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
Buck Hollow Watershed Enhancement (ODFW)

BPA project number   9304500

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
ODFW

Sponsor type   OR-State/Local Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameRay Hartlerode
 Mailing addressOregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
3450 West 10th Street
The Dalles, OR 97058
 Phone503/296-8026

BPA technical contact   Andy Thoms, EWP 503/230-5827

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   3.1D.1, 7.6B.5

Short description
This is an ongoing fisheries habitat and watershed restoration project designed to restore summer steelhead spawning and rearing habitat in Buckhollow. Funding for this project covers technical support and coordination for planning of watershed and fish habitat improvements.

Project start year   1993    End year   2000

Start of operation and/or maintenance   2000

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
This is a coordinated project between Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District (WCSWCD), project number 9303000. ODFW and WCSWCD are both integral to the implementation of the Buckhollow Watershed Enhancement Project.

ODFW is a participating member of the Buckhollow technical team and in all planning activities. In addition, ODFW provides technical leadership in fish habitat project elements, shares monitoring data with other participants as requested, provides training in relevant areas of expertise to project participants as needed, and coordinates project activities with WCSWCD.

WCSWCD develops project plans, seeks project funding, supports development of an interdisciplinary Technical Team to provide internal review and technical recommendations on watershed enhancement and riparian restoration efforts. In addition, WCSWCD participates on the Technical Team and in all planning activities, shares monitoring data with other participants as requested, meets and coordinates with individual landowners in the project area, schedules technical and coordination meetings as necessary, schedules project areas, and provides overall project leadership and coordination.

Project history
In the past Buckhollow Creek was recognized for its excellent fishery with runs of summer steelhead throughout the 28 miles of main stem. Heavy grazing by the sheep industry in the late 1800’s followed by continuous cattle grazing led to the gradual deterioration of the watershed. In recent years (1964 &1978) intense runoff events have scoured out the stream courses, causing extensive damage to chinook and steelhead habitat. Public concern prompted local, state, and federal agency assistance in habitat restoration efforts for the Buckhollow Creek watershed.

The Buckhollow project began in 1991 by the Wasco and Sherman County WCSWCD’s using a grant from the Governor’s Watershed and Enhancement Board. Several subsequent grants from GWEB were used to continue the project. In 1992 ODFW and WCSWCD submitted proposals to BPA for fish habitat restoration planning work on Buckhollow. BPA funding for riparian habitat restoration began in 1993. Funding from additional sources have allowed upland management treatments to be implemented.

A Buckhollow technical team was established to develop an implementation plan for the restoration of Buckhollow Creek. The implementation plan derived was divided into four main elements. Each element is necessary to meet the primary goal developed by the technical team: to increase the annual return of steelhead to Buckhollow Creek from 200 to 1,000. The first element is to design and apply grazing systems to both the uplands and the riparian zone. The second element consists of placing fish habitat improvements where appropriate. The third element, cropland conservation systems encourages landowners to apply cropland systems in the uplands. Upland range conservation practices, the fourth element encourages landowners to apply water and sediment control basins where feasible.
Implementation of management elements has now begun.

Biological results achieved
The Buckhollow project is a relatively new habitat restoration project. Implementation on fish habitat restoration began last summer on upper Buckhollow Creek, between Kelsey Springs and Macken Canyon. It is yet to early to quantitatively measure any biological results. In addition, monitoring activities have started, but once more it is to early for any biological results to be quantitatively measured.

Annual reports and technical papers
Progress reports and billings due quarterly and monthly respectively

Management implications
In 1991, ODFW conducted a Quantitative Stream/Aquatic Habitat Survey for the entire length of Buckhollow Creek. The data collected provided baseline information for the habitat conditions currently found in Buckhollow Creek. In addition, the survey allowed project cooperators (participating government agencies and public organizations) to review current habitat conditions and establish a defined set of habitat conditions needed to improve salmonid populations in the Buckhollow Watershed. Based on the habitat conditions collected in Buckhollow Creek the cooperators focused on management techniques that would have the greatest success for improving salmonid populations in buckhollow. The management plan derived has been divided into four main elements. The first element is to design and apply grazing systems to both the uplands and the riparian zone. The second element consists of placing fish habitat improvements where appropriate. The third element, cropland conservation systems encourages landowners to apply cropland systems in the uplands. The fourth element, upland range conservation practices encourages landowners to apply water and sediment control basins where feasible.

