FY 2007 Solicitation Homepage

Project Proposal Request for FY 2007 - FY 2009 Funding

Proposal 200200200: Restore Natural Recruitment of Kootenai River White Sturgeon

Download this document in MS Word format
Open this document in PDF format

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 Susan Ireland

Proposal Type: Ongoing
Proposal Number: 200200200
Proposal Name: Restore Natural Recruitment of Kootenai River White Sturgeon
BPA Project Manager: Virgil Watts III
Agency, Institution or Organization: Kootenai Tribe of Idaho
Short Description: Design, implement, and evaluate habitat improvement and creation actions and altered hydro operations, monitor responses, and refine physical and hydraulic models to characterize sturgeon recruitment requirements, implement actions to restore recruitment.
Information Transfer: Data will be compiled, analyzed, and reported in progress and annual reports to BPA,USFWS, USGS, peer-reviewed publications, and various symposia, conferences, and workshops (AFS, Native American Fish and Wildlife Society, International Sturgeon Symposium, International Kootenai/y Ecosystem Restoration Team (IKERT), bi-annual Columbia Basin sturgeon workshop, KVRI Burbot Conservation Committee and others). Information will be incorporated into project management and implementation, and shared with the local community stakeholder group (Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative) assisting in subbasin plan implementation. Information will also be available to other researchers, culturists, managers, planners, and regulators involved in planning and implementation of conservation culture for declining native species and altered and degraded habitat and ecological conditions.
 
Project Proposal Contacts
Contact Organization Address Phone/Email Roles Notes
Form Submitter
Susan Ireland Kootenai Tribe of Idaho County Rd. 38A P.O. Box 1269
Bonners Ferry ID 83805
Ph: 208.267.3620
Fax: 208.267.1131
Email: ireland@kootenai.org
Form Submitter
All Assigned Contacts
Paul Anders S.P. Cramer and Associates, UI 121 Suite Avenue, Suite 124
Moscow, ID, 83843
Ph: 208-885-5035
Fax: 208-885-3803
Email: anders@spcramer.com
Technical Contact
Gary Barton U.S. Geological Survey 1201 Pacific Ave. Ste. 600
Tacoma WA 98402
Ph: 253.428.3600 x2613
Fax: 253.428.3614
Email: gbarton@usgs.gov
Technical Contact
Kym Cooper Kootenai Tribe of Idaho County Rd. 38A P.O. Box 1269
Bonners Ferry ID 83805
Ph: 208.267.3519
Fax: 208.267.2960
Email: kym@kootenai.org
Supervisor
Susan Ireland Kootenai Tribe of Idaho County Rd. 38A P.O. Box 1269
Bonners Ferry ID 83805
Ph: 208.267.3620
Fax: 208.267.1131
Email: ireland@kootenai.org
Contract Manager
Project Lead

Section 2: Project Location
Sponsor Province: Mountain Columbia ARG Province: No Change
Sponsor Subbasin: Kootenai ARG Subbasin: No Change
Location(s) at which the action will be implemented
Latitude Longitude Waterbody Location Description County/State Subbasin Primary?
River Kootenai River including Kootenai River white sturgeon critical habitat, near Bonners Ferry, Idaho Boundary, Idaho Kootenai No

Section 3: Focal Species
Focal Species:
Primary Secondary Additional Species
White Sturgeon Kootenai River DPS
All Resident Fish

Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Past Accomplishments for Each Fiscal Year of This Project
Fiscal Year Accomplishments
2005 Complete 1-D hydraulic model of Kootenai R. in Idaho and sediment-transport and 3-D hydraulic models of spawning reach. Began using model to relate observed spawning to local physical characteristics of river. Published 3 reports, 2 papers, and 4 absts.
2004 Extend 3-D river model by collecting data in upper-half of sturgeon spawning reach: mapped channel geometry and monitored stream velocity. Prepared 2 reports found at :http://id.water.usgs.gov/PDF
2003 Continued to collect data for constructing a model for the lower half of (1) sturgeon spawning reach and (2) the entire reach of the Kootenai River below Libby Dam: mapped channel geometry and monitored stream velocity. Gave talks at conferences.
2002 Collect data for constructing river model. In lower half of sturgeon spawning reach we mapped channel geometry; and, monitored stream velocity, suspended-sediment transport rates, and the wave lenght-height of riverbed dunes over a range of streamflows.
2001 Conducted analysis for characterizing changes in the channel substrate, suspended-sediment transport, and channel geometry in the white sturgeon spawning habitat near Bonners Ferry following the closure of Libby Dam
2000 Collected 35 3.5-meter long vibracores and seismic profiles of the substrate in the white sturgeon critical-habitat reach of the Kootenai 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
Other: Idaho Power Co. [no entry] Snake River white sturgeon projects This project (200200200) directly contributes to the understanding of physical habitat requirements for sturgeon recruitment and implements experimental treatments of habitat improvement and creation to characterize, better understand, and correct recruitment failure mechanisms, a need shared by other Columbia Basin white sturgeon research and mitigation projects, such as those fnuded and implemented by Idaho Power Company upstream from Lower Granite Dam.
Other: BC MoE/BC Hydro [no entry] Upper Columbia white sturgeon projects This project (200200200) directly contributes to the understanding of physical habitat requirements for sturgeon recruitment and implements experimental treatments of habitat improvement and creation to characterize, better understand, and correct recruitment failure mechanisms, a need shared by other Columbia Basin white sturgeon research and mitigation projects, such as those funded and implemented by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, BC Hydro and other entities.
Other: BC MoE et al. [no entry] Nechako River white sturgeon recovery This project (200200200) directly contributes to the understanding of physical habitat requirements for sturgeon recruitment and implements experimental treatments of habitat improvement and creation to characterize, better understand, and correct recrutiment failure mecahnisms, a need shared by other white sturgeon research and mitigation projects, such as those funded and implemented by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and other entities.
BPA 198605000 Evaluate Sturgeon Physical Hab This project (200200200) directly contributes to the understanding of physical habitat requirements for sturgeon recruitment and implements experimental treatments of habitat improvement and creation to characterize, better understand, and correct recruitment failure mechanisms, a need shared by other Columbia Basin BPA-funded white sturgeon projects such as BPA Project 198605000.
BPA 198605001 Experimental White Sturgeon Re This project (200200200) directly contributes to the understanding of physical habitat requirements for sturgeon recruitment and implements experimental treatments of habitat improvement and creation to characterize, better understand, and correct recruitment failure mechanisms, a need shared by other Columbia Basin BPA-funded white sturgeon projects such as BPA Project 198605001.
BPA 198806400 Kootenai R White Sturgeon This project (200200200) creates and improves spawning and early life habitat in the Kootenai River and benefits fish released from the KTOI white sturgeon conservation aquaculture program (198806400), and contributes to their future spawning and recruitment success when they mature and spawn in the river with improved habitat conditions.
BPA 198806500 Kootenai R White Sturgeon Inve White sturgeon spawning and recruitment responses to project 200200200 habitat improvements in the Kootenai River will be monitored by the 1988065 project and others. The 200200200 project also provides direct insight into recovery investigations, which are at the heart of the 198606500 project. Both projects address the goal of understanding recruitment failure in order to restore it.
BPA 199404900 Kootenai River Resident Fish A Project 199404900 implements biomonitoring, data analysis, research, and adaptive management projects (i.e. nutrient restoration and stream rehabilitation) in order to identify best management strategies to enhance aquatic biota in the Kootenai River ecosystem to recover native species assemblages across multiple trophic levels. Project 1199404900 addresses nutrient availability and productivity issues concerning early life survival of white sturgeon, whereas Project 200200200 addresses physical habitat and ecological (e.g. predation evaluation) requirements of endangered Kootenai River white sturgeon and how to restore recruitment.
BPA 199502700 Lake Roosevelt Sturgeon This project (200200200) directly contributes to the understanding of physical habitat requirements for sturgeon recruitment and implements experimental treatments of habitat improvement and creation to characterize, better understand, and correct recruitment failure mechanisms, a need shared by other Columbia Basin BPA-funded white sturgeon projects such as BPA Project 199502700.
BPA 199700400 Resident Fish Above Chief Joe This project (200200200) along with others in the Columbia Basin (e.g. 19865000) provide valuable information about habitat requirements for sturgeon recruitment and production, which is relevant to Project 199700400.
BPA 199700900 Eval Sturgeon Pop - Snake R (L This project (200200200) directly contributes to the understanding of physical habitat requirements for sturgeon recruitment and implements experimental treatments of habitat improvement and creation to characterize, better understand, and correct recruitment failure mechanisms, a need shared by other Columbia Basin BPA-funded white sturgeon projects such as BPA Project 199700900.
BPA 200200800 Reconnect Floodplain Kootenair Project 200200800 assess the feasibility and options for reconnecting slough habitat that has been isolated from the Kootenai River by dikes to benefit white sturgeon, burbot, rainbow trout, kokanee, many waterfowl species, many invertebrate species. Synergistic ecological benefits link responses between this floodplain reconnection project (200200800) and the 200200200 project that implements in-channel habitat creation and restoration activities.
BPA 200201100 L. Kootenai Floodplain Assess. Project 200201100 assesses ecological function and habitat diversity losses due to Libby Dam construction and operation in order to develop long-term mitigation, protection, enhancement, and rehabilitation in historic large river-floodplain habitats in the Lower Kootenai River. In a broad review of white sturgeon recruitment needs, Coutant (2004) reported that adequate habitat diversity and connectivity between the main channel and complex riparian and side channel habitats is a prerequisite for successful sturgeon recruitment. Thus, Project 200201100 works to characterize current conditions to enable such habitat restoration while Project 200200200 does so within the main channel of the Kootenai River. Both projects share a focus on common habitat and ecological function improvements approaches to improving the Kootenai River system and its ecological communities and functions across trophic levels.
BPA 200302700 White Sturgeon Oxbow/Hells Can This project (200200200) directly contributes to the understanding of physical habitat requirements for sturgeon recruitment and implements experimental treatments of habitat improvement and creation to characterize, better understand, and correct recruitment failure mechanisms, a need shared by other Columbia Basin BPA-funded white sturgeon projects such as BPA Project 200302700.

