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Project Summary

Project 1987-100-01 - Umatilla Anadromous Fish Habitat-Umatilla Tribe
Project Number:
1987-100-01
Title:
Umatilla Anadromous Fish Habitat-Umatilla Tribe
Summary:
The CTUIR Umatilla Basin Habitat Enhancement Project is committed to protecting and enhancing the health of natural resource components in watersheds of significance to the CTUIR.

1/6/2014: This project will be providing action effectiveness monitoring for the Umatilla Basin.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) (Tribe)
Starting FY:
1987
Ending FY:
2032
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Umatilla 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
All Anadromous Fish
All Anadromous Salmonids
Bass, Largemouth
Bass, Smallmouth
Chinook - Mid-Columbia River Spring ESU
Coho - Unspecified Population
Freshwater Mussels
Lamprey, Pacific
Lamprey, Western Brook
OBSOLETE-Carp, Common
OBSOLETE-Catfish
OBSOLETE-Crappie, Black
OBSOLETE-Crappie, White
OBSOLETE-Perch, Yellow
OBSOLETE-Pikeminnow, Northern
OBSOLETE-Walleye
Steelhead - Middle Columbia River DPS (threatened)
Sturgeon, White - All Populations except Kootenai R. DPS
Trout, Bull (threatened)
Trout, Interior Redband
Trout, Rainbow
Whitefish, Mountain
Wildlife
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Special:
None

Typical Reach of the Mid-Umatilla River Basin

Figure Name: Figure 5

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 17

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Land Use Within the Umatilla Basin

Figure Name: Figure 8

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 19

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Riparian Area Impacted by Livestock

Figure Name: Figure 9a

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 19

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Riparian Area Protected By Livestock Exclusion Fence

Figure Name: Figure 9b

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 19

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

CTUIR Habitat Project Biologist Eric Hoverson (right) Discusses the Completed Hoeft Fish Passage Rectification Project with DNR Director Eric Quaempts (2nd from right) and Program Manager Gary James (left) and NRCS representative Chet Hadley (background), October 2008

Figure Name: Figure 11

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 35

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Isquulktpe Creek Channel project. Courtesy of Umatilla Confederated Tribes.

Figure Name: Figure 14h

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 42

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Methodology Used For Fish Population Monitoring Using Stream Electrofishers to Capture Salmonids at Project Sites Prior To Implementation

Figure Name: Figure 15

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 45

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Example of Livestock Exclusion Fencing at West Birch Creek, RM 3.0: Cunningham – Pre Project Condition Showing Degraded Riparian Conditions Due to Sheep Grazing

Figure Name: Figure 16a

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 49

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Example of Livestock Exclusion Fencing at West Birch Creek, RM 3.0: Fence Donations Included 600 Ft of Fence, 140 Steel Posts, 8 Treated Rail Road Ties, and Wire Clips

Figure Name: Figure 16d

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 49

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

CTUIR Native Plant Nursery Containerized Plant Stock

Figure Name: Figure 18

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 52

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Locations of Knapweed Biological Control, Meacham Creek, RM 5

Figure Name: Figure 19

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 54

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Levees (shown in red) Targeted For Setback/Removal

Figure Name: Figure 21

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 59

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Photo Point Monitoring Methodology of Meacham Creek LWD Configurations

Figure Name: Figure 23a

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 62

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Photo Point Monitoring Methodology of Meacham Creek LWD Configurations

Figure Name: Figure 23b

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 62

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Photo Point Monitoring Methodology of Meacham Creek LWD Configurations

Figure Name: Figure 23c

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 62

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Photo Point Monitoring Methodology of Meacham Creek LWD Configurations

Figure Name: Figure 23d

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 62

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Hoeft Dam on West Birch Creek, RM 2.7 Prior to Rectification

Figure Name: Figure 24

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 63

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Blocknets Used to Keep Fish From Reentering Construction Site

Figure Name: Figure 26

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 67

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Hoeft Dam – Preparation of Substrate for Fishway Base

Figure Name: Figure 27

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 68

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

One of the Thirteen Sections of the Fishway

Figure Name: Figure 28

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 68

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Moving Fishway Section Into Place

Figure Name: Figure 29

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 69

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Hoeft Passage Rectification Project Showing Sloped Bank and Plantings

Figure Name: Figure 31

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 70

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Umatilla River RM 40, Showing Severely Incised Channel and Bank Erosion

