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Project Proposal Request for FY 2007 - FY 2009 Funding

Proposal 198343600: Umatilla Passage O&M

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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 Mike Wick

Proposal Type: Ongoing
Proposal Number: 198343600
Proposal Name: Umatilla Passage O&M
BPA Project Manager: Sarah Branum
Agency, Institution or Organization: Westland Irrigation District
Short Description: Westland Irrigation District, as contractor to Bonneville Power Administration, and West Extension Irrigation District, as subcontractor to Westland, provide labor, equipment, and material necessary for the operation, care, and maintenance of fish facil
Information Transfer: Project reports are submitted electronically as requested by contract with Bonneville.
 
Project Proposal Contacts
Contact Organization Address Phone/Email Roles Notes
Form Submitter
Mike Wick Westland Irrigation District P.O. Box 944
Hermiston OR 97838
Ph: 541.667.2030
Fax: 541.667.2031
Email: wid.m.wick@eotnet.net
Form Submitter
All Assigned Contacts
Mike Wick Westland Irrigation District P.O. Box 944
Hermiston OR 97838
Ph: 541.667.2030
Fax: 541.667.2031
Email: wid.m.wick@eotnet.net
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 52 36 119 19 46 , None Selected No
Three Mile Falls Dam, east and west banks. , None Selected No
Umatilla River Umatilla, Oregon Umatilla No
, None Selected Yes

Section 3: Focal Species
Focal Species:
Primary Secondary Additional Species
Chinook All Populations
Steelhead Middle Columbia River ESU
Bull Trout
Coho Unspecified Population
Pacific Lamprey

Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Past Accomplishments for Each Fiscal Year of This Project
Fiscal Year Accomplishments
2005 1. Maintenance of trapping and spawning facilities. 2. Operation and maintenance of juvenile bypasses and adult ladders. 3. Maintenance of acclimation and holding facilities.
2004 1. Maintenance of trapping and spawning facilities. 2. Operation and maintenance of juvenile bypasses and adult ladders. 3. Maintenance of acclimation and holding facilities.
2003 1. Maintenance of trapping and spawning facilities. 2. Operation and maintenance of juvenile bypasses and adult ladders. 3. Maintenance of acclimation and holding facilities.
2002 1. Maintenance of trapping and spawning facilities. 2. Operation and maintenance of juvenile bypasses and adult ladders. 3. Maintenance of acclimation and holding facilities.
2001 1. Maintenance of trapping and spawning facilities. 2. Operation and maintenance of juvenile bypasses and adult ladders. 3. Maintenance of acclimation and holding facilities.
2000 1. Maintenance of trapping and spawning facilities. 2. Operation and maintenance of juvenile bypasses and adult ladders. 3. Maintenance of acclimation and holding facilities.
1999 1. Maintenance of trapping and spawning facilities. 2. Operation and maintenance of juvenile bypasses and adult ladders. 3. Maintenance of acclimation and holding facilities.
1998 1. Maintenance of trapping and spawning facilities. 2. Operation and maintenance of juvenile bypasses and adult ladders. 3. Maintenance of acclimation and holding facilities.

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 198343500 Umatilla Hatchery O&M - CTUIR Proposed project provides passage for juveniles released by project 198343500 by operating and maintaining passage facilities; also assists 198343500 in maintaining satellite facilities.
BPA 198802200 Umatilla Fish Passage Ops Umatilla Fish Passage Operations provides input to Fish Facilities O & M Project, and operates passage and trapping facilities for which the proposed project provides O & M.
BPA 198902401 Eval Um Juvenile Sal Out Migra Proposed project provides O & M for facilities operated and evaluated by project 198902401.
BPA 198902700 Power Repay Umatilla Basin Pro Proposed project provides O & M for passage facilities operated in coordination with Umatilla Basin Project flow enhancement operations.
BPA 199000501 Umatilla Basin Nat Prod M&E Proposed project provides passage for adults and juveniles to and from natural production areas by maintaining and operating passage facilities.

