Return to Proposal Finder FY 1999 Proposal 198806500

Proposal Table of Contents

Additional Documents

Section 1. General Administrative information
Section 2. Past accomplishments
Section 3. Relationships to other projects
Section 4. Objectives, tasks and schedules
Section 5. Budget
Section 6. References
Section 7. Abstract

Reviews and Recommendations
Title Type File Size File Date

Section 1. General Administrative Information

Title of Project Proposal Kootenai River Fisheries Investigations
BPA Project Proposal Number 198806500
Business name of agency, institution,
or organization requesting funding
Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Business acronym (if appropriate) IDFG

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

Name Vaughn L. Paragamian
Mailing Address IDFG, 2750 Kathleen Ave.
City, State, Zip Coeur d' Alene, ID 83814
Phone 2087691414
Fax 2087691418
Manager of program authorizing this project
Review Cycle FY 1999
Province Upper Columbia
Subbasin Kootenai
Short Description Recover the Kootenai River white sturgeon (ESA) population, develop a recovery plan for burbot , improve fishing for rainbow trout and other resident species in the Kootenai River, Idaho and recover ecosystem.
Target Species Kootenai River white sturgeon ESA listed, natural production assisted by artificial outplanting. Burbot Genetically distinct stock which spawns naturally without targeted artificial enhancement. Whitefish Rainbow trout Naturally spawning fish without targeted artificial enhancement.

Project Location

[No information]

Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs)

Sponsor-Reported Relevant RPAs

Sponsor listed no RPAs for this project proposal

Relevant RPAs based upon NMFS & BPA Review

NMFS and BPA did not associate any reasonable and prudent alternatives with this project proposal

NPPC Program Measure Number(s) which this project addresses: 10.4B.1 - 5, 10.6C.1
FWS/NMFS Biological Opinion Number(s) which this project addresses: ND-USFWS BO Incedental take
Other Planning Document References

CBFWA-Generated Information

Database Administrator notes on the history of this proposal form: None
Type of Project (assigned by CBFWA Analysts): resident

Section 2. Past Accomplishments

n/a or no information

Section 3. Relationships to Other Projects

Project ID Title Description Umbrella
8346700 Libby Reservoir levels/Kootenai IFIM Recovery of Kootenai River white sturgeon is dependent on augmented spring flows for sturgeon spawning and rearing. Winter low flows to test limitations to burbot migrations are dependent on water management from Libby. No
8806400 Kootenai River white sturgeon study and experimental culture IDFG is a cooperator with the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho(KITI). IDFG assissts the tribe in the capture of brood fish for their hatchery and evaluates the hatchery contribution to the population, interaction between juvenile wild/hatchery sturgeon. No
9401200 Kootenai River white sturgeon M&E This aspect of Kootenai River white sturgeon recovery is a partnership with the KITI and is a budget supplementation for the additional cost of intense M&E. No
9404900 Kootenai River ecosystem improvement study. IDFG is a partner in the Adaptive Ecosystem Assessment method (AEA) with the Kootenai Tribe. IDFG has been a participant in the AEA process and has helped fund the associated workshops. I No

