FY 2001 Intermountain proposal 199502800

Section 1. Administrative

Proposal titleRestore Moses Lake Recreational Fishery
Proposal ID199502800
OrganizationWashington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW)
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
NameJeff Korth
Mailing address1550 Alder St NW Ephrata, WA 98823
Phone / email5097658255 / korthjwk@dfw.wa.gov
Manager authorizing this projectJoe Foster
Review cycleIntermountain
Province / SubbasinIntermountain / Lake Roosevelt
Short descriptionRestore/enhance the failed recreational fishery for resident species in Moses Lake, once the premier fishery for resident game fish in the Columbia Basin, in lieu of lost recreational anadromous fisheries.
Target speciesblack crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, rainbow trout, whitefish, carp
Project location
47.0782 -119.3298 Moses Lake
Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs)



Relevant RPAs based on NMFS/BPA review:

Reviewing agencyAction #BiOp AgencyDescription

Section 2. Past accomplishments

1999 Project underway in January 1999. Hiring of staff and purchase of capital equipment.
Compiled baseline biological data collected from Moses Lake previously by WDFW from 1992- 1998 into a database.
Moses Lake was sampled using the WDFW standardized warmwater sampling protocol in Fall of 1999. Over 10,000 fish were sampled to obtain length, weight and scale samples, providing a statistically significant sample.
Compiled all fall 1999 data into database for analysis.
Collection of historical and current water quality data for Moses Lake.
Submitted annual report for 1999, and statement of work and budget for 2000.
2000 Continued collection of historical and current water quality data for Moses Lake. Included trend analysis for dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrogen, phosphorous and chlorophyll a.
Researched lierature specific to Moses Lake and similar to the project and compiled a bibliography
Moses Lake was sampled using the WDFW standardized warmwater sampling protocol in Spring 2000.
Compiled all spring 2000 data into database for analysis.
Analysis of baseline biological data collected from Moses Lake previously by WDFW from 1992- 1998
Analysis of fall 1999 and spring 2000 data using including proportional and relative stock densities, relative weights, species composition, age and growth (using scales and back calculation), and length frequency distributions.
Statistical analysis of baseline data and fall 1999 and spring 2000 data using ANOVA to determine significant differences in weights, length and age for each year sampled.
Development of hypotheses and study design to test hypotheses (Phase II of the Project) based on analysis of 1992-2000 data.
Submitted annual report for 2000, and statement of work and budget for 2001.

Section 3. Relationships to other projects

Project IDTitleDescription
199700400 Joint Stock Assessment Information exchange, coordination, provide data for the blocked area.
199404300 Monitor, Evaluate, Research, and Model the Lake Roosevelt Fishery Data and analysis exchange regarding ecological interactions of native and exotic species in similar and contiguous reservoir environments.
0 Evaluate Banks lake Fishery Interactions Data and analysis exchange regarding ecological interactions of native and exotic species in similar and contiguous reservoir environments.

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
The first year of the study plan (Sept 2000 - Sept 2001) has already been funded. FY2001-2003 funding will finish the study and begin implementation and evaluation of the management actions recommended at the end of the study. $0
1. Determine what factors limit the recruitment of panfish to the Moses Lake recreational fishery (Implement Study Plan). a. Conduct primary productivity survey; zooplankton density and species composition study. 2000-2002 $35,000
b. Conduct diet studies for all fish species with emphasis on predators. 2000-2002 $45,000
c. Obtain quantitative estimates of warmwater gamefish populations. 2000-2002 $45,000
d. Monitor water quality for pH, DO, temp., conductivity, TDS 2000-2002 $6,000
e. Collect habitat utilization data with an emphasis on production and rearing areas. 2000-2002 $15,000
f. Truth age and growth of predators using scales vs. otoliths. 2000-2002 $35,000
g. Development of GIS coverage regarding habitat utilization and fish distribution. 2000-2002 $3,500
h. Conduct 12 month intensive creel survey. 2000-2001 $5,000
2. Develop, implement, and monitor management plan. Bioenergetics $0
Harvest modeling $0
Develop recruitment estimates for all species of gamefish in Moses Lake. 2002-2004 $15,000
3. Attend Training and Meetings Pertinent to the Implementation of The Project. a. Track process and submit required documents to maintain project. 2000-2004 $2,500
b. Attend meetings and training pertinent to the project. 2000-2004 $2,500
4. Reporting to Bonneville Power Administration. a. Quarterly and annual reports to Bonneville Power Administration. 2000 -2004 $3,572
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Outyear budgets for Construction and Implementation phase
FY 2002FY 2003FY 2004

