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
Salmon Supplementation Studies in Idaho Rivers - Nez Perce Tribe

BPA project number   8909802

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Nez Perce Tribe

Sponsor type   ID-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameJay Hesse
 Mailing addressNez Perce Tribe
P.O. Box 365
Lapwai, ID 83540

BPA technical contact   Tom Vogel, EWN 503/230-5201

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   7.3B.2

Short description
Determination of the best outplanting strategy for spring and summer chinook salmon to restore or augment natural production, and to evaluate the effects of supplementation on the survival and fitness of existing wild/natural populations in the Salmon and Clearwater River basins.

Project start year   1992    End year   2007

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1992

Project development phase   Maintenance

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
89-098-00 Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Cooperative agency on ISS study.
89-098-01 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cooperative agency on ISS study.
89-098-03 Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, Cooperative agency on ISS study.
All ISS cooperators collect data and assist with the fulfillment of the experimental design (Bowles and Leitzinger 1991).
(New Project 1996) Artificial Propagation Enhancement Project - Johnson Creek, will utilize Johnson Creek as a treatment stream for ISS and will monitor adult returns and juvenile outmigration - NPT.
(Pacific Salmon Treaty - New Project) Adult Video Weir Secesh River System, will assess adult returns to the Secesh River system and data will contribute to ISS evaluation of wild returns and hatchery straying - NPT.
14-48-0001-96-504 Lower Snake River Compensation Plan Co-op Agreement, responsible for redd/carcass surveys in portions of Johnson Creek and the South Fork Salmon River -NPT.
Intensive Smolt Monitoring, ISM collects data in the upper Salmon River and Crooked River which is used by ISS - IDFG.
83-350 NPTH M&E, collection and monitoring of adult return, parr density, and outmigration data from Lolo and Newsome Creeks that is used by ISS -NPT.

Project history
The Nez Perce Tribe (NPT) is a cooperator in the implementation of Project 89-098 with Idaho Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe. In May 1992 the NPT was awarded a contract to participate in the Idaho Supplementation Studies (ISS) which is defined by the experimental design "Salmon Supplementation Studies in Idaho Rivers" (Bowles and Leitzinger 1991). The NPT is responsible for data collection on ten study streams incorporated in the ISS study design. Four streams (Johnson Creek, Lake Creek, Secesh River, and Slate Creek) are in the Salmon River drainage and six streams (Eldorado Creek, Lolo Creek, Newsome Creek, Papoose Creek, Squaw Creek, and Yoosa Creek) are in the Clearwater River drainage.

Since the start of the ISS, decreasing returns of adult chinook salmon to historical lows have negatively affected our ability to measure population characteristics with a high degree of statistical power and have prohibited some scheduled treatments due to limited hatchery production. As a result, ISS is being restructured to best utilize the secondary level of evaluation, a "paired case history" approach to evaluate specific supplementation programs. A 5-year report is currently being developed (spring 1997 completion) that will formally review and evaluate the implementation and modification of the ISS design.

Biological results achieved
Since 1992, the chinook salmon populations in ten study streams have been evaluated by the NPT at three life stages (summer parr, outmigrating smolts, and returning adults). Summer parr abundance transects have been snorkeled annually, resulting in density trend data and parr population estimates partitioned by habitat type and strata. Assessment of outmigration for both wild/natural and supplemented fish from various life stages (parr, presmolt, and smolt) have been accomplished for all study streams, when population size permitted, using Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags. PIT tagging and subsequent interrogations at four Snake and Columbia River dams have produced estimates of migration timing and minimum survival for different supplementation strategies and river systems. Outmigration (rotary screw) traps have been operated in Lolo Creek since October, 1992. These traps have determined life history characteristics and estimated numbers of outmigrating chinook salmon for brood years 1990 -1993. Adult returns have been monitored in all study streams with redd count/carcass surveys and/or weirs, producing trend data on standardized transects, age class structure, and origin and sex ratios.

Annual reports and technical papers
Bowles, E. and E. Leitzinger. 1991. Salmon Supplementation Studies in Idaho Rivers. Experimental Design to the U.S. Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Administration. Project No. 89-098, Contact No. DE-BI79-89BP01466.
Arnsberg, B. 1993. Salmon Supplementation in Idaho Rivers, 1992 Annual Report, BPA. Nez Perce Tribe, Department of Fisheries Resources Management.
Hesse, J. and B. Arnsberg. 1994. Salmon Supplementation in Idaho Rivers, 1993 Annual Report. Nez Perce Tribe, Department of Fisheries Resources Management.
Hesse, J., B. Arnsberg, and P. Cleary. 1995. Salmon Supplementation in Idaho Rivers, 1994 Annual Report. Nez Perce Tribe, Department of Fisheries Resources Management.

