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Project Proposal Request for FY 2007 - FY 2009 Funding

Proposal 198710001: Umatilla Anad Fish Hab - CTUIR

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Table of Contents
Part 1. Administration and Budgeting
Section 1: General Administrative
Section 2: Project Location
Section 3: Project Species
Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Section 5: Relationship to Other Projects
Section 6: Biological Objectives
Section 7: Work Elements
Section 8: Budget
Section 9: Project Future
Section 10: Documents
Part 2. Reviews
Part 1 of 2. Administration and Budgeting
Section 1: General Administrative Information
Process Information:
Date Proposal Submitted & Finalized Status Form Generator
January 10, 2006 Finalized bob lewis

Proposal Type: Ongoing
Proposal Number: 198710001
Proposal Name: Umatilla Anad Fish Hab - CTUIR
BPA Project Manager: Jonathan McCloud
Agency, Institution or Organization: Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
Short Description: Instream and riparian habitat restoration for fisheries and wildlife in the Umatilla River Basin
Information Transfer: Information will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of BPA's program for fish and wildlife mitigation for the Columbia River Region
 
Project Proposal Contacts
Contact Organization Address Phone/Email Roles Notes
Form Submitter
bob lewis ctuir po box 638
pendleton, oregon 97801
Ph: 541-966-2384
Fax: 541-276-4348
Email: boblewis@ctuir.com
Form Submitter
All Assigned Contacts
bob lewis ctuir po box 638
pendleton, oregon 97801
Ph: 541-966-2384
Fax: 541-276-4348
Email: boblewis@ctuir.com
Form Submitter

Section 2: Project Location
Sponsor Province: Columbia Plateau ARG Province: No Change
Sponsor Subbasin: Umatilla ARG Subbasin: No Change
Location(s) at which the action will be implemented
Latitude Longitude Waterbody Location Description County/State Subbasin Primary?
45 37 118 45 Umatilla River and tributaries From river mile 3 to 12 on the Birch Cr., river mile 1 on W. Fk. Birch Cr., headwaters of E. F,. Birch Cr., and river miles 2.7-20.2, Meacham Cr., Umatilla County , Oregon Columbia Upper Middle Yes
45 43 118 15 Umatilla River and tributaries From river miles 80-89 of the upper Umatilla River, Umatilla County Umatilla, Oregon Columbia Upper Middle Yes

Section 3: Focal Species
Focal Species:
Primary Secondary Additional Species
Steelhead Middle Columbia River ESU
Chinook Mid-Columbia River Spring ESU

Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Past Accomplishments for Each Fiscal Year of This Project
Fiscal Year Accomplishments
2005 Two easements effected for Birch Cr. Rock weirs placed in Mission Cr. to correct a head cut. Trespass barrier mid-Umatilla R. property. Vegetative planting on Birch and Meacham Cr. properties. Weed control & fence maintenance along with env'r monitorin
2004 Three easements for Wildhorse Cr. renewed; three new easements effected for mid Umatilla and Birch Cr. properties. Culvert was installed on Sears Cr. to alleviate a fish passage barrier. Spring Hollow Cr. channel at the Wamshita Rd. bridge improved.
2003 An easement was obtained for 1 mile of stream on the mid Umatilla R. LWD placement and channel shaping along with fencing was done on upper Umatilla R. properties. Vegetation planted on several properties. Project maintenance and env'r monitoring done.
2002 One easement was secured for the upper Umatilla R. and one for E. .Fk. Birch Creek. Env'r monitoring & project maintenance was continued. Instream work (LWD/rock veins) done on upper Umatilla. A livestock well & fencing was done on mid Umatilla.
2001 An access agreement for culvert replacement was secured from the BIA for Cottonwood Cr. Bank stabilization of the Umatilla R. was done at RM 63.5 Other continuing activities were weed burning, fence repair, & env'r monitoring related to project impacts.
2000 Five easements were secured on the middle and upper Umatilla R. Some 20,000 willow cuttings and grass seed were planted on various easements. Monitoring continued, i.e. habitat surveys, channel transects, benthic samling, & recording of water temp.
1999 One easement and a 5-year access agreement were secured. Some two miles of fence was constructed on Buckaroo Cr. A controlled burn for weeds was done on Wildhorse Cr. Instream improvements were done on the Umatilla R. and several tributaries.
1998 One property was placed under an easement and fenced in the upper Umatilla R. drainage. Some 1,555 yards of fencing was installed along Iskuulpa Cr. Rock barbs and woody debris was placed in lower Meacham Cr. Ten thousand tree/shrubs were planted.
1997 An easement was secured on Buckaroo Creek and fencing was installed. More than 70 sediment structures were repaired in the Wildhorse drainage. Woody debris was placed in Meacham Cr. & Umatilla R. easements along with riparian shrub/tree planting.
1996 Easements were secured on Spring Hollow & Mission Creeks. Exclusion fences were constructed on Meacham and Umatilla project areas. Some 8,000 tree/shrub cuttings were grown and and cooridor areas in several easements were seeded with native grasses.
1995 Four new easements were obtained in the Wildhorse Cr. watershed. In addition to maintenance & monitoring, exclusion fences were constructed & 5000 native trees/shrubs were planted on Wildhorse & Greasewood Cr. easements. One/half mile fence on Meacham Cr
1994 Two new easements were secured on Wildhorse Creek properties. Plus maintenance & monitoring, livestock exclusion fences were installed along 0.5 miles of Meacham Cr. and 1 mile of Wildhorse Cr. along with eighteen sediment retention structures.
1993 Conservation easements were acquired for two BIA allotments on Meacham Cr. Maintenance was provided for previous improvement structures on Meacham and Boston Canyon Creeks. Monitoring data in the form of transect measurement and photopoints were obtained
1992 Riparian habitat plantings were done on several existing easements. Fencing was installed on 1.2 miles of stream corridor. Maintenance was done on existing instream and riparian structures. Stream channel cross sections and other monitoring was done.
1991 Four easements were acquired for upper Umatilla R. properties (RM 78.5-80) with subsequent veg. planting in the riparian zone and installation of instream boulder weirs and deflectors. Water temp. and sediment date were collected.
1990 Fifteen easements were acquired for about 3.4 miles of stream. Rock barb and log weir installation, channel realignment, vegetative planting, and fence construction was done on Meacham Creek/Boston Canyon Creek easements (lower four miles of Meacham Cr)
1989 Eleven additional easements obtained and planning accomplished for rock installation, channel realignment, vegetative planting and fence construction on Meacham Creek and Boston Canyon Creek easements.
1988 Easements obtained for four properties on Meacham Creek, tributary to the Umatilla River.

Section 5: Relationships to Other Projects
Other Current Projects Related to this Project (any funding source)
Funding Source Related ID Related Project Title Relationship
BPA 198710001 Umatilla Anad Fish Hab - CTUIR Project is one component of a restoration strategy for the Umatilla Subbasin. Project coordinates with activities having a similar purpose including the OR Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, the Umatilla Basin Watershed Council, Soil & Water Conservation District, U.S. Dept.of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service. Some projects are carried out jointly, notably CREP where CTUIR helps plan improvement practices and provides maintenance such as weed control. Several barrier removal efforts, e.g. culvert replacement have been done in conjunction with the Umatilla County Road Dept.

Section 6: Biological Objectives
Biological Objectives of this Proposed Project
Biological Objective Full Description Associated Subbasin Plan Strategy Page Nos
[BO Title left blank] [BO Description left blank] None [Strategy left blank] [Pg no blank]
Conduct environmental monitoring Monitor during and after project implementation to comply with permit terms and to evaluate project long-term effects. Umatilla For implementation monitoring of new projects, select parameters & periodicity to comply with env'r permit terms. For effectiveness monitoring select sites and parameters for previous projects that indicate success in meeting goals and objectives [Pg no blank]
Determine haitat improvements in upper Umatilla R. Determine the location and type of needed habitat improvement in Umatilla River RM 80-90 by 2009 Umatilla 7) Modify channel flood-plain function; 10) Increase protective status of priority habitats; 12)Restore headwater attributes to improve downstream conditions 5-8 & 9
Increase the no. of steelhead in Birch Cr. Identify, coordinate, and manage at least six new habitat iprovement projects for the Umatilla River Subbasin Umatilla 2) Facilitate landowners leasing of water rights for instream purposes. 3) Increase water conservation & irrigation efficiency. 5) Place LWD & boulders. 6) Fence & plant riparian 13) Increae passage efficiency thru diversions, etc. 5-8 & 5-9
Increase the no. of steelhead in Meacham Cr. Increase the number of summer steelhead spawning redds in the Meacham Creek watershed by 20% by 2010 Umatilla 5) Place LWD & boulders 6) Plant riparian zones. 7) Modify channel & flood-plain function 9) Eliminate dikes in ripararian areas. 10) Increase protective status of habitats. 12) Restore headwater attributes. 13) Imcrease passage efficiency. 5-8 & 5-9
Maintain previously implemented habitat improvemen Repair fences, maintain vegetative plantings, control weeds, and clear debris from previously implemented improvements on 55 easements. None Maintain fences & replant riparian zones; Modify detrimental land use activities, e.g., weed control; Maintain passage dfficiency through ongoing )&M activities. 5-9 & 10