Section 6: Biological Objectives
Biological Objectives of this Proposed Project
Biological Objective Full Description Associated Subbasin Plan Strategy Page Nos
Flow and Passage Objective 10 Maintain and enhance flow for homing and passage of steelhead and Chinook through the lower Umatilla River using flow restoration and enhancement. Umatilla Natural Production management strategies #1: Maintenance of Phase I and II of the Umatilla Basin Project; and #14: Maintain passage efficiency through ongoing O & M activities. 5-8; 3-59; 5-10
Flow and Passage Objective 12 Maintain and enhance passage of adult and juvenile steelhead and Chinook throughout the Umatilla Subbasin with passage protection and restoration. Umatilla Natural Production management strategies #1: Maintenance of Phase I and II of the Umatilla Basin Project; and #14: Maintain passage efficiency through ongoing O & M activities. 5-8;3-59;5-10.
Maintain Satellite Facilities Perform maintenance at the juvenile acclimation and adult holding and spawning facilities relating to artificial production. Umatilla Artificial Propagation Strategies #1, #2, #3, #4. 5-43; 5-44

Section 7: Work Elements
Work Elements and Associated Biological Objectives
Work Element Name Work Element Title Description Start Date End Date Estimated Budget
01: Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage Stanfield Diversion Site O&M Daily, weekly, annual, and periodic major tasks including, but not limited to, cleaning facility of river debris; adjustments to facility gates and equipment to ensure operating criteria; inspection and servicing of screens, motors, and all related facility equipment; lubrication and maintenance of facility components; silt and gravel removal as needed; maintaining fencing and vegetation control; painting as needed. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $81,466
Biological Objectives Metrics
Flow and Passage Objective 10
Flow and Passage Objective 12
No Metrics for this Work Element

02: Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage Stanfield Ladder O&M Daily, weekly, annual, and periodic major tasks including, but not limited to, cleaning facility of river debris; adjustments to facility gates and equipment to ensure operating criteria; inspection and servicing all related facility equipment; lubrication and maintenance of components; silt and gravel removal as needed; maintaining fencing and vegetation control; painting as needed. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $81,466
Biological Objectives Metrics
Flow and Passage Objective 10
Flow and Passage Objective 12
No Metrics for this Work Element

03: Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage Feed Canal Diversion Site O&M Daily, weekly, annual, and periodic major tasks including, but not limited to, cleaning facility of river debris; adjustments to facility gates and equipment to ensure operating criteria; inspection and servicing of screens, motors, and all related facility equipment; lubrication and maintenance of facility components; silt and gravel removal as needed; maintaining fencing and vegetation control; painting as needed. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $142,280
Biological Objectives Metrics
Flow and Passage Objective 10
Flow and Passage Objective 12
No Metrics for this Work Element

04: Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage Feed Canal Ladder O&M Daily, weekly, annual, and periodic major tasks including, but not limited to, cleaning facility of river debris; adjustments to facility gates and equipment to ensure operating criteria; inspection and servicing all related facility equipment; lubrication and maintenance of components; silt and gravel removal as needed; maintaining fencing and vegetation control; painting as needed. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $101,084
Biological Objectives Metrics
Flow and Passage Objective 10
Flow and Passage Objective 12
No Metrics for this Work Element

05: Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage Westland Fish Screens and Diversion O&M Daily, weekly, annual, and periodic major tasks including, but not limited to, cleaning facility of river debris; adjustments to facility gates and equipment to ensure operating criteria; inspection and servicing of screens, motors, and all related facility equipment; lubrication and maintenance of facility components; silt and gravel removal as needed; maintaining fencing and vegetation control; painting as needed. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $232,427
Biological Objectives Metrics
Flow and Passage Objective 10
Flow and Passage Objective 12
No Metrics for this Work Element

06: Maintain Hatchery Westland Juvenile Sampling Facility O&M Daily, weekly, annual, and periodic major tasks including, but not limited to: clean incline screen and fish holding diverter; adjust bypass flows as needed; exercise pump back and wash water pumps; winterize wash water and truck fill system; clean site and remove debris around facility; clean gate slides, seals and pump intakes; remove silt from pump bays as needed. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $30,715
Biological Objectives Metrics
Flow and Passage Objective 10
Flow and Passage Objective 12
No Metrics for this Work Element

07: Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage Westland Ladder and Hydraulic System for Gate Operation O&M Daily, weekly, annual, and periodic major tasks including, but not limited to, cleaning facility of river debris; adjustments to facility gates and equipment to ensure operating criteria; inspection and servicing all related facility equipment; lubrication and maintenance of components; silt and gravel removal as needed; maintaining fencing and vegetation control; painting as needed. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $138,795
Biological Objectives Metrics
Flow and Passage Objective 10
Flow and Passage Objective 12
No Metrics for this Work Element

