Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
Contract 87583: 2008-307-00 EXP DESCHUTES RIVER SOCKEYE DEVELOPMENT
Project Number:
Title:
Deschutes River Sockeye Development
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Deschutes 100.00%
Contract Number:
87583
Contract Title:
2008-307-00 EXP DESCHUTES RIVER SOCKEYE DEVELOPMENT
Contract Continuation:
Previous: Next:
84765: 2008-307-00 EXP DESCHUTES RIVER SOCKEYE DEVELOPMENT
Contract Status:
Issued
Contract Description:
Since the 1960’s, the anadromous form of sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka (O. nerka) has been functionally absent and possibly extinct from the Deschutes River Basin.  Anthropomorphic barriers to fish passage including the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project (PRB Project) which was completed in 1964 on the Deschutes River (rkm 161 - 178), are among the factors contributing to potential sockeye extinction.  The PRB Project is owned and operated by Portland General Electric Company (PGE), an Oregon corporation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon (CTWSRO).  In 2005, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) granted PGE and CTWSRO (the Licensees) a new 50-year operating license (FERC License No. 2030-077).  In 2004, a Settlement Agreement concerning the re-licensing of the PRB Project was made by and among the Licensees and 21 other Parties.  The Settlement Agreement includes provisions for a Fish Passage Plan to: 1) establish self-sustaining harvestable anadromous fish runs of Chinook salmon, steelhead and sockeye salmon above the PRB Project; and to 2) provide for safe, timely and effective upstream and downstream fish passage of adult and juvenile life stages of several fish species including sockeye salmon.  Achievement of these two agreement provisions is a shared responsibility among the CTWSRO, PGE and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) because CTWSRO and PGE are co-licensees and CTWSRO has co-management authority with ODFW regarding fish and wildlife in the Deschutes River Basin.  Within the Deschutes River subbasin, CTWSRO, PGE and ODFW conduct O. nerka investigations both cooperatively and independently.  This project was developed to support information and data sharing.

Self-sustaining populations of resident O. nerka persist in the Round Butte Dam pool known as Lake Billy Chinook (LBC) as well as in Suttle Lake, the historic Deschutes River Basin sockeye nursery lake in the upper Metolius River Basin (LBC tributary).  Due in-part to past stocking of these lakes with O. nerka from outside the Columbia River Basin, the populations are genetically unrelated to each other according to Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission geneticists who analyze O. nerka tissue samples collected by this project.  Smolt-sized juvenile O. nerka already attempting springtime out-migrations from these lakes upstream of the PRB Project offer an opportunity to re-establish the sockeye run.  Such restoration would focus on preserving or potentially enhancing genetic fitness of these populations.

Given fish passage improvements at the PRB Project annual smolt migrations from LBC into the Deschutes River have occurred since 2010 along with annual adult returns after the fish spend one or two years in the ocean.  Initially, the hope was returning adult O. nerka could be trapped, hauled and released upstream of the PRB Project where they could spawn naturally in LBC tributaries and re-establish a sockeye run. For eleven years (2010 - 2020), the number of out-migrating juveniles (average = 112,800) and returning adults (average = 93) have been counted.  Fisheries managers have learned too few adult sockeye return from the ocean to re-establish Deschutes River Basin sockeye by natural spawning alone.  Therefore, adaptive management calls for other means to support production of these returning fish.  Such support would signal a new priority for this project with new work elements, phases, and objectives the details of which are currently undeveloped and unknown but could include switching focus from monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to hatchery operation and maintenance (O&M).  For example, returning LBC adult sockeye could be spawned and their offspring raised in a hatchery to smolt stage before springtime release into the Deschutes River downstream of the PRB Project.  Such a switch in focus may require current staff to attain new expertise, the hiring of new staff with appropriate expertise, as well as assistance of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NWPCC), the Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP), and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).  Switching this project from M&E to O&M could be the focus of upcoming Northwest Power and Conservation Council review of this project to refine project objectives and deliverables as directed by section 4h(10)(D) of the Northwest Power Act to implement the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program.  