Section 6: Biological Objectives
Biological Objectives of this Proposed Project
Biological Objective Full Description Associated Subbasin Plan Strategy Page Nos
Determine requirements for natural recruitment SBP M1(altered hydrograph) Implement altered hydrograph to restore natural recruitment in the lower Kootenai River. M3 Achieve and maintain in the associated with natural recruitment of white stugeon and other focal fish species. M5 (habitat diversity) Maintain habitat conditions and habitat diversity that contribute to natural recruitment. WST2 (recruitment failure)Achieve natural production of white sturgeon in at least 3 different years of a 10-year period. Recovery Plan tasks 111-118, 125, and 421 (USFWS 1999). 2005-2010 Recovery Implementation Plan, Strategy 1 ( Natural Recruitment Restoration) Measure 1.B Habitat restoration) and relevant tasks and activities (KTOI 2005). Kootenai SBP strategies for M1,3,5 & WST2. Restore normative river functions in the Kootenai River, implement and evaluate rock substrate additions, velocity and turbulence eductors, and habitat creation and restoration activities, monitor natural recruitment. 21-28, 60-62
Restore natural recruitment SBP M1(altered hydrograph) Develop and pursue opportunities to restore normative river functions in the lower Kootenai River to identify habitat requirements for recruitment. M3 (turbidity and fine sediment) Achieve turbidity levels in the mainstem that support sustainable population levels of focal species. M5 (habitat diversity) Improve habitat conditions and habitat. WST2 (recruitment failure) Achieve natural production of white sturgeon in at least 3 different years of a 10-year period. Recovery Plan tasks 111-118, 125, and 421 (USFWS 1999). 2005-2010 Recovery Implementation Plan, Strategy 1 ( Natural Recruitment Restoration) Measure 1.B Habitat restoration) and relevant tasks and activities (KTOI 2005). Kootenai SBP strategies for M1,3,5 & WST2. Restore normative river functions in the Kootenai River, including hydrograph cycles, periodic channel maintenance flows, sediment dynamics related to natural recruitment, habitat diversity, floodplain connectivity 21-28, 60-62

Section 7: Work Elements
Work Elements and Associated Biological Objectives
Work Element Name Work Element Title Description Start Date End Date Estimated Budget
01: Increase Instream Habitat Complexity WE1: PRP-1: Shorty's Island spawning habitat creation This work element involves adding natural materials instream to create habitat features or to improve channel morphology. This work element will create suitable habitat for sturgeon spawning and incubation that does not exist now in this reach of the Kootenai River. Major restoration actions could include placement of spawning substrate to improve embryo and larval survival; placement of structures to improve channel hydraulics (velocity, scour, and turbulence) in order to encourage spawning. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $2,260,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

02: Increase Instream Habitat Complexity WE2: PRP-2: Ambush Rock Reach spawning habitat improvement This work element involves adding natural materials instream to create habitat features or to improve channel morphology. This work element will create suitable habitat for sturgeon spawning and incubation that does not exist now in this reach of the Kootenai River. Major restoration actions could include placement of spawning substrate to improve embryo and larval survival; placement of structures to improve channel hydraulics (velocity, scour, and turbulence) in order to encourage spawning. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $1,142,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

03: Increase Instream Habitat Complexity WE3: PRP-3: Braided Reach habitat use and passage This work element involves adding natural materials instream to create habitat features or to improve channel morphology. This work element will create suitable habitat for sturgeon spawning and incubation that does not exist now in this reach of the Kootenai River. Major restoration actions could include placement of spawning substrate to improve embryo and larval survival; placement of structures to improve channel hydraulics (velocity, scour, and turbulence) in order to encourage spawning. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $4,765,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

