Province Summary


Crab Subbasin Summary

Sometimes referred to as the longest ephemeral stream in North America, Crab Creek defies simple description. Some 225 km in length, it drains a vast area of some 13,200 square kilometers. The creek winds through scabrock channels for most of its length, channels believed carved by floods of ancient Lake Missoula.

Upper Crab Creek was historically, and remains to present-day, a disappearing stream---reaches of permanent flow interspersed with miles of dry creek beds, or at best, isolated, stagnant pools during most of the year. Whether modern land use has changed flow volume and the lengths of permanent reaches is unknown, yet... the ground water table has dropped some 45 m (150 ft.) over the past few decades. Over a century of livestock use within the upper watershed have likely changed the amount and character of riparian vegetation somewhat, but has not obliterated it entirely. Tillage of the uplands for wheat production has undeniably increased soil erosion and contributed to heavy silt transport during snowmelt and rainwater runoff.

Middle Crab Creek is the most heavily populated reach within the Crab Creek subbasin, with Moses Lake as the main human population center. It is this reach that bears the brunt of winter and spring runoff that carry agricultural chemicals and eroded soils from Upper Crab, although Brook Lake intercepts Crab flows and acts as a sump for much of the silt and chemicals.

Lower Crab Creek (from below O»Sullivan Dam on Potholes Reservoir to the Columbia River): This is the only reach supporting anadromy. Fall Chinook and steelhead have been found upstream as far as, and into, Red Rock Coulee2. Chinook in significant numbers spawn in Red Rock Coulee. Steelhead also spawn in Red Rock, and may be the progeny of steelhead smolt releases made several decades ago.

The economy [of the subbasin] is dominated by agriculture. Although the area has a long history of occupation by native peoples, large-scale conversion of and from shrubsteppe to cropland began in the late 1800’s and expanded when irrigation became widespread after the damming of the Columbia River in the 1930s. The delivery of irrigation water to the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project in 1952 dramatically changed the appearance and ecology of the southwest corner of this Subbasin from mostly shrubsteppe to a huge system of reservoirs, canals, wasteways, and irrigated farmland. The Columbia Basin Project irrigates greater than 2500 square kilometers of land. Outside of the Irrigation Project dry-land wheat farming and cattle grazing dominate. The major crops in the eastern and northern Crab Creek Subbasin are cereal grains. Agriculture within the irrigation project is more diverse and crops include alfalfa, wheat, corn, potatoes, various tree fruits and many different seed crops. Vineyards and pulp farms have begun to appear recently. The major municipalities within this Subbasin are Moses Lake (pop. 14,290), Ephrata (pop. 6,170), Othello (pop. 5,445), Quincy (pop. 4,185), Warden (pop. 2,335), Ritzville (1,730), Royal City (pop. 1,680), and Odessa (pop. 987).

Source: Crab Subbasin Plan

Status and Trends of Focal Species in Crab Subbasin
 
Species ESU MPG Population Biological Objective (s) Biological Status Federal Status Data / Charts
Summer/Fall Chinook Upper Columbia    Crab  Subbasin Plan Objective :
None
 
Population trends are unknown Not Listed No Data
Summer Steelhead Upper Columbia  Wenatchee-Methow  Crab  Recovery Plan Criteria :
None
 
Unknown Endangered No Data
Largemouth Bass     Banks Lake and Potholes Reservoirs  Subbasin Plan Objective :
None
 
Banks Lake CPUE = 0.13 439 Not Listed Snapshot
Smallmouth Bass     Banks Lake and Potholes Reservoirs  Subbasin Plan Objective :
None
 
Population Estimate
2005: 44,487 fish 439
Not Listed Status & Trends
Bluegill     Banks Lake and Potholes Reservoirs  Subbasin Plan Objective :
None
 
Banks Lake Relative Abundance: 0.0% (GN), 0.2% (EB) 439 Not Listed Snapshot
Kokanee     Banks Lake and Billy Clapp Reservoir  Subbasin Plan Objective :
None
 
Population Estimate
2005: 124,810 fish 439
Not Listed Status & Trends
Yellow Perch     Banks Lake and Potholes Reservoirs  Subbasin Plan Objective :
None
 
