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
Assessing Summer/Fall Chinook Restoration in the Snake River Basin

BPA project number   9403400

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Nez Perce Tribe

Sponsor type   ID-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameBill Arnsberg
 Mailing addressNez Perce Tribe
P.O. Box 365
Lapwai, ID 83540
 Phone208/476-7296

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

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   7.3B.2

Short description
Assessing summer and fall chinook spawning, incubation, growth, outmigration timing, and survival for evaluating recovery and restoration potential through supplementation in major Snake River tributaries: Clearwater River and major tributaries, Grande Ronde, Salmon, and Imnaha Rivers.

Project start year   1994    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1999

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
Project 9102900 is assessing fall chinook spawning habitat availability and quality in the mainstem Snake River while we are doing the same in major Snake River tributaries. Project 9102900 is assessing rearing and emigration of wild fall chinook in the Snake River and is currently working cooperatively with us on the same assessment in the Clearwater River. Project 9102900, in cooperation with Idaho Power Company, is conducting fall chinook aerial redd surveys on the Snake and Imnaha Rivers and we are doing similar surveys on the Clearwater, Grande Ronde, and Salmon Rivers. For 1996, there will be monitoring and evaluation of Lyons Ferry Hatchery fall chinook supplemented in the Snake River at Pittsburg Landing in cooperation with the Nez Perce Tribe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Funding for 1996 monitoring and evaluation of supplemented Lyons Ferry Hatchery fall chinook will be sought through the BPA set aside funds for ESA related activities.

Project history
The Mainstem Clearwater River Study: Assessment for Salmonid Spawning, Incubation and Rearing (Arnsberg et al. 1992) described adequate habitat for the recovery and restoration of the ESA listed Snake River fall chinook. The Mainstem Clearwater River Study also made flow and temperature recommendations from Dworshak Dam to enhance habitat conditions for all anadromous species. This study is a follow-up study for evaluation work needed in the upper Clearwater and tributaries, Grande Ronde, Imnaha, and Salmon Rivers to assess summer and fall chinook recovery and restoration potential. The second year of the project has been completed. Fall chinook aerial redd surveys were conducted on the Clearwater and major tributaries, and on the Salmon River to help determine adult escapement and to obtain biological information from spawned-out fish. Temperatures were monitored in the upper Clearwater and major tributaries to assess early egg incubation and juvenile rearing conditions. Chinook salmon spawning habitat quality and quantity were assessed in the upper Clearwater and major tributaries. An experimental study design to evaluate outmigration timing, growth rates, and survival of Lyons Ferry Hatchery fall chinook salmon supplemented in the Clearwater River was written, however no fish were available for research during 1994 and 1995, and will not be available for 1996. During 1996, we will assess summer and fall chinook spawning and rearing conditions in the lower Grande Ronde River. We will capture and PIT tag wild fall chinook juveniles in the lower Grande Ronde and Clearwater Rivers to assess movement patterns, outmigration timing, growth rates, and survival to the mainstem dams. We will conduct fall chinook spawning ground surveys to determine adult escapement to the Clearwater, Salmon, and Grande Ronde Rivers. The Bureau of Land Management has funded most aerial fall chinook surveys on the Salmon River for the past two years and has proposed to do so in the future.

Biological results achieved
Ongoing fall chinook aerial redd surveys were conducted on the Clearwater and major tributaries and on the Salmon River to document adult escapement and spawning locations. Spawned-out fall chinook salmon were collected to obtain biological information and to determine hatchery contributions. We are currently coordinating with Dworshak Dam operating entities so that temperature and discharge effects do not jeopardize the continued existence of the endangered fall chinook salmon in the Clearwater River.

Annual reports and technical papers
Annual report: Assessing Summer and Fall Chinook Salmon Spawning, Incubation, and Outmigration Timing in the Upper Clearwater River (Arnsberg 1994, in press). Annual report: Assessing Summer and Fall Chinook Salmon Spawning, Incubation, and Outmigration Timing in the Upper Clearwater River is due to BPA by 6/1/96. Quarterly reports have been submitted to BPA.

