between 1950 and 1954, the Klickitat Hatchery was funded under the federal
Act of 1938 as mitigation for effects of hydropower development
and operation. It is the centerpiece of artificial propagation activities
in the Klickitat subbasin, and is used at least in part to rear and
release spring and fall Chinook and coho salmon. In addition, steelhead
smolts are released annually directly into the lower Klickitat at several
locations downstream of the Klickitat Hatchery. On June 2, 2003, a Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) was completed that describes the operational responsibility of the Klickitat Hatchery
and the Lyle Falls and Castile Falls fishways between the WDFW and the Confederated
Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (YN). In May of 2006, the Yakama
Nation officially assumed responsibility for the operation of the Klickitat
to the Spring Chinook artificial production program that meet Hatchery
Scientific Review Group reform criteria can be found in the Klickitat
River Spring Chinook Anadromous Fishery Master Plan (link to 2018 draft, below). This draft master plan is currently
in Step II of the NPCC
3-Step review process for major artificial production initiatives.
Castile Falls, a
severe natural obstruction in the upper Klickitat River gorge (RM 64) consisting of multiple cascades and waterfalls,
was an historic impediment to the upstream migration of the majority
of anadromous fish into the upper Klickitat watershed. Castile Falls is a series of eleven natural falls with a vertical drop of 108 feet over 0.67 miles.
Fishways were constructed by Washington Dept. of Fisheries (WDF) in the early 1960s with Mitchell Act funds to provide anadromous access to approximately 33 miles of spring Chinook and 55 miles of steelhead habitat above the falls.
Limitations in design understanding at the time and infrequent maintenance
contributed to the failure of the first attempt to provide passage over
the falls. A plan view drawing depicts the entire series of falls with fishways that were constructed (from 1960s), and an original 3D design drawing from the late ’50s-’60s shows the attempt to tunnel through 3000’ of rock
for fish passage facilities.
Due to poor geotechnical material encountered early in the tunneling, WDF was then forced to construct three different fishways, located between river miles 64.0 and 64.7.
Falls Numbers 2, 3, and 6 were not considered fish barriers, so no "corrective blasting" was undertaken. The remaining falls, Numbers 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11, were all altered.
Recently, the Castile Falls Fishway was renovated to bring
it into compliance with NOAA Fisheries' fish passage standards and facilitate
anadromous fish passage to habitats in the upper subbasin. From 2003-2005,
work was completed on the two fishway tunnels within the Castile Falls
were approved by NOAA
Fisheries in 1999 under special appropriations to the Mitchell
Act to perform major maintenance activities after
the severe 1996 flood, which caused damage to several fishways in the Pacific Northwest. Construction activities were completed in summer 2005 opening access,
blocked for over 40 years, to over 50 miles of habitat in the upper
Klickitat to salmon and steelhead.
consist of conversion from a pool-weir-style fishway to a vertical
slot fishway to allow passage over a wider range of river flow conditions
and to reduce maintenance needs. Project engineers and biologists have
measured improved flow, attraction flow and energy dissipation factor
(EDF) within the weir--all of which meet current criteria for fish passage.
Through BPA Columbia Basin Fish Accords funding, a monitoring facility was constructed at the terminus of the uppermost fishway tunnel. This facility, completed in summer 2012, now provides fisheries managers the ability to accurately monitor passage into the upper basin. A series of Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) antennas records previously PIT-tagged fish, and an in-fishway digital video fish-detection array provides critical biological data such as species, run timing, size, and sex ratio of returning naturally produced adult spring Chinook and steelhead into the upper Klickitat basin. A 2500-gallon, double-walled diesel tank with a capture-flow system to prevent spills provides remote power generation. Two alternating diesel generators supply power to the digital image capture and PIT-tag detection systems. The motion of fish passing the camera triggers 5 seconds of digital video capture before and after the detection, and those frames captured are transferred from a digital video recorder via satellite to Toppenish for review and analysis. The facility receives year-round O&M visits, and alarm sensors send information about any operational malfunction or emergency to staff cell phones for rapid response.
View construction photos from the Castile Falls fishway improvements 2010-2011 (requires Adobe Flash 7 player).
The Castile Falls
Enumeration Facility (CFEF) provides the ability to enumerate escapement
into the upper Klickitat subbasin, and assess recent improvements to
the Castile Falls Fishway. A counting station installed at the fishway exit of
the Castile Falls 10/11 Fishway tunnel includes video monitoring
and PIT-tag detection capabilities, as well as the ability to trap salmon
and steelhead for biological and DNA assessment and brood stock collection. The enumeration facility
allows fisheries managers to:
of Klickitat spring Chinook, summer steelhead and Pacific lamprey into headwater habitats
status and future trends as needed to calculate natural production
and adult-to-adult return rates, and to refine EDT and run forecasting
models used to guide integrated and conservation hatchery programs and
set harvest objectives
monitoring to gain critical biological data such as species, run timing,
size, and sex ratio of returning adults; and
collect age and
DNA information on returning adults.
assist with effectiveness monitoring of habitat restoration projects.
