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
Juvenile Fish Screens and Smolt Traps at Irrigation Diversion Dams on the Walla Walla and Touchet Rivers in Oregon and Washington

BPA project number   9601100

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   OR-Tribe

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 NameGary James
 Mailing addressCTUIR
Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 638
Pendleton, OR 97801

BPA technical contact   , EWN

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   3.1D.1, 7.10A.3

Short description
The goal of this project is to provide for safe outmigration of smolts in order to enhance summer steelhead and restore spring chinook salmon runs in the Walla Walla Subbasin. The proposed screen/trap facilities would be used to capture smolts for trucking from the Little Walla Walla Diversion to the mouth of the Walla Walla River when conditions are not adequate for safe smolt outmigration (similar to Umatilla program). Existing screen facilities do not provide adequate conditions for bypassing or trapping smolts for transportation.

Project start year   1996    End year   1998

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1999

Project development phase   Planning/Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
9990071 - Adult Fish Passage Improvement in Walla Walla Basin
9990070 - Walla Walla Basin Anadromous Fish Habitat Enhancement
8805302 - Northeast Oregon Hatchery - Walla Walla Component

Project history
The native summer steelhead run in the Walla Walla River is currently in a severely depressed state and spring chinook are extinct due largely to inadequate conditions (poor screens and ladders, low flows, etc.) for up and downstream migration. The NE Oregon Hatchery project developed hatchery facility plans for enhancement of summer steelhead and reestablishment of spring chinook in the upper Walla Walla and Touchet Rivers. Fish released from this effort will need improved irrigation ditch screening and a trap and haul contingency plan to ensure that they reach the Columbia River. Delay of this project may result in further decline of the wild summer steelhead population and limited effectiveness of spring chinook restoration efforts. In 1996, design and engineering work will be initiated for the Little Walla Walla Diversion Screens/Trap and Haul project using BPA funds.

Biological results achieved
Some design work expected to be completed in 1996. Results expected upon completion of projects if improved survival for downstream migrating smolts.

Annual reports and technical papers
No project reports completed at this time.

Management implications
Improved juvenile fish passage will compliment other projects (juvenile fish passage, habitat enhancement, artificial production) necessary for restoration of anadromous fisheries in the Walla Walla Basin.

Specific measureable objectives
Juvenile steelhead mortality is observed annually due to poor screening bypass conditions (most severe is Little Walla Walla River diversion). Measurable results will be the reduction or elimination of this fish loss.

Testable hypothesis

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints

1) Conduct facility engineering and design
2) Construct state of the art screening facilities with associated smolt traps and fish hauling units
3) Evaluate fish passage effectiveness by monitoring adult upstream migration

Brief schedule of activities
1996 - Engineering & design work initiated
1997 -Finalize designs and initiate construction
1998 -Finalize construction
1999 -Initiate screen/trap & haul operations and begin monitoring and evaluation
2000 -Continue operations, M & E, and recommend passage project improvements as necessary
2001+ - Continue screen/trap & haul operations

Biological need
Without project, native summer steelhead would continue to be impacted and spring chinook restoration would likely be precluded. See "Project History" above for more information on biological need.

Critical uncertainties
A critically impacted life history stage currently effecting the survival of native summer steelhead and restoration of spring chinook is downstream migration of smolts. This and other projects (listed above) addressing additional life history stages will be necessary to implement a comprehensive Walla Walla Basin fish restoration program.

Summary of expected outcome
Biologists believe that up to one-half (or more in drought years) of summer steelhead smolts migrating from natural production areas in the Walla Walla River to the Columbia River are lost due to current irrigation screening and low-flow problems in the lower drainage. Current and future hatchery programs which release fish in upriver areas will also avoid an approximate 50% smolt loss.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
Walla Walla Basin fish passage projects represent a unique opportunity for multi-entity cooperation and cost sharing. The COE has already begun design work on two adult fish passage projects at irrigation diversion dams. The COE intends to fund 75% of construction costs as long as there is a commitment for the other 25% cost share. As mentioned above, the juvenile fish passage project is dependent upon implementation of other projects which would constitute a comprehensive Walla Walla Basin fish restoration program. This project ranked 4th out of approximately 300 projects in the FY 95 CBFWA ranking process but was not initiated until FY 96 because it was a "new" project.


Monitoring activity
Fish passage monitoring and evaluation is anticipated to begin following the completion of the screening/trap & haul project facilities at the Little Walla Walla Diversion in 1999. Juvenile fish passage evaluation plans have not been detailed at this time.

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) Obligation: 0
Authorized: 90,000
Planned: 90,000
1997: 600,000
1998: 1,500,000
1999: 200,000
2000: 200,000
2001: 200,000

* 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   $600,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $1,196,992