2016 Upper Columbia Science Conference


January 27-28, 2016 | Wenatchee, Washington


2016 saw 28 sponsors, 16 exhibitors, and over 300 people attend. The 39 speakers presented on topics that ranged from salmon and steelhead, to habitat restoration, science communication, climate change, and watersheds. You can find more information about the event, find attendee contact information, and view the presentations by clicking on the links above.

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Wednesday, January 27

8:30 – 9:00 Keynote Address – Sara LaBorde, Wiid Salmon Center – When Will Science Save the World?


9:00 – 9:30 Plenary Speaker – Tom Cooney, NOAA – Current Status of ESA Listed Upper Columbia River Spring Chinook Salmon and Steelhead

9:30 – 9:45 Kevin See, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – Summary of Biological Data for Four Upper Columbia Wild Steelhead Populations Based on PIT Tag Data

9:45 – 10:00 Ben Truscott, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – Novel Methodology to Estimate Population Level Steelhead Spawning Escapement


10:45 – 11:00 Andrew Murdoch, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – Reach-Scale Environmental Factors Influencing Wenatchee River Basin Spring Chinook Egg-to-Fry Survival

11:00 – 11:15 Tracy Bowerman, University of Idaho – Chinook Salmon Prespawn Mortality Patterns and Process in the Columbia River Basin

11:15 – 11:30 Lance Campbell, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – Life History Strategies of Selected Chinook Salmon Spawning Populations in the Columbia River, as Inferred From Otolith Microchemistry

11:30 – 11:45 Charlie Snow, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – Chinook Salmon Spawning Areas in the Columbia River Upstream of Wells Dam, WA



1:00 – 1:30 Plenary Speaker – Jeffrey Heer, University of Washington – Principles of Data Visualization

1:30 – 1:45 Rufus Woods, The Wenatchee World – Tapping into the Power of Story

1:45 – 2:00 Jeff Ostenson, North 40 Productions – Sharing Your Story: How to Engage Your Audience with the Right Message


2:30 – 3:00 Plenary Speaker – Phil Roni, Cramer Fish Sciences – Does Habitat Restoration Increase Fish Numbers or Simply Concentrate Fish?

3:00 – 3:15 Nicholas Albrecht, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Utilization of Off-Channel Habitats in the Entiat River by Juvenile Salmonids

3:15 – 3:30 Byron Amerson, Montana State University – Meacham Creek Hyporheic Restoration and Monitoring

3:30 – 3:45 John Arterburn, Colville Confederated Tribes – Seeing the Signals – Application of Okanogan EDT Status and Trends Analysis Results

3:45 – 4:00 John Crandall, Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation – Habitat Restoration for Pacific Lamprey in the Upper Columbia

4:00 – 4:15 Karl Polivka, PNW Research Station USDA Forest Service – Individual Growth and Habitat Affinity: Robust Response Variables for Evaluating Fish Response to In-Stream Habitat Restoration


4:30 – 4:45 Andrew Murdoch, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – The Relative Reproductive Success of Hatchery and Natural Steelhead in the Wenatchee Basin

4:45 – 5:00 Ben Goodman, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife –  Relative Reproductive Success of Hatchery and Wild Steelhead in the Twisp River

5:00 – 5:15 Michael Hughes, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – Discrimination of Spawning Site Selection and Redd Morphology Within and Among Redds Constructed by Hatchery- and Natural-Origin Spring Chinook

Thursday, January 28


8:00 – 8:30 Plenary Speaker – Dan Isaak, U.S. Forest Service – Identifying, Protecting, and Enhancing Climate Refugia for Salmonids as a Means of Strategic Conservation Planning

8:30 – 8:45 Ingrid Tohver, University of Washington Climate Impacts Group – Impacts of Climate Change to the Columbia Basin and Implications for Recovery Efforts of Aquatic Habitats

8:45 – 9:00 Lisa Crozier, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center – Impacts of Climate Change on Upper Columbia River Chinook Salmon

9:00 – 9:15 Jonathan Armstrong, Oregon State University – Beyond Refugia: Fish and Wildlife Exploit Thermal Heterogeneity Not Only to Survive, But Also to Thrive

9:15 – 9:30 Treva Coe, Nooksack Indian Tribe – Recovering Salmon in a Changing Climate: South Fork Nooksack River Climate Change Pilot Project

9:30 – 9:45 Ruth Howell, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center – Keep the Returns Coming: Communicating about Salmon When it Has All Been Said


10:30 – 10:45 James White, Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board – Parameterizing Your Policy Decision Maker

10:45 – 11:00 Catherine Willard, Chelan County Public Utility District – Chelan, Douglas and Grant County Public Utility Districts’ Hatchery Compensation Programs in the Upper Columbia Basin and Their Role in Supporting Recovery of ESA Listed Fish

11:00 – 11:15 Christopher Tatara, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center – A Two-year Smolt Program for Steelhead Enables Transition to Using Locally-Derived Natural Broodstock

11:15 – 11:30 Charles Frady, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – Regulated Escapement: Adult Management Activities in the Methow and Wenatchee Rivers

11:45 – 12:15 Plenary Speaker – Jack Standford, University of Montana – The Shifting Habitat Mosaic of River Ecosystems: Fundamental Process for Salmon Recovery


1:15 – 1:45 Plenary Speaker – Gordie Reeves, PNW Research Station U.S. Forest Service – Thinking Local to Meet the Challenges of the Future

1:45 – 2:00  Robert Warren, Bonneville Environmental Foundation – Building Resilient Locally-Driven Watershed Stewardship Initiatives: A Funder’s Perspective on the Future

2:00 – 2:15 Mark Wigmosta, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory & University of Washington – Potential Impacts of Forest Restoration on Snowmelt and Streamflow in the North-Central Cascades

2:15 – 2:30 Michael Young, Rocky Mountain Research Station U.S. Forest Service – The Rapid, Range-Wide Inventory of Bull Trout: a Crowd-Sourced, eDNA-Based Approach with Application to Many Aquatic Species


2:45 – 3:00 Tracy Hillman, BioAnalysts, Inc. – Carrying Capacity: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

3:00 – 3:15 Michael Beakes, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center – A Geomorphic Approach to Quantifying Salmon Habitat Capacity: How this Works in the Wenatchee River

3:15 – 3:30 Jeremy Cram, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife – Overwinter Distribution and Habitat Utilization of Downstream Rearing Spring Chinook Salmon in the Wenatchee River

3:30 – 3:45 Shubha Pandit, Terraqua Inc. – Outmigration Patterns of Spring Chinook in the Entiat River, Columbia River Basin: Are they Driven by Habitat?