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
Development and Refinement of Natural Production Objectives and Enhancement Strategies for Yakima Basin Anadromous Salmonids

BPA project number   5522100

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Yakama Indian Nation

Sponsor type   WA-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameMel Sampson
 Mailing addressYakama Indian Nation
Fisheries Resources Management
P.O. Box 151, Fort Road
Toppenish, WA 98948

BPA technical contact   ,

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   7.4K.1

Short description
This project entails the development, refinement and use of computer simulation models to predict the success of evolving strategies to enhance natural production and harvest opportunity of all existing and extirpated species of anadromous salmonid in the Yakima Basin (three stocks of spring chinook, two stocks of fall chinook, four stocks of summer steelhead, summer chinook and sockeye). The YKFP proposes to use updated information in computer simulations to identify promising new supplementation treatments, to estimate and revise expected benefits of specific treatments, to describe potential risks associated with treatments, and to highlight events and relationships that must be monitored for effective project evaluation. Importantly, these iterative modeling exercises will incorporate new data on the productivity and carrying capacity of the Yakima Basin, as well as information on the impact of environmental fluctuation on natural production. It should be noted that the only alternative to evaluating the benefits and risks of an enhancement project through simulation is simply to implement it and observe the consequences over time. The latter approach is not prudent when many of the determinants of natural production are unknown.

Project start year   1997    End year   2001

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1997

Project development phase   Planning

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
-Training and Education: Proj # 8812004, training assistance for YKFP personnel. Project leads to development of a trained manpower base for project, but does is not directly related to this modeling exercise.

-Video Monitoring: Proj # 8812005, use of video technology to estimate adult passage at Roza and Prosser Dams in the Yakima Basin. Monitoring hatchery/wild returns to the basin is essential to project evaluation and will provide recruitment data used in simulations.

-Quantitative Production Objectives, Steelhead and Fall Chinook: Proj 8812009, refining production objectives for steelhead and fall chinook under the YFP and assistance in the development of appropriate enhancement strategies, risk analyses and monitoring plans. Project 8812009 is the model upon which this proposed project would build. This project would institutionalize computer simulation as an iterative, permanent part of adaptive management under the YKFP.

-Yakima Hatchery Construction: Proj # 88-115, Construction of Spring Chinook Production Facilities for YKFP. This proposed modeling project would probably have little impact on design and construction of spring chinook facilities, although it might generate rearing strategies that would alter the way the hatchery is used. Plans for hatcheries for other species and stocks either do not exist or are are at a much earlier stage of development, and this modeling project could have a substantial impact on them.

-Yakima Hatchery Final Design: Proj # 90-69, design of Spring Chinook Facilities for YKFP. Hatchery design plans are nearly complete for spring chinook, and this proposed project likely would have no effect on them. Design of possible facilities for fall chinook, steelhead and other species and stocks could, however, be modified substantially in response to updated production simulations.

-Yakima/Klickitat Monitoring/Evaluation Program: Proj # 95-63, Develop and Test M&E Plans for YKFP. Currently, M&E provisions are being developed only for spring chinook. In light of the fact hatchery spring chinook adults will not be returning to the basin until the year 2001, it is quite possible that the monitoring plan actually implemented when adults return would be altered by refined simulations. This proposed modeling project would, of course, have a very large impact on M&E provisions for future YKFP stocks and species.

-Preliminary Design for Passage and Habitat Improvement in the Klickitat River: Proj # 95-68, Initial Development of Objectives for Future Klickitat Supplementation Program: basic fish production data, population monitoring, habitat inventory and engineering surveys of passage facilities at barriers in the Klickitat River Watershed. This proposed modeling exercise would address only the Yakima Basin, and would thus be unrelated to Proj 95-68.

-YKFP Scientific and management Services (Master To): Project Contracts to Co-Managers, Washington State. This umbrella project includes the following sub-projects, all of which address various aspects of the goals and objectives of the YKFP:
1. YSIS (Yakima Species Interaction Studies);
2. Marking Studies;
3. Genetic Management Framework;
4. Policy/Management;
5. NIT Design -- design of "new and innovative treatment" for hatchery-reared supplementation spring chinook smolts under the YKFP.

Results from refined simulations developed under this proposed project could affect all of the sub-projects listed above. Interaction studies could be impacted by newly discovered or emphasized interspecific impacts identified as critical in new simulations. Marking studies could be impacted by newly identified life stages for which survival or distribution estimates are needed. Genetics management could be affected by a new appreciation of the role of cultural activities on the fitness of a supplemented population. Policy and management could be greatly affected if promising new enhancement strategies are adopted. Finally, NIT design might reflect simulated treatments directly.

