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
Effectiveness of Alternate Estuary Release Sites for Transported Smolts

BPA project number   5515200

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   Placeholder

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 Mailing address

BPA technical contact   ,

Biological opinion ID   RM&EP; Hypothesis B.1.3

NWPPC Program number   

Short description
Evaluate potential benefits of releasing transported juvenile migrants further downstream (e.g., near the estuary) compared to the current release point just downstream of Bonneville Dam.

Project start year   1997    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   0

Project development phase   PLANNING

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects

Project history

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers

Management implications
The SRRP does not address this issue directly. However, potential benefits of alternate release sites may be large. An evaluation of these benefits is necessary to make effective use of any alternative release sites on a species-specific basis.

Specific measureable objectives

Testable hypothesis
Hypothesis B.1.3.: Survival of transported smolts delivered to points near Astoria does not exceed that of transported smolts delivered to traditional barge-release sites.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
It should be recognized that testing of alternative release sites for all spring migrating species and life history types other than steelhead will require extremely large releases of marked fish unless adult return rates improve dramatically. As for hypothesis B.1.1, study protocols for use of MCN fish will require that both MCN ladders have trapping facilities and detection chutes for coded-wire tags (at least until PIT-tag detection is feasible for all migrants so that marked fish can be examined for brands and PIT tags. Both ladders at BON would also be trapped so that any propensity for one test group to use one ladder or the other can be detected.


Brief schedule of activities

Biological need
The results with coho salmon, which were released at 12-19/lb, suggest that predation in the lower Columbia River is an important source of mortality for spring as well as summer migrants. The potential benefits of alternate release sites may be large. One study on coho salmon demonstrates about 60% gain in survival for coho transported directly from hatchery to Tongue Point, relative to survival for coho delivered to BON tailrace.

Critical uncertainties
Magnitude of delayed mortality of transported juvenile migrants

Summary of expected outcome
A multiple year assessment of the benefits or adverse impacts of transporting smolts (all species) farther downstream or into estuarine conditions.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation


Monitoring activity
Research on alternative release points should not be confined to steelhead. The response of yearling and subyearling chinook and/or sockeye salmon may be very different, in part because these species are considerably smaller than steelhead. Subyearling response may differ from that of yearlings, in part because of differences in fish size, prevailing temperatures, and rearing behavior in the estuary. Alternative release areas could be studied with the mix of species available at MCN. That mix would permit evaluation of alternatives for steelhead and sockeye, spring/summer and fall chinook and sockeye salmon.

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: 1,000,000
1998: 800,000
1999: 800,000

* 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   System Policy

Recommendation    Tier 2 - fund when funds available

Recommended funding level   $1,000,000