BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1997 Proposal

Section 1. Administrative
Section 2. Narrative
Section 3. Budget

see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations

Section 1. Administrative

Title of project
Lake Pend Oreille Bull Trout Recovery

BPA project number   5501100

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
IDFG

Sponsor type   ID-State/Local Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameMelo Maiolie
 Mailing address2750 Kathleen Avenue
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
 Phone208/769-1414

BPA technical contact   Charlie Craig, EWP 503/230-3430

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   10.5A.5

Short description
The NPPC called for an investigation of the life history, habitat needs and threats to persistence of bull trout and a genetic sampling program for bull trout in the Lake Pend Oreille system.

Project start year   1997    End year   2001

Start of operation and/or maintenance   2001

Project development phase   Planning/Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
This project is somewhat related to the Lake Pend Oreille Kokanee project # 9404700. This bull trout project will note any changes which are attributable to improved kokanee food base or changed lake levels. The bull trout project, however, is justified on its own merits with or without the kokanee project.

Project history

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers

Management implications
The State’s bull trout recovery plan is being developed. The forest service is currently making changes in the way timber is being harvested. Bull trout have, and probably will continue, to decline across their historic range. The implication is that we will learn enough about bull trout to halt their decline, and hopefully reverse the trend in Lake Pend Oreille. Optimistically , we may be able to prevent bull trout from becoming an endangered species. Project will also determine if the changes in lake level affect bull trout and these results will be incorporated into the development of biological rule curves for Albeni Falls dam. Historically, bull trout were plentiful in the lake. This project will determine if losses are attributable to the Federal hydropower system and will serve as a gain/loss assessment for bull trout. Assessments will be submitted to the Council when completed.

Specific measureable objectives
To have no net decline in bull trout spawning abundance as determined by redd counts (140 redds in 20 index streams). Redd counts have been a population index since 1983.
To determine the number of distinct stocks of bull trout that are present in the Pend Oreille drainage.
To allow no net losses in critical bull trout habitat in the drainage.
To determine baseline population data which can be used for later comparisons.
To determine the effect of lake level changes on bull trout abundance.
Project will be used to develop biological objectives.

Testable hypothesis
Bull trout abundance in the Pend Oreille drainage can be improved by habitat protection, increased enforcement, and reduced competition with other species. A second hypothesis is that changes in lake level will not be detrimental to bull trout.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
The bull trout population is limited by habitat, illegal harvest, and/or competition.

Methods
First, inventory methods will be developed to index the bull trout population. Adaptive management approaches will then be tried. Critical habitat will be protected and improved, brook trout will be removed from critical tributary streams, and greater enforcement efforts will be made to reduce poaching. Also, competition between lake trout and bull trout will be examined. Monitoring the bull trout population will continue and parametric statistical comparisons will be made between years to determine significant changes.

Brief schedule of activities
Methods to inventory bull trout will be developed in 1997. These may include redd counts, fry production in tributary streams, netting of adults, and mark and recapture estimates of mature fish. Fish from different drainages will be tested to determine if more than one stock of fish is present. Factors suspected of limiting the population will be defined in the next 3 years of the project. Various site-specific improvements will be made and the population will be monitored for improvement. The potential to improve tributary spawning habitat will be identified and work will begin in the third year of the project to enhance spawning habitat.

Biological need
The species is in danger of extinction across their historic range. Bull trout are a native species in Lake Pend Oreille. Redd counts in the Pend Oreille drainage have declined indicating a reduction in abundance in this location as well. Pend Oreille bull trout are an adfluvial stock of fish reaching large sizes; up to 30 pounds.

Critical uncertainties
The critical uncertainty is that we can identify and improve the factors limiting bull trout abundance in the Pend Oreille drainage.

Summary of expected outcome
Bull trout populations will begin to rebuild in the drainage. Within a few generations of fish, abundance will be sufficient to reopen a limited harvest fishery.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Once habitat enhancement projects are defined, we may be dependant on other agencies to make the necessary changes. For example, Department of Environmental Quality may be called on to enforce clean water act, etc.

Risks
No known risk. The biggest risk (for the species) is not implementing the project.

Monitoring activity
Redd counts will be conducted annually. Methods for monitoring adults and juveniles will be developed during the project. Tributary streams may have weirs installed to measure out migration of young fish.
FUTURE FUNDING NEEDS: Forecasts should reflect the total BPA obligations requested for the project for each fiscal year 1997 through 2001. For most ongoing projects, a single contract modification is made each year. Enter the amount requested for BPA to obligate during each fiscal year (October through September) regardless of what month the operating year begins. If the project will require more than one obligation during BPA’s FY1997, enter the total that would be requested for obligation during FY97 (and each year following).

Section 3. Budget

Data shown are the total of expense and capital obligations by fiscal year. Obligations for any given year may not equal actual expenditures or accruals within the year, due to carryover, pre-funding, capitalization and difference between operating year and BPA fiscal year.

Historic costsFY 1996 budget data*Current and future funding needs
(none) New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 143,400
1998: 200,000
1999: 300,000
2000: 300,000
2001: 300,000

* For most projects, Authorized is the amount recommended by CBFWA and the Council. Planned is amount currently allocated. Contracted is the amount obligated to date of printout.

Funding recommendations

CBFWA funding review group   Resident Fish

Recommendation    Tier 2 - fund when funds available

Recommended funding level   $143,400