FY 2002 Mountain Columbia proposal 200200800

Section 1. Administrative

Proposal titleReconnection of floodplain slough habitat to the Kootenai River
Proposal ID200200800
OrganizationKootenai Tribe of Idaho (KTOI)
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
NameScott Soults
Mailing addressP.O. Box 1269 Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
Phone / email2082673620 / soults@kootenai.org or jascott@jub.com
Manager authorizing this projectScott Soults
Review cycleMountain Columbia
Province / SubbasinMountain Columbia / Kootenai
Short descriptionAssess the feasibility and options for reconnecting slough habitat that has been isolated from the Kootenai River by dikes.
Target speciesKootenai River white sturgeon, burbot, rainbow trout, kokanee, many waterfowl species, many invertebrate species.
Project location
48.8065 -116.3847 Ball Creek Ranch Slough
48.6875 -116.2565 Webber Slough
48.9282 -116.4373 Jerome Slu
48.9792 -116.5295 Smith Creek Channel
Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs)



Relevant RPAs based on NMFS/BPA review:

Reviewing agencyAction #BiOp AgencyDescription

Section 2. Past accomplishments

New project proposal

Section 3. Relationships to other projects

Project IDTitleDescription
8806400 Kootenai River White Sturgeon Conservation Aquaculture. Working jointly to recover white sturgeon.
8806500 Kootenai River Fisheries Investigations Working jointly to recover white sturgeon
9404900 Improve the Kootenai River Ecosystem Working jointly to recover white sturgeon

Section 4. Budget for Planning and Design phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2002 costSubcontractor
1. Identify the location of the initial reconnection site. $0
1 a. Evaluate potential slough sites and estimate the ecological benefit reconnection will provide for each potential site. 1 $4,000 Yes
1 b. Determine the structural and physical feasibility of reconnecting the potential slough sites. River hydraulic data, Surface water profiles, field boring of dike, geotechnical evaluation of the dike, structural concept and design. 1 $40,000 Yes
1 c. Using the Kootenai River Network as a working group, create a priority list of potential sloughs for reconnection. 1 $5,080 Yes
1 d. Complete appropriate landowner agreements to facilitate construction and long-term protection and maintenance of enhanced habitat. 1 $5,080 Yes
2. Establish baseline conditions in the area to be re-connected. $0
2 a. Set up index sites and monitor primary production, nutrient concentrations, secondary production, and fish community. 1 $29,600 Yes
2 b. Conduct a formal land survey of the physical features of the selected site. 1 $12,000 Yes
3. Complete a plan to design and implement re-connection at the selected site. $0
3 a. Report baseline conditions based on data collected in Objective 2. 1 $8,000 Yes
3 b. Outline project specific objectives, timelines, and define success. 1 $7,280 Yes
3 c. Prepare study design and cost that will thoroughly monitor and precisely evaluate success indicators as described. 1 $7,280 Yes
3 d. Prepare a cost estimate for engineered design and construction of reconnection. 1 $3,000 Yes
3 e. Prepare documents to complete all appropriate permits. 1 $11,000 Yes
4. Fringe and indirect costs a. Fringe costs 1 $2,746
b. Indirect costs 1 $4,908
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 2002 costSubcontractor
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
1. Design/construct a connection between the Kootenai River and an adjacent slough. Cost estimates for design and construction are highly variable. 2003 2003 $500,000
Outyear budgets for Construction and Implementation phase
FY 2003

Section 6. Budget for Operations and Maintenance phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2002 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 2002 costSubcontractor
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
1. Monitor project and report results 2003 2006 $180,000
Outyear budgets for Monitoring and Evaluation phase
FY 2003FY 2004FY 2005FY 2006

Section 8. Estimated budget summary

Itemized budget
ItemNoteFY 2002 cost
Personnel FTE: 0.25 @ $16/hr $8,320
Fringe 33% of salaries $2,746
Indirect 59% salaries $4,908
Subcontractor For tasks identified in Section 4, including lab work and sample analysis. $124,000
Total estimated budget
Total FY 2002 cost$139,974
Amount anticipated from previously committed BPA funds$0
Total FY 2002 budget request$139,974
FY 2002 forecast from 2001$0
% change from forecast0.0%
Cost sharing
OrganizationItem or service providedAmountCash or in-kind
Other budget explanation

Construction and implementation is scheduled to occur in 2003, however costs are unknown. Without knowing the specific site and specific structure design, it is difficult to predict design/construction costs. J-U-B Engineers, Inc. will be contracted to implement this project. J-U-B has significant experience working in the Kootenai Basin and projects similar to this throughout the Northwestern states. Budget estimates were calculated based on time estimates that would be allocated to each task by different personnel. Hourly rates range from $38/hr to $120/hr depending of the personnel assigned to each task. A detailed description of J-U-B's billing and cost break down is available upon request. Processing water quality samples, invertebrate samples, zooplankton samples, and primary production samples in local labs was estimated to cost $10,400 and comprises that amount of the budget estimate outlined in task 2a of Section 4.

