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 - Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

BPA project number   8909803

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

Sponsor type   ID-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameMike Rowe
 Mailing addressShoshone-Bannock Tribes
P.O. Box 306
Fort Hall, ID 83203

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

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   7.3B.2

Short description
Determine the best method to maintain and rehabilitate Idaho's chinook salmon. Adult returns, productivity, and genetic composition will be compared between treatment and control streams, over time, throughout the Salmon and Clearwater basins. Broodstock management and lifestage at release will vary between treatment streams.

Project start year   1989    End year   2007

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1994

Project development phase   Maintenance

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
The Idaho Department of Fish Game (IDFG), Nez Perce Tribe, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are all cooperators in ISS each having responsibility for different streams.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game Project number: 89-98

Nez Perce Tribe Project number: 89-98-02

U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service Project number: 89-98-01

Steelhead Supplementation Studies in Idaho Rivers Project number:
Companion study to ISS looking at steelhead supplementation in Idaho Rivers.

Intensive Smolt Monitoring Project number: 83-7
ISM collects data in the upper Salmon River and Crooked River which is used by ISS.

Salmon River Habitat Enhancement Project number: 94-50
SRHE and ISS work in many of the same streams where data is mutually collected and exchanged.

Project history
ISS began in 1989 with the development of the experimental design, published by BPA in 1991. Full implementation of ISS was to begin over a period of years beginning in 1991 as large capital outlay items (e.g., traps, weirs, PIT tagging equipment) was purchased.

Although full implementation was never achieved, estimates of juvenile chinook outmigration and survival to lower Snake river projects have been made for one stream, rearing parr population estimates have been made for six streams, redd counts have been conducted in five streams, and rearing parr have been tagged in two streams. In 1995, assistance was rendered to IDFG in the collection of juvenile salmon as part of their captive rearing program.

Budget reductions in 1996 have resulted in data being collected in fewer streams and have reduced the utility of the data already collected.

Biological results achieved
Estimates of juvenile chinook outmigration and survival to lower Snake river projects have been made for one stream; rearing parr population estimates have been made for six streams; redd counts have been conducted in five streams; and rearing parr have been tagged in two streams. Much of the work to date has been collection of baseline data.

Annual reports and technical papers
Keith, R. M., M. Rowe, E. Honena, and T. Trahant. 1995. Salmon Supplementation Studies in Idaho Rivers. Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Progress Report 1992-1994, Bonneville Power Administration, Project 89-98-03, Portland, Oregon.

Management implications
The results of this research will guide the use of hatchery chinook and chinook broodstock management for the state of Idaho. ISS will direct management of hatchery chinook in the primary production areas of Idaho with implications for hatchery management and use of the hatchery product throughout the Northwest. Because of the importance of this research, Idaho has dedicated about 30% of existing hatchery chinook production to ISS.

Specific measureable objectives
Objective 1. Determine the utility of hatchery-produced chinook salmon to increase natural populations of chinook in the Salmon River and Clearwater River basins.

Objective 2. Determine which supplementation strategies (broodstock composition and release stage) provide the quickest and highest response in natural production without adverse effects on productivity.

Objective 3. Determine any changes in genetic composition and natural productivity of target and adjacent chinook populations following a period of supplementation.

Objective 4. Identify any impacts on naturally-produced juveniles and escapement of naturally-produced adults due to supplementation.

Objective 5. Recommend specific implementable recommendations for the management of hatchery broodstocks and their progeny to prevent extinction of Idaho's primary chinook salmon populations.

Testable hypothesis
H01a: Supplementation-augmentation of existing chinook salmon populations in Idaho does not affect natural production.
Corollary: Rejecting H01a indicates that supplementation can enhance or deter natural production.

H02a: Supplementation-augmentation of existing chinook salmon populations in Idaho does not reduce productivity of target or adjacent populations below acceptable levels (e.g., replacement).
Corollary: Rejecting H02a indicates that supplementation can adversely affect survival and performance of existing natural populations.

H02b: Supplementation does not lead to self-sustaining populations at some enhanced level (e.g., 50% increase in abundance maintained over time).
Corollary: Rejection of H02b indicates that certain supplementation strategies are successful in establishing self-sustaining populations or enhancing the level at which populations maintain themselves.

H03a: Utilization of existing hatchery broodstocks in Idaho is not an effective strategy to supplement existing populations of chinook salmon within local or adjacent subbasins.
Corollary: Rejection of H03a indicates that established hatchery broodstocks within Idaho can be used successfully to supplement existing natural populations of chinook salmon in local or adjacent subbasins.

