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
Selective Predation/Development of Prey Protection

BPA project number   8200300

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
National Biological Service

Sponsor type   WA-Federal Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameMatthew Mesa/Tom Poe
 Mailing addressNational Biological Service
5501A Cook-Underwood Road
Cook, WA 98605
 Phone509/538-2299

BPA technical contact   Bill Maslen, EWI 503/230-5549

Biological opinion ID   NMFS BO Action Nos. 11, 14, 15, 23

NWPPC Program number   5.7B.1

Short description
Objectives are to assess the relative vulnerability of juvenile salmonids of varying condition to predation and to develop measures that will protect outmigrating juvenile salmonids from resident fish predators, particularly northern squawfish.

Project start year   1982    End year   1999

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1997

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects

Project history
BPA has funded predation research since 1982. This project started as a cooperative effort between ODFW and the USFWS to determine the loss of outmigrating juvenile salmonids in John Day Reservoir. Results of that study indicate a loss of about 3 million juvenile salmonids to predation annually in that reservoir. Phase 1 of this study included documentation of dietary and consumption rates of four predators (northern squawfish, smallmouth bass, walleye, and channel catfish). Phase 2 of this project, which is ongoing, was research into the relative vulnerability of juvenile salmonids of varying conditions to predation. Phase 3, also ongoing, is designed to develop measures for protecting juvenile salmonids from northern squawfish predation, including development of biological criteria for design and operation of juvenile fish surface bypass systems and bypass exit design and location.

Biological results achieved
To date, a variety of results have been achieved, including: (1) documentation of dietary and consumption rates of major predators; (2) documenting the system-wide significance of the potential for predation-related mortality of juvenile salmonids; (3) documentation of selective predation on dead, physically stressed, dissolved gas exposed and, to a lesser extent, BKD-infected juvenile salmonids; (4) documented the swimming performance of northern squawfish; (5) evaluated the efficacy of different hatchery release strategies; and (6) criteria for design and location of juvenile fish bypass outfalls.

Annual reports and technical papers
Beamesderfer, R. C., B. E. Rieman, L. J. Bledsoe, and S. Vigg. 1990. Management implications of a model of predation by resident fish on juvenile salmonids migrating through a Columbia River reservoir. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 10: 290-304.

Beyer, J. M., G. Lucchetti, and G. Gray. 1988. Digestive tract evacuation in northern squawfish (Ptychocheilus oregonensis). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 45: 548-553.

Bledsoe, L. J., S. Vigg, and J. H. Petersen. 1990. Simulation estimates of salmonid predation loss to northern squawfish in a Columbia River reservoir. Appendix D-1, in A. A. Nigro (ed.), Developing a predation index and evaluating ways to reduce salmonid losses to predation in the Columbia River Basin, Final Report. Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon.

Burley, C. C., and S. Vigg. 1989. A method for direct measurement of the maximum volume of fish stomachs or digestive tracts. Journal of Fish Biology 34: 707-714.

Cech, J. Jr., D. T. Castleberry, T. E. Hopkins, and J. H. Petersen. 1994. Northern squawfish, Ptychochelius oregonensis, O consumption rate: effect of temperature and body size. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 51: 8-12.

Cech, J. J. Jr., D. T. Castleberry, and T. E. Hopkins. 1994. Temperature and CO effects on blood O equilibria in northern squawfish, Ptychochelius oregonensis. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 51: 13-19.

Faler, M. P., L. M. Miller, and K. I. Welke. 1988. Effects of variation in flow on distribution of northern squawfish in the Columbia River below McNary Dam. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 8: 30-35.

Gadomski, D. M., and J. A. Hall-Griswold. 1992. Predation by northern squawfish on live and dead juvenile chinook salmon. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 121: 680-685.

Gadomski, D. M., M. G. Mesa, and T. M. Olson. 1994. Effects of experimental descaling on the predator avoidance ability and physiological stress responses of juvenile chinook, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Walbaum). Environmental Biology of Fishes 39: 191-199.

Hansel, H. C., S. D. Duke, P. T. Lofy, and G. A. Gray. 1988. Use of diagnostic bones to identify and estimate original lengths of ingested prey fishes. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 117: 55-62.

Lucchetti, G. L., and G. A. Gray. 1988. Water reuse systems: a review of principal components. The Progressive Fish Culturist 50: 1-6.