08: Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage Maxwell Diversion Site O&M Daily, weekly, annual, and periodic major tasks including, but not limited to, cleaning facility of river debris; adjustments to facility gates and equipment to ensure operating criteria; inspection and servicing of screens, motors, and all related facility equipment; lubrication and maintenance of facility components; silt and gravel removal as needed; maintaining fencing and vegetation control; painting as needed. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $90,718
Biological Objectives Metrics
Flow and Passage Objective 10
Flow and Passage Objective 12
No Metrics for this Work Element

09: Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage Three Mile Left Diversion Site O&M Daily, weekly, annual, and periodic major tasks including, but not limited to, cleaning facility of river debris; adjustments to facility gates and equipment to ensure operating criteria; inspection and servicing of screens, motors, and all related facility equipment; lubrication and maintenance of facility components; silt and gravel removal as needed; maintaining fencing and vegetation control; painting as needed. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $202,247
Biological Objectives Metrics
Flow and Passage Objective 10
Flow and Passage Objective 12
No Metrics for this Work Element

10: Maintain Hatchery Fish By-Pass and Sampling Area at WEID Diversion Daily, weekly, annual, and periodic major tasks including, but not limited to: clean debris accumulation as needed; maintain proper levels in by-pass to insure proper operating levels as required by ODFW personnel; general housekeeping; adjust oil drip system to pumps; assist ODFW as requested; grease all pump packing (twice weekly) during operation; check all piping, valves and gates in sampling area for proper operation; check all oil levels and maintain at proper levels; winterize system after sampling is completed (drain all piping, sumps, etc.), open drain valves and flush as required; make modifications as requested by ODFW personnel. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $23,470
Biological Objectives Metrics
Flow and Passage Objective 10
Flow and Passage Objective 12
No Metrics for this Work Element

11: Operate and Maintain Habitat/Passage Three Mile Right Ladder and Trap O&M Daily, weekly, annual, and periodic major tasks including, but not limited to: clean exit racks; clean auxiliary water racks; clean pump screens; clean diffuser racks; clean viewing room window; clean pump and storage buildings; clean ladder deck grating; clean fish handling area; clean area inside compound; control vegetation as needed; assist ODFW/Tribal personnel with fish operations as requested; check cables and chain drives on crowder; check pumps, lube and adjust packing as required; lubricate facility equipment; check elevator lifting cables and replace/repair as required; clean silt from holding pond; clean silt from ladder; clean Plexiglas covers on steep pass; remove silt from fish discharge as needed; remove debris from forebay as needed; remove debris from jump pools and ladder entrance; clean viewing room window as needed. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $320,597
Biological Objectives Metrics
Flow and Passage Objective 10
Flow and Passage Objective 12
No Metrics for this Work Element

12: Maintain Hatchery Three Mile Right Spawning Facility O&M Daily, weekly, annual, and periodic major tasks including, but not limited to: clean intake screens and pumps; maintain and service air burst systems (compressors, valves and piping), flow control gates, valves, orifice plates and distribution piping to all facility components; maintain and service electrical wiring and components including water level sensor, generator, water aeration columns, fish transfer tubes, sorting/spawning table, fish guillotine, mechanical crowder, lights and electrical appliances, fish lift and electroshock systems; maintain and service raw and potable water systems including well, and submersible pump, pressure and hot water tanks, water booster system, walk-in cooler, and restroom facilities (plumbing/fixtures), heaters, vents and fans for all buildings; window repair/replacement; cold weather maintenance; silt and debris removal at intake; silt removal in ponds and crowding channel. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $24,254
Biological Objectives Metrics
Maintain Satellite Facilities
No Metrics for this Work Element

13: Maintain Hatchery Thornhollow Acclimation Site O&M Monthly and annual maintenance as requested, including, but not limited to: test pumps and float switches for proper operation; test alarm system for proper operation; repair/overhaul #1, #2, and #3 pumps and control circuits; test and activate heating system to prevent freezing of valve bodies and intake lines; perform maintenance on trash removal system; repair and clean out intake and release areas as required; repair roadway to release site if needed. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $15,565
Biological Objectives Metrics
Maintain Satellite Facilities
No Metrics for this Work Element

14: Maintain Hatchery Pendleton Acclimation Site O&M Monthly and annual maintenance as requested, including, but not limited to: Service pumps as needed; remove gravel and silt from site; maintain and repair outlet screen. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $4,682
Biological Objectives Metrics
Maintain Satellite Facilities
No Metrics for this Work Element

