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 Supplementation Studies in Idaho Rivers - USFWS

BPA project number   8909801

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   ID-Federal Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 NameRalph B. Roseberg
 Mailing addressU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 18
Ahsahka, ID 83520

BPA technical contact   Tom Vogel, EWN 503/230-5201

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   7.3B.2

Short description
Evaluation of out planting strategies for hatchery spring chinook salmon to restore or augment natural production, and to assess the effects of hatchery supplementation on the survival and genetic fitness of existing natural populations in the Clearwater River basin.

Project start year   1992    End year   2007

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1992

Project development phase   Maintenance

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
Included are projects that collect data which are directly pertinent to ISS streams and contribute to the successful completion of the ISS.

89-098-00 Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Cooperative agency on ISS study.
89-098-02 Nez Perce Tribe, a cooperator on ISS study.
89-098-03 Shoshone-Bannock Tribe, a cooperator on ISS study.
All ISS cooperators collect data and assist with the fulfillment of the experimental design (Bowles and Leitzinger 1991).

Project history
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is a cooperator in the implementation of Project 89-098 with Idaho Fish and Game (lead agency), the Nez Perce Tribe, and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe. In May 1992 FWS was awarded a contract to participate in the Idaho Supplementation Studies (ISS) which is defined by the experimental design "Salmon Supplementation Studies in Idaho Rivers" (Bowles and Leitzinger 1991). The FWS is responsible for data collection on Clear Creek and Pete King Creek (both in the Clearwater drainage), two streams incorporated in the ISS study design. FWS assisted in adult surveys and redd counts as early as 1991.

Since the start of the ISS, returns of adult chinook salmon have decreased to historical lows. This has negatively affected our ability to measure population characteristics statistically power and has prohibited some scheduled treatments due to limited hatchery production. As a result, ISS is being restructured to best utilize the secondary level of evaluation, a "paired case history" approach to evaluate specific supplementation programs. A 5-year report is currently being developed (spring 1997 completion) that will formally review and evaluate the implementation and modification of the ISS design.

Biological results achieved
Since 1992, the chinook salmon populations in the two study streams have been sampled at three life stages (summer parr, out migrating smolts, and returning adults). Summer parr abundance transects have been snorkeled annually, resulting in density trend data and parr population estimates partitioned by habitat type and strata. Assessment of out migration for both wild/natural and supplemented fish from various life stages (parr, presmolt, and smolt) have been accomplished for study streams, when population size permitted, using Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags. PIT tagging and subsequent interrogations at four Snake and Columbia River dams have produced estimates of migration timing and minimum survival for different supplementation strategies and river systems. An out migration (rotary screw) trap has been operated in Clear Creek since October, 1992 (when flows permitted). This trap has helped determine life history characteristics and estimate numbers of out migrating chinook salmon for brood years 1990 -1993. Adult returns have been monitored in both study streams with redd count/carcass surveys. In the case of Clear Creek, a hatchery weir also gives us data on age class structure and origin.

Annual reports and technical papers
Bowles, E. and E. Leitzinger. 1991. Salmon Supplementation Studies in Idaho Rivers. Experimental Design to the U.S. Department of Energy, Bonneville Power Administration. Project No. 89-098, Contact No. DE-BI79-89BP01466.
Arnsberg, B. 1993. Salmon Supplementation in Idaho Rivers, 1992 Annual Report, BPA. Nez Perce Tribe, Department of Fisheries Resources Management.
Hesse, J. and B. Arnsberg. 1994. Salmon Supplementation in Idaho Rivers, 1993 Annual Report. Nez Perce Tribe, Department of Fisheries Resources Management.
Hesse, J., B. Arnsberg, and P. Cleary. 1995. Salmon Supplementation in Idaho Rivers, 1994 Annual Report. Nez Perce Tribe, Department of Fisheries Resources Management.

Management implications
Short Term - Data collected under ISS may help guide the use of captive brood as a management tool. Efforts with this extreme form of supplementation will benefit from ISS data in quantifying current population levels and life history descriptions for many of the "core" chinook salmon producing streams in the Salmon and Clearwater drainages. Implementation of captive brood programs including: stream prioritization, collection techniques, and monitoring and evaluation techniques will use ISS data.

