Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
Contract 76548: 2007-401-00 EXP BIOP KELT RECONDITION/REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS 2017
Project Number:
Title:
Kelt Reconditioning and Reproductive Success Evaluation Research
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Snake Lower 100.00%
Contract Number:
76548
Contract Title:
2007-401-00 EXP BIOP KELT RECONDITION/REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS 2017
Contract Continuation:
Previous: Next:
72990: 2007-401-00 EXP BIOP KELT RECONDITION/REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS 16
  • 73354 REL 7: 2007-401-00 EXP BIOP KELT RECONDITION/REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS 2018
Contract Status:
Closed
Contract Description:
The Kelt Steelhead Reconditioning and Reproductive Success Evaluation Project is a research, monitoring, and evaluation (RM&E) category project funded through the Columbia Basin Fish Accords.  The project studies and evaluates two broad topics with respect to post-spawn steelhead, first it assesses reconditioning processes and strategies, and second, it measures reproductive success of artificially reconditioned kelt steelhead.  It associates with RPAs 33 and 64 in the Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion.  RPA 33 requires the Action Agencies to develop, in cooperation with regional salmon managers, and to then implement a Snake River steelhead kelt management plan designed to provide at least a 6% improvement in B-run population productivity.  Toward that goal, a variety of approaches are being tested and implemented including passage improvements and reconditioning kelt stage steelhead.  This project focuses on the reconditioning component.  RPA 64 involves resolving artificial propagation critical uncertainties primarily through relative reproductive success studies.  This project is working toward evaluating reproductive ssuccess of artificially reconditioned kelt steelhead. During the Accords Period, this research has contributed 12 papers to the published literature (Buelow and Moffitt 2014;  Caldwell et al. 2013, Caldwell et al. 2014; Hatch et al. 2013; Hernandez et al. 2014; Matala et al. 2014; Penney and Moffitt 2013, Penney and Moffitt 2014a, Penney and Moffitt 2014b; Trammell et al. 2015; Pierce et al. 2016; Matalla et al. 2016).  Our team presented 6 project presentations, during the last contract period, at basin, regional, national, and international levels.  

The Kelt Reconditioning and Reproductive Success Evaluation Project is a research, monitoring, and evaluation (RM&E) category project funded through the Columbia Basin Fish Accords.  The objectives are to evaluate methodologies to produce viable artificially reconditioned repeat steelhead spawners and to determine the productivity of repeat spawners.  Work occurs in the Yakima and Snake river basins.  We focused on collecting steelhead kelts at juvenile bypass facilities in Prosser and Lower Granite dams, and additionally some fish were collected at Dworshak National Fish Hatchery, and the Fish Creek weir.  These kelts were reconditioned (given prophylactic treatments and fed a specially formulated diet) at Prosser and Dworshak National fish hatcheries. Large numbers of kelt steelhead are available for collection at many sites across the Columbia River Basin. These sites generally are associated with juvenile bypass systems or weirs. For example, from 2000-2015 we captured a total of 14,180 downstream migrating kelts on the Yakima River, on average about 26% of each annual wild steelhead return. In 2016, steelhead runs were lower across the basin and fewer kelts were collected than in 2015.  We collected 471 at Prosser and 227 at Lower Granite Dam. Additional fish were available at Lower Granite Dam but our reconditioning capacity was already met.

Long-term reconditioning survival averaged 40% at the Prosser Fish Hatchery (PFH) over the last 16 years (Hatch et al. 2013b). The reconditioning survival rate has been more variable for the past 4 years at DNFH with an average of 28% for the hatchery fish, 33% for the fish captured at LGR. We conducted reconditioning experiments at other sites but subsequently discontinued efforts after completing objectives at the St. Maries site in Omak, WA, Shitike Creek at Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery, and the Parkdale Fish Facility (Hood River, WA), where long-term reconditioning survival averaged 15%, 5%, and 36%, respectively. Low survival at DNFH resulted from water quality issues in the early years and also obtaining/training staff that have experience with fish culturing skills and training them in reconditioning techniques. This site has had continuous improvement every year since its inception.

We evaluated the traits and survival to release of reconditioned kelt steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss in the Yakima River (Washington State, USA) and published the analysis in the North American Journal of Fisheries Management in 2013 (Hatch et al. 2013b). Reconditioned steelhead kelts were predominantly (>92%) female. Annual survival to release ranged from 18% at the start of the program to an annual high of 62% and averaged 40% over the course of the study with surviving reconditioned kelts showing increases in fork length, weight, and Fulton’s K condition factor. Kelts in good condition and those with bright coloration at the time of collection were more likely to survive. Post-release upstream migration timing of reconditioned kelts was spread out over several months and correlated well with run timing of upstream pre-spawn migrants. The empirical results we observed demonstrate the potential of kelt reconditioning to provide recovery benefits for ESA-listed, repeat spawning steelhead populations in highly developed river systems.