The management implications of this particular project are great. Buckhollow Creek is located primarily on private property. It is also important to note the fact that the project was initiated by the local communities surrounding the watershed. Restoration efforts are therefore tied directly to the support of these local communities. In addition, restoration efforts revolve around the cooperation of a myriad of government agencies. Each government agency is responsible for their particular area of expertise. However each agency must cooperate not only with the individuals within the communities, but also with the objectives and overall missions of the participating agencies. This cooperative effort can be used as an example for future salmonid habitat restoration projects. The Buckhollow Creek project is a prime example of local communities and various agencies cooperating and working together to restore a watershed from a top down approach for the long term improvement of its riparian area and salmonid populations.

Another implication is that the management treatments will begin at the head of Buckhollow and proceed to the confluence of the Deschutes River. All treatments will be monitored and any problems encountered will be documented and corrected in future treatments. In addition, any problems that may be encountered with logistics before or during the implementation of treatments will be modified and corrected for treatments downstream. This will ensure greater efficiency and effectiveness of the available resources and treatments implemented as work continues downstream on Buckhollow Creek.

Specific measureable objectives
Based on available riparian habitat restoration/watershed research, and past/present riparian habitat projects, the Buckhollow cooperators established nine project goals. It was determined that the first eight goals listed below would lead to the success of the ninth goal; increasing Buckhollow’s annual steelhead return to 1,000 adult fish. Baseline data for the below mentioned physical habitat characteristics has been collected. In addition, the data has been summarized according to landowners on or adjacent to Buckhollow Creek. Each landowner has been assigned a reach number corresponding to the entry and exit of Buckhollow Creek from their property. The collection of baseline data, creation of reaches, and summarization of data according to reach number will allow the objectives to be measured effectively and efficiently as well as maintain public involvement in the project.

1) Shade: The goal is to establish 80% shading of the watercourse.
The existing shade condition is currently 35%.
2) Water Temperature: The goal is to limit the maximum water temperatures to 58
degrees F. The existing water temperature condition is 80 degrees F. or greater in the summer
months.
3) Flow: The goal is to augment low flows to a minimum of 5 CFS at the mouth of
buckhollow. The existing low flow conditions average 1 CFS.
4) Pool/Riffle Ratio: The goal is to achieve a pool/riffle ratio of 40/60.
The existing pool/riffle ratio is 10/90.
5) Channel Width/Depth Ratio: The goal is to achieve a channel width/depth ratio of less
than ten. The existing width/depth is a ratio of 30.
6) Streambank Stability: The goal is to have 80% of the streambanks stable.
The existing streambank condition is measured at 25% stability.
7) Woody debris: The goal is to have 20 units per 100 meters of stream corridor.
The existing woody debris condition is less than 5 units per 100 meters.
8) Substrate: The goal is to limit the percentage of fines in the channel substrate to less
than 12 percent. The existing substrate condition is 20% fines in the channel substrate.
9) Steelhead: The goal is to increase annual returning steelhead to 1,000 adult fish.
The existing annual return of steelhead adults averages 200.

Testable hypothesis
Null Hypothesis: By developing grazing systems to both the uplands and riparian zones, installing fish habitat improvements, applying cropland conservation systems in the uplands, and implementing upland range conservation practices the projected annual return of steelhead to Buckhollow Creek will not be effected.

Alternative Hypothesis: By developing grazing systems to both the uplands and riparian zones, installing fish habitat improvements, applying cropland conservation systems in the uplands, and implementing upland range conservation practices the projected annual return of steelhead to Buckhollow Creek will increase from approximately from 200 to 1,000.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
The underlying assumptions in this project are that by controlling grazing in the uplands and riparian areas, placing fish habitat improvements where appropriate, developing cropland conservation systems, and applying upland range conservation practices will attain the established project goals.

Critical constraints:

Landowner cooperation is very important in this project since approximately 95% of the watershed is privately owned. Access to upland and riparian areas privately owned in watershed are controlled by the private individual. Landowner acceptance and cooperation are necessary on private lands to allow for implementation of all management improvements.

Fill and Removal Permits from the Oregon Division of State Lands must be obtained before any instream habitat work is performed.

Implementation of project work is highly dependent on receiving funding in a timely manner.

Methods
The goal of the Buckhollow Watershed Enhancement Project is to increase production of summer steelhead within the Buckhollow Creek Basin by restoring spawning and rearing habitat. To accomplish this goal, work will progress in the following three stages.

1. Project planning and coordination.
2. Implementation.
3. Project monitoring.

Project planning and coordination

ODFW will continue to work with cooperators and landowners providing technical support within the Buckhollow Creek Basin pursuant to a memorandum of understanding developed during the planning stage.

