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Project Summary

Project 1984-025-00 - Grande Ronde Fish Habitat Improvement

Please Note: This project is the product of one or more merges and/or splits from other projects. Historical data automatically included here are limited to the current project and previous generation (the “parent” projects) only. The Project Relationships section details the nature of the relationships between this project and the previous generation. To learn about the complete ancestry of this project, please review the Project Relationships section on the Project Summary page of each parent project.

Project Number:
1984-025-00
Title:
Grande Ronde Fish Habitat Improvement
Summary:
ODFW Grande Ronde Basin Fish Habitat Improvement Project, FY2009 Summary

This project continues the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's efforts to restore the riparian and instream habitats in the Blue Mountain Province as mitigation for fisheries losses resulting from development of the federal Columbia River Power System. The project focuses on the restoration of the habitats utilized by the ESA listed Snake River Spring/Summer Chinook Salmon and Snake River Summer Steelhead, but benefits many other species of fish and wildlife.

Since the initiation of this project in 1984, a total of 53 projects have been completed along 84.9 miles of stream, restoring 3,564 acres of riparian and instream habitat. Restoration efforts have focused on the Joseph Creek, Wallowa River and Upper Grande Ronde River systems based on recommendations of agencies, tribes and the Grande Ronde Model Watershed Program. Staff of this project works closely with the Grande Ronde Model Watershed Program (GRMWP) who provides additional basin-wide funding, and project review and prioritization of individual projects. This project frequently works in partnership with other agencies including CTUIR, NRCS, ODOT, ODF, USFWS, USFS, NOAA, USWCD and others. The results of these restoration efforts have shown improving conditions in project areas for salmon, steelhead and other native fishes. An in depth summary of the project history, goals and objectives, summaries of individual project accomplishments, and overall results was recently completed by project staff. The summary report for 1984-2007 can be found at:

https://www.cbfish.org/Document.mvc/Viewer/P107898
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (Govt - State)
Starting FY:
1984
Ending FY:
2020
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Blue Mountain Grande Ronde 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
Bass, Largemouth
Bass, Smallmouth
Carp, Common
Catfish
Chinook - Mid-Columbia River Spring ESU
Chinook - Snake River Fall ESU
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU
Crappie, Black
Crappie, White
Cutthroat Trout, Westslope
Freshwater Mussels
Kokanee
Lamprey, Pacific
Lamprey, Western Brook
Other Resident
Perch, Yellow
Pike, Northern
Pikeminnow, Northern
Steelhead - Middle Columbia River DPS
Steelhead - Snake River DPS
Sturgeon, White - All Populations except Kootenai R. DPS
Trout, Brook
Trout, Bull
Trout, Interior Redband
Trout, Lake
Trout, Rainbow
Whitefish, Mountain
Wildlife
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Special:
None

No photos have been uploaded yet for this project.

Summary of Budgets

To view all expenditures for all fiscal years, click "Project Exp. by FY"

Expense SOY Budget Working Budget Contracted Amount Modified Contract Amount Expenditures *
FY2019 (Previous) $592,008 $592,008 $592,008 $548,322

BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) $592,008 $592,008 $592,008 $548,322
FY2020 (Current) $592,008 $592,008 $592,008 $592,008 $0

BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) $592,008 $592,008 $592,008 $0
FY2021 (Next) $0 $0 $0 $0

BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) $0 $0 $0 $0

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 30-Sep-2019

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2019 - FY2021)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2019 Expense $592,008 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) Nov 30th SOY Transfers 12/07/2018
FY2020 Expense $592,008 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) FY20 SOY 06/05/2019

Pending Budget Decision?  No


Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2020
Cost Share Partner Total Proposed Contribution Total Confirmed Contribution
There are no project cost share contributions to show.
Previous Fiscal Years
Fiscal Year Total Contributions % of Budget
2018 $90,168 17 %
2017 $264,529 32 %
2016 $202,876 31 %
2015 $28,960 6 %
2014 $133,550 26 %
2013 $337,994 47 %
2012 $58,532 13 %
2011 $20,000 5 %
2010
2009 $139,000 26 %
2008 $183,000 33 %
2007 $83,880 19 %

