Province Summary


Grande Ronde Subbasin Summary

The Grande Ronde subbasin is characterized by rugged mountains and two major river valleys. It is defined by the Blue Mountains to the west and northwest, and the Wallowa Mountains to the southeast. It is in these mountain ranges, with peaks as high as 7,700 feet in the Blues and nearly 10,000 feet in the Wallowas, where the headwater streams of the Grande Ronde begin.

There are 8 dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers between the Grande Ronde River and the Pacific Ocean. Major streams flowing into the Grande Ronde are Catherine and Joseph creeks and the Wallowa and Wenaha rivers. Catherine Creek originates in the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area of the Wallowa Mountains and flows northwest, passing through the town of Union, then turns northeast to join the Grande Ronde at RM 140. The Wallowa River originates in the Lakes Basin area of the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area at elevations over 8,000 feet. The Wallowa River flows north into Wallowa Lake, the only large lake in the subbasin, then through the towns of Joseph, Enterprise and Wallowa before joining the Grande Ronde at RM 82. The Wenaha River begins in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness Area and flows east to its confluence with the Grande Ronde River at the town of Troy (RM 46).

The Grande Ronde subbasin encompasses an area of about 4,000 mi2 in northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. The Grande Ronde subbasin drains much of the extreme northeast corner of Oregon as well as 341 mi2 of southeast Washington.

Source: Grande Ronde Subbasin Plan

Status and Trends of Focal Species in Grande Ronde Subbasin
 
Species ESU MPG Population Biological Objective (s) Biological Status Federal Status Data / Charts
Spring Chinook Snake River  Grande Ronde-Imnaha  Upper Grande Ronde, Catherine Creek, Lookingglass Creek,Willowa-Lostine, Minam, Wenaha  Draft Recovery Plan Criteria :
Unknown
 
NOSA Estimate
2016: 2,374 spawners474
Catherine Creek - 191 spawners474
Grande Ronde River Upper Mainstem - 90 spawners474
Minam River - 614 spawnders474
Wallowa/Lostine - 734 spawners474
Wenaha - 745 spawners474
Redd Counts
2015: 1,247 redds140
Juvenile Outmigrants
2016: 110,958 wild juveniles 474
Catherine Creek - 12,104 juveniles474
Minam River -39,560 juveniles474
Upper Grande Ronde River Mainstem - 26,393 juveniles474
Wallowa/Lostine - 32,901 juveniles474
Threatened Status & Trends
Summer Steelhead Snake River  Grande Ronde  Upper Grande Ronde, Wallowa, Lower Grande Ronde, Joseph Creek  Draft Recovery Plan Criteria :
Unknown
Subbasin Plan Objective :
5,000 natural adults288
 
NOSA Estimate
2017: Upper Grande Ronde 1,699 spawners 474
2016: Joseph Creek - 1,593 spawners 474
Juvenile Outmigrants
2016: 26,969 juveniles 166
Threatened Status & Trends
Bull Trout Grande Ronde, Little Mrinam    Upper Grande Ronde, Catherine Creek, Minam River/Deer Creek, Lostine River/Deer Creek, Hurricane Creek, Wenaha River, Lookingglass Creek, Little minam River  Draft Recovery Plan Objective :
Grande Ronde Core Area - 5,000 adults distributed among 8 local populations;
Little Minam Core Area - 1000 adults289
 
Redd Counts
2016: 41 redds 142
Threatened Status & Trends
    
View abundance data for Grande Ronde Subbasin
 
Hatcheries located in Grande Ronde Subbasin
**Hatchery data will be updated in 2016**

Hatchery / Acclimation Pond Hatchery Info Releases / Returns Program Reviews(APRE / HSRG / HGMP / USFWS) Map
Catherine Creek Hatchery View View View View
Cottonwood Creek Rearing Pond View View View View
Cottonwood Hatchery View     View
Little Sheep Hatchery View View View View
Lookingglass Fish Hatchery View View View View
Lostine Acclimation Pond View View    
Wallowa Hatchery View View View View
 
Hatchery Releases and Returns to Grande Ronde Subbasin358
**Hatchery data will be updated in 2016**

Some releases into subbasins may be from hatcheries located in other provinces and subbasins. Hatchery releases of anadromous fish, within the geographic range of an ESU/DPS, are listed accordingly.
 