Management implications
This research and monitoring study may direct future supplementation strategies (i.e. release location, release timing, release size, acclimation versus direct stream release) for Lyons Ferry fall chinook supplementation above Lower Granite Dam. This study will provide a broodstock management plan for supplementation to recover stocks of summer and/or fall chinook salmon in the upper Clearwater and major tributaries, Grande Ronde, Imnaha, and Salmon Rivers. This study will describe egg incubation and rearing water temperatures, habitat quality and quantity measurements in study rivers that will provide fishery managers with the necessary data to aid in recovery and restoration of ESA listed chinook salmon stocks. Our 1994 Annual Report Assessing Summer and Fall Chinook Salmon Spawning, Incubation, and Outmigration Timing in the Upper Clearwater River (Arnsberg 1994, in press) recommends discharge and temperature releases from Dworshak Dam that provide benefits to the endangered fall chinook and all salmonids in the Clearwater River as previously recommended in our 1992 Final Report to BPA: Mainstem Clearwater River Study: Assessment for Salmonid Spawning, Incubation and Rearing (Arnsberg et al. 1992).

Specific measureable objectives
Objective 1. Determine optimal summer and/or fall chinook spawning times for highest survival of eggs
and juveniles in the upper Clearwater, Salmon, Grande Ronde, and Imnaha Rivers.
Objective 2. Determine appropriate summer and/or fall chinook broodstock to match current habitat
conditions.
Objective 3. Determine the quality and quantity of spawning habitat in the Grande Ronde, Imnaha, and
Salmon Rivers.
Objective 4. Determine the movement patterns, growth rates, and survival of naturally produced fall
chinook in the lower Clearwater, Grande Ronde, and Imnaha Rivers to the lower Snake and
Columbia River dams.
Objective 5. Determine the movement patterns, growth rates, and survival of Lyons Ferry fall chinook
subyearlings supplemented in the lower Clearwater and Grande Ronde Rivers.
Objective 6. Determine fall chinook spawning escapement and locations, and the percentage of hatchery
contributions to natural production in the Clearwater, Grande Ronde, and Salmon Rivers.

Testable hypothesis
Ho1: Spawning habitat quality and quantity will not be adequate to sustain summer and/or fall chinook
salmon natural production in the Grande Ronde, Imnaha, and Salmon Rivers.
Ho2: Lyons Ferry Hatchery fall chinook subyearlings will not survive, travel and grow at the same rate as
wild fall chinook in the lower Clearwater and Grande Ronde Rivers.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Fall chinook returns to Lyons Ferry Hatchery will be adequate to allow subyearling research above Lower Granite Dam (subyearling outmigration to the ocean is the dominant life history strategy for Snake River fall chinook). PIT tags do not affect the behavior and survival of juvenile fall chinook salmon. PIT tagged hatchery and wild fall chinook salmon will be interrogated and bypassed in the same proportions at the lower Snake River dams and separation by code for PIT tagged fish will be operable at least at Lower Granite. Discharge and temperature releases from Dworshak Dam will be favorable for fall chinook rearing in the lower Clearwater River.

Methods
M1: 1) Temperatures will be monitored to assess early egg incubation and juvenile rearing conditions in
the Imnaha River. Thermographs will be placed in the water column and in the spawning substrate to determine habitat conditions. Thermal temperature units will be calculated for the summer and fall chinook egg incubation period to assess egg-to-fry survival and to predict emergence timing of potential stocks. Summer juvenile rearing conditions will be assessed by describing average daily and maximum water temperatures. Either Ryan or Onset temperature recorders will be used.
M2: 1) Spawning habitat quality and quality will be assessed to determine the natural production potential
of summer and/or fall chinook salmon in the Imnaha River. A tri-tube freeze-core sampler will be used to obtain spawning substrate samples and a subsampler will be used to assess substrate quality with depth. Potential spawning areas will be mapped and spawning availability will be assessed by direct observation and IFIM techniques. 2) ANOVA to look at within and between stream spawning substrate quality indices of percent fines, geometric mean diameter, and the Fredle Index.
M3: 1) Snake River fall chinook subyearlings will be requested from Lyons Ferry Hatchery to assess
outmigration timing and travel times, growth rates, and survival from the lower Clearwater River to the mainstem dams through PIT tag technology. These parameters will be compared to wild fall chinook subyearlings captured and PIT tagged in the lower Clearwater River. Equipment will include floating net pens for acclimation and 30,000 PIT tags for hatchery and wild fish. 2) The Survival Under Proportional Hazards (SURPH) model will be used to estimate survival to the mainstem dams. ANOVA will be used to measure statistical survival differences between hatchery and wild fall chinook subyearling. 3) A total of 27,000 Snake River origin Lyons Ferry Hatchery subyearling fall chinook will be requested.
M4: 1) Conduct aerial fall chinook spawning ground surveys to determine adult escapement and spawning
locations in the Clearwater, Grande Ronde, and Salmon Rivers. Redds will be mapped by helicopter and verified from the ground to document spawning activity and locations. Spawned-out fish will be collected and biological measurements made to determine sex, size, age, percent spawned, and the percent hatchery contributions.

