FY 2000 proposal 199404900

Additional documents

199404900 Narrative Narrative
199404900 Sponsor Response to the ISRP Response

Section 1. Administrative

Proposal titleImprove the Kootenai River Ecosystem
Proposal ID199404900
OrganizationKootenai Tribe of Idaho (KTOI)
Proposal contact person or principal investigator
NameDiana Richards
Mailing addressP.O. Box 1269 Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
Phone / email2082673620 / richards@kootenai.org
Manager authorizing this project
Review cycleFY 2000
Province / SubbasinMountain Columbia / Kootenai
Short descriptionIdentify best management options in order to enhance the aquatic ecosystem and recover native populations of white sturgeon, kokanee salmon, bull trout, burbot, Westslope cutthroat trout and redband trout in the Kootenai River system.
Target speciessturgeon, kokanee salmon, bull trout, burbot, Westslope cutthroat trout and redband trout
Project location
Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs)



Relevant RPAs based on NMFS/BPA review:

Reviewing agencyAction #BiOp AgencyDescription

Section 2. Past accomplishments

1995 Completion of the "Kootenai River Biological Baseline Status Report"
1996 Development of a working computer simulation model of the Kootenai River system
1996 Completion of a one-year macroinvertebrate investigation
1997 Completion of a water quality monitoring program on the Kootenai River
1998 Completion of the macroinvertebrate investigation report "Kootenai River Macroinvertebrate Investigation"
1998 Completion of the first year of a multi-year project to survey all the tributaries of the Kootenai River
1998 Completion of the first season of evaluating biological and population parameter data for all fish species in the Kootenai River using electrofishing techniques

Section 3. Relationships to other projects

Project IDTitleDescription
8806400 Kootenai River White Sturgeon Studies and Conservation Aquaculture Co-investigator
8806500 Kootenai River Fisheries Investigation Co-investigator
8346500 Kootenai River experimental flow releases for white sturgeon Co-investigator

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 3 FTE, 1 PTE (24 hr/wk) $113,858
Fringe 33 % of personnel $37,573
Supplies $6,286
Operating $4,000
Travel $5,000
Indirect 54.7% of personnel and fringe $82,833
Subcontractor EcoAnalysts $46,130
Subcontractor Water quality laboratory $4,320
Total estimated budget
Total FY 2000 cost$300,000
Amount anticipated from previously committed BPA funds$0
Total FY 2000 budget request$300,000
FY 2000 forecast from 1999$0
% change from forecast0.0%
Cost sharing
OrganizationItem or service providedAmountCash or in-kind
Other budget explanation

Schedule Constraints: Project should continue until evidence of recovery of Kootenai River ecosystem and native fish populations is assured (as outlined in USFWS 1998 recovery plan)

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 for one year; do not fund objective 4, evaluation of artificial fertilization. Subsequent funding must be contingent on: demonstration of integration in the umbrella, clear and compelling scientific justification of their work, and completion of a comprehensive scientific review, via a visiting committee.

Comments: This is an existing project to identify best management options to enhance the aquatic ecosystem of the Kootenai River, which is judged to be in a state of collapse, and the fish species that are part of it. Nutrient limitations and hydropower effects are the focus.

This project comes across, as it did last year, as unfocused and unclear in direction. Several different directions are being taken simultaneously and over time (e.g., sturgeon in the mainstem, tributary surveys, fertilization effects, and the completed studies of macroinvertebrates in the mainstem). The overall proposal quality was in the midrange of those reviewed. The proposal cites its mandate in the amended FWP and many other documents (white sturgeon BiOp, bull trout listing, ESA Section 10 permits, Libby Dam mitigation plans, CBFWA resident fish plan, and white sturgeon recovery plan). It relates the work to 3 other Kootenai basin projects, but does not include itself in the umbrella. There is a good listing of accomplishments, and good objectives, all of which indicate significant overlap with the other Kootenai basin projects. In general, this proposal gives a good historical background and presents some of the working hypotheses related to sturgeon limitation. The main emphasis of the objectives is now white sturgeon. There is no cost sharing indicated. Narrative descriptions are good, although the methods section is of spotty quality. The planned fertilization study appears inadequately planned and too simplistic and short term (and probably should be dropped). The incubation capsule study seems risky but worth trying. If the proposal can show better focus, it could be a candidate for multi-year funding; now it is not up to that standard.

Some specific

Comments: Libby Dam acts as a nutrient and sediment trap, which may affect downstream trophic dynamics. The proposers interpret standing crops of chironomids and oligochaetes as comparable to standing crops in the Snake River and conclude that food may not be limiting for juvenile sturgeon. However, standing crops differ from production. Standing crops may be high because there is less predation pressure as the juvenile sturgeon were not present. Moreover this is based on one year's data and the high prey concentrations are at one site; we are not presented with information concerning natural variation. Unmentioned here, but mentioned elsewhere is that kokanee populations (exotic?), a prey for adult sturgeon, are in steep decline, also perhaps an effect of nutrient trapping by Libby Dam (but note proposal 20009).

The proposed work will characterize nutrient limitations of the tributaries (no indication was given why this was considered important—although one might read between the lines and infer that declining kokanee runs have made nutrients more limiting in some tributaries). Libby Dam has been indicted. No criteria were given as to how proposers will decide if nutrients should be added to the streams. All water samples should be frozen or put on dry ice before shipment to the contracted laboratory. The proposed work will characterize the survival rates of white sturgeon eggs and larvae in capsules protected from predation and silt. This is a worthy objective; however, will silt be less of a problem downstream as much of it has settled behind Libby Dam? Has Libby Dam reduced the capacity of the stream to move bedload? Will survival rates of larval sturgeon be compromised for the lack of food in capsules? To what will these rates be compared? Are there estimates of hatching and survival rates from the Kootenai? If not, how will they be gathered? If these are difficult to gather, how valuable will the data set concerning encapsulated eggs and larvae be? Much is made of the simulation model for the Kootenai. Has it been validated? Will a Bayesian approach to model refinement be anticipated (aka, adaptive management?).

The review group was not confident that all the issues to be studied have been thought through. This seems particularly true for the proposed fertilization study, which was viewed as inadequately planned. There appears to be a lack of communication of ideas and results among cooperators and in places, it is clear that there is variance in ideas about how the system works. Proposal 8806500, for example, reports that sand does not appear to be inhibiting spawning grounds of sturgeons, and silt may not be a problem either. Some mutual definition of hypotheses seems to be in order. This project would benefit from a broader peer review that includes other projects in the basin.

Aug 20, 1999


Aug 20, 1999


Screening Criteria: yes

Technical Criteria: yes

Programmatic Criteria: no-The scope of work has changed from temporary to a conceivably more permanent project.

Milestone Criteria: no-There are no milestones listed.

Oct 29, 1999


Fund at level recommended by CBFWA without objective 4. The response adequately addresses the ISRP's concerns. The sponsors have withdrawn objective 4 (fertilization study) from funding consideration, as recommended by the ISRP. Matters of project focus are being addressed by the sponsor and other sponsors using the Adaptive Environmental Assessment. The experimental use of egg hatching capsules was well supported in the response. It is evident that there are contradictory thoughts about effects of siltation in the river below Libby Dam, and these need testing.
Nov 8, 1999


Mar 1, 2000


[Decision made in 11-3-99 Council Meeting]
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:
$1,614,000 $1,614,000 $1,614,000

Sponsor comments: See comment at Council's website