Hatchery / Acclimation Pond Species ESU/DPS Released in 2009 Returns to Collection Facility in 2009 Data as of
Big Canyon Ponds Summer Steelhead Snake River Basin Steelhead DPS 284,478 1,930 8 / 30 / 2010
Catherine Creek Hatchery Spring Chinook Snake River Spring/Summer Chinook ESU 138,843 257 8 / 30 / 2010
Cottonwood Creek Rearing Pond Summer Steelhead Snake River Basin Steelhead DPS 170,232 2,313 8 / 30 / 2010
Grande Ronde Spring Chinook Snake River Spring/Summer Chinook ESU 146,552 235 8 / 30 / 2010
Irrigon Fish Hatchery Fall Chinook 441,050 8 / 30 / 2010
Little Sheep Hatchery Summer Steelhead Snake River Basin Steelhead DPS 146,836 1,275 8 / 30 / 2010
Lookingglass Fish Hatchery Spring Chinook Snake River Spring/Summer Chinook ESU 276,136 161 8 / 30 / 2010
Lostine Acclimation Pond Spring Chinook 247,692 8 / 30 / 2010
Lyons Ferry Hatchery Fall Chinook Snake River Fall Chinook ESU 181,400 8 / 30 / 2010
Wallowa Hatchery Rainbow Trout 30,691 8 / 30 / 2010
Summer Steelhead Snake River Basin Steelhead DPS 370,403 3,251 8 / 30 / 2010
Recovery Status for ESA-Listed Salmon and Steelhead in the Grande Ronde Subbasin146, 177

Updated : 5/27/2010

Species Population Abundance Threshold Mean Abundance Major Spawning Area Growth Rate Recruits / Spawners Current Viability
Summer Steelhead Upper Grande Ronde 1,500 1,226 Unknown Unknown 2.29 Moderate
  Wallowa 1,000 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Moderate
  Lower Grande Ronde 1,000 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown
  Joseph Creek 500 2,132 Unknown Unknown 2.58 Very High
Spring Chinook Upper Grande Ronde 1,000 38 1 of 3 Unknown 0.42 Low
  Catherine Creek 750 89 1 of 2 0.97 0.75 Low
  Lookingglass Creek 500 Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Functionally Extirpated
  Wallowa-Lostine 1,000 276 3 of 3 1.05 0.78 Low
  Minam 750 337 2 of 2 1.05 1.02 Low
  Wenaha 750 376 1 of 1 1.10 0.74 Low
Limiting Factors in the Grande Ronde Subbasin 422, 423

