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
Bioenergetics Model for Improving Survival of Adult Fall Chinook Salmon in the Columbia River Basin

BPA project number   5502400

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratories

Sponsor type   WA-Federal Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameDavid R. Geist, Research Scientist
 Mailing addressMS K6-54
P.O. Box 999
Richland, WA 99352
 Phone509/372-0590

BPA technical contact   , EWI

Biological opinion ID   NMFS FCRPS BO Chap. VIII RPA 7/10. Chap X Sec 1/2

NWPPC Program number   6.1B.4, 6.1D.7

Short description
The use of physiological telemetry to monitor the muscle electromyograms (EMGs) of adult salmonids in order to evaluate the energetic costs associated with upstream migration through the Columbia Basin hydropower system.

Project start year   Fall 1996    End year   1998

Start of operation and/or maintenance   0

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
Lower Columbia River Adult Salmon Telemetry Project, University of Idaho and National Marine Fisheries Service, funded by the Portland District, Corps of Engineers. The fall chinook bioenergetics project and the Lower Columbia River adult salmon telemetry project are both attempting to evaluate the impact to adult salmon from passage delays at hydropower projects. Cross-species information could be collected as a part of this project.
Identification of the spawning, rearing, and migratory requirements of fall chinook salmon in the Columbia River Basin, Project 91-029, US Fish and Wildlife Service/National Biological Service. Spawning site selection may be related to energetic constraints. This project will assist in identifying these situations, and will assist in the identification of adult fall chinook spawning sites in the Snake River.
Identification of the spawning below hydropower projects in the Lower Snake River, Battelle-Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, funded by the Walla Walla District, Corps of Engineers. The fall chinook bioenergetics project was originally funded under this project. Spawning site selection may be related to energetic constraints. This project will assist in identifying these situations, and will assist in the identification of adult fall chinook spawning sites in the Snake River.
Upstream passage, spawning, and stock identification of fall chinook salmon in the Snake River, Project 92-046, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The fall chinook bioenergetics project is attempting to explore further issues raised during this three-year radio telemetry study (e.g., passage delay, pre-spawning mortality).


Lower Columbia River Adult Salmon Telemetry Project, University of Idaho and National Marine Fisheries Service, funded by the Portland District, Corps of Engineers. The fall chinook bioenergetics project and the Lower Columbia River adult salmon telemetry project are both attempting to evaluate the impact to adult salmon from passage delays at hydropower projects. Cross-species information could be collected as a part of this project.
Identification of the spawning, rearing, and migratory requirements of fall chinook salmon in the Columbia River Basin, Project 91-029, US Fish and Wildlife Service/National Biological Service. Spawning site selection may be related to energetic constraints. This project will assist in identifying these situations, and will assist in the identification of adult fall chinook spawning sites in the Snake River.
Identification of the spawning below hydropower projects in the Lower Snake River, Battelle-Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, funded by the Walla Walla District, Corps of Engineers. The fall chinook bioenergetics project was originally funded under this project. Spawning site selection may be related to energetic constraints. This project will assist in identifying these situations, and will assist in the identification of adult fall chinook spawning sites in the Snake River.
Upstream passage, spawning, and stock identification of fall chinook salmon in the Snake River, Project 92-046, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The fall chinook bioenergetics project is attempting to explore further issues raised during this three-year radio telemetry study (e.g., passage delay, pre-spawning mortality).

Project history
This project is not presently funded under the BPA Fish and Wildlife Program but is being submitted as an on-going project because it is presently funded by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District.
From 1994 through the present time the Corps has invested approximately $125,000 in this study. In 1995, we made significant progress toward collecting baseline data that describe the response of electromyogram (EMG) radio transmitters to changes in fish activity and oxygen consumption. EMGs are records of bioelectric potentials that are strongly correlated with the strength and duration of muscle contraction. The EMG radio transmitter is part of a biotelemetry system capable of obtaining, transmitting, and recording the electromyograms produced by free-swimming fish. They provide a quantitative indicator of overall fish activity. We will use this information to develop a preliminary bioenergetics model for adult fall chinook salmon. The project was originally designed as a multi-year effort, with additional calibration and technology field tests scheduled for the fall of 1996. However, in recent budget cutting done by the Corps, funding to continue this study was eliminated. Therefore, to continue this project we are requesting funding through the Fish and Wildlife Program.

