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
Hungry Horse Fisheries Mitigation - Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

BPA project number   9101901

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes

Sponsor type   MT-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameBarry Hansen, Joe DosSantos
 Mailing addressConfederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes
P.O. Box 278
Pablo, MT 59855
 Phone406/675-2700

BPA technical contact   Ron Morinaka, EWP 503/230-5365

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   10.3A.11

Short description
Hungry Horse mitigation is a cooperative project directed by CSKT and MDFWP in cooperation with USFWS. This project monitors changes in the fish community of Flathead Lake to verify biological responses to Hungry Horse Dam Mitigation measures. Evaluate techniques to reintroduce kokanee to Flathead Lake and attainment of criteria that define success of kokanee reintroduction Develop stream restoration projects.

Project start year   1991    End year   Ongoing

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
9101903, MFWP Hungry Horse Habitat Improvement
9101904, USFWS, Creston Hatchery
9502600, MFWP/CSKT Model Watershed
9501200, IRC Monitoring
9500400, MFWP/CSKT Libby Mitigation Plan

Project history
Initiated in 1992 after NPPC adopted Hungry Horse Mitigation Plan (November 1991, see NPPC program:10.3A.10). Implementation as per NPPC direction upon adoption of Hungry Horse Implementation Plan (March 1993, see NPPC program:10.3A.11). Cooperation with MFWP and USFWS to monitor program results. Habitat improvement projects accomplished jointly with Polson MacAttack Committee, (structural enhancement), and City of Polson (stream restoration).

Beginning in 1995, this program included Project No. 9500400 (Libby Mitigation Plan), which is a program for development of a Plan for NPPC adoption (Section 10.3B1). Public scoping, project site selection and loss/gain assessment for Libby Dam began in 1995, CSKT and MFWP will produce a draft document for submittal to NPPC during 1996.

Biological results achieved
Purpose of project is monitoring biological response of Project Numbers 9101903 and 9101904. Documentation of: kokanee growth rates in Flathead Lake, lake trout predation rates on kokanee, downward trends in cutthroat and bull trout. Definition of baseline condition of fishery in 1992-1993 by creel survey

Annual reports and technical papers
(1) Fisheries Mitigation Plan for Losses Attributable to the Construction and Operation of Hungry Horse Dam, MFWP and CSKT, 1991.
(2) Hungry Horse Dam Fisheries Implementation Plan, MFWP and CSKT, 1993.
(3) Hungry Horse Dam Fisheries Mitigation, Biennial Report, 1992-1993, DOE/BP-60559-2
(4) Kokanee Stocking and Monitoring - Flathead Lake - 1993-1994. Deleray et al. MFWP, CSKT, and USFWS, 1995.
(5) Flathead Lake Angler Survey, Evarts et al., 1994, CSKT.
(6) Kokanee Stocking and Monitoring - Flathead Lake -1995. Hansen et al. CSKT, MFWP, and USFWS. 1996.
(7) Summary of Work to Develop Polson Golf Course Spring Creek to Benefit the Flathead Lake Fishery, 1996, Barry Hansen, CSKT.

Management implications
The monitoring program is designed to determine: (1) the success of habitat improvement/restoration projects on native species providing the feedback loop for action/response, and (2) the success of hatchery-reared kokanee in Flathead Lake. Results of the project will determine the need for continuation of hatchery supplementation and subsequent upgrades in the future. Preliminary conclusion that lake trout predation limits kokanee survival in Flathead Lake.

Libby Fisheries Mitigation Plan will guide mitigation activities under Project 8346700.

Specific measureable objectives
(1) 30% survival of kokanee one year after stocking
(2) yearling to adult survival of 10% or 100,000 kokanee
(3) harvest of 50,000 kokanee > 11", and fishing pressure of 100,000 hours
(4) increases in catch rates of native species
(5) linear stream distance of riparian vegetation restored/enhanced by planting or fencing
(6) linear distance of stream channel reconstructed
(7) preparation of a mitigation plan to compensate for fisheries losses due to the construction and operation of Libby Dam including loss/gain statement, criteria for project prioritization and list of mitigation options
(8) stimulation of public interest in the Kootenai Drainage using education measures, public scoping meetings, and a citizens advisory committee

Testable hypothesis
Kokanee will survive in a lake currently dominated by Mysis, lake trout, and lake whitefish. Fluvial habitat improvements will increase lacustrine fish population density.

