The Okanogan Basin Monitoring and Evaluation Program (OBMEP) monitors the status of habitat, biological, and water quality indicators that affect endangered steelhead populations in the Okanogan River. The seven project types OBMEP conducts to collect various data are:
1. Adult Steelhead Monitoring
A combination of methods have been utilized to derive annual spawning estimates for steelhead in the Okanogan subbasin, including redd surveys, underwater video observations, Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag interrogation sites, and adult weir traps.
2. Juvenile Monitoring
In order to monitor the instream abundance and outmigration of juvenile O. mykiss within the Okanogan subbasin, OBMEP has used a number of different approaches, including snorkel surveys and mark-recapture studies.
3. PIT Tag Interogation
OBMEP works in conjunction with WDFW to operate and maintain PIT tag antennas on the mainstem Okanogan River and all tributaries used by steelhead.
4. Habitat Monitoring
Habitat monitoring requires the collecting and analyzing of fine scale fish habitat data in order to detect changes in fish populations or habitat, identify potential sources of change, and measure the success of management activities.
5. Habitat Status and Trend Reporting
Habitat status and trend analysis provides a detailed assessment of salmonid habitat potential in the Okanogan subbasin within 4-year monitoring cycles.
6. Water Temperature and Discharge
Water of sufficient quantity and quality are the two basic necessities for aquatic ecosystems. Stream temperature and discharge (or flow) are monitored annually with data loggers and gages installed throughout the subbasin.
Macroinvertebrates are an important food source for rearing juvenile salmon. The distribution and composition of the macroinvertebrate community in a given stream may also be a good indicator of the stream's health and water quality. Macroinvertebrates samples are collected annually at habitat sites throughout the subbasin.