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
Monitoring and Evaluation of Yearling Snake River Fall Chinook

BPA project number   9401004

Short description
Monitor and evaluate movement patterns, migration timing, travel times, juvenile emigration survival and adult returns through supplementation of Lyons Ferry Hatchery fall chinook salmon in the Snake and Clearwater Rivers.

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Lower Snake River Compensation Plan/Nez Perce Tribe Department of Fisheries Resources Management

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameBill Arnsberg, Project Leader
 Mailing address3404 Highway 12
Orofino, ID 83544
 Phone208/476-7296
 Emailarnsbergb@clearwater.net
   

Sub-contractors
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), joint sponsors

Section 2. Goals

General
Supports a healthy Columbia basin; maintains biological diversity; maintains genetic integrity; increases run sizes or populations

Target stockLife stageMgmt code (see below)
Snake River Fall ChinookYearling smolts, adultsS, L, W

 

Section 3. Background

Stream area affected

Stream name   Snake and Clearwater Rivers
Stream miles affected   215 and 175, respectively
Subbasin   Snake River
Land ownership   public and private

History
The first two years of this project were funded indirectly through the USFWS Lower Snake River Compensation Plan by BPA. Supplementation of Lyons Ferry Hatchery fall chinook yearlings and monitoring and evaluation studies were initiated on the Snake River at the Pittsburg Landing acclimation facility constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1996. During 1997, a second acclimation facility was constructed at Big Canyon Creek on the lower Clearwater River. A third acclimation facility at Captain Johns Rapid on the Snake River is scheduled to be constructed and be in operation to acclimate fall chinook in 1998. Acclimation facilities will be sufficient to acclimate a total of 450,000 Lyons Ferry Hatchery fall chinook (150,000 at each of the three facilities).

Biological results achieved
Results from the 1996 monitoring and evaluation of yearling fall chinook released at Pittsburg Landing on the Snake River were encouraging. Fish health assessments were favorable for fish releases, mortality during the six week acclimation period was low, and survival rates from PIT tagged fish were higher than expected to the Snake and Columbia River dams.

Project reports and papers
We are currently working with the USFWS and WDFW on a cooperative annual report on monitoring and evaluation of yearling fall chinook acclimated and released at Pittsburg Landing in 1996.

Adaptive management implications
This monitoring and evaluation study has greatly increased our knowledge of travel times and survival rates of supplemented yearling fall chinook through the Snake And Columbia River dams. Survival estimates were relatively high for juvenile emigration to the mainstem dams and may be an indication of adult returns which may lead to a better understanding of how supplementation can be used to recover the Snake River fall chinook.

Section 4. Purpose and methods

Specific measureable objectives
Objective 1. Monitor, evaluate and compare pre-release and release health conditions of yearling Lyons Ferry Hatchery fall chinook acclimated and released at Pittsburg Landing and Captain Johns Rapid on the Snake River and at Big Canyon Creek on the Clearwater River.
Objective 2. Monitor, evaluate, and compare post-release behavior, migration timing, and survival of yearling fall chinook released at Pittsburg Landing, Captain Johns Rapid, and Big Canyon Creek.
Objective 3. Monitor and compare contribution and distribution of adult returns and smolt-to-adult survivals of yearling fall chinook released from Pittsburg Landing, Captain Johns Rapid, and Big Canyon Creek.
Objective 4. Prepare a cooperative annual report with the USFWS and WDFW that evaluates the success of supplementation of yearling fall chinook above Lower Granite Dam.

Critical uncertainties
Flow and passage conditions at the mainstem dams will be improved substantially for juvenile migrants so supplementation can be adequately assessed as a tool to recover the Snake River fall chinook. Lyons Ferry Hathcery fall chinook salmon smolts that are barged to the estuary return to spawn at least as well as those fish left in river.

Biological need
This project addresses uncertainties about the use of supplementation as a tool to rebuild the ESA listed Snake River fall chinook salmon. The juvenile PIT tag information from fish released at acclimation facilities on the Snake And Clearwater Rivers will be essential in describing initial juvenile survival rates, emigration timing, and travel times. Ultimately, adult returns over Lower Granite Dam and contribution of hatchery fish to natural production will be the most important aspect in evaluating supplementation success.

