Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
Contract 46612: 1994-047-00 EXP LAKE PEND OREILLE FISHERY RECOVERY PROJECT
Project Number:
Title:
Lake Pend Oreille Kokanee Mitigation
BPA PM:
Stage:
Closed
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Intermountain Pend Oreille 100.00%
Contract Number:
46612
Contract Title:
1994-047-00 EXP LAKE PEND OREILLE FISHERY RECOVERY PROJECT
Contract Continuation:
Previous: Next:
41509: 1994-047-00 EXP LAKE PEND OREILLE FISHERY RECOVERY PROJECT
  • 52380: 1994-047-00 EXP LAKE PEND OREILLE FISHERY RECOVERY PROJECT
Contract Status:
History
Contract Description:
This project is proposed as on-site, partial mitigation for impacts of Albeni Falls Dam.  Fall draw downs of the naturally created Lake Pend Oreille greatly reduced the amount of shoreline spawning habitat for kokanee, the primary forage of bull trout and rainbow trout.    Albeni Falls Dam also inundated about 26 miles of the Pend Oreille River and the lower two miles of the Clark Fork River.  Thus, both river and lake habitats have been changed by the operation of the dam.  The goal of this project is to recover the sport fisheries that were impacted by the federal hydropower system.

Until recently, fall drawdowns were the primary limiting factor for kokanee.  While lake level management is still critically important and a major player in this project, predation manifested itself as the primary limiting factor during the past decade.  This study has documented that predation on kokanee is a threat to the Lake Pend Oreille ecosystem.  Exceptionally high predation levels by lake trout and rainbow trout could extirpate kokanee from the lake if left unchecked.  Without kokanee, lake trout and bull trout would be in direct competition for a limited food supply.  In Flathead Lake, Montana and Priest Lake, Idaho, lake trout replaced bull trout as the dominant predator species once the kokanee forage base was gone.  We therefore propose the objective of restoring the bull trout population so that it is healthy enough to provide a harvest of 1,000 fish annually in the lake.  To accomplish this objective we propose several tasks, including the direct removal of lake trout using trap nets and gill nets.  Hansen et al. (2006) estimated that lake trout are currently being exploited at a level that results in annual mortality in excess of 50%.  This is beyond the threshold where lake trout populations begin to decline.  Continued lake trout removal is needed to cause a substantial decline in lake trout abundance.  Rainbow trout are the second most abundant kokanee predator in the lake.  Management actions have been enacted to reduce rainbow trout abundance.  These actions include allowing unlimited angler harvest, allowing the use of four fishing rods, opening tributary streams to fishing, and paying anglers a $15 per fish bounty.   The Avista Corporation is cost-sharing on efforts to reduce kokanee predation by funding a bounty program for lake and rainbow trout harvested by anglers and by funding a large portion of the lake trout netting efforts. The current study includes work aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of predator reduction efforts.  This includes evaluating the responses of predator populations and the kokanee population.  During 2008 and 2009, substantial increases in kokanee survival were documented and adult lake trout abundance declined dramatically.  This provides evidence that current efforts to reduce the influence of predation on kokanee are working.  If this rate of progress can be sustained, predation should soon be reduced to a level where it no longer is limiting kokanee population growth.  This will allow lake level management to be fully tested, without the confounding of high predation that has occurred in recent years.

Field work in this proposal is largely to be conducted by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.  However, several subcontracts are proposed for portions of the work.  The Washington Department of Fisheries will examine kokanee otoliths to determine whether they are of wild or hatchery origin.  Operation of gill nets and trap nets to remove lake trout will be conducted by Hickey Bros., LLC.  A graduate project conducted by the University of Idaho will evaluate bioenergetics of predators to help us better understand how predator reduction efforts have influenced predation dynamics in the lake.  Another graduate project will investigate nutrient dynamics to assess whether nutrients are a potential limiting factor for kokanee survival.

Tasks in this Statement of Work fall under four major objectives:

Objective 1-  Kokanee restoration, "To restore kokanee abundance in Lake Pend Oreille so that it is capable of sustaining a harvest of 300,000 kokanee on an annual basis, by 2015."  Several work elements address this objective.  One work element is to assist the USFWS with long-term lake level management planning.  Fluctuating the winter water level has been shown to increase spawning habitat for kokanee and increase their egg-to-fry survival by 2.5 times.  We will continue to provide input into the process of choosing winter lake levels throughout the duration of this project.  The project will also monitor shoreline spawning habitat to see if lake level management is producing the desired habitat.  Predator control, explained in the objective below, is also intended to help restore kokanee.    During the project, the kokanee population will be examined to determine if these predator control efforts are successful.  We will continue work initiated in 2009 to assess nutrient dynamics in Lake Pend Oreille and the role this plays in kokanee recovery, including the potential for adding nutrients to increase survival.

Objective 2 - Bull trout / Cutthroat trout Preservation,  "To reduce the lake trout population to a level where lake trout are no longer threatening the kokanee population.”   The work element of "Lake trout removal by gill nets and trap nets" is to reduce the number of lake trout, which are known to be a competitor of bull trout and a predator on cutthroat trout.  In addition to threatening the long-term persistence of bull trout and cutthroat trout, lake trout pose a predation threat to kokanee that threatens to collapse the stock.  

