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
Hood River Production Program - CTWS - M&E

BPA project number   8805303

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Warm Springs Tribe

Sponsor type   OR-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameMick Jennings
 Mailing addressConfederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation
PO Box C
Warm Springs, OR 97761
 Phone503/296-6866

BPA technical contact   Tom Morse, EWN 503/230-3694

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   7.4L.1

Short description
This project implements actions outlined in the Hood River and Pelton Ladder Master Plans, acclimation, habitat, and coordinates Pelton Ladder production.

Project start year   1989    End year   Ongoing

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   M&E and Planning/Research

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
8805304, 8902900, 9301900, 9500700. Includes ODFW engineering, ODFW M&E, and Round Butte Hatchery production and Pelton Ladder.

Project history
The Northwest Power Planning Council approved the Hood River and Pelton ladder master plans in 1992. The program implemented in the Hood River subbasin was initially called the Hood River Production Program (HRPP) and was designed to improve natural production of summer and winter steelhead and re-establish spring chinook salmon in the subbasin. ODFW began funding the wild winter steelhead component of the program in December, 1991 along with the collection of pre-implementation data on life history and production information. BPA began funding the monitoring and evaluation component of HRPP in August of 1992 and began preparing the programs EIS in 1995; which is planned for completion by the spring of 1996. The HRPP includes the development of hatchery facilities in the subbasin. A road to the proposed Powerdale Dam hatchery collection facility is approximately 90% complete and acclimation sites are in the process of being developed for use in 1996. The Powerdale Dam collection facility is currently under construction and is planned for completion in the fall of 1996. Modifications to the programs rearing facilities in Pelton ladder were completed in the fall of 1995. The HRPP is a coordinated effort between ODFW and CTWS.

This project was initiated as one of the Northeast Oregon Hatchery Projects. It has evolved into a Fishery Management Project that will use a range of management techniques to re-establish a population of spring chinook and improve the numbers of steelhead in the Hood River Basin without adversely impacting the existing aquatic ecosystem.

The Hood River / Pelton Ladder Production project is a joint effort between CTWSIR and ODFW. Accordingly, the actions of this contract with CTWSIR represent one half of the combined actions needed to complete the Hood River / Pelton Ladder Production project.

Biological results achieved
A monitoring and evaluation program was begun in December of 1991 to collect the life history and production information needed to evaluate the HRPP and develop guidelines which will provide the greatest degree of protection to the native stocks of fish. We are currently collecting information on natural production, smolt to adult survival, escapement, harvest, life history, and several morphological and meristic parameters needed to characterize wild and hatchery stocks of summer and winter steelhead and natural and hatchery stocks of spring chinook salmon. Data collected to date has more accurately defined 1) the spatial distribution of spawning and rearing populations of anadromous salmonids; 2) the current status of indigenous populations of summer and winter steelhead; 3) potential impacts the historical subbasin hatchery program may have had on indigenous populations of fish; and 4) the status of presently available anadromous salmonid habitat in the subbasin. Information has been used to refine our approach for releasing hatchery smolts into the subbasin. Current data showing critically low escapements and natural smolt production also indicate the need to implement this program in a timely manner.

Annual reports and technical papers
Olsen, E.A., R.A. French, J.A. Newton. 1994. Hood River and Pelton Ladder evaluation studies. Annual Progress Report of Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (Project Numbers 89 29, 89 29 01, 89 053 03, 89 053 04, and 93 019; Contract Numbers DE BI79-89BP00631, DE BI79-89BP00632, DE BI79-93BP81756, DE BI79-93BP81758, DE BI79-93BP99921) to Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon.

Olsen, E.A., R.A. French, and A.D. Ritchey. 1995. Hood River and Pelton Ladder evaluation studies. Annual Progress Report of Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (Project Numbers 88 29, 89 29 01, 89 053 03, 89 053 04, and 93 019; Contract Numbers DE BI79-89BP00631, DE BI79-89BP00632, DE BI79-93BP81756, DE BI79-93BP81758, DE BI79-93BP99921) to Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. 1990. Hood River subbasin salmon and steelhead production plan. Columbia Basin System Planning Report to Northwest Power Planning Council, Portland, Oregon.