Biological results achieved
In order to develop a bioenergetics model for adult fall chinook salmon, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is evaluating the use of electromyogram (EMG) radio transmitters in fall chinook salmon adults. In the fall of 1995, 12 EMG radio transmitters were surgically implanted into adult fall chinook salmon (FL 71.5 to 106 cm). Tagged fish were exercised in an enclosed respirometer at two temperatures (15 and 20 C) over a wide range of activities.
A respirometer large enough to expose adult fall chinook salmon to velocities that they would encounter during migration was not available prior to this project. Therefore, the respirometer used in our study was constructed specifically for this project. It measures 4 m in total length with a working section of approximately 61 x 61 x 183 cm. The volume of the respirometer is 2,200 liters and a 25 hp variable speed DC motor is capable of delivering velocities of 30 to 140 cm/s through the working section.
Preliminary results from the 1995 calibration look favorable for estimating active metabolism of fall chinook salmon. The average EMG pulse interval declined as the swimming velocity increased at both temperatures tested. Oxygen consumption by adult fall chinook salmon fell within the range observed in other EMG studies of adult salmon (Hinch et al. in press), and was negatively correlated with EMG pulse intervals. These results suggest that the EMG telemetry system has the potential to provide an indirect measure of oxygen consumption of free-swimming fall chinook salmon adults. Oxygen consumption can then be used to provide estimates of the active metabolism which can be input into the fall chinook salmon bioenergetics model. The next phase of this project will be to reproduce results from 1995 and release tagged salmon into the Columbia River to field test this technology.

Annual reports and technical papers
Bioenergetics model for improving survival of adult fall chinook salmon in the Columbia River Basin: Preliminary results. D.R. Geist. Paper presented at the 1995 Corps of Engineers, Research Program Review Meeting.

Management implications
Comparing the “baseline” activity level of an adult salmon to the activity level(s) associated with different passage conditions would provide a biological measure of the effectiveness of each management alternative that has been proposed to improve adult passage within the Columbia River hydropower system. Because of the strong relationship between muscle electromyograms (EMGs), activity level, and oxygen consumption, the EMG telemetry system is capable of detecting the differences in these activity levels. For example, one of the recommendations to improve adult passage is to control water temperature in the lower Snake River (NPPC 1994, Section 6.1 D(4) and D(7), Fish and Wildlife Program; NMFS 1995b, Task 2.6.c.5, Snake River Salmon Recovery Plan). The EMG telemetry system could be used to determine the energy savings to adult fall chinook salmon at each temperature level. This would provide a more rigorous evaluation of the biological benefits associated with attempts to reduce temperature of the lower Snake River.

Specific measureable objectives
General: Reproduce results from calibration tests done in 1995 and release tagged salmon into the Columbia River to field test the electromyogram (EMG) biotelemetry system.
Specific:
1. Refine existing relationships between EMG pulse intervals and oxygen consumption in fall chinook salmon using a biotelemetry system and a respirometer. (FY 97 objective).
2. Release EMG tagged fall chinook salmon into their natural environment and monitor the energetic costs accrued to adult fish as they migrate upstream through the Hanford Reach (FY 97 - 98 objective).
3. Release EMG tagged salmon into their natural environment and monitor the energetic costs accrued to the adult fish as it migrates upstream through free-flowing river reaches and through fish passage facilities at hydropower projects in the Columbia and Snake rivers (‘out-year’ objective; not part of this request - dependent on sucess of objectives 1 and 2).



(1) Activity levels of adult salmon increase in proportion to the energy used during upstream migration.
(2) Activity levels of adult salmon are inversely proportional to the pulse interval between muscle electromyogram (EMGs); the EMG signals can be detected, amplified, and transmitted to and de-coded by a radio receiver.
(3) A inverse relationship between EMG pulse interval and oxygen consumption can be establish in a respirometer.
(4) Active metabolism of adult salmon can be estimated by oxygen consumption; this estimate can be used in a stock specific bioenergetics model to evaluate the energetic costs to adult salmon associated with upstream migration.

