FY 2007 Solicitation Homepage

Project Proposal Request for FY 2007 - FY 2009 Funding

Proposal 199304000: Fifteenmile Creek Habitat Restoration and Monitoring Project

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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 Brian Benjamin

Proposal Type: Ongoing
Proposal Number: 199304000
Proposal Name: Fifteenmile Creek Habitat Restoration and Monitoring Project
BPA Project Manager: John Baugher
Agency, Institution or Organization: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW)
Short Description: Provide continued operation and maintenance on previously installed fencing and instream habitat, monitor the success of all restoration efforts, and begin implementation to improve instream habitat complexity within the Fifteenmile Creek Subbasin.
Information Transfer: Information will be available in an anual report, and data will be made available on the Streamnet (streamnet.org) website.
 
Project Proposal Contacts
Contact Organization Address Phone/Email Roles Notes
Form Submitter
Brian Benjamin Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife 3561 Klindt Dr.
The Dalles OR 97058
Ph: 541.296.8026
Fax: 541.296.7889
Email: brian.d.benjamin@state.or.us
Form Submitter
All Assigned Contacts
Brian Benjamin Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife 3561 Klindt Dr.
The Dalles OR 97058
Ph: 541.296.8026
Fax: 541.296.7889
Email: brian.d.benjamin@state.or.us
Form Submitter

Section 2: Project Location
Sponsor Province: Columbia Gorge ARG Province: No Change
Sponsor Subbasin: Fifteenmile ARG Subbasin: No Change
Location(s) at which the action will be implemented
Latitude Longitude Waterbody Location Description County/State Subbasin Primary?
45.4517 -121.1218 Fifteenmile Creek Dufur-- The approximate mid point for the proposed project Wasco, Oregon Fifteenmile Yes

Section 3: Focal Species
Focal Species:
Primary Secondary Additional Species
Steelhead Middle Columbia River ESU
Coastal Cutthroat Southwest Washington/Columbia River ESU
Interior Redband Trout
Pacific Lamprey

Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Past Accomplishments for Each Fiscal Year of This Project
Fiscal Year Accomplishments
2005 Inspected & maintained riparian fences,water gaps,habitat structures,fishways,sprayed weeds,operated juvenile fish trap,installed 8.5 miles of riparian fence & 3 off stream livestock water locations,collected stream temp,spawning data & photopoint picture
2004 Inspected & maintained riparian fences,water gaps,habitat structures,fishways,sprayed weeds,operated juvenile fish trap,installed 10 miles of riparian fence & 4 off stream livestock water locations,collected stream temp,spawning data & photopoint picture
2003 Inspected & maintained all riparian fence,water gaps,habitat structures,fishways, screens,weed control.Completed 30 miles of stream surveys,installed 10 miles of fence & 4 off stream water locations,collected stream temp,spawning data & photopoint picture
2002 Inspected & maintained riparian fence, water gaps,habitat structures,fishways,screens,weed control. Completed 30 miles of stream surveys,installed 10 miles of fence & 3 off stream water locations,collected stream temp,spawning data & photopoint pictures.
2001 Inspected & maintained all riparian fence water gaps, fish habitat structures, fishways & screens, completed weed control. Installed 5 off stream livestock water locations 3 solar 2 spring collected stream temp, spawning data & photopoint pictures.
2000 Inspected & maintained all riparian fence, water gaps, fish habitat structures, fishways & screens, completed weed control. Installed 3 off stream livestock water locations 2 solar 1 spring collected stream temp, spawning data & photopoint pictures.
1999 Inspected & maintained all completed riparian fence & fish habitat structures, fishways, screens, & off stream water, completed weed control. Installed 10 off stream livestock water location Collected stream temp, spawning data & photopoint pictures
1998 Inspected & maintained all riparian fence & fish habitat structures, fishways & screens, completed weed control. Constructed 6 off stream livestock water locations. Collected stream temp, spawning data & photopoint pictures
1997 Inspected & maintained all riparian fence & fish habitat structures, fishways & screens, Constructed 5 miles of riparian fence. Installed 91 fish hab structures & 840 ft of bank stabilization. Collected stream temp, spawning data & photopoint pictures
1996 Inspected & maintained all riparian fence & fish habitat structures, fishways & screens, Constructed 5 miles of riparian fence. Installed 76 fish hab structures & 510 ft of bank stabilization. Collected stream temp, spawning data & photopoint pictures.
1995 Inspected & maintained all riparian fence & fish habitat structures, fishways & screens, Constructed 12 miles of riparian fence. Installed 166 fish hab structures & 685 ft of bank stabilization. Collected stream temp, spawning data & photopoint pictures
1994 Inspected & maintained all riparian fence & fish habitat structures, fishways & screens, Constructed 9 miles of riparian fence. Installed 268 fish hab structures & 485 ft of bank stabilization. Collected stream temp, spawning data & photopoint pictures
1993 Inspected & maintained all riparian fence & fish habitat structures. Installed 6 pump & 2 drum screens. Constructed 9 miles of rip fence & 56 fish habitat structures & 396 ft of bank stabilization. Collected flow, stream temp, spawning data & photopoint
1992 Inspected & maintained all riparian completed riparian fence & fish habitat structures. Constructed 18.5 miles of riparian fence. Installed 340 fish habitat structures. Collected flow, stream temp, spawning data & photopoint pictures.
1991 Inspected & maintained all completed riparian fence & habitat measures. Constructed 9.49 miles of riparian fence. Installed 128 fish habitat structures and 1056 ft of bank stabilization. Collected flow, spawning data,stream temp & photopoint pictures
1990 Constructed 10 miles of riparian fence. Installed 631 fish habitat structures & 767 ft of bank stabilization. Collected stream temp, flow, macro-invertebrate, photopoint pictures, & spawning data. Maintained all completed riparian fence & habitat measures
1989 Constructed 10.6 miles of fence, installed 131 fish habitat structures, installed 415 ft of bank stabilization. Collected stream temp, flow, macro-invertebrate, photopoint pictures, & spawning data. Maintained completed fence
1988 Installed 2 fish ladders Installed 1 rotary drum fish screen Collected macro-invertebrate samples Collected stream temperature data Collected stream flow data Constructed 15.5 miles of riparian fence Constructed 345 instream structures
1987 Development of the Fifteenmile Creek Implementation Plan Finished physical stream survey Collected baseline stream temperature data. Collected macro-invertebrate samples Collected stream flow data. Developed construction contracts Constructed 4.5
1986 Collected baseline data,Worked with private landowners Developed 6 lease agreement. Conducted physical stream survey. Collected stream temp, flow, macro-invertebrate & spawning data. Began development of the Fifteenmile Creek implementation plan