Management implications
Short Term - Data collected under ISS will help guide the use of captive brood as a management tool. Efforts with this extreme form of supplementation will benefit from ISS data in quantifying current population levels and life history descriptions for many of the chinook salmon producing streams in the Salmon and Clearwater drainages. Implementation of captive brood programs including: stream prioritization, collection techniques, and monitoring and evaluation techniques will use ISS data.

While not directly produced for ISS use, data collected on ISS PIT tagged chinook salmon (wild/natural and hatchery origin) at Snake and Columbia River passage facilities will aid in mainstem smolt monitoring of timing and passage requirements and may contribute to the management/modification of mainstem dam operations.

The current management strategy, for stocking all 1994 and 1995 brood year chinook salmon as smolts, utilized the preliminary 1992 - 1994 ISS data analysis that demonstrated higher minimum rates of detection at mainstem fish passage facilities for smolt releases over parr and pre-smolt released fish.

Long Term - The ISS study results and recommendations will help guide state, tribal, and federal hatchery programs. Population characteristics including historical resiliency to low return years, life history, and genetic descriptions from base line sampling will play a vital role in determining which supplementation strategy produces the best adult to adult production without adverse genetic impacts to natural populations.

Specific measureable objectives
Objective 1: Monitor and evaluate the effects of supplementation on parr, presmolt, and smolt numbers and adult/spawning escapements of naturally produced salmon.

Objective 2: Monitor and evaluate changes in natural productivity and genetic composition of target and adjacent populations following supplementation.

Objective 3: Determine which supplementation strategies (broodstock and release stage) provide the quickest and highest response in natural production without adverse effects on productivity.

Objective 4: Recommend specific implementable recommendations for the management of hatchery production to prevent extinction and increase returns of chinook salmon in the Salmon and Clearwater River drainages.

Testable hypothesis
Ho1a: Supplementation-augmentation of existing chinook populations in Idaho does not affect natural production.

Ho1b: Supplementation-restoration utilizing existing hatchery stocks does not establish self-sustaining natural populations of chinook salmon in Idaho.

Ho2a: Supplementation-augmentation of existing chinook population in Idaho does not reduce productivity of target of adjacent population below acceptable levels (e.g. replacement).

Ho2b: Supplementation does not lead to self-sustaining populations at some enhanced level (e.g. 50% increase in abundance maintained over time).

Ho3a: Utilization of existing hatchery broodstocks in Idaho is not an effective strategy to supplement existing population of chinook salmon within local or adjacent sub-basins.

Ho3b: Development of new, local broodstocks with known natural component for supplementation does not provide an advantage over utilization of existing hatchery broodstocks for supplementation within the local or adjacent subbasin.

Ho3c: The effects of supplementation on natural production and productivity does not differ among life stages (parr, presmolt, smolt) of hatchery fish released.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Regardless of the overall goal and long term strategies for supplementation, efforts will be negated without improvements in mainstem passage and flow constraints to allow for a net replacement/increase in adult to adult production.

1) The ISS experiment design is split into three main approaches. The first level of evaluation are large scale population production and productivity studies designed to provide Snake River basin wide inferences. The second level utilizes study streams as individual "case histories" to evaluate specific supplementation programs. The third level represents small-scale studies designed to evaluate specific hypotheses. Levels one and two focus on measuring population responses to supplementation and hence are long-term in nature. The third level determines specific impacts of supplementation such as competition, dispersal, and behavior. These studies are relatively short-term and will be conducted in laboratory streams or "controlled " field environments.

There are two categories of case histories, supplementation of existing natural populations (Salmon River basin) and supplementation of extinct populations (Clearwater River basin). Supplementation effects will be evaluated by comparing weir returns, redd counts, juvenile production, juvenile survival, fecundity, age structure, and genetic structure and variability in supplemented and unsupplemented streams of similar ecological parameters (productivity, geology, habitat quality, etc).

Primary data collection includes:
Mid-summer parr - Parr abundance is estimated in all treatment and control streams. Number of parr is estimated with standardized snorkeling techniques utilizing stratified systematic sampling (Scheaffer et. al 1979) designed to provide a coefficient of variation of approximately 15%. Parr densities are expanded by strata to estimate total parr abundance within the experimental unit (treatment or control reach).
Fall and spring emigrants (presmolt and smolt) - Juvenile emigration numbers and timing are estimated with outmigrant (screw traps) traps. Traps are operated to sample the fall and spring emigration period unless icing or water velocity is prohibitive. Capture efficiency is estimated by recapture of marked emigrants transported above traps. Capture efficiencies are monitored as a function of stream flow and water temperature .
Smolt Production - Minimum survival estimates of smolts reaching Lower Granite Pool is estimated for all treatment and control streams. Approximately 300-500 juveniles are PIT tagged prior to or during emigration from the study streams and hatcheries. Hatchery fish (500 - 1000) are PIT tagged prior to release into treatment streams. Naturally produced parr and emigrants will be PIT tagged following collection by seining, minnow traps, or emigration traps.
Adult escapement - Escapement to study streams is determined for all treatment and control streams. Adult weirs will be located on approximately 73% of our study streams. Multiple redd counts are used in streams with and without adult weirs. Entire potential spawning area is censused. Potential egg deposition will be estimated from fecundity schedules derived from appropriate hatchery racks. These schedules will be applied directly to natural fish in study streams with weirs and applied as a function of the measured female:redd ratio for streams without weirs.