O'Toole, P., and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. 1991. Hood river production master plan. Final Report of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (Project 88-053, Contract DE-BI79-89BP00631) to Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon.

O'Toole, P., and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. 1991. Hood river production master plan (Appendices). Final Report of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (Project 88-053, Contract DE-BI79-89BP00631) to Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon.

Smith, M., and Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. 1991. Pelton Ladder master plan. Final Report of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation (Project 89-029, Contract DE-BI79-89BP01930) to Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon.


Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs. Undated. Hood river/Pelton Ladder master agreement. Project Plan of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon (Project 89-029; Contract DE-BI79-93BP81758) to Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon. (Unpublished draft.)

Bonneville Power Administration. 1996. Draft environmental impact statement. Bonneville Power Administration (Contract DOE/EIS-0241). Portland, Oregon.

Management implications
We are currently in the process of collecting baseline information which will be used to evaluate the HRPP. Preliminary information gathered from the monitoring and evaluation studies has been used to modify and refine guidelines for implementing the HRPP and has shown the necessity for implementing the HRPP in a timely manner. Radio telemetry work has shown that the East and Middle forks of the Hood River are primarily utilized by winter steelhead and that the West Fork of the Hood River is primarily utilized by summer steelhead and spring chinook salmon. This information has been used to identify where hatchery smolts will be released in the subbasin. The low post-release survival rate observed for hatchery summer and winter steelhead smolt releases has shown the need to develop acclimation facilities for improving survival subsequent to release. Critically low and declining escapements of summer and winter steelhead, and the low estimates of wild steelhead smolt production, indicate the need to quickly implement the HRPP. ODFW's implementation of the native winter steelhead hatchery brood stock collection program, at a reduced level, has provided the basis for developing hatchery guidelines that will be used for fully implementing the native winter steelhead program under the HRPP. Habitat data is currently being evaluated to identify opportunities for increasing natural production in selected areas of the drainage. Data collected on stream flows in the East Fork of the Hood River indicate the need to take a more proactive approach towards enforcing existing water rights with the goal of providing a greater degree of protection for indigenous populations of fish.

Rearing juvenile spring chinook in the Pelton Ladder has proven to be a feasible and successful means of increasing adult returns. Spring chinook smolts rear well in the Ladder, apparently benefitted by the semi-natural rearing conditions. Specifically, this project has created three additional rearing cells in the Pelton Ladder. The modifications will allow the HRPP the capability to rear 187,000 Deschutes spring chinook smolts for release into the Hood River Subbasin

Specific measureable objectives
The monitoring and evaluation studies are designed to provide the information needed to effectively implement the HRPP. Four broad categories of information will be collected on the Hood River to evaluate whether or not the HRPP is achieving its stated goals and objectives. Our management plan proposes collecting pre- and post- treatment data on smolt to adult survival, natural production (smolts), spawner escapements, various morphometric and meristic characteristics, juvenile rearing distribution, and temporal and spatial distribution of adult holding and spawning. Post-release survival rates will be used to evaluate the acclimation facilities and develop methodologies for optimizing survival at each facility. Estimates of natural smolt production will be monitored to evaluate whether or not we are increasing natural production. Estimates of spawner escapement will be used to determine whether or not we can achieve juvenile rearing capacity. A comparison of life history information and morphological and meristic characteristics of wild and hatchery stocks will be used to determine if 1) the genetic makeup of hatchery broodstock significantly deviates from the indigenous population and 2) the genetic makeup of indigenous populations has been impacted as a result of the HRPP. Information on the distribution of rearing juveniles and the temporal and spatial distribution of adult holding and spawning will be used to minimize the interaction between wild and hatchery fish. For the Pelton Ladder portion of the HRPP a measurement of smolt survival will be used to compare pre-modification vs. post-modification adult production. Evaluation of these measurements will provide recommendations for continuation of the expanded production program, potential for further expanding production in Pelton Ladder, or reversion to the original rearing plan. Also, evaluation studies determining effective production goals for spring chinook smolts reared in RBH, the existing (old) section of Pelton Ladder, and the proposed (new) section of Pelton Ladder have been implemented.

Testable hypothesis
1. Null Hypothesis: Run size and spawner escapement goals in the Hood River Master Plan have not been achieved.
Alternative: Run size and spawner escapement goals in the Hood River Master Plan have been achieved.


