FY 2000 proposal 199101904

Additional documents

199101904 Narrative Narrative
199101904 Sponsor Response to the ISRP Response

Section 1. Administrative

Proposal titleHungry Horse Mitigation - Nonnative Fish Removal / Hatchery Production
Proposal ID199101904
OrganizationU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
NameWade Fredenberg
Mailing address780 Creston Hatchery Road Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone / email4067586872 / wade_fredenberg@fws.gov
Manager authorizing this project
Review cycleFY 2000
Province / SubbasinMountain Columbia / Flathead
Short descriptionConduct nonnative fish removal in Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park to facilitate restoration of native bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout in the Flathead drainage; produce hatchery fish for offsite stocking to mitigate Flathead Lake losses.
Target speciesWestslope Cutthroat Trout, Bull Trout
Project location
Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs)



Relevant RPAs based on NMFS/BPA review:

Reviewing agencyAction #BiOp AgencyDescription

Section 2. Past accomplishments

1993 Initiate hatchery component of 5-year kokanee stocking and monitoring program.
1993 Initiate bull trout experimental hatchery development and research.
1995 Develop kokanee broodstock.
1997 Initiate offsite westslope cutthroat and rainbow trout stocking.
1997 Initiate bull trout experimental culture development.
1997 Develop Sekokini Springs Natural Rearing Facility fish culture program.
1998 Evaluate success of kokanee program.

Section 3. Relationships to other projects

Project IDTitleDescription
9502500 Flathead River Instream Flow Project Umbrella Subproposal
9608701 Focus Watershed Coordination - Flathead River Watershed Watershed Plan
9410002 Excessive Drawdown Mitigation - Hungry Horse Component
20554 Hungry Horse Fisheries Mitigation
9101901 Hungry Horse Mitigation - Flathead Lake Monitoring and Habitat Enhancement
9101903 Hungry Horse Mitigation - Watershed Restoration and Monitoring

Section 4. Budget for Planning and Design phase

Task-based budget
ObjectiveTaskDuration in FYsEstimated 2000 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 2000 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 2000 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 2000 costSubcontractor
Outyear objectives-based budget
ObjectiveStarting FYEnding FYEstimated cost
Outyear budgets for Monitoring and Evaluation phase

Section 8. Estimated budget summary

Itemized budget
ItemNoteFY 2000 cost
Personnel Approx 4.2 FTE $159,300
Fringe $68,300
Supplies Fish production equipt., PIT tag reader, ropes, anchors, waders, PFD's, anaesthetic, misc. equipt. $10,000
Operating Boat hydraulic retrofit; working barge; vehicle, net, trap maintenance; fish food; chemicals $72,100
NEPA Will be conducted by NPS for objective 4. $0
PIT tags 1,000 $2,900
Travel $4,000
Indirect Overhead $77,350
Subcontractor Consultant to be selected - zooplankton analysis $10,000
Subcontractor Hickey Bros. Consulting, Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin - trapnet expertise $15,000
Subcontractor UM Wild Trout and Salmon Genetics Lab - DNA analysis $10,000
Total estimated budget
Total FY 2000 cost$428,950
Amount anticipated from previously committed BPA funds$0
Total FY 2000 budget request$428,950
FY 2000 forecast from 1999$0
% change from forecast0.0%
Cost sharing
OrganizationItem or service providedAmountCash or in-kind
USFWS Hatchery space, project administration, and facility maintenance $150,000 unknown
National Park Service Equipment (boats, motors, etc.) and lodging for field crews $50,000 unknown
Other budget explanation

Schedule Constraints: ESA-related actions such as recovery plans, or permitting for westslope cutthroat trout or bull trout could delay or modify objectives 1 and 4. Objectives 1 and 3 subject to modification by management agencies (MFWP or CSKT).

Reviews and recommendations

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

Fund in part
Jun 15, 1999


Recommendation: Fund in part. Do not fund objective 3, non-native stocking.

