BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1998 Proposal

Section 1. Summary
Section 2. Goals
Section 3. Background
Section 4. Purpose and methods
Section 5. Planned activities
Section 6. Outcomes, monitoring and evaluation
Section 7. Relationships
Section 8. Costs and FTE

see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations

Section 1. Summary

Title of project
Northern Squawfish Management Program

BPA project number   9007700

Short description
Implement squawfish management program to reach predation control goals; evaluate squawfish population response; improve salmonid survival at mainstem hydro facilities.

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Pacific States Marime Fisheries Commission

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameRussell Porter, Field Programs Administrator
 Mailing address45 S.E. 82nd Drive, Suite 100
Gladstone, OR 97027
 Phone503/650-5400
 Emailrussell_porter@psmfc.org
   

Sub-contractors
Oregon Department of Fish & WildlifeWashington Department of Fish & WildlifeColumbia Basin Fish & Wildlife AuthorityColumbia River Intertribal Fish CommissionConfederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian ReservationConfederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of OregonNez Perce TribeYakama Indian Nation

Section 2. Goals

General
Increases run sizes or populations

Target stockLife stageMgmt code (see below)
Northern SquawfishAdults over 11 inches 

 
Affected stockBenefit or detriment
All SalmonidsBeneficial

Section 3. Background

Stream area affected

Stream name   Columbia & Snake Rivers
Stream miles affected   Mouth to Priest Rapids & Hells Canyon Dams
Hydro project   Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day, McNary, Priest Rapids;Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, Lower Granite, Hell's Canyon

History
1990: $1,421,813; 1991: $5,259,629; 1992: $6,846,410; 1993: $4,253,600; 1994: $3,670,708 + $600,000 reward contract; 1995: $4,100,000; 1996: $3,846,248; 1997: $3,700,000 [Proposed]
The purpose of the project is to test a hypothesis based on research in John Day Reservoir by ODFW from 1982 through 1988 that indicated through modeling simulations that a 10-20% exploitation rate on northern squawfish would result in up to a 50% reduction in predation on juvenile salmonids.

Biological results achieved
This project has removed over 977,000 predator-sized northern squawfish from the mainstem Columbia River since 1990 with 217,000 of those removed in 1995 for an exploitation rate of 15.6% in 1995. The projected reduction in predator caused juvenile salmonid mortality is estimated at 36% for 1996 when compared to pre-program levels. If harvest rates similar to 1995 continue, a 41% reduction in the consumption of juvenile salmonids by northern squawfish is estimated by 1998.

Project reports and papers
Quarterly and annual reports available.

Adaptive management implications
The dam-angling fishery element of this project had demonstrated that northern squawfish numbers are greatly reduced in the powerhouse tailrace during periods of heavy spill most likely because of reduced prey abundance.

Section 4. Purpose and methods

Specific measureable objectives
The overall objective is to reduce northern squawfish predation on juvenile salmonids by a sustained removal of 10-20% of the predator sized (11 inches or larger) northern squawfish annually.

Critical uncertainties
The critical uncertainty is whether the desired 10-20% exploitation rate on northern squawfish can be maintained for the long term.

Biological need
The biological need is based on the results of eight years of research in John Day Reservoir which determined that reservoir mortality was caused primarily by predation and that northern squawfish were responsible for 80 % of all aquatic predation.

Hypothesis to be tested
The testable hypothesis is that a sustained annual exploitation rate of 10-20% on northern squawfish will result in up to a 50% reduction in juvenile salmonid consumption by northern squawfish after 5 years of implementation.

Methods
Northern squawfish are being removed through a sport reward fishery, a dam-angling fishery and site specific (tributary mouth) gill-net fisheries. Evaluation is based on sustained exploitation rate and size composition of harvested northern squawfish and estimated reduction in predation on juvenile salmonids. This required information on changes in relative abundance, consumption, size and age structure, growth, and fecundity of northern squawfish in the mainstem Snake and Columbia rivers. Statistical analysis is conducted on all variables measured.

Section 5. Planned activities

Constraints or factors that may cause schedule or budget changes
All fisheries take both juvenile and adult salmonids listed as threatened or endangered and are constrained by the biological opinion.

Section 6. Outcomes, monitoring and evaluation

SUMMARY OF EXPECTED OUTCOMES

Expected performance of target population or quality change in land area affected
We believe that the exploitation rate achieved during 1995 (15.6%) can be sustained with the current funding level. This is projected to result in a sustained reduction in juvenile salmonid consumption by northern squawfish of 41%.

Contribution toward long-term goal
Reduce northern squawfish predation on Columbia Basin downstream migrant salmonids by 50%.

Coordination outcomes
FY 1995 and beyond: 1) Continue implementation of squawfish management throughout the Lower Columbia and Snake Rivers to reduce predation mortality; 2) evaluate the effectiveness of squawfish management in reducing predation mortality, including assessment of squawfish age/size structure, growth, fecundity, and mortality, consumption of juvenile salmonids by squawfish and other resident fish predators, and effects of squawfish management on juvenile fish survival; 3) continue to assess opportunities to increase exploitation rates and overall benefit to juvenile fish survival resulting from squawfish management efforts.

MONITORING APPROACH
Northern squawfish are being removed through a sport reward fishery, a dam-angling fishery and site specific (tributary mouth) gill-net fisheries. Evaluation is based on sustained exploitation rate and size composition of harvested northern squawfish and estimated reduction in predation on juvenile salmonids. This required information on changes in relative abundance, consumption, size and age structure, growth, and fecundity of northern squawfish in the mainstem Snake and Columbia rivers. Statistical analysis is conducted on all variables measured.

Provisions to monitor population status or habitat quality
ODFW conducts ongoing population studies on Northern Squawfish in the mainstem Columbia and Snake Rivers. These studies measure population and fecundity response to removals of Northern Squawfish and reduction in salmonid predation by Northern Squawfish as a result of this project.

Data analysis and evaluation
By statistical models and standard fisheries population techniques.

Information feed back to management decisions
By means of annual reports prepared at the end of each season and public meeting reviews of seasonal findings with FPAC and NMFS.

Increasing public awareness of F&W activities
The public participates in this project and receives information through participation, sportmen's shows and newspaper coverage.

Section 7. Relationships

Related BPA projectRelationship
Projects related to flow augmentation, spill, and mechanical bypass achieve the same biological objective of improving downstream migrant survival.

Opportunities for cooperation
Requirements to increase the sustainable exploitation rate (such as the NPPC's Fish and Wildlife Program's requirement to exceed 20% exploitation rate) would substantially increase program costs. In the past, delays in the receipt of a biological opinion threatened our ability to tag numbers of northern squawfish needed to measure exploitation rates of the various fisheries.

Section 8. Costs and FTE

1997 Planned  $3,450,000

Future funding needs   Past obligations (incl. 1997 if done)
FY$ Need% Plan % Implement% O and M
19984,000,000     
19994,200,000     
20004,400,000     
20014,600,000     
20024,800,000     
 
FYObligated
19901,421,813
19915,259,629
19926,846,410
19934,253,600
19943,670,708
19954,311,186
19963,657,627
Total29,420,973
Longer term costs   $4.8 million - operation of project
FY97 overhead percent   15% for direct work; 2% for contracted work

How does percentage apply to direct costs
Total project, excluding equipment

Contractor FTE   3 people totaling 1.1 FTE's
Subcontractor FTE   88 people totaling 44.4 FTE's