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 [no entry] Determine the status and limiting factors of Pacific lamprey in the Fifteenmile Creek Sub-basin, Oregon. Cooperator, data collection and information sharing
BPA 198805304 Hood River Production M&E-ODFW Close cooperation with project staff, shared resources, M&E results useful to monitor steelhead populations above Bonneville Dam for OR tributaries.
BPA 198810804 Streamnet (CIS/NED) Storage of collected biological data
BPA 199008000 Columbia Basin Pit-Tag Informa Submission of PIT tag information
BPA 199404200 Trout Creek O&M Shared resources and management. Very similar project components.
BPA 200102000 15 Mile Cr Riparian Fence/Surv This project is being rolled into 199304000
BPA 200102100 15 Mile Creek Riparian Buffers Cooperative riparian protection project with Wasco Co. SWCD
OWEB - State 204-223 North Wasco Co Direct Seed Water Quality
OWEB - State 205-195 Dry Cr Steelhead & Trout Habit Technical advisory
OWEB - State 205-196 Fifteenmile Riverkeeper Phase Technical advisory
OWEB - State 206-118 Endersby Culvert Replacement Technical advisory
OWEB - State 206-122 Dry Cr Gully Erosion Control Original lease agreement with cooperator
Other: NMFS Mitchel Act Columbia River Fisheries Development for ODFW Screening Program This program has a strong presence in the basin, and maintains approximately 90 fish screens/ fish passage structures in the Fifteenmile Creek Basin. Shared facility space and management.
Other: Federal-USFS Riverkeepers [Related Project Title left blank] Technical, provide M&E, cooperator, match for in-stream habitat improvement, will provide restoration survey support

Section 6: Biological Objectives
Biological Objectives of this Proposed Project
Biological Objective Full Description Associated Subbasin Plan Strategy Page Nos
Increase Steelhead Egg to Smolt Survival Increase winter steelhead smolt production from the current range of 4,559-10,504 smolts per year to the target range of 8,125-18,697 smolts per year Fifteenmile 1)Riparian Floodplain Restoration ; 2) Large Woody Debris (Habitat Forming Natural Material Instream Structures) 14, 16
Monitor success in obtaining biological objectives Monitor the success of the project and other restoration activities toward meeting the goals of the biological objective, and validate existing objective target Fifteenmile Determine smolt production estimates, adult escapement, and assist with lamprey species composition and estimates 55,56