Banks Lake CPUE = 1.92  439 Not Listed Snapshot
Rainbow Trout     Banks Lake and Potholes Reservoirs  Subbasin Plan Objective :
None
 
Banks Lake CPUE = 0.10  439 Species of Concern Snapshot
Walleye     Banks Lake and Potholes Reservoirs  Subbasin Plan Objective :
None
 
Population Estimate
2005: 38,128 fish 439
Not Listed Status & Trends
    
View abundance data for Crab Subbasin
 
Hatcheries located in Crab Subbasin
**Hatchery data will be updated in 2016**

Hatchery / Acclimation Pond Hatchery Info Releases / Returns Program Reviews(APRE / HSRG / HGMP / USFWS) Map
Columbia Basin Hatchery View View   View
Mosses Lake Net Pen View View   View
Potholes Net Pen View View   View
Rocky Ford Hatchery #1 View     View
Rocky Ford Hatchery #2 View     View
Winchester Hatchery View     View
 
Hatchery Releases and Returns to Crab Subbasin359
**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
Columbia Basin Hatchery Brook Trout 12,536 8 / 30 / 2010
Brown Trout 26,916 8 / 30 / 2010
Lahontan Cutthroat Trout 55,044 8 / 30 / 2010
Rainbow Trout 954,397 8 / 30 / 2010
Tiger Trout 37,773 8 / 30 / 2010
Meseberg Hatchery Tiger Muskie 200 8 / 30 / 2010
Mosses Lake Net Pen Rainbow Trout 52,000 8 / 30 / 2010
Potholes Net Pen Rainbow Trout 134,000 8 / 30 / 2010
Trout Lodge Commercial Rainbow Trout 589 8 / 30 / 2010
Recovery Status for ESA-Listed Salmon and Steelhead in the Crab Subbasin

