Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
Contract 72775: 2010-050-00 EXP TUCANNON RIVER STEELHEAD: EVALUATE ENDEMIC STOCK
Project Number:
Title:
Evaluation of the Tucannon endemic stock
Stage:
Implementation
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Tucannon 100.00%
Contract Number:
72775
Contract Title:
2010-050-00 EXP TUCANNON RIVER STEELHEAD: EVALUATE ENDEMIC STOCK
Contract Continuation:
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69542: 2010-050-00 EXP TUCANNON RIVER STEELHEAD: EVALUATE ENDEMIC STOCK
  • 74314 REL 12: 2010-050-00 EXP TUCANNON RIVER STEELHEAD: EVALUATE ENDEMIC STOCK
Contract Status:
Closed
Contract Description:
Background:  In 2010, after a ten-year evaluation by WDFW of an endemic stock test-program in the Tucannon River, state and tribal co-managers (Nez Perce and Umatilla), supported by the Lower Snake River Compensation Program (LSRCP), agreed to implement an endemic steelhead supplementation program.  Concurrent with that decision, releases of Lyons Ferry stock steelhead into the Tucannon River were stopped as a harvest mitigation program (under the LSRCP).  These actions are consistent with the recommendations of the recently completed HSRG (2009) and HRT (2009) hatchery reviews; and supported by the direction of NOAA Fisheries in the 2008 Biological Opinion (BiOp) to implement the Tucannon River endemic steelhead hatchery supplementation program (RPA 40.2).

The primary goal of this hatchery supplementation program will be to increase total abundance of spawning steelhead and for the long-term conservation of natural origin summer steelhead in the Tucannon River.  A second goal is to provide harvest as part of the LSRCP mitigation program in the Tucannon River, once the endemic hatchery program is expanded to full production (150,000 smolts annually).  

Purpose:  This project was initiated to provide support for the level of monitoring and evaluation sufficient to determine if the supplementation program goals are being met.  

Note:  Changes in the hatchery program will require facility modifications to provide additional rearing space at Lyons Ferry Hatchery to accommodate the planned expansion in production; actions to modify the hatchery are expected to occur through agreements with LSRCP and BPA, but are still pending [Jun 2015].
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Summary:  An important component of the supplementation program is to monitor how/when the broodstock adults are trapped from the Tucannon River, spawned at Lyons Ferry, and how their progeny survive prior to, and at release from the hatchery. Survival goals of summer steelhead at various life stages are typically planned so the program can be monitored and changes made to spawning and rearing conditions if possible to increase survivals.  Results from this monitoring and evaluation will provide managers with the necessary data to make future program changes (i.e, numbers of fish, release locations, harvest rules, etc.).

The primary goal of this project is to monitor and evaluate the status and trends of both natural and hatchery origin summer steelhead in the Tucannon River.  Four main objectives identified for the project continue to be supported by this contract in FY15: 1) document the change in productivity of natural origin steelhead within the Tucannon River based on estimated adult returns from PIT tags;  2) estimate total adult steelhead (hatchery and natural origin) returns to the Tucannon River;  3) estimate distribution of hatchery and wild origin spawners in the Tucannon River; and 4) document in-hatchery survival performance of supplementation steelhead.  

Based on the recommendations from the Ad Hoc Supplementation Work Group (2008), performance measures that will be monitored (for both hatchery and natural origin summer steelhead) as part of this (and the LSRCP) M&E program include: a) Abundance and productivity (adult escapement, fish or female/redd, redd counts (above Tucannon hatchery only), % hatchery fraction, Wild smolt abundance (LSRCP funded smolt trap), smolt-to-adult returns, recruit/spawner ratio);  b) Distribution within the Tucannon River basin, and outside (stray rates);  c) Life History (age structure, age-at-return, age-at emigration, size-at-return, size-at-emigration, condition factors, percent adult female, adult run timing, spawn timing, smolt emigration timing, mainstem arrival timing [Lower Monumental]; and d)  In-Hatchery (hatchery abundance, life stage survivals, size at release, condition factor, fecundity by age, spawn timing, hatchery broodstock fraction, hatchery broodstock mortality, length of spawners, pre-release mark/tag retention, hatchery release timing).  

Note:  All measures may not be possible in all years for both the natural and hatchery origin fish; sampling limitations within the Tucannon River (i.e. steelhead redd surveys) may limit or preclude the estimates of certain measures during some years.
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Management Considerations:

Currently, the WDFW operates Lyons Ferry and Tucannon FHs for summer steelhead, spring and fall Chinook, and rainbow trout production funded under the LSRCP mitigation program. As part of the hatchery program, WDFW has had a hatchery evaluation program in place since 1982.  Evaluation staff routinely monitor the hatchery stocks at Lyons Ferry and Tucannon FHs for contribution in meeting LSRCP mitigation goals. In addition, evaluation staff have conducted surveys (creel, spawning ground, snorkel, electrofishing), operated traps (adult, smolt) in the Tucannon River and other streams in SE Washington to monitor the natural production of salmonids.  For the Tucannon River steelhead hatchery supplementation program, an increased monitoring and evaluation effort will be required to monitor the status of the natural population in response to the supplementation program; however, the basic infrastructure is present, and will provide a cost savings overall to the program.  Additional staff time (biologist and technicians) and materials will be required for a full evaluation of the supplementation program as proposed.