Objective 3-  Restore Bull Trout,  "To restore bull trout so that they can meet USFWS recovery criteria and provide a fishery with a harvest of 1,000 fish annually in Lake Pend Oreille by 2030".  This is relates to objective two.  Efforts to reduce predators will benefit bull trout by reducing competition with lake trout and increasing the abundance of kokanee, which are the primary food supply for bull trout.   As part of a cooperative effort, Avista Power Company is funding a $15/fish bounty program on rainbow and lake trout to help reduce predator numbers.  This supplements the lake trout removal efforts described by the work element of "Lake trout removal by gill nets and trap nets."  

Objective 4-  Improve survival of kokanee,  "Improve survival of kokanee in Lake Pend Oreille so that the population can sustain an annual harvest of 375,000 individuals (the original mitigation objective for the hatchery).  This relates to objective one.  In addition to reducing predator abundance, a work element is included to evaluate nutrient dynamics and their relation to kokanee survival.  This represents a major step towards determining whether nutrient addition can be used as a strategy for improving kokanee survival.
Account Type(s):
Expense
Contract Start Date:
03/01/2010
Contract End Date:
02/28/2011
Current Contract Value:
$868,562
Expenditures:
$868,562

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 31-Mar-2021.

BPA COTR:
Env. Compliance Lead:
Work Order Task(s):
Contract Type:
Contract (IGC)
Pricing Method:
Cost Reimbursement (CNF)
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Viewing of Work Statement Elements

Deliverable Title WSE Sort Letter, Number, Title Start End Complete
Completion of Environmental Compliance B: 165. Environmental compliance 12/31/2010 12/31/2010
Mysis shrimp abundance estimate C: 157. Mysis shrimp abundance estimate 09/03/2010 09/03/2010
Recommendations to enhance kokanee spawning habitat D: 157. Monitor kokanee shoreline spawning habitat 02/28/2011 02/28/2011
Evaluate kokanee population status E: 157. Evaluate kokanee population status 02/28/2011 02/28/2011
Rainbow trout tagging and tag processing F: 158. Estimate rainbow trout exploitation and population abundance 02/28/2011 02/28/2011
Lake trout removal G: 190. Lake trout removal by trap nets and gillnets 02/28/2011 02/28/2011
Trophic/nutrient dynamics and their relation to kokanee survival H: 174. Trophic/nutrient dynamics study 02/28/2011 02/28/2011
Predation dynamics in Lake Pend Oreille I: 174. Predation dynamics study 02/28/2011
Funding Package - Submit draft to COTR J: 119. Oversee project activities 02/28/2011 02/28/2011
Contribute to Lake Level Management Planning K: 122. Assist USFWS with lake level management planning 11/30/2010 11/30/2010
Attach 09-10 Lake Trout Progress Report in Pisces L: 132. Lake trout annual progress report for the period 3/1/09 to 2/29/10 07/30/2010
Attach 09-10 Kokanee and Rainbow Trout Progress Report in Pisces M: 132. Kokanee and rainbow trout annual progress report for the period 3/1/09 to 2/29/10 07/30/2010
Lake trout and bull trout data analysis N: 157. Evaluate gill netting efforts to reduce lake trout abundance 02/01/2011 02/28/2011

Viewing of Implementation Metrics
Viewing of Environmental Metrics Customize

Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements
Kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka)
  • 1 instance of WE 190 Remove, Exclude and/or Relocate Animals
  • 1 instance of WE 122 Provide Technical Review and Recommendation
  • 2 instances of WE 174 Produce Plan
  • 4 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
  • 1 instance of WE 158 Mark/Tag Animals
Trout, Bull (S. confluentus) (Threatened)
  • 1 instance of WE 190 Remove, Exclude and/or Relocate Animals
  • 1 instance of WE 174 Produce Plan
  • 1 instance of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Trout, Lake (S. namaycush) [OBSOLETE]
  • 1 instance of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Trout, Rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
  • 1 instance of WE 174 Produce Plan
  • 1 instance of WE 158 Mark/Tag Animals

Sort WE ID WE Title NEPA NOAA USFWS NHPA Has Provisions Inadvertent Discovery Completed
A 185 Periodic Status Reports for BPA 03/01/2010
B 165 Environmental compliance 03/01/2010
C 157 Mysis shrimp abundance estimate 03/01/2010
D 157 Monitor kokanee shoreline spawning habitat 03/01/2010
E 157 Evaluate kokanee population status 03/01/2010
F 158 Estimate rainbow trout exploitation and population abundance 03/01/2010
G 190 Lake trout removal by trap nets and gillnets 03/01/2010
H 174 Trophic/nutrient dynamics study 03/01/2010
I 174 Predation dynamics study 03/01/2010
J 119 Oversee project activities 03/01/2010
K 122 Assist USFWS with lake level management planning 03/01/2010
L 132 Lake trout annual progress report for the period 3/1/09 to 2/29/10 03/01/2010
M 132 Kokanee and rainbow trout annual progress report for the period 3/1/09 to 2/29/10 03/01/2010
N 157 Evaluate gill netting efforts to reduce lake trout abundance 03/01/2010