Contracts

The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, Complete, History, Issued.
* "Total Contracted Amount" column includes contracted amount from both capital and expense components of the contract.
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Total Contracted Amount Dates
628 REL 1 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 198402500 JOSEPH CREEK, GRANDE RONDE RIVER, OREGON Terminated $221,196 3/1/2000 - 2/28/2001
41677 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1984-025-00 EXP ODFW BLUE MOUNTAIN FISH HABITAT IMPROVEMENT Terminated $365,000 3/1/2009 - 2/28/2010
74313 REL 46 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1984-025-00 EXP GRANDE RONDE UMATILLA FISH HABITAT IMPROVEMENT 19 Issued $592,008 3/1/2019 - 2/29/2020
CR-336723 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1984-025-00 EXP GRANDE RONDE UMATILLA FISH HABITAT IMPROVEMENT 20 Pending $592,008 3/1/2020 - 2/28/2021



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):15
Completed:13
On time:13
Status Reports
Completed:56
On time:23
Avg Days Late:17

Earliest Subsequent           Accepted Count of Contract Deliverables
Contract Contract(s) Title Contractor Start End Status Reports Complete Green Yellow Red Total % Green and Complete Canceled
4338 22142, 27222, 32053, 37261, 41677, 41904, 52483, 56506, 60625, 65423, 68693, 71935, 75277, 74313 REL 29, 74313 REL 46 1984-025-00 JOSEPH CREEK, GRANDE RONDE RIVER, OREGON Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 03/2001 03/2001 Pending 56 261 13 1 65 340 80.59% 1
Project Totals 117 497 14 1 101 613 83.36% 1


Historical from: 1987-100-02
Earliest Subsequent           Accepted Count of Contract Deliverables
Contract Contract(s) Title Contractor Start End Status Reports Complete Green Yellow Red Total % Green and Complete Canceled
5101 19915, 24677, 29883, 35799, 39122, 44709, 50161, 55328, 60131, 63615, 67546, 70410, 74554, 74313 REL 7 1987-100-02 UMATILLA RIVER BASIN FISH HABITAT IMPROVEMENT Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 05/2001 05/2001 Closed 61 236 1 0 36 273 86.81% 0
Project Totals 117 497 14 1 101 613 83.36% 1


The table content is updated frequently and thus contains more recent information than what was in the original proposal reviewed by ISRP and Council.

Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1984-025-00-NPCC-20131122
Project: 1984-025-00 - Grande Ronde Fish Habitat Improvement
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal: GEOREV-1984-025-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 11/5/2013
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement through FY 2018. Sponsor to address ISRP qualifications in future reviews. Also see Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 Programmatic Issue: A. Implement Monitoring, and Evaluation at a Regional Scale
Council Condition #2 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #1—Sponsor to address ISRP qualifications in future reviews
Council Condition #3 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #2—Sponsor to address ISRP qualifications in future reviews
Assessment Number: 1987-100-02-NPCC-20131125
Project: 1987-100-02 - Umatilla Anadromous Fish Habitat-Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal: GEOREV-1987-100-02
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 11/5/2013
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement through FY 2018. See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 Programmatic Issue: A. Implement Monitoring, and Evaluation at a Regional Scale—See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1984-025-00-ISRP-20130610
Project: 1984-025-00 - Grande Ronde Fish Habitat Improvement
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal Number: GEOREV-1984-025-00
Completed Date: 6/11/2013
Final Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:

1. Purpose: Significance to Regional Programs, Technical Background, and Objectives

The goal of this project is to restore riparian and instream habitats to benefit recovery of ESA listed Grand Ronde River Chinook, summer steelhead, and bull trout. Habitat degradation has been a major in-basin factor contributing to the decline of these species. The project is consistent with the Fish and Wildlife Program, NOAA-Fisheries Draft Recovery Plan, Oregon’s Plan for Salmon and Watersheds, and the Grande Ronde Subbasin Plan.

The project has a long and productive relationship with local partners and, thereby, is significant to regional programs. The sponsors select project locations opportunistically but also strategically, focusing their work in specific priority areas of the subbasin. The proposed activities appear to be well-coordinated with restoration actions being proposed by others in the subbasin. The sponsors have the technical background and experience necessary to successfully complete the individual projects.

The Objectives, in a general sense, are appropriate and adequately address the major factors thought to be limiting salmon populations in the Grande Ronde. In several objectives, the sponsors propose to restore habitat as close as possible to “historic conditions.” As the objectives are structured, historic conditions seem to serve as a benchmark or goal against which progress will be evaluated. In a conceptual sense this seems reasonable, but the sponsors provide no information about what historic conditions were, how they were determined, and how they were quantified. Is it possible to develop a quantitative goal in terms of habitat structure and process rather than something like the number of miles of fences to be constructed so that tangible progress toward the goal can be evaluated? Perhaps the sponsors should consider using the Minam and Wenaha Rivers, where habitat is relatively intact, as reference streams to gage how their recovery efforts are progressing.