04: Increase Instream Habitat Complexity WE4: Implement and evaluate velocity and turbulence eductors This work element evaluates the feasibility of using velocity and turbulence eductors to create suitable inriver hydraulic conditions for successful spawning and recruitment of Kootenai river white sturgeon. (Eductors are portable tubes with attached nozzles and pumps which entrain and propel a directional stream of water). This work element explores whether mechanical devices can effectively increase local water velocity and turbulence (and more complex flow flied characteristics associated with unimpounded rivers) at a scale likely to prove useful in sturgeon habitat restoration by field testing flow eductors under different habitat conditions. This work element involves field testing the effects of eductor pumps on water velocity and turbulence in representative Kootenai River habitats. Hydraulic conditions (e.g. velocity, turbulence, complexity) will be evaluated in the Kootenai River to determine whether eductors can successfully provide streamflow conditions suitable for spawning and incubation at sufficient spatial scales to provide useful benefits. Monitoring will be conducted using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) equipped with a mapping grade GPS with a horizontal positioning accuracy of less than 1-meter and navigational software. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $135,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

05: Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data WE5: Hydraulic model enhancement This work element will enhance existing Kootenai river hydraulic models to: 1) assist in determining habitat requirements for recruitment and (2) assess the feasibility of evolving strategies in restoring white sturgeon natural recruitment (adaptive management). This work element also involves work to collect, create, generate, our capture source data. Includes initial entering of data into a computer spreadsheet/database, developing automated data capture programs/routines and related hardware/software (e.g., PDAs, data loggers, thermographs), preparing metadata, and quality assurance/quality control processes. Also includes generating secondary/derived data when those data are stored in a database for access and use by other parties for analysis like primary data. Capturing data includes entering data into a computer from historical records, digitizing images, and other methods for converting information to digital format. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $140,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

06: Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data WE6: Refine spawning substrate evaluations This work element involves two major methods: 1) Evaluate Kootenai River substrate in spawning reaches and at proposed habitat enhancement sites, and 2) Evaluate potential tributary input of coarse substrate suitable for spawning to the Kootenai River. This work element also involves work to collect, create, generate, our capture source data. Includes initial entering of data into a computer spreadsheet/database, developing automated data capture programs/routines and related hardware/software (e.g., PDAs, data loggers, thermographs), preparing metadata, and quality assurance/quality control processes. Also includes generating secondary/derived data when those data are stored in a database for access and use by other parties for analysis like primary data. Capturing data includes entering data into a computer from historical records, digitizing images, and other methods for converting information to digital format. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $120,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

07: Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data WE7: Determine physical habitat requirements for natural recruitment This work element will: 1) Measure and monitor critical physical habitat parameters in the spawning and potential spawning areas, 2) Obtain riverbed elevation data, 3) Obtain data on riverbed stability, dune height, and dune wave length, 4) Videotape critical areas of the river bottom, and 5) monitor sediment input and turbidity in the Kootenai River white sturgeon spawning reach. This work element also involves work to collect, create, generate, our capture source data. Includes initial entering of data into a computer spreadsheet/database, developing automated data capture programs/routines and related hardware/software (e.g., PDAs, data loggers, thermographs), preparing metadata, and quality assurance/quality control processes. Also includes generating secondary/derived data when those data are stored in a database for access and use by other parties for analysis like primary data. Capturing data includes entering data into a computer from historical records, digitizing images, and other methods for converting information to digital format. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $240,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

08: Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data WE8: Characterize turbidity and possible effects on spawning This work element characterizes turbidity in the white sturgeon spawning reach before and after Libby Dam and assesses potential effects of decreased turbidity during the Libby Dam era on white sturgeon spawning patterns and recruitment success. This work element also involves activities that apply analytical tools to render meaning from data for making better management decisions. They go beyond data summaries. Often involves tests of statistical significance and may include modeling, indices, and synthesis. Typically culminates in resource management recommendations presented in a report of research/evaluation findings or analyses presented as formal publications. 10/1/2006 9/30/2008 $80,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

09: Analyze/Interpret Data WE9: Analyze/Interpret Data on physical habitat requirements for recruitment This work element will: 1) Use existing Kootenai River flow models to help understand the lack of sturgeon passage from the meandering to the braided reach, 2) Design, implement, and evaluate sturgeon spawning patterns based on response to flow-field dynamics at the scale of the fish’s sensory ovoid, 3) Use the results to identify river operations and habitat alterations that could possibly shift these conditions upstream to areas of more suitable spawning substrate, 4) Compare the Kootenai River white sturgeon spawning habitat and potential spawning habitat to the spawning habitat of other populations of white surgeon in North America, and 5) Evaluate use of riparian vegetation or structure in lower Columbia as an analog for the Kootenai River. This work element also involves activities that apply analytical tools to render meaning from data for making better management decisions. They go beyond data summaries. Often involves tests of statistical significance and may include modeling, indices, and synthesis. Typically culminates in resource management recommendations presented in a report of research/evaluation findings or analyses presented as formal publications. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $340,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

