FY 2001 Columbia Gorge proposal 198902900

Section 1. Administrative

Proposal titleHood River Production Program - Pelton Ladder - Hatchery
Proposal ID198902900
OrganizationOregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
NameJim Newton
Mailing address3701 West 13th Street The Dalles, OR 97058
Phone / email5412964628 / James.A.Newton@state.or.us
Manager authorizing this projectClair Kunkel
Review cycleColumbia Gorge
Province / SubbasinColumbia Gorge / Hood
Short descriptionRe-establish a self-sustaining spring chinook salmon population in the Hood River subbasin. Broodstock will be collected from Hood River. Broodstock will be held at the Parkdale Facility. Incubation and rearing will be completed at Round Butte Hatchery
Target speciesSpring Chinook Salmon
Project location
44.6942 -121.2301 Pelton Dam
Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs)



Relevant RPAs based on NMFS/BPA review:

Reviewing agencyAction #BiOp AgencyDescription

Section 2. Past accomplishments

1991 Began releases of Deschutes stock spring chinook in Hood River subbasin
1996 Pelton Ladder fish rearing cells were completed
1996 Powerdale Trapping Facility completed.
1997 Hood River Production Program EIS completed.
1998 Collected first Hood River spring chinook broodstock at Powerdale Trap.
2000 First spring chinook smolts released from Hood River broodstock.

Section 3. Relationships to other projects

Project IDTitleDescription
199301900 Hood River Production Program ODFW and CTWS monitor adult and jack returns to Powerdale Dam, collects broodstock, holds and spawns broodstock, conducts early incubation and acclimation.
198805304 Hood River Production Program ODFW monitors spring chinook smolt out-migration and in-river harvest of jacks and adults.
198805303 Hood River Production Program CTWS spring chinook smolt acclimation and monitoring of spawning and spawner distribution.
199802100 Hood River Habitat CTWS projects to improve spring chinook in-river migration and natural production.

Section 4. Budget for Planning and Design phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2001 costSubcontractor
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Outyear budgets for Planning and Design phase

Section 5. Budget for Construction and Implementation phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2001 costSubcontractor
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Outyear budgets for Construction and Implementation phase

Section 6. Budget for Operations and Maintenance phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2001 costSubcontractor
1. Achieve an interim adult return of 850 spring chinook to Hood River a. Incubate approximately 165,000 eyed spring chinook eggs On going $8,407
b. Rear and mark approximately 150,000 spring chinook fingerling On going $90,487
c. Transfer spring chinook fingerling to the Pelton Ladder rearing cells On going $4,204
d. Transport 125,000 spring chinook smolts to acclimation facilities in the Hood River subbasin. On going $6,436
2. Improve early fish rearing and worker safety at the outdoor early rearing tanks. a. Construct pole building enclosure over 24 early rearing tanks for improved rearing conditions and worker safety 01 $30,000 Yes
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Outyear budgets for Operations and Maintenance phase
FY 2002FY 2003FY 2004FY 2005

Section 7. Budget for Monitoring and Evaluation phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2001 costSubcontractor
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Outyear budgets for Monitoring and Evaluation phase

Section 8. Estimated budget summary

Itemized budget
ItemNoteFY 2001 cost
Personnel FTE: 1.0 $35,390
Fringe OPE @ 40% $14,475
Supplies chemicals, medication, coded wire tags, fin marking, utilities $21,626
Travel $0
Indirect @26.6% $19,016
Capital Construct pole building enclosure for 24 early rearing tanks for improved rearing and worker safety. $30,000
PIT tags $0
Other Fish feed $19,027
Total estimated budget
Total FY 2001 cost$139,534
Amount anticipated from previously committed BPA funds$0
Total FY 2001 budget request$139,534
FY 2001 forecast from 2000$118,480
% change from forecast17.8%
Reason for change in estimated budget

The increase in budget is directly associated with the proposed pole building needed to improve fish rearing conditions and worker safety at the outdoor early rearing tanks.