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
Feb 9, 2001


Fundable in part for first stage of proposal if response is received that addresses the ISRP's concerns. This is a proposal to restore some of the natural function of the Kootenai River upstream of Kootenay Lake via reconnection of off-stream sloughs. Diking and channelization of this portion of the river have removed much of the historical habitat, and operation of Libby Dam upstream has further modified function of the stream system through regulation of the natural hydrograph. The proposal would conduct a feasibility study in the first year. The proposal (in common with many others) desperately needs a site map. The technical/scientific background gives a good scientific basis for the proposed effort as it relates to sturgeon. The section could have given more background information on the broad flood-pulse concept that generically relates the importance of river ecology to the floodplain, especially during high-water episodes. Other Kootenai River white sturgeon proposals do a better job describing this fundamental concept, which is the real reason for doing the project. On the other hand, the rationale and significance to regional programs are well described, although the Council's FWP is inexplicably not referenced. The project history section, while not required for new projects like this, discusses the relevant historical underpinnings of this proposal. The objectives section lists objectives from the Subbasin Summary but does not specifically relate them to the project's objectives (thus leaving it to the reviewer to make the connections). This is a deficiency that should be corrected. Otherwise, the objectives and tasks are clearly spelled out (and match in parts 1 & 2).

One shortcoming of the proposal is that similar work outside the region (notably within the Mississippi River basin) is not mentioned, and may well be unknown to the proposers. There is no need to "reinvent" relevant experience elsewhere, which is documented in the literature. An even more glaring shortcoming is that the proposal makes no attempt whatever to address the problem of possible remobilization of chemical pollutants. This is mentioned as a potential problem, but never addressed. Why not? What are the water quality implications of chemical contamination of the sloughs that would be reconnected to the main channel? This problem must be addressed in the feasibility study, or some indication must be provided of how it will be addressed elsewhere. Furthermore, this is clearly a two-phase project. The ISRP can only support funding of the feasibility phase (year 1), provided that the above-mentioned deficiencies in the proposal are addressed. Subsequent funding should be made provisional on review following completion of the feasibility study, i.e., approve only first year funding at this point.

Recommended Action
Mar 16, 2001


Apr 6, 2001


The feasibility phase of the project should be funded as a high priority. Subsequent funding should be conditional on an interim ISRP review after the feasibility phase (similar to the 3-Step reviews of artificial production projects) is complete. In general, the response is adequate. It provides missing information on location and the flood-pulse concept, although the description of the flood pulse concept and its relevance are barely adequate. The connection between objectives in the Subbasin Summary and the proposal is better, if still not well written. The response is marginally successful in placing the proposal in the context of the Fish and Wildlife Program. Steps have been taken since the ISRP review to communicate with others doing floodplain restoration, and it is understandable that full understanding of their work is not yet achieved such as what aspect of knowledge from these projects would be transferred. The prospect of chemical contamination is discussed in the response, as is the phasing of the work and the reviews.

This project could have immense benefit for the ecosystem of the lower Kootenai River. The sturgeon-spawning problem, for example, is that eggs and larvae do not have access to such sloughs any more. Our recommendation for an interim review is not an indication of our lack of faith in this idea, but recognition that the work needs review before three years are up, hopefully so the work (and the general concept proposed in several other proposals) can proceed.

CBFWA Comments: This project will investigate the feasibility of an alternative for sturgeon recovery. The province review group felt that the implementation of Project 24021 is necessary prior to funding Project 24010. In addition, the review group struggled with understanding the objectives of the proposed work since the identified objectives were really tasks. As it is currently written, the project should be categorized as a "Recommended Action". The USFWS White Sturgeon Recovery Team has identified this as a high priority action. It is essential for this project to be implemented if Project 24021 identifies reconnection of the flood plain as a high priority.

May 30, 2001


- Agree with ISRP to fund the feasibility phase of this project and agree with the CBFWA recommendation to fund this in conjunction with 24021 to meet BiOp requirements.
Oct 19, 2001


The ISRP disagreed with CBFWA's "recommended action" prioritization for project 24010, and suggests that this white sturgeon project be elevated to "high priority." The Bonneville comments state that it too would recommend a high priority designation for the project because it believes that it has direct applicability to the sturgeon ESA requirements.

Council recommendation: Recommend funding the project, subject to the conditions stated by the ISRP (to be made contract terms) if the USFWS confirms in writing to that the project is a Bonneville ESA responsibility.

Fund partially
Mar 25, 2002


Bonneville intends to fund the feasibility phase of this project because it will fill an important information gap identified in the subbasin summary. Future funding will be based upon the M&E results of the feasibility phase and the results of subbasin planning.
Sep 20, 2003


2002 no signed contract until summer. For 2003 research rolled over. One year delayed. 05 amount contingent on 2004 results. ISRP rec to combine with 200203900 (project level - these are tracking together via design). Realignment
Sep 20, 2003


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:
$259,973 $259,973 $259,973

Sponsor comments: See comment at Council's website