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
Umatilla Habitat Improvement / ODFW

BPA project number   8710002

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
ODFW

Sponsor type   OR-State/Local Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameWilliam Noll
 Mailing addressOregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
107 20th Street
La Grnade, OR 97850
 Phone541/963-2138

BPA technical contact   Jerry Bauer, EWN 503/230-7579

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   3.1D.1, 7.4I.1

Short description
This project improves habitat access, and the quantity and quality of spawning and rearing habitat available to steelhead.

Project start year   1987    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
John Day Habitat Enhancement project (Project No. 84-21)
Grande Ronde Habitat Enhancement project (Project No. 84-25).

These projects focus on watershed, riparian and instream habitat diversity enhancement and fish passage improvement as a means of improving the quantity and quality of water, and salmonid spawning and/or rearing habitats.

Project history
This project is comprised of numerous smaller projects throughout the Umatilla River subbasin. These projects will restore degraded instream and riparian habitats and improve fish passage.

Prior to FY 1993 the program was 100% funded by BPA. In FY 1993 ODFW began supplementing BPA funds with outside funds (i.e. GWEB, R&E, TU, UPRR etc.) in order to continue some level of new project implement-ation. The uncertainty of outside funding has made it extremely difficult to plan and implement projects in an efficient manner.

Biological results achieved
Habitat achievements to date using BPA funds include: 14.1 miles of riparian fencing, 12.5 miles of stream with varying quantities of instream structures, 35 livestock water gaps, one off-site water development and 301 acres of fenced riparian areas that are inspected and treated for noxious weeds as needed.

In 1995 outside funding (R&E, GWEB, TU, UPRR etc.) and volunteer assistance enabled us to put on an educational riparian habitat bioengineering workshop for about 250 people and implement a bioengineering demonstration project on private lands.

Annual reports and technical papers
Monthly activity reports and annual progress reports.

Management implications
The enhanced instream and riparian habitat will result in improved water quality and quantity, and therefore an increase in the carrying capacity for salmonids within the system. Modification/removal of fish passage barriers will allow adult and juvenile salmonids better access to preferred habitat at critical times of the year.

Specific measureable objectives
The program OBJECTIVE is to increase salmonid production by reducing sediment loading and water temperatures, and improving riparian habitat, instream habitat diversity, and salmonid access to preferred habitats.

To achieve this objective we will continue fencing riparian areas, planting grasses, forbs, shrubs and trees, adding off-site watering developments, improving instream habitat diversity and modifying/ removing fish passage barriers. Implementation and maintenance activities will concentrate on using bioengineering techniques to mitigate instream and riparian habitat degradation.

In FY 1996 we will work with cooperating landowners to protect as many miles of riparian habitat as possible. We will also perform routine maintenance on existing projects (applying bioengineering techniques to four selected sites), provide additional maintnenace following any catastrophic natural events (e.g. floods, wind storms, ice flows etc.), and monitor effectiveness of completed projects.

Testable hypothesis
Restoring and/or enhancing riparian habitat and instream habitat diversity will result in improved quantity and quality of salmonid spawning and rearing habitat, and the fish's access to it.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Encouraging recovery of riparian vegetation, improving streambank stability and instream habitat diversity will result in overall increase in water quality and quantity within the Umatilla subbasin. These habitat improvements will result in an increase in salmonid carrying capacity within the system. Removal or modification of fish passage barriers will also improve adult and juvenile salmonid access to preferred habitats.

Methods
Control livestock utilization of riparian area by: a) fencing riparian areas to exclude grazing and b) developing off-site water sources to attract livestock away from riparian areas.

Revegetate riparian area by: a) planting shrubs and trees, b) seeding grasses into riparian areas and c) controlling noxious weeds within riparian areas.

Improve streambank stability and instream habitat diversity by: a) using bioengineering techniques to stabilize streambanks and provide grade control and b) installing large wood and/or boulders inchannel to increase habitat diversity.

Improve fish access to preferred habitat by modifying or removing fish passage barriers.

Brief schedule of activities
For FY 1997 we will work cooperatively with landowners to implement new habitat enhancement projects and continue all maintenance and monitoring activities.

For FY 1998 through FY 2001 we will work cooperatively with landowners to implement new habitat enhancement projects and continue to perform all scheduled maintenance and monitoring activities.

Biological need
Low summer stream flows and the associated high water temperatures adversely affect salmonids throughout much of the Umatilla subbasin. Degradation of riparian areas and their effective hydrologic function has contributed significantly to these flow/temperature problems. In 1984, 74 miles of degraded stream habitat on private lands within the Umatilla subbasin were identified as in need of habitat restoration . After six years of intensive efforts ODFW has effectively treated 14 miles of stream within the Umatilla subbasin.

Critical uncertainties
We have no way of knowing whether or not out of basin variables which affect salmonid production within the Umatilla subbasin will be adequately addressed so as to maximize our habitat enhancement efforts. FOR EXAMPLE: we have no idea whether mainstem passage problems, consumptive fisheries or any number of other variables will be addressed thereby assuring maximum returns of adult salmonids to the Umatilla subbasin so that they and their progeny can take full advantage of the enhanced habitat.

Summary of expected outcome
Improvement of the quantity and quality of spawning and rearing habitat for summer steelhead will result from implementation and maintenance of planned habitat enhancement activities.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
a) Compliance with regulations from state and federal agencies (e.g. COE, DEQ, DSL, WRD, etc.) and their respective permitting/waiver processes.

b) Timliness of procurring funds from outside sources.

Risks
a) Potential for reduced benefits from completed projects due to catastrophic natural events (e.g. floods, wind storms etc.).

b) Change of landownership and the level of committment to the project by the new landowner.

Monitoring activity
Thermographs: Six thermographs have been installed on selected project sites. These thermographs record temperatures on an hourly basis, 24 hours/day, all year long. These data are summarized annually and included in the annual progress report submitted to BPA.

Habitat Monitoring Transects: Thirty-two habitat monitoring transects have been established within the project area. These transects are designed to measure long term changes in the riparian vegetation and stream channel morphology. Following the estab-lishment of these transects and the initial data collection, measurements are retaken at 3 to 5 year intervals. Data collected from each transect includes numerable physical measurements of riparian and stream channel characteristics (e.g. channel substrate, channel width, bank height, flow features, ground cover type, stream shading etc.).

Photopoints: Sixty-one photopoints have been established on project sites. The purpose of these photopoints is to photographically document changes in riparian vegetation and stream channel morphology. Several photopoints are established on each project site prior to project implementation. Pictures are then retaken from most of these sites on an annual basis. Photographs are catalogued, used for presentations, as educa-tional tools, provided to the respective landowners and included in annual reports to BPA.

Biological Surveys: Fisheries surveys were conducted in 1992 and 1993 in selected project areas. These surveys were undertaken to establish baseline data on fish presence/absence, species composition, salmonid age class structure, distribution, season of use, and habitat preference. It is intended to repeat these surveys in FY98 to collect comparative data if funding is available.

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
1987: 81,077
1988: 192,840
1989: 225,514
1990: 82,367
1991: 239,168
1992: 224,757
1993: 124,168
1994: 151,274
1995: 150,000
Obligation: 166,648
Authorized: 190,000
Planned: 166,652
1997: 235,000
1998: 250,000
1999: 265,000
2000: 280,000
2001: 295,000

* 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 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $235,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $212,000