Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
Contract 63963: 2003-022-00 EXP MONITOR/EVAL OKANOGAN BASIN (OBMEP)
Project Number:
Title:
Okanogan Basin Monitoring & Evaluation Program (OBMEP)
Stage:
Implementation
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Cascade Okanogan 100.00%
Contract Number:
63963
Contract Title:
2003-022-00 EXP MONITOR/EVAL OKANOGAN BASIN (OBMEP)
Contract Continuation:
Previous: Next:
55926: 2003-022-00 EXP MONITOR/EVAL OKANOGAN BASIN PRODUCTION
  • 71571: 2003-022-00 EXP MONITOR/EVAL OKANOGAN BASIN PROGRAM
Contract Status:
Closed
Contract Description:
Project goal:
Monitoring and Evaluation of summer steelhead and their habitats at a sub-basin scale requires a long-term commitment as most outcomes will not be realized for 7 to 20+ years.  The first 7 years of this project (prior to 2011) were used to establish the program and all its elements, and establish a baseline to compare with future data collection. This project is designed to ultimately achieve the following goals:

1.  Determine if there is a meaningful biological change at the population scale for summer steelhead in the Okanogan basin (7-20+ year time frame).  

2.  Determine if there is a meaningful change in selected physical salmonid habitat parameters over time (12-20+ year time frame).

3. Determine if change is occurring in VSP parameters from the cumulative habitat restoration actions occurring throughout the Okanogan basin (12-20+ year time frame).

4. Establish quantitative data where little existed and fill data gaps necessary to recovery listed salmonid species (1-20+ year time frame).

5. Administer contracts and ensure that this effort continues (long-term) in a scientifically sound manner that is closely coordinated across the Okanogan River Basin, Geo-political boundaries, Upper Columbia ESU, Columbia River Basin, and Pacific Northwest region (20+ year time frame).

This program is designed to address a multitude of questions and at the same time eliminate duplication of work, reduce costs, and increase monitoring efficiency.  The implementation of valid statistical designs, probabilistic sampling, standardized data collection protocols, consistent data reporting methods, and selection of sensitive indicators will increase monitoring efficacy.  For this program to be successful, all organizations involved must be willing to cooperate and freely share information.  Cooperation includes sharing monitoring responsibilities, adjusting or changing sampling methods to comport with standardized protocols, adhering to statistical design criteria, and strict use of informatics to distribute and archive data.  In those cases where the standardized method for measuring an indicator is different from what was used in the past, it may be necessary to measure the indicator with both methods for a few years so that a relationship can be developed between the two methods.  

Primary Goal for 2014 and 2015:
Continued implementation of existing standardized OBMEP protocols with adjustment made to improve analytical and reporting tools.  Up to now, our efforts have largely focused on development of the infrastructure to collect high quality data and establishing a baseline of status data upon which future comparisons can be based.  As we transition from our first round of data collection into our second, we can enhance understanding of the anadromous fish populations and habitat within the Okanogan River Basin with expanded trend analysis that is primarily focused on summer steelhead.  These data can also be used in the Okanogan River Basin as the basis for evaluating the overall effectiveness of salmon recovery and restoration projects.

Although we cannot hope to answer all possible management questions, we will attempt to address as many fundamental questions related to management and recovery of anadromous salmonids as our funding allows, including basic uncertainties about targeted fish population processes, with respect to both the trends in abundance and the factors regulating salmonid population dynamics.  This program will help resource managers prescribe well-coordinated management actions and evaluate diagnostic units where progress or or failures are occurring relative to measures of abundance, productivity, distribution, and trends.

The Colville Tribes have used, extended, and modified the structure and methods employed by the Monitoring Strategy for the Upper Columbia Basin (Hillman 2004) for use in the Okanogan subbasin in the design of the OBMEP program.  OBMEP is aligned tightly with the priorities expressed in documents and guidelines put out by The Columbia Basin Monitoring and Evaluation Project (CSMEP), Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP), Northwest Power and Conservation Council's (NPCC) Fish and Wildlife Program, Subbasin Plans, NOAA Fisheries guidance, 2008 BIOP and monitoring appendix P, the Upper Columbia Salmon recovery Plan, Upper Columbia Biological Strategy, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington Department of Ecology, and the Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP).  

The Okanogan Subbasin Plan calls for its vision to be supported by nine priority themes that represent the large scale agreement between all stakeholders within the subbasin. The eighth theme is “continue Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation” and OBMEP is specifically linked to this activity.

