BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1998 Proposal

Section 1. Summary
Section 2. Goals
Section 3. Background
Section 4. Purpose and methods
Section 5. Planned activities
Section 6. Outcomes, monitoring and evaluation
Section 7. Relationships
Section 8. Costs and FTE

see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations

Section 1. Summary

Title of project
Umatilla River Basin Anad Fish Habitat Enhancement

BPA project number   8710001

Short description
Conduct watershed project planning and education process by identifying problems and developing creative solutions to land use problems impacting fisheries habitat in the Umatilla River Basin. Implement maintenance and continued instream and riparian habitat enhancement projects to provide benefits for spring & fall chinook salmon, coho salmon, and steelhead.

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding
Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

Proposal contact person or principal investigator

 NameGary James, Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Program Manager
 Mailing address
Pendleton, OR 97801

Various Construction Contracts: 1) fence contracts, 2) heavy equipment contracts, or 3) Umatilla County Weed Control, 4) survey contracts, and 5) Earth Conservation Corps/Umatilla Salmon Corps.

Section 2. Goals

Supports a healthy Columbia basin; increases run sizes or populations; provides needed habitat protection

Target stockLife stageMgmt code (see below)
Umatilla River Summer SteelheadSmolt/AdultS, W
Umatilla River/Carson Spring ChinookSmolt/AdultS
Umatilla River Mid-Columbia Bright Fall ChinookSmolt/AdultS
Umatilla River/Tanner Creek CohoSmolt/AdultS

Affected stockBenefit or detriment
Resident Fish Populations (including bull trout)Beneficial

Section 3. Background

Stream area affected

Stream name   Umatilla River and Tributaries
Subbasin   Umatilla
Land ownership   Private
Acres affected   1,465,600 acres in Umatilla river Watershed

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Umatilla National Forest and Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife cooperatively developed a comprehensive five year habitat implementation plan in 1988. This plan identified anadromous fish habitat problems in the Umatilla River Basin and provided solutions, goals and priorities for addressing these problems. The current habitat enhancement project is a continuation of this initial effort. Stream habitat conditions in the Umatilla Basin range from pristine (need protection) to severely degraded (need enhancement). The project continues to identify and improve degraded riparian and instream conditions annually. If natural production goals are to be met in the basin, habitat limiting factors must continue to be addressed.

Biological results achieved
Salmon runs were extinct in the Umatilla Basin prior to implementation of the Umatilla Fish Restoration Program. The habitat enhancement project is a key component of this program and has resulted in 12.75 river miles of improvements. Habitat improvements have included installation of riparian fencing, revegetation of streambanks and surrounding flood plain areas and placement of instream/bank stabilization structures. These efforts benefit fish by improving water quality parameters, increasing sub-surface/instream flow levels and providing more diverse habitat. This work and continued habitat improvements is expected to greatly increase the natural production capability of salmon and steelhead in the Umatilla River Basin.

Project reports and papers
Contractor has submitted an Annual Report each year since project inception.

Adaptive management implications
Habitat enhancements implemented under this project will continue to result in the following benefits: 1) increased water table saturation zones and instream flow levels during summer months, 2) slower water velocities and narrower stream channels, 3) more diverse native riparian vegetation communities to assist with bank stabilization, provide recruitable wood for instream cover, increase shading, increase insect drop and filter sediments. These combined benefits will aide anadromous salmonids by improving overall water quality, increasing and diversifying fisheries habitat and increasing potential food sources (macroinvertebrates).

Section 4. Purpose and methods

Specific measureable objectives
Improvements will be monitored following implementation to evaluate short and long-term effects of instream and riparian area enhancements on fish habitat, riparian vegetation recovery, macroinvertebrate presence/diversity and water quality. Overall success of the project (effectiveness and educational value) will be measured by evaluating public participation and landowner cooperation.

Critical uncertainties
Physical surveys conducted in cooperation with CTUIR's Natural Production and Monitoring Program indicate that quality habitat is limited in the Umatilla River Basin. A critically impacted life history state currently affecting the natural production of steelhead and chinook salmon is juvenile rearing (egg deposition to smolting). Also, high quality habitat areas may become fully seeded at some point in the not too distant future. Therefore, there is a need to continue to enhance watershed conditions and expand available spawning and rearing areas in the basin. Improvements, such as those mentioned under BIOLOGICAL NEED will help achieve this objective.

Biological need
Former and current detrimental land use practices continue to impact anadromous fisheries production in the Umatilla River Basin. High summer stream temperatures, nonpoint source pollution (primarily agricultural runoff from cropland areas), lack of native riparian vegetation, low or intermittent stream flows, lack of habitat diversity, and unstable stream channels limit available salmonid spawning/rearing areas throughout the basin. Habitat improvements including riparian fence construction, installation of sediment retention structures and revegetation of riparian corridor areas will diversify habitat and improve water quality/quantity conditions for fish and macroinvertebrates.