ODFW will participate in negotiations with cooperators in the Buckhollow Creek basin to continue the development of habitat restoration agreements. Technical support and specifications will be provided by ODFW in the development of instream improvement structures, bank stabilization work and riparian fencing.. ODFW will survey Buckhollow Creek to determine if specified fish habitat improvements documented on aerial photos and the project work map require modification due to spring flows. If modification is necessary both aerial photos and project map will be updated. All completed work will also be identified on aerial photos and project work map. In addition, ODFW will continue to provide technical support to all cooperators concerning riparian habitat improvements and riparian grazing management agreements, participate in all technical review, public, landowner and monthly Wasco WCSWCD meetings, participate in the development of upland conservation practices, and provide necessary assistance for ongoing educational activities in the Buckhollow Creek Basin. ODFW will also assist in the development of a GIS data base for the Buckhollow Creek Basin.

Implementation

ODFW will ensure that implementation of habitat protection and enhancement measures will be consistent with the site specific plans that were developed during the planning and coordination activities.

ODFW, where at all possible, will allow for natural rehabilitation of the riparian and instream fish habitat. Where this is not feasible, ODFW will provide technical assistance and participate in onsite contractor inspection of instream fish habitat and bank stabilization improvements on designated project sites. Technical assistance will be provided for onsite contractor inspection of riparian fence work. In addition, ODFW will participate in the construction of instream fish habitat structures, bank stability improvements, riparian fencing, and bio-engineering projects as needed. Should repairs to fish habitat improvements, bank stability improvements or fencing projects be necessary, ODFW will provide technical support and assistance in repairs.

Monitoring

Monitoring activities will begin when construction of instream fish habitat improvements, bank stabilization improvements and fence work has been completed and will continue until the end of the project. This will be done to ensure continued functioning of all habitat improvement projects, thereby ensuring success of the entire habitat project. All fish habitat improvements will be inspected following spring high flows. All damage to or failure of fish habitat or bank stabilization work will be documented. In addition, ODFW will assist in the development of site specific monitoring activities that will include the establishment of on-going photo sites and cross section measurements. Monitoring sites will be established in each separate management unit (individual reach) following the completion of project work in that reach to ensure efforts are accomplishing the desired effect. ODFW will also participate in the collection of baseline monitoring data to establish a reference from which riparian improvements can be measured, cooperative project progress will be charted and reported to cooperators and landowners.

Monitoring sites have been established from Kelsey Springs to the mouth of Buckhollow Creek to compliment monitoring sites established by BLM. These monitoring sites will record stream flow, channel crossections, water temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen. The collection of data will be used to create a time series analysis to reflect seasonal and yearly variations in selected water quality parameters and improvements over time. ODFW will provide technical support and assistance in the collection of this data. In addition, ODFW will provide the technical support and assistance necessary for surveying and evaluating data collected during redd count and spawning ground surveys

Brief schedule of activities
1997:

ODFW will continue to work with cooperators and landowners providing technical support within the Buckhollow Creek Basin pursuant to a memorandum of understanding developed during the planning stage.

ODFW will participate in negotiations with cooperators in the Buckhollow Creek basin to continue the development of habitat restoration agreements. Technical support, assistance and specifications will be provided by ODFW in the development of instream improvement structures, bank stabilization work and riparian fencing in reaches where landowner agreement has been obtained. ODFW will survey Buckhollow Creek to determine if specified fish habitat improvements documented on aerial photos and the project work map require modification due to high spring flows. If modification is necessary both aerial photos and project map will be updated and cooperators informed. All completed work will also be identified on aerial photos and project work map In addition, ODFW will continue to provide technical support to all cooperators concerning riparian habitat improvements and riparian grazing management agreements, participate in all technical review, public, landowner and monthly WCSWCD meetings, participate in the development of upland conservation practices, and provide necessary assistance for ongoing educational activities in the Buckhollow Creek Basin.

ODFW will assist in assessing performance of all habitat improvements, fencing, and other practices implemented, and provide technical support and assistance in maintenance work if necessary.

ODFW will provide technical assistance and participate in onsite contractor inspection of instream fish habitat and bank stabilization improvements on designated project sites. Technical assistance will be provided for onsite contractor inspection of riparian fence work. In addition, ODFW will participate in the construction of instream fish habitat structures, bank stability improvements, riparian fencing, and bio-engineering projects as needed.

ODFW will provide technical support and assistance with the collection and evaluation of data collected at established monitoring sites on buckhollow. ODFW will also assist in the development of a GIS data base for the Buckhollow Creek Basin. In addition, ODFW will provide the technical support and assistance necessary for surveying and evaluating data collected during redd count and spawning ground surveys.

Biological need
Buckhollow Creek is only marginally functioning as a watershed. In the past Buckhollow was recognized for its excellent fishery with runs of summer steelhead throughout the 28 miles of main stem. Heavy grazing by the sheep industry in the late 1800’s followed by continuous cattle grazing led to the gradual deterioration of the watershed. In recent years (1964 &1978) intense runoff events have scoured out the stream courses, causing extensive damage to chinook and steelhead habitat. The annual return of steelhead to Buckhollow is estimated to be approximately 200.

