FY 2001 Intermountain proposal 21022

Additional documents

21022 Narrative Narrative
21022 Sponsor Response to the ISRP Response

Section 1. Administrative

Proposal titleEvaluate Fish Habitat on the Middle Spokane / Little Spokane Rivers
Proposal ID21022
OrganizationSpokane County Public Works Department: Utilities Division (Spokane Co., WA)
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
NameStan Miller
Mailing address1026 W. Broadway Spokane, WA 99260
Phone / email5094777259 / smiller@spokanecounty.org
Manager authorizing this projectStan Miller
Review cycleIntermountain
Province / SubbasinIntermountain / Spokane
Short descriptionIdentify target reaches on the Middle Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers. Use the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology to characterize the amount of available habitat for target reaches.
Target speciesRedband and rainbow trout, westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout, kokanee
Project location
47.69 -117.27 Middle Spokane River
47.7948 -117.5345 Little Spokane River
Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs)



Relevant RPAs based on NMFS/BPA review:

Reviewing agencyAction #BiOp AgencyDescription

Section 2. Past accomplishments

1999 Watershed Planning Unit established in WRIA's 55 and 57 under Watershed Planning Act RCW 90.82.
2000 Scope of Work completed and technical consultant selectd by Planning Unit to begin Watershed Assessment, second phase of three-phase planning effort

Section 3. Relationships to other projects

Project IDTitleDescription
USGS / USEPA Studies on Metals Contamination in the Upper Spokane River Basin The work performed here will help identify river reaches critical to fish survival on the Upper Spokane. This will allow focused remediation efforts to improve fisheries.
USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Water Quality Assessment Water quality work conducted by NAWQA will be useful in assessing the water quality factors related to fish habitat.
Little Spokane River Watershed Initial Assessment This WDOE work provides baseline information on fish distribution in LSR that will aid in identifying target reaches.
Population Dynamics and Factors Affecting Rainbow Trout in the Spokane River, Idaho Information from this baseline habitat study by Washington Water Power (Avista) will help identify target reaches and provide baseline data. on the Spokane River.
Upper Spokane River Rainbow Trout Spawning and Emergence Study for 1995 and 1996 This study by Avista Utilities identifies major spawning sites for one target species.
1997-1999 Upper Spokane River Rainbow Trout Spawning and Fry Emergence Study This work expands on the assessment of sites identified in 1995-1996 report. These studies will form the basis for identifying target reaches on the Middle Spokane River.

Section 4. Budget for Planning and Design phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2001 costSubcontractor
1. Conduct data review and consultation to identify stream reaches, target species and flow regimes. a. Review existing literature describing historic and existing salmonid distribution and important habitat areas 0.125 $3,000
1. b. . Identify target species. 0.125 $3,000 Yes
1. c. Identify stream reaches for instream measurements. 0.125 $3,000 Yes
1. d. determine flows at which habitat assessments will be made on each reach. 0.125 $3,000 Yes
2. Establish instream fish habitat extent and quality under representative flows a. Collect instream data to characterize stream reaches 1.0 $40,000 Yes
2. b. Develop PHABSIM models for target species under representative flows 0.5 $15,000 Yes
2. c. perform validation study on species preference curves 0.5 $15,000 Yes
2. d. Produce report summarizing data and model 0.25 $5,000 Yes
3. Provide project direction and cost control a. Project Management 2.5 $6,000
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Outyear budgets for Planning and Design phase
FY 2002FY 2003

Section 5. Budget for Construction and Implementation phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2001 costSubcontractor
1. Develop Instream Flow Recommendation for Upper Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers a. Watershed Planning Unit conducts workshops to review information on fish habitat relationship to river flow. 0.5 $0
1. b. Watershed Planning Unit develops instream flow recommendations to support beneficial uses including fish habitat. 0.5 $0
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Outyear budgets for Construction and Implementation phase
FY 2002

Section 6. Budget for Operations and Maintenance phase

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

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: 0.1 $9,000
Fringe 0 $0
Supplies 0 $0
Travel 0 $0
Indirect 0 $0
Capital 0 $0
NEPA 0 $0
Subcontractor $84,000 $84,000
Total estimated budget
Total FY 2001 cost$93,000
Amount anticipated from previously committed BPA funds$0
Total FY 2001 budget request$93,000
FY 2001 forecast from 2000$0
% change from forecast0.0%
Cost sharing
OrganizationItem or service providedAmountCash or in-kind
Spokane County Public Works Facilitator for Obj. 1, Task a - c meetings $4,000 cash
Spokane County Public Works Staff support for data collection, 0.2 FTE $9,000 cash
WDOE Watershed Lead coordination, 0.1 FTE $5,000 in-kind
Other budget explanation

Instream flow recommendations will be developed by the WRIA 55&57 Planning Unit under their current Watershed Planning Act grant, any instream flow rule development or changes will be conducted by WDOW in consultation with WDFW

Reviews and recommendations

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

Do not fund - no response required
Oct 6, 2000


Do not fund. No response is warranted.