H03b: 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.
Corollary: Rejection of H03b indicates that development of new supplementation broodstocks from the target populations can be more successful for supplementation than utilization of existing hatchery broodstocks.

H03c: The effects of supplementation on natural production and productivity does not differ among life stages (parr, presmolt, smolt) of hatchery fish released.
Corollary: Rejecting H03c indicates which supplementation release strategies (life stage) are most effective (or least deleterious) in rebuilding natural populations.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
1. Management implications across the widest breadth of stream productivities and geologic types requires that adult salmon returns will be, for the most part, above the 1995 return level.

2. Funding will increase at a level sufficient to achieve full implementation or at least stabilize. The protracted life cycle of chinook salmon (5 years for one generation ) require that any study designed to measure population responses be long-term (15 years). Regular reductions in funding diminish the utility of past data collected and the scope of inferences that are possible.

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

The ISS experimental design is split into three main approaches. The first and main level of evaluation are large scale population production and productivity studies designed to provide statewide 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 will determine 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 (predominantly in the Salmon River basin) and supplementation of extinct populations (predominantly in the Clearwater basin). Supplementation effects will be evaluated by comparing the following parameters in supplemented and unsupplemented streams of similar ecological parameters (productivity, geology, habitat quality, etc.): weir returns, redd counts, juvenile production, juvenile survival, fecundity, age structure, emigration timing, and genetic structure and variability.

Adult returns, age structure, and fecundity information will be obtained from redd and carcass counts, and weir returns. Productivity and emigration timing information, will be collected through juvenile trapping and snorkeling.

Juvenile survival comparisons will be made through the use of PIT tag detections.

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, and stream productivity.

The entire ISS experimental design is about 180 pages and was published by BPA in 1991.

Brief schedule of activities
Production monitoring will continue as outlined in the experimental design. The scope of the evaluation will only be changed as funding changes. Refinements in methods will be an ongoing process.

Annual field activities are as follows: Nov - Jan, data analysis; Jan - Mar, report writing; Mar - Nov, trapping and tagging emigrants, checking data, compiling data; Jun - Aug, snorkeling; Aug - Sep, redd counts.

Biological need
The first recorded supplementation of chinook in Idaho was in 1920 on the Lemhi River. The operation was abandoned in 1933 due to dwindling runs. The Lower Snake River Compensation Plan was authorized in 1976 and 11 hatchery facilities were constructed as a result. Between 1977 and 1989, 33.5 million hatchery-produced chinook have been released into Idaho yet adult returns continue to decline and 1995 returns were the lowest on record. Throughout the Northwest the utility of supplementation as a recovery tool has been much debated. Fueling the debate has been the absence of studies designed with treatment and control streams under different ecological parameters, evaluating not only adult returns but the productivity of those adults, their ability to produce offspring that will return, and genetic and ecological factors as well. The Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program affirmed the need for this information in sections 206(b)(1)(D), 703(h)(1), and 204(D).

ISS represents the largest and most comprehensive effort in the Columbia Basin, and perhaps the Northwest, to rigorously address these questions.

Critical uncertainties

1. The ability of hatchery-produced adults under different environmental and ecological parameters to produce young which survive to return as adults.

2. Lifestage at release which most effectively produces adults with minimal detrimental species interactions and produces young 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 extinct. Because study streams have different ecological characteristics, supplementation effects and recommendations will likely be different for different streams.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
ISS is a cooperative effort between Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The bulk of streams studied flow through land managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). USFS special use permits and NEPA analysis may be required for some study streams, most of the required permitting has already been accomplished.

ISS treatment streams already have on-going hatchery programs. Consequently, ISS hatchery protocols should pose a minimal ecological risk, if any, to the chinook populations in these streams. Risks are primarily associated with not conducting ISS: 1) failing to identify and implement the best hatchery-based recovery measures, resulting in the continued decline or extinction of populations; and 2) adversely impacting wild/natural populations through the use of supplementation due to a lack of information.

Monitoring activity
Juvenile chinook production will be measured annually with screw traps and snorkel counts, adult returns will be measured annually through redd counts and returns to weirs, survival will be measured with PIT tag detections at Lower Snake dams.

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: 106,920
1993: 138,078
1994: 118,200
1995: 120,000
1996: 121,000
Obligation: 121,000
Authorized: 121,000
Planned: 121,000
1997: 172,000
1998: 181,000
1999: 190,000
2000: 200,000
2001: 210,000

* 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   $172,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $172,000