10: Analyze/Interpret Data WE10: Evaluate feasibility of large-scale habitat enhancement This work element will: 1) Characterize habitat for monitored white sturgeon larval releases and for spawning and rearing in the braided reach, 2) Use hydraulic and sediment-transport models and alternative analytical tools to assess the feasibility of restoring natural recruitment, 3) Model changes in the configuration of Libby Dam discharges and Kootenay Lake Levels to emulate an annual pre-Libby Dam hydrograph 4) Assess the feasibility of habitat enhancement/creation in the braided reach upstream from Bonners Ferry, 5) Evaluate the feasibility and the relevance of a larger-scale spawning-rearing substrate project in the meander reach, and 6) Develop an egg settling distribution model for white sturgeon eggs in the Kootenai River. This work element also involves activities that apply analytical tools to render meaning from data for making better management decisions. They go beyond data summaries. Often involves tests of statistical significance and may include modeling, indices, and synthesis. Typically culminates in resource management recommendations presented in a report of research/evaluation findings or analyses presented as formal publications. 10/1/2006 9/30/2008 $230,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

11: Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data WE11: Characterize in-river transport dynamics of white sturgeon eggs This work element will: 1) Characterize transport dynamics of white sturgeon eggs obtained from the Kootenai River and other populations via a series of controlled egg dynamics experiments in a large flume at the USGS-Geomorphology and Sediment Transport Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. These experiments will determine: (1) the critical-shear stress for mobilizing sturgeon eggs that are sediment free or slightly encrusted with sediment,(2) the critical-shear stress for mobilizing sturgeon eggs that are heavily encrusted with sediment, (3) the predominant mode or transport of eggs as a function of flow conditions (i.e., as bedload where eggs bounce and roll along the riverbed, potentially becoming buried in the substrate, or as suspended load, where the eggs move with the flow with relatively infrequent contact with the bed) (4) the egg migration velocity when rolling along the river bottom in the absence of dunes, (5) the effect of dunes on the migration of the eggs and (6) a rating curve for egg-sampling mats to quantify the range of streamflow velocity whereby mats capture eggs. Experiments will be videotaped to provide additional information from generated film footage. This work element will also: collect, create, generate, our capture source data. Includes initial entering of data into a computer spreadsheet/database, developing automated data capture programs/routines and related hardware/software (e.g., PDAs, data loggers, thermographs), preparing metadata, and quality assurance/quality control processes. Also includes generating secondary/derived data when those data are stored in a database for access and use by other parties for analysis like primary data. Capturing data includes entering data into a computer from historical records, digitizing images, and other methods for converting information to digital format. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $40,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

12: Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data WE12: Early life habitat channel construction, operation, and maintenance This work element creates an experimental habitat channel to help define early life stage physical habitat requirements at a large experimental scale and provide optimized natural rearing environment. This component of the project provides an innovative approach to directly measure habitat conditions and habitat parameter values associated with successful spawning, incubation, and rearing of Kootenai River white sturgeon. Empirical habitat conditions will be directly measured in an engineered-natural habitat channel designed specifically for this purpose. Empirical values generated by this project will provide targets for subsequent river-scale restoration of critical habitat. This project is complementary to ongoing USGS and USACE habitat assessment and modeling activities in the Kootenai River. Just as mesocosm experiments have successfully evaluated, guided, and reduced uncertainty associated with river-scale productivity issues, this engineered-natural spawning, incubation, and rearing channel will be used to provide the empirical basis for river-scale restoration of critical habitat for Kootenai River white sturgeon. This work element will also: collect, create, generate, our capture source data. Includes initial entering of data into a computer spreadsheet/database, developing automated data capture programs/routines and related hardware/software (e.g., PDAs, data loggers, thermographs), preparing metadata, and quality assurance/quality control processes. Also includes generating secondary/derived data when those data are stored in a database for access and use by other parties for analysis like primary data. Capturing data includes entering data into a computer from historical records, digitizing images, and other methods for converting information to digital format. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $550,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

