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
Johnson Creek Artificial Propagation Enhancement

BPA project number   9604300

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

Sponsor type   ID-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NamePaul A. Kucera
 Mailing addressNez Perce Tribe
P.O. Box 365
Lapwai, ID 83540
 Phone208/843-7320

BPA technical contact   ,

Biological opinion ID   Section 10

NWPPC Program number   7.3B, 7.4

Short description
The Johnson Creek Artificial Propagation Enhancement project seeks to collect native Johnson Creek chinook salmon broodstock for rearing in McCall Hatchery and release of acclimated smolts to preserve and recover the salmon population. Adult collection/holding and juvenile rearing/acclimation facilities on Johnson Creek would be necessary for successful completion of the project.

Project start year   1996    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1997

Project development phase   Planning

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
Idaho Supplementation Studies (ISS) currently use the Johnson Creek chinook salmon population as a control population and plan to use it as a supplementation treatment stream as the current project proceeds. This project will be coordinated with Lower Snake River Compensation Plan (LSRCP) McCall Hatchery production of South Fork Salmon River chinook salmon. This project will also cost share and use the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) adult steelhead weir on Johnson Creek for use in adult chinook salmon trapping and collection.

Project history
The Johnson Creek Artificial Propagation Enhancement project is one of the high priority Tribal supplementation projects that has been around since the early implementation plan (EIP) process through the Bonneville Power Administration. It has received a high priority ranking through CBFWA and has been reviewed and recommended through the U.S. v. Oregon Production Advisory Committee process. A conventional hatchery approach or captive broodstock approach are possibilities to preserve and recover chinook salmon in Johnson Creek.

Biological results achieved
None to date. Project to be initiated in 1996.

Annual reports and technical papers
None to date. Project to be initiated in 1996.

Management implications

Specific measureable objectives
The use of artificial propagation will prevent extirpation of the Johnson Creek population. The use of artificial propagation and acclimated smolt releases will return a threshhold number of spawning adults to Johnson Creek and will aid in moving toward recovery and delisting of this salmon population. The overall goal of this project is to develop and implement a portable on-site adult collection/holding and rearing/acclimation facility for Johnson Creek summer chinook salmon with the intent of increasing adult returns through increased juvenile survival and improved homing in order to preserve and recover the Johnson Creek salmon population. The project also seeks to restore salmon populations to abundant levels and re-establish Tribal and sport fisheries in the South Fork Salmon system.

Testable hypothesis
Artificial propagation can be used as a management tool to preserve and recover the chinook salmon population in Johnson Creek.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Assumes project start-up in 1996 and initiation of environmental analysis. Improved survival experienced during hatchery rearing and acclimated smolt releases will translate into increased adult returns to Johnson Creek. Artificial propagation will not negatively affect genetic diversity of the hatchery population and/or the wild population. Possibility exists for hatchery production space constraint at McCall Hatchery with South Fork Salmon River supplementation broodstock. Completion of NEPA environmental analysis is an uncertainty. Adult holding and juvenile rearing capabilities will be coordinated with the LSRCP McCall Hatchery facility.

Methods
The Johnson Creek Artificial Propagation Enhancement project will utilize either adults or juveniles, collected in Johnson Creek, in a conventional hatchery or captive broostock program. Adult salmon would be trapped beginning in 1997 and would be held on-site or at an existing facility until spawning. The existing adult steelhead weir would be used for collection of adult chinook salmon. Eggs would be transferred to McCall Hatchery and progeny reared to a fall pre-smolt or smolt stage. Juveniles would then be transferred to satellite facilities on Johnson Creek in the early spring of 1999 where they would be reared and/or acclimated as smolts and released near major spawning areas. Description of production goals, broodstock acquisition, spawning protocols, incubation strategies, rearing programs, monitoring and evaluation, pathology, and facility operation and maintenance will be provided in an annual operating plan.

Brief schedule of activities
Completion of environmental assessment under NEPA. Completion of preliminary and final engineering design for portable rearing/acclimation facilities.
Initiate first year of adult trapping and/or captive broodstock program development.

Biological need
The Johnson Creek summer chinook salmon population has experienced significant decline in population numbers over the past five decades. Escapement levels in Johnson Creek have declined from a high of 486 redds in 1960 to a low of five redds observed in 1995. Since Snake River chinook salmon are listed as an endangered species we are in an emergency situation. Unprecedented efforts will be needed to prevent species extinction and preserve fish for the future. Artificial propagation programs are one measure to attempt to enhance populations and increase natural production in Snake River tributaries. The NMFS draft recovery plan states that "captive broodstock and supplementation programs should be initiated and/or continued for populations identified as being at imminent risk of extinction, facing severe inbreeding depression, or facing demographic risks".

Critical uncertainties
See Underlying Assumptions or Critical Constraints.

Summary of expected outcome
Increased survival and return of summer chinook salmon adults to Johnson Creek. Develop and utilize a portable prototype facility to collect/hold adults and rear/acclimate juvenile salmon.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
This project would coordinate with IDFG to use the steelhead weir to trap adult salmon and to incubate and rear Johnson Creek brood in McCall Hatchery. Coordination will also occur with the Shoshone Bannock Tribe.

Risks
See Underlying Assumptions or Critical Constraints section.

Monitoring activity
Annual reports will summarize each individual year's project activities and reports will be available prior to commencement of the next year's sampling. Monitoring will occur to ensure that the adult weir does not excessively delay or cause redistribution of the naturally spawning population. Monitoring will also document phenotypic and genotypic changes that may occur due to the program.

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
(none) New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 792,793
1998: 425,000
1999: 375,000
2000: 375,000
2001: 375,000

* 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   $792,793

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $792,800