Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
Contract 56615: 2000-039-00 EXP CTUIR WW SALMONID PRODUCTION M&E
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Walla Walla River Basin Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Walla Walla 100.00%
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This research, monitoring and evaluation project was established in 2007 as a collaborative accord between the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).  In January 2007, BPA requested of this project an amended collaborative proposal; one that emphasized salmonid status and trend monitoring.  Tribal and state partners agreed to collaborate on the project proposal, budget, statement of work and annual report; but, retained their individual contracts with BPA.  Prior to this collaboration, the CTUIR and WDFW conducted separate studies under BPA project numbers 200003900 & 199802000; see,, and

The Walla Walla Subbasin supports steelhead and bull trout that are both listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and a reintroduced population of spring Chinook. These populations are depressed relative to historic levels.  Prior to the start of this project, the subbasin co-managers did not have adequate information to assess adult abundance, distribution, age structure, genetic characteristics, adult to adult production values, smolt-to-adult survival, and natural spawning escapement.  In addition, numerous habitat protection and rehabilitation projects to improve salmonid freshwater production and survival have also been implemented in the subbasin and are in need of effectiveness monitoring.  While our monitoring efforts outlined here will not specifically measure the effectiveness of any particular project, they will provide much needed background information for developing context for project-specific effectiveness monitoring.  In the near future, we will begin to monitor the CTUIR spring Chinook hatchery program as a major part of this monitoring and evaluation program.

Our goal is to provide ecological information to decision makers in support of adaptive management for ESA recovery, population restoration, conservation, and preservation of cultural, social, and economic salmonid resources.  We do this by emphasizing monitoring of population status and trends to estimate “adults in and juveniles out” as a measure of salmonid population viability within the subbasin, and as evaluation of the spring Chinook hatchery program.

Project objectives were chosen to answer specific management questions regarding Viable Salmonid Population (VSP) parameters (McElhany et al. 2000) of abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity for reintroduced spring Chinook salmon, ESA listed summer steelhead, and bull trout in the Walla Walla Subbasin.  Project results help inform the Tribes First Foods management within the Ceded lands.  

Primary management questions addressed by this project are based on the Draft Adaptive Management and Research, Monitoring and Evaluation of the SE WA Salmon Recovery Plan (see Appendix C; SRSRB 2011).   Primary monitoring questions 1 and 3 of that Appendix are most directly associated with this project.  Those questions are: “Is the status of the population/ ESU/DPS improving?”And “Are hatchery programs meeting specific mitigation goals?”  We used the following primary management questions derived from Appendix C of the draft Southeast Washington Salmon Recovery Plan (SRSRB 2011) to guide our reporting of status and trends.
• Is the abundance of adult fish trending towards restoration goals for each population?
• Is the population productivity of fish trending towards restoration goals for each population?
• What is the spatial structure of each population?
• What are the major life history strategies for each population?
• Are the populations viable or meeting mitigation goals?

Project field methods were adapted from the Salmonid Field Protocols Handbook (Johnson et al. 2007) to collect a few key fish population performance indicators.  For adults-in, our main population metric is adult abundance estimated at counting stations at dams or traps, or in some cases use of spawning surveys (depending on the species and location).  The primary population productivity indicators are natural origin adult abundance and AAR based on spawning escapement.  In the future, our long-term objective is to establish adult enumeration sites in the lower Walla Walla River (WWR) to better estimate total adult returns.  For juveniles-out, our primary indicators are smolt abundance and SARs.

Fish population performance indicators used are:

Adult to adult return
Adult abundance
Spawning escapement
Fish per redd
Pre-spawn loss and stray fish
Redds per kilometer

Smolt to adult return
Smolt abundance
Smolts per redd
Survival (Cormack-Jolly-Seber) & run timing

Project Work Elements include: adult enumeration, spawning surveys, PIT-tagging, outmigrant monitoring, juvenile production monitoring.  However, we also collect water temperature and flow data because they are such major factors determining salmonid distributions.  We believe these monitoring and evaluation actions meet the highest priorities for fish population monitoring as identified by the Walla Walla Subbasin Plan (Walla Walla County 2004), the Middle Columbia River Steelhead Distinct Population Segment Recovery Plan (NMFS 2009), Snake River  Salmon and Steelhead Monitoring and Evaluation Plan for Southeast Washington (Appendix C in SRSRB 2011), the Independent Science Review Panel, the Council’s draft Columbia River Basin Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Reporting Plan (MERR 2010), the NOAA Draft Guidance for Monitoring Recovery of Salmon and Steelhead (NOAA 2009), and Draft Anadromous Salmonid Monitoring Strategy (ASMS, 2010).

Project work emphasizes Mill Creek, Walla Walla and Touchet rivers, and is coordinated with local stakeholders whenever possible (e.g., ODFW, USFWS, USACE, USFS, the Walla Walla Subbasin Watershed Council, Snake River Salmon Recovery Board (SRSRB),  local irrigation districts and other public and private groups).  

