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
Conservation Genetics of Columbia Basin Bull Trout

BPA project number   5507200

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
University of Montana

Sponsor type   MT-Consultant

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NamePaul Spruell/Fred W. Allendorf
 Mailing addressResearch Administration
Main Hall 116
University of Montana
Missoula, MT 59812

BPA technical contact   , EWP

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   

Short description
Describe genetic structure of bull trout populations to assist in their management and recovery.

Project start year   1997    End year   1997

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1997

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects

Project history

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers

Management implications

Specific measureable objectives
Analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA will allow us to identify those bull trout populations that represent discrete genetic entities. This information will be combined with our existing data from Oregon and the Flathead system to provide an overall description of bull trout population structure. This information is critical for proper management of the species as a whole. We will also attempt to measure the contribution that each of the alternate life histories may have in overall reproductive output and gene flow between populations.

Testable hypothesis
We will compare our results to the null hypothesis that all bull trout populations and life histories are genetically equivalent. Our results will be analyzed using established population genetic techniques and then compared to the results we would expect if the species was composed of one large, randomly breeding population.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
We assume the samples we analyze are representative of the populations from which they are taken. We hope to sample multiple year classes to increase the likelihood that this assumption is met. The sole constraint on the project is obtaining the samples for analysis. In the event that all populations cannot be adequately sampled during the summer of 1996, a 6 month extension would be necessary to allow a second sampling season during the summer of 1997.

Approximately 30 fish from 35 populations from throughout the Columbia basin will be sampled. These populations will be identified in cooperation with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. We will include populations from the Bonneville Reservoir, the Snake River tributaries above and below Hells Canyon dam and Lake Pend Oreille. Fish will be sampled non lethally by removing a small fin clip. Samples will be stored in 95% Ethanol until they are shipped to the Wild Trout and Salmon Genetics Laboratory at the University of Montana. Total DNA will then be extracted and genetic markers will be selectively amplified using the polymerase chain reaction. Appropriate markers have already been identified and thus data collection will begin almost immediately. Allele frequencies will be analyzed to quantify the amount of within and among population variation and then compared to the levels we would expect for a large, randomly mating population.

Brief schedule of activities
Sampling will begin in summer of 1996. Samples will be collected with cooperation from the appropriate agencies and tribes. Genetic evaluation of those samples will begin in October of 1996 and should be completed and analyzed by the end of FY97.

Biological need
Historic levels of gene flow between bull trout populations is unknown. However, if populations historically exchanged genetic material, current barriers to migration may be having a detrimental impact on the species by artificially causing small fragmented populations. The genetic investigation proposed will allow us to estimate the historic connections among populations and managers to base their decisions on sound conservation genetic principles.

Critical uncertainties
It is possible that our techniques would detect no genetic differences between bull trout populations. However, based on previous data the probability of this outcome is negligible.

Summary of expected outcome
At the conclusion of this study we will have genetic data generated using the same markers for the entire Columbia drainage. This information should reveal the genetic relationships among those populations. Thus, genetically unique population groups can be given additional protection where warranted. In addition, once the boundaries of bull trout metapopulations have been established, appropriate populations to serve as sources for reintroductions could be identified.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Samples will be collected in cooperation with the appropriate state and federal agencies and tribes where appropriate. The US Forest Service has already committed samples from the Snake River.


Monitoring activity

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: 65,725

* 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   $65,725