Brief schedule of activities
Ongoing monitoring of water temperatures in the upper Clearwater, Grande Ronde, Imnaha, and Salmon Rivers. Potential chinook salmon spawning areas will be mapped in the Imnaha River and quality and quantity assessed. PIT tagging of up to 2,000 naturally produced fall chinook in each the Clearwater, Grande Ronde, and Imnaha Rivers to assess movement patterns, growth rates, and survival to lower Snake and Columbia River dams. PIT tagging of 24,000 Lyons Ferry fall chinook subyearlings for acclimation and release in the lower Clearwater River for supplementation evaluation. Aerial spawning ground surveys to determine fall chinook adult escapement and spawning locations in the Clearwater, Grande Ronde, and Salmon Rivers. Collection of fall chinook carcasses for biological information and to determine hatchery contributions in the Clearwater, Grande Ronde, and Salmon Rivers. Monitoring of supplementation success will begin in FY 1999.

Biological need
To evaluate current chinook salmon spawning and rearing habitat conditions, to document outmigration survival of wild juvenile fall chinook, and to assess the use of artificial propagation for recovery and restoration of ESA listed Snake River summer and/or fall chinook salmon in the Clearwater, Grande Ronde, Imnaha, and Salmon Rivers.

Critical uncertainties
Relative chinook salmon smolt performance under different flow and passage conditions at mainstem Snake and Columbia River dams is a suitable indicator for predicting adult returns. Flow and passage conditions at the mainstem dams will be improved substantially in the near future so that effective measurements of using artificial propagation to return successfully spawning chinook salmon adults to production areas can be assessed.

Summary of expected outcome
Identification of suitable summer and/or fall chinook broodstock will be conducted with associated risks for the Clearwater, Grande Ronde, Imnaha, and Salmon Rivers that will allow fishery managers to make decisions for the recovery and restoration of ESA listed stocks. Water temperature analysis will provide data on egg-to-fry survival and will describe past and current juvenile rearing conditions in the upper Clearwater, Grande Ronde, Imnaha, and Salmon Rivers. Spawning habitat availability data will provide fishery managers with predictions of adult carrying capacities in all study rivers. Spawning habitat quality analysis will provide expected egg-to-fry survival levels in the upper Clearwater, Grande Ronde, Imnaha, and Salmon Rivers. Juvenile outmigration timing, survival, and life history information of wild and hatchery fall chinook juveniles in the Clearwater, Grande Ronde, Imnaha, and Salmon Rivers will give fishery managers and mainstem dam operators the necessary data to make flow and passage decisions that will help in the recovery and restoration of ESA listed fall chinook salmon.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Production Advisory Committee's recommendation to use surplus Lyons Ferry Hatchery fall chinook salmon subyearlings for supplementation research purposes in the lower Clearwater River. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's cooperation to rear subyearling fall chinook for supplementation research, which may include the need for chilled water to decrease normal hatchery growth rates of fish. Cooperation and coordination is needed with the NMFS and USFWS to separate PIT tagged fish that require "separation by code" at key Snake River dams for survival analysis. Cooperation and coordination is needed with the USFWS and WDFW for similar studies such as the Monitoring and Evaluation of Lyons Ferry Hatchery fall chinook above Lower Granite Dam. The monitoring and evaluation study could also be incorporated into this ongoing project in assessing fall chinook salmon restoration.

Risks
Risks associated with the capture and PIT tagging of wild subyearling fall chinook salmon are mortalities estimated to be < 2% or no more than 40 juveniles/stream.

Monitoring activity
Water temperatures will be monitored on an ongoing basis in the Clearwater, Grande Ronde, Imnaha, and Salmon Rivers to evaluate spawning, egg incubation, and juvenile rearing conditions. Juvenile fall chinook will be monitored in streams to obtain growth rates and interrogations will be obtained at the lower Snake and Columbia River dams to assess outmigration timing and survival. Adult escapement to the spawning grounds will be monitored to assess the success of supplementation strategies beginning FY 1999.

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
1994: 241,262
1995: 225,997
Obligation: 0
Authorized: 225,997
Planned: 225,997
1997: 203,000
1998: 220,000
1999: 150,000
2000: 160,000
2001: 160,000

* 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 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $203,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $286,000