Comments: This project is a component of the Hungry Horse Fisheries Mitigation umbrella (20554), the specific goals of which are to remove introduced species from Lake McDonald, and plant hatchery fish elsewhere in the Flathead Lake basin. This is a continuing project, funded at the level of about $650k annually, which is projected to decrease somewhat over the next five years.

The proposal does not make a compelling case for the planned biological manipulations or the issues involved, although it is an improvement over last year's proposal. It is curious that they planted exotics in their previous management program and are now proposing to eliminate them. As with other projects under this umbrella, a comprehensive review of all such projects should be conducted, perhaps by a visiting committee. In the case of this particular project, where the actions proposed could have long-term consequences, it is essential that such review be conducted as soon as possible.

This was a reasonably well written proposal. It reflects adaptive management well, by shifting emphasis from the unsuccessful kokanee planting project to restoration of a different lake. It lists relevant FWP measures, ESA listings, and three other plans, as well as the other umbrella projects and 2 others. It has a realistic list of accomplishments, including the failed kokanee experiment, which was not the fault of the hatchery. Other work was good. The objectives are good, and focus on FY2000. The new Lake McDonald work seems reasonable. The budget is reasonable, with good cost sharing. The narrative is good, with excellent background for the planned FY2000 work. There is good rationale for the shift in emphasis. The proposal relates the work to FERC relicensing and the FWS own related work elsewhere. Good history and listing of reports. The Technical and/or scientific background section is very thorough. The Objectives and Methods sections dovetail nicely. The methods are good, especially those for the Lake McDonald work. Considering the shift in emphasis, this would not be a good candidate for multi-year funding.

Several questions were raised by the ISRP review, which could be better addressed in the proposal:

This would be a better proposal if there was a stronger commitment to native fishes. Stocking rainbows should be phased out entirely. The review group was strongly in support of those objectives that support mitigation and enhancement of native species and was philosophically opposed to mitigating the loss of native species by introduction of non-native species (i.e. rainbow trout). Indeed, this project appears to embrace contradictory actions and philosophies in that regard. Nonetheless, the project is well presented within the context of the review criteria.

Aug 20, 1999


Aug 20, 1999


Screening Criteria: yes

Technical Criteria: yes

Programmatic Criteria: yes

Milestone Criteria: no-Until further deliberation.

Oct 29, 1999


Fund. The response adequately covers the ISRP concerns over non-native stocking. It is clear now that the non-natives are being stocked into lakes where conflicts with native fish restoration will not occur.
Under policy review
Nov 8, 1999


Fund at original request
Mar 1, 2000


(j) Hungry Horse Mitigation -- nonnative fish removal - (#910904, USFWS, $428,950)

This is an ongoing project that was initiated in 1992 after the Council adopted the Hungry Horse Mitigation Plan. The project is intended to mitigate for Hungry Horse Dam hydro-related losses of salmonids from the Flathead River/Lake system. Hungry Horse Dam, constructed in 1952, blocked access from Flathead Lake to tributary reaches in the South Fork Flathead River, eliminating spawning and rearing habitat for bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout from Flathead Lake.

In Fiscal Year 2000 the sponsor seeks funding through this project to remove lake trout, a non-native predator of the native bull trout from Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park as offsite mitigation under the Power Act. The proponent explains that lake trout appeared in Lake McDonald in the 1950s, and that significant, viable lake trout populations in this type of system are considered incompatible with native bull trout. The proponent seeks funding to remove lake trout from Lake McDonald to assess the response of native bull trout. It is the new lake trout removal component of this project that raises a policy issue for the Council. Several policy issues are presented. First, this is an existing project with significant history. The lake trout removal activities proposed for Lake McDonald for the first time this year are a new and different element of the project.

The Council has consistently had a policy concern that projects seem to change or be redirected over time without a logical and natural progression, and without prior Council consideration of the new approach. A good example is the concern the Council has expressed in past years with traditional artificial production projects shifting into captive propagation projects without warning or prior Council approval.