Section 4. Objectives, Tasks and Schedules

Objectives and Tasks

Objective Task
1. Determine if growth, condition, and Wr of adult white sturgeon in the Kootenai River are effected by operational changes in Libby Dam. a. Collect a sample of 50 adult sturgeon, measure, weigh, sex, determine maturity, collect fin ray, tag and release.
. b. Calculate growth, condition, and Wr each year and evaluate with hydrologic and temperature data.
2. Determine the minimum flow that will provide spawning and rearing habitat in the Kootenai River for white sturgeon. a. Tag 12 mature sturgeon with sonic and radio transmitters.
. b. Determine response of adult sturgeon to flows in river provided from Libby radio and sonic telemetry.
. c. Measure physical parameters of habitats utilized by adults: temp., flow, depth, substrate etc.
. d. Measure egg deposition with egg sampling mats, numbers, date, location, egg stage, substrate, velocitiy, depth, and temperature. Stage each egg to determine spawn date and record number of spawning events.
. e. Profiles of substrate in the spawning reach will be generated using an acoustic substrate subprofiling instrument.
. f. Measure larval relative abundance with D-rings, half meter nets, and meter nets.
. g. Measure fingerling and juvenile abundance with gill nets, collect lengths weights, and fin rays. Age finrays and compare year class strength to hydrologic conditions.
. h. Quantify early life history white sturgeon habitat and prepare habitat suitability index (HSI) curves and compare to hydrologic conditions and HSIcurves for Columbia River white sturgeon.
3. Determine if food abundance is a factor limiting juvenile white sturgeon growth and condition. a. Collect 25 juvenile hatchery white sturgeon , measure, weigh, and colllect stomachs. Examine stomach contents, number and weight of items.
. b. Calculate condition, growth rates, and Wr of juvenile and hatchery sturgeon and compare changes in these factors and stocking numbers and densities of hatchery fish.
. c. Calculate electivity index and determine food preferences to what is available(benthic data collected by KITI) and if limiting.
4. Determine if growth and survival of juvenile white sturgeon has been limited by operation of Libby Dam. a. Capture hatchery and wild juvenile white sturgeon; measure , weigh, collect fin ray sections, and calculate Wr and condition.
. b. Compare annual growth rates to hydrologic conditions including power peaking, temperature, food abundance (data collected by KITI), and operations of Libby Dam.
5. Determine if high flows created by "power peaking" and flood water evacuation during winter block or delay the migration of spawning burbot. a. Capture adult burbot with hoopnets and implant a minimum of 12 sonic transmitters.
. b. Conduct routine sonic telemetry on burbot during various discharge regimes.
. c. Three 5 - 7 day blocks of minimum flows may be provided by the USACE to test movements of burbot. Use Fisher Exact test to determine statistical relation of movement and discharge
. d. Assess burbot reproductive status, habitat use, temperature, flows, and periodicity of spawning.
. e. Evaluate spawning success with (capture drifting eggs) with drift nets and D-rings.
. f. Deploy continuous recording thermographs in major spawning tributaries and compare temperature to timing of spawning.
. g. Monitor burbot migration into Idaho from lower river with hoopnets. Examine females for unspent eggs.
6. Identify a means of effectively sampling larval burbot and sturgeon. a. Deploy drift nets (objective 6).
. b. Experiment with mid-water trawl, bottom trawl, half meter nets, meter nets, and other active and passive gears at prospective habitat locations in the Kootenai River and Kootenay Lake.
7. Determine the genetic level of similarity between burbot stocks in the Kootenai River and Duncan Lake (an impounded portion of a triibutary to Kootenay Lake). a. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms will be used to determine the geneticsimilarity between the two stocks. Evaluate the feasibilty of the Duncan stocks potential use for recovery of Kootenai River fish as a captive breeding wild population.
8. Determine source of rainbow trout recruitment in Idaho portion of Kootenai River. a. Trap outmigrating rainbow trout in Deep Creek with a screw trap.
. b. Locate marked juvenile out migrants in the Kootenai River with seine and electrofishing gear.
. c. Capture adult rainbow trout and mark with Floy reard tags. Implant 12 with radio transmitters and monitor movement.
. d. Conduct mark and recapture population estimates in selected reaches of the Kootenai River.
. e. Determine movement and habitat use of adult rainbow trout through radio tracking.
. . Calculate minimum exploitation from return of reward tags. Return of tags will also provide information on repeat spawners and post spawn distribution of trout.
9. Determine if contaminants in the Kootenai River water and/or sediments are limiting survival of sturgeon eggs and larvae. a. Determine select cotaminants to be tested.
. b. Remove 5 g sample of gonads from adult sturgeon and determine select contaminant levels.
. c. Determine primary mode of contaminant uptake in spawned white sturgeon eggs.

Objective Schedules and Costs

Objective Start Date End Date Measurable Biological Objectives Milestone FY 2000 Cost %
1 01/01/88 12/01/14 10.0%
2 01/01/95 12/01/14 55.0%
3 01/01/97 12/01/14 5.0%
4 01/01/95 12/01/14 5.0%
5 01/01/95 12/01/02 11.0%
6 01/01/96 12/01/02 2.0%
7 01/01/98 12/01/98 1.0%
8 01/01/97 12/01/02 10.0%
9 01/01/97 12/01/00 1.0%

Section 5. Estimated Budget Summary

Itemized Budget

Item Note FY 1999 Cost
Personnel All calculations are based on FY98 budget and 5% inflation. $184,635
Fringe $ 66,376
Supplies $ 32,875
Operating $ 44,213
Capital $ 31,500
Tag Program has sufficient PIT tags $ 0
Travel $ 22,602
Indirect $ 96,193
Subcontractor B.C. Minniistry of Environment; U.S. Geological Survey; University of Idaho $100,905
Total Itemized Budget $579,299

Total estimated budget

Total FY 1999 project cost $579,299
Amount anticipated from previously committed BPA Funds $ 0
Total FY 1999 budget request $579,299
FY 1999 forecast from 1998 $ 0
% change from forecast 0.0%

Reason for change in estimated budget

Not applicable

Reason for change in scope

Not applicable

Cost Sharing

Not applicable

Outyear Budget Totals

2000 2001 2002 2003
All Phases $608,264 $638,677 $670,611 $704,142
Total Outyear Budgets $608,264 $638,677 $670,611 $704,142

Other Budget Explanation

Schedule Constraints: Endangered Secies Act is abandoned by Congress and support for sturgeon recovery is impeded. USACE does not cooperate to fullest extent with winter test flows for burbot leading to inconclusive data and need to repeat testing the following year.