In order to control the number of hatchery origin fish on the spawning grounds, up to two-thirds of the hatchery fish (at full-production levels) will be marked (adipose clipped for the mark-selective fishery) for harvest mitigation within the Columbia, Snake and Tucannon Rivers.  This action will then allow these fish to count towards the LSRCP mitigation goal within the Snake River basin, and provide fishing opportunities to an important economic fishery within SE Washington.  The remaining one-third of the hatchery production will remain unmarked for continued direct supplementation of the natural steelhead in the Tucannon River. Hatchery reared steelhead will be released in the upper Tucannon River watershed within the prime steelhead spawning and rearing habitat. Since the endemic hatchery program has been developed from natural origin returns, and will continue to use natural origin returns in the broodstock (with a portion of hatchery origin returns as well), those fish destined for harvest, but that escape the fishery, will still reflect sufficiently appropriate stock characteristics and lessen any negative effects on the natural population.

Annually, contract funds provide 75,000 coded-wire tags and 15,000 PIT tags for evaluating the steelhead supplementation program.  The coded wire tags and PIT tags will generate the basic data to provide the basis for monitoring the success of the hatchery supplementation program (measure is the number of returning adults to the program area), allowing positive identification of adult returns at trap locations in SE Washington, describing the composition and spawning distribution of adults returns in the Tucannon River, and documentation of straying of fish above Lower Granite Dam.

Hatchery steelhead will be tagged during the late summer to early fall: at that time,100% of the fish are available and run through the marking trailers and counted, allowing a complete accounting of total fish on-hand:  

     a)  In the current year, WDFW tagging crews will coded-wire tag 100% of the hatchery supplementation fish prior to release (75,000 fish); a portion of the conservation component of the coded-wire tagged fish will also be PIT tagged by Biomark Inc. (15,000 fish).  
     b)  As the hatchery program expands into the future, WDFW will continue to tag 100% of the supplementation fish, but only a portion of the fish that will be used for harvest mitigation will be tagged. For example, at full hatchery production, 50,000 fish will be released for conservation purposes, and 100% of those will be coded-wire tagged.
     c)  The remaining hatchery production (100,000 fish) released for harvest mitigation purposes, will only be partially tagged (25,000 CWT); that tag group size is determined adequate for CWT recovery of adult returns by fishery harvest monitoring.
     d)  As a consequence, total coded-wire tags required annually by the project will remain at 75,000, regardless of hatchery program size.  
     e)  In the future, as the hatchery production expands, the number of PIT tags required may increase slightly, but is undetermined at this time; it will depend on documented survival rates in the future.

All field work for this project will take place at Tucannon FH, Lyons Ferry FH, and in the Tucannon River.  Data from outside those locations will come from coded-wire tag recoveries or PIT tag arrays in other local streams or at mainstem dams.  WDFW staff will maintain PIT tag arrays in the Tucannon River, and conduct the spawning ground surveys needed for monitoring the hatchery and natural populations of steelhead above the Tucannon FH.  

Note: This project has been merged with, and now incorporates, BPA funding in Project #2010-042-00, which previously: a) provided 3,000 PIT tags annually for tagging natural origin summer steelhead at the Tucannon River smolt trap (LSRCP Operation), and 15,000 PIT tags (including subcontracted tagging) for hatchery-reared Tucannon River spring Chinook; and b) funded the operation/maintenance of the Lower Tucannon River (LTR) PIT Array.  Since the LTR PIT array and the three additional arrays in the Tucannon River are essential to program evaluation, it made sense to combine these two projects.  Following the consolidation in 2014, this project now covers the costs associated with the operation/maintenance of all four Tucannon River PIT Tag Arrays, from which population estimates, distribution of steelhead, and proportions of fish straying outside of the Tucannon River can be determined.  These installed PIT Tag Arrays are the foundation of the monitoring program for both natural origin status and trends monitoring, and for determining the success of the supplementation program by estimating adult returns and distribution of the hatchery fish within the Tucannon River.  

WDFW will use standardized methodologies as developed by the CSMEP process (2004) for monitoring the status and trends of both the natural and hatchery returns, in-hatchery monitoring/success, VSP parameter monitoring, determining hatchery program success in relation to production goals, and determining stray rates. As part of the status and trends analysis in the Tucannon River using specific metrics, WDFW will utilize data currently being collected by the Asotin Creek Assessment Project (BPA #2002-053-00) as a reference stream (non-supplemented) for comparison. Comparisons between the supplemented and non-supplemented stream will include such metrics as recruits: spawner, smolt-to-adult survival, smolt/spawner, age and sex composition of natural fish, and run timing.  Asotin Creek will provide the best comparison as the two streams are similar in size and structure, and geographically located near each other (the headwaters of the two streams are only a few miles apart). Other streams in the region may also be used as references to track regional abundance and productivity trends.

