BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1997 Proposal
Section 1. Administrative
Section 2. Narrative
Section 3. Budget
see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations
Title of project
Methow Valley Irrigation District Conversion
BPA project number 9603401
Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Yakama Indian Nation
Sponsor type WA-Tribe
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
|Mailing address||P.O. Box 151
Toppenish, WA 98948
BPA technical contact , EWN
Biological opinion ID
NWPPC Program number 3.1D.1
Convert the Methow Valley Irrigation from an inefficient open canal system to a pressurized, efficient system. Ninety percent of the water saved will be dedicated, senior priority date intact, to instream flows in the Methow and Twisp Rivers.
Project start year 1996 End year 1997
Start of operation and/or maintenance 1996
Project development phase Implementation
Biological results achieved
Annual reports and technical papers
Specific measureable objectives
The project objective is to improve instream flows in the Methow and Twisp Rivers. The Methow Valley Irrigation District presently diverts approximately seventy cubic feet per second from the Methow and Twisp Rivers. After the project is implemented, they will divert approximately twelve cubic feet per second. The change in diversion will be easily measured in both stream channels.
Our hypothesis is that instream flow improvements associated with this project will dramatically improve habitat quality and quantity for rearing spring chinook salmon and steelhead. A recently completed IFIM study revealed that the subject flow improvements will increase spring chinook fall rearing habitat by approximately 250 % on the Twisp River and 50% on the Methow River. The project would result in similar benefits for steelhead.
Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
The extent to which the project will benefit steelhead and spring chinook depends on the validity of the assumption that late summer and fall flow problems limit smolt production in the Methow Basin.
The on-going hatchery evaluation program will be used to determine changes in smolt production rates for natural spawners. That program includes an extensive smolt trapping and snorkeling effort.
Brief schedule of activities
The work is expected to take three or four months to complete. The irrigation district has already approved the plan and is ready to hire a contractor as soon as funds are available.
Methow Basin spring chinook and steelhead populations are severely depressed. Steelhead have been petitioned for listing under the ESA. 1995 spring chinook returns will the lowest ever recorded (<75 fish). Instream flows are extremely low in the late summer and fall of most years and are believed to be the major in-basin factor limiting anadromous fish production.
The assumption that low instream flows are limiting anadromous fish production in the Methow has not been validated.
Summary of expected outcome
The project will more than double late summer and fall flows in the Twisp River. Existing flows in the Twisp River approach zero in dry years. It will further improve flows in the Methow River by approximately thirty-five cubic feet per second, and increase of approximately fifteen percent to fall flows.
Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
The project presents an enormous opportunity for cooperative project implementation. The total estimated project cost is $ 3.7 million, of which the Washington Department of Ecology has committed $ 1.5 million, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has committed $ 0.27 million, and the local RC and D has applied for several private foundation grants. In addition to financial participation, the project is enthusiastically supported by the local water planning group, all of the state agencies, and, obviously, the Yakama Indian Nation. The project will also free up the small amount of water (approximately 1 cubic foot per second) needed by the Town of Twisp to bring additional light industry into this economically depressed area. Currently, the Town is operating at the limits of its water rights and cannot expand further.
As previously mentioned, the projectís efficacy will be evaluated through the existing and on-going hatchery evaluation program.
|Historic costs||FY 1996 budget data*||Current and future funding needs|
|(none)||New project - no FY96 data available||1997: 861,000|
* 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.
CBFWA funding review group Priest Rapids Dam - Chief Joseph Dam
Recommendation Tier 1 - fund
Recommended funding level $861,000
BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget) $2,161,000