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
Lake Roosevelt Rainbow Trout Net Pens

BPA project number   9500900

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   WA-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 NameGene Smith, Project Coordinator
 Mailing addressLake Roosevelt Development Association
PO Box 7
Hunters, WA 99137

BPA technical contact   Marcella Lafayette, EWP 503/230-3781

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   10.8B.11, 10.8B.17

Short description
LRDA operates & maintains the rbt Net Pen program on Lake R., provides 300-500K rbt which are released into Lake R. each year for sport fishing and subsistence. The net pen program compliments on-going resident fish mitigation programs on the Upper Col.

Project start year   1995    End year   

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   O & M

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
91-46 - Spokane Tribal Hatchery provides the RBT for this project.

Project history
LRDA net pen program managed to increase rainbow trout fishery in L. Roosevelt through volunteer efforts while utilizing donated funds, labor, and materials. Circumstances made the program more difficult to coordinate on voluntary basis. Money/equip to fund program has declined. Appealed to the Council's Program and were accepted and amended into Section 94A(l)(p). Phase 4. A coordinator was hired to take care of coordinating the voluntary efforts, fund raising, monitoring of net pen activity/operation and maintenance in order to carry on with the net pens within Lake Roosevelt.

Biological results achieved
Before the net pens went in, they were harvesting 300 to 1,000 native rainbow trout per year.
They are currently (5/95) harvesting 140,000 (95% are net pen rainbows).
248,000-270,000 RBT have been raised this year, which were released sometime in June '95.

Annual reports and technical papers
BPA receives a quarterly report on all the activities for the quarter.

Management implications
The basic underlying principle for the use of net pens on Lake Roosevelt deals with two problems. 1. Predation: fingerlings released directly into the reservoir are heavily reduced by predators. 2. Entrainment: many smaller fish are lost over Grand Coulee Dam during major draw downs. Adaption: Program allows for containing fingerlings to 8-9 inches in length and can be held until reservoir stabilizes or until water is rising, thus reducing losses.

Specific measureable objectives
FY95--LRDA hired a coordinator who has been able to provide the project with a more consistent review of inventory (fish food, materials), fund raising, finding volunteers to help with the program, and making the public aware of the project's capabilities and future goals. FY96--Coordinator continues to monitor the needs of the program and include the installation of ten new net pens to reach to goal of 500,000 net pen rainbow trout. FY97 and beyond--continue 0 & M of net pens and coordination of voluntary efforts and funding.

Testable hypothesis
Prior to the net pens the average catch of Lake Roosevelt rainbows would range between 300 and 1 000 native rainbows per year. Since the net pen program, harvesting has improved to 140,000 rainbow per year. 95% of the harvest has been net pen reared fish. Monitoring is done by project #88-063 and #94-043.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Certain water conditions behind Grand Coulee Dam are fairly predictable. The Net Pen program has learned to adjust to the expected fluctuations. Release time for fish is important in reducing entrainment. Constant adjustments of the docks is accounted for by winches and monitored daily by volunteer feeders. Consistent water levels and slower less frequent drafting would help but we have made acceptable adjustments to these conditions.

Experimental design: The net pen program consists primarily of a rectangular float 20 feet square prepared from 8" PVC pipe suspending a 20'x 20' net approximately 14' deep and designed with umbrella type bird netting covering the top. These net pens are attached to docks anchored to shore and also anchored at the far end and attached to a winch at each end to allow for water fluctuations. Statistical analysis: Each net pen can hold 14,000-18,000 net pen rainbows which can be reared from 12-14 fish per pound in October to 5-6 per pound in early June. Approximately 98% of the fish survive in the net pens to release date.

Brief schedule of activities
FY96 the coordinator will continue to monitor the needs of the program and coordinate with volunteers and other entities (State Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Reclamation, Spokane Tribe of Indians, Colville Confederated Tribes, Park Service and others), to provide funding for operation and maintenance of the net pens and feeding the fish. Also includes installation of ten new net pens, which will increase the rainbow trout to 500,000. FY97 and beyond we will continue to operate and maintain the net pens and the coordination of voluntary efforts and funding.

Biological need
The need for resident fish above Grand Coulee Dam includes several strategies outlined in the biological objectives. The rainbow trout net pen program insures that the fish are reared to a size which allows them to survive predation activities of larger fish. By rearing up to 500,000 net pen rainbow the sport and subsistence fishing will be greatly enhanced and will work jointly with established habitat improvement projects and the kokanee programs on Lake Roosevelt.

Critical uncertainties
The primary concern or uncertainty involving the net pens is the operation of the reservoir during the net pen season of October through May. The net pens are designed to allow for water fluctuations, but concerns are for retention time (zoo plankton replenishment) and for release dates of net pen fish (rising levels).

Summary of expected outcome
If adequate funding is received to provide the net net pens, then the net pen program will be able to produce up to 500,000 RBT yearly.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
LRDA has the support of many entities, We are dependent upon maintaining the cooperative spirit and the grass roots enthusiam of volunteers. Through this cooperation the Washington State Fish and Wildlife, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, and the Colville Confederated Tribes along with the Corps of Engineers have all supported the net pen program as a valued means of enhancing the Lake Roosevelt fishery. We have met NEPA requirements and other environmental concerns.

The risks involved in the net pen program are very small. The program enlists the help of volunteers and very little biological or technical risk to the reservoir or its biological balance.

Monitoring activity
The coordinator will be providing monitoring of the work. Biological monitoring is done through project #88-063 and #94-043. This agency monitors all projects on Lake Roosevelt Reservoir. The net pen program is also receiving technical support from the Hatchery Technical Committee which serves to monitor fish releases in the Lake Roosevelt waters.

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
1995: 62,863
1996: 115,000
Obligation: 115,000
Authorized: 115,000
Planned: 115,000
1997: 95,600
1998: 95,600
1999: 110,000
2000: 110,000
2001: 110,000

* 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   Resident Fish

Recommendation    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $95,600

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $95,600