1: Lack of shade: Shading is extremely important in maintaining viable stream temperatures for salmonids. Shade (vegetation) also is important in providing bank and instream stability , stream complexity, water storage, and resistance to erosion. The existing shade condition is currently 35%, much lower than that required by viable salmonid populations. The lack of shade/vegetation is the primary contributor to the poor quality of the watershed as well as the poor productivity of salmonid populations in buckhollow. In addition, lack of cover/shelter promotes steelhead vulnerability to predation.

2: Lethal summer water temperature: High summer temperatures have greatly reduced rearing habitat capability. The lack of riparian vegetation and low summer flows result in water temperatures up to 80 degrees F. or greater. Rearing and holding sites have become scarce and isolated island refuges.

3: Low summer flows: Summer flows in Buckhollow are below the rearing and holding requirements for salmonids. Typical summer low flows do not exceed 1 CFS. Due to low flows the rearing and holding capacity of Buckhollow has decreased dramatically. Reduction of riparian habitat has decreased the moisture holding capacity of stream adjacent soils and has diminished summer flows. Buckhollows summer flows in many segments has become intermittent.

4: Lack of habitat diversity: Buckhollow is currently riffle dominated. The existing pool/riffle ratio 10/90 is much lower than the optimum ratio 40/60. The poor pool/riffle ration is largely due to channelization and the lack of large woody debris input from the riparian area. The lack of pools and cover reduce the rearing habitat for steelhead, particularly yearling and older fish.

5: Lack of channel stability: The lack of channel stability has increased sediment loading and channel width while decreasing effective cover and the quantity of pool habitat. Lack of channel stability in Buckhollow due to overgrazing and high flows has reduced or eliminated the natural floodplains and channel sinuosity resulting in higher stream velocities which accelerate bank erosion and downcutting. The existing width/depth is a ratio of 30. The optimum channel depth/width ratio is less than ten. The poor width /depth ratio found in Buckhollow decreases fish passage, shading/vegetation, and negatively affects the ability of sediment and bedload to pass through the system.

6: Sediment loading: Land use within the watershed has increased sediment deposition to the stream channel. This increased sediment loading degrades spawning and rearing habitat. The existing substrate condition is 20% fines in the channel substrate. The percentage of fines in the channel substrate should be less than 12%.

Critical uncertainties
The most critical uncertainty with this type of project is the fact that it relies heavily on the voluntary cooperation of the private landowners in the Buckhollow Creek Basin. If an individual landowner chooses not to cooperate in the project then there is a gap in the riparian habitat restoration. If several large adjacent landowners along the stream choose not to cooperate, then the success of the project downstream of those landowners would be difficult. However, to date this does not seem to be a problem.

Summary of expected outcome
Increase production of annual return of steelhead from 200 to 1,000. In addition, the management techniques will return Buckhollow Creek to a biologically functioning watershed.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Buckhollow Creek is located primarily on private property. It is also important to note the fact that the project was initiated by the local communities surrounding the watershed. Restoration efforts are therefore tied directly to the support of these local communities. In addition, restoration efforts revolve around the cooperation of a myriad of government agencies. Each government agency is responsible for their particular area of expertise. However each agency must cooperate not only with the individuals within the communities, but also with the objectives and overall missions of the participating agencies. This cooperative effort can be used as an example for future salmonid habitat restoration projects. The Buckhollow Creek project is a prime example of local communities and various agencies cooperating and working together to restore a watershed from a top down approach for the long term improvement of its riparian area and salmonid populations.

Risks
The most significant events that could possibly affect the projects timing are weather related. Buckhollow Creek has experienced two major flood events in the recent past. The first occurring in 1965, the other a localized flood event that occurred in 1978. The most recent flood event to occur in the region was in Feb. 1996. However, it is to soon to assess the damage since it is still to wet to gain access to the creek. Extreme flood events could possibly damage riparian fencing and/or newly placed fish habitat improvements.

Monitoring activity
Three types of monitoring will be used in the Buckhollow Watershed Enhancement Project. They include implementation, effectiveness, and baseline monitoring. Implementation monitoring will document proper installation of practices and record reasons for any design variation. Effectiveness monitoring will document how well the practices met the intended objectives. Baseline monitoring is conducted to determine long term trends and provide benchmarks for comparison purposes and effectiveness 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
1993: 87,925
1994: 30,141
1995: 57,202
Obligation: 0
Authorized: 53,000
Planned: 53,000
1997: 75,000
1998: 75,000
1999: 75,000
2000: 75,000
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   Bonneville Dam - Priest Rapids Dam

Recommendation    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $75,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $55,000