Hypothesis to be tested

Alternative approaches
An alternative approach to developing 15 year easements with landowners would be to acquire private properties in riparian corridor areas throughout the basin. This approach was rejected at this time because of the additional funding that would be required to accomplish property purchases. Some level of habitat restoration would still need to occur on purchased properties. However, this concept should be considered in the future because it would provide permanent protection and in the long-term would be more cost effective.

Justification for planning

Land use practices impacting fish production capability will continue to be identified throughout the watershed through baseline data collection, GIS analysis and public scoping meetings. Long-term solutions to land use problems will be developed cooperatively with landowners and other resource agencies in the basin. Remedial measures will be implemented to reduce or eliminate detrimental land management activities where possible. Physical factors which limit production capability will be addressed through enhancement of instream and riparian habitats. Uncooperative land owners may limit the proposed methods in certain instances.

Section 5. Planned activities

Phase PlanningStart 1) 1987 2) 1993 End 1) 1988 2) on-goingSubcontractor
1) Coordinate with USFWS and ODFW personnel to develop a comprehensive five year habitat implementation plan for the Umatilla Basin; and 2) Identify additional habitat deficiencies in the Umatilla Basin on a watershed level and develop solutions to detrimental land use practices through public scoping processes.
Phase ImplementationStart 1) 1988 2) 1993 End 1) 1992 2) on-goingSubcontractor
1) Enhancement stream habitat conditions in the Umatilla River Basin on the Umatilla Indian Reservation by implementing instream and riparian improvements; and 2) Continue BPA funding to maintain existing habitat improvements and initiate new instream/riparian enhancement projects on a watershed level throughout the Umatilla River Basin.
Phase O&MStart 1989 End On-goingSubcontractor
Maintain habitat enhancement project areas. The physical condition of all improvements and general stream hydraulics will be evaluated in project areas following spring high flow events to determine effectiveness and prescribe maintenance to fencing and instream structures if required.
Project completion date   On-going

Constraints or factors that may cause schedule or budget changes
Landowner cooperation and in-stream permit approvals.

Section 6. Outcomes, monitoring and evaluation


Expected performance of target population or quality change in land area affected
Benefits expected from habitat enhancements have previously been described under ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS. Overall, these benefits should improve water quality parameters, expand and diversify fisheries habitat and increase potential food sources (macroinvertebrates).

Present utilization and convservation potential of target population or area
Livestock has been excluded from habitat enhancement project areas and the riparian corridors are currently in an early state of recovery. Continued livestock exclusion and/or modification of grazing practices will be required for several decades to recover anadromous fisheries habitat to full potential.

Assumed historic status of utilization and conservation potential
Historically (prior to construction of Three Mile Dam), spawning and rearing areas within current project areas were seeded to full potential.

Long term expected utilization and conservation potential for target population or habitat
Watershed conditions will improve to provide expanded spawning and rearing areas to meet natural production goals in the Umatilla Basin.

Contribution toward long-term goal
Improved water quality parameters (decreases in sediment input and stream temperatures), increases in aquatic macroinvertebrates, more diverse native riparian vegetation communities and increases in instream flow levels will improve adult and juvenile salmonid survival and fitness.

Indirect biological or environmental changes
Riparian enhancements will provide thermal cover, nesting and roosting habitat, forage and side channel/wetland areas for wildlife species.

Physical products
Approximately 12.75 stream miles on private properties have been enhanced under this project in the Umatilla Basin.

Environmental attributes affected by the project
Water temperatures will decrease, sediment loads will decrease, instream flow and sub-surface levels will increase, and riparian vegetation communities will increase as a result of this project. Livestock grazing will continue to be restricted from project areas.

Changes assumed or expected for affected environmental attributes
Near term changes will include narrowing of stream channels, increased stream channel shading, decreased stream bank erosion, increased instream cover and increases in macroinvertebrate populations. Long term changes will include cooler stream temperatures, increased instream flows during summer months and increased spawning/rearing areas.

Measure of attribute changes
CTUIR's goal is to recover a total of 50 stream miles in the Umatilla River Basin by the year 2005. Project areas recovered will have reduced fine sediments in salmon and steelhead redds to no more than 20%, bank stability will be greater than 90% and stream temperatures will be maintained at less than 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Assessment of effects on project outcomes of critical uncertainty
Post project physical and biological surveys, channel cross section measurements, photo point monitoring and water quality monitoring will determine project success.

Information products
Annual reports provide information on project implementation, water quality and aquatic macroinvertebrate monitoring, physical survey data and public input/comments. Quarterly reports provide a continuous update on completed and proposed project activities.

Coordination outcomes
Coordination with private landowners results in procurement of 15 year riparian easements. Coordination with other agencies has assisted CTUIR in acquiring cost share funds and technical support for habitat enhancement projects.