2. History: Accomplishments, Results, and Adaptive Management (Evaluation of Results)

This project has been ongoing since 1984, and its accomplishments in implementing restoration actions are substantial. The sponsors provided a link to PISCES where a report synthesizing results related to project planning, implementation, activities undertaken, and RM&E from 1984-2007 was given. Results from 2008 were presented in the proposal. While the sponsors appear to have put more effort in monitoring relative to other habitat enhancement projects in the region, effectiveness monitoring for fish responses remains sporadic and, while some results indicate positive responses of habitat to enhancement actions, the results to date of the physical enhancement actions appear to be equivocal or neutral in many cases. The proposal could be improved if the sponsors provided recovery goals for fish and some indication of how, at this point, the habitat work may be contributing to recovery.

It would have been helpful if the sponsors identified major spawning and rearing areas and the locations and types of projects in these areas. The sponsors could have done a better job of discussing how on-the-ground habitat enhancement efforts tie in with and are validated and aided by the excellent research record out of this office.

While learning is occurring as experience accumulates on the best habitat enhancement approaches, adaptive management is not being implemented as intended when the concept was originally proposed. Each restoration action or a collection of actions needs hypotheses or quantitative goals, a timetable for a response, and comparisons to reference sites rather than only before-after comparisons. Fish populations are dynamic, and there are many influences on their abundance, hence the need for reference sites. Quantitative hypotheses/goals and timetables allow evaluation of the influence of habitat enhancement actions on fish. The discussion of adaptive management was interesting and useful but was not the most efficient form of learning.

Evaluation of Results

This project has implemented an impressive number of projects over its 29 year history. The sponsors completed a report synthesizing information on its habitat enhancement projects including results from its monitoring program from the inception of the project to 2007. It is clear from this report and the current proposal that the project has continued to improve its prioritization process and enhancement techniques in keeping with advances in the field of habitat restoration.

The sponsors have developed a viable RM&E program with updated sampling protocols based on CHaMP. The ISRP encourages the sponsors to continue and to expand the RM&E program to better evaluate fish responses to habitat enhancement. The Minam and Wenaha rivers in the Grande Ronde subbasin can possibly serve as useful reference streams to help evaluate whether fish are responding positively to habitat restoration actions.

3. Project Relationships, Emerging Limiting Factors, and Tailored Questions

Project relationships are a strong point of this project as has been noted in previous ISRP reviews. The sponsors have worked collaboratively with several state and tribal entities.

The sponsors discussed possible impacts of climate change and feel that their work will be able to detect changes induced by climate change, and the enhancement actions they are undertaking may help ameliorate these changes. Again, using the Minam and Wenaha as reference streams may help detect any climate induced changes in habitat and fish populations.

Climate change is not an emerging limiting factor; it is an existing factor. Fortunately, the sponsors are proposing to address it through better riparian protection and rehabilitation as well as other actions. Climate change began in the region about 1950 and this “phase” of loss of late summer snowpack is thought to have its full effect around 2030. There are new modeling platforms available that the sponsors may wish to examine that give insights into future stream conditions. These modeling platforms may help guide restoration actions.

Other emerging limiting factors, or just limiting factors, that received little attention in the proposal include non-native species, hatchery effects on native salmonids, predation, toxic chemicals, and trends in agricultural water withdrawals. How will the proposed restoration actions be affected by these factors? Or, how can the restoration actions help mitigate some of their ecological effects?

The ISRP was pleased to see an emphasis on winter icing conditions. Most projects ignore this very important ecological driver of stream communities.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The deliverables for each objective are for the most part quantitative and thereby allow for an eventual evaluation of effectiveness. All the deliverables, work elements, metrics and methods seem appropriate, with a couple specific exceptions:

DELV-16: It would be very useful to have data on condition factors of juvenile salmonids by site and over time. The ISRP suggests that this be added to the parameters measured.

DELV-18: How is local capacity building accomplished? For example, are there internships available for students? Further, can capacity building and local responsibility be improved by instituting a citizen science program?

The monitoring program appears to be adequate within the basin, but perhaps not tied closely enough with this project. The sponsors appear to have kept up to date on data analysis. Metrics and methods of the RM&E program are based on Oregon’s Aquatic Inventory protocol as well as EMAP and CHaMP, adapted for the Grande Ronde basin. These protocols are well established and should provide an adequate basis for Grand Ronde habitat monitoring.

Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

The protocols and methods were adequately described in MonitoringMethods.org.