Section 7: Work Elements
Work Elements and Associated Biological Objectives
Work Element Name Work Element Title Description Start Date End Date Estimated Budget
01: Maintain Vegetation Inspect and maintain installed riparian fencing Conduct annual inspection and complete necessary maintenance on all (100+ miles) fence installed under landowner agreement, including water gaps and off-channel water systems. 10/1/2006 9/30/2007 $386,181
Biological Objectives Metrics
Increase Steelhead Egg to Smolt Survival
No Metrics for this Work Element

02: Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage Inspect and Maintain Bank Stabilization and Instream Habitat Structures Provide anual and periodic inspection of bank stabilization and instream structures previously installed, and perform any small scale repairs necessary to remain functional. 10/1/2006 9/30/2007 $26,522
Biological Objectives Metrics
Increase Steelhead Egg to Smolt Survival
No Metrics for this Work Element

03: Develop Alternative Water Source Develop Alternate Water Sources Install off-channel water developments to eliminate high maintenance action items. 4/1/2007 7/31/2007 $61,474
Biological Objectives Metrics
Increase Steelhead Egg to Smolt Survival
No Metrics for this Work Element

04: Increase Instream Habitat Complexity Improve habitat complexity in high priority reach through construction of large woody debris complexes Instream habitat complexity will be improved through the addition of large woody debris complexes in areas where the riparian corridor has been protected from livestock grazing and in areas shown to be lacking such physical complexity to support optimal rearing of juvenile salmonids 4/1/2007 10/30/2007 $163,145
Biological Objectives Metrics
Increase Steelhead Egg to Smolt Survival
No Metrics for this Work Element

05: Install Fence Install approximately 1 mile of riparian protection fence Install approximately 1 mile of riparian protection fence in priority area on private parcels not eligible for CREP funding. 2/1/2007 8/31/2007 $75,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Increase Steelhead Egg to Smolt Survival
* # of miles of fence: 1
* # of miles of fence: 1

06: Install Fish Monitoring Equipment Install and remove screw traps Install, maintain, and remove two rotary screw traps; one near the mouth of Fifteenmile Creek, and one near the confluence of Eightmile Creek and Fifteenmile Creek. 4/1/2007 6/30/2007 $55,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Monitor success in obtaining biological objectives
No Metrics for this Work Element

07: Install Fish Monitoring Equipment Design and install returning adult monitoring device In conjunction with improvements made to the Seufert Falls fishway, install adult monitoring device best suited to the collection of data specific for estimating adult escapement to Fifteenmile Creek. Install PIT tag reader, video monitoring, and/or adult handling components. 7/1/2007 9/30/2007 $45,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Monitor success in obtaining biological objectives
No Metrics for this Work Element

08: Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Monitor the Success of Restoration Efforts in the Fifteenmile Creek Basin Collect data related to monitoring and evaluating project success, validating biological objectives, water quality, and water flow. This includes data collected at smolt traps, and adult collection/observation facility, and spawning ground surveys. 10/1/2006 9/30/2007 $278,010
Biological Objectives Metrics
Monitor success in obtaining biological objectives
Secondary R, M, and E Type: Estimate basinwide smolt production

09: Mark/Tag Animals PIT tag juvenile steelhead captured in smolt traps Install pit tags as part of the collection and generation of information (M&E) portion of the project proposal. This will function as the marking method, and will provide further information associated with smolt survival and later with adult escapement. 4/1/2007 6/15/2007 $3,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Monitor success in obtaining biological objectives
Secondary R, M, and E Type: ~500

10: Submit/Acquire Data Submit PIT tag information to the Pacific State Marine Fisheries Commission PIT tag information will be collected and uploaded to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission 4/1/2007 6/30/2007 $4,500
Biological Objectives Metrics
Monitor success in obtaining biological objectives
No Metrics for this Work Element

11: Manage and Administer Projects Manage and Administer Projects- BPA Required Manage the day to day activities associated with project management, including: budgets; purchasing; personnel; contracts, etc. 10/1/2006 9/30/2007 $15,763
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

12: Manage and Administer Projects Manage and Administer Projects- ODFW Required Provide administrative oversight for the project 10/1/2006 9/30/2007 $17,339
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