Hypothesis to be tested
Ho1: No difference in emigration survival and travel times occurs between Lyons Ferry Hatchery yearling fall chinook released at Pittsburg Landing, Captain Johns Rapid, and Big Canyon Creek and yearlings released on station at Lyons Ferry Hatchery. Corollary: A detectable difference in the emigration survival and travel times will be observed between hatchery fall chinook released at different acclimation sites and at Lyons Ferry Hatchery.
Ho2: Adult return rates will be the same for supplemented yearling fall chinook released above Lower Granite Dam and those returning to Lyons Ferry Hatchery. Corollary: A detectable difference in adult return rates will be observed between supplemented yearling fall chinook and yearling fish released at Lyons Ferry Hatchery.
Ho3: Adult return rates to the stream of release will be the same for both the Snake and Clearwater release groups. Corollary: A detectable difference in adult returns to the origin of release will be observed between the Snake And Clearwater Rivers.

Alternative approaches
N/A, no biological objectives were rejected.

Justification for planning
N/A, project is in implementation, monitoring and evaluation phase.

Methods
M1: Weekly health assessments of 100 fish/wk for six weeks will be conducted in cooperation with the USFWS at each acclimation facility before release into the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. Sample sizes were evaluated and coordinated with the WDFW and USFWS to detect a disease outbreak in the acclimated fish.
M2: PIT tag a total of 10,000 yearling fall chinook at each of the three acclimation facilities in cooperation with the USFWS. At each acclimation facility, four replicates of 2,500 fish each will be PIT tagged and released over a four day period. Sample sizes for PIT tagging were determined from the 1996 PIT tagging and survival estimates for the Pittsburg Landing releases. We will use the Survival Under Proportional Hazards (SURPH) model to estimate juvenile emigration survival through the mainstem dams and ANOVA to test for survival differences between fish released at the acclimation facilities and those released from Lyons Ferry Hatchery.
M3: Radio tag 100 yearling fall chinook at the Clearwater River acclimation facility and 100 fish at one of the Snake River acclimation facilities to investigate post-release dispersal patterns, habitat selection, movement patterns in the free-flowing river segments and in Lower Granite Reservoir, resident times in the forebay, and travel routes through Lower Granite Dam. Radio tags will be placed in non-PIT tagged yearlings at each acclimation facility at least two days before release. Fish will be followed by boat and air to map movement patterns and habitat selection. Fish will also be monitored in Lower Granite Reservoir and at Lower Granite Dam through fixed receiver locations in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Sample size for radio tagging was determined from previous studies on spring chinook and steelhead by the Nez Perce Tribe and USGS.
M3: Monitor and compare contribution and distribution of adult returns and smolt-to-adult survival of yearling fall chinook released from acclimation facilities at Pittsburg Landing and Captain Johns Rapid on the Snake River and from Big Canyon Creek on the Clearwater River. We will download all adult PIT tag information from the mainstem dams and collect spawned-out fall chinook carcasses for biological information and to determine percent hatchery contributions. We will assist the USFWS in radio telemetry studies of a subsample of adults captured and tagged at Lower Granite Dam. We will conduct aerial fall chinook spawning ground surveys by helicopter (through another BPA funded study) to determine adult escapement to spawning locations. Fall chinook carcasses observed from the air will be collected and biological measurements made to determine sex, size, age, percent spawned, and if hatchery fish, what acclimation facility fish were released from as juveniles. All hatchery fish will be coded wire tagged and differentially elastomer tagged to differentiate between the three acclimation facilities and between yearlings released from Lyons Ferry Hatchery.

Section 5. Planned activities

Phase PlanningStart 8/95 End 1/96Subcontractor
Project planning included coordination with the USFWS and WDFW on the monitoring and evaluation plan and identifying who is responsible for what tasks.
Phase ImplementationStart 1/97 End 6/11Subcontractor
Coordinate with the USFWS and WDFW on supplementation results and writing annual reports for the monitoring and evaluation work.
Phase ImplementationStart 10/97 End 12/11Subcontractor
Collect adult fall chinook carcasses in all spawning areas above Lower Granite Dam and determine the contribution of supplemented fish to the natural spawning population.
Phase ImplementationStart 8/97 End 4/05Subcontractor
Assist the USFWS in subsampling adult fall chinook at Lower Granite Dam and radio tag a representative sample from each acclimated release group and follow their movements to their spawning destination.
Phase ImplementationStart 4/97 End 4/05Subcontractor
Radio tag a total of 200 yearlings at acclimation facilities on the Snake and Clearwater Rivers and follow their movements through the free flowing river sections, Lower Granite Reservoir and dam.
Phase ImplementationStart 4/96 End 4/05Subcontractor
PIT tag a representative sample of 10,000 fish at each acclimation facility a week prior to release, quantify elastomer tag retention, and calculate fish condition factors prior to release.
Phase ImplementationStart 3/96 End 12/05Subcontractor
Assist the Dworshak Fish Health Lab in conducting weekly health assessments of yearling fall chinook each year prior to release at each of the three acclimation facilities and document fish size and condition factor.
Phase O&MStart 10/11 End 12/21Subcontractor
Continue to monitor fall chinook adult returns to evaluate the long term effectiveness of supplementation to recover the Snake River fall chinook salmon.

