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
Hood River Production Program - Pelton Ladder - Hatchery

BPA project number   8902900

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   OR-State/Local Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 NameTrent Stickell
 Mailing addressOregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Portland Office
2501 SW First Avenue
Portland, OR 97207

BPA technical contact   Tom Morse, EWN 503/230-3694

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   7.4N.1

Short description
Production and rearing of Deschutes River spring chinook at Round Butte Hatchery and Pelton Ladder for subsequent release into the Hood and Deschutes rivers.

Project start year   1992    End year   1995

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   Maintenance

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
1. Hood River Production Program (HRPP) - CTWS - M&E (Project #8805303)

2. Hood River Production Program (HRPP) - ODFW - M&E (Project #8805304)

Project history
Project was started as a low cost production program using, to the extent practicable, existing facilities. The first contract addressed construction and rehabilitation efforts at Pelton Ladder to develop three new extended rearing cells. The cells were completed September, 1995 and additional spring chinook were transferred to the new cells. Plans are to use the production from two cells to re-establish spring chinook in the Hood River system and to evaluate the effect of the new cells on the existing production (Hood River Production Program -CTWS - M&E, Project #8805303). The contract was converted from a construction project to a production project in October, 1995.

Biological results achieved
The use of Pelton Ladder for rearing juvenile spring chinook has proven to be a feasible and successful means for increasing adult returns (i.e. smolt to adult survival). Spring chinook smolts rear well in the ladder, apparently benefiting from the semi-natural rearing conditions. Smolts reared in the ladder have helped achieve increased adult returns to the Deschutes River Subbasin. Survival, or smolt to adult return, to the Deschutes River has averaged 1.6 percent. Survival of the first complete brood of ladder reared Deschutes spring chinook returning to the Hood River Subbasin will not be available until 1999.

Annual reports and technical papers
Bonneville Power Administration. 1996. Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Bonneville Power Administration (Contract DOE/EIS-0241). Portland, Oregon.

Cramer, S.P. 1991. Genetic risk assessment of the Hood River component, Northeast Oregon Salmon and Steelhead Facilities. Progress Report to the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee and Nez Perce Fisheries Resource Management. S.P. Cramer and Associates, Fisheries Consultants. Corvallis, Oregon.

Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. Undated. Hood River/Pelton Ladder Master Agreement. Project Plan of Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (Project 89-029; Contract DE-BI79-93BP81758) to Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon. (Unpublished draft).

Smith, M., and Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. 1991. Pelton Ladder Master Plan. Final Report of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation (Project 89-029, Contract DE BI79 89BP01930) to Bonneville Power Administration, Portland, Oregon.

Management implications
Spring chinook rearing in the ladder takes place in the modified lower portion of the ladder. This existing rearing space represents only 40 percent of the available ladder capacity suitable for rearing fish. Therefore, it is estimated that the ladder could potentially accommodate almost three times the existing production level. With the potential to improve survival, augmentation of spring chinook returns to the Deschutes River Subbasin would provide more fish available for harvest, more potential harvest opportunities, and the opportunity for equitable harvest sharing of spring chinook in recreational and Warm Springs tribal fisheries. Improved survival of Deschutes stock to the Hood River Subbasin will better realize the goal of re-establishing a naturally reproducing spring chinook population into the basin.

Specific measureable objectives
The purpose of the expansion of propagation in Pelton Ladder is to contribute, in a low-cost manner, to the spring chinook salmon production goal outlined in the Deschutes River and Hood River subbasin plans and to the Council’s system-wide goal of substantially increasing salmon runs to the Columbia River Basin. By expanding the spring chinook rearing capability of Pelton Ladder to 187,000 smolts it has doubled the production of the ladder and allowed development of the spring chinook program in the Hood River. The first group of the expanded ladder reared smolts will be released into the Hood River in 1996 and the first complete brood will return in 1999.

The measurable objectives will include: (1) compare smolt survival of spring chinook reared in the new vs. old cells in Pelton Ladder; (2) measure adult survival from returns to Pelton Ladder; (3) compare smolt “quality’ between ladder reared and Round Butte Hatchery reared fish; and (4) compare spring chinook smolts transferred to Pelton Ladder in September vs. November.

Testable hypothesis
(1) smolt to adult survival of spring chinook in the new and old ladder sections will not be substantially different. (2) survival of smolts reared in Pelton Ladder will not be different than smolts produced at Round Butte Hatchery. (3) spring chinook smolt quality will not be different between ladder reared and Round Butte Hatchery reared spring chinook. (4) smolt to adult survival between spring chinook transferred to Pelton Ladder in September will not be different than smolts transferred in November.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Opportunity for conducting hatchery effectiveness experiments is limited by the capacity at Round Butte Hatchery and the configuration of the cells in Pelton Ladder.