Figure Name: Figure 32

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 72

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

Aerial Photograph of B&G Resources Property, CREP Tracts, and Well Sites

Figure Name: Figure 33

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 73

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848

CTUIR/ODFW Access Restriction Project, June 2008

Figure Name: Figure 37

Document ID: P110254

Document: CTUIR Umatilla Anadromous Fisheries Habitat Project

Page Number: 77

Project: 1987-100-01

Contract: 36848


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 *
FY2016 (Previous) $847,080 $1,232,854 $989,468 $989,468 $1,026,370

Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla $1,232,854 $989,468 $989,468 $1,026,370
FY2017 (Current) $871,120 $1,963,049 $1,558,989 $1,558,989 $799,948

Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla $1,963,049 $1,558,989 $1,558,989 $799,948
FY2018 (Next) $1,423,460 $1,423,460 $1,423,460 $1,423,460 $0

Post 2018 – Umatilla $1,423,460 $1,423,460 $1,423,460 $0

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 30-Jun-2017

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2016 - FY2018)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2016 Expense $1,168,300 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Fish Accord Review 05/02/2008
FY2016 Expense $220,442 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Fish Accord project COLA 11/21/2008
FY2016 Expense $41,662 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Establish CTUIR FY13-17 Admin Budget (2012-010-00) 07/19/2012
FY2016 Expense $500,000 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla CTUIR (1987-100-01 budget adjustment to 2013) 01/17/2013
FY2016 Expense $227,731 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (CTUIR) 12/22/2015 12/22/2015
FY2016 Expense $109,543 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla CTUIR budget adjustment (funds to 1987-100-01) 5/10/16 05/10/2016
FY2016 Expense $48,500 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Budget Transfers (CRITFC) 8/16/2016 08/17/2016
FY2017 Expense $1,168,300 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Fish Accord Review 05/02/2008
FY2017 Expense $255,160 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Fish Accord project COLA 11/21/2008
FY2017 Expense $252,425 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Umatilla Tribe budget adjustments 6-23-2011 (part 1 of cleanup) 06/23/2011
FY2017 Expense $33,726 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Establish CTUIR FY12 Admin Budget (2012-010-00) 01/26/2012
FY2017 Expense $42,704 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Establish CTUIR FY13-17 Admin Budget (2012-010-00) 07/19/2012
FY2017 Expense $207,115 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla CTUIR (1987-100-01 budget adjustment to 2013) 01/17/2013
FY2017 Expense $16,370 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Add funding to CTUIR FY17 Admin Budget (2012-010-00) 02/24/2016
FY2017 Expense $133,458 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (**Various**) 11/30/2016 12/01/2016
FY2017 Expense $81,662 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (**Various**) 11/30/2016 12/01/2016
FY2017 Expense $323,862 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (**Various**) 11/30/2016 12/01/2016
FY2017 Expense $302,947 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (**Various**) 11/30/2016 12/01/2016
FY2017 Expense $250,000 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (**Various**) 11/30/2016 12/01/2016
FY2018 Expense $1,423,460 From: Post 2018 – Umatilla FY18 Initial Planning Budgets (WS, CTUIR, YN, CRITFC, CCT, ID) 2/10/2017 02/13/2017

Pending Budget Decision?  No


No Project Cost Share

FY2016 0 %
FY2015 0 %
FY2014 19 %
FY2013 17 %
FY2012 8 %
FY2011 16 %
FY2010 0 %
FY2009 0 %
FY2008 42 %
FY2007 63 %
Fiscal Year Cost Share Partner Total Proposed
Contribution
Total Confirmed
Contribution

Contracts

The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, Complete, History, Issued.
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Contracted Amount Dates
22529 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1987-100-01 UMATILLA BASIN ANADROMOUS FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT History $239,165 2/1/2005 - 1/31/2006
26950 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1987-100-01 EXP UMATILLA ANADROMOUS FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT History $333,204 2/1/2006 - 1/31/2007
32047 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1987-100-01 EXP UMATILLA ANADROMOUS FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT History $304,936 2/1/2007 - 1/31/2008
73982 REL 13 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 1987-100-01 EXP UMATILLA ANADROMOUS FISH HABITAT - CTUIR Issued $1,558,989 2/1/2017 - 1/31/2018



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):16
Completed:12
On time:12
Status Reports
Completed:50
On time:31
Avg Days Late:3

