Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
Contract 69290: 1994-047-00 EXP LAKE PEND OREILLE FISHERY RECOVERY
Project Number:
Title:
Lake Pend Oreille Kokanee Mitigation
BPA PM:
Stage:
Closed
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Intermountain Pend Oreille 100.00%
Contract Number:
69290
Contract Title:
1994-047-00 EXP LAKE PEND OREILLE FISHERY RECOVERY
Contract Continuation:
Previous: Next:
64992: 1994-047-00 EXP LAKE PEND OREILLE FISHERY RECOVERY PROJECT
  • 72658: 1994-047-00 EXP LAKE PEND OREILLE FISHERY RECOVERY
Contract Status:
History
Contract Description:
This project is proposed as on-site, partial mitigation for impacts of Albeni Falls Dam.  The goal of this project is to recover the Lake Pend Oreille fishery that was negatively impacted following construction and operation of Albeni Falls Dam. Historically, Lake Pend Oreille was the most popular fishery in Idaho, supporting both a high yield kokanee fishery and a trophy fishery for bull trout and rainbow trout. Recovery efforts focus on kokanee because they are an important sport fish and the primary prey for native bull trout (ESA listed) and rainbow trout.

Starting in the mid-1960s, the kokanee population rapidly declined in response to consistent full draw downs of the lake that reduced the quantity and quality of shoreline spawning habitat. Since 1996, winter lake level manipulations designed to improve kokanee spawning success have been implemented and evaluated. This strategy was believed to be working effectively for a number of years, but recent research showed that a benefit to kokanee recruitment was, in fact, not occurring.  This same research project showed that downwelling currents provide a survival advantage to incubating kokanee eggs.  Using this new information, we plan to test a spawning habitat enhancement strategy.  We will mechanically add suitable-sized spawning substrate in a shoreline reach that has downwelling currents present, but currently the area has substrate too large for kokanee to use for spawning.  This will serve as a pilot study to help determine whether or not this approach should be implemented on a larger scale. If successful, this approach, combined with the knowledge that the four foot winter water level strategy has not worked as intended, will provide more flexibility for the hydrosystem.  

In addition to historical impacts to kokanee from water level management, another limiting factor emerged in the late 1990s.  Nonnative lake trout become abundant as a delayed response to mysid shrimp introduction and posed a predation threat to kokanee.  In response, an aggressive predator removal program was initiated in 2006 to suppress lake trout over the long term and rainbow trout over the short-term. This program has demonstrated remarkable success, with the lake trout population now in steep decline and the kokanee population steadily rebounding in response to reduced predation.  Kokanee sufficiently rebounded to allow a limited harvest fishery in 2013 for the first time since 1999.  The kokanee harvest limit was then raised in 2014 following continued kokanee population growth.  Continued activities associated with predator reduction are planned. Work during past years was productive and suggested predation can sufficiently be reduced to allow kokanee recovery. The lake trout population trend indicates that we have likely reached our objective of reducing the lake trout population to pre-1999 adult abundance (1,800 fish), thus reducing negative interactions with bull trout and predation on kokanee. We are now developing strategies to begin reducing lake trout netting effort with the objective of maintaining a suppressed lake trout population.  Netting efforts in 2015 have been slightly scaled-back and further reductions should be possible into the future.

Given the progress toward evaluating and addressing the primary limiting factors (spawning habitat, predation) for kokanee, we will continue research to evaluate other potential limiting factors that could play an increasing role as kokanee density increases. We will evaluate the effects that zooplankton and mysid distribution have on kokanee survival, especially with respect to altering hatchery stocking practices to improve kokanee survival. Overall, we are taking a more holistic research approach to increase our ability to meet project objectives. Further, this will allow us to identify any flexibility that might exist to meet these objectives using new or alternative management actions (e.g, spawning gravel addition).

Much of the proposed work will be accomplished by Idaho Fish and Game staff. In addition, we will fund a graduate study through the University of Idaho and issue subcontracts for other activities, such as lake trout removal netting and examination of kokanee otoliths for thermal marks. While BPA funding for this proposal will be used to accomplish proposed activities, Avista Utilities provides a large cost share that allows for funding of the Angler Incentive Program, lake trout removal netting, bull trout monitoring, and other items that are closely tied to this project.

In combination, the proposed project activities address limiting factors for kokanee and will allow for progress toward the objectives of kokanee recovery, bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout preservation, and restoration of a trophy fishery for bull trout and rainbow trout. These objectives are consistent with reasonable and prudent measures in the 2000 FCRPS USFWS Biological Opinion for bull trout and with the USFWS Draft Bull Trout Recovery Plan. Similarly, they are aligned with objectives in the Council’s 2009 Fish and Wildlife Program, the Pend Oreille Subbasin Plan, and the Idaho Fish and Game 2013-2018 Fisheries Management Plan.