Studies will be conducted comparing the following: (1) Pelton Ladder vs. Round Butte Hatchery reared spring chinook; (2) spring chinook reared in the old cells of Pelton Ladder vs. the new cells of Pelton Ladder; (3) survival of 8 fish per pound spring chinook smolts vs. 12 fish per pound at release from both Pelton Ladder and the hatchery. All experimental groups are to be coded-wire tagged and reared under as identical conditions as possible. A total of 454,000 spring chinook smolts are used in this study.

Brief schedule of activities
Activities for 1997 are as follows: spawning of spring chinook adults to occur in early September; ponding of fry to occur in early January; finclipping and coded-wire tagging to occur in July-August; ladder transfer to occur in mid-September and mid-November; release of smolts to occur in April; collection of adult returns and broodstock to occur May-August. Collection of broodstock from 1998-2001 may include collection of adults from returns to Hood River for the Hood River smolt program. Deschutes River returns could provide a backup if adults collected from Hood River fall short of total broodstock needs.

Biological need
The Deschutes River Subbasin Plan identified a need to increase spring chinook salmon production in the Subbasin to achieve a run size goal of 8,500 to 12,000 adults. Given an achievable 1.6 percent survival rate, each 10,000 smolts reared and released from Pelton Ladder represents an additional potential return of 160 adults to the Deschutes River. The Genetic Risk Assessment for Hood River (Cramer, 1991) concluded that the native Hood River stock of spring chinook became extinct in the mid-1960s, and that use of Deschutes stock for re-establishing runs in this stream is suitable and has certain advantages. First, and foremost, it is expected smolt to adult survival will improve over Carson stock. Natural production of Deschutes River stock in the Hood River Subbasin is also expected to surpass any potential natural production of the Carson stock. The expansion of Pelton Ladder is a productive use of Deschutes smolts, and this action will contribute to the goal for adult returns to the Columbia River.

Critical uncertainties
(1) With doubling the capacity of Pelton Ladder production, an additional 210 adults will be needed for broodstock for the Hood River/Pelton Ladder Project. The primary source of broodstock for the Hood River will eventually be from adults captured at the Powerdale fish trap, with adults from the Pelton Ladder as a backup source. (2) The addition of three rearing cells in Pelton Ladder may reduce spring chinook production growth rates and influence overall survival. (3) Increasing production of chinook salmon at Pelton ladder may increase the potential for disease proliferation or incidence in the hatchery facilities or in the Deschutes or Hood rivers. Studies in Pelton Ladder have shown no more than a four percent loss to Ceratomyxa when fish are transferred to the ladder in mid-to-late July.

Summary of expected outcome
Rearing additional fish in Pelton Ladder provides fishery managers with a low-cost alternative to making major financial investments in new formal hatchery facilities. Adult chinook returning from this rearing program will help bolster the dwindling runs of upper Columbia River spring chinook, thus helping to meet the Council’s goal for increased production of this species. The Deschutes River Subbasin Plan envisions need for additional return of hatchery-produced spring chinook in order to meet goals for increased harvest opportunity. The majority of smolts produced in the new ladder section will be released in the Hood River. Because of unique survival and adult production attributes, low cost and excellent quality, chinook smolts produced in Pelton Ladder represent an unparalleled opportunity to restore the Hood River population. The M&E program, conducted by CTWS and ODFW researchers, will guide the program once fish are released in the Hood River.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Initial spring chinook broodstock for the Hood River will come from returns to Round Butte Hatchery, but eventually when Deschutes stock starts returning to Hood River, a portion of those adults will be used in the broodstock. Adult brood will be held at facilities planned at Parkdale. Should construction of those facilities be delayed, it would be difficult to use Hood River fish as broodstock. The M&E component of HRPP is vital to assessing the conversion of Carson to Deschutes stock in the Hood River Subbasin

On July 6, 1993, ODFW submitted an application for a general incidental take permit under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for the 1994 through 1998 operation of Round Butte Hatchery and associated facilities. The application evaluates whether the proposed operation of Round Butte Hatchery and associated facilities are likely to adversely affect the continued existence of Snake River sockeye salmon, Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon, Snake River fall chinook or their critical habitat.

Based on information provided in the permit application, ODFW determined that the proposed operation at Round Butte Hatchery from 1994 through 1998 would not likely affect listed Snake River salmon or their critical habitat.

On April 8, 1994, NMFS issued ODFW Permit 899 authorizing the incidental take of threatened and endangered Snake River salmon for the years 1995 through December 31, 1998. Operation of Round Butte Hatchery and associated facilities is also included within the most recent Biological Opinion issued by NMFS (April 11, 1995). Round Butte Hatchery Operations will comply with all prudent alternatives contained in this Biological Opinion to reduce competition with and predation on chinook salmon and sockeye fry.

Monitoring activity
Juvenile and adult monitoring will be conducted under HRPP - CTWS - M&E (Project #8805303)

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
1989: 49,306
1990: 0
1993: 101,872
1994: 275,000
1995: 102,620
New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 142,000
1998: 146,000
1999: 150,000
2000: 155,000
2001: 160,000

* 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   Bonneville Dam - Priest Rapids Dam

Recommendation    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $142,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $142,000