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
Survival Estimation for Dam/Reservoir Passage

BPA project number   9302900

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   WA-Federal Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameDr. John Williams, Dr. Bob Iwamoto, Bill Muir
 Mailing addressNational Marine Fisheries Service
U.S. Dept of Commerce
2725 Montlake Blvd East
Seattle, WA 98112

BPA technical contact   Pat Poe, EWI 503/230-4043

Biological opinion ID   NMFS BO RPA Sec. 13f

NWPPC Program number   5.0F.5

Short description
This project provides measurements of survival of juvenille salmon as they pass through dams and reservoirs

Project start year   1993    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   IMPLEMENTATION

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
1. COE Project No. 86930151. "Migrational characteristics of juvenile chinook salmon and steelhead in Lower Granite Reservoir and tributaries, Snake River." our study provides purse-seined captured fish for radio tagging for this study. Results from the two studies aid in interpretation of both.
2. BPA Project No. 91-029. "Identification of the spawning, rearing, and migratory requirements of fall chinook salmon in the Columbia River Basin." We began working with this project last year to estimate survival for hatchery-reared subyearling fall chinook salmon through free-flowing sections, reservoirs, and dams of the Snake River.
3. COE Projects No. E86950141. "Passage survival of subyearling chinook salmon through Lower Granite Reservoir and Lower Granite, Little Goose, and Lower Monumental Dams." discussed above, this study will be incorporated into BPA Project No. 93029 in 1996.
4. COE Project No. E86940119. "Predrawdown evaluation of juvenile salmonid passage survival through Lower Granite, Little Goose, and Lower Monumental Dams." Conducted concurrently with the BPA survival study in 1994 and 1995, this study will be incorporated into BPA Project No. 93029 in 1996.
5. COE Project No. E8690103. "A study to compare the adult returns in inriver migrating versus barged spring/summer chinook salmon smots (Lower Granite)." Our study estimates smolt survival for this study.
6. BPA Project No. 91-017. "Factors affecting migration and survival of juvenile spring/summer chinook above Lower Granite Dam." Our survival study is answering many of the questions outlined in this research plan.
7. BPA Project No. 89-107. "Development of survival relationships using concomitant variables measured on individual smolt implanted with PIT tags." Our study uses statistical models and computer software for survival estimation developed by this study. Analytical needs for our data lead to improvements and refinements to the software.

Project history
A great deal of work was completed prior to 1993 laying the foundation for survival studies to proceed. this included the development of PIT-tag technology for use in fish, installation and testing of PIT-tag detection and slide gate systems at Snake and Columbia River dams, and the development of the statistical models used to estimate survival through BPA-funded workshops and contracts.

Biological results achieved
From 1993 through 1995, the methodologies used to measure survival of juvenile salmonid as they pass through Snake River dams and reservoirs wre successfully tested. In 1993, a series of precise estimates of survival from mear the head of Lower Granite Reservoir to the tailrace of Little Goose Dam were obtained during the peak of the hhatchery yearling chinook salmon migration. During 1994 and 1995, a series of precise survival estimates were obtained for this species from the head of Lower Granite Reservoir to the tailrace of Lower Monumental Dam during the majority of their outmigration. Similar estimates were obtained in 1994 and 1995 for hatchery steelhead in a related study funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Secondary releases were made at Lower Granite, Little Goose, and Lower monumental Dams to measure post-detection bypass survival (a test of a model assumption), survival through turbines, and through spillways. Slide gates at Snake River dams returned approximately 85% of the PIT-tagged smolt back to the Snake River allowing multiple detections at downstream dams from releases at the head of Lower Granite Reservoir, at the dams, and from hatcheries and traps upstream. The Single-Release Model was used to estimate survival for releases from the head of Lower Granite Reservoir, hatcheries, and traps. The Paired-Release model was used to estimate survival for releases at the Snake River dams.

Annual reports and technical papers
FY 1994: Quarterly Progress Reports; Progress Report to the Northwest Power Planning Council (NPPC) July 1993; Draft Annual Report Nover 1993; Annual report 1993 "Survival Estimates for the Passage of Juvenile Salmonids through Snake River Dams and Reservoirs, 1993" DOE/BP-10891 march 1994
FY 1995: Quarterly Progress Reports; Draft 1994 Annual Report December 1994; progress Report to the NPPC February 1995; Annual report 1994 "Survival Estimates for the Passage of juvenile Salmonids through Snake River Dams and Reservoirs, 1994 DOE/BP-10891-2 March 1995.
FY 1996: Annual Report 1995 "Survival Estimates for the Passage of Juvenile Salmonids through Snake River Dams and Reservoirs, 1995 DOE/BP-10891-3 March 1996.

Management implications
The survival estimation methods developed and tested in this study can be used to evaluate various management strategies for the Snake River such as drawdown, flwo augmentation, or spill programs by comparing changes in survival within and across years. The paired-release methods can be used to evaluate structural modifications at the dams such as flow deflectors on spillways, surface bypass collectors, and changes in turbine operation.

Specific measureable objectives
1. Estimate survival over longer distances after installation of the PIT-tag interrogation system at john Day Dam is completed.
2. Release PIT-tagged yearling chinook salmon upstream from Lower Granite Reservoir to partition where mortality occurs between release from hatcheries and the head of the reservoir.
3. Estimate survival for hatchery-reared fall chinook salmon from Lyons Ferry Hatchery released into the free-flowing Snake River and the head of lower Granite Reservoir.
4. Explore relationships betweeen smolt survival through the Snake River and flow, travel time, and dam operations using a long-term data set.

