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
Columbia River Terminal Fisheries Research Project

BPA project number   9306000

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
ODFW

Sponsor type   OR-State/Local Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NamePaul Hirose, ODFW and Marc Miller, WDFW
 Mailing addressODFW/WDFW
17330 S.E. Evelyn St./16118 NE 219th
Clackamas, OR 97015/Battleground, WA 98604
 Phone503/657-2028

BPA technical contact   Deborah Docherty, EWN 503/230-4458

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   8.3C.1

Short description
Determine the feasivility of creating terminal fisheries to allow harvest of strong stocks while protecting depressed fish stocks.

Project start year   1992    End year   2003

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects

Project history
1992: BPA funded 2-year study of overwinter rearing of coho in Youngs Bay net pens.
-Project No. 92-77
-Sept., 1992-Jan. 1996
-Contract amount $575,332

1993: Initial year of current project study has resulted in selection of new sites for study at Deep River, Steamboat Slough and Cathlamet Channel in Washington, and Tongue Point, Blind Slough, Clifton Channel and Wallace Slough in Oregon.

1994: Began fish rearing experiments using Willamette stock spring chinook to overwinter in Youngs Bay. Began studies of Rogue stock fall chinook in Youngs Bay. Began extensive water quality and benthic monitoring program at new sites. Began spring and fall test fishery monitoring programs at net sites.

1995: Deep River (Washington), and Tongue Point and Blind Slough (Oregon) were selected for implementation of pilot rearing studies. Capitalization of the new sites with releases planned for coho (1993-95 broods) and spring chinook (1994-96 broods). All monitoring programs continued.

Biological results achieved
Youngs Bay overwintering of 1991 brood coho

-Survival rate of "overwintered" coho (2.82%) was greater than coho acclimated for two weeks (0.88%) and coho released from N.F. Klaskanine (0.32%) and S.F. Klaskanine Hatcheries (0.63%). Conclusions regarding survival rate increases due to overwinter rearing are unclear at this time since other factors (time of release) may have been responsible for increased survival.

-Contribution of "overwintered" coho to the Youngs Bay commercial catch was estimated to be 35,079 fish (60.7% of the total catch).

-Low stray rate for overwinter coho (0.6% is similar to 2-week acclimation coho (0.7%) and less than N.F. Klaskanine released coho (2.7%).

Youngs Bay overwintering of 1992 Brood coho
-Preliminary coded-wire tag recovery data indicate survival rate (percent and comparison), contribution to Youngs Bay commercial catch (50.8%), and stray rate (<1%) to be similar to the 1991 brood coho data.

No biological results achieved for current project. First return from study is expected in the fall of 1996.

Annual reports and technical papers
Draft of the annual report covering 1994, the first year of the project, is complete and will be finalized in early 1996

Draft of the 1995 annual report is due January 31, 1996, with a final report targeted for March 31, 1996. Completion date for the draft report will not be met, however the final report due date is realistically attainable.

Semi-annual reports for the Youngs Bay terminal fishery project have been written and submitted to BPA. A completed report is due March, 1996.

Management implications
Information gained from this study will be used by fisheries managers in setting time, gear, and area restrictions for sites with production potential. Harvest goals of 100% of the production from net pens can be pursued without impacting weak or endangered stocks.

Successful study sites will provide areas in the lower Columbia River where viable sport and commercial fisheries can occur without impacting rebuilding efforts for endangered upriver salmon stocks.

Specific measureable objectives
The long-term goal of this study is to determine specific sites and areas that can support viable sport and commercial harvest without impacting weak stocks. The measurable objectives would be in terms of economic benefits and quantifying biological impacts on weak and endangered stocks while staying within specific impact levels.

From 1992-1997 this project is testing the efficacy of overwinter rearing of coho, spring chinook, and fall chinook in Youngs Bay net pens. From 1995-2003 rearing and harvest fish in new terminal areas is planned.

Testable hypothesis
Development of terminal fishing opportunities in the lower Columbia River will support productive sport and commercial fisheries on harvestable stocks without negatively affecting rebuilding efforts directed at weak stocks.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Assumptions include availability of salmon juveniles from the existing hatchery programs, return to normal oceanic conditions to normalize survival rates, no changes in fishing regulations (i.e. ban on gillnets) or environmental impact constraints that would limit potential.