===========QUALIFICATIONS FOLLOW================

This is a strong proposal. The project has an impressive record of accomplishments and is an effective habitat improvement program. The sponsors are to be especially commended for their efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of the projects. They could be providing leadership for some of the other local projects that are struggling to establish comprehensive, integrative, and successful programs. The ISRP encourages the sponsors to publish their results in refereed journals.

The following qualifications should be addressed during contracting or in future proposals and reports:

Qualification #1 - Qualification #1
Provide an Adaptive Management process that leads to more effective learning about implemented projects.
Qualification #2 - Qualification #2
Describe in more detail how restoration actions will help mitigate the ecological consequences of non-native species, hatchery effects on native salmonids, predation, toxic chemicals, and trends in agricultural water withdrawals.
First Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
First Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
First Round ISRP Comment:

1. Purpose: Significance to Regional Programs, Technical Background, and Objectives

The goal of this project is to restore riparian and instream habitats to benefit recovery of ESA listed Grand Ronde River Chinook, summer steelhead, and bull trout. Habitat degradation has been a major in-basin factor contributing to the decline of these species. The project is consistent with the Fish and Wildlife Program, NOAA-Fisheries Draft Recovery Plan, Oregon’s Plan for Salmon and Watersheds, and the Grande Ronde Subbasin Plan.

The project has a long and productive relationship with local partners and, thereby, is significant to regional programs. The sponsors select project locations opportunistically but also strategically, focusing their work in specific priority areas of the subbasin. The proposed activities appear to be well-coordinated with restoration actions being proposed by others in the subbasin. The sponsors have the technical background and experience necessary to successfully complete the individual projects.

The Objectives, in a general sense, are appropriate and adequately address the major factors thought to be limiting salmon populations in the Grande Ronde. In several objectives, the sponsors propose to restore habitat as close as possible to “historic conditions.” As the objectives are structured, historic conditions seem to serve as a benchmark or goal against which progress will be evaluated. In a conceptual sense this seems reasonable, but the sponsors provide no information about what historic conditions were, how they were determined, and how they were quantified. Is it possible to develop a quantitative goal in terms of habitat structure and process rather than something like the number of miles of fences to be constructed so that tangible progress toward the goal can be evaluated? Perhaps the sponsors should consider using the Minam and Wenaha Rivers, where habitat is relatively intact, as reference streams to gage how their recovery efforts are progressing.

2. History: Accomplishments, Results, and Adaptive Management (Evaluation of Results)

This project has been ongoing since 1984, and its accomplishments in implementing restoration actions are substantial. The sponsors provided a link to PISCES where a report synthesizing results related to project planning, implementation, activities undertaken, and RM&E from 1984-2007 was given. Results from 2008 were presented in the proposal. While the sponsors appear to have put more effort in monitoring relative to other habitat enhancement projects in the region, effectiveness monitoring for fish responses remains sporadic and, while some results indicate positive responses of habitat to enhancement actions, the results to date of the physical enhancement actions appear to be equivocal or neutral in many cases. The proposal could be improved if the sponsors provided recovery goals for fish and some indication of how, at this point, the habitat work may be contributing to recovery.

It would have been helpful if the sponsors identified major spawning and rearing areas and the locations and types of projects in these areas. The sponsors could have done a better job of discussing how on-the-ground habitat enhancement efforts tie in with and are validated and aided by the excellent research record out of this office.

While learning is occurring as experience accumulates on the best habitat enhancement approaches, adaptive management is not being implemented as intended when the concept was originally proposed. Each restoration action or a collection of actions needs hypotheses or quantitative goals, a timetable for a response, and comparisons to reference sites rather than only before-after comparisons. Fish populations are dynamic, and there are many influences on their abundance, hence the need for reference sites. Quantitative hypotheses/goals and timetables allow evaluation of the influence of habitat enhancement actions on fish. The discussion of adaptive management was interesting and useful but was not the most efficient form of learning.

Evaluation of Results

This project has implemented an impressive number of projects over its 29 year history. The sponsors completed a report synthesizing information on its habitat enhancement projects including results from its monitoring program from the inception of the project to 2007. It is clear from this report and the current proposal that the project has continued to improve its prioritization process and enhancement techniques in keeping with advances in the field of habitat restoration.

The sponsors have developed a viable RM&E program with updated sampling protocols based on CHaMP. The ISRP encourages the sponsors to continue and to expand the RM&E program to better evaluate fish responses to habitat enhancement. The Minam and Wenaha rivers in the Grande Ronde subbasin can possibly serve as useful reference streams to help evaluate whether fish are responding positively to habitat restoration actions.

3. Project Relationships, Emerging Limiting Factors, and Tailored Questions

Project relationships are a strong point of this project as has been noted in previous ISRP reviews. The sponsors have worked collaboratively with several state and tribal entities.