Testable hypothesis
(1) Activity levels of adult salmon increase in proportion to the energy used during upstream migration.
(2) Activity levels of adult salmon are inversely proportional to the pulse interval between muscle electromyogram (EMGs); the EMG signals can be detected, amplified, and transmitted to and de-coded by a radio receiver.
(3) A inverse relationship between EMG pulse interval and oxygen consumption can be establish in a respirometer.
(4) Active metabolism of adult salmon can be estimated by oxygen consumption; this estimate can be used in a stock specific bioenergetics model to evaluate the energetic costs to adult salmon associated with upstream migration.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Adult salmon can be acquired for this study.

Methods
The electromyogram (EMG) transmitters used in 1995 measured 5 cm in length, 1.5 cm in diameter, and weighed 18 g; we have been informed that the tags have since been down-sized. The tags are cylindrical in shape, and contain two stainless-steel wire electrodes and an antenna wire trailing from the transmitter end. EMG radiotelemetry requires the electrodes be placed in the swimming musculature to detect voltage changes associated with the propagating action potential that causes muscle contraction. The surgical and implantation procedures are described below. When the potential difference (voltage) between the two electrodes reaches a pre-determined threshold value, the transmitter emits a pulse. Thus, pulse intervals are correlated with the frequency of muscle contraction. Pulse intervals and fish temperature are transmitted via radio signal to a radio receiver where the signal is de-coded and stored. The signal emitted by each tag is unique so that individual fish can be identified.
Fall chinook salmon have been the primary species used in our studies thus far. We are proposing in the fall of 1996 or the fall of 1997 (depending on funding) to reproduce results from 1995 and release tagged fall chinook salmon into the Columbia River to field test this technology in the Hanford Reach. Future applications of EMG telemetry could then be applied to addressing management recommendations to decrease passage delay at hydropower projects. Further, this technology could easily be extended to other species/stocks if needed. For example, applications of EMG telemetry to address specific problems in the lower Columbia River adult salmon telemetry study could be done.
During either the fall of 1996 or the fall of 1997, 12 - 20 individuals will be tagged and exercised in our laboratory respirometer. Ideally these fish should come from the lower Columbia River (e.g., Bonneville Dam) early in the run (August). However, in the event this is not approved we expect these fish to come from Priest Rapids Salmon Hatchery. Fall chinook salmon will be held in a covered, 6.1-m diameter concrete circular tank that is supplied with well and/or river water. In addition, as many as 20 rainbow trout may be used during respirometer calibration and set-up, surgical testing, and transmitter evaluation. All rainbow trout will come from our brood stock source at the on-site hatchery.
The respirometer is located in the wet lab/hatchery facility at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. It measures 4 m in total length with a working section of approximately 61 x 61 x 183 cm. The volume is approximately 2,200 liters; a 25-hp variable speed DC motor is capable of delivering velocities of 30 to 140 cm/s through the working section.
Tagged salmon are placed in the working section the night before the trial. During the exercise period, flows are increased incrementally to the point where the fish is exhausted. Oxygen depletion from the respirometer water is measured using both Winkler titrations and D.O. probe during each trial. The radio frequency containing the EMG pulse interval and body temperature will be logged continuously and stored in the radio receiver. Fish will be returned to the hatchery holding pond following the exercise period.