While not directly produced for ISS use, data collected on ISS PIT tagged chinook salmon (wild/natural and hatchery origin) at Snake and Columbia River passage facilities will aid in mainstem smolt monitoring of timing and passage requirements and may contribute to the management/modification of mainstem dam operations.

The current management strategy, for stocking all 1994 and 1995 brood year chinook salmon as smolts, utilized the preliminary 1992 - 1994 ISS data analysis that demonstrated higher minimum rates of detection at mainstem fish passage facilities for smolt releases over parr and pre-smolt released fish.

Long Term - The ISS study results and recommendations will help guide state, tribal, and federal hatchery programs. Population characteristics including historical resiliency to low return years, life history, and genetic descriptions from base line sampling will play a vital role in determining which supplementation strategy (if any) produces the best adult to adult production without adverse genetic impacts to natural populations.

Specific measureable objectives
Objective 1: Monitor and evaluate the effects of supplementation on parr, presmolt, and smolt numbers and adult/spawning escapements of naturally produced salmon.

Objective 2: Monitor and evaluate changes in natural production and genetic composition of target and adjacent populations following supplementation.

Objective 3: Determine which supplementation strategies (broodstock and release stage) provide the quickest and highest response in natural production without adverse effects on productivity.

Objective 4: Recommend specific implementable recommendations for the management of hatchery production to prevent extinction and increase returns of chinook salmon in the Clearwater River drainages.

Testable hypothesis
Ho1a: Supplementation-augmentation of existing chinook populations in Idaho does not affect natural production.

Ho1b: Supplementation-restoration utilizing existing hatchery stocks does not establish self sustaining natural populations of chinook salmon in Idaho.

Ho2a: Supplementation-augmentation of existing chinook population in Idaho does not reduce productivity of target or adjacent population below acceptable levels (e.g. replacement).

Ho2b: Supplementation does not lead to self-sustaining populations at some enhanced level (e.g. 50% increase in abundance maintained over time).

Ho3a: Utilization of existing hatchery broodstocks in Idaho is not an effective strategy to supplement existing population of chinook salmon within local or adjacent sub-basins.

Ho3b: Development of new, local broodstocks with known natural component for supplementation does not provide an advantage over utilization of existing hatchery broodstocks for supplementation within the local or adjacent subbasin.

Ho3c: The effects of supplementation on natural production and productivity does not differ among life stages (parr, presmolt, smolt) of hatchery fish released.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Regardless of the overall goal and long term strategies for supplementation, efforts will be negated without improvements in mainstem passage and flow constraints to allow for a net replacement/increase in adult to adult production.

1) The ISS experiment design is split into three main approaches. The first level of evaluation are large scale population production and productivity studies designed to provide Snake River basin wide inferences. The second level utilizes study streams as individual "case histories" to evaluate specific supplementation programs. The third level represents small-scale studies designed to evaluate specific hypotheses. Levels one and two focus on measuring population responses to supplementation and hence are long-term in nature. The third level determines specific impacts of supplementation such as competition, dispersal, and behavior. These studies are relatively short-term and will be conducted in laboratory streams or "controlled " field environments.

There are two categories of case histories for the project as a whole, supplementation of existing natural populations (Salmon River basin) and supplementation of extinct populations (Clearwater River basin). Supplementation effects will be evaluated by comparing weir returns, redd counts, juvenile production, juvenile survival, fecundity, age structure, and genetic structure and variability in supplemented and unsupplemented streams of similar ecological parameters (productivity, geology, habitat quality, etc).

Primary data collection includes:
Mid-summer parr - Parr abundance is estimated in all treatment and control streams. Number of parr is estimated with standardized snorkeling techniques utilizing stratified systematic sampling (Scheaffer et. al 1979) designed to provide a coefficient of variation of approximately 15%. Parr densities are expanded by strata to estimate total parr abundance within the experimental unit (treatment or control reach).
Fall and spring emigrants (presmolt and smolt) - Juvenile emigration numbers and timing are estimated with outmigrant (screw traps) traps. Traps are operated to sample the fall and spring emigration period until icing or water velocity is prohibitive. Capture efficiency is estimated by recapture of marked emigrants transported above traps. Capture efficiencies are monitored as a function of stream flow and water temperature .
Smolt Production - Minimum survival estimates of smolts reaching Lower Granite Pool is estimated for all treatment and control streams. Approximately 300-500 juveniles are PIT tagged prior to or during emigration from the study streams and hatcheries. A similar number of hatchery fish are PIT tagged prior to release into treatment streams. Naturally produced parr and emigrants will be PIT tagged following collection by seining, minnow traps, electrofishing, or emigration traps.
Adult escapement - Escapement to Clear Creek is determined by an adult weir located very near the mouth at our Kooskia NFH trap. Multiple redd counts are used in Clear Creek and Pete King Creek. Potential spawning area is censused. Potential egg deposition will be estimated from fecundity of Kooskia NFH females.