Project history
Although a similar project has occurred in the past, this antecedent project ends in 1996.

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers

Management implications

Specific measureable objectives
For steelhead, fall chinook, coho and perhaps ultimately summer chinook and sockeye, this project will represent the vehicle by which specific, measurable objectives are initially established and then periodically revised. The model will incorporate the latest findings with respect to genetic impacts of hatchery rearing, current productivity and carrying capacity of the basin, ecological interactions with competitors, predators and non-target stocks, target stock demographics, and the impact of environmental events and conditions (seasonal mean flows and temperatures, floods, habitat alterations, etc.) The output will consist of estimated mean returns and spawning escapements (hatchery and natural) of targeted stocks as well as the assumptions (critical uncertainties) upon which such estimates are based. The simulated values for adult return, spawning escapement and surplus production (harvest opportunity) will represent specific, measurable objectives for the project. The assumptions will provide the basis for subsequent risk analyses and "level two" monitoring (viz., monitoring for response variables relationships that explain why the program is functioning as it is).

The initial modeling and objective setting process has already been completed for spring chinook, but new data and new interpretations of existing data already suggest the need for revision/refinement.

Testable hypothesis
This project will be one of the most important means by which testable hypotheses are initially developed for species not yet covered by the YKFP (fall chinook, steelhead, summer chinook and sockeye), and refined for currently targeted species (spring chinook and coho). To take but one example, ongoing research into the genetic, behavioral and physiological impacts of different types of hatchery mating and rearing protocols suggest that certain procedures will produce spring chinook smolts with genotypic and phenotypic characteristics that are superior to conventionally reared smolts in specific ways. These empirically demonstrated benefits will then be explicitly entered into the supplementation model, along with the latest data on environmental parameters both inside and outside the Yakima Basin, and the production of fish under this "supplementation scenario" will then be simulated. The results -- hatchery smolt-to-smolt and smolt-to-adult survival, equilibrium wild smolt production, equilibrium returns of naturally spawned adults, etc. -- will represent specific testable hypotheses for "supplementation treatment x" in the Yakima Basin. After the project is implemented as actual results are in hand, the model will provide a vehicle for detailed analysis and revision of the program.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
The only underlying assumption or critical constraint on the proposed project is the assumption that it is possible to describe the factors and relationships that determine natural production in the Yakima Basin.

As the proposed project is not a laboratory or field experiment, this question, as detailed above, is not really applicable.

Brief schedule of activities
For 1997, the major project tasks would include the development of a supplementation simulation program for steelhead and coho and fall chinook, and a revision of the spring chinook simulation last performed in 1993. For 1998 and beyond, tasks would include simulations and objective-setting exercises for steelhead, coho and fall chinook (not necessarily in that order) and, ultimately for summer chinook and sockeye.

Biological need
The ultimate biological need is to implement an enhancement program that halts the accelerating extirpation of species of anadromous salmonids from the Yakima Basin and ultimately leads to the re-establishment of viable, resilient populations capable of sustaining a meaningful fishery.

Critical uncertainties
As was explained in the sections on Objectives and Testable Hypotheses, this project does not entail a Critical Uncertainty: rather, it is the vehicle by which Critical Uncertainties will be identified and transformed to testable hypotheses or areas subjected to Risk Monitoring (if the critical uncertainty is not empirically resolvable).

Summary of expected outcome
If funding for permanent, iterative supplementation modeling is provided, it can be expected that a series of increasingly realistic, species- and stock-specific models of supplemented natural production in the Yakima Basin will be developed. As additional species are supplemented under the YKFP, these models will:
! identify increasingly effective supplementation treatments;
! result in the establishment of increasingly realistic production and harvest objectives;
! identify program-specific risks and stimulate the development of appropriate risk containment activities;
! provide detailed guidance in the development of effective monitoring programs.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
This project is obviously dependent upon a positive Record of Decision for the ongoing NEPA review of spring chinook supplementation and coho feasibility experiments under the YFP. The full need for the project's expansion to cover additional stocks and species is likewise dependent upon a successful NEPA review of enhancement programs for stocks and species that are not currently covered by the YKFP (two stocks of fall chinook, four stocks of steelhead, actual coho supplementation/reintroduction, Naches and American River spring chinook stocks, and summer chinook and sockeye reintroduction/supplementation).

Again, this proposed project does not entail risks: it is one of the principal vehicles for identifying risks. Moreover, failure to implement this project would itself constitute a risk of no small magnitude.

Monitoring activity
The proposed project would, among other things, be used to develop monitoring procedures for species- and stock specific enhancement programs.

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: 66,500
1998: 66,500
1999: 66,500
2000: 66,500
2001: 66,500

* 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   $66,500

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $66,500