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
Technical Assistance to Establish Baseline Environmental Monitoring Capability in the Snake River Basin

BPA project number   9207103

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratories

Sponsor type   WA-Federal Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameBradley Gilmore
 Mailing addressBattelle Northwest, P.O. Box 999, Richland, WA, 99352
 Phone509/372-6331

BPA technical contact   ,

Biological opinion ID   NMFS BP RPA 13a and 13f

NWPPC Program number   5.9A.1

Short description
Provide technical assistance in the development of an environmental monitoring system in the upper Snake River basin. Associated research activities are being coordinated with the ongoing monitoring of smolt migrations of wild Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon projects in the basin.

Project start year   1994    End year   2001

Start of operation and/or maintenance   0

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
This task was originated in October 1993 to implement Salmon Strategy Measure 3.6F.7. This work supports NMFS project 3.6F.7 F1101:91-028. The NMFS project collects time series information to examine the migrational characteristics of wild ESA-listed Snake River chinook salmon stocks. Part of the information required are the results of this project (environmental variables).

Project history
This task order was initiated in October 1993 (FY94) to address Salmon Strategy Measure 3.6F.7, and to complement the research that is being conducted on the Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The purpose of the NMFS study (project 91-28, contract DE-AI79-91BP18800) is to characterize the out-migration timing of different stocks of spring/summer chinook salmon smolts at dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, identify any consistent patterns in the timing of the out-migrations, and identify what environmental factors influence out-migration timing (Accord et al. 1995). The lack of environmental information for the tributary rearing areas of chinook salmon dictated the need to develop and maintain an environmental monitoring program for the upper Snake River Basin. This environmental information provides a baseline for the local basins that can be used to identify any habitat changes and critical information related to the timing of the out-migrations of various stocks of wild salmon in the Snake River Basin. The information provided directly supports sections 304(d) and 204(b) of the Columbia River Fish and Wildlife Program. Section 304(d) states that the program will take into account the migrational characteristics of the various stocks of Salmon in the Columbia River Basin. Section 204(b) urges conservation of genetic diversity. Identifying the natural seasonal environmental changes that trigger Salmon migrations will assist in the preservation and sustainability of threatened and endangered Salmon stocks during their migration through the hydroelectric complex on the Snake and Columbia Rivers.

Biological results achieved
Two and one-half years of data have currently been collected on basic water quality variables for the Upper Salmon River basin and the Upper Middle Fork Salmon River basin (USGS hydrologic units 17060201 and 17060205 respectively). Monitoring has recently begun in the South Fork Salmon basin (USGS HU 17060208). These variables include: dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, conductivity/resistivity, temperature, pH, turbidity, salinity, total dissolved solids and flow. In addition, daily data for high and low air temperature, precipitation and snow fall has been collected for these basins from NOAA sources. This data has been compiled into a database and is being used to characterize the local basin hydrologic and environmental parameters to establish a baseline for the local habitat. This information, with the results of the NMFS pit-tagging work, has also provided an initial indication that the migration of wild chinook salmon in the basins are influenced by seasonal climatic conditions and water temperatures, particularly during the early portions of the out-migrations.

Annual reports and technical papers
Reduced results of the initial data collection effort have been formatted and made available at on a World Wide Web (WWW) site (http://terrassa.pnl.gov:2080/~brad/intro.html). A report of the initial results of the monitoring program is currently being prepared and will be released in early May.
A comprehensive report on the existing environmental stream data for Snake River stocks is planned for FY97. This report would include input from associated projects and contractors and will be published in both print and electronic formats. The electronic format will contain all of the data available so interested parties can use it for related efforts.

Management implications
This information has provided an initial indication that the migration of wild chinook salmon in the basins are influenced by seasonal climatic conditions and water temperatures, particularly during the early portions of the out-migrations. Management decisions in relation to flow augmentation, spill and transportation efforts can use this information to achieve a greater success in recovery and sustainability efforts.

Specific measureable objectives
The specific measurable results that will be achieved by this project are: Characterization of local basin flow data for average and extreme conditions; Characterization of local water quality variables and their relationship to flow conditions for average and extreme conditions; Trend analysis that will identify and changing condition(s); A detailed comprehensive report for local habitat and basin water quality.

Testable hypothesis
No trends in water quality variables.

Significant relationships between individual variables and migration timing of wild/hatchery fish.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
There are no assumptions or critical constraints that would prevent the collection of this data and developing information from it.

Methods
A three phase approach was suggested to address the different environmental and water quality needs. For the first phase, which took place in water year 1994 (October 1993 to September 1994), autonomous water quality monitors were deployed at locations designated as high priority by principal investigators of fish assessment projects. These monitors provide information on basic water quality variables. These variables include: dissolved oxygen, specific conductance, conductivity/resistivity, temperature, pH, turbidity, salinity, total dissolved solids and flow. The primary goal of Phase 1 was to provide an estimate of average and extreme water quality variables and its timing to support ongoing wild fish investigations. Secondary goals include obtaining experience with deployment and operation of the water quality monitors, and to provide initial discharge information at individual sites.