Reason for change in scope


Cost sharing
OrganizationItem or service providedAmountCash or in-kind
Portland General Electric Use of hatchery incubation and early rearing facilities @ $2,500/month $30,000 in-kind
Longview Fibre Use of two acclimation sites on the West Fork Hood River $2,500 in-kind
Other budget explanation

Beginning with the 2002 brood of spring chinook the production for the Hood River Production Program may be increased to 250,000 smolts. This potential increase in smolt production, following the 2002 Project Review, is directly responsible for the anticipated increased out-year budgets, beginning with FY 2003.

Reviews and recommendations

This information was not provided on the original proposals, but was generated during the review process.

Fundable only if response is adequate
Oct 6, 2000


Specific comments for this project:

Recommendation for the set of HRPP proposals: Fundable only if the response adequately addresses the ISRP's concerns. See subbasin comments, above.

The ISRP comments from the FY2000 review of the project proposal remain relevant. This project is integrally linked to a number of the other key ongoing projects within the Hood River subbasin. The fish production described in this proposal is critical to the Hood River Production Program, as it stands defined.

Objectives are well delineated, although the technical details of methodology are not always so detailed. If procedures are not changing, the details may not be all that necessary. The methods could better line up with the objectives.

General comments on Hood River Production Program:

The Hood River Subbasin Summary was well written and thorough. The Hood River group is on the right track with their watershed assessments and rehabilitation plans listed by priority of action. Concerns are with the hatchery program and the issue of passage at the dam.

Summer and winter steelhead stocks have been in decline during the 1990s, and are now down to less than 200 and 300 fish, respectively, and far below the escapement goal of 2,400 fish. A crude recruitment analysis, assuming these fish were, on average, 4 years-old at return, suggested both stocks are below replacement. The abundance of each seemed correlated, suggesting factors in the decline are affecting both stocks, now down to less than 1or 2 fish/km. It is not possible to separate the freshwater from the marine factors in the decline since no data on wild smolt yield is given. However, the decline is likely related to marine conditions, as found elsewhere. Data on smolt yield exists (five rotary screw traps in the watershed) so an analysis of overall smolt yield and return may be possible. Survivals on hatchery steelhead seemed peculiar in that winter-run hatchery releases faired worse, at less than 1% from 60,000 releases, than summer-runs, which apparently had survivals near 3%. Something is odd about this difference - either the release numbers have varied, summer and winter runs are misidentified, or summer runs are doing something different (migration pathways?). A more thorough treatment of the stock assessment information available is required.

The use of wild brood stock for hatchery purposes, while commendable and correct at the best of times (i.e., when survivals warrant it), is likely depleting the limited wild stock without increased return, given these poor survival rates. Furthermore, supplementation is focusing on the wrong life stage if the current limitation is in the smolt-to-adult stage. It is difficult to separate the "supplementation" from the fish released for harvest. All fish for harvest should be released below the dam. A review and justification of the supplementation program is required.

The comparisons and conclusions on acclimation (Figs. 11 and 12 in the summary) suffer from having no within-year control, and were not in agreement with the presentation on this issue which indicated there was no benefit to acclimation. Fish released from these facilities will compete with wild parr and smolts, particularly if a large portion residualize. Half of the males (perhaps as many as 15,000 of 60,000 releases in this watershed) may fail to migrate, and compete for food and space with wild fish. They plan to study residualism, but some information should already be available, and presented.

A review of the harvest-fish release and returns and consequences to the wild population is needed. What are the consequences within the Bonneville Pool and elsewhere when hatchery smolts out-number wild by several fold? Even catch-and-release fishing has an impact, particularly where effort is high, and this wild population can withstand no harvest impact. This form of supplementation may be doing more harm than good to the wild population; likewise for the harvest program.

