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
Eval Umatilla Basin Prj - 3-Mile/Weid Canal Scr

BPA project number   8902401

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   OR-State/Local Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameRichard Carmichael
 Mailing address211 Inlow Hall
Eastern Oregon State College
1410 L Avenue
LaGrande, OR 97850

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

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   3.1D.1, 7.10A.3, 7.4I.1

Short description
Determine migration characteristics, migrant abundance, survival, and health of outmigrating natural and hatchery juvenile salmonids in the Umatilla River; investigate relationships between environmental parameters and migration; determine effective routes of passage at Three Mile Falls Dam.

Project start year   1994    End year   1999

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
1. Umatilla Hatchery Monitoring and Evaluation (9000500): The Umatilla Hatchery is the source of the hatchery chinook salmon and summer steelhead in the Umatilla River collected during outmigration monitoring. Monitoring provides information on outmigration characteristics and survival of different hatchery rearing and release strategies.

2. Natural Production Monitoring and Evaluation (9000501): Lower river monitoring provides additional information on life history characteristics of natural salmonids.

3. Umatilla River Basin Trap and Haul Program (88022): Sampling at Westland Canal will improve species information needed during trap and haul operations. Results from transport tests will be used by the Trap and Haul program to improve transporting of fish. Results of fish behavior documentation with video imaging at Three Mile Falls Dam will affect operations of the trapping facility.

4. Bonifer-Minthorn Springs Acclimation Facilities Program (83435): Desires outmigration information on coho salmon and of sampling at Westland Canal during trap and haul operations.

Project history
This project is a follow-up to the project to evaluate the loss of juvenile salmon due to passage through screening and bypass facilities at Umatilla River diversion canals. Research is being conducted in conjunction with Umatilla River natural production and Umatilla Hatchery evaluation studies. Project is currently in its second year of implementation.

Biological results achieved
Bypass efficiencies at differing canal operations; mean migration rates, migration timing, duration, and magnitude (time of day and day) for naturally and hatchery produced species of juvenile salmonids; estimates of migrant abundance of each species passing Three Mile Falls Dam; determination of fish condition, smoltification indices, and length frequency distributions through time; determination of lower river rearing and holding for natural salmonids; correlation between fish length and smoltification indices and outmigration parameters; relationship between migration characteristics and environmental variables (river flow and temperature); survival indices for hatchery released fish; documentation of piscivorous and avian predators; information on composition of fish species at Westland Canal during trapping, and on salmonid injury during transport.

Annual reports and technical papers
First annual progress report for this project currently in preparation. Previous annual reports from Passage Evaluation Study (Evaluation of Juvenile Fish Bypass and Adult Fish Passage Facilities at Three Mile Falls Dam, Umatilla River 1990; Evaluation of Juvenile Fish Bypass and Adult Fish Passage Facilities at Water Diversions on the Umatilla River 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995).

Management implications
Findings on migration rates, bypass efficiency, fish condition, and the presence of wild salmonids in the lower river can be applied toward management of river, canal, and passage facility operations and water release and flow enhancement strategies to improve outmigration, passage, survival, and rearing conditions for juvenile salmonids. Survival results may necessitate a change in approach to fisheries restoration efforts to increase effectiveness. Continuance or alteration of hatchery rearing and release strategies contingent on outmigration and survival results for specific strategies. Information on natural production in the lower river will assist managers in determining natural production potential or limitations. Successful natural production efforts are contingent on understanding life history characteristics of natural and hatchery summer steelhead. Information on predators could facilitate predator control measures to increase salmonid survival. Results of transport injury tests will help improve transport operations and conditions.

Specific measureable objectives
Objective 1 Determine collection efficiencies of the bypass facility at West Extension Canal under differing operations and river flows; determine impact of Phase I pumping and canal shutdown on bypass effectiveness.

Objective 2 Determine migration performance and pattern and migrant abundance of hatchery-released spring and fall chinook salmon, coho salmon, and summer steelhead in the lower Umatilla River.

Objective 3 Determine migration performance and pattern, life history characteristics, and migrant abundance of naturally produced juvenile salmonids and summer steelhead within the lower Umatilla River.

Objective 4 Determine species composition, condition, and total weight of collected fish at Westland Canal during the trap and haul mode.