13: Produce Annual Report Produce 2004/2005 Annual Report [Work Element Description Not Entered] 12/1/2007 2/28/2008 $7,881
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

14: Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation Environmental Compliance Complete all necessary documents requested by BPA Environmental staff for compliance with state and federal requirements. 10/1/2006 2/1/2007 $6,305
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

15: Outreach and Education Outreach and Education Work with landowners, students, and civic groups to educate and explain the dynamics of watershed restoration and the importance to Columbia Basin Fisheries. 10/1/2006 9/30/2007 $6,305
Biological Objectives Metrics
* # of general public reached: 50
* # of students reached: 40
* # of teachers reached: 4

16: Provide Technical Review Provide Technical Review Provide technical review of project implementation proposed or completed by other entities on project within the Fifteenmile Creek Subbasin, including Threemile Creek, Mill Creek, and Mosier Creek. 10/1/2006 9/30/2007 $7,881
Biological Objectives Metrics
Increase Steelhead Egg to Smolt Survival
No Metrics for this Work Element


Section 8: Budget

Itemized Estimated Budget
Item Note FY 2007 Cost FY 2008 Cost FY 2009 Cost
Personnel [blank] $121,679 $127,763 $134,151
Fringe Benefits 51% $62,056 $65,159 $68,417
Supplies [blank] $45,480 $48,320 $58,320
Travel 3 4x4 vehicles $23,940 $23,940 $23,940
Capital Equipment [blank] $32,500 $28,160 $8,160
Overhead 35.87% FY07 $90,032 $95,121 $102,168
Totals $375,687 $388,463 $395,156

Total Estimated FY 2007-2009 Budgets
Total Itemized Budget$1,159,306
Total Work Element budget$1,159,306

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
landowner labor $15,000 $15,000 $15,000 In-Kind Under Development
Reynolds HS tree planting $6,000 $6,000 $6,000 In-Kind Under Review
Us Forest Service Action Plan $8,000 $ 0 $ 0 In-Kind Confirmed
US Forest Service Restoration Survey $10,000 $5,000 $ 0 In-Kind Confirmed
US Forest Service Monitoring $25,000 $25,000 $25,000 In-Kind Confirmed
US Forest Service Instream Habitat $100,000 $100,000 $80,000 In-Kind Under Review
Totals $164,000 $151,000 $126,000

Section 9: Project Future
Project Future Costs and/or Termination
FY 2010 Est Budget FY 2011 Est Budget Comments
$396,000 $396,000 [Outyear comment field left blank]
Future Operations & Maintenance Costs
 
Termination Date Comments
NONE
 
Final Deliverables
Annual Report Data

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
$323,687
FY 2008 Budget
$323,687
FY 2009 Budget
$323,687
Total NPCC Rec
$971,061
Budget Type:Expense
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Recommendation:Fund
Comments:


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

FY 2007 Budget
$323,687
FY 2008 Budget
$323,687
FY 2009 Budget
$323,687
Total NPCC Rec
$971,061
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: OSPIT recommends removing the PIT tag task to reduce the monitoring component of this project to more compliance monitoring and keeping within the province budget.


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

Recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)
NPCC Comments: This group continues to impress, and is congratulated on preparing an excellent proposal that follows the subbasin plan and the previous advice of the ISRP. Fifteenmile Creek is one of the Basin's success stories in terms of bringing stakeholders and management organizations together. The work deserves to be continued, but it is time for the project managers to begin showing results in terms of improved population characteristics (e.g., VSP parameters) and long-term trends in habitat improvements. Although we are not requesting a response, the ISRP believes the project sponsors should consider the following points:

This project is an ODFW-led effort that has been ongoing for about a dozen years. The major emphases of the project are livestock exclusion from riparian areas, in-stream habitat improvements, and smolt monitoring. The technical background section provides a good description of the watershed's history and the significance of its fishery resources. Overall, Fifteenmile Creek has served as an excellent example of cooperation by local, federal, state, and tribal organizations, with a concerted effort to build local support. It could serve as a demonstration project for the basin, particularly for the bank stabilization work. However, a better documentation of biological response is required.