Lucchetti, G. L., and G. A. Gray. 1988. A prototype water reuse system. The Progressive Fish Culturist 50: 46-49.

Mesa, M. G., S. D. Duke, and D. L. Ward. 1990. Spatial and temporal variation in proportional stock density and relative weight of smallmouth bass in a reservoir. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 5: 323-339.

Mesa, M. G., D. M. Gadomski, and T. M. Olson. 1992. The vulnerability of juvenile chinook salmon to predation by northern squawfish. Pages 173-179, in Workshop Proceedings- Passage and survival of juvenile chinook salmon migrating from the Snake River Basin. American Fisheries Society, Idaho Chapter, Moscow, Idaho.

Mesa, M. G. and T. M. Olson. 1993. Prolonged swimming performance of northern squawfish: can water velocity be used to reduce predation on juvenile salmonids at Columbia River dams? Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 122: 1104-1110.

Mesa, M. G. 1994. Effects of multiple acute stressors on the predator avoidance ability of juvenile chinook salmon. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 123: 786-793.

Mesa, M. G., T. P. Poe, D. M. Gadomski, and J. H. Petersen. 1994. Are all prey created equal? A review and synthesis of differential predation on prey in substandard condition. Journal of Fish Biology 45: 81-96.

Parsley, M. J., D. E. Palmer, and R. W. Burkhardt. 1989. Variation in capture efficiency of a beach seine for small fishes. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 9: 239- 244.

Petersen, J. H., M. G. Mesa, J. Hall-Griswold, W. C. Schrader, G.W. Short, and T. P. Poe. 1990. Magnitude and dynamics of predation on juvenile salmonids in Columbia and Snake River reservoirs. Annual Report 1989. Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon.

Petersen, J. H. and D. L. DeAngelis. 1992. Functional response and capture timing in an individual-based model: predation by northern squawfish (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) on juvenile salmonids in the Columbia River. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 49: 2551-2565.

Petersen, J. H., D. M. Gadomski, and T. P. Poe. 1994. Estimating prey mortality when predators are selective: Feeding by northern squawfish on live and dead juvenile salmonids in the Bonneville Dam tailrace (Columbia River). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 51: 1197-1204.

Petersen, J. H. and D. M. Gadomski. 1994. Light-mediated predation by northern squawfish on juvenile salmon. Journal of Fish Biology 45: 227-242.

Poe, T. P. 1987. Predation as a component of reservoir mortality: information needs. In Proceedings of the Reservoir Mortality Workshop. Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority, Portland, Oregon. 38 pp.

Poe, T. P. and B. E. Rieman (eds.). 1988. Predation by resident fish on juvenile salmonids in John Day Reservoir, Final Report 1983-86. Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon.

Poe, T. P., H. C. Hansel, S. Vigg, D. E. Palmer, and L. A. Prendergast. 1991. Feeding of predaceous fishes on out-migrating juvenile salmonids in John Day Reservoir, Columbia River. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 120: 405-420.

Poe, T. P. (ed.). 1992. Significance of selective predation and development of prey protection measures for juvenile salmonids in Columbia and Snake river reservoirs. Annual Report, 1991, to the Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon.

Poe, T. P., M. G. Mesa, R. S. Shively, and R. D. Peters. 1994. Development of biological criteria for siting and operation of juvenile fish bypass systems: Implications for protecting juvenile salmonids from predation. Pages 169-176, in Fish Passage Responsibility and Technology. Symposium Proceedings. American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, 1993. Portland, Oregon.

Rieman, B. E., R. C. Beamesderfer, S. Vigg, and T. P. Poe. 1991. Estimated loss of juvenile salmonids to predation by northern squawfish, walleyes, and smallmouth bass in John Day Reservoir, Columbia River. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 120: 448-458.

Rogers, J. M., and C. C. Burley. 1991. A sigmoid model to predict gastric evacuation rates of smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu) fed juvenile salmon. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 48: 933-937.

Shively, R. S., T. P. Poe, and R. Peters. 1994. Integration of radio telemetry and hydraulic model data for siting and operating juvenile bypass systems on the Columbia River to reduce predation. Pages 549-561, in Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Habitat Hydraulics, The Norwegian Institute of Technology, Trondheim, Norway, August 18-20, 1994.

Vigg, S. and C. C. Burley. 1991. Temperature dependent maximum daily consumption of juvenile salmonids by northern squawfish (Ptychocheilus oregonensis) from the Columbia River. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 48: 2491-2498.