    No recovery status for Crab subbasin.
Limiting Factors in the Crab Subbasin 386

BLUEGILL
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Instantaneous Mortality Predation -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management; Species Management Predators: Avian Juveniles Artificial habitat (islands for nesting Caspian terns) has resulted in high levels of predation..
Sediment Conditions Increased Sediment Quantity Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices Sediment: Bank Destabilization Adult spawners Sedimentation from agricultural run-off is problematic throughout the subbasin.
Toxic Contaminants Water; Biota -- Pollution and Contamination Pollution: Biological Wastes, Fertilizer, & Pharmaceuticals All Chemicals from agricultural run-off are problematic throughout the subbasin.
Water Quality Temperature -- Water Management Water: Temperature and Gas alteration All Elevated summer water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels are problematic throughout the subbasin.
KOKANEE
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Habitat Quantity and Quality Morphological Changes Freshwater-Floodplain Agricultural Practices; Urbanization Wetland Loss; Impervious Surfaces (Road Density); Riparian Degradation Juveniles Lack of habitat connectivity and channel confinement.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices; Urbanization Riparian Degradation; Impervious Surfaces Juveniles Channel confinement limits in-stream habitat diversity and complexity.
Instantaneous Mortality Predation -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management; Species Management Predators: Avian Juveniles Artificial habitat (islands for nesting Caspian terns) has resulted in high levels of predation.
Instantaneous Mortality Predation by or Competition with Non-Native Species -- Species Management; Fishery Management Species Introduction; Predators: Fish Juveniles Altered fish communities have resulted in high levels of predation and competition.
Sediment Conditions Increased Sediment Quantity Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices Sediment: Bank Destabilization Adult spawners Lack of spawning habitat exists due to sedimentation.
Toxic Contaminants Water; Biota -- Pollution and Contamination Pollution: Biological Wastes, Fertilizer, & Pharmaceuticals All Chemicals from agricultural run-off are problematic throughout the subbasin.
Water Quality Temperature -- Water Management Water: Temperature and Gas alteration All Elevated summer water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels are problematic throughout the subbasin.
LARGEMOUTH BASS
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Instantaneous Mortality Predation -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management; Species Management Predators: Avian Juveniles Artificial habitat (islands for nesting Caspian terns) has resulted in high levels of predation..
Sediment Conditions Increased Sediment Quantity Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices Sediment: Bank Destabilization Adult spawners Sedimentation from agricultural run-off is problematic throughout the subbasin.
Toxic Contaminants Water; Biota -- Pollution and Contamination Pollution: Biological Wastes, Fertilizer, & Pharmaceuticals All Chemicals from agricultural run-off are problematic throughout the subbasin.
Water Quality Temperature -- Water Management Water: Temperature and Gas alteration All Elevated summer water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels are problematic throughout the subbasin.
RAINBOW TROUT
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Habitat Quantity and Quality Access and Availability Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices; Urbanization Migration Impediments Adults Barriers limit trout production throughout the subbasin.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Morphological Changes Freshwater-Floodplain Agricultural Practices; Urbanization Wetland Loss; Impervious Surfaces (Road Density); Riparian Degradation All Lack of habitat connectivity and channel confinement.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Riparian Agricultural Practices Diking; Filling; Riparian Degradation All Lack of habitat connectivity and channel confinement and invasive plant species contribute to poor riparian conditions.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices; Urbanization Riparian Degradation; Impervious Surfaces Juveniles Channel confinement limits in-stream habitat diversity and complexity.
Sediment Conditions Increased Sediment Quantity Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices Sediment: Bank Destabilization Adult spawners Lack of spawning habitat exists due to sedimentation.
Toxic Contaminants Water; Biota -- Pollution and Contamination Pollution: Biological Wastes, Fertilizer, & Pharmaceuticals All Chemicals from agricultural run-off are problematic throughout the subbasin.
Water Quality Temperature -- Water Management Water: Temperature and Gas alteration All Elevated summer water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels are problematic throughout the subbasin.
Water Quantity Decreased Water Quantity; Increased Water Quantity -- Agricultural Practices Water: Storage or Withdrawal, Channelization, Management All Flows have increased in parts of the subbasin due to the management of croplands, whereas elsewhere flows are intermittent. Lack of habitat connectivity due to intermittent surface flows exists throughout the subbasin.
SMALLMOUTH BASS
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Instantaneous Mortality Predation -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management; Species Management Predators: Avian Juveniles Artificial habitat (islands for nesting Caspian terns) has resulted in high levels of predation..
Sediment Conditions Increased Sediment Quantity Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices Sediment: Bank Destabilization Adult spawners Sedimentation from agricultural run-off is problematic throughout the subbasin.
Toxic Contaminants Water; Biota -- Pollution and Contamination Pollution: Biological Wastes, Fertilizer, & Pharmaceuticals All Chemicals from agricultural run-off are problematic throughout the subbasin.
Water Quality Temperature -- Water Management Water: Temperature and Gas alteration All Elevated summer water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels are problematic throughout the subbasin.
SUMMER STEELHEAD
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