2) Supplementation effects will be evaluated using repeated measures profile analysis (split plot through time) to test the response of populations to treatments over time as compared to untreated streams. To help partition variability, some hypotheses utilize a block design. Depending upon the specific hypothesis, blocks may include status of existing population, brood source, life stage out-planted, and stream productivity.

3) This study is concerned with chinook salmon and the number of fish supplemented is proportional to the amount of production in any given year. Fish size at release and time of release will be consistent to eliminate those variables.

Brief schedule of activities
Data entry/summary/analysis and reporting: All Year
Outmigration trap operation: All Year
PIT tagging: August through June
Summer Parr Snorkeling Estimates: July and August
Redd/Carcass Surveys: August and October
Adult Weir Operation: May through September

Biological need
Existing knowledge on the long term effectiveness of supplementation, based on experimentation and experience, indicates that supplementation using traditional hatchery practices is rarely successful and can impose significant risk to the genetic integrity and long-term survivability of natural stocks (Miller et. al. 1990; Steward and Bjornn 1990). The risk of failure is particularly high for upriver stocks experiencing extreme survival bottlenecks from mainstem passage constraints (Miller et. al. 1990). Conversely, the need for supplementation as an interim recovery tool may be the most pertinent for these same upriver stocks, which are rapidly declining to the point where recovery may be impossible.

The biological need is to develop strategies that maximize the benefits of supplementation and minimize the risk to target and neighboring natural populations. These strategies must be evaluated prior to large scale management implementation.

Critical uncertainties
The critical uncertainties addressed in the ISS project can be broadly grouped into two categories: 1) can supplementation work and 2) what supplementation strategies work best? Specific uncertainties include:
1) The ability of hatchery-produced adults under different environmental and ecological parameters to produce young which survive to return as adults that are functional spawners.
2) Life stage at release which most effectively produces adults with minimal detrimental species interactions and produces progeny which return and successfully reproduce, under different environmental conditions.
3) The effects of supplementation on life history characteristics (emigration timing, age structure, genetic composition and variability, etc.) of the supplemented population and adjacent unsupplemented populations.
4) The ability of naturally-produced chinook populations which are regularly supplemented to maintain the genetic variability and characteristics of the wild/natural population.
5) Survival rates of natural chinook from different streams or between natural and hatchery chinook.

Summary of expected outcome
This research will demonstrate the best method for supplementing existing naturally-reproducing populations of chinook salmon and the best method for re-establishing naturally producing populations in streams where chinook have become extirpated. Because study streams have different ecological characteristics, supplementation; effects and recommendations will likely be different for different streams.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Kooskia NFH will aid in facilitating the development of localized broodstocks.

PTAGIS enables and assists in the use, interrogation, and data base management of Passive Integrated Transponder tags.

U.S. Forest Service and local private landowners will continue to allow access to these streams.

The associated risks and critical uncertainties of the ISS were evaluated under the 1991 draft RASP criteria.

Genetic - ISS treatment streams already have on-going hatchery programs. Consequently, ISS hatchery protocols should pose a minimal ecological risk, if any, to the chinook salmon populations in these streams. Risks are primarily associated with not conducting ISS, and failing to identify and implement the best hatchery-based recovery measures resulting in the continued decline or extinction of population and adversely impacting wild/natural populations through the use of inappropriate supplementation due to a lack of information.

Physical - The use of outmigration traps and an adult weir imposes a risk to individual animals in terms of direct mortality and migration alteration.

Monitoring activity
This study is primarily a monitoring and evaluation project of supplementation. See above methods.

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
1992: 104,986
1993: 76,970
1994: 73,461
1995: 94,856
Obligation: 91,098
Authorized: 90,695
Planned: 91,098
1997: 125,000
1998: 125,000
1999: 150,000
2000: 150,000
2001: 150,000

* 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   $125,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $124,092