Section 7: Work Elements
Work Elements and Associated Biological Objectives
Work Element Name Work Element Title Description Start Date End Date Estimated Budget
Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation Historical Preservation Clearance Obtain historical preservation clearance for sites of salmonid passage improvement , fencing/vegetative planting, and instream habitat improvement where there is the slightest chance that antiquities can be impacted by project activities. 1/1/2007 1/1/2009 $24,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation Prepare NEPA Checklist and Biological Assessment (BA) A checklist and BA will be prepared for projects subject to the NEPA/EPA Acts. These documents will describe project activities for Birch Cr., Meacham Cr. and upper Umatilla R. projects that could impact env'r resources - including endangered species - and actions to be taken to prevent adverse impacts. 1/1/2007 5/1/2009 $35,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation State Lands Department Permit Prepare and submit applications to the Oregon State Lands Department for a permit to conduct instream work in Birch Cr., Meacham Cr., & the upper Umatilla River. 1/1/2007 5/1/2009 $15,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation USCE Section 404 Permits for instream improvements. Apply for & obtain permits for: (1) the Hoeft and Broun diversion dam improvements, (2) passage improvements at RMs 11, 12 of Birch Cr., (3) RM 1 of W. Birch Cr., (4) RMs 1.7 & 20.2 of Meacham Cr., (5) RM 0.3 of Camp Cr. ,& (6) upper Umatilla river instream project sites. 1/1/2007 5/1/2009 $35,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Develop Alternative Water Source B & G Resources Wells/Troughs Dig wells and install pumps/troughs as a replacement for stream watering on the B&G Resources easement, mid-Umatilla R. where livestock is excluded from the riparian zone. 5/1/2007 8/1/2009 $20,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Develop Alternative Water Source Install wells/pumps to replace irrigation dam diversions. Acquire certified water examiner reports and install a well and pump on the Broun and Whitney easements as well as the Hummel property to replace the existing diversion dams. 8/1/2007 8/31/2009 $60,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Increase Instream Habitat Complexity Install large woody debris Install logs with root wads and/or boulders at key locations in Meacham Cr. between RMs 2.7-3.4 and RMs 5.5-6.7. 6/1/2007 8/31/2009 $100,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of structures installed: 60

Install Fence Install fencing for livestock exclusion on three easements. Install 10, 2, and 10 miles of fence respectively on the Baker, Broun, and Cunningham Sheep easements. 4/1/2007 8/1/2009 $84,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of miles of fence: 22 miles

Plant Vegetation Plant Native Grasses on B & G Easement Plant a grass mixture for erosion control and wildlife habitat in about 150 acres of upland areas on the B&G Resources easement if not completed in 2006. 2/1/2007 3/15/2009 $10,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of acres of planted: 100
* # of acres of planted: 100 acres

Plant Vegetation Plant riparian vegetation on new and existing easements. Plant native shrubs/trees on the Broun easement (Birch Cr.), Meacham Creek, & the Cunningham Sheep easement (McKay Cr. 2/15/2007 2/28/2009 $92,216
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of acres of planted: 200 acres

Remove vegetation Control Weeds on Existing and New Easements Control noxious weeds with herbicides or mechanically on new and historic easements. 4/1/2007 5/15/2009 $75,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of acres treated: 500 acres