2) Supplementation effects will be evaluated using repeated measures profile analysis (split plot through time) to test the response of populations to treatments over time as compared to untreated streams. To help partition variability, some hypotheses utilize a block design. Depending upon the specific hypothesis, blocks may include status of existing population, brood source, life stage out-planted including size and timing, and stream productivity.

3) This study is concerned with chinook salmon and the number of fish supplemented is proportional to the amount of production in any given year.

Brief schedule of activities
Data entry/summary/analysis and reporting: All Year
Outmigration trap operation: All Year
PIT tagging: August through June
Summer Parr Snorkeling Estimates: July and August
Redd/Carcass Surveys: August and September
Adult Weir Operation: June through September

Biological need
Existing knowledge on the long term effectiveness of supplementation, based on experimentation and experience, indicates that supplementation using traditional hatchery practices is rarely successful and can impose significant risk to the genetic integrity and long-term survivability of natural stocks (Miller et. al. 1990; Steward and Bjornn 1990). The risk of failure is particularly high for upriver stocks experiencing extreme survival bottlenecks from mainstem passage constraints (Miller et. al. 1990). Conversely, the need for supplementation as an interim recovery tool may be most pertinent for these same upriver stocks, which are rapidly declining to the point where recovery may be impossible.

The biological need is to develop strategies that maximize the benefits of supplementation and minimize the risk to target and neighboring natural populations. These strategies must be evaluated prior to large scale management implementation.

Critical uncertainties
The critical uncertainties addressed in the ISS project can be broadly grouped into two categories: 1) can supplementation work and 2) what supplementation strategies work best? Specific uncertainties include:
1) The ability of hatchery-produced adults under different environmental and ecological parameters to produce young which survive to return as adults, which are functional spawners.
2) Life stage at release which most effectively produces adults with minimal detrimental species interactions and produces prodigy which return and successfully reproduce, under different environmental and ecological conditions.
3) The effects of supplementation on life history characteristics (emigration timing, age structure, genetic composition and variability, etc.) of the supplemented population and adjacent unsupplemented populations.
4) The ability of naturally-produced chinook populations which are regularly supplemented to maintain the genetic variability and characteristics of the wild/natural population.
5) Survival rates of wild/natural chinook from different streams and between wild/natural and hatchery chinook.

Summary of expected outcome
This research will demonstrate the best method for supplementing existing naturally-reproducing populations of chinook salmon and the best method for re-establishing naturally producing populations in streams where chinook have become extirpated. Because study streams have different ecological characteristics, supplementation effects, and recommendations will likely be different for different streams.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery will aid in facilitating the development of localized broodstocks.

PTAGIS enables and assists in the use, interrogation, and data base management of Passive Integrated Transponder tags.

U.S. Forest Service special use permits will be necessary with trapping (outmigration and weir) activities in the Secesh River system on land managed by the USFS.

The associated risks and critical uncertainties of the ISS were evaluated under the 1991 draft RASP criteria.

Genetic - ISS treatment streams already have on-going hatchery programs. Consequently, ISS hatchery protocols should pose a minimal ecological risk, if any, to the chinook salmon populations in these streams. Risks are primarily associated with not conducting ISS, and failing to identify and implement the best hatchery-based recovery measures resulting in the continued decline or extinction of population and adversely impacting wild/natural populations through the use of inappropriate supplementation due to a lack of information.

Physical - The use of outmigration traps and adult weirs impose a limited risk to individual animals in terms of direct mortality and migration alteration. The use and acceptability of each research activity is evaluated and monitored under the NMFS section 10 permit process.

Monitoring activity
This study is primarily a monitoring and evaluation project of supplementation. See above methods.

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
1992: 107,050
1993: 165,275
1994: 140,134
1995: 143,989
1996: 145,805
Obligation: 145,805
Authorized: 145,000
Planned: 145,805
1997: 270,000
1998: 275,000
1999: 280,000
2000: 280,000
2001: 280,000

* 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   Snake River

Recommendation    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $270,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $270,000