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

Objective 1-  Kokanee restoration, "Restore the kokanee population to a level that supports a sustainable annual harvest of 300,000 kokanee."

Objective 2 - Bull trout / Cutthroat trout Conservation,  "Reduce the lake trout population to pre-1999 abundance (about 1,800) for fish over 406 mm to minimize predation and competition risks to bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout."

Objective 3-  Restore the Trophy Fishery for Bull Trout and Rainbow Trout,  "Restore the bull trout population to meet USFWS recovery criteria and provide a sustainable annual harvest of 1,000 fish. And, restore a trophy rainbow trout fishery that provides sustained annual catch rates of 30 hr/fish, with an annual harvest of 3,000 fish >24 inches and 3% (90 fish) over 20 pounds."
Account Type(s):
Expense
Contract Start Date:
03/01/2015
Contract End Date:
02/29/2016
Current Contract Value:
$917,379
Expenditures:
$917,379

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

BPA CO:
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 A: 165. Environmental compliance 02/29/2016 02/29/2016
Kokanee population status assessment B: 157. Evaluate kokanee population status 02/29/2016 02/17/2016
Standardized trawl net catchability for kokanee C: 156. Mid-water trawling gear comparison 02/29/2016 02/29/2016
Kokanee growth, survival, and diet study D: 157. Kokanee growth and survival study 02/29/2016 02/29/2016
Enhance kokanee spawning habitat E: 29. Enhance kokanee spawning habitat 11/30/2015 11/30/2015
Kokanee egg incubation evaluation F: 157. Kokanee egg incubation evaluation 12/18/2015
Mysid shrimp abundance estimate G: 157. Mysid shrimp abundance estimate 08/31/2015 08/31/2015
Rainbow trout age and growth evaluation H: 157. Rainbow trout age and growth evaluation 02/29/2016 02/29/2016
Lake trout removal I: 190. Lake trout removal by trap nets and gill nets 02/29/2016 02/29/2016
Evaluate lake trout removal program J: 157. Evaluate lake trout netting program 02/29/2016 02/29/2016
Provide bull trout bycatch information to USFWS K: 161. Inform USFWS of bull trout bycatch results 02/15/2016 02/15/2016
Project databases L: 160. Database maintenance for project data 02/29/2016 02/29/2016
Maintain public support for program M: 99. Maintain public support for program 02/29/2016 02/29/2016
Progress Report has been published N: 132. Annual progess report for calendar year 2013 (final) 03/15/2015 06/30/2015
Submit manuscript to peer reviewed journal O: 183. Submit manuscript related to lake trout suppression 02/29/2016
Funding Package - Submit draft to COTR P: 119. Oversee project activities 02/29/2016 02/29/2016

Viewing of Implementation Metrics
Viewing of Environmental Metrics Customize

Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements
Cutthroat Trout, Westslope (O. c. lewisi)
  • 1 instance of WE 190 Remove, Exclude and/or Relocate Animals
  • 1 instance of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka)
  • 1 instance of WE 190 Remove, Exclude and/or Relocate Animals
  • 1 instance of WE 29 Increase Aquatic and/or Floodplain Complexity
  • 1 instance of WE 183 Produce Journal Article
  • 6 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Trout, Bull (S. confluentus) (Threatened)
  • 1 instance of WE 190 Remove, Exclude and/or Relocate Animals
  • 1 instance of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
  • 1 instance of WE 161 Disseminate Raw/Summary Data and Results
Trout, Rainbow (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
  • 1 instance of WE 190 Remove, Exclude and/or Relocate Animals
  • 2 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data

Sort WE ID WE Title NEPA NOAA USFWS NHPA Has Provisions Inadvertent Discovery Completed
A 165 Environmental compliance 03/01/2015
B 157 Evaluate kokanee population status 03/01/2015
C 156 Mid-water trawling gear comparison 03/01/2015
D 157 Kokanee growth and survival study 03/01/2015
E 29 Enhance kokanee spawning habitat 03/01/2015
F 157 Kokanee egg incubation evaluation 03/01/2015
G 157 Mysid shrimp abundance estimate 03/01/2015
H 157 Rainbow trout age and growth evaluation 03/01/2015
I 190 Lake trout removal by trap nets and gill nets 03/01/2015
J 157 Evaluate lake trout netting program 03/01/2015
K 161 Inform USFWS of bull trout bycatch results 03/01/2015
L 160 Database maintenance for project data 03/01/2015
M 99 Maintain public support for program 03/01/2015
N 132 Annual progess report for calendar year 2013 (final) 03/01/2015
O 183 Submit manuscript related to lake trout suppression 03/01/2015
P 119 Oversee project activities 03/01/2015
Q 185 Periodic Status Reports for BPA 03/01/2015