Maintain Vegetation Maintain Zones 1 & 2 Shrub and Tree Plantings Weed and water new and historic plantings in zone 2 and weed willow plantings in zone 1. 7/1/2007 9/15/2009 $30,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage Maintain salmonid passage facilities by debris removal as needed. Remove and dispose of debris that accumulates in fish ladders, culverts, or other structures 3/1/2007 4/30/2009 $10,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Remove/Modify Dam Remove diversion dam on mainstem Birch Cr. Remove dam and stabilize channel on the Broun property. 7/1/2008 9/1/2008 $30,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of miles of habitat accessed: 80 miles

Remove/Modify Dam Remove irrigation diversion dam Remove dam and stabilize the stream channel of mainstem Birch Cr. on the Peterson property. 7/15/2007 9/15/2007 $42,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Remove/Modify Dam Remove or modify fish passage barrier Remove or modify salmonid passage barriers at RMs 2.5, 11, & 12 and at RM 1 of W. Birch Cr. 7/15/2008 7/15/2009 $45,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of miles of habitat accessed: 80 miles

Remove/Modify Dam Remove rock or other barriers to salmonid fish passage Remove barriers at RMs 1.7 & 20.2 in Meacham Cr. and at RM 0.3 of Camp Cr., tributary to Meacham Cr. 8/1/2007 8/1/2009 $60,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of miles of habitat accessed: 15 miles

Lease Land Consummate Easements with Private Landowners Obtain new conservation easements with landowners on Birch Cr. and renew easements with landowners on Meacham Cr. 2/1/2007 2/1/2009 $50,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of acres of new lease: 40
* # of riparian miles protected: 2

Other Maintain fencing on existing easements Repair fences annually on CTUIR easements where fencing was constructed to exclude livestock from the riparian zone. 3/15/2007 4/30/2009 $21,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Coordination Coordination with Other Agencies and Organizations Participate in meetings and work group sessions with such entities as ODF&W, Umatilla Basin Council (UBWC), NRCS/FSA, & Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) to share information on ongoing and plannted habitat improvement activities. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $30,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Identify and Select Projects Identify, Prioritize, and Select Projects Identify projects, reprioritize/select projects based on current conditions. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $21,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Manage and Administer Projects Administrative Activities for Project Support Conduct pre, during, and post activities such as subcontracting for projects designed and implemented for West & East Forks Birch Creek, Meacham Creek, and the upper Umatilla River. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $81,074
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Outreach and Education Participation with Other Entities in Advisory and Educational Activities Participate with SWCD, Pendleton Unified School Distric, local Granges, Tri-County Steelheaders, and Birch Creek Water Conservation District to provide information and advice concerning aquatic and riparian habitat. 2/1/2007 9/30/2009 $30,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of students reached: 300

Produce Plan Conduct assessment and prepare plan for habitat improvements in the upper Umatilla River. Identify treatment sites and types of treatment to improve habitat for spring/fall salmon and bull trout from RMs 80-89. 2/1/2008 1/31/2009 $20,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Plan Improvement Plans for new Birch, Meacham, and upper Umatilla R. sites. Prepare individual plans and designs for barrier alleviation at: (1) RMs 11 & 12 barrier Birch Cr. (2) RM 1 of W. Birch Cr., (3) RMs 1.7 and 20.2 of Meacham Cr., & (4) RM 0.3 of Camp Cr., trib. to Meacham Cr., (5) LWD installation at RMs 2.7-6.7 of Meacham Cr., (6) vegetative planting on Meacham Cr. in conjunction with instream tasks and (7) instream improvement sites on the upper Umatilla R. 1/1/2007 3/15/2008 $60,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Plan Plan for McKay Creek Property (Cunningham Sheep Property) Prepare management plan for fencing, riparian planting, and instream structures not included in 2006 projects. 1/1/2007 4/1/2007 $5,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Provide Technical Review Review of Plans and Proposals Review and comment on plans and proposals by other entities that affect instream and riparian habitat in the Umatilla Subbasin. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $15,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Annual Report Draft and Finalize Annual Report Prepare annual report that presents project information, monitoring results, and maintenance accomplishments. 1/15/2008 9/30/2009 $30,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce Status Report Status Reports Prepare status reports approximately quarerly that summarize project progress and impediments. 5/30/2007 9/30/2009 $15,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Analyze/Interpret Data Analyze/Interpret Temperature, SS, and Benthic Data Determine quantitative values and trends in water/air temperature, suspended solids, and benthic macroinvertebrates as relates to impacts on aquatic life in or adjacent to project sites. 9/1/2007 9/30/2009 $6,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Focal Area: 10 tributaries

Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Collect Temperature, Suspended Solids, and Benthic Data Collect water/air temperature at 25 sites, suspended solids at three sites, and macrobenthos data at five project sites as well as cross-sectional/longitudinal profiles at new instream project sites. 5/1/2007 9/30/2009 $12,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Focal Area: 10 tributaries


Section 8: Budget

Itemized Estimated Budget
Item Note FY 2007 Cost FY 2008 Cost FY 2009 Cost
Personnel Includes 5 percent merit increase annually during the project period. $144,200 $151,410 $158,980
Fringe Benefits 35 percent of salary. $50,470 $52,994 $55,643
Supplies Includes 2.5 percent inflation factor. $9,000 $9,225 $9,455
Travel Reflects anticipated 5 percent increase each project year. $11,000 $11,550 $12,125
Capital Equipment Reflects 2.5 inflation factor. $5,000 $5,125 $5,250
Overhead Reflects rate of 0.3946 $86,682 $87,241 $95,277
Other Professional services with 2.5 percent inflation factor $12,000 $12,300 $12,610
Other Subcontracts with 2.5 percent inflation factor $53,893 $55,240 $56,620
Totals $372,245 $385,085 $405,960

Total Estimated FY 2007-2009 Budgets
Total Itemized Budget$1,163,290
Total Work Element budget$1,163,290

Cost sharing
Funding Source or Organization Item or Service Provided FY 2007 Est Value ($) FY 2008 Est Value ($) FY 2009 Est Value ($) Cash or in-kind? Status
PCSRF Implementation $ for barrier amelioration $50,000 $25,000 $25,000 Cash Under Development
WHIP Implementation $ for barrier removal $90,000 $70,000 $ 0 Cash Confirmed
WHIP Implementation $ for LWD placement $50,000 $40,000 $ 0 Cash Confirmed
Totals $190,000 $135,000 $25,000

Section 9: Project Future
Project Future Costs and/or Termination
FY 2010 Est Budget FY 2011 Est Budget Comments
$426,200 $447,600 Budget will support the same level of effort as for 2007-2009 recognizing a projected 5 percent inflation increase.
Future Operations & Maintenance Costs
$40,750 for 2010 $42,790 for 2011
 
Termination Date Comments
 
Final Deliverables

Section 10: Narrative
Document Type Size Date

Part 2 of 2. Reviews of Proposal
Administrative Review Group (ARG) Results
Account Type:
Expense
Location:
Province: No Change
Subbasin: No Change
Primary Focal Species
No Change
ARG Comments:


NPCC Final Funding Recommendations (October 23, 2006) [Full NPCC Council Recs]

FY 2007 Budget
$326,000
FY 2008 Budget
$326,000
FY 2009 Budget
$326,000
Total NPCC Rec
$978,000
Budget Type:Expense
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Recommendation:Fund
Comments: See decision memo discussion of the Umatilla subbasin projects.


NPCC Draft Funding Recommendations (September 15, 2006) [Full NPCC Council Recs]

FY 2007 Budget
$326,000
FY 2008 Budget
$326,000
FY 2009 Budget
$326,000
Total NPCC Rec
$978,000
FY 2007 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2008 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2009 MSRT Rec
$ 0
Total MSRT Rec
$ 0
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Comments:
NPCC Staff Comments: See decision memo comment

Local or MSRT Comments: OSPT proposes reducing the budget by $13K from FY07 proposed to eliminate work in lower priority areas. Flatlined out years to FY07.


Independent Scientific Review Panel Final Review (August 31, 2006) [Download full document]

Recommendation: Not fundable (Qualified)
NPCC Comments: Because of the high level of management intervention (pumping, trucking, hatchery releases), the Umatilla projects need to be reviewed as an integrated program. This program is not currently scientifically justified because of the inadequacy of the tie of M&E to management actions, especially in terms of monitoring and the water pumping issues. For example, the issues of trucking the fish need to be explored in terms of effects on mortality and stress. What is the evidence of wild smolt production from the hatchery migrants?

