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
Shad Removal in Zone 6

BPA project number   5509600

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Yakama Indian Nation

Sponsor type   WA-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameLynn Hatcher
 Mailing addressP.O. Box 151
Toppenish, WA 98948
 Phone509/865-6262

BPA technical contact   , EWN

Biological opinion ID   Action Number 13.h, page 121

NWPPC Program number   6.1B.1

Short description
Describe the migration behavior and spawning locations of shad to identify times or areas where shad are segregated from salmonids to assist in development of selective shad removal techniques.

Project start year   1997    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   2001

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects

Project history
Provide any background relevant to prioritization (e.g. historic costs if the activity was previously funded under other project numbers, cost shares received from other agencies, major non-biological products or conclusions.) There are separate spaces below for biological products, reports, and need for the project.

Ecological changes to the Columbia River since development of the hydroelectric power system have produced ideal habitat for American shad. As the shad population reaches continues to increase, fish managers are increasingly concerned about ecological and behavioral impacts to salmonids. This project began in 1994 as an attempt to develop a self-sustaining method to reduce shad numbers while providing a commercial fishing opportunity to tribal fishers experiencing major reductions in salmon fishing opportunity. A small amount of funding was provided by the Yakama Nation for development and monitoring of initial test fishing, and commercial sales of harvested shad compensated tribal fishers. Although conclusions remain limited, we have shown that significant numbers of shad can be harvested with minimal impacts to migrating salmonids.

Biological results achieved
A small trap fishery at the left-bank fishladder exit of The Dalles dam in 1994 and 1995 showed that it is possible for dipnet fishers to harvest significant numbers of shad with minimal impacts to salmonids. In 1994, approximately 15,000 pounds of shad were harvested with no mortality or direct handling of salmonids. In 1995, over 100,000 pounds of shad were harvested in 6 days of fishing by two crews. A total of six salmonids were handled and released unharmed, and another 9 were delayed in the trapnet for a period up to several hours before being released unharmed. Evidence was reported from the fish counting station that this fishing method may have delayed the movement of some salmonids through the fishladder. Development of additional selective shad removal techniques has been hampered by a virtual absence of information about the time/space distribution of shad in the watershed.

Annual reports and technical papers
A technical report of the 1994 shad fishery was distributed to the Technical Advisory Committee of the Columbia River Fish Management Plan. A report of the 1995 fishery is in preparation.

Management implications
This project will assist in designing new techniques for removing shad from the Columbia River in ways that minimize impacts to migrating adult salmonids. Development of new methods will proceed in a stepwise manner such that impacts at each development stage can be assessed. Methods will be dropped, modified, or continued on the basis of incidental impacts to salmonids.

Specific measureable objectives
The intent of this project is to develop an information base on the time/space distributions of shad needed to develop cost-effective methods of shad removal. The objective will be to identify locations or times at which adult shad are completely or substantially segregated from salmonids so that removal methods can be designed to target on shad and avoid the incidental harvest of salmonids.

Testable hypothesis
The working hypothesis for this project asserts the existence of differences in the distribution of shad and salmonids in the mainstem Columbia River that can be exploited to achieve ecologically-meaningful reductions in shad abundance while limiting incidental impacts on salmonids to acceptable levels.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Adequate numbers of shad can be captured, radio-tagged, released, and tracked during migration and spawning.

Methods
The project will be conducted in Zone 6 (Bonneville to McNary dams) of the mainstem Columbia River. Methods to be evaluated initially include 1) use of acoustic devices to segregate shad from salmonids as they exit fishladders at hydroelectric dams and “herd” them into capture areas, and 2) radio-tagging shad to track migration patterns and areas where shad congregate so that removal methods can be designed to selectively harvest shad. Capture devices could consist of traps, seines, or other nets dependent on the degree of segregation between shad and salmonids. The extent of spatial or temporal isolation between shad and salmonids will be revealed by the results of test fishing within areas of high shad density located by radio tagging. Overlap in abundance distributions will be described by the ratio of shad to salmonids in the catch, and impacts to salmonids will be assessed in terms of handle, injury, and incidental mortality.

Brief schedule of activities
Planning for telemetry work should commence by May 1, 1996 for field activities to begin on or about June 10. Trapping and radio tagging at Bonneville Powerhouse II should continue through July 19. Tracking and tag recovery will occur weekly beginning the week of June 17 until approximately August 17. Test fishing at suspected locations of high shad concentrations would occur in concert with radio tracking activities. Planning for acoustic “herding” of shad into capture areas near fishladder exits should begin by April 1, 1996 for implementation by May 20. This task is scheduled initially to run from May 20 to June 15 when the shad-to-salmonid ratio is highest in fishladder counts. The timeframe could be extended through the shad migration period if shad are successfully segregated from salmonids into capture areas.

Biological need
This project will lead to the development of shad removal methods that will reduce negative interactions between shad and all upriver stocks of salmonids that are affected by the explosive growth of the shad population. Potential negative effects of interactions include congestion in fishladders, salmonid migration delay, disease transmission, competition between juvenile shad and salmonid smolts, particularly during estuarine residence and transition to neritic marine habitats, and the likelihood that juvenile shad represent an critical prey resource that supports an assemblage of smolt predators at higher densities than would be expected at lower juvenile shad abundance. Therefore, this project affects both adult and juvenile mainstem passage.

Critical uncertainties
This project addresses the need to identify times or areas in which shad are segregated from salmonids so that highly selective harvest and removal methods can be designed. One uncertainty is whether shad can be “herded” successfully with directional high frequency sound waves without disturbing salmonids that are mixed in the migration stream. Preliminary studies indicate a high probability of success. A second uncertainty concerns our ability to capture, radiotag, and track shad through Zone 6 to pre-spawning or spawning locations where they can be targeted with specific capture devices.

Summary of expected outcome
It is expected that experiments with directional high-frequency sound will show that shad selectively move away from a high frequency sound stimulus and thus can be segregated from salmonids, which are not responsive to the same frequency range. Results in other studies involving juvenile shad and a congeneric species, bluebelly herring, indicate that these species move away from the sound source and thus can be “herded” to specific locations. The application of this technology at places where shad and salmonids mix in high densities, such as near fishladder entrances or exits, will allow sorting of shad into capture arenas where they can be removed in large numbers without incidental impacts to salmonids. Results of the proposed telemetry study will identify locations where shad distributions do not overlap with salmonid distributions so that selective removal gears can be developed. The ultimate goal of this project is to find gears that will allow development of a self-sustaining commercial fishery to serve as a shad removal/management tool.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
The proposed activities will be coordinated with the NMFS, Fish Passage Center, and the Corps of Engineers. Because proposed actions take place in the mainstem Columbia River, potential impacts to ESA-listed salmonids will be reviewed in consultation with NMFS. To the extent that operations near hydroelectric dams occur, issues of fish passage, personnel safety, and project security will be reviewed with the Fish Passage Center and the Corps, respectively.

Risks
Risks to non-target salmonids include the potential for migration delay, and incidental handling and mortality in capture devices.

Monitoring activity
Technical staff will be assigned as monitors and technical data collectors to ensure that unexpected impacts to non-target species are held below specified acceptable limits. Based on real-time reports of the effectiveness of field operations, methods will be continued, modified, or terminated as necessary.

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: 246,400
1998: 112,000
1999: 56,000
2000: 56,000
2001: 56,000

* 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   Bonneville Dam - Priest Rapids Dam

Recommendation    Tier 2 - fund when funds available

Recommended funding level   $246,400