2. Null Hypothesis: Post-project implementation smolt production is not significantly greater than pre-project implementation.
Alternative: Post-project implementation smolt production is significantly greater than pre-project implementation.

3. Null Hypothesis: Post-release survival of acclimated smolts is not significantly greater than pre-project releases of hatchery smolts directly released into the subbasin.
Alternative: Post-release survival of acclimated smolts is significantly greater than pre-project releases of hatchery smolts directly released into the subbasin.

4. Null Hypothesis: Implementation of the HRPP has significantly altered the genetic makeup of indigenous populations of fish.
Alternative: Implementation of the HRPP has not significantly altered the genetic makeup of indigenous populations of fish.

5. Null Hypothesis: The genetic makeup of the hatchery broodstock significantly deviates from the corresponding native population from which it was derived.
Alternative: The genetic makeup of the hatchery broodstock does not significantly deviate from the corresponding native population from which it was derived.

6. Null Hypothesis: Modifying Pelton Ladder reduces effectiveness of the existing production program.
Alternative: Modifying Pelton Ladder does not reduce effectiveness of the existing production program.

7. Null Hypothesis: Effective production potential does not exist in the currently unused section of Pelton Ladder.
Alternative: Effective production potential exists in the currently unused section of Pelton Ladder.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
The proposed approach for implementing the HRPP is dependent on our ability to achieve objectives which were developed based on various assumptions about selected population parameters and environmental and physical constraints unique to the subbasin. Limited empirical information on various factors that could effect program success make it difficult to accurately assess our ability to achieve program goals in the time frame defined in the HRPP's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The following are the programs primary critical constraints:
1) Summer and winter steelhead escapements are currently at critically low levels, and are declining, which would delay our ability to fully implement the HRPP.
2) Inclimate weather during the spring may restrict access to acclimation sites; restricting our ability to acclimate and volitionally release hatchery production groups.
3) Extremely high stream flows have been recorded during the fall in the Hood River subbasin. High stream flows are known to impact the egg to fry survival rate for spring chinook salmon. Depending upon the annual occurrence, and severity of, fall freshets it may be difficult to fully achieve program goals for the spring chinook salmon component of the HRPP.
4) Project fish biologists have assessed the Deschutes stock spring chinook salmon as being best suited for the Hood River. If the Deschutes stock is not best suited for the Hood River, this will reduce sustained natural production of spring chinook salmon in the Hood River.
5) The project assumes newly constructed cells at Pelton Ladder will not reduce effectiveness of the existing production program (old cells). Inadvertent disruption of the existing production in the Deschutes River could have far-reaching effects in the Deschutes River Subbasin, Columbia Basin, and compromise the established program at the project.
6) Lack of rearing facilities at Round Butte Hatchery creates a need to move some cells of fish in September. There may be disease concerns associated with the early move.

Methods
The HRPP will primarily be evaluated using the following techniques:
1) Scoop traps will be operated at sites located in each major fork of the Hood River and in the mainstem Hood River to estimate numbers of wild anadromous salmonid smolt and fingerlings production leaving the Hood River subbasin and to estimate the numbers of hatchery smolts leaving the subbasin (ie. in-basin post-release survival). Numbers ofsmolts and fingerlings passing each scoop trap will be estimated using the Peterson mark and recapture methodology. Outmigration comparisons between hatchery smolts and natural production of spring chinook salmon and winter steelhead will be evaluated.
2) Significance of residualism will be evaluated using electroshocking and snorkel surveys.
3) An adult collection facility (Pelton adult trap) will be operated on the Deschutes River. Numbers from the Pelton adult trap, along with expanded Indian and sport catch figures from the Deschutes River creels, will be used to monitor adult escapement. Comparisons among Pelton Ladder cells and Round Butte Hatchery ponds are based on adult survival.
4) The project will be acclimating all hatchery spring chinook salmon on the West Fork and hatchery winter steelhead on the East Fork using portable raceways. The portable raceways will be gravity fed and fish will be volitionally released. Evaluation of these fish will occur as described in methods (1) and (2).

