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
Kokanee Impacts Assessment & Monitoring on Lk Pend Oreille

BPA project number   9403500

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
IDFG

Sponsor type   ID-State/Local Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameMelo Maiolie
 Mailing address2750 Kathleen Aveenue
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
 Phone208/769-1414

BPA technical contact   Charlie Craig, EWP 503/230-3430

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   10.6E.1, 5.4D.7

Short description
The Council has recommended changes in Albeni Falls Dam operation for the next 3 years to provide water for salmon flows. This project assesses the impact of these changes on one keystone species; the kokanee salmon. By monitoring kokanee, past and future changes in lake elevation can be evaluated.

Project start year   1995    End year   1996

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1998

Project development phase   Maintenance

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
Lake Pend Oreille Kokanee #9404700. When the “Lake Pend Oreille Kokanee Project” gets funding, the tasks in this project will be become part of that project.

Project history
The Army Corps of Engineers continually changes the operation of Albeni Falls Dam. Lake levels have raised as much as 5 feet after kokanee spawning (1994) and dropped as much as 2.3 feet (1986) after spawning. Lake levels have changed to help downstream flood control and aid repairs on downstream projects. In the Council’s program, 10.6E and 5.4D.7, lake levels will change once again to determine the effects on the reservoir’s fisheries and anadromous fisheries. To monitor all of these changes, a project needs to stay in place which annually estimates the abundance of each year class of kokanee. Monitoring kokanee in Lake Pend Oreille has been conducted under other BPA funded projects since 1985.

Biological results achieved
Previous monitoring on Lake Pend Oreille has shown that the stocking of up to 13 million hatchery fish annually has not mitigated the impacts of winter-time drawdowns of the lake. It also has shown that shoreline spawning kokanee continue to decline this past year, and few wild fish were produce on the south end of the lake where most wild fry normally originate. Monitoring in 1995 showed wild fry survival was 1.8% from eggs to fry with mid-winter increase in lake elevation of 5 feet. This project has provided a complete data base of kokanee abundance which dates back to 1977. Thus, when lake levels change in the future, we will have a excellent basis for statistical comparisons.

Annual reports and technical papers
Annual progress reports have been submitted to and published by BPA since 1985.

Management implications
If we are to determine the effect of changing lake levels, we first must have a data base for comparison. This project has, and will, continue this data base until the lake level test begins and will quantify other changes as they occur. Data will be used to develop biological and integrated rule curves for Albeni Falls Dam. If successful the kokanee fishery will be restored to a harvest of 750,000 fish annually and rainbow trout and bull trout abundance can be increased to historic levels.

Specific measureable objectives
To increase kokanee harvest in Lake Pend Oreille to 750,000 fish annually with an adult population of 3.8 million fish. After kokanee recover, to increase bull trout and Kamloops rainbow trout abundance to utilize the increased production of kokanee.

Testable hypothesis
Increasing the lake elevation by changes in Albeni Falls Dam operation will significantly improve kokanee abundance and survival.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Our underlying assumption is that by monitoring the kokanee population we can quantify the effects of changes in dam operation.

Methods
Project uses a Hauser-type mid-water trawl to collect kokanee samples in a stratified random sampling design to estimate the kokanee population. Kokanee spawner counts are made by walking tributary streams and shoreline areas as have been the standard since 1952.

Brief schedule of activities
Trawling will take place during the new moon phase of September. Spawner counts will be conducted in September , November, and December. Trawl data analysis will be done during January to February.

Biological need
The Lake Pend Oreille kokanee fishery was once the largest fishery in the State of Idaho with up to 1.3 million fish harvested annually. It is now on the verge of collapse. The chief reason for the decline was a change in dam operation to deeper drawdowns well below flood control rule curves. Kokanee are also the primary forage for bull trout and rainbow trout. Predator abundance has been purposefully limited because of low forage. Dam operation will undoubtedly continue to change, therefore, monitoring the effects of the changes is warranted.

Critical uncertainties
The uncertainty we need to resolve is how much changes in dam operation can benefit the kokanee population.

Summary of expected outcome
Results of monitoring the kokanee population will tell us the extent of impacts Albeni Falls Dam has on kokanee survival and abundance. This in turn will lead to recommended changes in the rule curves for the dam. Also, it will provide for a gain/losses assessment of resident fish.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
This project’s budget will be completely absorbed if the “Lake Pend Oreille Kokanee Project” (# 9404700) is funded in FY 1997.

Risks
The monitoring in this project is mostly risk-free.

Monitoring activity
This entire project is a monitoring activity

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: 52,897
1995: 52,930
New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 50,668

* 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   Resident Fish

Recommendation    Tier 2 - fund when funds available

Recommended funding level   $50,668