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 Juveniles Lack of habitat connectivity and channel confinement.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Riparian Agricultural Practices Diking; Filling; Riparian Degradation Juveniles Lack of habitat connectivity and channel confinement and invasive plant species contribute to poor riparian conditions.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices Diking; Filling; Wood/Structure Removal Juveniles Channel confinement limits in-stream habitat diversity and complexity.
Instantaneous Mortality Anthropogenic Mortality -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Migration Impediments Juveniles Juveniles and adults must pass five dams during migration.
Instantaneous Mortality Predation -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management; Species Management Predators: Avian Juveniles Artificial habitat (islands for nesting Caspian terns) has resulted in high levels of predation.
Instantaneous Mortality Predation by or Competition with Non-Native Species -- Species Management; Fishery Management Species Introduction; Predators: Fish Juveniles Altered fish communities have resulted in high levels of predation and competition.
Sediment Conditions Increased Sediment Quantity Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices Sediment: Bank Destabilization Adults Lack of spawning habitat exists due to sedimentation.
Toxic Contaminants Water; Biota -- Pollution and Contamination Pollution: Biological Wastes, Fertilizer, & Pharmaceuticals Summer parr, adult spawners Chemicals from agricultural run-off are problematic throughout the subbasin.
Water Quality Temperature -- Water Management Water: Temperature and Gas alteration Summer parr, adult spawners Elevated summer water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels are problematic throughout the subbasin.
Water Quantity Decreased Water Quantity; Increased Water Quantity -- Agricultural Practices Water: Storage or Withdrawal, Channelization, Management All Flows have increased in parts of the subbasin due to the management of croplands, whereas elsewhere flows are intermittent. Lack of habitat connectivity due to intermittent surface flows exists throughout the subbasin.
SUMMER/FALL CHINOOK
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
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 Juveniles Lack of habitat connectivity and channel confinement.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Riparian Agricultural Practices Diking; Filling; Riparian Degradation Juveniles Lack of habitat connectivity and channel confinement and invasive plant species contribute to poor riparian conditions.
Habitat Quantity and Quality Small-Scale Structural Complexity; Morphological Changes Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices Diking; Filling; Wood/Structure Removal Juveniles Channel confinement limits in-stream habitat diversity and complexity.
Instantaneous Mortality Anthropogenic Mortality -- Fishery Management Harvest Adults Fall Chinook are subject to both ocean and freshwater harvest.
Instantaneous Mortality Anthropogenic Mortality -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management Migration Impediments Juveniles Juveniles and adults must pass five dams during migration.
Instantaneous Mortality Predation -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management; Species Management Predators: Avian Juveniles Artificial habitat (islands for nesting Caspian terns) has resulted in high levels of predation.
Instantaneous Mortality Predation by or Competition with Non-Native Species -- Species Management; Fishery Management Species Introduction; Predators: Fish Juveniles Altered fish communities have resulted in high levels of predation and competition.
Sediment Conditions Increased Sediment Quantity Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices Sediment: Bank Destabilization Adults Lack of spawning habitat exists due to sedimentation.
Toxic Contaminants Water; Biota -- Pollution and Contamination Pollution: Biological Wastes, Fertilizer, & Pharmaceuticals Summer parr, adult spawners Chemicals from agricultural run-off are problematic throughout the subbasin.
Water Quality Temperature -- Water Management Water: Temperature and Gas alteration Summer parr, adult spawners Elevated summer water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels are problematic throughout the subbasin.
Water Quantity Decreased Water Quantity; Increased Water Quantity -- Agricultural Practices Water: Storage or Withdrawal, Channelization, Management All Flows have increased in parts of the subbasin due to the management of croplands, whereas elsewhere flows are intermittent. Lack of habitat connectivity due to intermittent surface flows exists throughout the subbasin.
WALLEYE
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Instantaneous Mortality Predation -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management; Species Management Predators: Avian Juveniles Artificial habitat (islands for nesting Caspian terns) has resulted in high levels of predation..
Sediment Conditions Increased Sediment Quantity Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices Sediment: Bank Destabilization Adult spawners Sedimentation from agricultural run-off is problematic throughout the subbasin.
Toxic Contaminants Water; Biota -- Pollution and Contamination Pollution: Biological Wastes, Fertilizer, & Pharmaceuticals All Chemicals from agricultural run-off are problematic throughout the subbasin.
Water Quality Temperature -- Water Management Water: Temperature and Gas alteration All Elevated summer water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels are problematic throughout the subbasin.
YELLOW PERCH
Key Limiting Factor Impairment Habitat Affected Threat Type Threat Name Life Stage(s) Description
Instantaneous Mortality Predation -- Dam or Hydropower Facility Management; Species Management Predators: Avian Juveniles Artificial habitat (islands for nesting Caspian terns) has resulted in high levels of predation..
Sediment Conditions Increased Sediment Quantity Freshwater-Instream Agricultural Practices Sediment: Bank Destabilization Adult spawners Sedimentation from agricultural run-off is problematic throughout the subbasin.
Toxic Contaminants Water; Biota -- Pollution and Contamination Pollution: Biological Wastes, Fertilizer, & Pharmaceuticals All Chemicals from agricultural run-off are problematic throughout the subbasin.
Water Quality Temperature -- Water Management Water: Temperature and Gas alteration All Elevated summer water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels are problematic throughout the subbasin.