BULL TROUT
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Habitat Quantity and Quality Access and Availability Freshwater-Instream Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Migration Impediments Juveniles, adults Wallowa Lake Dam and Beaver Creek Dam are barriers to passage.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Morphological Changes Freshwater-Floodplain Agricultural Practices; Urbanization Wetland Loss; Impervious Surfaces (Road Density); Riparian Degradation Juveniles, adults Extensive wetlands have been eliminated by agriculture, road building, livestock, and removal of beavers.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Riparian Forest Management Impervious Surfaces (Road Density); Riparian Degradation Juveniles, adults Past and present forest management practices have decreased riparian function. Bull trout have been affected by loss of shade and instream structure.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices Riparian Degradation; Bank Destabilization Juveniles, adults Agricultural practices and livestock grazing have widened the stream channel in the Upper Grande Ronde.
Sediment Conditions Increased Sediment Quantity Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices; Forest Management Sediment: Bank Destabilization; Pre-Spawn Adults Increased sedimentation has resulted in the siltation of spawning gravel.
Water Quality Temperature -- Agricultural Practices; Forest Management Riparian Degradation All Increased water temperatures in the Upper Grande Ronde have resulted in thermal barriers.
SPRING CHINOOK
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Habitat Quantity and Quality Access and Availability Freshwater-Instream Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Migration Impediments Adults Wallowa Lake Dam and Upper Alder Slope Diversion are significant barriers to adult fish passage.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Access and Availability; Morphological Changes Estuary Agricultural Practices; Urbanization Diking; Filling; Riparian Degradation; Wetland Loss Smolts Historical complex habitats have been modified through channelization, diking, development and other practices.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Morphological Changes Freshwater-Floodplain Agricultural Practices; Urbanization Diking; Impervious Surfaces (Road Density); Riparian Degradation; Wetland Loss Juveniles Extensive wetlands have been eliminated by agriculture, road building, livestock, and removal of beavers.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Riparian Agricultural Practices; Urbanization; Forest Management Diking; Filling; Impervious Surfaces (Road Density); Riparian Degradation Juveniles Agricultural activities have drained and cleared many riparian areas in the Wallowa River watershed. Agriculture has reduced shade and confined the channel in Catherine Creek.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices; Forest Management Diking; Filling; Wood/Structure Removal; Wetland Loss Juveniles Historic splash damming on the Minam River cleared woody debris and simplified the channel. Extensive channelization in the upper Grande Ronde has resulted in loss of both riverine and wetland habitats.
Instantaneous Mortality Anthropogenic Mortality -- Fishery Management Harvest Adults Spring Chinook are primarily subject to freshwater harvest.
Instantaneous Mortality Anthropogenic Mortality -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Migration Impediments Juveniles Juveniles and adults must pass eight mainstem dams during migration.
Sediment Conditions Increased Sediment Quantity Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices; Forest Management Sediment: Bank Destabilization; Eggs; Pre-spawn Adults Sediment impacts are widespread throughout the Upper Grande Ronde watershed.
Water Quality Turbidity; Temperature -- Agricultural Practices; Urbanization; Forest Management Diking; Filling; Impervious Surfaces (Road Density); Riparian Degradation; Bank Destabilization Eggs Reduced peak flows from operation of Wallowa Lake Dam has increased sediment accumulation below the dam. Temperature and impacts are widespread throughout the Upper Grande Ronde watershed.
Water Quantity Decreased Water Quantity -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Water: Storage or Withdrawal Juveniles Water diversions exacerbate summer low flows in the Wallowa River watershed. Water withdrawls significantly reduce the flow of Catherine Creek from June through September, with one diversion transfering water to the Powder River Subbasin. Diversions also reduce flow in the Upper Grande Ronde.
SUMMER STEELHEAD
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Habitat Quantity and Quality Access and Availability Freshwater-Instream Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Migration Impediments Adults Wallowa Lake Dam and Upper Alder Slope Diversion are significant barriers to adult fish passage.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Access and Availability; Morphological Changes Estuary Agricultural Practices; Urbanization Diking; Filling; Riparian Degradation; Wetland Loss Smolts Historical complex habitats have been modified through channelization, diking, development and other practices.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Morphological Changes Freshwater-Floodplain Agricultural Practices; Urbanization Diking; Impervious Surfaces (Road Density); Riparian Degradation; Wetland Loss Juveniles Extensive wetlands have been eliminated by agriculture, road building, livestock, and removal of beavers.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Riparian Agricultural Practices; Urbanization; Forest Management Diking; Filling; Impervious Surfaces (Road Density); Riparian Degradation Juveniles Impacts to riparian function from grazing and roads limit steelhead rearing habitat in the Wildcat Creek watershed. Extensive grazing has reduced riparian function in some parts of the Joseph Creek watershed. Agricultural activities have drained and cleared many riparian areas in the Wallowa River watershed. Agriculture has reduced shade and confined the channel in Catherine Creek.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices; Forest Management Diking; Filling; Wood/Structure Removal; Wetland Loss Juveniles Historic splash damming on the Minam River cleared woody debris and simplified the channel. Extensive channelization in the upper Grande Ronde has resulted in loss of both riverine and wetland habitats.
Instantaneous Mortality Anthropogenic Mortality -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Migration Impediments Juveniles Juveniles and adults must pass eight mainstem dams during migration.
Sediment Conditions Increased Sediment Quantity Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices; Forest Management Sediment: Bank Destabilization; Eggs; Pre-spawn Adults Sedimentation limits steelhead spawning and egg incubation in tributaries of the Lower Grande Ronde. Sedimentation is also significant in the Joseph Creek watershed. Sediment impacts are widespread throughout the Upper Grande Ronde watershed.
Water Quality Turbidity; Temperature -- Agricultural Practices; Urbanization; Forest Management Diking; Filling; Impervious Surfaces (Road Density); Riparian Degradation; Bank Destabilization Eggs Reduced peak flows from operation of Wallowa Lake Dam has increased sediment accumulation below the dam. Temperature impacts are widespread throughout the Upper Grande Ronde watershed.
Water Quantity Decreased Water Quantity -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Water: Storage or Withdrawal Summer parr Water diversions exacerbate summer low flows in the Wallowa River watershed. Water withdrawals significantly reduce the flow of Catherine Creek from June through September, with one diversion transfering water to the Powder River Subbasin. Diversions also reduce flow in the Upper Grande Ronde.