13: Analyze/Interpret Data WE13: Assess effects of predation on recruitment failure This work element will conduct predation simulation modeling using empirically supported ranges of embryo and predator abundance and embryo ingestion rates to scale and assess potential effects of predation on white sturgeon eggs and embryos in the Kootenai relative to recruitment failure. Based on the simulation outcomes, this work element may recommend to: 1) Conduct a controlled field study to determine if predation on eggs is capable of wiping out an entire cohort, and 2) Consider implementing a shore-based target fishery for egg consuming fishes during the spawning season in the spawning reach where eggs are routinely collected with egg mats. Activities in this work element apply analytical tools to render meaning from data for making better management decisions. They go beyond data summaries. Often involves tests of statistical significance and may include modeling, indices, and synthesis. Typically culminates in resource management recommendations presented in a report of research/evaluation findings or analyses presented as formal publications. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $60,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

14: Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data WE14: Perform controlled larval behavior/dispersal experiments This work element will: 1) Investigate ontogenetic, feeding, and dispersal behavior of larval sturgeon using laboratory studies, and 2) Use habitat preference and dispersal data from lab studies as well as computer flow models to identify egg/embryo dispersal locations based on observed or estimated spawning locations. Updated research reflecting the range of environmental parameter values experienced by sturgeon early life stages in the Kootenai is important to applyng findings from lab studies to the field in specific rivers. Activities in this work element apply analytical tools to render meaning from data for making better management decisions. They go beyond data summaries. Often involves tests of statistical significance and may include modeling, indices, and synthesis. Typically culminates in resource management recommendations presented in a report of research/evaluation findings or analyses presented as formal publications. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $105,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

15: Coordination WE15: Planning and Coordination This work element includes participation in project meetings, and involves all project planning and coordination activities. This is a very diverse program that will require a lot of coordination to succeed. Project planning and coordination involve project personnel attending meetings, coordinating USGS and other project efforts with that of the KTOI and other agencies, and providing technical support and consultation to the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho and the Sturgeon Recovery Team. The USGS will regularly attend Sturgeon Recovery Team (STR) meetings and frequently presents results of field studies, results of modeling scenarios showing remediation scenarios, and new information on the physical aspects of the white sturgeon spawning habitat. Personnel from the USGS-National Research Program will attend some SRT meeting and other meetings as needed. Data collection in Canada will be coordinated with appropriate Canadian agencies. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $120,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

16: Produce/Submit Scientific Findings Report WE16: Produce quarterly (WE141) annual (WE132) and scientific reports/papers This work element covers drafting throuhg completion of any report required or produced for a contract, except those specifically covered under other work elements (e.g., WE# 132: Produce Annual Report, or WE# 183: Produce/Submit Scientific Findings Report, or WE# 185: Produce Pisces Status Report). If this work element is used for multiple reports in the same contract, then each report should be listed as a separate milestone. All subcontractors will provide all reports on time consistent with all BPA program reporting requirements. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $240,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element

17: Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation WE17: Permitting This work element involves any work by the Contractor to assemble, gather, acquire, or prepare documents in support of obtaining environmental compliance from BPA (such as filling out a NEPA Checklist, providing maps, drafting a Biological Assessment, obtaining permits, conducting public involvement activities, completing an archaeological survey, etc.). In all cases, environmental compliance work must be separated from all other work. It is not permitted to combine environmental compliance activities with any other work element. In this project, NEPA and other permitting requirements will likely apply only to the first four work elements, but may apply to others. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $120,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine requirements for natural recruitment
Restore natural recruitment
No Metrics for this Work Element


Section 8: Budget

Itemized Estimated Budget
Item Note FY 2007 Cost FY 2008 Cost FY 2009 Cost
Other US Army Corps of Engineers $2,722,000 $2,722,000 $2,722,000
Other US Geoglical Survey $425,000 $425,000 $425,000
Other S.P. Cramer and Associates $60,000 $60,000 $95,000
Personnel Natural Solutions Inc. $45,000 $45,000 $45,000
Other Misc. Subcontractors $200,000 $390,000 $306,000
Totals $3,452,000 $3,642,000 $3,593,000

Total Estimated FY 2007-2009 Budgets
Total Itemized Budget$10,687,000
Total Work Element budget$10,687,000

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
Congressional appropriations Provided thru USACE 1135 Program $2,260,000 $1,142,000 $4,765,109 Cash Under Development
USGS Help fund this study on restoring natural sturgeon recruitment $85,000 $85,000 $85,000 Cash Confirmed
Totals $2,345,000 $1,227,000 $4,850,109

Section 9: Project Future
Project Future Costs and/or Termination
FY 2010 Est Budget FY 2011 Est Budget Comments
$3,620,000 $3,640,000 [Outyear comment field left blank]
Future Operations & Maintenance Costs
 
Termination Date Comments
This project provides direct mitigation for lost sturgeon recruitment that has endangered the Kootenai River white sturgeon population, due in part from the construction and operation of Libby Dam. Therefore, this project should be implemented until the native white sturgeon population is fully recovered and self-sustaining through natural production in suitable habitat that poses no risk to the population’s long-term viability and persistence.
 