The proposal is generally well organized with respect to hierarchy of subjects but does not link the project closely to the Fish and Wildlife Program or other projects in the basin, does not indicate benefits to fish and wildlife, and does not adequately describe methods and analyses. The methods section is a mere list of general procedures, often phrased as objectives. What lies behind this proposal appears to be a controversy over minimum instream flows set by the Washington Dept. of Ecology, following input from WDFW.

The proposed project is based on IFIM/PHABSIM technique, the validity of which is controversial among fish biologists (Castleberry et al. 1996; Van Winkel et al. 1997), and the sponsor does not seem aware of the drawbacks and cautions with regard to its use. We question whether the IFIM parameters proposed here are comprehensive enough for this area. The effort would need to incorporate ground truthing—measures of important physical habitat features and fish abundances at a wide variety of flows. Stalnaker (1990) maintained that the minimum flow concept is a myth and should be discarded. Stream ecologists now realize that, instead, full annual flow regimes should be considered; a wide, in part seasonal variation of flows tends to be the natural condition to which the biota is adapted and therefore often requires (Hill et al. 1991).

The project includes the tasks, 1. Consultation, 2. Collection of data for use in a model, and 3. Complete the validation study (p. 2). What is meant by "consultation," and what is to be accomplished by it? Exactly what data will be collected and by what means? What are statewide preference curves? Why would they be valid rather than site-specific data? What are the properties of the model that is mentioned? What is meant by "complete the validation study"? How would the report use factors such as physical feasibility, risk and economics to formulate recommendations? The abstract provides more information (incomplete as it is) on some of these subjects than does the body of the proposal.

Facilities and equipment (item g) required to complete the proposal were not given. The information on qualifications of the project personnel is completely inadequate. Input into the proposal from biologists seems to be lacking. No basic literature on stream ecology and fish habitat was referenced. Unless basic stream ecology and stream fish requirements are well understood, then the project is unlikely to pay off in terms of fish and wildlife benefits.


Castleberry, D. T., and 11 co-authors. 1996. Uncertainty and instream flow standards. Fisheries 21(8):20-21.

Hill, M. T., W. S. Platts, and R. L. Beschta. 1991. Ecological and geomorphological concepts for instream and out-of-channel requirements. Rivers: Studies in the Science, Environmental Policy, and Law of Instream Flow 2:198-210.

Stalnacker, C. B. 1990. Minimum flow is a myth. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serv. Biological Rept. 90(5):31-33.

Van Winkel, W., and 7 co-authors. Uncertainty and instream flow standards: perspectives based on hydropower research and assessment. Fisheries 22(7):21-22.

Do Not Fund
Nov 15, 2000


not a BPA responsibility (should be covered by Avista (FERC issue))

T1-question methods

Do Not Fund
Dec 1, 2000


Do not fund. The unsolicited response is largely a reaction to the misperception that the ISRP rejected this proposal because the ISRP rejects use of IFIM. That is not what ISRP stated. The proposal was criticized for not clearly showing relevance to the FWP or benefit to fish and wildlife. It was further criticized for failing to describe methods and analyses, which calls into question the quality of this proposed application of IFIM. The ISRP did not suggest an overall rejection of IFIM but rather suggested that IFIM is one of several tools useful in evaluating quantity, quality, and adequacy of fish habitat. As with any modeling exercise, the outcome is only as good as the data input, model analysis, and interpretation, and these were inadequately presented. The ISRP specifically stated that some provision for ground-truthing or local biological baselining is needed in a modeling study that purports to provide specific local management recommendations as an output. That was not included in the proposal, and the proponent who presented the proposal verbally stated that it would not be done. The proposal and the presentation both gave little biological information and little evidence that the project team had adequate biological background to conduct the proposed study.
Do Not Fund
Jan 31, 2001


Do Not Fund
Sep 11, 2001