Summary Research-Scale Efforts to Address RPA 33
At DNFH we are conducting research working toward addressing RPA 33 for the Hydro system Biological Opinion. RPA 33 requires the Action Agencies to develop, in cooperation with regional salmon managers, and implement a Snake River steelhead kelt management plan designed to provide at least a 6% improvement in B-run population productivity (NMFS 2008, 2010, and 2014). Toward that goal, a variety of approaches are being tested and implemented including passage improvements and reconditioning kelt steelhead.  Since we are operating at a research scale, as approved by the ISRP in the 2008 review, the capacity of our facility is much too small to meet the RPA 33 goal of increasing the LGR ladder count of B-run steelhead by 6%. However, we have demonstrated the feasibility of reaching the 6% goal. In 2013, we released 69 reconditioned B-run steelhead (approximately 40% of RPA 33’s goal). In 2015, we released 20 reconditioned B-run steelhead below Lower Granite Dam in association with RPA 33, an additional 23 fish were determined to be skip spawners and retained for release in 2016. In 2016, we released  36 remature, reconditioned kelt steelhead.  We drafted a Master Plan to construct a dedicated kelt reconditioning facility aimed at meeting the goal of RPA 33.  This Master Plan was approved in December 2016 by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council as Step 1 in their "3 Step" process for approving in production facilities.

Using estradiol assays, we have established that steelhead rematuration rates vary annually and spatially and range from 10.4% to 80.0%. We determined that kelts can remature as consecutive or skip spawners, typically returning to spawn in 5 or 6 months after kelting or 17 to 18 months later. We characterized the outmigrating Snake River kelt run as primarily composed of Salmon, Grand Ronde, and the Imnaha populations based on GSI analysis at Lower Granite Dam. A total of 34 reconditioned B-run steelhead were released below Bonneville Dam in 2015 to address Reasonable and Prudent Alternative 33 of the FCRSP Biological Opinion. We air-spawned a group of maiden Dworshak Hatchery steelhead in 2015. These fish were then reconditioned and rematuring fish air-spawned as consecutive repeat spawners in 2015 to compare performance between maiden and repeat spawnings. Repeat spawners relative to maiden spawners had higher fecundity, larger eggs and similar fertilization rates. Reproductive success of reconditioned steelhead was confirmed in the Yakima River once again with assignments of 42 juvenile fish to 11 unique parents. Lifetime reproductive success for reconditioned kelt steelhead was estimated as 2.06 relative to single time spawning steelhead. Mature reconditioned steelhead kelts were stocked in the Cle Elum Hatchery Spawning Channel in 2015, to evaluate the feasibility of using the facility to evaluate reproductive success in a more controlled setting. A population model was further developed to provide a means to the management implications of a kelt reconditioning program. The model mimics iteroparity in ways explicit to body condition, reconditioning, and release method. We have shown that repeat spawners could contribute up to 10% of spawning if sufficient kelts are captured and reconditioned, consistent with existing data on survival and maturation rates and estimates of repeat spawner fecundity. This modeling tool provides the means to examine several questions regarding potential avenues for recovery, and management options for doing so. We conducted feed trails with cooperation of the USDA Aquaculture research group from Bozeman, MT and found that the feed produced shows promising results with kelts increasing in lipid levels.
Account Type(s):
Expense
Contract Start Date:
07/01/2017
Contract End Date:
06/30/2018
Current Contract Value:
$1,631,263
Expenditures:
$1,631,263

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 31-Aug-2022.

BPA CO:
BPA COR:
Env. Compliance Lead:
Work Order Task(s):
Contract Type:
Contract (IGC)
Pricing Method:
Cost Reimbursement (CNF)
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Full Name Organization Write Permission Contact Role Email Work Phone
Christine Golightly Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) No Interested Party golc@critfc.org (503) 731-1288
Jen Graham Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs No Interested Party jennifer.graham@ctwsbnr.org (541) 553-3585
Douglas Hatch Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) Yes Contract Manager hatd@critfc.org (503) 731-1263
Tracy Hauser Bonneville Power Administration Yes COTR tlhauser@bpa.gov (503) 230-4296
Kristen Jule Bonneville Power Administration No Interested Party krjule@bpa.gov (503) 230-3588
Amy Mai Bonneville Power Administration No Interested Party aemai@bpa.gov (503) 230-7349
Zachary Penney Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) No Supervisor zpenney@critfc.org (503) 731-1301
Andrew Pierce Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) No Technical Contact apierce@uidaho.edu (808) 265-4547
Dolores Rodriguez Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) No Administrative Contact rodd@critfc.org (503) 731-1274
Christopher Roper Bonneville Power Administration No CO Assistant cproper@bpa.gov (503) 230-3514
Tybee Sheidler Bonneville Power Administration No CO Assistant tasheidler@bpa.gov (503) 230-3820
John Skidmore Bonneville Power Administration Yes F&W Approver jtskidmore@bpa.gov (503) 230-5494
Jennifer Snyder Bonneville Power Administration No Env. Compliance Lead jasnyder@bpa.gov (503) 230-4187
Karen Wolfe Bonneville Power Administration No Contracting Officer ktwolfe@bpa.gov (503) 230-3448
Elham Zolmajd-Haghighi Bonneville Power Administration No CO Assistant ezolmajd-haghighi@bpa.gov (503) 230-7414