Final Deliverables

Section 10: Narrative
Document Type Size Date

Part 2 of 2. Reviews of Proposal
Administrative Review Group (ARG) Results
Account Type:
Expense
No changes were made to this proposal


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

FY 2007 Budget
$3,387,955
FY 2008 Budget
$2,533,925
FY 2009 Budget
$2,078,120
Total NPCC Rec
$8,000,000
Budget Type:Expense
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Recommendation:Fund
Comments: The Mountain Columbia oversight group (OG) requests that BPA allow flexibility between years and manage this as a three-year, eight-million-dollar budget (i.e. allowing of rescheduling of funds from one year to the next) because the rate and pace of implementation is uncertain and will be determined through pilot project implementation and recovery team decisions. We made substantial budget reductions in this project and so if there is a need for funding beyond the eight-million-dollar level the OG also asks that the project sponsor has the ability to request funds through the within-year process.


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

FY 2007 Budget
$3,387,955
FY 2008 Budget
$2,533,925
FY 2009 Budget
$2,078,120
Total NPCC Rec
$8,000,000
FY 2007 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2008 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2009 MSRT Rec
$ 0
Total MSRT Rec
$ 0
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Comments:

Local or MSRT Comments: The OG requests that BPA allow flexibility between years and manage this as a three-year, eight-million-dollar budget (i.e. allowing of rescheduling of funds from one year to the next) because the rate and pace of implementation is uncertain and will be d


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

Recommendation: Fundable
NPCC Comments: This was a generally well-prepared proposal for a multitude of simultaneous on-the-ground habitat restoration work, research, modeling, and data assessment in the Kootenai River where white sturgeon have reproduced historically, but now are unsuccessful at producing recruits (even though they spawn). The premise is that multiple remedial approaches are necessary because the reason(s) for recruitment failures is still uncertain and the population is in precipitous decline. The ISRP questioned the strategy of concurrently pursuing multiple (very expensive) directions, although agreeing with the ultimate desirability of restoring suitable spawning and rearing habitat. Doing all these efforts at once seemed to make it more difficult to tell what actions were successful and what ones were not, while managers need to know which actions were effective in order to sustain long-term habitat and population management. The ISRP initially recommended that the habitat modifications be funded in stages, with periodic independent reviews of syntheses of the work to date and identification of major findings, before committing to modest scale engineered habitat modification. The sponsors believe otherwise, and their response clearly lays out their arguments.

The sponsors provided a very thorough and persuasive response. They defended the application and testing of multiple, nearly simultaneous approaches to improve sturgeon recruitment with logical arguments. Each of the ISRP's reservations was countered with detailed evidence supporting the sponsors' approach. In the case of the proposed spawning channel, the ISRP misunderstood its intended use (it is a research tool to learn about egg and larval habitats and survival and not a production facility). The parts of the proposal that the ISRP found not well justified were more fully explained. The entire response was informative without being overly defensive. The response was fully adequate, persuasive, and commendable. It is an expensive project but not out of line with the tenuous state of the sturgeon population in the Kootenai.

The background of the proposal is well written and provides a comprehensive summary of the status of efforts to understand the factors limiting reproduction and/or recruitment of white sturgeon in the Kootenai River. The sponsors identify that the project is consistent with the Kootenai Subbasin plan, Council's Fish and Wildlife Program, and various other regional plans. The proposal provides a good narrative on specific plans and programs with a table of specific recovery plan items. A good and very helpful table links most of the projects. There is thorough presentation of the relationship of this project to others in the subbasin and in nearby subbasins (Lake Roosevelt). A succinct summary of the project history is provided, including reports, papers, and presentations of results.

The primary objective is to restore natural recruitment, as emphasized in the response. Determining the requirements for natural recruitment through research is secondary. Establishing which of the multiple remedial actions they propose was most successful can occur later. The conservation aquaculture program is viewed as a necessary stopgap measure until natural recruitment is restored. The strategy and methods are generally adequate. For several of their work elements (i.e., #2) they have a good subsection "Expected outputs and how they will be measured." There were questions about other tasks that were adequately resolved in the response. For most work elements there are identified metrics to evaluate the habitat remediation experiments. The sponsors have demonstrated excellent facilities, equipment, and personnel. There are excellent communication plans and the project sponsors have a record of producing annual reports, peer-reviewed publications, and presentations.


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

Recommendation: Fundable in part
NPCC Comments: This was a generally well-prepared proposal for a multitude of simultaneous research, modeling, data assessment, and on-the-ground habitat restoration work in the Kootenai River where white sturgeon have spawned historically, but now are unsuccessful. The premise is that multiple approaches are necessary because the reason(s) for recruitment failures is still uncertain and the population is in precipitous decline.

