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
Grande Ronde Habitat Enhancement

BPA project number   8402500

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 Mailing address

BPA technical contact   ,

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   7.7B

Short description

Project start year       End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
Idaho Department of Fish and Game’s (IDFG) screening program, IDFG’s BPA Project 83-07, the Shoshonne-Bannock Tribes Salmon River BPA projects, the Forest Service’s BPA Project 93-62, and the Forest Service’s BPA Project 93-33 are related projects.

Project history
In 1984 the U.S. Forest Service, Intermountain Region, contracted with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to improve habitat for anadromous fish (Project 84-24) Middle Fork and upper Salmon Rivers Enhancement Agreement No. DE-AI79-84BP17579. Phase I, initiated in FY 1984, consisted of fish habitat inventories, fish habitat problem identification, and recommendations for future project implementation. This phase was completed with the publishing of the Inventory Reports (OEA Research 1987a and OEA Research 1987b) for the Middle Fork and upper Salmon Rivers in February 1987 and The Middle Fork and upper Salmon River Habitat Improvement Implementation Plan for FY 1988-1992.

Phase II included implementation of fish habitat improvement and fish passage restoration projects on specific reaches of those streams identified in Phase I. Fish habitat improvement included bank and instream structures, fencing, fishways, erosion control, riparian revegetation, instream flow modifications, and land management changes. Fish population responses are being documented by IDFG as a part of BPA Project 83-7.

In 1985 a plan to rehabilitate the anadromous fish habitat in Camas Creek was finished, the cattle exclosure fence was built in 1986, and the streambank erosion control structures were finished in 1988. In 1995, the Camas Creek (Meyers Cove) Anadromous fish Habitat Improvement Project 84-23 was incorporated into this project for maintenance purposes.

Biological results achieved
Chinook salmon are currently spawning and rearing in eight miles of Valley creek and seven miles of Knapp Creek that were previously blocked to adult anadromous fish passage. Riparian vegetation is recovering at fenced exclosures, especially along Camas Creek where the fence was constructed in 1986. IDFG has documented increased rearing in several of the streams

Annual reports and technical papers
Several annual and quarterly reports have been written for BPA. A paper on the riparian vegetation recovery of Camas Creek was delivered to the Idaho Monitoring Workshop in 1992..

Management implications
This project is part of major federal land management changes in the project areas. For example, the Forest Service has rewritten the grazing allotment plans for the Stanley Basin Allotment to reduce livestock to less than half of previously permitted numbers.

Specific measureable objectives
Measurable objectives are the number of woody stems per 100 meters at riparian enclosure fence sites. An increase in the number of returning adult anadromous fish. IDFG's project number 83-07 is monitoring fish population responses to the habitat changes brought about by Project 84-24.

Testable hypothesis
None. This is not a research project.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Anadromous fish smolts reared in the project areas can survive to return as adults in sufficient numbers to repopulate the improved habitat. Improvement in anadromous fish production depends on reduction in downstream mortalities.

This is an ongoing O&M project.

Brief schedule of activities
Most of the required annual maintenance will involve the riparian fences on private land. Fence maintenance includes checking the power supply of electric fences, putting up takedown fences, and checking to insure that all fences are livestock tight. Occasional maintenance is needed throughout the summer. The fences will be taken down in the fall. Maintenance also includes repairs to the instream structures. Although no major structure maintenance has been needed since the project began, spring runoff flood damage to fish habitat structures and erosion control structures will require repair work on those structures periodically.

Biological need
The immediate need is increased egg and juvenile survival from the present low number of returning adults in order to prevent the loss of the runs of wild chinook and summer steelhead. This will allow the wild salmon and steelhead populations to hold on until downstream problems are solved.

Critical uncertainties

Summary of expected outcome
The riparian vegetation and quality of adult spawning and juvenile rearing habitat will continue to improve. This should result in increased egg to spring chinook smolt survival as measured by IDFG’s anadromous fish habitat improvement monitoring agreement with BPA (Project 83-07). Project 84-24 is expected to result in the production of an additional 75,000 steelhead smolts and 669,000 spring chinook salmon smolts annually. Project 84-23 is expected to result in the production of an additional 930 steelhead smolts and 9,900 spring chinook salmon smolts annually. Improvement in fish production depends on reduction in downstream fish mortalities. The ultimate benefit would be increased adult spring chinook escapement as measured by spawning ground counts.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Forest Service personnel conduct some of the the monitoring and maintenance at Forest Service expense along with their other duties. The private land owners gave up livestock use inside the exclosure fences constructed on their property (at the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch, this amounts to over 70 acres). The grazing allotment permittees will assist in the maintenance of those fences they helped build on National Forest land. Idaho Salmon Steelhead Unlimited and several chapters of Trout Unlimited have participated in riparian vegetation planting and some small instream structure work.

Local landowners have given the forest Service easements to build fish habitat structures and livestock exclosure fences on their property. The local community was contacted during the NEPA scoping process. Several local contractors were hired to do a portion of the construction.

This project was designed to increase the survival of the few eggs of escaping wild adult chinook salmon we have left. If this project is not continued, the fences and the instream structures will cease to function as designed.

Monitoring activity
After spring runoff, project sites are inspected to determine maintenance needs. If extensive instream fish habitat structure maintenance needs are identified, a proposal for budget modification will be presented to BPA. The riparian fences are maintained each spring and monitored when cattle are in the area to insure they are livestock tight. Each stream in the project area has had an intensive fish habitat inventory conducted on it. During August and September, a fish habitat inventory will be conducted on selected streams by Forest Service personnel. We plan to conduct adult chinook salmon spawning ground counts on several streams each August.

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
1984: 112,067
1985: 218,337
1986: 407,001
1987: 334,014
1988: 432,116
1989: 327,198
1990: 251,222
1991: 305,716
1992: 474,143
1993: 204,648
1994: 177,121
1995: 160,491
New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 250,000

* 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   $250,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $225,000