“Continued Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation: To apply adaptive management and make informed decisions will require an on-going commitment to research, monitoring and evaluation. Research allows important questions to be answered in a scientific rather than subjective manner and allows the best possible decisions on how and why to take a specific course of action. A considerable lack of knowledge exists in the Okanogan and this situation will continue to exist without continued research efforts. Evaluation of monitoring data, remote sensing data, and information from areas outside the Okanogan subbasin will also provide a mechanism to determine if progress is being made toward achieving the priority themes, and objectives contained in the subbasin plan. To track progress and inaugurate an adaptive management process, the subbasin plan relies upon a sound monitoring framework outlined under the Okanogan Basin Monitoring and Evaluation Program (OBMEP). This program was developed concurrently with Bonneville and NOAA fisheries IMW pilot studies in the Wenatchee, John Day and Salmon River systems; with guidance provided by the Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership; the Coordinated Systemwide Monitoring and Evaluation Projects; the federal Research Monitoring and Evaluation Program, and, is directly linked to the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery plan as the monitoring vehicle for listed stocks in the Okanogan subbasin. This monitoring plan will also continue to evolve as the region continues toward a fully integrated regional monitoring approach, but has at its core, the ability to effectively track status and trend for fish populations and habitat indicators in the interim.  Specific monitoring elements targeting hatchery and wild fish performance, disease, genetics, fish morphology, ecological interactions and other parameters will be added as additional production programs come on line.”(Okanogan Subbasin Plan, Management Plan, page 9).

Within the Okanogan subbasin, independent research projects and piecemeal monitoring activities were conducted by various state, federal, tribal, agencies, and to some extent by watershed councils or landowners, until the creation of OBMEP. Today, these efforts are coordinated into a cohesive overall framework for RM&E efforts related to salmon and steelhead fish stocks.

OBMEP is specifically designed to address status and trend monitoring for the Okanogan subbasin over the next 20+ years. Benefits to generating information on listed and non-listed fish will accrue in three different ways: (i) by supporting direct management of these species with respect to exploitation and recovery planning; (ii) by supporting the planning, development and implementation of restoration and recovery actions directly benefiting the listed populations; and (iii) by supporting the planning, development and implementation of management actions indirectly impacting salmonid populations.

In 2011, the CHaMP monitoring program was given policy guidance related specifically to the needs of habitat status and trend monitoring program operating within the Columbia River Basin by the directors of BPA, NPCC, NOAA, USFS, USFWS, and USBOR. Collectively, they wanted habitat monitoring programs to provide usable information that helps feed: 1) the Endangered Species Act Viable Salmonid Population criteria, 2) Expert panel process for crediting, 3) Timely fisheries management and adaptive management, 4) A mechanism for project selection, 5) updated limiting factors including a way to prioritize restoration actions and areas, and 6) a mechanism for evaluating habitat restoration actions in terms of status, trend, and effectiveness. Much of our work over the last 3 to 4 years has focused on development of habitat reporting tools that we believe meet all of the objectives outlined by the policy director and by the end of this contract period we will have reports that compile all our habitat data through 2013 into this new format.

Sampling Design:
The Colville Tribes have used, extended, and modified the structure and methods employed by the Integrated Status and Effectiveness Monitoring Program (ISEMP), Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program (CHaMP), and the Monitoring Strategy for the Upper Columbia Basin (Hillman 2004) for use in the OBMEP program.  OBMEP is aligned tightly with the priorities expressed in documents and guidelines put out by the Columbia Basin Monitoring and Evaluation Project (CSMEP), Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP), Northwest Power and Conservation Council's (NPCC) Fish and Wildlife Program, Subbasin Plans, NOAA Fisheries guidance, 2008 BIOP and monitoring appendix P, the Upper Columbia Salmon recovery Plan, Upper Columbia Biological Strategy, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington Department of Ecology, and the Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP).  The intent of status/trend monitoring is to accurately describe existing conditions in the Okanogan River basin and to document changes in conditions over time. This requires temporal and spatial replication as adapted from Hillman (2004), we implemented and modified the EMAP sampling framework, a statistically based and spatially explicit sampling design, to quantify trends in juvenile and adult salmonids and status and trends in stream and riparian habitats.  For more information see Hillman (2004).

In the Okanogan basin, EMAP sites were selected according to the generalized random tessellation stratified design (GRTS+) (Stevens 1997; Stevens and Olsen 1999; Stevens and Urquhart 2000; Stevens 2002).  Briefly, the GRTS design achieves a random, nearly regular sample point pattern via a random function that maps two-dimensional space onto a one-dimensional line (linear space).  A systematic sample is selected in the linear space, and the sample points are mapped back into two-dimensional space.  The GRTS design is used to select samples for all panels. The OBMEP site selection process began with collaboration with Tony Olsen and the EPA regional office located in Corvallis, OR, who provided the random sample of 300 possible sites. Once selected, OBMEP verified these sites for access, secured landowner permissions when necessary, and reduced the list to the 150 sites spilt between the United States and Canada portions of the Okanogan basin.  After the first 5 years and statistical analysis conducted on data collected from the Wenatchee ISEMP, a series of modifications and changes to the original design were suggested and at the same time the Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program (CHaMP) was born to replace the Wenatchee ISEMP effort. From the ISEMP 2010 findings we adjusted our site selection in the Okanogan River basin to a 4-year rotating panel design and included stratification for EDT stream reach (hydrologic, biologic, and modeling stream reach breaks) with a filter designed to eliminate replication within a given stream reach. We had a small number of additional sites to add to our sampling universe as a result of applying these rules and selected to locate these new sites at or near the mid point of the longest remaining EDT reaches that were not previously monitored, with a net reduction from 150 sites to 125 sites that are sampled within a given full panel rotation. A map of these sites and the hierarchical structure of EDT reaches and diagnostic units that make up the Okanogan River Subbasin can be obtained on our web-site at:  http://nrd.colvilletribes.com/obmep/uscansites.htm.