We question the strategy of concurrently pursuing multiple (very expensive) directions. We fail to see the urgency, although we agree with the ultimate desirability of restoring suitable spawning and rearing habitat. The conservation hatchery project gives time to test possible habitat remediation approaches sequentially. Doing all these efforts at once will make it more difficult to tell what actions were successful and what ones were not. One might argue that successful recruitment is the objective, however achieved, but managers need to know which actions were effective in order to sustain long-term habitat and population management. Everything tested cannot be maintained in perpetuity.

The ISRP recommends that funding for the habitat modifications be funded in stages, with periodic independent review of syntheses of the work to date and identification of major findings, before committing to modest scale engineered habitat modification.

A priority order can be established from the following notes. Work elements (WE) 1-4 for trial habitat modifications to increase channel and flow complexity would seem to be high priority, with elements 1-3 (different sites) done sequentially and incrementally. WE 5 (improving the hydraulic model) seems better suited for a later time, because the present model seems sufficient for early habitat trials. WE 6 to analyze sediment input seems premature until sediment modifications show the importance (or lack thereof) of channel sediment for recruitment. To the extent that WE 7 differs from WE 6 (difficult to distinguish), evaluations are high priority. It is unclear how WE 8 on turbidity will be productive since turbidity changes occurred historically along with flow, temperature, and channel modifications. WE 9 on habitat correlates seems high priority. WE 10 seems premature until the results of trial habitat modifications are available and synthesized. WE 11 on egg transport dynamics seems to be contrary to the normal adhesive egg environment and of low priority. It is unclear why one would want to carefully quantify the dynamics of an adhesive egg that has failed to attach to solid substrate and has been abnormally transported in silty or sandy sediment (likely to its death). WE 12, an engineered habitat side channel, might be of sufficient scale to require a Three-Step Review. This could be started, with implementation later. WE 13 and 14 on larval predation are not fundable as presented. They need much better justification. The other elements are administrative.

The background is well written and provides a comprehensive summary of the status of efforts to understand the factors limiting reproduction and/or recruitment of white sturgeon in the Kootenai River. The background includes the sponsor’s justification for simultaneous adaptive management approaches as recommended by an interagency workshop.

Sponsors identify that the project is consistent with the Kootenai Subbasin plan, Council's Fish and Wildlife Program, and various other regional plans. The proposal provides a good narrative on specific plans and programs with table of specific recovery plan items. A good and very helpful table links most of the projects.

There is thorough presentation of the relationship of this project to others in the subbasin and in nearby subbasins (Lake Roosevelt). Tables 2 and 3 are particularly helpful. However, this work seems poorly integrated into the themes of the other Kootenai River work. Is stocking hatchery fish the key, or is wild recovery the key? Or both? A successful hatchery program will buy 15-50 years, given the long lifetime of white sturgeon. How does this reconcile with the expressed urgency of this work? A succinct summary of the project history is provided, including reports, papers, and presentations. What is lacking is a succinct summary of the conclusions of the work and the management implications.

The primary objectives are determining the requirements for natural recruitment and restoring natural recruitment. These are fine, but contrast with the conservation aquaculture program. Reviewers were not convinced that the rationale for the objectives on spawning substrate are valid but agree that they should be tested. Continued reference to “spawning substrate” seems inappropriate for a water column spawner that disperses eggs for adhesion to solid surfaces that are encountered. Sturgeon likely do not seek substrates for spawning the way salmon do, although substrate is highly important for egg attachment and free embryos (larvae).

The strategy and methods are generally adequate. For several of their work elements (i.e. #2) they have a good subsection "Expected outputs and how they will be measured". There were questions about other tasks. Task 9.2.c on page 49 should probably be 10.2.c, as this work should be implemented based on suitable completion of preliminary investigations. Work element 12--construct an artificial habitat channel--does not seem to be justified by either the technical background or the project history. The proposal could have better explained that where white sturgeon recruitment is successful in its range, there are multiple side channels for spawning and early life stages (e.g., lower Columbia River, Fraser River). They were once present on the Kootenai but have been lost to diking and channelization. The basis for executing work element 13--effects of predation on recruitment failure--is not convincing. Work element 14--larval behavior/dispersal experiments is not sufficiently explained to make an evaluation.

For most work elements there are identified metrics to evaluate the experiments. The sponsors have demonstrated excellent facilities, equipment, and personnel. There are excellent communication plans and the project sponsors have a record of producing annual reports, peer-reviewed publications, and presentations.

Maintained by the Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Authority. Please direct comments or questions to the webmaster.