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
Habitat Restoration/Enhancement Fort Hall Bottoms

BPA project number   9201000

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

Sponsor type   ID-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameDavid Arthaud
 Mailing addressShoshone-Bannock Tribe
Fort Hall Indian Reservation
P.O. Box 306
Fort Hall, ID 83203
 Phone208/238-3761

BPA technical contact   Phil Havens, EWP 503/230-3543

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   10.3E.10

Short description
Provide conditions to maintain a self- perpetuating tribal subsistence and trophy trout fishery. Provide conditions and seed stock to re-establish native cutthroat trout runs in bottoms and mountain stream tributaries.

Project start year   1992    End year   2007

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1999

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
SBT/SPT Trout Hatchery (95-006); Idaho Loss Assessments; Fort Hall Salmon Corps.

Project history
The project was initiated in 1992 combining riparian plantings and instream structures - designed to reduce bank erosion and aggrade instream fine sediment - with riparian fencing. Due to the importance of the habitat and its large scale (a watershed of spring creeks), research and project evaluation have been integral. This basic resident fish project at Fort Hall has and continues to meet biological objectives and is catalyst for fish and wildlife equitable grazing and forestry management plans. Also Salmon Corps fencing crews are cost-sharing and roughly doubling field work. Tribal members and permit anglers are noticing the increased densities and average sizes of trout. Natural production reached high enough levels to eliminate stocking of hatchery fish in 1994. However, American Falls Reservoir and the main stem Snake River continue to be rapidly flooded and drafted each year. This directly and indirectly causes large-scale streambank erosion on bottoms spring streams; severely reducing substrate and water quality and populations of stream-dwelling invertebrates. Continued effort along with stable funding will continue to slow adverse impacts, increase native trout populations, and provide a growing source of income and subsistence.

Biological results achieved
Trout populations are now 5 times denser and 5 times greater in biomass than pre-project populations. Fry densities in treatment areas of Spring Creek were 6 times greater than in control areas. The index of invertebrate diversity (Shannon-Weaver) was higher in control versus treatment areas in 1995 and higher overall in 1995 than in 1993.

Annual reports and technical papers
Monthly and annual reports of activities for 1992, 1993, and 1995 are available in the project file. Monthly reports are available for 1994.

Management implications

Specific measureable objectives
1) Provide subsistence fishing opportunities for tribal members where densities approach 200 trout/ha with a biomass of 220 kg/ha in the electrofishing sample. 2) Re-establish native cutthroat runs in 14 bottoms and mountain tributaries.

Testable hypothesis
Trophy native cutthroat trout fisheries can coexist with subsistence fishing when efforts are made to prevent hybridization and maintain quality habitat.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Funding will continue until project is complete.

Methods
Instream habitat improvement in the form of revetments, wattles, rock wing dams and barbs, and root wads. Riparian area land management changes including fencing for livestock exclusion and grazing plans which reduce livestock impacts to riparian areas and streams. Use of streamside incubators to re-introduce native stocks to areas habitat restoration efforts have improved spawning and rearing areas and where non-native rainbow and hybrid trout have not, or are prevented, from becoming established.

Brief schedule of activities
Locate genetically pure populations of Yellowstone cutthroat trout on reservation streams and/or streams on nearby ceded lands. Identify three tributary streams where stream-side incubators may be used to re-establish cutthroat trout. Assess spawning on the identified streams to determine if rainbows or hybrids are currently using the area. Conduct habitat improvement on the identified tributaries to create or improve spawning and rearing areas for trout. Measure physical and biological parameters on bottoms streams. Evaluate differences between habitat treatment and control areas. Continue to protect and restore riparian habitats and stream channels. Monitor and assess impacts of American Falls and Snake River operations.

Biological need
Hybridization and competition with exotic species has critically reduced native cutthroat trout stocks (2% of trout in electrofishing sample appeared to be pure cutthroats). Trout population levels are about half that reported for similar sized spring creeks in Idaho.

Critical uncertainties
Funding

Summary of expected outcome
Increase the useable spawning area available to trout. Increase the proportion of cutthroat trout in the stream (represented in the electrofishing catch). Maximize trophy fishery for tribal subsistence and economic development. Increase habitats considered to be limiting trout production and survival.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Opportunity for continued cost sharing with Salmon Corps. Coordinate with Idaho Fish and Game to determine harvest and fish planting management surrounding the Reservation.

Risks

Monitoring activity
Electrofishing and snorkeling of main-stem streams will continue with the same sites and effort being used between years to compare trout populations. Also, tributaries where cutthroat have been reintroduced will be monitored with weirs to eliminate rainbow and hybrid trout from the area and to assess adult cutthroat trout returns. Biological and physical parameters outlined and carried-out in previous years will be continued.

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: 50,601
1993: 210,645
1994: 25,200
1995: 99,998
1996: 124,182
Obligation: 124,182
Authorized: 125,000
Planned: 125,000
1997: 119,500
1998: 130,000
1999: 130,000
2000: 130,000
2001: 135,000

* 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   $119,500

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $119,500