BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1997 Proposal

Section 1. Administrative
Section 2. Narrative
Section 3. Budget

see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations

Section 1. Administrative

Title of project
Wind River Riparian and In-Channel Habitat Enhancement Project

BPA project number   5513000

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Yakama Indian Nation

Sponsor type   WA-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 NameLynn Hatcher
 Mailing addressP.O. Box 151
Toppenish, WA 98948

BPA technical contact   ,

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   

Short description
The project entails revegetation of degraded riparian areas and eroding stream banks, and restoration/enhancement of in-channel habitat features such as large woody debris, spawning gravel, pool area, velocity refugia, and escape and hiding cover (spawning, rearing and holding). Some level of exclosure fencing and land acquisition is also anticipated to allow recovery of the stream systems. The project is located in the vicinity of the towns of Carson and Stabler in Skamania County. Streams identified in the project work include upper Wind River, Panther Creek, Little Wind River, Cedar Creek, Martha Creek and Trout Creek.

Project start year   1997    End year   2001

Start of operation and/or maintenance   0

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects

Project history

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers

Management implications
Through restoration efforts, it is expected that increased production of salmonids will occur and can be demonstrated. The restoration project should therefore facilitate recovery of depressed and declining stocks. Through monitoring, the project work will be assessed for its ability meet target conditions for riparian conditions and in-channel habitat, as well as judge improved survival and growth rates of salmonids. This knowledge can then be applied to future restoration projects for determining expected outcomes and benefits to salmonid stocks from similar habitat enhancement work.

Specific measureable objectives
The objective of the project is to improve spawning, rearing and holding habitat, stabilize stream banks and channels, and revegetate riparian corridors with beneficial deciduous and coniferous species.

Currently, segments of the project streams are degraded and lack large woody debris in the channels, pool area, velocity refugia, and spawning gravels. In addition, some adjacent riparian areas are sparse or devoid of vegetation due to timber harvest, housing development, and agricultural conversion. Through restoration efforts on the channel, available habitat is expected to increase by at least three fold for juvenile rearing, at least two fold for spawning area, and at least three fold for velocity breaks and adult holding habitat. The project work is also expected to improve water quality by reducing erosion, filtrate and store fine sediments, and reduce livestock waste from entering waters. These improvements will benefit anadromous and resident salmonid populations (summer and winter run steelhead, spring and fall run chinook salmon, rainbow and cutthroat trout) in the Wind River. Three of these anadromous stocks (summer run steelhead, spring and fall run chinook salmon) are considered depressed in the Washington State Salmon and Steelhead Stock Inventory (SASSI, 1992). Ambient monitoring of habitat conditions and fish populations before and after completion of project work will quantify whether objectives were attained.

Testable hypothesis

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints

Some of the project area contains private lands and landowners will be contacted to obtain cooperative agreements to work on their property. Where cooperation can not be procured, easements or land purchase will be sought to allow restoration work to take place. All specific project sites will have a design and monitoring plan completed by the grantee or a subcontractor with restoration experience. The plans will include a description of existing conditions, actions needed to restore the channel and riparian areas to target conditions, logistics to complete the work, expected benefits from the work. The monitoring plan will include an assessment of habitat conditions and fish populations prior to, and after, project completion. This monitoring approach can be used to statistically compare before and after effects. Upon review and acceptance of the plans, the work will be carried out by the grantee or a subcontractor. The work will be evaluated by the grantee for its consistency in meeting the design plans and project objectives. Monitoring work will be completed by the grantee to determine the efficacy and benefits of the restoration work.

Where channels are deficient in rearing habitat, restoration efforts may include placement of large woody debris, boulders, and or bank deflectors in the channel. This work is also expected to help retain/store spawning gravels. In areas of active bank erosion, bio-engineering practices may be utilized such as establishment of dense woody vegetation for rooting strength, placement of large rock at toes of erosion, and construction of bank deflectors to direct main flows away from banks. In addition, exclosure fences may be installed where grazing activities would continue to thwart establishment of beneficial vegetation and cause ground disturbance and bank erosion. Within riparian areas, stands with sparse or no vegetation may be inter-planted with appropriate coniferous or deciduous species to provide future wood recruitment to the channel, shade for temperature moderation, allochthonous nutrient delivery and bank stability.

Brief schedule of activities
Initial monitoring would take place in the fall of 1997 or spring and summer of 1998, along with design planning. In the summer and fall of 1998, project implementation would begin and be completed by spring of 2001. Final monitoring would be accomplished in the summer of 2002.

Biological need
A deficiency of in-channel pool frequency, spawning gravel area, velocity breaks for juvenile and adult holding, and overhead cover has been identified in segments of these tributaries. In addition, some riparian areas along these streams are lacking in ground cover, long-term recruit able trees, shade, and bank stability. With these degraded habitat and riparian conditions, fish production has been reduced. Summer run steelhead, and spring and fall run chinook stocks are considered depressed in the Wind River drainage.

Critical uncertainties
It is expected that the project will provide immediate benefits to fish, but the exact gains will not be known until monitoring is completed. In addition the length of time for complete stream recovery, or period until desired conditions are achieved, is not completely known. Revegetation of channel margins and riparian areas takes time and may not provide optimal benefits to fish populations for several years.

Summary of expected outcome
Through these restoration efforts, habitat features that are limiting fish populations are expected to, at a minimum, be increased by two to three fold. This increase in critical habitat area should promote recovery and resilience of fish stocks. Monitoring work will further determine the net benefits of the project and identify limitations or areas of improvement.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Currently, no formal coordination plan has been adopted. Landowners and agencies that are interested in restoration efforts include the U.S. Forest Service, Yakama Indian Nation, Washington Department of Ecology and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Cost sharing or funds may be available on these projects from the USFS or WDOE. Permits that may be needed on this project include Shoreline Variance Permits, NEPA and Hydraulic Project Approvals. It is not anticipated that these permits will require more than eight months to acquire and should not appreciably slow down completion of the project. Private land owners within the scope of this project area will also be contacted to determine their interest and cooperation in restoration work.

None known.

Monitoring activity
At the beginning of the project period, the streams will be assessed for quantity and quality of habitat for spawning, rearing, and holding habitat. Erosion and riparian conditions will also be surveyed. Finally, limited fish population estimates will be conducted to determine existing use under the limited habitat conditions. Upon completion of project work the streams will be reassessed for the same parameters. All monitoring will be accomplished by following standard methodology outlined in the Ambient Monitoring Program Manual (TFW-AM9-94-001). Through this approach comparisons can be made before, and after, project completion.

Section 3. Budget

Data shown are the total of expense and capital obligations by fiscal year. Obligations for any given year may not equal actual expenditures or accruals within the year, due to carryover, pre-funding, capitalization and difference between operating year and BPA fiscal year.

Historic costsFY 1996 budget data*Current and future funding needs
(none) New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 174,720
1998: 152,320
1999: 152,320
2000: 152,320
2001: 22,400

* For most projects, Authorized is the amount recommended by CBFWA and the Council. Planned is amount currently allocated. Contracted is the amount obligated to date of printout.

Funding recommendations

CBFWA funding review group   Bonneville Dam - Priest Rapids Dam

Recommendation    Tier 2 - fund when funds available

Recommended funding level   $174,720