In this case, the removal of lake trout from Lake McDonald does not seem to be a logical progression or next step for this existing project. This project was initially funded as in-place mitigation through the kokanee production and stocking program in Flathead Lake/River. This is the centerpiece of the project described in the Council's program. The sponsors state that the kokanee program has failed, and that the focus shifted in Fiscal Year 1998 to rainbow trout and westslope trout production and stocking. The primary management objectives of both the kokanee and trout production activities apparently were to provide angler opportunities and to redirect angler effort from areas in the Flathead Lake/River system with depressed populations of westslope cutthroat trout and/or bull trout. It is difficult to understand the consistency between the historic project activities and approach and the proposed lake trout removal. In fact, the proposal indicates that westslope cutthroat and bull trout populations in Lake McDonald are themselves depressed. Lake trout, on the other hand, are apparently abundant. Removing lake trout from Lake McDonald is fundamentally inconsistent with the project's historic approach of creating angler opportunity in areas without depressed native stock populations. The lake trout removal activities are of a fundamentally different nature than those that proceeded it, and are more logically considered a new project.

The second policy issue presented by the lake trout component of the proposal is whether or not the activity is appropriately funded from the direct program as off-site mitigation for hydro-impacts to the Flathead Lake/River system. While many actions are funded by the direct program as off-site mitigation where in-place/in-kind mitigation is not possible, the Council and the program seek a rational or logical connection between such projects and hydro-related impacts. Such a connection appears to be missing in the lake trout removal activities of this project. The project proposal indicates that lake trout were introduced to Lake McDonald before Hungry Horse Dam was constructed in 1952. Expending funds to examine eradicating a species introduced before Hungry Horse dam was even built is far removed from the core of the Act's fish and wildlife mitigation objectives. This is not to say that such a project, or even this project, may never be funded by the direct program. Rather, the tenuous connection of the "problem" to the hydro-system tends to make such a project a low priority when considered relative to the many projects proposed for funding.

Third, during the October 12th Fish and Wildlife Committee meeting, the project sponsor acknowledged that lake trout removal to assist native species is not a management strategy that is endorsed by all relevant entities. The Council has concerns over moving forward with the funding for this project with the uncertainty that even if proven as a successful tool in aiding the recovery of depressed populations of native salmonids, there remained the strong possibility that the agencies with jurisdiction would not agree to implement the strategy in other areas. The Council is also concerned that the management agencies have not coordinated their own approaches to lake trout in Lake McDonald. It was noted that the sponsor here sought ratepayer funds to test the feasibility of effecting a large scale reduction in the lake trout population with nets, traps, etc., but the National Park Service maintained a catch limit on lake trout for recreational fishers at Lake McDonald.

Finally, as alluded to above, the Council is presented with total funding recommendations by CBFWA that exceed the budget available for Fiscal Year 2000. In addition, the ISRP is recommending that some projects not proposed by CBFWA receive funding. In short, Fiscal Year 2000 is an extremely tight budget year. In making its recommendations to Bonneville, the Council faces the difficult task of establishing at least general priorities on which projects to fund. Establishing these priorities is a policy matter for the Council. In this case, given the budget constraints and the points discussed above regarding the lack of a logical progression to the proposed activities, and the tenuous connection of the problem to a hydrosystem cause, the Council finds the lake trout removal component of this project to be a low priority for funding.

The Council recommends funding the other objectives of this proposal in Fiscal Year 2000 at the level identified in the original proposal. The sponsor's request to increase the funding level to $159,417 made in its letter to Council staff dated November 8, 1999 for those objectives is not accepted by the Council at this time. If the sponsor requires additional the funds as stated in its November 8, 1999 letter, it should route the request through CBFWA in the quarterly review process.

Fund in part
Mar 1, 2000


[Decision made in 12-7-99 Council Meeting]; Fund obj 1,2,3 only
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:
$113,168 $113,168 $113,168

Sponsor comments: See comment at Council's website