Objective 5 Investigate relationships between river flow/temperature and migration performance and pattern.

Objective 6 Conduct activities to estimate survival of hatchery-released spring and fall chinook salmon, coho salmon, and summer steelhead in the lower Umatilla River.

Objective 7 Conduct activities to estimate survival of naturally produced juvenile salmonids in the lower Umatilla River.

Objective 8 Evaluate cumulative injury to hatchery juvenile salmonids emigrating through the lower Umatilla River; collect natural fish mortalities for pathological examination.

Objective 9 Determine biological and environmental variables that may affect in-river survival for juvenile salmonids.

Objective 10 Evaluate condition and assess post-transport mortality of fall chinook subyearlings subjected to crowding, loading, and transport from Westland Canal to the mouth of the Umatilla River.

Objective 11 Document juvenile fish behavior at the fish exit gate at Three Mile Falls Dam using an underwater video camera.

Objective 12 Participate in planning and coordination activities associated with anadromous fish passage in the Umatilla basin.

Objective 13 Evaluate the feasibility of using Photonic and/or PIT tags to monitor anadromous salmonids in the Umatilla basin.

Objective 14 Complete an annual report of progress that summarizes results of work conducted from 1 October 1996 to 30 September 1997.

Testable hypothesis
1. Null: There is no significant correlation between river flow or canal operations and canal bypass efficiency.
Alternative: There is a significant correlation between river flow or canal operations and canal bypass efficiency.

2. Null: There is no significant correlation between river flow/temperature and migration rate or duration.
Alternative: There is a significant correlation between river flow/temperature and migration rate or duration.

3. Null: There is no significant difference in injury levels for fish between fish species, between upper and lower river sites, or with time.
Alternative: There is a significant difference in fish injury between fish species, between sites, and with time.
4. Null: There is no significant difference in injury or mortality between transported and non-transported fall chinook subyearlings.
Alternative: There is a significant difference in injury mortality between transported and non-transported fall chinook subyearlings.

5. Null: There is no significant correlation between level of smoltification and fish length.
Alternative: There is a significant correlation between level of smoltification and fish length.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
1. Monitoring at West Extension Canal - outmigration monitoring at this site may be jeopardized if manager and co-manager agreement is not reached. If monitoring is restricted to an in-river trap, outmigration data may be limited.

2. Abundance and Survival Estimates - the inability to obtain good trap efficiency estimates affects accurate abundance and survival estimation.

I. Techniques and Equipment
1. Daily monitoring of salmonid outmigration in-river with rotary screw trap during late summer, fall, and winter; hourly monitoring of outmigration at canal bypass facility during spring and early summer using incline plane trap. Fish will be identified to species and origin, counted, measured, and examined for marks or clips, injury and condition, and smoltification level; field entry of data into portable computer.
2. Estimation of species-specific collection efficiencies using an acrylic paint mark applied with Panjet or syringe and needle.
3. Systematic subsampling of fish at Westland Canal holding pond using dip nets; weighing of netloads of fish with bulk scale.
4. Observing juvenile fish passage at ThreeMile Dam fish ladder using an underwater video camera and video recorder system.
5. Obtaining flow information from the Bureau of Reclamation's HYDROMET system; obtaining water temperature information from HYDROMET and max-min thermometer.
6. Obtaining velocity measurements at trap and passage facilities with a Marsh McBirney Model 2000 electromagnetic velocity meter.
7. Holding of fish using net pens, 30-gallon containers, and circular tanks; transport of fish to trap efficiency release sites with 250-gal slip tank or plastic totes.
8. Measurement of water turbidity with secchi disk.
9. Detection of photonically or PIT-tagged fish using photonic or PIT-tag detectors at the in-river trap or canal facility.
10. Analyze data; write and submit annual progress report.