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
6513 22529, 26950, 32047, 36848, 42025, 46159, 52770, 57257, 60836, 64560, 68519, 71600, 73982 REL 13 1987-100-01 UMATILLA BASIN ANADROMOUS FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 09/2000 09/2000 Pending 50 255 20 0 61 336 81.85% 3
Project Totals 50 255 20 0 61 336 81.85% 3


Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1987-100-01-ISRP-20130610
Project: 1987-100-01 - Umatilla Anadromous Fish Habitat-Umatilla Tribe
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal Number: GEOREV-1987-100-01
Completed Date: 9/26/2013
Final Round ISRP Date: 8/15/2013
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:

The sponsors state that this project is not tasked with implementing action effectiveness monitoring. Instead monitoring will be performed by projects that are referenced in the “Relationship to Other Projects” portion of their proposal. They will, however, work with BPA and Council Staff to determine whether their proposed restoration actions could be considered for use in a future AEM or ISEMP monitoring programs.

Comments on sponsor responses to specific ISRP questions:

1) Fish population sampling by species. For example, bull trout are not listed as a focal or secondary focal species but this threatened species is apparently present in the upper Umatilla system. Is any of the restoration work specifically targeted at bull trout or lamprey?

The response asserts that the restoration efforts are comprehensive and will benefit all native aquatic species, although the emphasis is clearly on anadromous salmonids. Statements about limiting factors, while plausible, should be backed up with field data, i.e., evidence that clearly shows an improvement in some aspect of native fish life cycles when a limiting factor is addressed. The Meacham Creek restoration efforts, for example, will likely benefit native fishes and freshwater mussels. Hopefully, monitoring will demonstrate improvements in these resources in addition to Chinook and steelhead.

The hypothesis that restoration actions, which are designed to address such factors as water temperatures, high sediment loads, and channel simplification, will benefit multiple species should be tested. For example, will before and after assessments or other types of monitoring be performed to document expected changes in abundance of salmonids, lamprey, and mussels in response to improvements in water quality and physical habitat at restoration sites?

2) How will long-term sustainability of the restoration work be monitored? Some of the improvement projects such as dam removals need little follow-up, but other types of work such as riparian re-vegetation, in-stream structure placement, and bioengineered side channels deserve post-treatment monitoring.

The response indicates that “design assessment monitoring” can take place for up to 3-5 years for “large” projects. Based on the response, we interpret this to mean that project staff members check on the implementation of the restoration action to ensure that the work was implemented as designed and has not been rendered ineffective by some unforeseen factor. While this is very useful information, it is somewhat different from answering the question “did the project achieve the desired ecological benefits that were intended?” which was why we
suggested additional effectiveness monitoring. The ISRP was also hoping that at least some of the project sites would be monitored to determine if periodic maintenance or repairs would be required to maintain desired ecological functions. The response to the question about riparian improvement was excellent, and we encourage vegetation transect monitoring for a time sufficient to show that riparian plantings have not experienced excessive browse damage.

We were encouraged to hear that CHaMP sampling protocols have been established in Meacham Creek, and we urge the sponsors to seek additional CHaMP, ISEMP, or AEM sites on other projects.

3) What is being done to identify production bottlenecks that may be hindering the anticipated response to habitat improvements? Are there other factors that are not currently being monitored that could be included in future monitoring efforts? How can new hypotheses be tested?

It was somewhat unclear how monitoring the production of juvenile steelhead from the Upper Umatilla River, Meacham Creek, and Birch Creek would provide a direct measure of habitat restoration effectiveness unless there was a corresponding (and relatively accurate) estimate of spawning adults in these tributaries, which would enable measurement of changes in smolts-per-adult over time. Hopefully both returning adults and emigrating smolts will be enumerated.

The mainstem Umatilla research should remain a priority. PIT-tagging emigrating steelhead or Chinook at tributary junctions may allow overall estimates of passage survival to Three-Mile Dam, but the actual causes of mortality (e.g., water quality problems, predation, winter habitat deficiencies) cannot be known without developing testable hypotheses that address specific potentially limiting factors. The response does suggest this, but what those testable hypotheses might be and how they would be addressed through monitoring has apparently not yet been described in detail. The CTUIR’s biomonitoring program is mentioned, but additional information in the response would have been helpful.