Constraints or factors that may cause schedule or budget changes
Obtaining enough fall chinook yearlings from Lyons Ferry Hatchery to continue supplementation at each of the three acclimation facilities above Lower Granite Dam for at least ten consecutive years.

Section 6. Outcomes, monitoring and evaluation

SUMMARY OF EXPECTED OUTCOMES

Expected performance of target population or quality change in land area affected
Assuming that juvenile emigration survival to the ocean increases substantially in the near future, we would expect that supplementation of yearling fall chinook from Lyons Ferry Hatchery will be successful in the recovery of the Snake River fall chinook (12/05). After recovery, supplementation of subyearlings would be the preferred release strategy as subyearling emigration is the most common life history type in the Snake River fall chinook.

Present utilization and convservation potential of target population or area
A total of less than 200 fall chinook redds have been counted each year in the mainstem Snake, lower Clearwater River, Grande Ronde, Imnaha and Salmon Rivers during the past decade. The highest redd count of 186 occurred in 1996 with 958 fall chinook adults passed over Lower Granite Dam.

Assumed historic status of utilization and conservation potential
Historical estimates of Snake River fall chinook abundance averaged 72,000 annually between 1938 and 1949, and declined to 29,000 from 1950 through 1959 (NMFS Biological Opinion for 1995 to 1998 Hatchery Operations). Past dam counts averaged 12,700 adults at Ice Harbor Dam from 1964 through 1968 and 600 from 1975 through 1980 at Lower Granite Dam (NMFS 3/95 Proposed Recovery Plan). During the past decade, estimates of adults to Lower Granite ranged from a low of 78 fish in 1990 to a high of 958 in 1996.

Long term expected utilization and conservation potential for target population or habitat
To use yearling fall chinook from Lyons Ferry Hatchery to supplement and recover the Snake River fall chinook in all production areas above Lower Granite Dam and then switch to a subyearling release strategy if supplementation is needed to maintain adult numbers for sustaining natural production and a viable fishery.

Contribution toward long-term goal
Determine if supplementation will contribute to the recovery and restoration of the Snake River fall chinook and if and what level of supplementation is needed to maintain the stock in the future.

Indirect biological or environmental changes
More favorable dam operations for increasing fall chinook survival. Habitat protection measures may be implemented in drainages where fall chinook spawning is increased and expanded.

Physical products
We are planning to PIT tag 30,000 Lyons Ferry Hatchery fall chinook yearlings and radio tag 200 yearlings prior to release at the three acclimation facilities above Lower Granite Dam. We are also assisting the USFWS in radio tagging up to 100 adults from the acclimated releases when they return to Lower Granite Dam.

Environmental attributes affected by the project
Water flow and dam operations during the release of fall chinook from acclimation facilities may affect how efficient the bypass and PIT tag detection facilities are at the mainstem dams which may affect estimates of emigrating survival if fish guidance efficiencies are not monitored.

Changes assumed or expected for affected environmental attributes
For example, a total drawdown of the lower Snake River Reservoirs would preclude detections at those facilities and detections would be limited to McNary Dam with less confidence in survival estimates, however, smolt-to-adult survival may actually be higher with a drawdown scenario.

Measure of attribute changes
Remaining fall chinook spawning habitat in the mainstem Snake and tributaries may be enhanced in the near future by protection measures in the drainages.

Assessment of effects on project outcomes of critical uncertainty
Juvenile survival estimates and migration routes through the mainstem dams will be compared to other anadromous species and stocks to assess emigration conditions as a whole. Adult returns from supplementation will be assessed in the context of other wild and hatchery anadromous fish returns to the basin to evaluate environmental variables beyond the control of the project (i.e. juvenile emigration survival, ocean conditions, etc.).

Information products
Information products will include chinook salmon adult escapement information and how supplementation has contributed to natural production and recovery of the Snake River fall chinook. Supplementation strategies (i.e. release timing, acclimated versus direct stream release, yearling to a subyearling release) may change to improve survival conditions and to maximize adult returns to spawning areas above Lower Granite

Coordination outcomes
We will be coordinating with the USFWS and WDFW on project tasks and on supplementation recommendations above Lower Granite Dam based on the monitoring and evaluation findings.

