Steelhead

Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are rainbow trout that go out to the ocean for part of their life cycle. In the Puget Sound region, the steelhead population is federally-listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. steelhead have been negatively impacted by habitat loss, reduced water quality and quantity, barriers, harvest, hatcheries, climate change and low marine survival. The number of steelhead in the Cedar River has decreased dramatically over the past 20 years, and is currently considered critically depressed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

In 2003, fish passage facilities were built at the Landsburg Diversion Dam to restore access to fish habitats above the dam. Steelhead and resident trout have been documented to successfully use these fish passage facilities to recolonize upstream habitats.

Steelhead monitoring under the HCP is designed to evaluate spawning, estimate emergence timing, and develop a relationship between spawning and Cedar River flows. SPU has partnered with WDFW to conduct annual surveys for steelhead and trout redds. The information gained is used to manage river flows for the benefit of steelhead and resident trout in the Cedar River.

Contact Karl Burton for more information.