Blood samples may be taken to measure plasma cortisol concentrations (primary stress response) and/or blood glucose and chloride (secondary stress response). Muscle lipid measurements may also be made at the completion of an experiment. Blood will be extracted a maximum of 4 times per fish per trial. Approximately 5-20 uL of blood plasma will be collected during each extraction.
Individual fish may be re-tested up to three times to determine individual and tag variability. Following calibration, some fish will be released into the Columbia River and monitored as they migrate upstream. We will release individual fish and monitor their progress and tag performance using mobile radio telemetry triangulation techniques from boat and shore. Intensive and continuous tracking of individuals will be attempted. The purpose of this is to field test this technology and evaluate whether EMG telemetry can be potentially used in the Columbia River system to address specific needs.
Surgical Procedures: Adult salmon will be selected from the holding pond, and individually put into stage 4 anesthesia in a tub using a solution of MS-222. Anathesized fish will be placed on their dorsum in a V-shaped surgical table with the head submerged or irrigated with fresh water. The individual’s trunk will be kept moist by a cover of pre-soaked toweling.
A 3 cm incision will be made anterior to the pelvic fins along the mid-ventral line. A hollow 25 cm long 15-gauge stainless steel rod that contains a sharpened solid steel rod will be inserted into the incision, and exited through the body cavity wall. This hole will be posterior to the pelvic fins. The sharpened steel rod will be removed, and the transmitter antenna wire pushed through the hollow steel tube. The tube is then removed from the abdomen, leaving the antenna wire in place extending out the hole.
A 25 cm 15-gauge steel rod with a notched end is used to insert the two gold-tipped wire electrodes into the lateral musculature. This is done by placing the electrode ends just under the skin in the red muscle, working from within the body cavity through the incision.
After the wire electrodes are hooked into the red muscle fibers, and the antenna is in place, the tag is inserted into the body cavity and pushed posteriorly. Approximately 0.25 cc/kg fish of Oxytetracycline (Oxybiotic-100; 100 mg/mL antibiotic solution) will be injected intraperitoneally. The incision is closed using four to seven independent and permanent silk sutures (2/0 Ethilon black monofilament nylon, 18” suture material with FS-1 cutting needle by Ethicon). A fungicide (e.g., providone iodine (Betadine)) and antibiotic ointment will be applied externally once the incision is closed.
The surgical procedure takes 5 to 8 minutes. Following the surgery, all fish will allowed to recover in holding tanks. Fish are expected to be upright and swimming by 30 minutes. Following a one to three-week recovery period, individual fish will be placed in the respirometer and exercised as indicated above.
An approved antibacterial and antifungal agent (e.g., 37% formalin at 1:6,000 concentration) will be applied to the holding water to prevent bacterial and/or fungal infection. All fish remaining in the laboratory will be humanely killed following completion of the study.
Data Analysis: Data on EMG pulse intervals from laboratory trials will be compared to swimming velocity and oxygen consumption using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The relationship between oxygen consumption and EMG pulse interval will be used to estimate oxygen consumption of free-ranging fish. Mass-balance equations will be used to account for energy lost through different metabolic needs; estimates of active metabolism will be based on oxygen consumption and water temperature. Spatial comparisons of energy used/EMG pulse intervals will be made based on fish position in the Reach.

