• Kelt management efforts seek to help steelhead spawn again

    Unlike a typical salmon that dies after it spawns, steelhead can actually repeat spawn like freshwater trout. These repeat spawning steelhead, known as kelts, go back out to the ocean after they spawn to start the cycle over again.
    Biologists at the Yakama Nation's Salmon hatchery in Prosser, Washington have been intercepting kelts after they've spawned and reconditioning them so they're healthier and stronger. 
    “When we release them they look like they’re big and bright and full of eggs. They’ll go back into the tributaries and start spawning. After that, they’ll drift back out [to the ocean] like smolts and we’ll see them in March through June, ready to start another cycle,” says Joe Blodgett, fisheries biologist with the Tribe.
    Watch a video about kelt reconditioning here: 

    Other federal caucus partners, including the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) and the other lower river tribes, also conduct kelt reconditioning research and actions.



  • Annual Kelt Management Plans

    The FCRPS BiOp calls for hydrosystem operations at the lower Snake and Columbia River dams to benefit Snake River B-run steelhead and kelt reconditioning to benefit upper and middle Columbia River steelhead.
    Under the BiOp, the federal agencies prepare annual kelt management plans that include:
    • Measures to increase the in-river survival of migrating kelts
    • Potential for collection and transport (either with or without short-term reconditioning)
    • Potential for long-term reconditioning as a tool to increase the number of viable females
    • Research as necessary to accomplish the plan elements
    2015 Snake River Kelt Management Plan
    2014 Snake River Kelt Management Plan
    2013 Snake River Kelt Management Plan
    2012 Snake River Kelt Management Plan
    2011 Snake River Kelt Management Plan
    2010-2011 Kelt Management Plan
    2009-2010 Kelt Management Plan