The sponsors discussed possible impacts of climate change and feel that their work will be able to detect changes induced by climate change, and the enhancement actions they are undertaking may help ameliorate these changes. Again, using the Minam and Wenaha as reference streams may help detect any climate induced changes in habitat and fish populations.

Climate change is not an emerging limiting factor; it is an existing factor. Fortunately, the sponsors are proposing to address it through better riparian protection and rehabilitation as well as other actions. Climate change began in the region about 1950 and this “phase” of loss of late summer snowpack is thought to have its full effect around 2030. There are new modeling platforms available that the sponsors may wish to examine that give insights into future stream conditions. These modeling platforms may help guide restoration actions.

Other emerging limiting factors, or just limiting factors, that received little attention in the proposal include non-native species, hatchery effects on native salmonids, predation, toxic chemicals, and trends in agricultural water withdrawals. How will the proposed restoration actions be affected by these factors? Or, how can the restoration actions help mitigate some of their ecological effects?

The ISRP was pleased to see an emphasis on winter icing conditions. Most projects ignore this very important ecological driver of stream communities.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The deliverables for each objective are for the most part quantitative and thereby allow for an eventual evaluation of effectiveness. All the deliverables, work elements, metrics and methods seem appropriate, with a couple specific exceptions:

DELV-16: It would be very useful to have data on condition factors of juvenile salmonids by site and over time. The ISRP suggests that this be added to the parameters measured.

DELV-18: How is local capacity building accomplished? For example, are there internships available for students? Further, can capacity building and local responsibility be improved by instituting a citizen science program?

The monitoring program appears to be adequate within the basin, but perhaps not tied closely enough with this project. The sponsors appear to have kept up to date on data analysis. Metrics and methods of the RM&E program are based on Oregon’s Aquatic Inventory protocol as well as EMAP and CHaMP, adapted for the Grande Ronde basin. These protocols are well established and should provide an adequate basis for Grand Ronde habitat monitoring.

Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

The protocols and methods were adequately described in MonitoringMethods.org.


===========QUALIFICATIONS FOLLOW================

This is a strong proposal. The project has an impressive record of accomplishments and is an effective habitat improvement program. The sponsors are to be especially commended for their efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of the projects. They could be providing leadership for some of the other local projects that are struggling to establish comprehensive, integrative, and successful programs. The ISRP encourages the sponsors to publish their results in refereed journals.

The following qualifications should be addressed during contracting or in future proposals and reports:

Modified by Dal Marsters on 6/11/2013 3:08:09 PM.
Documentation Links:
Assessment Number: 1987-100-02-ISRP-20130610
Project: 1987-100-02 - Umatilla Anadromous Fish Habitat-Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal Number: GEOREV-1987-100-02
Completed Date: 9/26/2013
Final Round ISRP Date: 8/15/2013
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:

ODFW has provided a thoughtful and reasonably complete response to the ISRP's questions. In particular, it is now apparent that more flexibility exists in project prioritization and lead responsibility assignment than existed when ODFW and CTUIR basically maintained largely separate geographic responsibilities. We view the evolving relationship between the two entities as a healthy indication of improved collaboration.

In 2010, ODFW, along with the CTUIR and other key partners in the basin, formed the Umatilla Basin Restoration Team. Participation in the team has led to greater coordination, resource sharing, and a reduction in duplication of restoration efforts between ODFW and CTUIR. Participation in the Basin Restoration Team has also promoted some data sharing between ODFW and the CTUIR. Yearly prioritization of projects continues to be guided by the Umatilla/Willow Subbasin Plan. Effectiveness monitoring of the ODFW’s Anadromous Fish Habitat projects in the Umatilla falls under the purview of other associated projects. The sponsors, however, state they will continue to work with BPA to determine if any of their proposed projects may be candidates for inclusion in the AEM program.

ODFW and CTUIR do not use shared databases but claim that data are being shared among members of the Umatilla Basin Restoration Team. A formalized arrangement should be put into place so that responsibilities of each party for data sharing, custody, response to data requests, are clear. The recent document on Data Management from BPA discusses some of the issues that need to be addressed.

Evaluation of Results

The Umatilla subbasin is a good example of a river system that has achieved real progress in cooperation between management entities in identifying and implementing restoration actions. In particular, the working relationship between ODFW and CTUIR has led to a wide variety of habitat improvements in areas that have been highly altered. The ISRP continues to believe that biological effectiveness monitoring in the Umatilla has lagged somewhat behind the progress made in on-the-ground implementation. We feel the highest current RM&E priority is to understand factors that limit survival in the mainstem Umatilla River and what can be done to remedy problems.

First Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:

This is a worthwhile project that is implementing important restoration actions primarily in the mid- and lower Umatilla subbasin. The ISRP requests additional clarification of the relationship between this project's activities and those of the tribal Umatilla anadromous fish habitat project (1987-100-01).

1) What methods are used to ensure coordination and resource sharing?

2) How is duplication of effort avoided?

3) How are restoration priorities established from year to year?

4) Have any provisions been made for data co-management?

5) What will be this project's role in long-term biological effectiveness monitoring?

1. Purpose: Significance to Regional Programs, Technical Background, and Objectives

The significance to regional programs and technical background were adequately explained. This project continues a long-term ODFW program of restoring fish habitat in the Umatilla subbasin with emphasis on two important anadromous salmonid spawning and rearing tributaries – Birch Creek and Meacham Creek. The objectives of this proposal are to continue the maintenance of existing restoration sites involving dam removal, bank stabilization, riparian revegetation, noxious weed control, riparian fencing, and to continue the effort to improve fish passage, instream habitat, flow augmentation, and water quality including primarily stream temperature and sediment. The project's objectives are consistent with the goals of the Fish and Wildlife Program, recovery plans for listed fishes, and the Umatilla Five year Action Plan.

Restoration activities have been guided by several regional plans, the Umatilla/Willow subbasin plan, the Mid-Columbia River Conservation and Recovery Plan for Oregon Steelhead, and an expired five-year action plan developed for the project that was designed to recover and maintain habitat in the Umatilla subbasin.

The project has two objectives, to restore and enhance riparian areas and stream ecosystems in Birch Creek and to maintain existing fish habitat improvement projects in Birch and Meacham Creeks. It provides ODFW with a way to restore degraded habitat, create cooperative agreements with local landowners, maintain existing restoration actions, and engage in outreach and education. Consequently it is an important regional program.

2. History: Accomplishments, Results, and Adaptive Management (Evaluation of Results)

According to the proposal, this is an implementation project that involves very little RM&E; therefore, accomplishments and results are presented as units of habitat improved (34 projects along 25 miles of stream protecting 449 acres of riparian and instream habitat) rather than estimates of increased fish productivity. In general, the descriptions of previous habitat restoration actions were clear, and the proposal suggests that future actions will be more of the same. Although the proposal lacked some specificity about what would be done over the next four years, it did state that the primary objective would be to remove another irrigation dam and to maintain a number of existing restoration sites. The before-and-after photographs were helpful, but they mostly dealt with irrigation dam removal and not with other types of activities.

Thirty-three cooperative agreements have been established between private landowners and project personnel. These arrangements allow the project to lease and protect lands and carry out restoration actions on private lands. They typically last from 10 to 25 years. While the agreements are in place the project makes annual inspections and performs maintenance as needed. After expiration, the private landowners are expected to maintain the restoration actions that took place on their lands. Currently there are 16 active and 17 expired cooperative agreements.

Since its inception, the project has made a number of adaptive management changes. Placement of riparian fencing was changed to account for impacts of flooding. Additionally, the types of plants used to restore riparian vegetation have changed over time. Originally rooted stock was planted soon after a project was completed. Now, they allow natural adjustments to restored habitat to occur before planting, and cuttings of willow and cottonwood rather than rooted plants are predominately used. Rooted plants are still utilized; however, they are now grown in deeper pots to create longer root systems to reduce watering and maintenance after planting.

The project sponsors acknowledged that more effectiveness monitoring was needed, but lack of funding has hindered the development of an adequate monitoring program.

3. Project Relationships, Emerging Limiting Factors, and Tailored Questions

The description of deliverables and work elements suggests that there is broad overlap between this project and the Umatilla habitat restoration project administered by the CTUIR. The relationships between the ODFW and CTUIR efforts that involve coordination, resource sharing, and identification of priorities need to be clearer. How do these two projects, which address a variety of fish habitat problems in the Umatilla River and tributaries, work together to maximize efficiencies? The site visit was helpful, but we still have questions about information exchange between the two projects.

The section on emerging limiting factors focuses on climate change impacts but does not describe what steps might be taken to make the stream and riparian ecosystems more resilient. Some acknowledgment of the spread of invasive species including which ones are likely to pose future problems would also be helpful.