Brief schedule of activities
NOTE that the schedule is complicated by the FY funding cycle. In order to complete field work in 1996, funds for purchasing transmitters and preparing the respirometer are needed during FY96. For purposes of scheduling below, I have assumed no FY96 funds will be available and that the project would extend over FY97 and FY98. The estimated budget for FY97 covers FY97 activities only, i.e., it does not include mobile tracking and data analysis as these activities occur during FY98. These activities are included in the estimated budget for FY98.
October-December, 1996: Order EMG tags.
January-May, 1997: Prepare respirometer, calibrate flows and oxygen sensors, run trials with rainbow trout.
June-August, 1997: Make preparations for acquiring fall chinook adults from Priest Rapids Hatchery.
September, 1997: Acquire fish, tag, and begin trials.
October-November, 1998 (NOTE this is now FY98): Release and track fish in Hanford Reach.
December, 1997-June, 1998: Analyze data and prepare draft report.
July 1998: Final report.

Biological need
Salmon do not feed during the migration phase, therefore the energy budget that each fish has at the beginning of its migration is non-renewable. During the migration and reproductive period the stored energy must be divided among basic metabolism (e.g., digestion, excretion, respiration, ion regulation), active metabolism (e.g., swimming/migration, spawning), and tissue growth (e.g., gonadal development, secondary sexual characteristics). How the energy budget of an adult salmon is divided among these needs is highly dependent upon the level of effort required during the upstream migration. Increased migration distance or delay would result in extra energy expenditures prior to spawning and may reduce spawning success (Berman and Quinn 1991) or lead to increased pre-spawning mortality (Beiningen and Ebel 1970; Gray 1990; Snelling et al. 1992).
Average delays of adult salmon at lower Columbia River projects were 1-3 days during good passage conditions (Ross 1983; Turner et al. 1984). The time required for adult spring chinook salmon to pass hydroelectric projects in the Snake River ranged from a mean of 2.4 days at Ice Harbor Dam to 0.6 days per dam at Little Goose and Lower Monumental dams in 1992, compared to a range of 7.9 to 1.8 days per dam in 1991 (Bjornn et al. 1994). Average passage duration of fall chinook salmon adults was 11.8 and 10.4 days at Ice Harbor Dam, and 13.7 and 2.7 days at Lower Granite Dam in 1991 and 1992, respectively (Mendel et al. 1992, 1994). It is not clear at what point delays in migration begin to reduce energy reserves that are needed for reproduction. However, pre-spawning mortalities have been observed in adult salmon during recent telemetry studies (Glen Mendel, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, personal communication, 1995).
Management agencies have made various recommendations to reduce the delay of adult salmonids at hydropower projects, including increasing spill, installing new and/or redesigned fish ladders, reducing water temperature in the fishways, and implementing temperature control measures in the lower Snake River (SRSRT 1994; NPPC 1994; NMFS 1995a,b). Further studies are needed to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of these management recommendations. Including information on the energy requirements of adult salmon into monitoring and evaluation programs would provide a means to evaluate the biological response of adult fish to each of the management recommendations. However, before this can be done, additional studies are needed to determine the energy requirements of adult salmon during their migration period (Dauble and Mueller 1993). Recent advances in physiological biotelemetry now make it possible to assess how the energy budget of an adult salmon would be spent in response to structural or operational changes in the hydroelectric system.
Comparing the “baseline” activity level of an adult salmon to the activity level(s) associated with different passage conditions would provide a biological measure of the effectiveness of each management alternative that has been proposed to improve adult passage within the Columbia River hydropower system. Because of the strong relationship between muscle electromyograms (EMGs), activity level, and oxygen consumption, the EMG telemetry system is capable of detecting the differences in these activity levels.

Critical uncertainties

Hydroelectric facilities in the Columbia River Basin may adversely impact adult salmon that are listed under the Endangered Species Act by delaying their upstream migration (NMFS 1995a,b). Upstream passage has been identified as a “significant problem” affecting adult salmon survival and recovery (SRSRT 1994). Delays in migration can deplete finite energy reserves, increase mortality, and reduce spawning success (NMFS 1991a,b,c). Delays are substantial at some dams (Mendel et al. 1994; Bjornn et al. 1994), but information on how these delays affect the energy budget of Columbia River adult salmon is currently not available. Recent advances in electromyogram telemetry now make this evaluation possible.

Summary of expected outcome
By using the fish as the “test” organism, physiological telemetry provides a biological evaluation of the effectiveness of fish passage facilities. Monitoring the changes in the biological characteristics of adult fish, rather than concentrating on recruitment and assessments of juveniles, will aid in evaluating the success of management efforts (Auer 1996). The ability to estimate a fish’s activity level and energy consumption while it encounters a passage barrier would be an invaluable tool to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of proposed management alternatives designed to improve passage efficiency of adult salmon through the Columbia River hydropower system. Continued development of this task will provide another tool that can be used to provide this evaluation. Through this project we hope to attain a better understanding of the relationship between management of the hydropower system, environmental variables (e.g., temperature and flow), and energy expenditure by adult salmon.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
The success of this project hinges on our ability to acquire adult salmon for study. During previous years we have been successful in acquiring adult hatchery fall chinook salmon from Priest Rapids Hatchery. For FY97-FY98 activities, we are proposing to request fall chinook salmon from lower in the system and earlier in the year. If this is denied, we plan to fall chinook salmon adults from Priest Rapids Salmon Hatchery once again. Future activities (i.e., FY99) will require capturing of fish from in-river migrations. This will require consent of NMFS and states of Oregon and Washington.

Risks
Risks associated with this project includ the potential mortality of test fish. Previous experience suggests this mortality rate can be high if necessary precautions are not taken to properly care for fish. We believe we have made necessary changes in experimental protocol and believe the expected mortality from this project will be insignificant. Further, for FY97-FY98 activities we are proposing to work only with hatchery fall chinook salmon. Therefore, there will be no potential impact to ESA fall chinook.

Monitoring activity
Inherent in this project is a monitoring component; this has previously been described.

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: 135,000
1998: 200,000

* 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   System Policy

Recommendation    Tier 2 - fund when funds available

Recommended funding level   $135,000