Vigg, S., T. P. Poe, L. A. Prendergast, and H. C. Hansel. 1991. Rates of consumption of juvenile salmonids and alternative prey fish by northern squawfish, walleyes, smallmouth bass, and channel catfish in John Day Reservoir, Columbia River. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 120: 421 438.

Ward, D. L., and T. P. Poe. 1992. Predation on juvenile salmonids by northern squawfish in Columbia and Snake river reservoirs. Pages 65-69, in Workshop Proceedings - Passage and survival of juvenile chinook salmon migrating from the Snake River Basin. American Fisheries Society, Idaho Chapter, Moscow, Idaho.

Plus other numerous annual, quarterly, and monthly reports published since 1982.

Management implications
Descriptions of the dietary habits and consumption rates of juvenile salmonids by predators in John Day Reservoir provided some of the first documentation of predation as a mortality factor and was used as baseline data for an array of future studies. Information gained from studies on selective predation has helped to assess the relative significance of predation as a mortality factor of juvenile salmonids. In addition, this information should allow managers to assess the effects of various stressors that juvenile salmonids commonly encounter and devise mitigative measures if necessary.

Research designed to protect juvenile salmonids from predation has focused on reducing the number of predator-prey encounters or reducing the frequency of successful prey captures. Such measures include fish bypass design changes, altering dam operations, altering hatchery release practices, and conditioning hatchery-reared fish to predators before release. Northern squawfish relative densities and predation indices have been high in Bonneville Dam forebay. Information collected in this study will be used to direct the development of design criteria for surface bypass collection systems (SBSC’s) at Bonneville Dam, thus reducing predator-prey encounters and problems or delays in SBCS passage.

Specific measureable objectives
1. Assess the vulnerability to predation of diseased (bacterial kidney disease; BKD) vs. “healthy” juvenile salmonids by northern squawfish and smallmouth bass.
2. Assess the vulnerability to predation of naive vs. predator-conditioned juvenile salmonids by northern squawfish and smallmouth bass.
3. Compare rates of return of naive vs. predator-conditioned juvenile salmonids after release from a hatchery.
4. Evaluate response of northern squawfish (SQF) to surface collector prototypes, project operations, and presence of juvenile salmonids in Bonneville Dam forebay
5. Use electrofishing to assess relative densities of northern squawfish, collect diet information, and verify radio telemetry and hydroacoustic results
6. Assess feasibility of increasing proportions of juvenile salmonids guided by SBCS by removing northern squawfish

Testable hypothesis
1. “There is no difference in the vulnerability to predation of : (1) BKD-infected and non-infected juvenile salmonids; and (2) naive and predator-conditioned juvenile salmonids”
2. “There is no difference in the rate of return to the hatchery of naive and predator-conditioned juvenile salmonids”
3. “Northern squawfish do not congregate near or within SBCS structures”
4. “Presence of SQF near SBCS does not prevent or deter smolts from entering SBCS structures”
5. Behavior of SQF at Bonneville Dam does not vary as a function of SBCS operation, project operations, or numbers of smolts present”

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
1. Radio tagged SQF behave similarly to untagged fish in terms of movement, feeding behavior, and swimming performance
2. Vertical distribution biases commonly associated with radio telemetry equipment will not grossly affect interpretation of study results as SQF are commonly found near shore and close to the surface