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
FY 2003FY 2004

Section 8. Estimated budget summary

Itemized budget
ItemNoteFY 2001 cost
Personnel FTE: 3 $112,740
Fringe based on 28% fringe rate $29,894
Supplies $24,578
Travel $9,000
Indirect based on 20.8% indirect rate $36,860
Capital $0
PIT tags $0
Subcontractor $0
Other $0
Total estimated budget
Total FY 2001 cost$213,072
Amount anticipated from previously committed BPA funds$0
Total FY 2001 budget request$213,072
FY 2001 forecast from 2000$213,101
% change from forecast0.0%
Reason for change in estimated budget


Reason for change in scope


Cost sharing
OrganizationItem or service providedAmountCash or in-kind
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Assistance from non-project salaried employees $25,000 in-kind
WDFW Equipment $20,000 in-kind

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


Fundable only if the response adequately addresses the ISRP's concerns. In the response, sponsors should incorporate material presented at the meeting and revisions should be better focused on the causes of fish species shifts and their potential management, e.g. those actions that have more potential for pay off. The proposal was inadequate, but the presentation cleared up some of the ISRP concerns. There is need for thinning the tasks.

This is a project for conducting research, evaluation, and mitigation to restore a once-productive warm-water panfish fishery in Moses Lake. It is included in the Intermountain subbasin because it receives water from the Columbia River via diversion from Lake Roosevelt through Banks Lake. Management of Moses Lake is considered substitution/mitigation for loss of anadromous salmonids above Chief Joseph Dam. Although listed as a 1995 project, it has been funded for one year.

The project seems to be off to a good start by compiling past records and monitoring the system. Presentation of this information was informative and interesting. Species composition in terms of numbers does not fully support the suggested trends, although biomass does it better.

However, this is a poorly developed proposal that has problems, although the oral presentation was much better and alleviated many concerns. The proposal seems not founded on a basic understanding of lake processes, thus not directed toward investigating why the ecosystem fails to support the desired fishery—or a suitable substitute for it. It is not clear why the fishery declined. It is imperative to know what the problem is before solutions can be found. The project proposal is concentrated on superficial fishery matters and doesn't get at the underlying habitat system. Some of the deficiencies were identified in last year's review.

The project would benefit from consultation with a senior scientist specializing in limnology. The history of change in the lake's drainage basin (vegetation, soils, land use, other human activities, hydrology, etc.) should be examined, as well as basic change in basic lake characteristics (limnology). Several basic questions need study. What are the lake's depth and wetted basin shape? Thermal stratification? Seasonal dissolved oxygen profiles? Macrophyte types and extent? Ice cover? Do Dissolved Oxygen levels ever become critical? What are the concentrations of toxic chemicals in the lake water? What is the status of reproductive habitat for the various species of fish? What is their reproductive success in different habitats? Where do the trout come from? Were they stocked? Were other fish stocked? The proposal, despite its various tables of data, does not touch adequately on any of these questions.

Various graphs in the proposal are labeled as growth of fish, whereas they are really just length-at-age plots, from which growth rates are difficult even to infer. They were not drawn in such a way as to show growth. Sample sizes and variances are not indicated.

Specific comments relate to certain objectives. The objective for a fish diet study seems too large in scope (includes too many non-critical species). Also, gillnetting is not an effective tool for a feeding study because of regurgitation. The objective to conduct a population estimate (p 21) does not adequately demonstrate how this will be accomplished. The objective of obtaining more age data is not critical to rational management - a good idea of age and growth is already available. The same may be said regarding GIS maps, except as incidental to other tasks. On the whole, this study plan needs modification, largely to trim tasks to a critical few, and re-review.

The population trends look very much like those seen when common carp take over a lake in the eastern United States. This observation is strengthened by the proposal's comment that commercial carp harvest had been curtailed for lack of a market. Fishery management in such cases has been to stimulate carp harvest, either commercial or through angler incentives (e.g., carp derbys which can be fun for all ages, youth carp fishing days, spearing carp along shore during spawning). Once carp numbers are reduced, other species such as the panfishes may bounce back on their own. An outside advisor familiar with managing such carp lakes could be a benefit to the project.

On further revision of the study plan, the project should have a good benefit for fish, and it meets the consistency criteria.

