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
Middle Naches River Side Channel Enhancement Project

BPA project number   5511400

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   

Short description
The project entails revegetation of degraded riparian areas and rehabilitation of braided stream channels and side channel rearing habitat. Placement of wood and boulders in the side channels may be necessary to provide hiding and escape cover. Revegetation of adjacent riparian corridors is also sorely needed due to past diking, housing development, recent floods, and conversion of lands to pasture. Some level of exclosure fencing and land acquisition is also anticipated to allow recovery of the stream systems. The project is located near the town of Nile in Yakima County and includes side channels of the Naches River and lower portions of Nile and Rattlesnake Creek.

Project start year   1997    End year   2002

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

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 from similar habitat enhancement work.

Specific measureable objectives
The objective of the project is to improve summer and winter rearing habitat in side channels, stabilize stream banks and channels, revegetate riparian corridors with beneficial deciduous and coniferous species, and protect this critical habitat from future agricultural and rural development.

The Yakama Nation has identified numerous side channel rearing areas in the project area that have been diked, vegetation removed, and access cut off to fish. Housing construction and pasture development also threatens to damage or eliminate these critical rearing areas for rearing and spawning use. In addition, some adjacent 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 is expected to increase by at least three fold for summer and winter juvenile rearing, at least two fold for spawning area, and at least three fold for velocity refugia.. 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 should primarily benefit anadromous populations (summer run steelhead, spring chinook, and coho) in the Naches River, Nile Creek, and Rattlesnake Creek. 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 on private lands and landowners will be contacted to obtain cooperative agreements to work on their land. Where cooperation can not be procured, easements or land purchase will be sought to allow restoration work to take place. 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 side channels 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.

Where side channels have been cut off from fish access by diking and filling, excavation work may be used to provide entry. Side channel enhancement may also include construction of control structures on the upstream side to deter capture and scour of the side channels during peak flows. Placement of wood and boulders in the side channels for overhead and escape cover may also be accomplished, particularly if the channel is open and prone to predation. 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 quality side channel rearing habitat has been identified in the project area by the Yakama Nation. Patient/Template Analysis of the Yakima and Naches Rivers has also identified over-winter rearing habitat as a limiting factor. In addition, much of the riparian area in the project area lacks stable ground cover, long-term recruit able trees, shade, and bank stability. With 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, rearing 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 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 side channel rearing areas. Cost sharing or funds may be available on a limited degree for work on Rattlesnake Creek and Nile Creek with 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 Naches River, Nile Creek and Rattlesnake 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: 0
1998: 832,160
1999: 832,160
2000: 832,160
2001: 28,000

* 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   $0