A collaborative study to identify factors limiting salmonid production in the Umatilla was recently started by the CTUIR and ODFW. The production of juvenile steelhead in Meacham and Birch Creeks and in the Upper Umatilla is being measured. Fish are receiving PIT tags and the survival of these fish to Three Mile Falls Dam is being estimated. Identification of factors that are influencing survival would be accomplished by correlating selected factors with survival. An efficient approach would be to directly investigate the importance of the factors hypothesized to influence survival, e.g. water temperature, predation, stream flow and turbidity, and the abundance of over-wintering habitat. In the case of predation, surveys could be conducted to determine the abundance of potential avian and fish predators and their diets during different times of the year by location. The abundance of juvenile steelhead would also need to be measured at each location during each time period. Additionally, such factors as stream temperature, flow, velocity and turbidity on species-specific predation rates would need to be considered before estimating the potential impact of each predator species on juvenile steelhead. Directed research of this type would help identify where and what might be reducing juvenile steelhead survival in the mainstem Umatilla River. We realize that the project sponsors have stated that they are not able to conduct such monitoring as part of this project; however, we strongly encourage them to work with partners who are engaged in effectiveness monitoring so that key questions about limiting factors can be answered.

4) An assessment of how these habitat improvements will provide buffering to shocks to the system, for example climate change may increase the variability in precipitation over years. How will the habitat actions deal with a wetter than normal year or a drier than normal year?

The response makes a persuasive case for restoring floodplains to help buffer streams from unusual environmental variability. The response also states, with reference to Meacham Creek, “Restoration of floodplain processes shall be duplicated throughout the Umatilla Subbasin.” However, it seems unlikely that floodplain restoration will be significantly enlarged in agricultural lands to the extent seen along Meacham Creek. What can be done along streams where full floodplain restoration is not feasible?

The potential of hyporheic flow to help lessen the impact of high temperatures was adequately discussed, but it was not completely clear how the information from the hyporheic studies would translate into management actions.

Evaluation of Results

The project sponsors have demonstrated an excellent track record of getting things done and working with landowners in a subbasin where receptivity to ecological restoration is uneven. We hold the Meacham Creek restoration effort and accompanying effectiveness monitoring near the gold standard in assessing tributary habitat improvements. However, we are also concerned that some other types of restoration work included in this project may not be receiving the monitoring attention they deserve. Because the CTUIR staff does not possess the resources to carry out the biological effectiveness monitoring that is needed, we strongly encourage continued collaboration with other projects that are engaged in such monitoring in the Umatilla subbasin and also that a few of the restoration sites be considered as candidates
for inclusion in the AEM and ISEMP programs.

The response states that project sponsors are unable to engage in additional RM&E, as the ISRP suggested, without additional support. If that is the case, two qualifications are required to ensure that the project meets scientific criteria:

Qualification #1 - Monitoring plans for each project site
Monitoring plans for each project site should be clearly referenced in the BPA statement of work/contract. If any biological effectiveness monitoring will take place at a site through the efforts of other programs (for example, ISEMP, AEM, or the CTUIR effectiveness monitoring project), there should be a description of how such monitoring information will be utilized in this project. If monitoring will be limited to design assessment monitoring, it should be clear that the restoration site will not include biological effectiveness monitoring or inclusion in the CHaMP habitat status and trends monitoring program.
Qualification #2 - Add additional sites to the AEM or ISEMP networks
The project sponsors should be strongly encouraged to add additional sites to the AEM or ISEMP networks. The ISRP is very impressed with the monitoring taking place at Meacham Creek. However, restoration actions at some other Umatilla sites address limiting factors for which the Meacham Creek work is not particularly applicable, and therefore the Meacham Creek restoration monitoring should not be used as a surrogate for all other habitat improvement projects in the subbasin. Adding other restoration sites to the AEM or ISEMP network will expand monitoring coverage to a greater range of environmental issues in the Umatilla River system.
First Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:

The proposal contains abundant detail, and the ISRP compliments project sponsors on submitting a thorough description of the project. A little more information is needed on the effectiveness monitoring components. Specifically, we would like additional information on:

1) Fish population sampling by species. For example, bull trout are not listed as a focal or secondary focal species but this threatened species is apparently present in the upper Umatilla system. Is any of the restoration work specifically targeted at bull trout or lamprey?