Project personnel work with the CTUIR, USACE, Umatilla Basin Watershed Council, Umatilla Soil and Water Conservation District, BOR, Oregon Water Resources Department, OWEB, and Blue Mountain Habitat Restoration Council and private landowners in the Birch and Meacham Creek subbasins. They also serve on the Umatilla watershed restoration team which meets quarterly to coordinate habitat restoration actions with local partners in the Umatilla basin.

Increased air and stream temperatures, reduced snow pack levels, snow to rain transition, earlier and higher peak stream flows, lower summer through fall stream flows, increased periods of drought, more frequent and extreme storms, changes in ocean conditions, and more severe fire events all brought about by climate change were identified as the major emerging limiting factors.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The project has nine deliverables that include establishing cooperative agreements with landowners, writing and procuring grants to implement restoration projects, removing fish migration barriers, constructing riparian fencing and re-vegetating protected areas, stabilizing stream banks and channels, maintaining restored habitat and fencing, collecting temperature and stream flow data, and education and outreach. Project selection appears to be opportunistic to a certain extent as cooperative agreements with private landowners must be in place before a restoration action can occur. Proposed projects are, however, reviewed by CTUIR, Soil and Water Conservation District, BOR, U.S. Forest Service, ODFW, and the USFWS staff. No formal process for selection was described.

More information is needed on the procedures used to identify restoration priorities and sharing of duties with CTUIR. Do these two projects use the same methods to identify candidate restoration sites and habitat improvement techniques? Although the proposal states that the project does not monitor and evaluate effectiveness, more information is needed on how effectiveness monitoring will be coordinated if and when additional funding becomes available. In particular, what will be ODFW's role in managing the monitoring program? The ISRP understands that an integrated effectiveness monitoring program has taken shape more slowly than hoped, but this proposal, as well as others in the Umatilla subbasin, should be proactive in being ready to implement effectiveness monitoring as funding becomes available. This includes identifying locations where no restoration will occur, and which will serve as unenhanced reference sites.

Recently, three M&E projects have begun. Smolt monitoring is now occurring in Birch and Meacham Creeks as well as in the upper Umatilla River. Little habitat restoration has apparently occurred in the headwaters of the Umatilla River, so it will be possible to compare smolt production from watersheds with varying amounts of restoration activity. Steelhead redd surveys are now also occurring using a GRTS approach. Visual inspections of existing restoration projects are made annually and repairs are made as needed. It would be helpful however, if additional data were collected. For example in areas with riparian fencing some measure of plant cover, species present, solar radiation over the streambed, insect production or other metrics should be routinely collected over time to track how the habitat has responded. In general, some form of action effectiveness monitoring should be taking place.

Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

According to the proposal no RM&E will occur; however, the proposal also states that the project monitors stream temperatures at 9 locations and streamflows at 2 permanent gauging stations. Whether this monitoring is consistent with MonitoringMethods.org was not clear.

Modified by Dal Marsters on 9/26/2013 2:18:01 PM.
Documentation Links:
  • Proponent Response (7/9/2013)
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1984-025-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1984-025-00 - Grande Ronde Fish Habitat Improvement
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Sponsor should complete accomplishments report as called for in ISRP recommendation. Funding in FY08 and 09 contingent upon favorable review by ISRP and Council. See also programmatic recommendation on habitat m&e.
Assessment Number: 1987-100-02-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1987-100-02 - Umatilla Anadromous Fish Habitat-Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: The project sponsors are to work with the Council and others to structure an ISRP/Council review of the coordinated subbasin activities in the Umatilla at some point in the next two years.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1984-025-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1984-025-00 - Grande Ronde Fish Habitat Improvement
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:
This project has treated 70 miles of stream in the past 20 years. The sponsors expressed frustration with what they perceive as a mixed message on the scale of monitoring and evaluation required of this type of habitat improvement project. They note that instructions from BPA and Council propose that this type of project should conduct only implementation and compliance monitoring and it should not exceed 5% of the budget. They cite dialog between Jim Geiselman from BPA and Lyman McDonald (formerly of the ISAB and ISRP) at a habitat-monitoring workshop several years ago as an example of the different expectations of the ISRP and BPA.

The ISRP acknowledges and appreciates the sponsor's frustration regarding the extent of monitoring and evaluation expected of them. To clarify for sponsors, the ISRP examines the sufficiency of data collections and evaluation to measure progress toward achieving biological objectives identified in a proposal, and benefits for focal species.

Concern # 1 raised by the sponsors: "This project should implement effectiveness monitoring" is a misinterpretation of the ISRP's preliminary review. In that review the ISRP states: "The effectiveness monitoring conducted by the sponsors, or other projects should be identified." Later in the review the ISRP states: "M&E could be accomplished by other projects, but needs to be detailed and address which project and entities will be doing it."