MONITORING APPROACH
Juvenile movement patterns and emigration survival estimates will be important in describing survival rates through the mainstem dams in relation to current dam operations. Ultimately, monitoring adult returns to Lower Granite Dam and to the natural spawning areas will allow managers to assess the potential to recover the Snake River fall chinook through supplementation.

Provisions to monitor population status or habitat quality
We will continue to monitor fall chinook adult returns to the spawning areas through aerial redd surveys and evaluate the contribution of supplementation by Lower Granite Dam adult returns and carcass collections in the spawning areas.

Data analysis and evaluation
The number of adult returns to Lower Granite Dam and to the stream of acclimation and release will be compared to adult returns to Lyons Ferry Hatchery and the contribution of supplementation to enhance natural production will be evaluated.

Information feed back to management decisions
Coordination with fishery managers on supplementation strategies that make the best contribution in enhancing natural production that will lead to fall chinook recovery and restoration.

Critical uncertainties affecting project's outcomes
Broader scale research needs would be test different mainstem dam operation alternatives for improving smolt-to-adult survival of ESA listed stocks. A drawdown of the lower Snake River reservoirs and John Day may be what is required to increase survival for a significant difference in adult returns.

Evaluation
Increased fall chinook adult returns to the spawning areas above Lower Granite Dam that were the result of the supplementation program.

Incorporating new information regarding uncertainties
If juvenile survival through the mainstem dams and adult returns increase substantially in the short term, we will evaluate survival of different supplementation strategies (i.e. acclimation versus direct stream release, subyearling versus yearling) to evaluate what works best in returning the adult product that naturally occurred and in the greatest number.

Increasing public awareness of F&W activities
By increasing the number of fall chinook to the production spawning areas above Lower Granite Dam, the public will have a better understanding of how hatcheries and supplementation can aid in the recovery and delisting of the Snake River fall chinook.

Section 7. Relationships

Related BPA projectRelationship
9102900 Supplementation and Survival of Fall Chinook in Snake River Project is assessing fall chinook spawning habitat availability and quality, juvenile life history characteristics, emigration survival of wild and hatchery subyearlings, and assessing supplementation as a recovery tool by outplanting hatchery subyearlings in the mainstem Snake River. This project relates in that we will monitor and evaluate the effects of supplementing yearling fall chinook to enhance natural production in the Snake River.
9403400 Assessing Summer and Fall Chinook Salmon Restoration-- Snake River Basin Project is assessing fall chinook restoration in the Clearwater River and includes subyearling fall chinook supplementation and survival studies to evaluation supplementation as a tool to enhance natural production. This project relates in that we will monitor and evaluate the effects of supplementing yearling fall chinook to enhance natural production in the Clearwater River.
Related non-BPA projectRelationship
Fall Chinook Salmon Survival and Supplementation studies in the Snake River and Lower Snake River Reservoirs/U.S. Corps of Engineers and BPAThe NMFS and USFWS worked cooperatively on this project in 1995 to evaluate the emigration survival of supplemented subyearling fall chinook (non-Snake River stock) in the Snake River above Lower Granite Dam. During 1996, we worked cooperatively with these entities to evaluate emigration survival of supplemented Lyons Ferry Hatchery subyearling fall chinook (Snake River stock) in the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. We are also cooperating with these entities and the WDFW on similar and expanded studies in 1997.

Opportunities for cooperation
Cooperation will continue with the WDFW and the USFWS in this supplementation monitoring and evaluation effort. Cooperation will include transportation of fish from Lyons Ferry Hatchery to the Snake and Clearwater acclimation facilities, conducting fish health assessments, PIT tagging, monitoring of juvenile performance and evaluation of adult returns over Lower Granite Dam and their contribution to natural production. We are also coordinating with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in radio tagging studies of yearling fall chinook released from acclimation facilities above Lower Granite Dam. Radio receivers will be borrowed from the WDFW and the USGS will collect yearling location data in Lower Granite Reservoir and dam through their fixed receiver locations for other studies.

Section 8. Costs and FTE

Future funding needs   Past obligations (incl. 1997 if done)
FY$ Need% Plan % Implement% O and M
1998180,000    100%
1999180,000    100%
2000180,000    100%
2001180,000    100%
2002180,000    100%
 

Other non-financial supporters
N/A

Longer term costs   180,000/yr


For implementation, monitoring and evaluation of fall chinook supplementation.

FY97 overhead percent   Indirect costs: 29.5%

How does percentage apply to direct costs
Total direct project costs.

Contractor FTE   Two full time staff for six months.
Subcontractor FTE   None