Testable hypothesis
1. The effects of environmental conditions (e.g. flow, water temperature, turbidity) on smolt survival through the Snake River.
2. the effects of project operations (e.g. increased spill, potential reservoir drawdown) on smolt survival through the Snake River.
3. the effects of project improvements (e.g. installation of surface collectors, changes in turbines and bypass systems to improve survival) on smolt survival through the Snake River.
4. Relationships between traits of individual fish (e.g. length, condition index) and survival probabilities and travel times.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
That a portion of PIT-tagged smolts pass through bypass systems at Snake River dams for interrogation and are returned to the river to permit multiple detections at downstream dams.

The estimate survival for yearling chinook salmon and steelhead migrating through the Snake River, we will continue to persue seine fish at the head of Lower Granite reservoir during the major portion of their migrations, PIT tag, adn release them after sufficient recovery. we will explore other release locations, such as the free-flowing Snake River, in an effert to further partition mortality within the migration corridor. we will also continue to estimate survival for releases of PIT-tagged smolts from hatcheries, traps, and other PIT-tag studies in the Snake River Basin. We will use the Single-Release model to estimate survival for these releases and the Paired-Release Model to estimate survival through specific passage routes (i.e. spillways, surace collectors, etc.) as the need arises. These studies will use hatchery yearling chinook salmon, hatchery steelhead, and hatchery subyearling chinook salmon from Lyons Ferry Hatchery when sufficient numbers are available for research. the increased number of dams with PIT-tag interrogation/diversion systems and their improved efficiency, coupled with the discontinuation of our post-detection bypass releases has allowed us to greatly reduce the number of fish needed for these studies.

Brief schedule of activities
1. Continue primary releases of hatcher yearling chinook salmon and steelhead purse-seined at the head of Lower Granite Reservoir.
2. Continue releases of hatchery yearling chinook salmon fro the free-flowing Snake River if this effort is successful in 1996.
3. Begin releases of PIT-tagged Lyons Ferry Hatchery fall chinook salmon subyearlings when sufficient numbers are available for research.
4. Make secondary paired releases at Snake and Columbia river dams as needed.
5. Evaluate post-detection bypass mortality (test of a model assumption) at McNary Dam after completion of the John Day Dam PIT-tag interrogation system. this will permit survival estimation to the tailrace of McNary Dam.

Biological need
Survival estimates through Snake river dams and reservoirs are needed to evaluate the success of strategies to improve smolt survival (i.e., drawdown, flow augmentation, spill program, or dam passage improvements). Historical estimates are outdated and were conducted in a river system considerably different than today's.

Critical uncertainties
1. Whether adequate numbers of fish can be collected during the different timeframes with available gear and methods.
2. Whether the predetermined number of releases and release sizes will provide the necessary precision for the survival estimates.
3. Whether the detectors and diverters will be operational during the duration of the study.
4. For paired releases, whether the assumption of random mixing of treatment and control releases will be satisfied.
5. Whether the assumption that survival and detection probabilities are independent of previous detection history will be satisfied.

Summary of expected outcome
The expected outcomes from the proposed study are the following:
a. survival relationships with individual covariates such as size and condition and group covariates such as bacterial kidney disease incidence and general health profile; and,
b. estimating components of variability of travel times and survival probabilities.
1. We will provide estimate of survival for hatchery-reared yearling chinook salmon and hatchery reared subyearling fall chinook salmon from the free-flowing Snake River and the head of Lower Granite Reservoir. We will also provide estimates of survival for hatchery steelhead from the head of Lower Granite Reservoir.
2. We will provide survival estimates for PIT-tagged salmonids released from other studies to evaluate the SR Model for estimating survival from other locations.
3. We will determine whether assumptions of the SR Model are met by data from PIT-tagged salmonid smolts migrating under river conditions and dam operations present during the 1996 migration season.
4. We will obtain auxiliary data that might be useful for the study of the following smolt survival issues:

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Conduct of this study is contingent upon renewal of our ESA Section 10 Permit each year. Opportunities for cooperation include the following:
1. Cooperative research with the USFWS beach-seining in the free-flowing Snake river to provide yearling chinook salmon smolts for PIT tagging.
2. Cooperative research with the USFWS/NBS on fall subyearling chinook salmon survival.
3. Providing purse-seined captured yearling chinook salmon smolts to the NBS for radio-tag studies in Lower Granite Reservoir.
4. Estimating survival for NMFS transportation study river migrants.

Handling of listed natural chinook salmon and resulting mortality. We minimize these effects by using safe fish handling techniques and by handling and PIT tagging the fewest possible number of fish to accomplish our research objectives.

Monitoring activity
Each year, a series of statistical tests are conducted on our data to determine whether assumptions of the SR and PR Models are met. These assumptions include whether the assumption of random mixing of treatment and control releases is statisfied, and that survival and detection probabliities are independent of previous detection history.

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: 709,700
1994: 794,000
1995: 605,600
Obligation: 0
Authorized: 748,000
Planned: 748,000
1997: 1,200,000
1998: 1,200,000
1999: 1,200,000
2000: 1,200,000

* 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 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $1,200,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $900,000