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
Nondestructive Assessment of Gas Bubble Disease

BPA project number   9300801

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
 NameDr. Tom Carlson
 Mailing addressBox 999, MSIN: K6-85
Battelle Boulevard
Richland, WA 99352

BPA technical contact   Bill Maslen, EWI 503/230-5549

Biological opinion ID   BO RPA 2, 13f, and 16

NWPPC Program number   5.6E.1

Short description
Assessment of nondestructive, nonintrusive means for the detection and quantification of gas bubbles in somatic tissues of juvenile and adult fish.

Project start year   1995    End year   1997

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
Related projects are the juvenile and adult monitoring projects being conducted by NMFS, NBS, and CRITFIC under the BPA/NMFS response to the BO for assessment and monitoring of the effects of spill on juvenile and adult salmonid migrants and the other biota potentially impacted by conditions created by spilling water to aid juvenile salmonid migration.

Project history
The project was started mid FY95 with the objective of performing a technology assessment of acoustic, optical, and other technologies that might provide a means for the nondestructive and nonintrusive detection and quantification of gas bubbles in the somatic tissues of juvenile and adult fish. A broad assessment has been completed and a report is in preparation. A candidate acoustic method that recently completed development with joint funding from the US Navy and a private contractor has been identified. In addition, an optical method using instruments normally used for microsurgery also appears to be feasible for routine field use with fish. These technologies are already well vertically integrated in that private companies have committed to their further development and manufacture. Manufacturers of the candidate technologies identified have indicated willingness to assist technically and financially with field tests of the applicability of their technology to GBT assessment needs.

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers
Technical report in preparation. Expected publication date is 6/96.

Management implications
At the present time nondestructive means for the assessment of GBT in migrants is limited to examination for external symptoms. However, aspects of the pathology of GBT are incompletely known and the linkage between external symptoms of GBT and mortality (direct or indirect) is poorly developed. Research has shown that mortality of migrants is almost always associated with the presence of gas bubbles in internal tissues. Means for rapid, nondestructive, and nonintrusive examination of adult migrants are particularly important. Accurate assessment of the extent of GBT in migrants and other fish is required for feedback to management of spill programs.

Specific measureable objectives
Implementation of means for detection and quantification of GBT in fish with known performance capability in terms of probability of detection of gas bubbles in internal as well as external tissues.

Testable hypothesis
H0: The diagnostic instrument is capable of detecting gas bubbles with a total volume of xx within the vascular system of adult fish 98% of the time.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
The principal underlying assumption is that diagnostic tools developed for use on humans and other animals can also be applied to fish and that they can be used in the environments typical of monitoring locations within the mainstem Columbia and Snake Rivers.

1) Evaluation of the potential applicability of a particular methodology requires exposure of test fish to high level of supersaturated gas, examination by the test instrument and protocol, sacrifice of the test fish, followed by examination by necropsy. The equipment required for these experiments are wet laboratory facilities, the test instrumentation, fish covering the size ranges of interest, means to create the desired levels of supersaturated gas, instruments to measure TDG, and microscopes and other instruments to perform necropsies. 2) The experimental design is to compare the number, location, and size of gas bubbles found with the test instrument with those found by necropsy for a number of fish. The means and variances of the observations obtained by both means are compared using a statistical test such as the “t” test to test the null hypothesis that the test instrument and protocol is performing the same as the necropsy within some acceptable error. 3) The experiments would be conducted using hatchery rainbow trout ranging in size from swimup fry to adults.

Brief schedule of activities
June, 1996: Complete technology assessment report.
October, 1996: Negotiate with manufacturers for test of two most promising technologies, one acoustic and one optical.
November, 1996: Begin setting up laboratory for tests.
Janurary, 1996: Begin tests using test fish as available.
October, 1997: Submit final project report.

Biological need
Spill has been designated under the BO as a preferred means for passage of juvenile migrants past mainstem dams. A consequence of spilling is creation of high levels of TDG which is known to cause GBT in juvenile and adult migrants as well as to impact other biota. Feedback, in the form of the health assessment of migrants and other biota, are required to manage spill Current methods for assessment of GBT are not adequate because they are limited to observation of external signs which has been shown by considerable research to be inconsistent indicators of the presence or severity of GBT. In addition, especially for adults, means are needed that are nondestructive and nonintrusive and will not delay migrants, but which are thorough and capable of detecting and quantifying GBT prior to the presence of external signs of GBT, such as scalping or head burns.

Critical uncertainties
The primary critical uncertainty is whether or not a nonintrusive and nondestructive means of detection and quantification of both internal and external sign of GBT which performs as well as current destructive means is available and can be deployed at reasonable cost under typical fish monitoring conditions.

Summary of expected outcome
We expect to identify and conduct proof of performance of a means for the nondestructive and nonintrusive detection and quantification of GBT in juvenile and adult salmonid migrants and other fish within the Columbia River basin.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
It is likely that further proof of the performance of any instrument initially evaluated under this project will be required prior to its certification for use in fish monitoring programs. It is expected that the design and oversight of this certification process will be conducted by an expert panel composed of member of various agencies or entities.

The project does not present a risk to the fish populations of the Columbia River basin or any ongoing project. Outside of this area the major risk is production of instruments for field use that are affordable and that can be adapted for use under typical fish monitoring conditions.

Monitoring activity
The primary measure of the project’s productivity will be a fish monitoring program that has capability beyond that presently in place to detect GBT in fish exposed to water with TDG supersaturation.

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
1995: 80,400
1996: 0
New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 89,000

* 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   Mainstem

Recommendation    Tier 3 - do not fund