Urgent/High Priority
Nov 15, 2000


T4-M&E will begin in 2002 T5-The proposed work is research/assessment oriented thus target species/indicator populations would not benefit from the work. However, results from the studies could lead to the development of M&E plans from which the species/populations could benefit T6-The proposed work is research/assessment oriented. Until results are obtained through the assessment and an M&E plan is developed and implemented, it is unknown whether the long-term benefits will be realized. M2-The proposed work is not associated with an urgent issue involving a listed (i.e., sensitive threatened, endangered) species. However, for many of the projects urgency does exist in the form of mitigation opportunities.
Do Not Fund
Dec 1, 2000


Do not fund, the response and the original proposal do not demonstrate a scientifically sound project. The project is not adequate to address the tremendously complex situation in Moses Lake. The proposal does not adequately address alternative reasons why the fishery has declined to the current low level. The project sponsors should consult with the Banks Lake project sponsors for approaches to a lake-wide study.

Problems with the scope and conceptual basis for this project remain. That said, the response did show good effort and good progress. It was disconcerting that the researchers requested additional advice as to which tasks should have been deleted, modified, or added. We are concerned that the proposal did not contain evidence of logic and understanding of the situation. There is risk that the project as proposed will gather several years of data that may not help in managing the panfish of Moses Lake.

The proposal and the responses to ISRP comments focus on investigational techniques and clear up details concerning them and various facts about Moses Lake. However, relationships among limnologic, fish community, and fishery processes (at least embodied in the literature concerning appropriate past studies) have not been brought to bear on the problem. Measurement techniques regarding fish populations, fish diet, and limnology that are important for analyzing the perceived problem of decline in Moses Lake's recreational fishery have been described. However, investigational methods are not the only important part of the proposal. The project should build upon the history of the results of previous individual and comprehensive studies of lake and reservoir fishery problems.

Overall guidance from an independent senior investigator may be warranted. Specifically, in response (unnumbered p 5) to our comment that the project would benefit from consultation with a senior scientist specializing in limnology, the sponsor states that a Washington Dept of Ecology limnologist, has been sub-contracted to perform certain measurements. This response speaks only to technical matters (sampling). Project guidance on overall limnological processes and on relationships to conditions for reproduction, growth, and survival of the fishes (and other, associated organisms) would be even more important.

The original proposal and many of the responses were poorly presented. For example, although tables of statistics provided in the responses help clarify some of the ISRP comments, certain inadequacies in them, such as units of measurement not being shown and the vague dates of measurement, make the information difficult to understand. In response Attachment A, Hypothesis 3 is "Recruitment of panfish is limited by primary productivity." Immediately following this, the supposedly applicable Task 1.3 reads as follows: "Conduct zooplankton density and species composition study," and the methods described under that deal with zooplankton. Primary productivity refers to tissue produced in the form of phytoplankton and other plants, not zooplankton

During the Spokane discussion, panel members pointed to the proposal's lack of reference to past studies concerning effects of carp on lakes and results from reducing carp populations. The response did not followed up on this comment.

The sampling scheme for the creel survey identifies 16 weekdays and 4 weekend days per month for sampling, resulting in a higher sampling rate on week days than weekend days. This may be less efficient than a stratified sampling scheme that would sample in proportion to the expected total catch (which is the parameter of interest). If the sponsors have some estimates of expected fishing rates that support the recommended sampling scheme, those data should be presented.

It would be helpful for the sponsor to discuss the Lake Moses situation in terms of the life history requirements of each fish species involved. It also would be useful to examine the present study of Banks Lake, which the reviewers found better formulated.

The Panel concluded that work on this project should halt until the conceptual approach is improved. Moses Lake and its fishery obviously represent a huge complex of problems. Any attempt to analyze them will require better direction and insight than is evidenced in the proposal and responses.

Jan 31, 2001


ISRP opposes funding Moses Lake restoration project (project 1995-028-00). While CBFWA ranked it as "urgent/high priority" the ISRP (p. 64) said the response and the original proposal do not demonstrate a scientifically sound project. The Council should determine whether the project should be closed down with remaining FY 2001 funds.

Staff recommendation:

Do not fund. The ongoing project should complete a final report on information gathered to date and conclude the existing contract. The project investigators provided lengthy comment in response to the final ISRP report, stressing the complexity of the research challenge and arguing that the Moses Lake study shares similar approaches to another study in Banks Lake that won approval. The Council staff conclude that the project leader's responses are continuation of technical disagreement with the ISRP. There was not a policy argument grounded in management goals and objectives to outweigh the negative review of the ISRP.

Sep 11, 2001


NW Power and Conservation Council's FY 2006 Project Funding Review
Funding category:
May 2005
FY05 NPCC start of year:FY06 NPCC staff preliminary:FY06 NPCC July draft start of year:
$222,702 $222,702 $222,702

Sponsor comments: See comment at Council's website