as McNary Dam on the Columbia River. We also conducted an extensive review of reports documenting bull trout studies on locally associated tributaries of the Lower Snake River and McNary Dam Reservoir including the Tucannon, Walla Walla, Touchet, Grande Ronde, Imnaha, Salmon, Umatilla, and Yakima rivers and Asotin Creek.

U.S. Army COE Yearling Chinook salmon and Steelhead

The Corp of Engineers funded NOAA fisheries to study the benefits of transporting fish around hydroelectric facilities on the Columbia River using PIT tag technology. Biomark provided tagging services for yearling Chinook salmon and steelhead at a variety of hatcheries in the Mid-Columbia River from 2002 - 2004. Over 500,000 fish were PIT-tagged each year of this project. Hatcheries included: Leavenworth NFH as well as 5 Washington State Hatcheries (Wells, Eastbank, Chelan Falls, Methow, and Ringold.)

Hanford Reach Pilot Study

In 2005, Biomark assisted Battelle NWL with a COE funded pilot study evaluating the feasibility of collecting and tagging wild sub-yearling fall Chinook salmon in the Hanford reach of the Columbia River. Valuable information was gained for future proposed projects concerning timing, collection methods, and equipment requirements.

CRITFC Hanford Reach Tagging Study

In 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 Biomark assisted the Columbia River Inter Tribal Fisheries Commission with PIT tagging 10,000 to 20,000 wild sub-yearling Fall Chinook salmon collected and released in the Hanford reach of the Columbia River. The PIT tagging was conducted to obtain downstream migration and survival information for the much larger group of fish being tagged with Coded Wire Tags (CWT) since no data can be collected with CWT without sacrificing the fish.  Valuable information was gained in 2008 and 2009 concerning the use of 8.5 mm PIT tags.