Return to Proposal Finder FY 1999 Proposal 199401001

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 Mitigation for Excessive Drawdowns at Hungry Horse & Libby Reservoirs - Lib
BPA Project Proposal Number 199401001
Business name of agency, institution,
or organization requesting funding
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Business acronym (if appropriate) MFWP, CSKT

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

Name Scott Snelson
Mailing Address 475 Fish Hatchery Road
City, State, Zip Libby, MT 59923
Phone 4062934161
Fax 4062934161
Manager of program authorizing this project
Review Cycle FY 1999
Province Upper Columbia
Subbasin Kootenai
Short Description Mitigate for fish and fish habitat losses due to excessive drafting of Libby Reservoir for power production (Fish and Wildlife Program measures 903(a) and (b)).
Target Species bull trout (proposed ESA listing) Naturally spawning fish without targeted artificial enhancement, contributes to rebuilding weak but recoverable native population. Kootenai River white sturgeon ESA listed as endangered, artificial production to delay or avoid extinction. mountain whitefish Contributes to rebuilding weak but recoverable native population, restoration through hatchery production or imprint planting to restore wild runs. westslope cutthroat trout Petitioned for ESA listing. Naturally spawning native fish without targeted artificial enhancement, contributes to rebuilding weak but recoverable native population. interior redband trout Naturally spawning native populations, initiation of spawning runs in historic range using experimental imprint planting. Some areas naturally spawning fish without targeted artificial enhancement, contributes to rebuilding weak but recoverable native population. kokanee Naturally spawning fish without targeted artificial enhancement. Kootenai River burbot Naturally spawning fish with possible experimental outplanting, contributes to rebuilding weak but recoverable native population.

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:
FWS/NMFS Biological Opinion Number(s) which this project addresses:
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