2) How will long-term sustainability of the restoration work be monitored? Some of the improvement projects such as dam removals need little follow-up, but other types of work such as riparian revegetation, instream structure placement, and bioengineered side channels deserve post-treatment monitoring.

3) What is being done to identify production bottlenecks that may be hindering the anticipated response to habitat improvements? Are there other factors that are not currently being monitored that could be included in future monitoring efforts? How can new hypotheses be tested?

4) An assessment of how these habitat improvements will provide buffering to shocks to the system, for example climate change may increase the variability in precipitation over years. How will the habitat actions deal with a wetter than normal year or a drier than normal year?

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

This is a large project that involves a suite of habitat restoration efforts in the Umatilla subbasin. Many of the activities have been underway for a decade or more; for example, the Meacham Creek floodplain restoration work was in progress when the ISRP last visited the area six years ago. The significance to regional programs, technical background, and project objectives were, in general, explained in considerable detail. The emphasis of the project on re-establishing natural watershed processes is commendable and is consistent with regional plans that call for establishing healthy, sustainable habitats and fish populations.

The Umatilla subbasin is divided into two areas: agriculturally-dominated lowlands and forested headwaters. In this proposal, priority is given to restoration activities in a headwater stream (Meacham Creek), a transitional stream (Birch Creek), and the lower Umatilla River mainstem (agricultural lands). Each stream has its own set of environmental challenges, but they all share a few potentially limiting factors such as stream temperature in common. Likewise, the portfolio of restoration activities in the proposal addresses a variety of restoration issues and is more limited to one or two problems. The ISRP agrees that diversifying restoration actions is more likely to improve the overall spawning and rearing environment of the Umatilla River and its tributaries than focusing on a limited subset of problems.

All actions are predicated on habitat being limiting, but it was not clear which feature of the habitat is limiting, for example is it water temperature, gravel for spawning/eggs/fry, juvenile habitat? In some cases, such as a barrier removal to allow access to spawning areas or fish ladders to improve access to spawning areas, these actions seem immediately justified, but other actions such as noxious weed removal, while appearing to be worthwhile so that native plants can reestablish, need a clearer link to what habitat features are being improved; that is, non-native plants still provide cover.

The project prioritizes where restoration should occur, develops conservation agreements with private landowners, engages in fish passage and habitat restoration, maintains existing habitat restoration actions, develops and evaluates effectiveness monitoring tools and also performs effectiveness monitoring. And project staff members participate in public processes to review proposed developments in the Umatilla that may adversely impact existing floodplain habitat.

Project activities are guided by the Umatilla River/Willow Creek Subbasin Plan, a five-year action plan co-developed with ODFW, Umatilla River Vision, Conservation and Recovery Plan for Oregon Steelhead Populations in the Middle Columbia Distinct Population Segment, a Bull Trout Recovery Plan, Meacham Creek Watershed Analysis and Action Plan, and the Umatilla and Meacham Watershed Assessment.

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

The proposal goes into great detail about previous restoration activities, and their progress reports contain many documents authored by one of their principal contractors, TetraTech. Project sponsors state that monitoring, in general, is not focused on individual restoration actions but rather on gaining a basinwide perspective. While this objective is worthwhile, much of the evidence in the results section of the proposal describes project-specific improvements, and we were given limited information about basinwide conditions although the temperature data were an exception. Some of the actions are innovative and have been worth the monitoring effort. The attempt to reconnect hyporheic flow pathways with the stream channel to provide natural nutrient inputs and thermal refugia is a good example.

Because the proposal was so long and there was considerable redundancy in some of the sections, it was a little unclear how the results of the different restoration activities have been incorporated into management changes. Evidence for adaptive management is clear with regard to securing water rights and decommissioning irrigation dams, but the proposal did not provide much detail about how the monitoring program had been altered in response to new findings or questions. In fairness to project sponsors, however, the biological monitoring portion of the project is just now ramping up.

There have been extensive habitat improvements in the past, but these have yet failed to show any evidence of improvements in outcomes. Given the high variation in the natural response over time, this is not surprising. Many habitat actions may not increase the mean responses, but reduce the variability in response; for example, good habitat is better able to buffer populations against disturbances. In future years, rather than reporting on changes in the mean response, some exploration should be undertaken about the resiliency of the system to changes brought about by improvement to habitats.