Methods
Project design is simply to utilize hatchery fingerling production for acclimation and rearing in lower Columbia River off channel areas with studies designed to determine which rearing variables (size, release time, rearing densities, release sites) would maximize survival, minimize straying, optimize economic benefits, while best utilizing the hatchery production.

Monitoring of water quality at sites using portable computerized probe, benthic monitoring seasonally using standard grabber and laboratory methods.

Standardized fish husbandry methods and net pen construction established from experience in Youngs Bay is the procedure used. Coded wire tagging (CWT) and finclipping of representative numbers of each study group is conducted with methods standardized coastwide. Recovery of CWTs is a product of a coordinated coastwide effort and essential for study evaluation.

Determination of background level of non-targeted stocks is accomplished using contract fishermen in each terminal site. Data are compared using a measure of catch per unit of effort.

Analysis of data generated by returns of adult study fish will be based on CWT recoveries. Statistical comparisons will be done utilizing existing standard methodology inclusive in the CWT recovery program.

Present studies include the following salmon stocks and numbers:
1994-96 brood fall chinook (Rogue stock) 750,000/Yr.
1993-95 brood spring chinook (Willamette R. stock) 475,000/Yr.
1994-96 brood spring chinook (Willamette R. stock) 450,000/Yr.
1993-95 brood coho (early stock) 600,000/Yr.
1993-95 brood coho (Grays R. stock) 200,000/Yr

Brief schedule of activities
Determine suitability of the Deep River, Steamboat Slough, Cathlamet Channel, Tongue Point Turning Basin, Blind Slough, Clifton Channel and Wallace Slough sites for rearing and release of salmon.

Determine the potential for the Deep River, Steamboat Slough, Cathlamet Channel, Tongue Point Turning Basin, Blind Slough, Clifton Channel, Wallace Slough and Prairie Channel sites for harvest of target and non-target fish stocks.

Investigate feasibility of cooperative, manageable sport fishery harvest in terminal fishing sites.

Evaluate the suitability of various anadromous fish stocks for use in terminal fishing sites.

Coordinate activities with WDFW, ODFW, CEDC, BPA, NMFS, and SFA.

Begin construction activities to develop research capabilities at other terminal fishery sites.

No significant changes in project work tasks are anticipated during 1998-2001.

Biological need
Future harvest of healthy hatchery stocks will be optimized while reducing harvest rates on weak, endangered stocks in mixed stock, mainstem fisheries.

Critical uncertainties
Annual funding uncertainty of this 10-year project affects planning and securing of study fish from hatchery programs.

Summary of expected outcome
Expected fish returns for each task.

Comparison of survival rated of net pen released fish with traditional hatchery releases.

Stock composition of harvest in new terminal areas. Expectations are for favorable results (few non-local stocks and high percentage of targeted stocks).

Analysis of escapement data to document stray rates (expected compliance with Wild Fish Plan).

Long-term expectations are for an economically successful sport and commercial fishery that can function independently and without impedance to recovery of weak and endangered upriver salmon runs.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Coordination and approval for reprogramming of fish stocking programs is essential at all levels; internal within WDFW and ODFW, in forums or individually with other agencies, and within requirements and guidelines of the ESA and Production Advisory Committee (PAC). NEPA requirements have been met however an EIS may be needed. Permits with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) are necessary along with local county and other state agencies. Lease agreements with private landowners are necessary.

Commercial harvest regulations require Columbia River Compact action in concurrent waters and states' action in state waters. Coordination with the appropriate enforcement agencies is essential.

Sport harvest proposals must be reviewed by enforcement and coordination between the states (OR & WA) for consistency.

All harvest must be addressed in the ESA process involving the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Columbia River Fish Management Plan as author of biological assessments concerning fishery impacts. Final approval of fisheries and harvest are then the responsibility of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

Risks
Availability of hatchery juveniles and funding for full implementation of the project.

Continuation of poor juvenile survival conditions in the ocean could cloud study conclusions and direction.

Monitoring activity
Evaluation of survival, contribution, and stray rates will be addressed annually utilizing the CWT recovery program presently in place and supplemented with intensified sampling efforts specific to the project within terminal areas.

Expected returns for study releases will be listed for each major task or objective and compared to actual results.

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: 417,855
1994: 393,825
1995: 400,000
1996: 559,038
Obligation: 559,038
Authorized: 786,000
Planned: 786,000
1997: 900,000
1998: 900,000
1999: 900,000
2000: 900,000
2001: 900,000

* 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   Below Bonneville Dam

Recommendation    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $900,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $785,000