Hatchery production and monitoring goals and techniques will be reviewed annually and changed as appropriate.  WDFW will submit annual reports on the progress that this program makes during the initial implementation phase, and later during the full production phase of the program.  The Tucannon River endemic Steelhead hatchery program, at full production, requires additional investment at Lyons Ferry to meet project goals:150,000 smolts annually.
Account Type(s):
Expense
Contract Start Date:
07/01/2016
Contract End Date:
06/30/2017
Current Contract Value:
$208,770
Expenditures:
$208,770

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 31-Jan-2020.

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
Effective implementation management; timely contract administration A: 119. Project Implementation Management and Contract Administration 06/30/2017 06/30/2017
Timely and successful compliance documentation and clearance B: 165. Environmental Compliance Documentation and Clearance 06/30/2017 06/30/2017
Maintain PIT Array Sites and QA/QC data uploads are occurring C: 157. Operate & maintain Tucannon River PIT tag array 06/30/2017 06/30/2017
In-hatchery assessment and monitoring D: 157. Monitor spawning and survival of hatchery steelhead at Lyons Ferry and Tucannon FH 06/30/2017 06/30/2017
Mark and Tag Supplementation Steelhead for Program Evaluation E: 158. Coded-Wire Tag Hatchery Steelhead; PIT-Tag Hatchery Steelhead 02/28/2017 02/28/2017
Mark and tag hatchery-origin spring Chinook for Program Evaluation F: 158. PIT-Tag Hatchery spring Chinook 02/09/2017 02/09/2017
Tag Tucannon summer Steelhead for Program Evaluation G: 158. PIT-Tag Natural Origin summer Steelhead 06/30/2017 06/30/2017
Tag adult Steelhead spawners for Program Evaluation H: 158. Tag Adult Steelhead 06/30/2017 06/30/2017
Data that describes the summer steelhead return to Tucannon FH I: 157. Sampling adult steelhead at Tucannon Fish Hatchery 06/30/2017 06/30/2017
Spawning ground survey results J: 157. Conduct spawning ground surveys in the upper Tucannon River 06/30/2017 06/30/2017
Estimate adult returns to the Tucannon River K: 162. Estimate adult returns to the Tucannon River 04/01/2017 04/01/2017
Estimate recruits:spawner or recruits/return of natural and hatchery origin summer steelhead L: 162. Estimate productivity of summer steelhead in the Tucannon River 06/30/2017 06/30/2017
Describe Steelhead spawning composition and distribution in the Tucannon River M: 162. Estimate distribution of the spawners within the Tucannon River 04/15/2017 04/15/2017
Submit Annual ESA BiOp RPA Report in Taurus N: 202. Submit 2016 BiOp RPA Report (01/01/2016 - 12/31/2016) 03/31/2017 03/31/2017
Finalize Technical Progress Report (calendar-year) P: 132. Submit 2016 Technical Progress Report (01/01/2016 - 12/31/2016) 05/31/2017

Viewing of Implementation Metrics
Viewing of Environmental Metrics

Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements
Chinook (O. tshawytscha) - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU (Threatened)
  • 1 instance of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
  • 2 instances of WE 158 Mark/Tag Animals
Steelhead (O. mykiss) - Snake River DPS (Threatened)
  • 4 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
  • 3 instances of WE 158 Mark/Tag Animals
  • 3 instances of WE 162 Analyze/Interpret Data

Sort WE ID WE Title NEPA NOAA USFWS NHPA Has Provisions Inadvertent Discovery Completed
A 119 Project Implementation Management and Contract Administration 07/01/2016
B 165 Environmental Compliance Documentation and Clearance 07/01/2016
C 157 Operate & maintain Tucannon River PIT tag array 07/01/2016
D 157 Monitor spawning and survival of hatchery steelhead at Lyons Ferry and Tucannon FH 07/01/2016
E 158 Coded-Wire Tag Hatchery Steelhead; PIT-Tag Hatchery Steelhead 07/01/2016
F 158 PIT-Tag Hatchery spring Chinook 07/01/2016
G 158 PIT-Tag Natural Origin summer Steelhead 07/01/2016
H 158 Tag Adult Steelhead 07/01/2016
I 157 Sampling adult steelhead at Tucannon Fish Hatchery 07/01/2016
J 157 Conduct spawning ground surveys in the upper Tucannon River 07/01/2016
K 162 Estimate adult returns to the Tucannon River 07/01/2016
L 162 Estimate productivity of summer steelhead in the Tucannon River 07/01/2016
M 162 Estimate distribution of the spawners within the Tucannon River 07/01/2016
N 202 Submit 2016 BiOp RPA Report (01/01/2016 - 12/31/2016)
O 185 Periodic Status Reports for BPA 07/01/2016
P 132 Submit 2016 Technical Progress Report (01/01/2016 - 12/31/2016) 07/01/2016