Most of the project’s activities have taken place in the Meacham Creek watershed. The most significant one was renovation of over a mile of simple stream channel into a braided system. To accomplish this over 2,800 feet of levee was removed and complex pools and large woody debris were added. The project has also completed extensive riparian fencing, planted thousands of native plants, monitored stream temperatures, completed CHaMP based surveys in Meacham Creek and classified stream segments in the basin using standard and statistically derived methods. In addition, the project is developing two new tools to assess habitat restoration actions. One relies on macroinvertebrates and is being developed by Oregon State University. The other employs hyporheic water temperatures and turnover rates and is being developed by Montana State University.

The sponsors hypothesize that high mortality during the juvenile out-migration period may be largely responsible for the inability to demonstrate positive fish responses to tributary restoration. The project is using adaptive management, and results from previous restoration actions are guiding new efforts. For example, new channel restoration efforts are now incorporating designs that promote hyporheic exchange by removing levees and spur dikes to control water temperature. Furthermore, data from a fish use survey were used to identify high use areas and the attributes of these locations are now being replicated in their habitat restoration projects.

This project is a good example of a serious effort to address a variety of habitat improvement issues over an entire subbasin. The missing link in the effectiveness monitoring program is lack of knowledge of mainstem Umatilla River survival. With this added component, the project should be able to demonstrate long-term improvement in abundance and resiliency of target species.

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

The habitat restoration project is a part of a larger four-part program designed to recover salmonids in the Umatilla subbasin. Other parts include a hatchery program, flow restoration, and fish passage remediation. Project staff coordinate and participate with many agencies, including the Umatilla Basin Restoration Team, ODFW, U.S. Forest Service, Umatilla Soil and Water Conservation District, Umatilla Basin Watershed Council, Freshwater Trust, OWEB, Oregon State University, Montana State University, and Union Pacific Railroad.

Climate change was recognized as an emerging limiting factor. Changes in runoff timing, water quantity, water temperature regimes, and snowpack could have profound effects. Elevated stream temperatures and reduced water flows could also reduce the availability of cool water habitats. Channel restoration efforts that produce sinuous multithreaded channels, however, are expected to provide significant temperature buffering. The current plan is to use such designs and build some resiliency into their restored habitats.

Some thought should also be given on how to measure the resiliency of the system to environmental shocks. This system may be better served by improving connections with floodplains that have no impact on available habitat for most years but serve as a buffer for severe rain storms events.

From the graphs of the number of naturally produced steelhead smolts (Fig. 6; Fig. 13) and egg-to-smolt survival (Fig. 7; Fig. 14) it appears that productivity of anadromous salmonids in the Umatilla River system may be declining in spite of the extensive investment in habitat restoration. This suggests that there might be an unrecognized environmental factor limiting production. It would be helpful for the proposal to suggest hypotheses about why biological performance, of summer steelhead at least, has declined, as well as steps that could be taken to test these hypotheses. This could include factors that are currently receiving little attention, such as a buildup of fish predators in the system.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

Deliverables and work elements were described in detail, and metrics and methods were referenced to CHaMP and monitoringmethods.org protocols well enough to get a clear picture of what will be done.

The ISRP hopes that the partnership with ODFW will result in increased biological monitoring. Because the amount and diversity of habitat improvements is high, the Umatilla River system is an ideal location to examine the relationship between restoration and fish response. Some suggestions include: (1) expanding the food web studies. Once per year sampling is not enough to gage restoration effectiveness; (2) monitor the persistence of habitat improvements, such as riparian plantings; (3) install some PIT-tag detectors in selected tributaries (Meacham Creek, Birch Creek, and perhaps Butter Creek) to study seasonal fish movements and smolt timing. Because these streams get very warm, it would be useful to see where juveniles go to avoid high temperatures and when they leave the tributaries as smolts; and (4) surveys of upstream use of streams opened up by irrigation dam removals.

Project sponsors state that many habitat improvement sites will be studied using a BACI approach. If this is the preferred approach, identification of suitable unenhanced reference sites will be critical to measuring restoration success. It would be helpful if the proposal showed the location of reference locations and explained why they are suitable controls for treated areas. Project staff could also consider using a "staircase" approach to monitoring results, in which one or two streams are designated as unenhanced reference watersheds and restoration is applied to other streams in a sequential manner. In effect, this is what has been happening.