The proposal does a good job of describing the history of the project, going back to its genesis in 1987. The table giving a list of the accomplishments by year, including cost breakdowns, was helpful. The project history did not include a subbasin-wide summary of habitat improvements (e.g., total miles of stream fenced, numbers of structures placed, accompanied by an estimate of new pool habitat created), reductions in fine sediment in spawning gravels, and other performance metrics. Having those kinds of summary numbers would help evaluate the overall project effectiveness, and improve the proposal. The Fifteenmile Creek Restoration Project has implemented riparian protection and instream habitat improvement for almost 20 years. Much of this work is now demonstrating improved ecological health indicative of riparian corridor vegetation and improved channel stability. The minimal monitoring and evaluation of the project to date has primarily been useful to qualitatively demonstrate these improvements. Photopoint documentation and previous redd surveys are useful tools to document improvements but offer minimal quantified evidence to monitor successful fisheries and water quality recovery objectives.

This project proposes more scientific-based quantitative monitoring and evaluation to determine the success of implemented measures on fisheries populations. Previous temperature monitoring has suggested slight localized improvements to late summer water temperatures but is often obscured by conditions such as beaver impoundments, and increased water withdrawal. The steelhead redd survey protocol was modified in 2003 to incorporate a stratified random reach survey with index stations. Although this method has more scientific rational, it is still difficult to statistically enumerate adult escapement in the basin. This is the basis for proposing a quantitative approach to monitoring and evaluating the effects of habitat improvement using rotary screw traps and an adult monitoring facility.

This proposal will address instream habitat improvements that the Fifteenmile Subbasin Plan (WCSWCD 2004, pg 16) identified as the number two limiting factor in improving steelhead recovery as modeled by the EDT Scenario Builder. This will be accomplished through the design and construction of large woody debris complexes in areas defined in the subbasin plan and ODFW stream survey as productive but limiting in rearing habitat. This component will be the future direction for project implementation now that an estimated 85% of the riparian corridor is excluded from livestock grazing and undergoing vegetative recovery.

The objectives are clearly stated and measurable. Timelines were not always spelled out and should be clearer. The objectives called for increasing steelhead smolt output, but the proposal does not address the issue of adult returns and how this might influence smolt production, as we know they do. The abundance of adult steelhead returning to Fifteenmile Creek is estimated, thus it should be possible to estimate an egg-to-smolt survival rate (assuming a certain number of eggs per female), which would be an excellent indicator of restoration effectiveness. The appropriate response variable would be the smolt yield per spawner as a function of the number of spawners.

The project sponsors should publish the results of their bank stabilization efforts -- successes and failures. They have put over 2000 fish habitat structures. What are the results? There is a need for more literature in this area, towards evaluation of it as a cost-effective restoration approach. What is the tie between the efforts and the geomorphologic processes? Like the Wind River, this could be a good demonstration area. Fifteenmile Creek is the eastern-most stream for winter steelhead, thus critically important.

The background section of the proposal would have been more persuasive if it had included information about the recent status and trend of fish populations and habitat. Since this project has been in place for over a decade, what have we learned about its effects on fish (especially winter steelhead) populations and stream habitat? What is the evidence that all the hard work has really helped? The second objective (page 13) describes the monitoring program. Although this section was reasonably complete in terms of field techniques, there was no description of how that data would be analyzed, i.e., what statistical approaches would be used to measure response to the restoration work.

Some further suggestions should be considered. Methods are clearly described, and it was good to see some discussion of the changes that have been made in response to past difficulties. PIT tags will be utilized to determine in-subbasin and out-of-subbasin effects on Fifteenmile Creek’s wild winter steelhead population. Because of the duration of the Fifteenmile Creek project, this watershed is an ideal place for PIT-tagging to determine the effectiveness of different restoration actions in different parts of the system. Although steelhead/rainbow trout will be PIT-tagged, it appears that the focus is on determining smolt trap efficiency and the proportion of age 0 downstream migrants to "true" smolts. Additional PIT-tag detectors on some of the tributaries and in the lower mainstem could yield important information. The assistance of a statistician may help design this level of evaluation.


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

Recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)
NPCC Comments: This group continues to impress, and is congratulated on preparing an excellent proposal that follows the subbasin plan and the previous advice of the ISRP. Fifteenmile Creek is one of the Basin's success stories in terms of bringing stakeholders and management organizations together. The work deserves to be continued, but it is time for the project managers to begin showing results in terms of improved population characteristics (e.g., VSP parameters) and long-term trends in habitat improvements. Although we are not requesting a response, the ISRP believes the project sponsors should consider the following points:

This project is an ODFW-led effort that has been ongoing for about a dozen years. The major emphases of the project are livestock exclusion from riparian areas, in-stream habitat improvements, and smolt monitoring. The technical background section provides a good description of the watershed's history and the significance of its fishery resources. Overall, Fifteenmile Creek has served as an excellent example of cooperation by local, federal, state, and tribal organizations, with a concerted effort to build local support. It could serve as a demonstration project for the basin, particularly for the bank stabilization work. However, a better documentation of biological response is required.