Methods
1. Selective predation experiments will be conducted in a large, flowing water raceway and two 4-m-diameter circular tanks. Predators will be captured from the Columbia River, transferred to our laboratory, and maintained in either the raceway or circular tanks. Prey will be juvenile spring chinook salmon obtained from local hatcheries (approximate number is about 2000). Our objective is to create two prey types, depending on the experiment: treatment fish (either BKD-infected or predator-conditioned) and control fish (non-infected or naive). Groups of treatment and control fish will be simultaneously introduced to predators and predation allowed to proceed for a specified time. After the predation bout, survivors will be collected and enumerated. We will conduct several replicates of each experiment (i.e., BKD or predator-conditioning) and analyze the data using a heterogeneity chi-square procedure.
2. Experiments assessing the rates of return of predator-conditioned juvenile salmonids will be conducted at Little White Salmon NFH. Briefly, fish reared in three identical raceways will be subjected to predation for a time period (to be determined) prior to their release and will be classified as treatment fish. Control fish will be reared in three different raceways and will consist of normal production fish. All raceways will be filled with similar amounts of substrate and structure to provide fish with escape or hiding areas. About 65,000 fish per raceway (390,000 total) will be used. To facilitate identification of release groups, 25,000 fish per raceway will be marked with coded-wire tags. The number marked will allow a rigorous and powerful statistical evaluation of return rates. Sampling for indicators of stress (plasma cortisol), smoltification (Na+,K+-ATPase), length and weight will occur monthly during the study.
3. We will use radio telemetry and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to track SQF locations in the forebay of Bonneville Dam to evaluated their behavior in response to the presence of surface collector prototypes, emigrating smolts, and varying project operations. About 60 SQF will be captured by electrofishing and held up to 12 h prior to surgical implant of digitally-encoded radio transmitters. Fish will be released and tracked during day and night with Lotek, Inc. SRX 400 receivers using boats, aircraft, and fixed antennae from April through August. Data will be downloaded daily and GPS will be used to determine SQF locations. Electrofishing will be used to collect digestive tract samples and determine relative densities (CPUE) of SQF in Bonneville Dam forebay. We will analyze fish distribution over time using a GIS database. Proportional distribution of SQF will be compared to river discharge, smolt abundance, radio-tagged smolt locations, hydroacoustic results and project operations using multivariate and one-way ANOVA. Electrofishing data will be used to determine estimates of consumption and relative density.

Brief schedule of activities
Research on these objectives will be ongoing in FY 1996. During 1997, we expect to accomplish the following tasks for selective predation research: (1) winter: analyze and write-up data from the previous year; (2) spring: obtain juvenile salmonids and predators for selective predation experiments, start BKD-challenges, start predator-conditioning experiment; (3) summer: start selective predation experiments; (4) fall: continue selective predation experiments, start analysis and write-up.
For the SBCS research, we expect to accomplish the following: (1) Jan-Feb: complete reports and acquire gear; (2) March: Acquire and test gear, recruit and hire seasonal staff; (3) April: train staff, capture and tag SQF, monitor their movements; (4) May-Aug: monitor movements of tagged SQF, conduct electrofishing, data verification and entry; (5) Sept-Dec: Data analysis and report writing.

Biological need
Information on selective predation will help to assess the behavioral effects of two common juvenile salmonid conditions, namely fish infected with BKD and predator-naive fish. Not only will this research allow us to ascribe some ecological significance to these conditions, but the information has the potential to provide the justification for changes in current management practices. In addition, the information gained from this research is useful to our understanding of the significance of predation as a mortality factor on juvenile salmonids. Knowledge of SQF distribution, behavior, and relative densities in Bonneville Dam forebay is critical to the design of effective SBCS structures. Evaluation of factors affecting smolt and SQF behavior in response to SBCS’s has been identified as a critical component of the development process. Agencies are concerned that the presence of SQF near SBCS’s may deter smolts from entering or result in increased predation.

Critical uncertainties
For the SBCS research, extensive movements of radio-tagged SQF among reservoir areas and across dams may limit information obtained from relatively small release groups. Information collected in 1996 on migrational behavior will help determine the number of SQF to be released in 1997.

Summary of expected outcome
The research on differential predation should provide us with: (1) a much needed, new perspective on the ecological effects of BKD and the role it may play in salmonid survival; and (2) the potential for training hatchery-reared fish to avoid predation, thus increasing survival. Because of the unique nature of this research, we fully expect our findings to be published in peer-reviewed journals. Insufficient information on SQF behavior in Bonneville Dam forebay and effects of SBCS on predator-prey interactions exists to predict future study results.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
SBCS research is dependent upon timely issuance of Section VII ESA permits and WDFW collection permits.

Risks
No risks to threatened or endangered fish or wildlife is anticipated for any of this work. Risks associated with any field work will be minimized by implementation of COE and ODFW mandated safety procedures.

Monitoring activity
All project preliminary results will be summarized in quarterly and annual reports, and journal articles, distributed among agencies and tribes for critical review.

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
1982: 202,813
1983: 279,495
1984: 359,947
1985: 450,394
1986: 440,528
1987: 296,255
1988: 377,641
1989: 231,047
1990: 141,646
1991: 253,898
1992: 689,089
1993: 1,193,968
1994: 861,513
1995: 764,724
Obligation: 0
Authorized: 404,000
Planned: 367,946
1997: 470,798
1998: 474,246
1999: 447,919

* 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 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $470,798

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $462,872