CTUIR project offices are located at the William A. Grant Water and Science Center at Walla Walla Community College, while the WDFW South East Washington District Offices are located in Dayton, Washington. Previously, CTUIR and WDFW conducted separate studies and reported to BPA in separate annual reports, under project numbers 199802000 and 200003900.  Previous project reports, data and metadata are found at the CTUIR website, or WDFW website at, or the BPA website (
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* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 30-Sep-2020.

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Contract (IGC)
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Cost Reimbursement (CNF)
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Full Name Organization Write Permission Contact Role Email Work Phone
Julie Burke Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) Yes Administrative Contact (541) 429-7292
Brenda Heister Bonneville Power Administration No Contracting Officer (503) 230-3531
Gary James Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) No Interested Party (541) 429-7285
Peter Lofy Bonneville Power Administration Yes F&W Approver (503) 230-4193
Brian Mahoney Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) Yes Contract Manager (541) 429-7541
Gene Shippentower Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) Yes Supervisor (541) 429-7287
Nancy Weintraub Bonneville Power Administration Yes Env. Compliance Lead (503) 230-5373
Tracey Yerxa Bonneville Power Administration Yes COTR (503) 230-4738

Viewing of Work Statement Elements

Deliverable Title WSE Sort Letter, Number, Title Start End Complete
Compliance achieved and documented B: 165. Compliance for WEs C -K 01/29/2013 12/31/2012
Adult enumeration data from NBD C: 157. Adult enumeration 02/28/2013 02/27/2013
Spring Chinook spawner/ carcass survey data D: 157. Spring Chinook Spawner / Carcass Surveys 11/29/2012 09/15/2012
Up to 10,000 smolts PIT tagged E: 158. PIT Tag smolts (out-migrant tagging) 02/28/2013 02/27/2013
Out-migrant monitoring and PIT-tagging data F: 157. Outmigrant monitoring 02/28/2013 02/27/2013
PIT-tag system installed in Lower Walla Walla River G: 70. Install PIT Array in Lower WWR 02/28/2013 02/27/2013
Up to 5,000 smolts PIT tagged H: 158. PIT Tag smolts (hatchery tagging) 02/28/2013 03/01/2012
Acoustic telemetry (micro-tag) data I: 157. Juvenile fish habitat use (acoustic tag) 01/31/2013 01/31/2013
Juvenile Chinook and steelhead monitoring data J: 157. Juvenile fish monitoring 01/31/2013 01/31/2013
Fish salvage data K: 28. Fish Salvage 02/28/2013 02/27/2013
Analyzed data L: 162. Analyze Data 02/28/2013 02/27/2013
Technical Progress Report for 3/1/2011 - 2/29/2012 uploaded to Pisces M: 132. Technical Progress Report for 3/1/2011 - 2/29/2012 02/28/2013 02/27/2013
FY2012 SOW, line-item budget, property inventory submitted to COTR N: 119. Manage & Administer Walla Walla Salmonid Monitoring and Evaluation Project 11/01/2012 11/01/2012

Viewing of Implementation Metrics
Viewing of Environmental Metrics

Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements
Chinook (O. tshawytscha) - Mid-Columbia River Spring ESU
  • 1 instance of WE 28 Trap and Haul
  • 1 instance of WE 70 Install Fish Monitoring Equipment
  • 5 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
  • 2 instances of WE 158 Mark/Tag Animals
  • 1 instance of WE 162 Analyze/Interpret Data
Steelhead (O. mykiss) - Middle Columbia River DPS (Threatened)
  • 1 instance of WE 28 Trap and Haul
  • 1 instance of WE 70 Install Fish Monitoring Equipment
  • 3 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
  • 1 instance of WE 158 Mark/Tag Animals
  • 1 instance of WE 162 Analyze/Interpret Data
Trout, Bull (S. confluentus) (Threatened)
  • 1 instance of WE 28 Trap and Haul

Sort WE ID WE Title NEPA NOAA USFWS NHPA Has Provisions Inadvertent Discovery Completed
A 185 Periodic Status Reports for BPA 03/01/2012
B 165 Compliance for WEs C -K 03/01/2012
C 157 Adult enumeration 03/01/2012
D 157 Spring Chinook Spawner / Carcass Surveys 03/01/2012
E 158 PIT Tag smolts (out-migrant tagging) 05/17/2012
F 157 Outmigrant monitoring 05/17/2012
G 70 Install PIT Array in Lower WWR 07/03/2012
H 158 PIT Tag smolts (hatchery tagging) 03/01/2012
I 157 Juvenile fish habitat use (acoustic tag) 03/01/2012
J 157 Juvenile fish monitoring 05/17/2012
K 28 Fish Salvage 05/17/2012
L 162 Analyze Data 03/01/2012
M 132 Technical Progress Report for 3/1/2011 - 2/29/2012 03/01/2012
N 119 Manage & Administer Walla Walla Salmonid Monitoring and Evaluation Project 03/01/2012