The ISRP does not suggest that individual projects need to conduct their own M&E. Other projects can accomplish that task. However, sponsors should be able to describe the M&E and summarize the status of the data collections, evaluations, and management implications.

The sponsors reply to the request for more detail on monitoring methods with a list of metrics and methods that they, or others, use for monitoring and evaluation. This is a reasonable beginning, but not a sufficient presentation of the monitoring for this project. For example, under the topic "Habitat Monitoring Transects," the sponsors state that these transects collect data in selected study areas. They go on to state that there are 140 habitat monitoring transects on four streams, and that data have been collected on three to five year intervals. This appears to be an impressive and important data set. For the ISRP to complete its evaluation of this project, it needs to know what streams were monitored, what kinds of treatment each stream received, what was the desired biological outcome (physical habitat or biological condition), how many years of data have been collected, how the analysis is being conducted, and what is the interpretation from the data set.

The sponsors provide a short but acceptable reply to the ISRP query about the management implications of the past 20 years of habitat restoration treatments.

Finally, the sponsors explain the 30 miles of spawning ground surveys conducted by project staff. They state that they did not include this data in the project history because they do not feel they can make any direct correlation between spawning adult fish and habitat modifications. The ISRP concludes that this is important data and an important conclusion. All of that information should be in the project history section.

Fundable (qualified), with the qualification that the ISRP should review a special report, or annual report, that presents an analysis of the data from this project together with a summary of the conclusions about benefits to the focal species and management recommendations for further habitat treatments. This should be reviewed by the ISRP in FY07.
Documentation Links:
Assessment Number: 1987-100-02-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1987-100-02 - Umatilla Anadromous Fish Habitat-Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Does Not Meet Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:
See comments under 198343600 and 198710001, and in particular, 199000501, as well as others from this subbasin.

The Umatilla ecosystem and the human intervention within it remains complex, and the ability to comprehend the interactions of habitat work, as proposed, and flow augmentation, power repay, adult and smolt migration, etc. remains confusing. One concludes that it is adult and smolt migration within the Umatilla as the key limiting factor (particularly, in this case, from Birch Creek to the Three Mile Falls Dam site). Nonetheless, habitat husbandry is a requirement, and the response has clarified several areas of the proposal.

There remains the need to develop an adaptive management experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of habitat improvement techniques, ultimately to the smolt yield stage. ISRP has recommended to Council that some assistance to subbasins may be required to standardize and establish this process within the basin, and we remain hopeful that Umatilla projects will form part of that exercise. Success should be measured in terms of increased smolt production in the system. Sponsors should by now be able to defend their work on the basis of similar treatments by others or results of their own. Absent these results there is no scientific basis for continuing the work. They incorrectly reject the idea that smolt production is the best measure of habitat productivity for anadromous fish. They seem to believe that EDT is the final answer to habitat quality and not merely a basis from which to develop a testable hypothesis. There has been no test of such hypotheses and therefore no basis in science to support continuation of these projects.

This project and others like it are individual parts of what the Council has referred to as the "Umatilla Initiative." As such, none of them is a stand-alone project that can be subjected to scientific peer review on its own merits, but the projects need to be reviewed in the larger context of a plan for restoration of anadromous fishes in the Umatilla Basin. The ISRP's recommendation of "Not Fundable (Qualified)" for the set of projects that constitute the Umatilla Initiative is explained under project 198343600, Umatilla Passage O&M.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1984-025-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1984-025-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems May Exist
Cost Share Rating: 3 - Does not appear reasonable
Comment: Multiple fish habitat restoration projects (fencing, planting), appears to be on both private and non-private lands; multiple other entities may be authorized/required; need to confirm confirmation of screening or other criteria to ensure BPA is not funding activities landowner already required to perform; need confirmation that cost-share is reasonable.
Assessment Number: 1987-100-02-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1987-100-02
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems May Exist
Cost Share Rating: 3 - Does not appear reasonable
Comment: Habitat improvement projects for fish habitat on private lands. Need confirmation that not applied where landowner under requirement to provide (per BiOp or similar order/requirements).

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1984-025-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1984-025-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None
Assessment Number: 1987-100-02-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1987-100-02
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None

Project Relationships: This project Merged From 1987-100-02 effective on 10/1/2018
Relationship Description: Starting in FY19, this project has been merged with project 1984-025-00.


Name Role Organization
Winston Morton Technical Contact Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Daniel Gambetta Interested Party Bonneville Power Administration
Colleen Fagan (Inactive) Project Lead Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Tracy Hauser Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Travis Kessler Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration