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
Salmon River Production Program

BPA project number   5514000

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

Sponsor type   ID-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 NameKeith Kutchins
 Mailing address29 Shoshone Drive
P.O. Box 306
Fort Hall, Idaho 83203

BPA technical contact   ,

Biological opinion ID   Hatchery Section 10

NWPPC Program number   7.3B

Short description
Continue development and emergency implementation of high priority supplementation projects; including captive broodstock; stock transfers; hatchery practice and facility reform; side stream incubation, rearing and release; and monitoring and evaluation to rebuild naturally producing Snake River chinook salmon and salmon trout.

Project start year   1996    End year   2008

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1999

Project development phase   Planning/Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
89-98-03 Idaho Chinook Salmon Supplementation Studies (ISS) provided the manpower for collecting juvenile chinook salmon from the West Fork Yankee Fork Salmon River and East Fork Salmon River; and have assisted with the monitoring and evaluation of the side stream incubation project. Other related projects include Salmon River Habitat Enhancement (83-359); LSRCP; and Measure 7.0A projects.

Project history
Juvenile Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon were collected from the East Fork Salmon River, West Fork Yankee Fork Salmon River, and Lemhi River during the fall of 1995 to be held in captivity for broodstock. Fish are currently being held at the Sawtooth National Fish Hatchery and a comprehensive plan is being completed by the IDFG, SBT, USFWS, and NMFS. The SBT plan to utilize a portion or all of the captive broodstock progeny as donors for the high priority supplementation projects. Associated with this project is immediate fish hatchery practice and facility reform at Sawtooth and East Fork (Measure 7.0A) and side stream incubation technology currently being tested with salmon trout in the Salmon River in coordination with the Lemhi Model Watershed.

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers
Section 10 ESA Application Permit; SBT side stream incubation pilot study report (in preparation).

Management implications
The Salmon River system once supported at least 40% of the upper Columbia River spring/summer chinook runs. Declines of naturally producing chinook salmon in the upper Salmon River system (Middle Fork Salmon River and above) have been more dramatic than elsewhere in the Snake River Basin in the recent past. We are presently in an emergency situation where dramatic and unprecedented efforts are needed to prevent extinction and to preserve future options for use of artificial production to rebuild naturally producing fish. The emergency nature of this project was recognized by the NPPC (letter from Rick Applegate to Bob Lohn, July 31, 1995) when they promoted the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes' captive broodstock (coordinated with construction of supplementation facilities) and hatchery reform proposals under Section 7.0A. The supplementation projects that the SBT have pursued for over five years, in coordination with the US v Oregon PAC, CBFWA Anadromous Fish Production Committee, and the relevant co-managers (IDFG, NMFS, USFWS, NPT), and are included in the Columbia Basin Tribal Restoration Plan (Appendix A and Tables 1 and 2), the Spirit of the Salmon, and the 1995 NMFS appropriations language report, are included in the "High Priority Supplementation Projects" list. The SBT, IDFG, and USFWS decided to immediately begin development of broodstocks from local naturally producing populations for genetic conservation and natural production augmentation. This decision was a result of a number of factors including: increased emphasis on natural production and endemic stock recovery; consultations and requirements resulting from listing of Snake River spring/summer chinook as threatened; and preferred strategies for use of artificial propagation identified in the NMFS proposed recovery plan. This project is expected to utilize artificial production techniques to assist rebuilding of naturally producing chinook and salmon trout populations. However, such techniques are intensely debated, to the detriment of the resource. Thus, despite the critical uncertainties, this proposed project is intended to move forward with resource protection with what we do know, while attempting to answer the uncertainties.

Specific measureable objectives
Goals: Augment and enhance natural production of Snake River spring/summer chinook and salmon trout in the Salmon River system while retaining the character, adaptability and fitness of the natural stocks while benefiting from increased productivity expected from artificial incubation and rearing. Reduce risk of extinction that now faces Salmon River chinook and naturally producing salmon trout, and preserve the population characteristics found in naturally producing stocks. Increase harvest opportunities for both treaty and non-treaty fishers. Contribute significantly to meeting the doubling goal established by the Power Planning Council, while restoring biological and genetic diversity; and fulfill the mandates of US v Oregon to utilize artificial production to rebuild naturally producing populations. Train Tribal Members to manage and operate the program and facilities upon completion.
Objectives: Finalize the development of new natural production augmentation facilities and program as an integral part of the master plans for recovery of Snake River spring/summer chinook in the Salmon River system; and implement the processes required to implement the programs. Initiate one of the donor broodstock alternatives (collecting juveniles for captive broodstock) immediately, while proceeding with development of other alternative broodstock sources, incubation, rearing and release methods. Compile biological data, refine production and harvest goals, propose and select potential sites for adult collection and juvenile rearing and release, develop and implement strategies to acquire adequate water sources.

