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
Cabin Creek Habitat Enhancement Project

BPA project number   5510500

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   

NWPPC Program number   3.1D.1

Short description
The project entails the introduction of large trees with attached root wads and boulders into a stream channel that is totally devoid of roughness elements that create pools and velocity refuge for fish. Planting of riparian vegetation in areas devoid of vegetation or exhibiting bank erosion is also planned. The project is located approximately 1.5 miles northwest of Easton, Washington.

Project start year   1997    End year   2002

Start of operation and/or maintenance   0

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects

Project history

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers

Management implications
This is an opportunity to depart from conventional methods implemented on numerous other habitat enhancement projects. Past projects particularly efforts on federal ownership have utilized flat ended logs keyed into banks at specific locations designed to produce prescriptive results on that site . These efforts have frequently failed in achieving desired results. This project differs markedly from these past efforts in that it attempts to mimic the large woody debris recruitment that happens naturally in an undisturbed setting. Flood events that are the bane of conventional in-channel projects would redistribute these placed trees rather than export the flat ended logs that are generally used for projects of this kind. Demonstrating success with this project would have implications for a plethora of other salmonid enhancement projects. Through restoration efforts, it is expected that increased production of salmonids will occur and can be demonstrated. The restoration project should therefore facilitate recovery of declining anadromous stocks. Through monitoring, the project can be assessed for its ability to meet target objectives for riparian conditions and in-channel habitat, as well as judge effects on survival and growth rates of salmonids. This knowledge can then be applied to future projects for determining expected outcomes and benefits to salmonid stocks from similar habitat enhancement work.

Specific measureable objectives
The objective of the project is to improve summer and winter rearing habitat in Cabin Creek , stabilize stream banks and channels, revegetate riparian corridors with beneficial deciduous and coniferous species.,

The U.S. Forest Service and the Yakama Nation has identified Cabin Creek as a stream with severely degraded habitat. Logging, roading and flooding has left large sections of the stream totally devoid of habitat complexity . Riparian areas are sparse or devoid of vegetation and provide little bank protection, hiding cover, or shade. Through restoration efforts on the channel, available habitat in the treated reaches is expected to increase by at least ten fold for summer and winter juvenile rearing, at least two fold for spawning area, and at least ten fold for velocity refuge.. The project work is also expected to improve water quality by reducing erosion, limit scour from peak flows by allowing flood waters to dissipate energy over the flood plain, and filtrate and store fine sediments. These improvements will benefit resident and anadromous populations ( spring chinook) in the Upper Yakima River and Cabin Creek. This project will provide habitat for the supplemented stocks resulting from the Yakima Fisheries Project. Spring run chinook are considered depressed in the Yakima drainage by the Washington State Salmon and Steelhead Stock Inventory (SASSI, 1992). Ambient monitoring of habitat conditions and fish populations before and after completion of project work will quantify whether objectives were attained.

Testable hypothesis

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints

Methods
Much of the project area lies on private lands and landowners will be contacted to obtain cooperative agreements to work on their land. All specific project sites will have a design and monitoring plan completed by the grantee or a subcontractor with restoration experience. The plans will include a description of existing conditions, actions needed to restore the habitat and riparian areas to target conditions, logistics to complete the work, expected benefits from the work. The monitoring plan will include an assessment of habitat conditions and fish populations prior to and after project completion. This monitoring approach can be used to statistically compare effects on habitat and populations before and after restoration work. Upon review and acceptance of the plans, the work will be carried out by the grantee or a subcontractor. The work will be evaluated by the grantee for consistency in meeting the design plans and project objectives. Monitoring work will be completed by the grantee to determine the efficacy and benefits of the restoration work.

Materials used will be whole trees for placement in the channel for creation of pools and cover. Equipment used will be large backhoe with bucket equipped with a thumb or a helicopter. A helicopter has been used in other like efforts and is very cost comparable to the heavy equipment because it is far quicker with no bank disturbance. Bio-engineering practices may be utilized such as establishment of dense woody vegetation for rooting strength. Within riparian areas, stands with sparse or no vegetation may be inter-planted with appropriate coniferous or deciduous species to provide future wood recruitment to the channel, shade for temperature moderation, allochthonous nutrient delivery and bank stability.

Brief schedule of activities
Initial monitoring would take place in the fall of 1997 and spring and summer of 1998, along with design planning and material acquisition . In the summer and fall of 1998, project implementation would begin and be completed by late 2001. Final monitoring would be accomplished in the spring and summer of 2002.

Biological need
An extreme deficiency in pool habitat has been identified in the project area by the Yakama Nation and the U.S. Forest Service. Patient/Template Analysis of the Upper Yakima has also identified winter rearing habitat as a limiting factor for spring chinook juveniles. In addition, much of the riparian area in the project area lacks stable ground cover, long-term recruitable trees, shade, and bank stability. With these existing factors in place, fish populations have clearly been impacted. Spring run chinook salmon stocks are listed as depressed in the Yakima River (SASSI 1992). Strong arguments can be made that the spring chinook status is actually critical with recent precipitous declines in returning adults. Habitat restoration work is therefore sorely needed to facilitate recovery of the stocks and to compliment the planned supplementation work in the Yakima Fisheries Project.

Critical uncertainties
It is expected that the project will provide immediate benefits to fish, but the exact gains will not be known until monitoring is completed. In addition the length of time for complete stream recovery, or period until desired conditions are achieved, is not completely known. For example, revegetation of channel margins and riparian areas will take several years to provide benefits to fish populations. The interaction of the placed trees with high flows is needed before desired benefits will be realized.

Summary of expected outcome
Through these restoration efforts, rearing habitat features that are limiting fish populations are expected to, at a minimum, be increased by ten fold. This increase in critical habitat area will boost survival and production of anadromous populations. Monitoring work will further determine the net benefits of the project and identify limitations or areas of improvement.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Currently, no specific coordination plan has been formally adopted. The Yakima Resource Management Cooperative (YRMC) is very interested in participating in habitat enhancement projects in the Upper Yakima . This group is comprised of all the major landowners and governmental entities of the upper Yakima. Cost sharing or funds may be available through The Eastern Washington Habitat Enhancement Group or private timber companies. Permits that may be needed on this project include Shoreline Variance Permits and Hydraulic Project Approvals. It is not anticipated that these permits will require more than eight months to acquire, and should pose little problem to the completion of the project. Private land owners within the scope of this project area will be contacted to determine their interest and cooperation in this restoration effort.

Risks

Monitoring activity
At the beginning of the project period, existing data on Cabin Creek will be analyzed and supplemental assessments made to quantify existing spawning, rearing, and holding habitat quality. Bank erosion and riparian conditions will also be surveyed. Finally, fish population estimates will be conducted to determine use under existing, limited habitat conditions. Upon completion of project work, the streams will be reassessed for the same parameters. All monitoring will be accomplished by following standard methodology outlined in the Ambient Monitoring Program Manual (TFW-AM9-94-001).

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: 162,400
1998: 280,000
1999: 280,000
2000: 151,200
2001: 33,600

* 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 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $162,400