II. Statistical Analysis
Chi-square goodness of fit tests at the 95% confidence level are used for injury data and transport data analysis. Pearson's Correlation Coefficient is used to determine the relationship between environmental parameters and outmigration characteristics, between river flow/canal flow and bypass efficiencies, and between smoltification levels and fish length. Migrant abundance is determined by applying the inverse of trap efficiency estimates to total capture. Descriptive statistics are used to describe outmigration characteristics, fish injury, fish length, and environmental parameters. All statistical analyses are performed using Statistical Analysis Systems (SAS) and are reviewed by an ODFW statistician.
III. Type and Number of Fish
Hatchery Age Total Number
Fall chinook salmon 0, 1 3,000,000
Spring chinook salmon 1 200,000
Summer Steelhead 1 150,000
Coho salmon 1 1,500,000

Wild Age Total Number
Fall chinook salmon 0 Unknown
Spring chinook salmon 1 Unknown
Summer Steelhead 0, 1 Unknown
Coho salmon 0 Unknown

Brief schedule of activities
1. Monitor outmigration of juvenile salmonids year-round; examine for species, origin, injury, condition, smolt level, marks, and clips.
2. Mark, release, and recapture fish for trap efficiency data, daily or whenever possible.
3. Collect information on salmonid predators and resident fish during outmigration monitoring.
4. Obtain temperature and flow data year-round; obtain canal flow data during the irrigation season.
5. Measure river velocities at the trap during changes in river flow.
6. Conduct transport injury and mortality tests in June and July.
7. Subsample outmigrating fish at Westland Canal in June and July.
8. Video document juvenile fish passage at Three Mile Falls Dam from March to June.
9. Measure water turbidity daily.
10. Detect photonic or PIT-tagged fish during outmigration monitoring; transfer tag information to PITAGIS database.

Biological need
Ongoing monitoring and evaluation projects in the Umatilla basin do not include an evaluation of the overall migration success and survival of hatchery-released and naturally-produced salmonids to the lower river. Long-term monitoring is necessary to obtain reliable information on outmigration characteristics, survival, and passage problems for both hatchery and natural salmonids. This information will be used to make management decisions to enhance in-river survival and facility passage at irrigation diversions.

Although smolt-to-adult survival is being assessed through the Umatilla Hatchery Monitoring and Evaluation project, results are broad in scope and long-term in being fully analyzed. Fine-tuning of hatchery practices can be accomplished with basin-specific information on the outmigration of specific rearing and release strategies. Monitoring of natural juvenile salmonids in the lower river is necessary to address critical uncertainties related to natural production monitoring and evaluation.

Information on migration rates and timing, overall survival in relation to river conditions and canal operations, and canal bypass collection efficiencies for juvenile salmonids is necessary for decisions on canal operations, water release strategies, and flow enhancement strategies. Information on fish needs for passage, rearing, and survival is vital to further "tweak" the Umatilla Basin Project.

Information on predators is important to understand the potential for loss of juvenile salmonids at passage facilities. Predator deterrence strategies could be incorporated to improve fish survival. Information on health and survival of transported fish is necessary to improve transport practices.

Critical uncertainties
1. Are hatchery or natural juvenile salmonids surviving and successfully migrating out of the Umatilla River Basin? Are in-river survival problems the cause of poor adult returns?
2. To what extent does river flow affect outmigration?
3. Do fish incur greater injury and poor health conditions with a protracted outmigration?
4. Is juvenile fish passage through the east-bank ladder at Three Mile Falls Dam affecting survival?
5. Does lower river rearing of juvenile salmonids occur? What are life history characteristics of natural salmonids in the lower river?
6. What is the cumulative effect of collection, crowding, loading, and transport on the health and survival of juvenile salmonids?
7. To what extent do canal operations and river flow affect bypass effectiveness?

Summary of expected outcome
Results of monitoring will be used to better understand the affects of specific hatchery rearing and release strategies, to guide decisions on passage facility and canal operations, flow enhancement strategies, abd transport practices, and to augment knowledge of natural production life history characteristics. Results will inform managers of outmigration success within the Umatilla basin of natural and hatchery salmonids.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Consent of co-managers to continue use of the bypass facility at West Extension Canal for outmigration sampling.

Affects of handling during sampling may impact juvenile salmonid survival.

Monitoring activity
Monitoring activities are previously described in Schedule of Activities section.

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: 233,663
1990: 181,576
1992: 347,770
1993: 348,666
1994: 401,894
1995: 211,573
1996: 138,304
Obligation: 138,304
Authorized: 240,000
Planned: 240,000
1997: 300,302
1998: 318,320
1999: 337,419

* 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   $300,302

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $292,300