Anadromous fish utilization (spawning and rearing) of enhanced stream corridor areas should be used as a yardstick to measure the overall success of the project. Post-project increases in fish spawning and/or rearing in enhanced stream reaches should be an indication of project success.

Provisions to monitor population status or habitat quality
The Umatilla Basin Natural Production Monitoring and Evaluation (UBNPM&E) project coordinates with this project to conduct basinwide physical surveys for determining the availability of habitat. Spawning escapement counts and biological surveys conducted under the UBNPM&E project also assist in determining the availability and quality of habitat.

Data analysis and evaluation
Data regarding water quality parameters, macroinvertebrate populations, and vegetative and stream channel changes will continuously be monitored in project areas. Data obtained will be compared to pre-project data to determine if water quality is improving, macroinvertebrate populations are increasing, riparian vegetation communties are recovering and if stream channels are more stable.

Information feed back to management decisions
Data will be evaluated annually. Implementation measures and O & M may be modified if objectives are not being met.

Critical uncertainties affecting project's outcomes
Extreme weather events (i.e. 50-100 year) flood events are unpredictable and cannot really be resolved. An overall watershed assessment should be undertaken to identify and address potential upland and headwater concerns which might impact the success of riparian enhancements.

Short term elements: 1) riparian vegetation recovery, and 2) increased macroinvertebrates populations and diversity Long term elements: 1) stream channel narrowing, 2) cooler water temperatures, 3) increased stream flows, 4) increased stream channel shading, 5) decreased sediment loads, and 6) increased spawning and rearing.

Incorporating new information regarding uncertainties
Project implementation will be modified to accommodate new concerns.

Increasing public awareness of F&W activities
Continued "demonstration projects" provide the public with the opportunity to view ongoing habitat recovery. This is accomplished through news releases, public tours, and implementation of projects near public highways where passing motorists can view improvements over time. Continued outreach efforts include 1) scoping meetings to obtain public input and to educate participants regarding the need for habitat protection, mitigation and enhancement, 2) slide presentations to special interests groups, students and landowners, 3) tours of habitat enhancement project areas, and 4) "hands-on" habitat improvement workshops.

Section 7. Relationships

Related BPA projectRelationship
8403300 Umatilla Hatchery O & M All listed projects, along with the Umatilla River Basin Anadonmous Fish Habitat Enhancement Project are components of the overall Umatilla Basin Restoration Program. The Habitat Enhancement project is specifically related to these other projects by enhancing watershed conditions and expanding available spawning and rearing areas in the basin.
8902700 Power Repay/O&M for the Umatilla Basin Project
8343600 Umatilla Passage Facilities O & M
9000500 Umatilla Hatchery M & E
8902401 Umatilla River WEID/Screens M & E
8710002 Umatilla River Subbasin Fish Habitat Improvement Project
8343500 Umatilla Hatchery Satellite Facilities O & M
9101400 Umatilla Hatchery Satellites - Design & Construction
8802200 Umatilla River Basin Trap & Haul Program
9000501 Umatilla Basin Natural Production M & E
Related non-BPA projectRelationship
Partners for Wildlife Program/USFWSPart of overall Umatilla Basin Restoration Program

Opportunities for cooperation
The restoration of fisheries resources in the Umatilla Basin has been a coordinated effort between Tribal, local, state and federal agencies and the agricultural community. CTUIR's cooperators include Umatilla County, ODFW, NRCS, USFWS and the Umatilla Basin Watershed Council. Project examples include the Umatilla Basin Project, the Umatilla River Subbasin Salmon and Steelhead Production Plan, the Umatilla Basin Anadromous Fish Habitat Enhancement Project and the Umatilla Hatchery and associated artificial production plans. This coordination has continued and expanded through public scoping meetings formed to identify issues and develop creative solutions to land use problems in the basin. CTUIR intends to continue these coordination efforts.

Section 8. Costs and FTE

1997 Planned  $274,092

Future funding needs   Past obligations (incl. 1997 if done)
FY$ Need% Plan % Implement% O and M
1998285,000 40%30% 30%
1999295,000 40%30% 30%
2000305,000 30%35% 35%
2001315,000 30%35% 35%
2002325,000 30%35% 35%
FYOther funding sourceAmountIn-kind value
1998BIA $15,000 
1999BIA $15,000 
2000BIA $15,000 
2001BIA $15,000 
2002BIA $15,000 

Other non-financial supporters
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Umatilla County Planning, Umatilla Basin Watershed Council, Oregon Division of State Lands and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (also have provided direct funding).

Longer term costs   $350,000 - $400,000 annually (please note: property acquisition could raise these annual costs significantly).

Continued implementation and for operation and maintenance.

FY97 overhead percent   34%

How does percentage apply to direct costs
Overhead rates apply to total project costs, with the exception of sub-contracts developed for project implementation.

Subcontractor FTE   Two to five (varies depending on annual implementation needs).