n/a or no information

Section 4. Objectives, Tasks and Schedules

Objectives and Tasks

Objective Task
1. Assess the metapopulation strength of transboundry (British Columbia and Montana) populations of native bull trout in the Kootenai River, above Libby Dam. a. In cooperation with BC Environment, conduct aerial redd surveys of the major tributaries of the Kootenai River of British Columbia.
. b. Ground truth major redd concentrations found by aerial surveys and identify possible index streams for long term population monitoring.
. c. In cooperation with MFWP management personnel and Libby Mitigation, conduct redd surveys in the Grave and Weasel Creek drainages of Montana.
. d. Capture and implant 30 adult bull trout in Libby Reservoir and the Kootenai River upstream of the Elk river, with 50-month radio transmitters.
. e. Track movements of radio-tagged trout through the staging and spawning seasons to identify likely spawning areas.
2. Establish permanent stream form & sediment monitoring stations in Wigwam R & Grave Cr to allow early detection of habitat degradation which could contribute to population declines of bull trout & westslop cutthroat trout in these two spawning tributaries. a. Identify known spawning areas using redd counts in the Wigwam River and Grave Creek drainages and other identified drainages.
. b. Conduct McNeil core sampling in both drainages using stratified random sampling techniques within these known spawning areas and establish permanent coring stations for long term monitoring.
. c. Conduct juvenile population estimates at selected locations within the drainages.
. d. Identify known rearing areas in both drainages from population estimates and conduct Crouse substrate scoring transects in these areas.
. e. Correlate juvenile rearing densities with substrate scores and establish permanent substrate scoring stations in both drainages and juvenile population estimates.
. f. In cooperation with the Murphy Lake Ranger District, conduct stream habitat surveys for the entire Grave Creek drainage to identify the total amount and quality of spawning and rearing habitat available in the drainage
3. Fill in the gaps in our knowledge of native westslope cutthroat populations and other trout species in Libby Reservoir and associated tributaries. a. Determine strength of adfluvial spawning runs in Young, Big, Five-mile, Ten-Mile, Pinkham, Sinclair, Therriault, Swamp, Lake and Fortine Creeks and the Tobacco River, using migrant traps and redd counts.
4. Determine the effectiveness of using remote site incubators (RSI’s) and artificial redd construction as a means of increasing recruitment of age-2 or greater westslope cutthroat trout into Libby Reservoir. a. Operate Young Cr permanent weir to capture migrating adult & juvenile trout to monitor # of spawning adults entering creek to spawn & measure # & size of WCT emigrating from creek to reservoir.
. b. Conduct electrofishing population estimates in historically sampled reaches to monitor the effects of RSI’s and artificial redds. Begin comparative monitoring for future reference.
. c. Continue deployment of RSI’s (approximately 90,000 eyed-eggs/ yr) in Young Creek in each of the next four years.
5. Evaluate thermal otolith marking methods for marking WCT fry delivered from RSI’s to enable more effective evaluation of RSI program. a. Treat all batches of eggs being deployed in RSI’s with a unique series of temperature variations
. b. Collect 15-20 eyed-eggs from every lot of eggs being deployed in RSI’s, label and preserve in ethanol.
. c. Collect 15-50 emerged fry from each RSI, label and preserve in ethanol.
. d. Mount a random sample of eye-eggs from each lot, prepare a cross section of otolith from each fish in a lot and create a digital images catalogue of otolith growth patterns.
. e. Mount a random sample of emerged fry from each RSI collection, prepare otolith cross sections and create a digital images cross section catalogue of otolith growth patterns.
. f. Collect otoliths from out-migrating adult WCT captured in traps in Young Creek and from those WCT captured in Libby Reservoir gill nets. Prepare cross sections of otoliths.
. g. Determine if otolith patterns found in adult WCT have a similar early life pattern to that of a catalogued lots of eyed-eggs or emerged fry.
6. Develop a source of “in-drainage” westslope cutthroat trout eggs for use in RSI and artificial redd, WCT recovery program. a. Identify potential sources of “in-drainage” WCT eggs in British Columbia hatchery system.
. b. If a source “in-drainage” derived WCT eggs is available in BC, identify brood source characteristic, targeting fish that are “wild,” have shown a tendency to thrive in large water bodies and have good potential to establish self-reproducing spawning runs.
. c. If a suitable “wild” strain is identified from BC, negotiate an egg exchange, obtain permits etc. to allow use of the eggs in the recovery program.
. d. If no source of eggs is available, cooperate with BC Environment to develop a plan to trap and hold sufficient numbers of Wigwam River to provide genetic integrity and take sex products to transfer into existing Montana hatchery system for brood stock.
7. Develop integrated watershed management plan for Young & Dodge creeks to incorporate cooperative agreements between MFWP, USFS, MDNR&C, etc. a. Develop a memorandum of understanding between the USFS, Rexford district and MFWP for a two-year cooperative landscape analysis for the federal portion of the drainages.
. b. If progress is made to obtain commitments from USFS to reduce sediment in Young Creek, design & implement channel reconstruction for channelized portion of Young Creek on DNRC lands.
. c. Remove and replace failing bridges and culverts on the private land sections of Young and Spring Creeks from the DNRC section to the confluence with Libby Reservoir.
. d. Complete revegetation program in areas of the creek where riparian fencing has been implemented.
8. As part of the focus watershed program, develop watershed-based, site-specific stream habitat protection and enhancement project identification and implementation on Libby Reservoir tributaries. a. Contact landowners to describe goals and encourage cooperation in renovation efforts.
. b. Conduct stream inventories and evaluate feasibility of returning specific stream reaches to quality native trout habitat.
. c. Select and prioritize project sites for habitat restoration, livestock fencing and watering stations, migrant passage improvement, point source sediment abatement, streambank stabilization and revegetation of riparian areas.
. d. Formalize landowner & agency agreements to protect investments. Develop cost-share programs with various entities.
. e. Develop site plans, maps, material lists and contracts, obtain 124, 3A, 404 and chemical treatment permits for selected project sites
. f. Initiate purchasing, contracts and implement plans at highest priority sites. Document remaining projects for inclusion in the Libby Mitigation Program.
9. In cooperation with various entities, develop native material stream bank stabilization stockpile for use by private landowners, MDOT & MFWP in streambank conservation projects. a. Seek potential sources of useful dimensioned rootwads, logs and rocks and negotiate a reasonable price for such material.
. b. Contract with local sources to collect, transport & store rootwads, boulders and other native materials to be used in stream restoration & bank stabilization projects.
. c. In cooperation with the NRCS and Lincoln Conservation District, provide technical advice and materials from the stockpile to landowners seeking to improve bank stability and fish habitat on streams where they hold interest.
10. Develop a brood stock of native interior redband trout to be used as the initial source of eggs to an established hatchery facility. a. Survey for and design a creek channel for the spring water source at the Libby Field Station compound using Rosgen morphological standards that can be secured from escapement of trout.
. b. Obtain 124, 3A and 404 permits for channel construction and contract for channel excavation.
. c. Line the excavated creek bed and place rearing and spawning habitat structures in the channel.
. d. Monitor new creek for water quality and make adjustments as needed to provide maximum rearing habitat. Monitor for benthic invertebrate population establishment.
. e. Conduct population estimates for interior redband trout in the Basin Creek and the East Fork Yaak River drainages and determine how many individual fish might be taken from this population without impacting its viability.
. f. Given favorable indications from Task 10D and 10E, electrofish interior redband from Basin Creek and transport to the Libby Field Station.
11. Assess the seasonal movement and habitat use of native burbot and westslope cutthroat trout and introduced “kamloops” trout in the Kootenai River above Libby Dam. a. In cooperation with BC Environment, capture burbot and cutthroat trout using hoop nets, merwin traps, migratory traps, angling and electrofishing equipment, in Lake Koocanusa and its tributaries.
. b. Surgically implant radio and sonic transmitters into captured burbot and cutthroat trout.
. c. Monitor movements of radio-tagged fish through several seasons to identify seasonal movements, habitat use and likely spawning concentrations.
. d. Determine habitat preference by use of benthic samplers, temperature probes, turbidity samplers, and SCUBA transects and snorkeling.
12. Establish permanent protection of stream corridors where habitat protection and enhancement investments have been made by acquiring easements and purchase of riparian zones in target recovery areas. a. In cooperation with the Kootenai Drainage Focus Watershed Coordination Program, identify and develop potential easements and land purchase opportunities for riparian zones in Young Creek drainage, the Tobacco River and its tributaries.
. b. Collect & summarize the geomorphic & fisheries data required for "Easement from Plum Creek" program to determine bandwidth needed to protect fisheries resources in intact stream/riparian coridors in Fisher R. drainage.
. c. Cooperatively develop, with the Kootenai Drainage Focus Watershed Coordination Program, budget requests to BPA for acquisition of easements and fee title for stream corridor protection areas.