Brief schedule of activities
Tasks planned for 1997 on the Hood River include monitoring 1) juvenile rearing densities and residualism at selected index sites, 2) water quality (temperature, flow, turbidity), and 3) comparisons between hatchery and natural production outmigration of spring chinook salmon and winter steelhead. Acclimation of hatchery winter steelhead and spring chinook salmon will continue. The project will identify and implement habitat improvement projects that will enhance project benefits. Project staff will continue to reevaluate and refine smolt carrying capacity. Tasks for Pelton Ladder in 1997 includes evaluating jack and adult escapement to the Deschutes River for evaluation of Pelton Ladder cells and Round Butte Hatchery ponds.

Biological need
The primary goal of the HRPP is to restore wild runs of summer and winter steelhead and to re-introduce a naturally reproducing spring chinook salmon population in the Hood River subbasin. The historical hatchery supplementation program utilized Skamania stock summer steelhead, Big Creek stock winter steelhead, and Carson stock spring chinook salmon. The HRPP would utilize Hood River wild stocks of summer and winter steelhead to develop hatchery broodstock with the primary goal of developing a hatchery fish that is more genetically similar to the indigenous populations. Deschutes stock spring chinook salmon would be used as hatchery broodstock because it is felt that this stock is more suitable for the Hood River subbasin. We are also proposing to collect hatchery broodstock from throughout the run, not grade out juvenile fish in the hatchery production groups, and rear spring chinook salmon in Pelton Ladder. This combination of actions is designed to produce a high quality hatchery smolt that is genetically similar to the wild population. Because of current funding constraints, it is doubtful that this more biologically sound approach could be implemented by ODFW without funding from BPA.

Critical uncertainties
Critical uncertainties associated with the HRPP primarily center around our ability to implement a program that will have minimal impact on the wild population. Areas of primary concern include the following:

1) Hatchery broodstock is collected from throughout the entire run and juvenile hatchery production is not graded out prior to release. This combination of actions increases the potential that juveniles will not be at a typical smolt size at time of release and that the percentage of hatchery juveniles that residualize will be higher as a consequence. The extent to which residualism occurs will increase the potential for interaction between wild and hatchery juveniles and will reduce the post-release survival rate,

2) Modifications are being made to the Powerdale Dam fish ladder as part of the overall development of the hatchery collection facilities. It is assumed that the modified ladder will not delay or impede passage of jack and adult salmonids above the dam. Further changes to the ladder may be necessary if passage is a problem, and
3) The historical hatchery summer and winter steelhead program was implemented using out-of-basis stocks. The early run Big Creek stock of winter steelhead used as hatchery broodstock is not thought to have had a genetic impact on the native population because the Big Creek stock appears to spawn much earlier than the native population. The similarity in run timing between the wild Hood River stock of summer steelhead and the early run timing of the Skamania stock of hatchery summer steelhead used in the historical hatchery program indicates that some introgression of Skamania stock genes may have occurred in the wild population. This is based on the belief that wild Hood River stock of summer steelhead, historically, had a much later run timing. The degree to which there was interaction between the wild and Skamania stocks of summer steelhead will influence the time frame required to develop a hatchery stock similar to the native Hood River stock.