The sponsors claim that declining survival is the result of factors other than potential failure of habitat restructuring. They should show that the result is related to these other factors. Ineffective habitat treatment was not eliminated as the cause. Returning adults and number of redds are subject to out-of-basin factors as well as habitat factors that affected survival as juveniles. To be effective, habitat restoration measurements need to be viewed in the context of natural watershed conditions and fish population monitoring, as well as compared to similar measurements from a reference stream without

restoration. Until data are presented to show it to be otherwise, it is faith rather than science that permits a conclusion that changes in habitat have caused increased run-strength. The data presented in response Figure 1 provided no meaningful answer to questions regarding the habitat work. To gain some scientific credibility, sponsors could at least try to provide comparative data from an untreated system to help account for out-of-basin affects. Pointing to modeled results from EDT is not enough. EDT permits formulation of a hypothesis regarding habitat quality, a hypothesis that then needs to be tested.

The response from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) was not as thorough or as useful as that from related work by ODFW on 198710002, with whom they supposedly coordinate. However, one assumes the same response within 19871002 applies here. The separation of tasks by the two agencies remains confusing, and one of convenience rather than purpose, despite the reasons given. The call for presentation of results in terms of fish response has gone unheeded in both responses. There remains the need to fully develop the effectiveness evaluation of habitat improvement work, and there seems a need for professional assistance towards this process. There is no evidence that an increase in salmonid carrying capacity or productivity is a result of this work. They note, “The obvious increase in the total number of spawners is no doubt due partially to improved habitat…” But without treatment and control data this cannot be confirmed. Indeed, it is the other reasons stated (removal of passage barriers in addition to out of basin factors), particularly the latter, for which variation in adult returns likely exists, and as noted in the former fisheries literature. To repeat, the limiting factors appear to primarily relate to out of basin factors and fish passage within the basin and to flows. The relationship with irrigation and pumping of water remains confusing. An on-site subbasin review is needed.

This project and others like it are individual parts of what the Council has referred to as the “Umatilla Initiative.” As such, none of them is a stand-alone project that can be subjected to scientific peer review on its own merits, but the projects need to be reviewed in the larger context of a plan for restoration of anadromous fishes in the Umatilla Basin. The ISRP’s recommendation of “Not Fundable (Qualified)” for the set of projects that constitute the Umatilla Initiative is explained under project 198343600, Umatilla Passage O&M.


Independent Scientific Review Panel Preliminary Review (June 2, 2006) [Download full document]

Recommendation: Response requested
NPCC Comments: This proposal is an improvement over past proposals. Nonetheless, the proposal is deficient in a number of areas. The various tasks and objectives need to be considered individually. Not much priority to tasks is provided, and it is questionable whether these activities will have any benefit, especially compared to alternatives. Very little is presented to suggest activities will have benefit.

The proponents wisely report data and link up to the M&E projects in the basin, but they seem to not be adaptively managing based on the data. Other results suggest that limiting factors are outside of the basin (see figures 3-5 on project 198902401). Sponsors need to convince reviewers that the strategies employed here over the many years are worth continuing from the perspective of steelhead and chinook salmon benefits. They should provide smolt-per-spawner data (see 198902401). This is the key response variable for habitat work, when presented relative to spawner abundance, and is especially instructive when compared to untreated controls. Other possible designs for evaluation are possible.

Given alteration of stream characteristics in the Umatilla Basin, it is logical to assume that productivity of the system for salmonids is less than it once was. This project puts together actions and agreements in an attempt to recover some of that lost productivity. The approach, however, is always subject to questions regarding whether or not the "right" thing is being done from the perspective of the fish. The results of this work as found and described in project 20072009 show declining survival from egg to smolt over the past decade (Figs. 3-5). In light of these results, sponsors of this work need to provide a convincing case for continuing this work as presently outlined.

Among the objectives listed is "Develop alternative water source". The method described is to sink wells and pumps. Has any thought been given in the Umatilla Basin to purchase of water rights and/or lands with such rights with the objective of replacing the "Power Repay" project, which is extremely expensive and becoming more so? For $1.5 million a year, which is the current cost of the electricity to pump Columbia River water, a considerable acreage might be purchased or otherwise put out of production, so as to reduce the need for irrigation removals, the volume of which obviously exceed the base flow of the Umatilla River.

See 198710002 - Umatilla Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement Project - many comments there also apply here.

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