Objective Schedules and Costs

Objective Start Date End Date Measurable Biological Objectives Milestone FY 2000 Cost %
1 08/01/98 09/01/01 5.0%
2 03/01/98 06/01/01 1.0%
3 03/01/98 07/01/01 3.0%
4 07/01/98 09/01/01 3.0%
5 04/01/98 09/01/01 4.0%
6 06/01/98 09/01/01 3.0%
7 06/01/98 11/01/99 7.0%
8 10/01/97 09/01/01 55.0%
9 06/01/97 09/01/01 2.0%
10 06/01/98 10/01/05 2.0%
11 11/01/96 09/01/01 5.0%
12 10/01/98 09/01/01 10.0%

Section 5. Estimated Budget Summary

Itemized Budget

Item Note FY 1999 Cost
Personnel $ 62,275
Fringe $ 12,455
Supplies $ 52,136
Operating $ 3,750
Capital $142,850
Tag $ 2,465
Travel $ 16,927
Indirect $ 52,012
Subcontractor $129,535
Total Itemized Budget $474,405

Total estimated budget

Total FY 1999 project cost $474,405
Amount anticipated from previously committed BPA Funds $ 0
Total FY 1999 budget request $474,405
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
All Phases $380,000 $300,000 $250,000
Total Outyear Budgets $380,000 $300,000 $250,000

Other Budget Explanation

Schedule Constraints: Project schedule changes are the norm rather than the exception due to many variables beyond our control making prioritization of tasks an adaptive process. Some objectives proceed more quickly than anticipated and others more slowly. It is anticipated this project will proceed on schedule.

Section 6. References

n/a or no information

Section 7. Abstract


Extreme reservoir drawdown impacts all biological trophic levels as the pool volume shrinks, and reduces the probability that the reservoir will refill during spring runoff. Refill failures are especially harmful to the fishery resource during the productive warm months. Resulting discharges influence biological productivity in the Kootenai River downstream. Dam operation and other anthropogenic factors have resulted in population declines in native fish species. Kootenai River white sturgeon are listed as endangered species and bull trout are proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Westslope cutthroat trout are likely to be petitioned for listing, and burbot in the middle and lower Kootenai are likely candidates for petition before the turn of the century. This project executes research and mitigative actions designed to improve the survival and growth of these native fish species and protect, as genetic reserves, stable to increasing bull trout and burbot populations in the upper Kootenai. Habitat improvements in tributary streams focus on natural reproduction, rearing and integrated, multi-agency watershed planning. Results complement and extend the Libby Mitigation Program (project 8346700) and Kootenai Focus Watershed Program (project 9608720). Cooperative projects are designed to improve the likelyhood of long-term persistence, survival and growth of native trout populations by protecting, recovering and modifying environmental conditions in the Kootenai Watershed.

Reviews and Recommendations

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

This project has not yet been reviewed

Return to top of page