The Monitoring Strategy for the Upper Columbia Basin (Hillman 2004) recommends a suite of biological and physical/environmental indicators suitable for status and trend monitoring. Not all indicators listed in the Hillman document are relevant for the Okanogan subbasin. The protocols provide general instructions for collecting data, but specific methodologies that alter temporal, spatial, and economic realities make sampling some of the indicators more feasible than others. The indicators selected and the methods used to collect these data were adapted from Hillman (2004).  Protocols were developed specifically for the Okanogan Basin Monitoring and Evaluation Project (OBMEP) to be compatible with both the Monitoring Strategy for the Upper Columbia Basin (Hillman 2004) and the Ecosystems Diagnosis and Treatment (EDT) model input fields. The EDT process was previously used to identify limiting factors for anadromous fish in the assessment portion of the Okanogan Subbasin Plan and its ongoing use will require periodic updates of these data to establish a baseline then future iterations by which to make trend comparisons. The EDT reporting tools have been completely redesigned for this effort to address policy guidance provided by BPA, NPPC, NOAA, USFS,USFWS, and USBOR whom want habitat monitoring effort to effectively feed: 1) the Endangered Species Act Viable Salmonid Population criteria,2) Expert panel process for crediting 3) provide useful and timely information for fisheries management and adaptive management, 4) provide a mechanism for project selection,5) provide information in limiting factors and a way to prioritize restoration actions and areas, and 6) provide an evaluation of habitat status and trend plus project effectiveness.

To summarize data management activities to date, considerable investments have been made in developing a functional database system that allows for data to be collected in the field and assimilated with a minimum of man power and repetitive analysis. However, what remains to be completed is to connect this database with the regional data repositories like Stream-net. Work at this scale will begin in 2014 but OBMEP will play only a minor roll in helping the region close this gap with additional support channeled through the coordinated assessment project and stream-net. Through these collaborative and coordinated efforts OBMEP data will become more available for use by BPA, NPCC, PNAMP, and other established regional programs in the Columbia River Basin. We will continue to provide input and products derived from our own experiences in the Okanogan. On a more local scale, OBMEP provides information to state-wide salmon recovery efforts and regional forums across the upper Columbia ESU and Columbia Cascade province. We coordinate monitoring and evaluation efforts with the Upper Columbia Regional Technical Team.

The Okanogan River is an international watershed and the OBMEP project does not stop at international borders.  We facilitate collecting seamless data by collaborating with the Okanogan Nation Alliance (ONA), who in turn facilitates collaboration with other Canadian stakeholders such as Environment Canada; the Ministry of Land, Water, and Air Protection; and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. We developed clear guidance for the collection of all field data.  To vet our standardized field protocols, the Canadian effort in the Okanagan River Basin was phased in one year after data collection began in the United States portion of the Okanogan River Basin.  By 2011, Canada will have it's first full panel rotation completed. The phased approach allowed us to assess the compatibility of our guidance documents through field testing.   Within the Okanogan subbasin, our efforts are coordinated with other management agencies and stakeholder groups that are collecting information to ensure that no duplication of effort occurs within this watershed. Data are consolidated within the OBMEP program and onto a server located at our offices and also distributed to NMFS, UCSRB, DART, and summarized into annual reports and presentations that are provided to BPA and other regional stakeholders on both sides of the border.

