Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project

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Clear Creek Dam Fish Passage Assessment

The purpose of the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project (YRBWEP) is to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife through improved water management; improved instream flows; improved water quality; protection, creation and enhancement of wetlands; and by other appropriate means of habitat improvement.

Clear Creek Dam, which impounds Clear Lake and is located approximately one kilometer above Rimrock Reservoir, was constructed on the North Fork Tieton River in 1914. Fish passage facilities constructed in the spillway channel of the dam in 1992 have proven to be only partially effective and the structure remains an impediment to the migration of bull trout seeking to reach spawning habitat above it. The ultimate goal of this study is to ensure that this population of bull trout can successfully reach spawning habitat in the North Fork Tieton River above Clear Creek Dam. The three primary objectives of the assessment are to:

  • Determine when North Fork Tieton River bull trout attempt to migrate upstream past Clear Creek Dam;
  • Assess their success at doing so under various hydrologic conditions;
  • Determine post-spawn migration timing and the extent to which the population uses Clear Lake

The study involves trapping post-spawn bull trout in the North Fork Tieton River above Clear Creek Dam and implanting them with HDX PIT tags. The movements of tagged fish will be tracked at several PIT-tag detection arrays established in the migration corridor.

The Clear Creek Dam Fish Passage Assessment is a cooperative investigation being conducted by staff from Reclamation’s Columbia-Cascades Area Office, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Mid-Columbia Fishery Resource Office (Yakima Sub-Office), and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (Region 3). The study began in early 2012 and will continue through 2015. The first of three annual progress reports was completed in April 2013. A final report will be submitted during the first half of 2016.

05/2014 Clear Creek Dam Fish Passage Assessment Second Annual Progress Report PDF 5.03 mb
04/10/2013 First Annual Progress Report Clear Creek Dam Passage Assessment PDF 5.20 mb


Jeff Thomas
Study Manager
(509) 575-5848 x225

Arden Thomas
Fisheries Biologist
(509) 575-5848 x 298

Pat Monk
(509) 575-5848 x 325

Last Updated: 7/11/16