Section 6. References

n/a or no information

Section 7. Abstract


The Kootenai River has undergone many physical changes. The most recent changes are due to operation of Libby Dam for hydropower and flood control. The operation of this dam and it’s impoundment have altered the river ecosystem by reversing the hydrograph, the river is warmer during winter, and the reservoir is a nutrient trap. Results have been; reduced productivity of the river, an altered fish community (more omnivores), inadequate recruitment of white sturgeon (ESA listed), collapse of the burbot fisheries, and a reduction in the quality of rainbow trout fishing. Many resident species and were listed as species of special interest in the 1994 Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Program. Our main goal is the restoration of the ecosystem and these important fisheries through designed research, flow experiments, and monitoring target fish populations and environmental variables. The USACE provides mitigative flows for spawning and rearing of Kootenai River white sturgeon and research efforts have shown sturgeon responded to improved springtime flows. Numerous eggs have been collected and several juvenile white sturgeon hatched during mitigative flow years were captured. It will take a minimum of one generation (20 years) to restore the white sturgeon. The burbot population is imperiled. Only one tributary is known to support burbot spawning and it is in B.C.. The burbot stock in Idaho is genetically distinct from fish further upstream in Montana. Research information indicates burbot spawning migrations may be impeded by high winter water velocities created during hydropower production and floodwater evacuation. Also, warmer winter water temperature may be disrupting spawning synchrony of burbot. Rainbow trout are the most popular sportfish but few juvenile trout are found in the river and the source of recruitment is poorly understood. Although surveys indicate tributaries may be fully seeded, reduced productivity may be limiting juvenile trout survival once they reach the Kootenai River from nursery tributaries.

Reviews and Recommendations

This information was not provided on the original proposals, but was generated during the review process.

CBFWA: Resident Fish Review Comments Recommendation:
May 13, 1998
[There are no budget numbers associated with this review.]
Presentation: The goal of this project is to restore fisheries (especially white sturgeon, trout, burbot, and whitefish) to self-sustaining population levels. Libby Dam reversed the hydrograph, raised the winter water temperatures, and created a nutrient sink in Lake Koocanusa. The tropic structure of the Kootenai River community changed after the construction of Libby Dam. Double peaks caused by flow augmentation add an unnatural variable which IDFG would like to avoid. IDFG monitors sturgeon test flows and ESA-listed white sturgeon spawning and collects eggs and juveniles. Burbot are weak swimmers that a species of special concern in the Kootenai system, and are on the verge of demographic extinction. Winter flows for hydropower and flood control (4 to 5 times higher than historic levels) have altered burbot spawning habits. Rainbow trout are the most popular sport fish and catches are lower than historic levels. Spawning occurs in the tributaries and IDFG was unable to find spawning in the mainstem. Rainbow trout are not stocked in the Kootenai River in Idaho. All of the pieces of the Kootenai River package fit together -- the white sturgeon hatchery (8806400), the ecosystem improvement study (9404900) and the fishery investigations (8806500). This project and its companions work closely with Canada to study and manage transboundary stocks.

Screening Criteria: Yes

Technical Criteria: Yes

Programmatic Criteria: Yes

CBFWA Funding Recommendation Recommendation:
May 13, 1998
1999 2000 2001
$604,299 $608,264 $638,677
Includes 50,000 from

ISRP Review , ISRP 1998-1 Recommendation:
Jun 18, 1998
[There are no budget numbers associated with this review.]
This is a well-organized proposal that is well tied to other work in region, states clear objectives, and has a record of good productivity. It was among the best of the set. Its focus is largely on sturgeon, which should be reflected in the title. The methods are pretty brief but adequate. There needs to be an umbrella proposal for all Kootenai/white sturgeon projects (particularly relating this proposal and 8806400).

NW Power and Conservation Council's FY 2006 Project Funding Review Funding category:
May 2005
FY05 NPCC Start of Year:
FY06 NPCC Staff Preliminary:
FY06 NPCC July Draft Start of Year:
Sponsor (IDFG) Comments (Go to Original on NPCC Website):

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