The proposal does a good job of describing the history of the project, going back to its genesis in 1987. The table giving a list of the accomplishments by year, including cost breakdowns, was helpful. The project history did not include a subbasin-wide summary of habitat improvements (e.g., total miles of stream fenced, numbers of structures placed, accompanied by an estimate of new pool habitat created), reductions in fine sediment in spawning gravels, and other performance metrics. Having those kinds of summary numbers would help evaluate the overall project effectiveness, and improve the proposal. The Fifteenmile Creek Restoration Project has implemented riparian protection and instream habitat improvement for almost 20 years. Much of this work is now demonstrating improved ecological health indicative of riparian corridor vegetation and improved channel stability. The minimal monitoring and evaluation of the project to date has primarily been useful to qualitatively demonstrate these improvements. Photopoint documentation and previous redd surveys are useful tools to document improvements but offer minimal quantified evidence to monitor successful fisheries and water quality recovery objectives.

This project proposes more scientific-based quantitative monitoring and evaluation to determine the success of implemented measures on fisheries populations. Previous temperature monitoring has suggested slight localized improvements to late summer water temperatures but is often obscured by conditions such as beaver impoundments, and increased water withdrawal. The steelhead redd survey protocol was modified in 2003 to incorporate a stratified random reach survey with index stations. Although this method has more scientific rational, it is still difficult to statistically enumerate adult escapement in the basin. This is the basis for proposing a quantitative approach to monitoring and evaluating the effects of habitat improvement using rotary screw traps and an adult monitoring facility.

This proposal will address instream habitat improvements that the Fifteenmile Subbasin Plan (WCSWCD 2004, pg 16) identified as the number two limiting factor in improving steelhead recovery as modeled by the EDT Scenario Builder. This will be accomplished through the design and construction of large woody debris complexes in areas defined in the subbasin plan and ODFW stream survey as productive but limiting in rearing habitat. This component will be the future direction for project implementation now that an estimated 85% of the riparian corridor is excluded from livestock grazing and undergoing vegetative recovery.

The objectives are clearly stated and measurable. Timelines were not always spelled out and should be clearer. The objectives called for increasing steelhead smolt output, but the proposal does not address the issue of adult returns and how this might influence smolt production, as we know they do. The abundance of adult steelhead returning to Fifteenmile Creek is estimated, thus it should be possible to estimate an egg-to-smolt survival rate (assuming a certain number of eggs per female), which would be an excellent indicator of restoration effectiveness. The appropriate response variable would be the smolt yield per spawner as a function of the number of spawners.

The project sponsors should publish the results of their bank stabilization efforts -- successes and failures. They have put over 2000 fish habitat structures. What are the results? There is a need for more literature in this area, towards evaluation of it as a cost-effective restoration approach. What is the tie between the efforts and the geomorphologic processes? Like the Wind River, this could be a good demonstration area. Fifteenmile Creek is the eastern-most stream for winter steelhead, thus critically important.

The background section of the proposal would have been more persuasive if it had included information about the recent status and trend of fish populations and habitat. Since this project has been in place for over a decade, what have we learned about its effects on fish (especially winter steelhead) populations and stream habitat? What is the evidence that all the hard work has really helped? The second objective (page 13) describes the monitoring program. Although this section was reasonably complete in terms of field techniques, there was no description of how that data would be analyzed, i.e., what statistical approaches would be used to measure response to the restoration work.

Some further suggestions should be considered. Methods are clearly described, and it was good to see some discussion of the changes that have been made in response to past difficulties. PIT tags will be utilized to determine in-subbasin and out-of-subbasin effects on Fifteenmile Creek’s wild winter steelhead population. Because of the duration of the Fifteenmile Creek project, this watershed is an ideal place for PIT-tagging to determine the effectiveness of different restoration actions in different parts of the system. Although steelhead/rainbow trout will be PIT-tagged, it appears that the focus is on determining smolt trap efficiency and the proportion of age 0 downstream migrants to "true" smolts. Additional PIT-tag detectors on some of the tributaries and in the lower mainstem could yield important information. The assistance of a statistician may help design this level of evaluation.

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