Phase 2 took place in 1995. The primary goals were collection of detailed discharge information for the tributaries identified by principal investigators, refinement of phase 1 information, and the analysis of relationships between water quality variables, discharge, and temporal movement of anadromous parr. Secondary goals include the development of relational indices between water quality variables and migration timing. In addition, expansion of the monitoring network will be done to encompass other areas of concern identified by NMFS investigators.

Phase 3 will take place in 1996 through 2001. The primary goals for phase 3 would be to extend the capabilities of the monitoring network to measure site-specific water quality or environmental variables, expansion of the network, sustain the collection of data, and investigate the possibilities of developing the network into a real-time monitoring system. The site-specific variables would include those known to be sensitive to impacts from agriculture, ranching and grazing, mining, or human development activities. Phase 3 information would be used with Phase 1 and 2 information to identify any possible trends in water quality variables and to provide a description of average and extreme conditions and any relationships to the movement and timing of anadromous parr. The development of the monitoring system to provide information in real time coupled with the results of the related NMFS project would enable better real-time management decisions in relation to flow augmentation, spill and transportation efforts.

Data analysis will employ Non-Parametric statistical methods. A summary of the methods that will be used is listed in the table below. Non-Parametric methods will be primarily used because of their robustness for data that is not normally distributed. Water quality variables generally fall into this category (Gilbert 1987). Results of the data analysis will provide an understanding of the utility of the measured variables in relation to anadromous fish survival. The analysis will also indicate the most appropriate sampling frequency for continued monitoring efforts.

Statistical Methods Summary.

DESCRIPTION AVERAGE CONDITIONS TRENDS/CHANGINGCONDITIONS EXTREMECONDITIONS
GRAPHICAL BOX & WHISKER PLOTSTIME SERIES PLOTS ANNUAL BOX&WHISKERTIME SERIES TIME SERIES WITHEXCURSION LIMITS
ESTIMATION SAMPLE MEAN&MEDIANGEOMETRIC MEAN WITHLIMITS SEASONAL KENDALL ORSEN SLOPE ESTIMATORSWITH LIMITS PROPORTIONOFEXCURSIONS
TESTING WILCOXON SIGNED RANK TEST SEASONAL KENDALL,CHI-SQUARED,MANN-KENDALL TESTS CONFIDENCELIMITS ONPROPORTIONS

Brief schedule of activities
A comprehensive report on the existing environmental stream data for Snake River stocks is planned for FY97. This report would include input from associated projects and contractors and will be published in both print and electronic formats.

Continued operation of the monitoring network with periodic site visits for maintenance, calibration and downloading of data.

Updating and improving database and web site for ease of information use as needed.

Biological need
The information provided directly supports sections 304(d) and 204(b) of the Columbia River Fish and Wildlife Program. Section 304(d) states that the program will take into account the migrational characteristics of the various stocks of Salmon in the Columbia River Basin. Section 204(b) urges conservation of genetic diversity.

Critical uncertainties
NMFS is currently conducting studies to aid recovery efforts for wild anadromous fish in the Snake River basin. These studies require environmental information to aid characterization of temporal distributions, abundance, and behavior of anadromous fish at various life stages. Baseline water quality and hydrologic information to support these characterization studies is an identified need (Achord et al 1992). Additionally, there may be differential survival between hatchery and wild smolts during out migration from the upper basin. These and other studies suggest that environmental conditions in the upper Snake River tributaries may influence the production and survival of wild salmon populations (Achord 1993, Rowe 1989, Richards 1987). It is well established that water quality variables such as temperature, turbidity, and discharge influence the migration behavior of salmonid smolts. Other variables, including pH, conductivity, and nitrate, may be indicative of habitat degradation, human activity, or seasonal changes (MacDonald 1991). It is important that these and other variables of concern be monitored to help determine if correlates can be used to predict or explain changes in population size, survival rates, and migration timing of Snake River Threatened and Endangered stocks.

Summary of expected outcome
The project will provide baseline information on tributary rearing habitat for ESA-listed Snake River wild spring/summer chinook salmon. Also, the information will be used by various NMFS projects that are attempting to characterize the migration patterns and behavior of ESA-listed Snake River wild spring/summer chinook salmon. This information will aid the management decision making process for hydrosystem operations.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
No permit requirements or dependencies known of.

Risks
There are no know risks associated with this project.

Monitoring activity
All tasks are planned and scheduled using project planning software. Milestones are defined and dates specified. Project progress toward milestones is monitored. Peer reviews of added value of products to improved management and conservation of Columbia River fisheries resources.

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
1993: 108,243
1994: 90,000
1995: 71,720
New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 125,000
1998: 131,000
1999: 137,000
2000: 145,000
2001: 150,000

* 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 2 - fund when funds available

Recommended funding level   $125,000