15: Maintain Hatchery Imeques Acclimation Site O&M Perform maintenance on trash removal system; remove gravel from intake and release areas as required. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $7,950
Biological Objectives Metrics
Maintain Satellite Facilities
No Metrics for this Work Element

16: Maintain Hatchery Minthorn Trapping Site O&M Monthly and annual maintenance as requested, including, but not limited to: Test float alarm switches to ensure proper operation; test standby generator to ensure proper operation; repair/overhaul #1 and #2 pumps; test transfer switch to ensure proper operation; remove gravel and repair entrance road. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $15,555
Biological Objectives Metrics
Maintain Satellite Facilities
No Metrics for this Work Element

17: Maintain Hatchery South Fork of Walla Walla Spawning Site O&M Maintenance/repair of all facility equipment including, but not limited to: intake screens and pumps, flow control gates, valves, orifice plates air, water and hydraulic piping to facility components; water distribution systems, both raw and potable, electrical wiring and associated electrical controls to all equipment; cooling systems heating/ventilating systems; ozonation generators and transfer pumps; alarm systems; back-up power system including generator, transfer controls and switches; cold weather maintenance as required; sludge removal from pollution abatement pond as required; gravel removal from intake as required. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $14,283
Biological Objectives Metrics
Maintain Satellite Facilities
No Metrics for this Work Element

18: Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation Ensure project has environmental clearance from BPA Submit documentation and assistance to support BPA's Environmental Compliance Group. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $4,400
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

19: Produce Status Report Prepare quarterly status reports Status reports submitted electronically to COTR as per contract. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $2,593
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

20: Produce Annual Report Prepare annual report Submitt annual report consistent with terms and conditions of contract. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $780
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

21: Manage and Administer Projects Manage and Administer the Project Submit accrual estimates and Statement of Work/Budget Packages to COTR as required. 10/1/2007 9/30/2009 $1,768
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element


Section 8: Budget

Itemized Estimated Budget
Item Note FY 2007 Cost FY 2008 Cost FY 2009 Cost
Personnel 4.4 FTE $189,038 $192,820 $195,712
Fringe Benefits FY07 - 38%; FY08 & FY09 - 38.5% $71,835 $74,235 $75,350
Supplies includes supplies, materials, equipment rental, and vehicle costs. $129,600 $131,506 $135,471
Travel periodic travel for workshops $300 $300 $300
Overhead 15% overhead/administrative costs $58,615 $59,830 $61,025
Other rehab of fish drum screens at feed canal and westland diversion sites, outsourced to screen repair facility. $52,865 $53,607 $54,686
Totals $502,253 $512,298 $522,544

Total Estimated FY 2007-2009 Budgets
Total Itemized Budget$1,537,095
Total Work Element budget$1,537,095

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
[organization left blank] [provision left blank] $ 0 $ 0 $ 0 Cash Confirmed
Totals $ 0 $ 0 $ 0

Section 9: Project Future
Project Future Costs and/or Termination
FY 2010 Est Budget FY 2011 Est Budget Comments
$532,995 $543,655 Projected 2% budget increase per year.
Future Operations & Maintenance Costs
Project O & M activities have been ongoing since 1998 through Westland Irrigation District; previous to 1998, the Bureau of Reclamation contracted to provide the O & M. Total yearly project budget has decreased from 1998 level of $687,762 to current level as a result of reducing employee number and overhead costs.
 
Termination Date Comments
none Project provides ongoing O & M to fish facilities necessary for continued success of fishery management in the Umatilla Basin.
 
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
$492,405
FY 2008 Budget
$492,405
FY 2009 Budget
$492,405
Total NPCC Rec
$1,477,215
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
$492,405
FY 2008 Budget
$492,405
FY 2009 Budget
$492,405
Total NPCC Rec
$1,477,215
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: OSPIT supports Flatline budget at FY07 level.


