Status and Trends - Fish
dMethow Subbasin bar Industrial development of the Columbia River, agricultural, forestry, and private development of the Methow Subbasin, combined with historically intensive fishing, have led to declines of wild salmonid populations. By the 1930s, only 200 to 400 adult spring Chinook returned to the subbasin. There have been large fluctuations in redd counts from the 1950s through the 1990s. For summer Chinook, the run size averaged approximately 1,000 adults from 1980 to the 1990s. Although the Methow was once a productive steelhead system, the population sustains itself only at a threshold population level. Coho, were extirpated in the early-1900s and have recently been reintroduced by the Yakama Nation, with natural reproduction now occurring.

Methow subbasin fish infographics



188 kelts released by the Yakama Nation (2012-2018)


On average, 613 more natural origin spawners annually 2009-2018 versus 1990-1998, reaching the natural viability threshold in some recent years


Methow Steelhead


Methow Summer Chinook


 Summer Chinook

Purpose of GPUD/WDFW hatchery releases are for increased harvest opportunity


Hatchery returns are segregated from natural tributary spawning populations


 Spring Chinook

Although better than the 1990s, natural origin spawners have stayed at low levels for the past 15 years


Hatchery releases are GPUD/CPUD/DPUD/USFWS mitigation and supplementation efforts


Yakama Nation will be assisting with experimental acclimation to improve homing to areas of better habitat quality

Methow Spring Chinook


Methow Coho



Yakama Nation began reintroducing coho in 1997, and have transitioned to local broodstock


Acclimation sites have expanded to increase natural origin productivity within historic spawning areas


Average annual estimated run size 1,060 fish (2009-2017)


490,000 smolts released per year (average 2008-2016)