For this project to support production for returning adult sockeye, to be phased out would be the original Deschutes Basin Sockeye project intent to provide fisheries management information needs in the Deschutes River Basin for O. nerka ecology and life-history.  To date, studies to obtain such objectives have utilized such tools as a rotary screw trap, tags (PIT, radiotelemetry and floy) and boat-mounted hydroacoustic gear.  Although questions remain; a majority of objectives were accomplished.  For example, ten consecutive years (2009 - 2018) of rotary screw trap operations show springtime Suttle Lake O. nerka smolt migration to be consistently timed during mid-May with widely fluctuating smolt abundance (average = 81,000; range = 1,600 - 630,000).  Based on smolt PIT and radiotelemetry tagging studies few smolts survive beyond a distance 2 km from Suttle Lake, and smolt survival to LBC’s Round Butte Dam is almost non-existent.  From 2009 - 2018, another original study objective to determine LBC O. nerka population size and distribution was accomplished by conducting 17 hydroacoustic surveys.  These surveys provided fisheries managers information regarding the general nature of LBC limnetic fish populations (average = 1,800,000) and their reservoir distribution for the 10-year period as well as specific information about O. nerka population size fluctuations and distributions.  Finally, for 11 years we utilized mark-recapture population estimate techniques to estimate spawning population abundance (average = 225,000; range 25,000 - 435,000) of LBC resident O. nerka spawning in the Metolius River Basin during fall.  Interestingly, wintertime hydroacoustic survey abundance estimates of medium size limnetic fish correlate (r2 = 65) with mark-recapture abundance estimates for LBC O. nerka spawners in the Metolius River supporting the accuracy of each study method.

Regarding information needs for Deschutes Basin Sockeye project be addressed for 2021 - 2022, we will continue to estimate the number of resident O. nerka spawning in the Metolius River Basin during fall using mark-recapture population estimate techniques.  Also, we will continue to clarify genetic structure and assess population relatedness of O. nerka in the Deschutes, Metolius and Columbia River Basins.  (CTWSRO personnel will collect O. nerka tissue samples from adult sockeye salmon captured at the Pelton Adult Fish Trap at Re-regulating Dam.  Genetic analysis will be conducted by geneticists at Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Commission (CRITFC)).
Account Type(s):
Expense
Contract Start Date:
04/01/2021
Contract End Date:
02/28/2022
Current Contract Value:
$147,571
Expenditures:
$66,943

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 30-Sep-2021.

BPA CO:
BPA COTR:
Env. Compliance Lead:
Work Order Task(s):
Contract Type:
Coop
Pricing Method:
Cost Reimbursement (CNF)
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Viewing of Work Statement Elements

Deliverable Title WSE Sort Letter, Number, Title Start End Complete
Manage Project and Coordinate with BPA B: 119. Manage Project 02/28/2022
Documentation & Assistance to Support BPA's Environmental Compliance Group C: 165. Environmental Compliance for Data Collection Activities 2021 - 2022 02/28/2022
Database in working order. D: 160. Rotary Screw Trap Database. 02/28/2022
Mark/Tag Adult O. nerka in Lake Billy Chinook E: 158. Metolius River - Mark/Tag Adult O. nerka in Lake Billy Chinook 09/30/2021
Count spawning O. nerka. F: 157. Metolius River - Conduct Counts of O. nerka from Lake Billy Chinook Spawning in the Metolius River and Tributaries 02/28/2022
Analyze Mark-Resight Data to Produce Estimate of O. nerka Spawners in Metolius River G: 162. Metolius River - Analyze Mark-Resight Data to Produce Estimate of O. nerka Spawners in Metolius River 12/31/2021
Produce accessible, error-checked datasets H: 157. Water Temperature/Quality Monitoring in Lake Creek 02/28/2022
Deliverable: An accessible, error-checked data set with metadata I: 162. Analysis of Water Temperature/Quality Data in Lake Creek 02/28/2022
Collect Tissue Samples J: 157. Collect Tissue Samples from Adult O. nerka at Deschutes River's Re-Regulating Dam's Pelton Fish Trap 02/28/2022
Completed Annual Report K: 132. Submit Progress Report for the Period (1/1/19) to (12/31/20) 12/31/2021
Completed Annual Report for 1/1/2018-12/31/2018 L: 132. Submit Progress Report for the period (1/1/18) to (12/31/18) 01/31/2022

Viewing of Implementation Metrics
Viewing of Environmental Metrics Customize

Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements
Kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka)
  • 3 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 185 Periodic Status Reports for BPA
B 119 Manage Project
C 165 Environmental Compliance for Data Collection Activities 2021 - 2022
D 160 Rotary Screw Trap Database.
E 158 Metolius River - Mark/Tag Adult O. nerka in Lake Billy Chinook
F 157 Metolius River - Conduct Counts of O. nerka from Lake Billy Chinook Spawning in the Metolius River and Tributaries
G 162 Metolius River - Analyze Mark-Resight Data to Produce Estimate of O. nerka Spawners in Metolius River
H 157 Water Temperature/Quality Monitoring in Lake Creek
I 162 Analysis of Water Temperature/Quality Data in Lake Creek
J 157 Collect Tissue Samples from Adult O. nerka at Deschutes River's Re-Regulating Dam's Pelton Fish Trap
K 132 Submit Progress Report for the Period (1/1/19) to (12/31/20)
L 132 Submit Progress Report for the period (1/1/18) to (12/31/18)