ODFW Aquatic Inventories Project

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ODFW's Oregon Plan Monitoring Program for Coastal Basins
Oregon Plan Habitat

ODFW Monitoring Programs:

Spawning Surveys
Juvenile Surveys
Habitat Surveys
Smolt Trap
Biotic Index

What is the Oregon Plan?

The Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds is a broad-based effort of citizens, local watershed groups, the State of Oregon, and federal agencies to restore healthy salmon populations and their watersheds.

The most important part of the Plan is the idea that people working together, with the support of state and local government, can do more to help fish than could be accomplished by a strict regulatory approach.

The Plan has been in effect since 1997.  Hundreds of projects designed to improve stream habitat and watershed conditions have been completed.  Support for watershed groups, SWCDs, and landowners has brought people together to develop stream restoration plans tailored to the needs of the local community. 

For more information:

Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds 
Program Office: (503) 986-0195  
Monitoring Program: (541) 757-4263 x223
Internet Address: www.oregon-plan.org

Monitoring Program Activities

Monitoring programs under the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds are designed to assess the status and trends in fish populations and aquatic habitat in Oregon's coastal and lower Columbia River basins.  Coordinated site visitations with aquatic habitat surveys, juvenile rearing surveys, and adult salmon spawning surveys provide a comprehensive view of freshwater habitat, fish distribution, and abundance of coho salmon and steelhead at juvenile and adult life stages.  The sampling framework and panel structure is designed to summarize habitat and population information at the monitoring area scale and at the population scale.

Stream Habitat Assessment

Stream habitat assessment is conducted by the Aquatic Inventories Project.  The sampling is targeted at two spatial scales, the monitoring area and coho population area.  Monitoring areas are comprised of stream habitat in large geographic areas that supports populations of coho, Chinook, and chum salmon, and steelhead and cutthroat trout.  Population scale sampling focuses only on stream habitat within individual basins that support juvenile and adult coho salmon. Surveyors collect information on channel size, flow, substrate composition, large wood, habitat complexity, and riparian characteristics. 

Contact: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Charlie Stein (541) 757-5127
Matt Strickland (541) 757-5140

Juvenile Salmon Population Census

Divers will snorkel pool habitats to count juvenile salmon.  Over time, these counts help us understand trends in the abundance and distribution of juvenile salmonids.  At some of the sites, more precise population estimates will be made for juvenile coho, cutthroat, and steelhead.

Survey sites will vary in length.  Field crews will spend about one day at each site over the summer sampling period.

Contact: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Charlie Stein 
(541) 757-5127
Ron Constable  (541) 757-5107

Adult Salmon Spawning Surveys

Counts of spawning adult salmon are a key indicator of abundance.  A team of one or two surveyors will visit each potential site once during the summer to mark the boundaries of the survey and collect data on stream size, availability of spawning gravel, and possible barriers to fish-passage. Each survey covers about one mile of stream. Starting with the fall spawning migration, and continuing through early winter, crews will visit each site about once a week to count the salmon.

Contacts: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Mark Lewis (541) 757-5122
Briana Sounhein (541) 757-5136 (Coho)
Matt Weeber (541) 757-5120 (Steelhead)
Eric Brown (541) 757-5133 (Lower Columbia)

Salmonid Life Cycle Monitoring Project: Smolt Trapping

In 1998, as part of the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds (formerly the Coastal Salmon Restoration Initiative) the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) began a program to monitor survival and downstream migration of salmonid fishes (Oncorhynchus spp.) As a part of this program the Salmonid Life-cycle Monitoring project developed three objectives; 1) estimate abundance of adult salmonids and downstream migrating juvenile salmonids, 2) estimate the marine and freshwater survival rates for coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and 3) evaluate the effects of habitat modification on the abundance of juvenile salmonids in Cummins and Tenmile Creeks.

Contacts: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Erik Suring (541) 286-5328



Stream Health Biotic Index Measurement

Measurements of aquatic insects, aquatic plants, water quality, fish communities, and habitat are combined to create an integrated assessment of stream condition.

The length of stream sampled ranges from about one-quarter to one-half a mile. Crews spend a day at each site.

Contact: Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Mike Mulvey (503) 229-5983

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