Viewing of Work Statement Elements

Deliverable Title WSE Sort Letter, Number, Title Start End Complete
Environmental Coverage Documents A: 165. Produce Environmental compliance document for kelt activities 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Collection of kelt steelhead B: 66. Collect, hold, and transport kelt steelhead for experiments 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Biological data collection on adult steelhead C: 157. Collect biological data and tissue for genotyping from adult steelhead 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
PIT tagging adult steelhead D: 158. PIT tag adult steelhead at collection sites 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Rear kelt steelhead E: 176. Recondition kelt steelhead for long term treatments 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Collection of biological data from reared fish F: 157. Collect survival, condition, and rematuration data on reared kelt steelhead 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Data analysis G: 162. Analyze kelt steelhead post rearing data 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Generate Genotypic data H: 157. Genotype tissue samples from adult and kelt steelhead, and from resident O. mykiss 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Conduct genetic analysis I: 162. Conduct parentage assignments, and stock identification from genetic data 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Gamete and Progeny viability study J: 157. Collect gamete and progeny viability data from kelt steelhead 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Interpret Gamete and Progeny Viability Data K: 162. Interpret gamete and progeny viability data from kelt steelhead 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Implement Snake River Kelt Reconditioning Research Plan L: 157. Implement Snake River Kelt Reconditioning Plan 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Compete the 3 step process for a Snake River Kelt Reconditioning Facility M: 196. Complete 3 Step Process for a Snake River Kelt Reconditioning Facility 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Produce Presentations N: 161. Present findings with presentations 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Work toward submitting a peer-reviewed journal article O: 183. Work toward submitting a peer-reviewed journal article 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Attach Hatchery Reconditioning Plan P: 174. Hatchery Reconditiong Plan 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
All administrative tasks fulfilled with timely quality products Q: 119. Manage project and subcontracts for kelt project 06/30/2018 06/26/2018
Upload 2017 Annual Report R: 132. Submit 2017 Annual Report for January 2017 to December 2017 03/30/2018 03/15/2018
Submit BiOp RPA Report in Taurus S: 202. BiOp RPA Report for CY 2017 03/15/2018 03/15/2018

Viewing of Implementation Metrics
Viewing of Environmental Metrics Customize

Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements
Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) - All Populations
  • 1 instance of WE 161 Disseminate Raw/Summary Data and Results
Steelhead (O. mykiss) - Middle Columbia River DPS (Threatened)
  • 1 instance of WE 66 Trap/Collect/Hold/Transport Fish - Hatchery
  • 1 instance of WE 174 Produce Plan
  • 1 instance of WE 183 Produce Journal Article
  • 5 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
  • 1 instance of WE 158 Mark/Tag Animals
  • 2 instances of WE 162 Analyze/Interpret Data
Steelhead (O. mykiss) - Snake River DPS (Threatened)
  • 1 instance of WE 196 Council Step Process
  • 1 instance of WE 176 Produce Hatchery Fish
  • 1 instance of WE 66 Trap/Collect/Hold/Transport Fish - Hatchery
  • 1 instance of WE 174 Produce Plan
  • 1 instance of WE 183 Produce Journal Article
  • 4 instances of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
  • 1 instance of WE 158 Mark/Tag Animals
  • 2 instances of WE 162 Analyze/Interpret Data

Sort WE ID WE Title NEPA NOAA USFWS NHPA Has Provisions Inadvertent Discovery Completed
A 165 Produce Environmental compliance document for kelt activities 07/01/2017
B 66 Collect, hold, and transport kelt steelhead for experiments 07/01/2017
C 157 Collect biological data and tissue for genotyping from adult steelhead 07/01/2017
D 158 PIT tag adult steelhead at collection sites 10/01/2017
E 176 Recondition kelt steelhead for long term treatments 07/01/2017
F 157 Collect survival, condition, and rematuration data on reared kelt steelhead 07/01/2017
G 162 Analyze kelt steelhead post rearing data 07/01/2017
H 157 Genotype tissue samples from adult and kelt steelhead, and from resident O. mykiss 07/01/2017
I 162 Conduct parentage assignments, and stock identification from genetic data 07/01/2017
J 157 Collect gamete and progeny viability data from kelt steelhead 07/01/2017
K 162 Interpret gamete and progeny viability data from kelt steelhead 07/01/2017
L 157 Implement Snake River Kelt Reconditioning Plan 07/01/2017
M 196 Complete 3 Step Process for a Snake River Kelt Reconditioning Facility
N 161 Present findings with presentations 07/01/2017
O 183 Work toward submitting a peer-reviewed journal article 07/01/2017
P 174 Hatchery Reconditiong Plan 07/01/2017
Q 119 Manage project and subcontracts for kelt project 07/01/2017
R 132 Submit 2017 Annual Report for January 2017 to December 2017 07/01/2017
S 202 BiOp RPA Report for CY 2017
T 185 Quarterly Status Reports 07/01/2017