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 Basin Spring Chinook Captive Broodstock Program

BPA project number   9604400

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   OR-State/Local Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 NameRichard W. Carmichael
 Mailing addressOregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
P.O. Box 59
Portland, OR 97207

BPA technical contact   ,

Biological opinion ID   

NWPPC Program number   7.3B, 7.4D.1, 7.4D.2

Short description
Develop and implement captive broodstock programs and associated monitoring and evaluation for spring chinook salmon populations in Catherine Creek, the upper Grande Ronde and Lostine rivers. This program is designed to reduce probability of extinction and preserve the genetic resources in these populations.

Project start year   1997    End year   2008

Start of operation and/or maintenance   1998

Project development phase   Planning/Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects
Northeast Oregon Hatcheries Master Plan (880053): Development of hatchery supplementation strategies to enhance spring chinook natural production in the Grande Ronde and Imnaha basins.

Project history
Captive broodstock programs were initiated in the Grande Ronde basin in 1995 when spring chinook juveniles were collected from Catherine Creek, the upper Grande Ronde and Lostine rivers. Fish are currently being held at Lookingglass Hatchery and a comprehensive plan will be completed by ODFW, Nez Perce Tribe, and USFWS-LSRCP by May 1, 1996. To successfully implement this captive broodstock program, facility modifications are immediately needed at Lookingglass and Bonneville hatcheries. Initial funding for fish collection and planning has been provided by the USFWS-LSRCP office.

Biological results achieved

Annual reports and technical papers
Section 10 ESA Application Permit - ODFW 1995
Comprehensive Plan for Grande Ronde Basin Spring Chinook Captive Broodstocks (in preparation)

Management implications
The Grande Ronde basin once supported large runs of chinook salmon with estimated escapements in excess of 10,000 as recently as the late 1950s. Natural escapement declines in the Grande Ronde basin have paralleled those of other Snake River stocks. Catherine Creek, Grande Ronde, and Lostine rivers were historically three of the most productive populations in the Grande Ronde basin. Escapement levels in Catherine Creek, the Grande Ronde, and Lostine rivers dropped to alarming low levels in 1994 and 1995. A total of 11, 3, and 16 redds were observed in Catherine Creek, upper Grande Ronde River, and the Lostine River in 1994, respectively. In contrast, the estimated number of redds in 1957 was 374 (not including NF Catherine Creek), 478, and 893 in these rivers, respectively. We are presently in an emergency situation where dramatic and unprecedented efforts will be needed to prevent extinction as well as preserve any future options for use of natural fish for artificial propagation programs. The initial management plan under the LSRCP program called for hatchery supplementation of four chinook populations in the basin: Catherine Creek, Wallowa, Grande Ronde, and Lostine rivers. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Nez Perce Tribe have decided to immediately begin development of broodstocks from local natural populations for genetic conservation and natural production enhancement. This decision was a result of a number of factors including: increased emphasis on natural production and endemic stock recovery; consultations and requirements resulting from listing of Grande Ronde chinook populations as endangered; our lack of success in using non-local hatchery stocks for supplementing Grande Ronde chinook populations; and preferred strategies for use of artificial propagation identified in the NMFS draft recovery plan.

Specific measureable objectives
Modify facilities at Bonneville and Lookingglass hatcheries to provide capability to implement captive broodstock programs.

Assess captive broodstock program performance in achieving adult broodstock, smolt production, adult return goals, and management objectives.

Determine optimum program operational criteria to ensure success of achieving objectives.

Testable hypothesis
Hypotheses are being developed in the research, monitoring, and evaluation plan as part of the comprehensive plan.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Program success is dependent on development of adequate propagation facilities at Lookingglass and Bonneville hatcheries as well as achievement of adequate survival, growth, maturation, and gamete viability objectives. Success is dependent on improved juvenile and adult survival through mainstem reservoirs and dams.

Between 500-1000 juveniles will be collected annually from three populations. Juveniles will be reared to the adult stage and spawned. Offspring will be reared to smolt stage and released back into parent stream. Project plans call for each brood to be held at Lookingglass from parr to smolt and then shipped to two facilities (Bonneville and a saltwater facility) for the ocean growth phase. Fish will be returned to freshwater for maturation phase. A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation program will be implemented to evaluate all aspects of program performance and to determine optimum strategies.

Brief schedule of activities
FY1996 - Complete comprehensive plan by 1 May 1996 and submit Section 10 permit application. Complete temporary facility construction at Bonneville to transfer 1994 brood juveniles by August 1, 1996. Begin facility design for Bonneville and Lookingglass. Collect 1995 juveniles for broodstock.

FY1997 - Complete design and construction at Bonneville and Lookingglass hatcheries and begin full implementation of program. If a saltwater site chosen then engineering design and construction will also be completed at the saltwater site.

FY1998 - Continue collection and rearing program and begin spawning.

FY1999 - Continue collection, rearing, and spawning.

FY2000 - Collection, rearing, spawning, and release smolts.

FY2001 - Collection, rearing, spawning, and release smolts.

Biological need
Present escapement levels and recent trends indicate that Grande Ronde basin spring chinook are in imminent danger of extinction. Captive broodstock programs for Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon are supported by recommendations in the Snake River Recovery Team's report (Snake River Salmon Recovery Team Report 1994), NMFS draft recovery plan, and the Northwest Power Planning Council's Fish and Wildlife Program (Northwest Power Planning Council 1994). NMFS draft recovery plan states "captive broodstock and supplementation programs should be initiated and/or continued for populations identified as being at imminent risk of extinction, facing severe inbreeding depression, or facing demographic risks" and further states "considering the critical low abundance of Grande Ronde spring/summer chinook salmon, impacts to listed fish should be avoided and Lookingglass Hatchery should be operated to prevent extinction of local populations. Consequently indigenous broodstock should be immediately transferred to Lookingglass Hatchery (natural fish collected in 1995), and production should be maximized to supplement natural populations."

Critical uncertainties
There is significant uncertainty associated with implementation of captive broodstock artificial propagation programs. Uncertainties will be described in detail as part of the comprehensive plan.

Summary of expected outcome
We expect that this program will provide adult returns to these populations in future years thus reducing the probability of extinction and providing opportunity for future supplementation and mitigation. If successful, this program will provide a minimum escapement of 150 adults on an annual basis. Program will continue until survival conditions allow these natural populations to begin to rebuild.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation
NEPA analysis may affect ability to modify Lookingglass and Bonneville facilities. Completion of comprehensive plan and acquisition of Section 10 permit is essential for success. Program requires cooperation of tribes, state, and federal agencies as well as integration into the present LSRCP artificial propagation program. Program is presently coordinated extensively with agencies and experts throughout the region.

Some level of unknown genetic risk is associated with implementation. There is always risk of not achieving program objectives. There is risk of not completing construction of facilities in an timely fashion.

Monitoring activity
A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan is currently being developed for this program.

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) New project - no FY96 data available 1997: 2,212,400
1998: 380,000
1999: 403,000
2000: 427,000
2001: 453,000

* 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   $2,212,400

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $2,967,747