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
Evaluation of Improvements in Hatchery Practices

BPA project number   5518200

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   Research M&E Program; hyp E.4

NWPPC Program number   

Short description

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
Hatchery smolts released in the Snake River basin survive to LGR at relatively low rates. Substantial losses occur between time of release and arrival at LGR. Although naturally produced smolts make up only 15-20% of the smolt cohort that reaches LGR, their proportion in the returning adult runs rises to over 30%. Thus, hatchery-produced salmon survive at a lower rate than wild salmon. This may in part result from an average lower fitness caused by relatively benign hatchery rearing conditions that allow many fish to survive that would normally die in the wild. This may be an inevitable consequence of a successful hatchery program, which is designed to bypass high mortality experienced by natural populations in early life stages. However, the post-release survival differential between hatchery and natural fish may also be exacerbated by certain fish culture practices. Survival of hatchery-produced spring chinook varies widely in the Columbia River basin. Some workers have urged that salmon be conditioned to avoid predators. Others have proposed altered feeding techniques to discourage hatchery juveniles from a surface orientation. Many other suggestions and attempts have been made to enhance viability of hatchery-produced juveniles.

Specific measureable objectives

Testable hypothesis

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints

The first portion of this study would review hatchery culture at Snake River production facilities, and literature on techniques for improving viability of smolts. The second portion would apply promising cultural techniques on an experimental basis. Test groups would be PIT-tagged for interrogation at Snake River dams so that survival to those dams from the release points can be evaluated. A final phase would examine survival to adulthood for test groups.

Brief schedule of activities

Biological need
The SRRP [Task No. 4.4.a.-4.4.d., and 4.5.a.] calls for improved survival of hatchery-produced smolts through improving fish quality. Rearing densities, natural rearing systems that reduce maladaptive behavioral modifications, and use of acclimation ponds are possible avenues for improvement. This study would apply adaptive management to this improvement.

Critical uncertainties

Summary of expected outcome

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation


Monitoring activity

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: 500,000
1998: 500,000
1999: 500,000
2000: 500,000
2001: 500,000

* 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   $500,000