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
Estuary, Physical and Biological Condition

BPA project number   5516800

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   Placeholder

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 Mailing address

BPA technical contact   ,

Biological opinion ID   Research M&E Program; hyp C.1 and Section III

NWPPC Program number   

Short description
Effects of estuarine conditions as limiting factors for chinook recruitment.

Project start year   1997    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   0

Project development phase   PLANNING

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects

Project history

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers

Management implications
Understanding of mechanisms that control estuarine and early ocean survival can help the resource manager to discriminate between natural variability in populations and responses to anthropogenic alterations.

Specific measureable objectives

Testable hypothesis

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints

This study will necessitate acquisition of extensive information on the estuarine environment. The estuarine study will install automated buoys and moored data loggers to collect environmental data on water temperature, salinity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and chlorophyll-a. Data will also be collected from vessels of opportunity. Satellite data from historic and near-real-time will be analyzed.

This investigation should continue for an extended period. A first phase should be considered to least 10 years. The initial period will permit hypothesis components to be articulated, and formulation of entirely new hypotheses. Ecology of competitors and estuarine fish predators will be key components of this study (see Hyp. C.1.1).

Science has greatly advanced in methods and types of analytical tools for evaluating environmental conditions (e.g., remote water-quality probes, satellite imagery). Yet few of these methods are used in the Columbia River estuary, plume, and near-shore region to assess ecological variates. Valuable correlates useful in ecological analysis can be obtained with modern technology.

Brief schedule of activities

Biological need
Data and analysis are needed on salmon use of estuarine habitat components, duration of residence, diet, stomach fullness, and health, including disease prevalence. Prey abundance will be systematically assessed. Predators and potential competitors will be inventoried. Salmonid use of all estuary components will be assessed through the year.

Critical uncertainties

Summary of expected outcome
To provide points of reference, work in the Columbia River estuary will require integration of literature from the Fraser River and other nearby ecosystems. An example of the importance of interactions in the estuary is the recent finding that juvenile salmonids spend considerable time in the fresh water plume of the Fraser River, with effects of discharge on survival. Foods produced in some portions of the estuary may be less important than drift produced in the river itself. Another recent work estimates that river lampreys take over half of the output of wild and hatchery chinook juveniles that reach the lower Fraser River estuary.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation


Monitoring activity
Approximately 40 major industrial dichargers and 40 federal Superfund sites are located in the Columbia River Basin. The sites most proximal to the Columbia River include 7 pulp and paper mills, 8 superfund sites, and 5 metal production facilities. Moreover, point- and nonpoint-sources of municipal wastes, including millions of gallons of raw sewage, and combustion products from auto usage are discharged into the Columbia River from the Portland/Vancouver area. Pesticides from agricultural activities also enter the river through non-point sources. Several agencies and organization have been involved in water quality assessment in the Columbia River, including the Lower Columbia Bi-State Water Quality Program, Columbia River Inter-tribal Fish Commission, USGS, NBS, EPA/Corvallis Research Laboratory, and NMFS/NW Fisheries Science Center. Elevated concentrations of a variety of chemical contaminants (e.g., selected metals, dioxins and furans, DDTs, PCBs, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) have been measured in sediments and biota from a number of sites in the Columbia River. Some of these sites are located near Longview, St. Helens, Camas, and Portland/Vancouver. Little is known about the distribution and concentrations of contaminants in habitats and food organisms used by juvenile salmon, or the effects of these contaminants on the health and survival of juvenile salmon.

Water quality data are available from several sources. An example of utility of those data is the analysis of migration timing for adult salmon in relation to temperature. Spring chinook and sockeye move across BON earlier now, correlated with earlier warming of the Columbia River. Turbidity has declined, with possible consequences in predator-prey interactions.

A single document should contain long-term data sets for key water quality parameters, with annual update. This document and a plan for annual update should be produced.

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: 1,000,000
1998: 1,000,000
1999: 1,000,000
2000: 1,000,000
2001: 1,000,000

* 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   System Policy

Recommendation    Tier 2 - fund when funds available

Recommended funding level   $1,000,000