There have been numerous recent administrative and scientific calls for a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation program to provide consistent, region-wide information about the status of salmon populations and their response to management actions (Botkin et al. 2000, ISAB 2001, ISRP 2001, ASMS 2010, Crawford and Rumsey 2011).  In addition, the Biological Opinion on the Federal Columbia River Power System requires the development and implementation of a coordinated monitoring and evaluation program (NOAA Fisheries 2008).  The call for developing a consistent, region-wide monitoring program has been strong and widespread.  The OBMEP project increases our ability to conduct effective recovery planning and address a number of outstanding scientific agendas.  This comprehensive monitoring program provides a scientifically robust method for evaluating the status of the Okanogan River anadromous fish populations while contributing information essential for evaluating the ESU for progress toward recovery goals such as the de-listing criteria defined by the regional TRTs who identified the OPkanogan River basin as having the highest extinction risk and the largest survival gap within the Upper Columbia steelhead ESU (NOAA Fisheries 2008).  A basin-wide monitoring program also provides the means to develop and refine appropriate performance measures and standards for conservation actions, thus giving managers the information to quantitatively assess the impact that composite restoration actions have on fish populations and OBMEP is specifically called for to contribute steelhead information for the Okanogan River population for RPA 50.4 (Crawford and Rumsey 2011). This work will help to address actions outlined in the NOAA fisheries 2008 Biological Opinion for the the Federal Columbia River Power System (RPA's 50.4, 50.6, 56.1, 56.3, 71.4, 72.1), specifically fish population and habitat status monitoring for listed Summer steelhead within the Okanogan River.
Account Type(s):
Expense
Contract Start Date:
03/01/2014
Contract End Date:
02/29/2016
Current Contract Value:
$2,334,130
Expenditures:
$2,334,130

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

BPA CO:
Env. Compliance Lead:
Contract Contractor:
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
Applicable permits and other environmental clearances received B: 165. Environmental Compliance 02/28/2016 02/28/2016
Published protocols C: 156. Publish OBMEP protocols as needed 02/28/2016 02/28/2016
Juvenile steelhead population estimates, fish densities, and watershed health indicators. D: 157. Juvenile steelhead population estimates, fish densities, and watershed health indicators. 02/28/2016 02/28/2016
Data on adult anadromous fish E: 157. Enumerate adult returns to the Okanogan River basin 02/28/2016 02/28/2016
Physical habitat data from 50 sites annually F: 157. Monitor threats to salmonid habitats at up to 50 sites annually 02/28/2016 02/28/2016
Water quality and quantity data G: 157. Water quality and quantity data needed to evaluate salmonid habitat status and trends 02/28/2016 02/28/2016
A properly administered project and other deliverables as stipulated by BPA H: 119. Manage Projects: produce necessary documents, estimates, and personnel managment 02/28/2016 02/28/2016
Coordination efforts described in annual report, conferences attended, and web site maintained I: 191. Project coordination/public outreach 02/28/2016 02/28/2016
Input this year's data, plus hosting, modification and auditing of our database J: 160. Manage, maintain, and expand the OBMEP database 02/28/2016 02/28/2016
Summaries of collected data will be provided in annual and technical reports K: 162. Analyze collected and historical data 02/28/2016 02/28/2016
BiOp RPA report(s) completed in cbfish.org and other reports posted to web L: 141. Other Reports for BPA 02/28/2016 02/28/2016
Submit Final 2014 Annual Report to BPA COTR for posting M: 132. Produce annual report based on tasks identified within this scope of work 1/1/2014 - 12/31/2014 05/31/2015 05/31/2015
Submit Final 2015 Annual Report to BPA COTR for posting N: 132. Submit Progress Report for the period 1/1/2015 to 12/31/2015 02/28/2016 02/28/2016

Viewing of Implementation Metrics
Viewing of Environmental Metrics Customize

Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements
Chinook (O. tshawytscha) - Upper Columbia River Summer/Fall ESU
  • 1 instance of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Sockeye (O. nerka) - Okanogan River ESU
  • 1 instance of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Steelhead (O. mykiss) - Upper Columbia River DPS (Threatened)
  • 4 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
  • 1 instance of WE 162 Analyze/Interpret Data

Sort WE ID WE Title NEPA NOAA USFWS NHPA Has Provisions Inadvertent Discovery Completed
A 185 Periodic Status Reports for BPA 03/01/2014
B 165 Environmental Compliance 03/01/2014
C 156 Publish OBMEP protocols as needed 10/16/2013
D 157 Juvenile steelhead population estimates, fish densities, and watershed health indicators. 10/16/2013
E 157 Enumerate adult returns to the Okanogan River basin 10/16/2013
F 157 Monitor threats to salmonid habitats at up to 50 sites annually 10/16/2013
G 157 Water quality and quantity data needed to evaluate salmonid habitat status and trends 10/16/2013
H 119 Manage Projects: produce necessary documents, estimates, and personnel managment 03/01/2014
I 191 Project coordination/public outreach 03/01/2014
J 160 Manage, maintain, and expand the OBMEP database 03/01/2014
K 162 Analyze collected and historical data 03/01/2014
L 141 Other Reports for BPA 03/01/2014
M 132 Produce annual report based on tasks identified within this scope of work 1/1/2014 - 12/31/2014 03/01/2014
N 132 Submit Progress Report for the period 1/1/2015 to 12/31/2015 03/01/2014