Summary of expected outcome
The HRPP's primarily goals and objectives include the following:
1) Improve wild summer and winter steelhead escapements and re-introduce spring chinook salmon,
2) ensure that hatchery broodstock is genetically similar to the wild runs by develop the broodstock from wild Hood River stock fish escaping to Powerdale Dam,
3) complete construction of hatchery collection facilities at Powerdale Dam and the isolation, incubation, and rearing facilities at Oak Springs Hatchery; adult holding and spawning facilities at Parkdale; and rearing facilities at Pelton ladder,
4) develop temporary acclimation facilities in each major fork of the Hood River subbasin,
5) develop biologically based guidelines for implementing the HRPP based on data collected from the monitoring and evaluation studies,
6) identify and implement habitat improvement projects that will enhance project benefits, and
7) increase harvest opportunities in both tribal and non-tribal fisheries.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
The HRPP is composed of four separate contracts that could impact the program if one or more contracts are not fully funded according to schedule. The four contracts primarily provide funding for three broad categories of activities. These include engineering, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation studies. Funding for the engineering component of the HRPP provides for the design and construction of facilities at Powerdale Dam, Parkdale, and Oak Springs Hatchery that are needed to implement the HRPP. Funding for implementation provides for broodstock collection, holding, spawning, rearing, and marking and tagging. Funding for monitoring and evaluation studies provides for the evaluation of the HRPP and any interaction the hatchery program may be having on wild populations of fish. Inadequate, or loss of, funding for any component will jeopardize our ability to achieve project goals according to the time frame established in the EIS. This is particularly crucial for construction work proposed for FY 97. The proposed adult holding and acclimation facilities at Parkdale are required to begin implementing the summer steelhead and spring chinook programs. Completion of hatchery facilities at Oak Springs Hatchery also needs to coincide with completion of the Parkdale facilities before we can begin implementing the summer steelhead program. The winter steelhead program can be implemented without the Parkdale facilities but at a much lower level than proposed for full implementation of the HRPP. The HRPP also relies heavily on the close cooperation of the USFS, PacifiCorp, CAWS, ODFW, Hood River Watershed Council, Farmers Irrigation District, East Fork Irrigation District, Middle Fork Irrigation District, and Longview Fibre. These various entities have supported project goals by way of 1) facilitating or allowing access to public and private lands, 2) providing consent to develop facilities on private lands, and 3) assisting in the implementation of project related tasks. Continued cooperation among these entities is crucial to achieving project goals.

Risks
There should be few risks associated with implementing the HRPP given the proposed scenario for implementing the program. Social and political risks should be minimal based on the strong support we have received to date from PacifiCorp, the various irrigation cooperatives, and local area sport fisherman. The utilities, irrigation cooperatives, and Longview Fibre have also provided access to their property either for purposes of monitoring and evaluation or the development of facilities needed to implement the HRPP. Cooperation in this area has been crucial to implementing the HRPP because of the limited access available in the Hood River subbasin. There may be some biological risks associated with the program but hatchery guidelines are being developed to minimize these risks. These guidelines will be based on information collected from an ongoing monitoring and evaluation program. Our primary goal is to minimize the impact on wild populations of summer and winter steelhead. The should be no biological risks associated with spring chinook salmon program because the native population has been extirpated. Guidelines established for implementing the HRPP are designed to minimize biological risks associated with the summer and winter steelhead programs by 1) developing the hatchery broodstock from adults collected from throughout the wild run to the Hood River subbasin, 2) not grading out smaller juveniles in the production groups, 3) limiting production releases of each race to those forks where the population is principally located, and 4) releasing production groups at the lower end of the distribution of the population. The combined effect of these, and other, actions should minimize the impact the supplementation program has on the wild populations of steelhead.

Monitoring activity
We propose evaluating the Hood River primarily by implementing tasks designed to collect information on smolt production, subbasin and spawner escapements, and survival. Scoop traps will be operated at various locations in the subbasin to monitor subbasin wild smolt production and for estimating in-basin post-release survival of hatchery production releases. Wild smolt production will be monitored to evaluate if the HRPP is achieving it's goal of increasing natural production. In-basin post-release survival of hatchery smolts will be monitored to evaluate the acclimation facilities. Spawner escapements monitored based on escapement to the adult collection facility at Powerdale Dam. Subbasin escapement will be monitored based on estimates of harvest below Powerdale Dam plus escapement to Powerdale Dam. A creel survey will be conducted below Powerdale Dam to estimate harvest. Wild and hatchery steelhead smolts will be coded wire tagged to estimate smolt to adult survival rates and to evaluate straying rates. Evaluations on the Pelton Ladder cells and Round Butte Hatchery ponds will be assessed using adult survival rates to the Deschutes River. Subbasin escapement will be based on estimates of harvest by Indian and sport fisherman, through creel, and numbers collected at the Pelton trap. Also, we will review measures of relative “smolt quality” between fish reared in the Pelton Ladder (old and new sections) and fish reared at Round Butte Hatchery, as inferences that ladder-reared smolts may have superior “fitness” for survival.

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
1989: 50,217
1990: 86,883
1991: 11,648
1992: 36,746
1993: 66,689
1994: 601,378
1995: 40,495
1996: 480,208
Obligation: 480,208
Authorized: 374,000
Planned: 480,208
1997: 515,000
1998: 535,000
1999: 555,000
2000: 580,000
2001: 605,000

* 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   $515,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $497,000