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
Little Naches River Riparian and In-Channel Habitat Enhancement Project

BPA project number   5511300

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   ,

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   3.1D.1

Short description
The project entails revegetation of degraded riparian areas and eroding stream banks, and restoration/enhancement of deficient in-channel habitat features such as large woody debris, pool area, velocity refugia, and escapement and hiding cover. Construction of barriers or exclosures along the river is also anticipated with this project to allow recovery of the riparian and stream channels. The project is located approximately six to twelve miles above the town of Cliffdell in Yakima County. All identified restoration work would be along, or in, the mainstem of the Little Naches River.

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
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 depressed and declining 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.

Specific measureable objectives
The objective of the project is to improve spawning, rearing and holding habitat, stabilize stream banks and channels, revegetate riparian corridors with beneficial deciduous and coniferous species, and deter public damage to riparian areas and the stream channel.

The U.S. Forest Service and the Yakama Nation have identified a large portion of the Little Naches mainstem as having poor to fair conditions for spawning, rearing and adult holding. Currently, much of the project stream is devoid of large woody debris in the channel, lacks pool area, has little velocity refugia, and is deficient in clean spawning gravels. In addition, some adjacent riparian areas are sparse or devoid of vegetation due to timber harvest, roads, past floods and stream cleanout. Through restoration efforts on the channel, available habitat is expected to increase by at least three fold for juvenile rearing, at least two fold for spawning area, and at least five fold for velocity breaks and adult holding habitat. The project work is also expected to improve water quality by reducing erosion, limit ground disturbance from the public, and filtrate and store fine sediments. These improvements should benefit both anadromous and resident salmonid populations (summer run steelhead, spring chinook, and rainbow, cutthroat and bull trout) in the Little Naches River. Spring run chinook and summer run steelhead stocks are both considered depressed in the Naches 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 within the Wenatchee National Forest. The first step will be to work cooperatively with the Forest in developing design and monitoring plans for the specific project sites. The plans will include a description of existing conditions, actions needed to restore the channel 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 and the Forest Service for its consistency in meeting the design plans and project objectives. Monitoring work will be completed by the grantee or Forest Service to determine the efficacy and benefits of the restoration work.

Where channels are deficient in rearing habitat, restoration efforts may include placement of large woody debris, boulders, and or bank deflectors in the channel. This work is also expected to help retain/store spawning gravels. In areas of active bank erosion, bio-engineering practices may be utilized such as establishment of dense woody vegetation for rooting strength, placement of large rock at toes of erosion, and construction of bank deflectors to direct main flows away from banks. 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. 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
A deficiency of in-channel pool frequency, quality spawning gravel, velocity breaks for juvenile and adult holding, and overhead cover has been identified in the mainstem of the Little Naches River by the U.S. Forest Service and the Yakama Nation. In addition, some riparian areas along these streams are lacking in ground cover, long-term recruit able trees, shade, and bank stability. With all of these existing factors in place, fish populations have been impacted. Summer run steelhead and spring run chinook salmon stocks are listed as depressed in the Naches 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.

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 optimal benefits to fish populations.

Summary of expected outcome
Through these restoration efforts, habitat features that are limiting fish populations are expected to, at a minimum, be increased by two to three fold. This increase in critical habitat area should boost survival and production of anadromous and resident salmonid 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, but both the Wenatchee Forest and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have expressed considerable interest in rehabilitating these degraded channel segments. Cost sharing or funds may be available on this project from the U.S. Forest Service. Permits that may be needed on this project include Shoreline Variance Permits, NEPA 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 also be contacted to determine their interest and cooperation in restoration work.

Risks

Monitoring activity
At the beginning of the project period, existing data on the Little Naches 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: 89,600
1998: 72,800
1999: 72,800
2000: 72,800
2001: 16,800

* 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   $89,600

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $89,600