See Project 8346700 in reference to mitigation implementation.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
The standards for success for kokanee restoration (Implementation Plan. P. 27) will be achieved in 1998, the last year of a five year test, and the Creston Hatchery will be capable of producing one million chaconne yearlings per year. If standards are not achieved then evaluation of native species supplementation and offsite enhancement.

Habitat/passage enhancement, harvest management and hatchery production will increase adfluvial and lake dwelling populations of target fish species within the Flathead Lake/River system. Population changes in Flathead Lake can be measured.

All Libby planning will be accomplished consistent with Montana Fisheries Mitigation Policy. The mitigation plan will compliment model watershed efforts.

Methods
(1) quantification of losses of kokanee attributed to predation by estimation of lake trout abundance and rate of predation to measure Criterion #1 (Hungry Horse Implementation Plan p. 27),
(2) hydroacoustic survey with species verification by gillnetting to measure Criterion #1, 30% kokanee survival over first year, and Criterion #2, yearling to adult survival of 10% (Hungry Horse Implementation Plan, p. 27),
(3) surveys of returning adult kokanee to measure Criterion #2 (Hungry Horse Implementation Plan, p.27),
(4) creel surveys to measure Criterion #3, annual harvest of 50,000 >11" kokanee (Hungry Horse Implementation Plan, p.27),
(5) annual spring gill-net surveys of native species to evaluate population trends,
(6) annual lake-wide hydroacoustic estimates of pelagic species.

See Project 9500400 in reference to Libby Plan development.

Brief schedule of activities
Lake-wide gill-net surveys in spring, intensive gillnetting, limnological sampling, and trapping for 4 months following the stocking of kokanee, shoreline spawning surveys and trapping in fall, and lake-wide creel survey during summer, 1996.
Population monitoring in habitat improvement areas.
Libby Plan is expected to be submitted to NPPC in 1996. This deadline is self-imposed.

Biological need
The losses attributed to Hungry Horse Dam were adopted by NPPC and incorporated in Section 10.3A.10:
(1) “Replace lost annual production (minimum of 65,000 westslope cutthroat annually) from the inundated 43 miles of tributaries and 35 miles of South Fork Flathead River using a mix of habitat improvement, improvement in fish passage, and hatchery production.”
(2) “Replace lost annual production of 250,000 young bull trout in the lost stream sections using a mix of the above fisheries techniques.”
(3) “Replace lost production of 100,000 kokanee adults initially through hatchery production and pen rearing in Flathead Lake, partially replace lost forage for lake trout in Flathead Lake.”

Mitigation for the construction and operation of Libby Dam is called for by the NPPC program.

Critical uncertainties
(1) Quantification of trophic interaction between Mysis, lake trout, and kokanee,
(2) Population levels of chaconne capable of sustaining a constituency of anglers,
(3) Sustainable hatchery products to meet program goals,
(4) Biological response to habitat improvement.

The timing of submittal to NPPC is subject to funding and efficiency of personnel. Note: No new personnel have been hired to complete the plan.

Summary of expected outcome
A conclusive documentation of the results of the five year test of kokanee restoration, trend analysis of native species abundance in Flathead Lake, quantification of increases in recruitment of westslope cutthroat trout from Dayton and Polson Spring Creek.

Libby Mitigation Plan and subsequent implementation.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Monitoring of complex fisheries in a large lake requires cooperation and coordination with MFWP. Evaluation of the chaconne test requires five years of annual production of 1,000,000 yearling kokanee by USFWS Creston Hatchery.

Final form depends on NPPC approval.

Risks
Monitoring of native species incurs some mortality, which will be continually evaluated to insure that population-level impacts do not occur. Culture and outplanting of native species may compromise genetic integrity of local populations. Continued “predator trap” occupied by lake trout, public sentiments concerning mitigation.

Monitoring activity
Spring gill-net surveys throughout the lake to monitor native species population trends, kokanee shoreline spawning surveys and adult trapping, post-stocking gillnetting of lake trout and kokanee to evaluate survival of stocked kokanee, creel surveys to evaluate program benchmarks for success of the kokanee test.

We estimate that about 25% of the final Libby mitigation budget will focus on monitoring.

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: 51,500
1993: 42,786
1994: 22,900
1995: 26,952
1996: 55,424
Obligation: 55,424
Authorized: 40,000
Planned: 55,424
1997: 66,920
1998: 145,000
1999: 69,500
2000: 72,000
2001: 75,000

* 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   Resident Fish

Recommendation    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $66,920

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $66,920