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

Recommendation: Not fundable (Qualified)
NPCC Comments: The Response emphasizes the ISRP Programmatic Comment that the projects making up the Council’s “Umatilla Initiative” are not susceptible to scientific peer review in isolation one from another. The Response notes, for example, that this particular project has responsibility only for operation and maintenance of facilities used by other projects, and has no information on benefits to Fish and Wildlife. It refers the ISRP to other proposals, such as #198802200, in which such information might be found. The response “agreed” with the ISRP comment that “The facilities that are maintained in this project should be called for in other projects that are referenced in this one. Justification for this project should be specifically provided in the group of individual projects that use the facilities maintained and operated by this one.” (ISRP review June 2006)

Programmatic Comments on the Umatilla Initiative:

This complex Umatilla Initiative includes numerous individual projects, most of which are scientifically justifiable only in the larger context of the plan into which they fit. However, for whatever reason, they have been presented to the ISRP as individual proposals. The cross-referencing in the responses to other proposals where information may be found, is not sufficiently helpful to reviewers to make possible a meaningful scientific review. Please see the response review on 198802200. 198343600 (Umatilla Passage O&M), 198802200 (Umatilla Fish Passage Operations), and 198902700 (Power Repay Umatilla Basin Project), totaling ~$7.2M over the three years, deal with the same project and issues. It remains a difficult task to sort this project out from the others, and to obtain a coherent response on the issues and fish response, in order to conduct a scientific peer review that would lead to project approval.

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 needs to be reviewed in the larger context of a plan for restoration of anadromous fishes in the Umatilla Basin. The plan described in the Umatilla Subbasin Plan includes several major efforts, listed below: (These are drawn from recollections of the ISRP review of the Umatilla/Willow Subbasin Plan.)

1. Water is pumped from the Columbia River into the Umatilla Basin with the twin objectives of supplementing supplies for irrigation and supplementing instream flows for fish. Water is over-allocated for irrigation, which leads at times to dewatering of the lower 30 to 50 miles of the Umatilla River. The pumping system was constructed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BUREC), which continues to maintain it. However, charges for electricity to operate the pumps, are funded by BPA as recommended by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council under its Fish and Wildlife Program. The Bureau of Reclamation is developing plans for a Phase III construction project, which would enlarge the capacity of the system.

2. The Umatilla Hatchery was constructed and operates with BPA funds as recommended by the Council. Chinook salmon have been restored to the Umatilla River as a result of hatchery operations. Dewatering of the lower river at times still requires trapping and transportation of adult and juvenile fish around the lower section of the river.

3. Habitat improvement is being undertaken in the Umatilla Basin to restore its utility for spawning and rearing of salmon and steelhead. Fish produced as a result of habitat improvement there will still be affected by flow conditions, including dewatering in the lower reaches of the Umatilla River.

4. A study of lamprey is underway to identify limiting factors and find ways to restore their abundance in the Umatilla Basin. Flow conditions and other passage problems are likely to be primary limiting factors among those to be found in the Umatilla River.

Identification of Particular Subjects that Warrant Review:

Our curiosity has been especially aroused with regard to the water pumping measure adopted to improve instream flows in the Umatilla River (Proposal #198902700 Power Repay). We find that virtually no attention has been given to evaluation of effectiveness of this measure in achieving one of its primary stated objectives to improve stream conditions for fish. For example, the ISRP, in our review of June 2006 asked the proponents if there is a cap to the volume of water that might be requested to be pumped, and if so, what is the cap? It appears that the answer to that question is not straightforward, or perhaps not available. We are told in the response to proposal #198802200 (pages 2 and 3) that requests for pumped water, made by this project, (or by the Stanfield Irrigation District?), are made to the Bureau of Reclamation through the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD). The latter agency does the accounting for both the exchange and storage portions of the Umatilla Basin Project (UBP of BUREC). The responses describe a complex system for deciding when and where to pump the water and release it, but the most complete description, found in proposal #198802200, explains only that “The volume of water to be pumped depends on which “phase” of the UBP is being exchanged.” (page 2)

The Response to #198802200 also notes “Currently, there is no M & E specific to the passage program being conducted although an updated passage conditions assessment has been proposed for 07-09 under project 19000501. However, this passage assessment component is not identified for funding at this time.” (page 2). The ISRP has previously called attention to the need for a monitoring and evaluation plan to be described in each proposal. Without inclusion of M & E information, the ISRP is unable to discover to what degree or whether anadromous fishes actually benefit from actions proposed. Nor have we been able to identify a proposal that would monitor and/or evaluate the effects on fish of the passage facilities in the Umatilla River.

It remains unclear why the total cost of the Power Repay Project #198902700 ($1.5 million) is charged to the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Budget, when the pumped water is shared “bucket for bucket’ with irrigators.

Conclusions

Although a rigorous pursuit of Congress’ charge to the ISRP would result in a conclusion of “not fundable” based upon the criteria we are instructed to use and the information we have been given, we conclude that would be disruptive rather than constructive at this particular time. However, we strongly urge Council to pursue a scientific peer review of the Umatilla Initiative, as soon as possible.

There is a need for review of the Umatilla Initiative from a larger perspective than can be provided by review of individual project proposals, such as we have in hand.

Firstly, for the ISRP review we recommend that a unified proposal be developed that would encompass the four major efforts listed above. It would address each of the 10 subjects listed in the standard proposal form that then form the basis for ISRP review. In particular, specific plans for monitoring and evaluation are needed in order to establish expected or measured benefits to fish. This suggests that, for example, the proponents might benefit by reorganizing their efforts under a single head. That would provide a unified perspective, leading to clarification of the fact that the success of all of the individual efforts are affected by the pumping of water from the Columbia River. Monitoring and evaluation should then focus upon documenting flow manipulations and measuring the effects on fish passage and survival.

Secondly, we recommend that the Council ask the Independent Economic Advisory Board to conduct an analysis of the Umatilla Initiative to address specifically two key questions:

1. Since pumped water is shared “bucket for bucket” between irrigators and fish, what is the appropriate charge to Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program of the cost of pumping water from the Columbia River into the Umatilla Basin? (Presently estimated at $1.5 million per year.)

2. Are there more cost-effective measures that could restore water for fish into the Umatilla River; e.g., what might be the relative cost/benefits of purchase of lands and their associated water rights versus the present cost of electricity to pump water from the Columbia River?


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

Recommendation: Response requested
NPCC Comments: A response is requested. See the comments under proposal 198802200 - Umatilla Fish Passage Operations for the three proposals involved with the Umatilla River tributary fish passage effort. For this proposal also see comments below.

Comments specific to this proposal:

The project provides maintenance and operation of screening and similar facilities within the Umatilla Subbasin and provides support for hatchery activities. Close coordination with these other projects is required, as the proposal describes on page 4 of the Narrative. Its continued funding depends upon justification provided in other proposals. For scientific review the proposal needs considerably more background regarding the need for and effectiveness of screening and passage related to the limiting factors in the subbasin. By itself, the proposal cannot be expected to show benefits to fish. The question is "How does the screening help (and how much)?"

A primary technical issue lies in unspecified operational criteria behind the flow augmentation strategy (pumping from the Columbia River into the Umatilla Basin). While this project is apparently not involved in the decisions, it obviously is dependent upon them.

This project appears to be essential for operation and maintenance of a set of projects. It is not a stand-alone project. It might be incorporated in another as a subcontract, where it can be justified based on benefits to fish. Better still, a single proposal, covering the Umatilla River tributary passage effort as a whole would be simpler to write and review. Such a proposal would include description with specific justification for the operation and maintenance of facilities included here. As it stands, this proposal has no tie-in with biological objectives of the Fish and Wildlife Program, is sparse in detail, and is over-inflated in terms of budget.

Response of the proponents should address the following issues identified during ISRP review:

Does operation and maintenance increase juvenile, adult, and natural spawner abundances and productivity? Some quantitative evaluation of biological effectiveness should be possible after 16 or more years of operation.

The EDT justification is very qualitative not quantitative. There needs to be a reporting of results from a broader evaluation (even though not part of this proposal). The testable assumption is that passage benefits juvenile and adult migrants (p 3 of proposal). A response should show how they are working with the Umatilla Tribe and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Monitoring and Evaluation programs to justify their results.

How are the fish moved around in the system? How do the screens and other facilities fit into the management system?

The project history is very cursory. It gives mostly budgetary history (albeit brief) and nothing on the history of how the project's activities have aided salmon. The sponsors point to other projects with this responsibility. While likely true, there needs to be an assessment here of gains (or losses) in fish population size and viability tied to these activities. The project has been in operation for 16 years or more (more than 3 salmon generations); therefore, data/results/outcomes are certainly available.

The methods and work elements are a list of ongoing tasks. While the scientific rationale for screens is fairly well established, no evaluation regarding their effectiveness is identified. The methods and rationale regarding support of the hatchery satellite facilities is not discussed well at all. How do the efforts tie in with the other groups (co-managers) and their activities?

The facilities that are maintained in this project should be called for in other projects that are referenced in this one. Justification for this project should be specifically provided in the group of individual projects that use the facilities maintained and operated by this one.

The proposal is too vague to determine what four and a half full time people will be doing and how nearly a half million dollars in supplies will be expended.

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