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
Listed Stock Gamete Preservation

BPA project number   5520600

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Nez Perce Tribe

Sponsor type   ID-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NamePaul A. Kucera
 Mailing addressNez Perce Tribe
P.O. Box 365
Lapwai, ID 83540

BPA technical contact   ,

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   7.4E

Short description
The Listed Stock Gamete Preservation project seeks to apply cryogenic technology to preserve male gametes from chinook salmon conservation units that are at low levels of abundance and high risk of extinction. This approach would target chinook salmon populations with ongoing conventional hatchery or captive broodstock artificial propagation programs to preserve and utilize cryopreserved material to enhance genetic diversity. Secondly, this project would establish a gene bank as an insurance policy in case that extinction of chinook salmon populations does occur. Cryopreservation for hatchery steelhead trout programs that use native brood sources could also be included if desired.

Project start year   1997    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1997

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
This project will be coordinated with all ongoing Lower Snake River Compensation Plan (LSRCP), Idaho Power Company and captive broodstock artificial propagation programs that utilize listed chinook salmon for enhancement efforts. This project will also coordinate with the Johnson Creek Artificial Propagation and Enhancement project. The Nez Perce Tribe has cryopreserved male gametes from selected chinook salmon populations since 1992. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has cryopreserved spring and fall chinook salmon male gametes from the Tucannon River and Lyons Ferry Hatchery, respectively. WDFW has experienced an average of about 65% fertilization rate using cryopreserved semen in several limited trials (Glen Mendel - pers. comm.).

Project history
The Listed Stock Gamete Preservation project has previously received a relatively high project ranking through the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority. It has not been funded as a new project due to project priority and funding constraints.

Biological results achieved
None to date. Project to be initiated in 1997.

Annual reports and technical papers
None to date. Project to be initiated in 1997.

Management implications
This project would provide cryopreserved male gametes for ongoing chinook salmon artificial propagation facilities to enhance genetic diversity in those programs. It would also allow preservation of genetic material from salmon populations at low levels of abundance and high risk of extinction for future management use.

Specific measureable objectives
Use of cryopreserved material in artificial propagation programs will result in measurable fertilization rates.

Testable hypothesis
Not research oriented. Use of cryopreserved male gametes can be used to increase genetic diversity in artificial propagation programs. Cryogenic technology can be used to preserve salmon genetic material.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
We would desire that fertilization rates using cryopreserved semen would average 80% or higher. Several limited trials have documented average fertilization rates of 65% using cryopreserved semen (Glen Mendel - pers. comm.). There is a risk of lower fertilization rates and potential loss of eggs using cryopreserved semen. Lesser fertilization rates may be acceptable where genetic concerns warrant them. Section 10 permits allow for collection of spawned-out males from the spawning grounds. Assumes that sufficient quantity and quality of sperm can be obtained from spawned-out males for gene banking purposes.

Existing weirs that trap listed adult chinook salmon for artificial propagation will be utilized as sources of male salmon for cryopreservation purposes. Hatchery managers will be coordinated with to determine acceptable periods for sampling to occur. Streams that have had captive broodstock juvenile chinook salmon collected from them will be sampled for collection of adults as will other streams where gene banking will occur.

Standardized fish sampling, fish handling and fish anesthesia protocols, consistent with Section 10 permits, will be used to collect and handle adult male chinook salmon for semen cryopreservation purposes. Abdomens of anesthetized males will be wiped dry and semen samples will be taken into two separate whirl paks. After milt samples are taken adult recovery and milt sample storage procedures occur simultaneously. Adult salmon are immediately tagged, lengths and scales taken, data recorded and the fish placed in a holding pond or pool area where it is assisted until fully recovered. Milt samples are placed in two individually labelled whirl paks, oxygenated, placed in a covered insulated cooler on wet ice on top of newspaper and transported to the University of Idaho (UI), Moscow, ID, and Washington State University (WSU), Pullman, WA. Cryopreservation and storage occurs independently at the two Universities within a 24 hour period after the samples are taken. Samples are stored in four liquid nitrogen canisters at the UI and WSU.

Brief schedule of activities
Sampling of adult male salmon would occur at existing chinook weirs used for artificial propagation purposes. Cryopreservation samples would be collected from approximately July to mid-September at these weir locations. Stream sampling would occur mainly in August and September. Database and sample inventory development would take place from September to October. Report preparation would occur from November through December.

Biological need
Snake River chinook salmon populations have experienced significant decline in population numbers over the past five decades and are now listed as an endangered species. Genetic conservation through population protection and monitoring has not been successful. A genetic resource management approach using cryogenic techniques is recommended for preservation of genetic material from salmon conservation units at high risk of extinction. These efforts will be needed to preserve and maintain genetic diversity for ongoing artificial propagation programs and to preserve genetic material for future management options. The NMFS draft recovery plan states that "captive broodstock and supplementation programs should be initiated and/or continued for populations identified as being at imminent risk of extinction, facing severe inbreeding depression, or facing demographic risks". The plan further states that"the conservation of local populations or stocks of Pacific salmon and the preservation of their genetic resources is an important goal".

Critical uncertainties
See Underlying Assumptions or Critical Constraints.

Summary of expected outcome
Preservation and use of male chinook gametes for use in artificial propagation programs to maintain and enhance genetic diversity. Establishment of gene banks for preservation of genetic material from salmon conservation units at high risk of extinction.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
This project would depend on cooperation of those agencies that currently operate adult chinook salmon trapping facilities; mainly IDFG and ODFW.

See Underlying Assumptions or Critical Constraints section.

Monitoring activity
Annual reports will summarize each individual year's project activities and reports will be available prior to commencement of the next year's sampling. Monitoring will occur to ensure that egg fertilization rates remain at desired levels.

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: 110,447
1998: 140,000
1999: 117,000
2000: 123,000
2001: 131,000

* 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   Snake River

Recommendation    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $110,447

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $110,500