Lyle Falls is really a series of five falls located on the Klickitat River above
the confluence with the Columbia River between river mile (RM) 2.0 and 2.2. The uppermost falls, Klickitat
Falls No. 5, is approximately 150 feet in length and is bypassed by the
Lyle Falls fishway located on the west bank. Data
on adult fish using the fish ladder are collected daily.
The Washington State
Department of Fisheries (WDF) began building the original reinforced
concrete fishway at Lyle Falls in 1949. By 1955, more formal facilities
were constructed (photo). The facility was a vertical slot weir covered fishway,
with a three-port entrance pool, trapping
and sorting bays. A siphon was retrofitted above the fishway to provide
attraction water in the 1960's. Fish
passage at Lyle Falls No. 5 met with some success over the years, but did not fully function as intended. Bedload and debris
accumulations continually entrained material into the fishway, minimizing
exit pool depths and increasing operation and maintenance. The siphon
auxiliary water system designed to increase attraction flows at the
fishway entrance would often not hold a charge due to bedload accumulation,
nor was it properly screened and configured to eliminate impingement
and entrainment of juvenile fish.
Fishway issues and resolution
Under the above conditions, passage through the Lyle Falls fishway could become difficult during low flow
conditions. At low flows, minimal water passed through the fishway,
whose exit channel was often shallow with exposed bedload, resulting
in fish reluctant to enter and exit the fishway. New fish passage technology,
improved since original construction, provided solutions to remedy problems
with the fishway and facilitate increased passage through a wider range
of flows, particularly during low flow conditions.
Location of the
fishway exit, with fish exiting into swift water
Trash rack debris
at the fishway exit
Hydraulic analysis coupled with fisheries passage information developed by NOAA and WDFW was used to identify needed repairs, modifications, and retrofits that would facilitate increased
passage into the Klickitat River basin. Engineering and design work for Lyle Falls provided for a facility
that allows a high proportion of returning fish to be physically examined
at a location in the lower watershed.
Improvements were undertaken
at Lyle Falls Fishway to address limited adult fish passage through the
fishway into the Klickitat subbasin. Bonneville
Power Administration (BPA)finalized the Environmental Impact Statement for the Lyle Falls Fish Passage Project which contained a Record of Decision recommending moving forward with construction, as well as a detailed plan to mitigate for construction impacts, including native revegetation of the project site. The
recommended action consisted of modifying the existing fishway to
safely and more effectively allow adult fish to move through the existing
Lyle Falls into spawning areas in the upstream reaches of the Klickitat
Improvements would also include reconstructing and lengthening
the fishway and trash racks; upgrading the adult trapping facility
and adding a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT)-tag detector would facilitate collection of fish for broodstock
purposes and monitoring of biological information for future fishery
management. The PIT-tag detection
system enables escapement monitoring, provides run-timing information,
improves enumeration of natural- and hatchery-origin recruits returning
to the subbasin, and may also assist in determining the presence/absence of a fluvial
bull trout population. An "eelway", a specially designed lamprey passage device, was also added. For more details about and photos of the construction on the Lyle Falls fishway and adult fish trap initiated in spring 2010, click here. At the peak of construction, this project provided 90 jobs.
Lyle Falls Fishway is a busy working facility. If you are interested in scheduling a tour, please contact us.
it frees up critical
water and space at the Klickitat Hatchery, ensuring that optimal rearing
densities and protocols (YKFP and Hatchery
Scientific Review Group [HSRG] guidelines) are met for the two
endemic stocks (Klickitat spring Chinook and Klickitat summer steelhead)
coho and fall Chinook production 26 miles downriver minimizes the
impacts of large-scale hatchery releases on wild spring Chinook and
steelhead rearing between the two facilities.
The 26 miles of
river between Klickitat Hatchery (RM 42.6) and WHAF (RM 17) lies within
the 3 EDT reaches (Lower Klickitat, Middle Klickitat and Upper Middle
Klickitat). EDT model output generated from physical habitat surveys
identify these reaches as having the highest potential for restoration
and preservation in the subbasin. Annual steelhead spawner surveys indicate
that 60% of the mainstem spawning occurs in these reaches.
of well-acclimated coho and fall Chinook from WHAF imprinted to the
local groundwater signature will concentrate returns to the immediate
proximity of the facility, where concentrated harvest can occur, as natural production of coho and fall Chinook is not a program objective.