They should proceed with their watershed rehabilitation plans and hope that these attempts will improve productivity and capability in freshwater to offset the dramatic declines in smolt-to-adult survival. Meanwhile, there is a need to do more work on the latter, including mortality in the downstream migration within the Hood, within the Bonneville Pool, down the Columbia, at the river mouth, and during the coastal migration. Comments above on hatchery harvest and supplementation will apply to several watersheds, thus an overall review may be required.

Recommendation for the set of HRPP proposals: Fundable only if the response adequately addresses the ISRP's concerns.

Issues to address:

  1. The proposals contained little specific data presentation.
  2. Quantify the juvenile loss through the Powerdale hydro facility.
  3. Consider using PIT tags or acoustic tags in the smolt evaluations.
  4. Release all smolts below the dam where the goal is to increase the available harvest but consider/address the indirect impacts to wild fish from C&R.
  5. The turn-back of hatchery steelhead at the ladder has increased straying, and may have lad to increased angling effort within the lower river (thus further C&R of wild). Alternatives to turnback should be provided (cull?).
  6. What are the consequences of increased hatchery smolt presence within the Bonneville Reservoir, the lower Columbia River, and at the mouth, and given the aggregate hatchery releases in the Province and elsewhere?
  7. Justify hatchery production levels. In the absence of quantitative stock assessments, the proposals fail to justify technically the need for the projects presented. For example, what is the basis for the numbers of hatchery fish to be released?
  8. Develop a monitoring and evaluation plan for the separate tasks of harvest development, supplementation, and habitat rehabilitation.

As with our FY2000 comments, these six projects are inextricably linked together to form the Hood River Production Program. It was difficult to evaluate each project singly, particularly with respect to the methods and M&E criteria. The proposals contained little specific data presentation, in spite of monitoring at some level for up to 6 or seven years. Presentations were similarly lacking in data presentation and reinforced these observations.

The Hood River Production Program has many things going for it, including its dedicated staff, high quality facilities (Powerdale collection site and Parkdale), links between the habitat restoration efforts and the production program, etc. Nevertheless, the M&E portion of the program fails to adequately address monitoring and evaluation questions that are critical to the program's success. These include quantifying the juvenile loss through the Powerdale hydro facility, lack of consideration of using PIT tag technology to gather additional juvenile migration and adult return data, and deeper integration of the wild and hatchery production components for winter steelhead goals.

Acclimation as a supplementation strategy, as a means to enhance the survivability of artificially produced smolts released into the watershed, seems not to have been demonstrated, at least by the data presented in the proposals. Reviewers perceive that a better strategy for enhancing winter steelhead fisheries would be to release all smolts below the dam.

Recycling as a fishery-enhancement tactic, returning marked steelhead to the mouth of the tributary to make them available to harvest again, seems to have been responsible for enhanced straying into other watersheds; if so the practice is detrimental to the maintenance of biodiversity in the subbasin and should be curtailed.

Finally, density limits in the Bonneville Pool and lower Columbia River need to be addressed in this Subbasin Summary and others as a potential factor limiting salmon productivity. Without appropriate assessment of stocks including survival in the pool and lower river, and without consideration of density as a potential limiting factor, managers may inappropriately increase smolt releases to the detriment of future cohorts of native salmon. Reviewers note with concern that proposers in the Hood River program contemplate doubling of hatchery production as a method of supplementation; the detrimental effect of this increased density of salmon smolts on the survival of native salmon has apparently not been considered.

Urgent/High Priority
Nov 15, 2000


M+E is provided under a separate project.

FY 01, 02 Budget Review Comments: This project will be necessary until expansion of the Parkdale facility is complete (FY 2003).

FY 03 Budget Review Comments: Do Not Fund - This recommendation is based on the assumption that the Parkdale facility expansion will be complete for this FY. If the Parkdale expansion is delayed or unfunded, this project will be Urgent priority for FY 2003.