We also suggest that additional monitoring be focused on juvenile survival and growth. The declining egg-to-smolt survival trend is illuminating, but it would be very helpful if the life history stage suffering the greatest mortality increases were known in better detail. Are limiting factors more apparent in summer than winter, for example? Information on fish growth rates and condition can also reveal when food resources could be limiting, and if restoration is improving trophic productivity.

Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

Macroinvertebrates are highly variable in space and time. For example, collecting samples 500 meters away from a specific location and a week later can give completely different answers. This proposal revisits the same sites at the same time during the year. We suggest expanding the sampling around the target time to account for shifts in emergence of invertebrates. It may be preferable to try and match the sampling to events in the life history of the fish, for example which invertebrates are present when smolts start their outmigration to provide food?

Modified by Dal Marsters on 9/26/2013 9:51:37 AM.

Modified by Dal Marsters on 9/26/2013 9:51:55 AM.
Documentation Links:
  • Proponent Response (7/9/2013)

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1987-100-01-NPCC-20131125
Project: 1987-100-01 - Umatilla Anadromous Fish Habitat-Umatilla Tribe
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal: GEOREV-1987-100-01
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 11/5/2013
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement through FY 2018. ISRP qualifications will be addressed in Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 ISRP Qualification: Monitoring plans for each project site—ISRP qualifications will be addressed in Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring.
Council Condition #2 ISRP Qualification: Add additional sites to the AEM or ISEMP networks—ISRP qualifications will be addressed in Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring.
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1987-100-01-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1987-100-01
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 (barrier removal, LWD etc), not clear if occurring on both private and public 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/others already required to perform; need confirmation that cost-share is reasonable.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1987-100-01-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1987-100-01
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1987-100-01-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1987-100-01 - Umatilla Anadromous Fish Habitat-Umatilla Tribe
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:
Because of the high level of management intervention (pumping, trucking, hatchery releases), the Umatilla projects need to be reviewed as an integrated program. This program is not currently scientifically justified because of the inadequacy of the tie of M&E to management actions, especially in terms of monitoring and the water pumping issues. For example, the issues of trucking the fish need to be explored in terms of effects on mortality and stress. What is the evidence of wild smolt production from the hatchery migrants?

The sponsors claim that declining survival is the result of factors other than potential failure of habitat restructuring. They should show that the result is related to these other factors. Ineffective habitat treatment was not eliminated as the cause. Returning adults and number of redds are subject to out-of-basin factors as well as habitat factors that affected survival as juveniles. To be effective, habitat restoration measurements need to be viewed in the context of natural watershed conditions and fish population monitoring, as well as compared to similar measurements from a reference stream without
restoration. Until data are presented to show it to be otherwise, it is faith rather than science that permits a conclusion that changes in habitat have caused increased run-strength. The data presented in response Figure 1 provided no meaningful answer to questions regarding the habitat work. To gain some scientific credibility, sponsors could at least try to provide comparative data from an untreated system to help account for out-of-basin affects. Pointing to modeled results from EDT is not enough. EDT permits formulation of a hypothesis regarding habitat quality, a hypothesis that then needs to be tested.

The response from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) was not as thorough or as useful as that from related work by ODFW on 198710002, with whom they supposedly coordinate. However, one assumes the same response within 19871002 applies here. The separation of tasks by the two agencies remains confusing, and one of convenience rather than purpose, despite the reasons given. The call for presentation of results in terms of fish response has gone unheeded in both responses. There remains the need to fully develop the effectiveness evaluation of habitat improvement work, and there seems a need for professional assistance towards this process. There is no evidence that an increase in salmonid carrying capacity or productivity is a result of this work. They note, "The obvious increase in the total number of spawners is no doubt due partially to improved habitat…" But without treatment and control data this cannot be confirmed. Indeed, it is the other reasons stated (removal of passage barriers in addition to out of basin factors), particularly the latter, for which variation in adult returns likely exists, and as noted in the former fisheries literature. To repeat, the limiting factors appear to primarily relate to out of basin factors and fish passage within the basin and to flows. The relationship with irrigation and pumping of water remains confusing. An on-site subbasin review is needed.

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:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1987-100-01-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1987-100-01 - Umatilla Anadromous Fish Habitat-Umatilla Tribe
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.

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Gary James Supervisor Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Julie Burke Administrative Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Eric Hoverson Interested Party Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Michael Lambert Project Lead Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Katey Grange Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Tracey Yerxa Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Richard Christian Interested Party Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)