Testable hypothesis
H(1): Chinook salmon supplementation in the Lemhi River, Yankee Fork Salmon River, and Johnson Creek does not improve adult salmon survival and natural reproduction success.
H(2): Chinook salmon captive broodstock techniques do not provide appropriate donor broodstock for supplementation projects in the Lemhi River, East Fork Salmon River, and Yankee Fork Salmon River.
H(3): Hatchery practice and facility reform at the Sawtooth National Fish Hatchery and East Fork Salmon River does not improve adult salmon survival and natural reproduction success.
H(4): Side stream incubation of salmon trout does not provide effective use of artificial production to increase natural production.
H(5): Establishing a fish production program at the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes for the Salmon River system does not improve the use of artificial production as a tool for resource protection, enhancement, and restoration.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Effective state and tribal co-management of chinook and salmon trout production actions in the Salmon River subbasin has not occurred, and will improve the success of the artificial production tool once such management is established. Such management is precluded without sufficient funding for the SBT portion of the equation. The critical constraints have been no funding for the SBT for production initiatives in the Salmon River, continual mining of wild stocks without the requisite return of the progeny to the natural environment, and the current unilateral (i.e., IDFG) trend to utilize artificial production as a preservation tool rather than as a protection and enhancement tool. Mainstem hydroelectric, navigation, and irrigation system improvements are also needed to provide success; along with habitat improvements in the Salmon River system.

Between 500 to 1,000 juvenile spring/summer chinook salmon will be collected from the three captive broodstock populations annually, and held in captivity (currently, plans call for captivity at Eagle Fish Hatchery, Idaho and Manchester, WA), and released as adults to spawn naturally (Idaho) and spawned artificially and the progeny released back into the natal stream (Tribes). Supplementation facilities (side stream incubation, early rearing, and transitional release ponds) will be developed and utilized to provide the best possible use of artificial production to rebuild naturally producing populations. Side stream incubation is currently being implemented for salmon trout so that the technology and hardware will be in place for chinook by the time donor broodstock returns starting in 1997. A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation program is currently being developed to evaluate all aspects of program performance and to determine optimum strategies.

Brief schedule of activities
FY 1996 - Assist completion of comprehensive plan by May 1, 1996 and submit Section 10 permit application. Collect 1995 juveniles for broodstock. Initiate Tribal Trainee/Education Program. Incubate and allow volitional fry release of approximately one million salmon trout eggs in the upper Salmon River tributaries and continue monitoring and evaluation of the 1995 and 1996 efforts. Finalize Johnson Creek supplementation plans with the NPT and IDFG. Initiate environmental and permit requirements (ESA and NEPA) and site feasibility and selection.
FY 1997 - Begin full implementation of the program. Continue rearing and collection program. Finalize plans and permitting for the supplementation facilities in the Lemhi River, East Fork Salmon River, and Yankee Fork Salmon River.
FY 1998 - Implement comprehensive production program, including captive broodstock, other appropriate donor broodstocks, facility construction, side stream incubation and rearing and transitional release facilities, employee Tribal Member trainees with the project, continue collections, rearing, and initiate spawning of captive broodstock.
FY 1999 - Continue full implementation, and adjust plans according to monitoring and evaluation.
FY 2000 - Continue full implementation, including adaptations from monitoring and evaluation results.
FY 2001 - Continue full implementation, including adaptations from monitoring and evaluation results.

Biological need
Present escapement levels and recent trends indicate that the naturally producing Salmon River spring/summer chinook and salmon trout are in danger of extinction. Captive broodstock programs for Snake River spring/summer chinook are supported by the NMFS proposed recovery plan and the NPPC's Fish and Wildlife Program; and are considered a viable (but not the only) recovery tool by the SBT. Considerable effort has previously been committed by the fishery managers to explain the sound biological justification of these projects, based on the Integrated System Plan Chapter C, and the Regional Assessment of Supplementation Project, through the US v Oregon Production Advisory Committee and the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority Anadromous Fish Production Committee.

Critical uncertainties
There is significant uncertainty associated with implementation of captive broodstock as an appropriate donor broodstock for supplementation programs. Many of these uncertainties have been revealed and corrected with the Stanley Basin Sockeye Program, but more are anticipated with spring/summer chinook salmon. Uncertainties will be described in detail as part of the comprehensive plan.

Summary of expected outcome
This program should provide adult returns to these populations in future years thus reducing the probability of extinction and providing opportunity for future supplementation and mitigation. If successful, this program will provide a minimum escapement of 150 adults on an annual basis.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Planning and design will place heavy consideration on minimizing the costs for O&M. The facilities will be low-technology, with minimum O&M for the numbers and quality of fish cultured. Upon completion of the facilities, O&M will include maintaining water supplies, disinfection areas, plumbing, buildings, and grounds, fish food, electricity; and operating the facilities. The primary event that may affect the project's timing is if funds are not made available to the SBT for this program. Currently, the SBT have been unsuccessful in getting the high priority supplementation projects implemented largely due to no planning funds and difficulties with adequate co-management with the IDFG.

The risk associated with holding 500 - 1,000 juvenile salmon captive until adult reproductive maturity is significantly less than the theoretical returns had those fish been allowed to mature in the natural environment. The risk of extinction is greater than the unknown genetic risks associated with implementation.

Monitoring activity
Monitoring and evaluation of adult returns and reproduction success, physical habitat parameters, fish densities and abundances, habitat preference, diets, and invertebrate inventories have been conducted since habitat restoration projects and general monitoring were initiated. Development of supplementation monitoring and evaluation procedures to include experimental designs for the analysis of performance measures for the supplementation objectives will be an integral part of the project. The SBT have developed draft M&E procedures for the projects covered under this program, and will finalize those plans in FY 1996.

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: 50,000
1998: 975,000
1999: 475,000
2000: 200,000
2001: 200,000

* 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   Snake River

Recommendation    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $50,000