Nov 15, 2000


This recommendation is based on the assumption that the Parkdale facility expansion will be complete for this FY. If the Parkdale expansion is delayed or unfunded, this project will be Urgent priority for FY 2003.
Nov 15, 2000


This project will be necessary until expansion of the Parkdale facility is complete (FY 2003).
Dec 1, 2000


The ODFW and CTWSRO response to the ISRP review comments on the HRPP projects addressed most of the ISRP concerns adequately. However, many of the ISRP's concerns should be kept in mind during the proposed 2002 comprehensive program review. There may be a role for the ISRP in the 2002 comprehensive program review, and the ISRP should be kept informed of progress towards formalizing that review. By 2002, several important datasets should have sufficient detail to provide input on some of the ISRP's concerns such as juvenile loss through Powerdale Dam.

Specifically, the responses adequately addressed the ISRP's concerns on juvenile loss through the Powerdale Facility, the potential use of PIT tags (perhaps to be revisited during the 2002 conference), smolt releases below Powerdale Dam, straying of recycled adult steelhead, and the impact of smolt numbers in the Bonneville Pool (a valid concern, but likely outside the purview of the Hood River Production Program). With respect to the justification of HRPP production levels, the final paragraph of the response gets to the main point of the ISRP's concern, somewhat unsatisfactorily (although what is said is no doubt true). Detail and references were lacking for this section.

A major concern of the ISRP is the need for an overall monitoring and evaluation plan. The PI's acknowledge that more coordination and summarization would be beneficial. We hope they are able to move forward on this issue.

Finally, the ISRP noted that both proposal and verbal presentation contained little specific data presentation. The response indicates that the PI's felt that an undue emphasis was placed on brevity for both proposals and presentations (this year and previous years) that precluded presentation of past results. While there is probably some truth in this viewpoint, the ISRP has been clear and consistent in articulating its expectations to the region that proposals for continuing projects must contain results-oriented summaries of past work in order to justify continued support for the project. Within the proposal, it is appropriate to cite past annual reports and publications that resulted from the work, but merely citing the reports without summarizing the results and learning that occurred is not an adequate response. The ISRP has been very clear on this expectation.

Mar 16, 2001


The Council must address the Warm Spring Tribes' proposal to centralize spring chinook production facilities at Parkdale (Project 1988-053-070). Doing so requires additional facilities at Parkdale and shifting current operations from the Pelton/Round Butte facilities on the Deschutes River. The budget assumptions presented in provincial review provide for capital funding of $2.5 million in Fiscal Year 2002. This funding is the estimated costs for additional hatchery facilities at the production site. Once the spring chinook program is moved to Parkdale, operation and maintenance costs at the current Pelton/Round Butte facilities (Project 1989-029-00) would decline. The shift in production requires a sequence of additional evaluation and decisions in the Council's "Three-Step" process for artificial production facilities. "Three-Step" review will address the concerns noted by the Independent Scientific Review Panel in its evaluation of the Hood River Production Project's supplementation goals.

Staff recommendation: Define decision points for three-step review and associated budget for a reasonably optimistic decision schedule. Emphasize use of the 2002 program review to evaluate the scope of major production facility changes as called for in the Environmental Impact Statement for the Hood River program. This schedule would place the likely capital construction need in Fiscal Year 2003 and extend the proposed planning and design budget over two years. The staff recommends that Bonneville fund land acquisition for potential expansion subject to determination of the adequacy of water supply. The staff believes this preliminary acquisition is reasonable because the land could be sold if construction at the site is ultimately foreclosed.

Adjustment to consensus priority budget: Project 1988-053-07: Modification of the Fiscal Year 2001 planning and design budget to extend through 2002. Reschedule capital costs, except for land acquisition to 2003. Reserving the capital budget will depend on continued approvals in the "Three-Step" process and a determination of the Program's scheduled capital investment capacity.

Sep 11, 2001