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
Hardy Creek Chum Salmon Spawning Habitat Improvement Project

BPA project number   5507300

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   WA-Federal Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameDonna Allard
 Mailing addressColumbia R. Fisheries Program Office
9317 Hwy. 99, Suite I
Vancouver, WA 98665

BPA technical contact   , EWN

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   3.1D.1, 7.5D

Short description
The project will examine the extent of changes in the channel profile, bed composition and spawning habitat of Hardy Creek resulting from sediment transport and deposition. Hardy Creek (WRIA #28.0303A) is located about 4 miles downstream of Bonneville Dam.

Project start year   1997    End year   2000

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1999

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects

Project history

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers

Management implications

Specific measureable objectives
1. Chum and coho escapement
2. Egg to smolt survival
3. Outmigration timing and abundance
4. Temporal changes in physical habitat characteristics
5. Impact of non-native vegetation, reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.), encroachment on spawning grounds
6. Determination of sediment load and point source locations
7. Intergravel dissolved oxygen

Testable hypothesis
Spawning habitat is disappearing in Hardy Creek due to increased sedimentation.
Removal of reed canarygrass from the spawning habitat will increase flushing flows and remove some of the sediment by reducing streambed roughness and resistance.
The chum population in Hardy Creek will increase as more suitable spawning habitat becomes available to them.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Average water year, Average escapement of salmon.
The limiting factor for chum salmon in Hardy Creek is adequate spawning habitat.


Annual spawning ground surveys and adult escapement estimates will be made each year. Depending upon the number of returning adults, a maximum of two redds will be sampled for egg viability and or capped with emergent traps. Since chum are being considered for listing as endangered, numbers of fish handled will be kept to a minimum. An outmigration trap will be placed in Hardy Creek to estimate outmigration numbers of chum if water levels in Hardy Creek allow. Intergravel dissolved oxygen levels will be measured with a metal standpipe inserted 8 to 10 inches deep in specified redds. Using a peristaltic pump, water will be drawn out of the redd and dissolved oxygen concentration will be measured weekly until emergence using an orion dissolved oxygen meter.

A representative reach in each segment of Hardy Creek will be identified and surveyed. The Division of Engineering, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will complete the surveying using a total station (electronic distance meter and transit). Five cross section profiles will be established in each reach. Bed and bank materials at all survey points will be described and sampled for particle size distribution. Particle size analysis will be done using dry sieving (Gordon et al., 1992). Information from each profile will be used to calculate bank slope, bankfull width and depth. Maps will be made of each reach by extending a tape down the longitudinal axis of the stream and measuring the distance to banks, thalweg, and other features at right angles to the tape. The placement of the tape will be tied into a reference point using the total station. Maps will include a description of spawning gravels, pools, and riffles, thalweg, banks, bars, bedrock outcrops, woody debris, and riparian and aquatic vegetation, including the extent of invasion of reed canarygrass. Reaches and cross-sections will be surveyed and mapped annually for 2 years. A paired t-test will be used to compare elevational differences from the profile surveys. Photographs from fixed points will also be used to identify changes in the stream channel.

A gaging station will be established by USFWS in a stream segment not influenced by any backwater effects during high flows. A Marsh McBirney current meter and wading rod will be used to measure velocity and cross sectional area. Stream stage will be read from a staff gauge placed at the station and a stage-discharge relationship will be established. When the creek is not wadeable during high flows, discharge will be estimated using survey information and Manning's equation (Gordon et al., 1992).

To identify sources and sinks of sediments, samples of suspended sediment will be collected at three sites: 1) upstream of the bridge on the upper study segment, 2) the small tributary just downstream of the pond, and 3) the lower study segment of the creek. Flow and suspended sediment data will permit a mass balance analysis of the amount of sediment entering , leaving and stored in Hardy Creek. Suspended sediment samples will be collected daily during representative periods of high flow and weekly throughout an entire year. Suspended sediment concentrations are extremely variable during high flows and the more frequent sampling during these periods is necessary to identify error margins. Sampling and reconnaissance will be conducted further upstream to identify any obvious sources of sediment (landslides, logging sites, culvert failures). Suspended sediment concentrations will be collected with a depth-integrating suspended sediment sampler (US DH-48 or equivalent). Concentrations will be determined by weighing the mass of sediment retained by a glass fiber filter from a known volume of sample (APHA, 1989).

For the portion of lower Hardy Creek that has become filled with fine sediment, it is important to know the flushing flows required to remove sediments from the channel bed surface. Knowing the water depth and channel gradient, and assuming values for sediment and fluid densities and viscosity, Shield's function (1936) can be used to estimate the mobility of different sizes of particles. These estimates can be used to help evaluate management alternatives for reducing sediment deposition.

Strategies including the removal of reed canarygrass, and/or the placement of sediment traps upstream of the spawning areas to reduce sedimentation will be implemented and evaluated
as to their effectiveness.

Brief schedule of activities
1997 - Stream surveys and mapping, establishment of gaging station, discharge monitoring, suspended sediment sampling, population monitoring

1998 - Stream surveys and mapping, discharge monitoring, suspended sediment sampling, canarygrass removal and/or sediment trap placement

1999 - Stream surveys and mapping, discharge monitoring, suspended sediment sampling

2000 - Stream surveys and mapping, discharge monitoring, suspended sediment sampling

Biological need
Historically, the Columbia River supported populations of chum salmon above Bonneville Dam as far upstream as the Walla Walla River (Phelps et al. 1995). Those spawning areas have been inundated by dam construction and at present, fewer than 200 chum salmon pass Bonneville Dam each year. Hardy Creek is one of only three populations of chum salmon being monitored in the lower Columbia River basin. These populations are listed as stocks considered at moderate risk of extinction. (Nehlsen et al. 1991). In a preliminary decision of the status of chum salmon from Washington, Oregon, and California, the National Marine Fisheries Service's Biological Review Team concluded that these populations are "likely to become endangered throughout a significant portion of their range in the foreseeable future." Future establishment of reed canarygrass in the channel is reducing velocities and trapping sediments. Preliminary assessments indicate that accumulations of fine sediment is threatening spawning habitat in Hardy Creek.

The Service has monitored salmon escapement in Hardy Creek since 1984. Since that time, increase in the amount of reed canarygrass and sedimentation has compromised the quality of spawning habitat in much of the creek.

Critical uncertainties
It is unknown where the sediment in lower Hardy Creek is coming from and why it is not flushing out of the system. The effects of reed canarygrass on sediment transport are unknown. If sediment is removed from spawning habitat areas, natural production of chum salmon will increase survival at the egg to fry lifestage.

Summary of expected outcome
Implementation of management strategies, (i.e. removal of reed canarygrass and installation of sediment traps) will increase the overall spawning habitat available to salmon in Hardy Creek and result in the increased survival and production of chum salmon.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
USGS, WDFW, Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group are potential cooperators.


Monitoring activity
Egg to fry survival and adult escapement will be monitored throughout the study (see METHODS).
If sediment traps and/or removal of canarygrass are warranted, 2 more years of monitoring will take place. This will include sediment sampling and discharge measurements to evaluate these activities.

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: 83,790
1998: 127,880
1999: 92,169
2000: 101,386

* 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   Below Bonneville Dam

Recommendation    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $83,790