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Project Summary

Project 1994-042-00 - Trout Creek Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
Project Number:
1994-042-00
Title:
Trout Creek Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
Summary:
This statement of work addresses three phases of the Trout Creek Restoration Project. 1) Ongoing operation and maintenance which consists of inspections and maintenance of riparian and range fence and offsite water developments. 2) Conducting monitoring and evaluation of riparian exclosures, instream habitat improvements, smolt outmigrants population estimates, adult upstream composition and population estimate and 3) Implementation of Riparian and Instream habitat improvements consisting of natural channel restoration projects (which may include berm removal). This project serves as one of several projects that will partially mitigate for the effects of construction and operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System. The Trout Creek Project goal is to improve instream and riparian habitat that will increase the annual out migrant population of Mid-Columbia ESU summer steelhead. Technical expertise that this project brings will assist in the development and implementation of a basin wide restoration plan (Long-Range Action Plan was recently adopted, May 2004).

The work proposed in this Scope of Work is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Trout Creek Watershed Assessment of 2003, the draft for the south-east sub-unit of the Deschutes Subbasin Plan of 2004 the objectives of RPA's 150 and 153 of the 2000 FCRPS Biological Opinion, the Trout Creek mitigation recommendations of the FERC Relicensing Agreement for the Pelton Round Butte Hydroelectric Project, and the habitat improvement agreements established between ODFW, JCSWCD and individual landowners in Trout Creek. In addition, these actions are in compliance with the requirements established by the ISRP in their comments in the 2001 Provincial Review (i.e. justify additional work via the watershed assessment and subbasin plans).

Work Elements and Milestones
ODFW project activities are limited to the operation and maintenance of completed habitat treatment measures, long-range watershed planning and monitoring and evaluation of the project.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (Govt - State)
Starting FY:
1994
Ending FY:
2017
BPA PM:
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Deschutes 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
Restoration/Protection
Focal Species:
Chinook - Mid-Columbia River Spring ESU
OBSOLETE-Pikeminnow, Northern
Steelhead - Middle Columbia River DPS (threatened)
Trout, Interior Redband
Wildlife
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Special:
None
BiOp Association:

Antelope Creek on the rise (crested at ~1125cfs bkf=130cfs)

Figure Name: Photo 1

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 4

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Antelope Creek Channel Reconstruction Reach 2008

Figure Name: Photo 2

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 5

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Antelope Creek Channel Reconstruction Reach 2011

Figure Name: Photo 3

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 5

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Channel Reconstruction Monitoring and Evaluation: Before project 2003

Figure Name: Photo 4

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 7

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Channel Reconstruction Monitoring and Evaluation: Post project 2011

Figure Name: Photo 5

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 7

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Channel Reconstruction Monitoring and Evaluation: Before project 2003

Figure Name: Photo 6

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 8

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Channel Reconstruction Monitoring and Evaluation: Post project 2011

Figure Name: Photo 7

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 8

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Channel Reconstruction Monitoring and Evaluation: Before project 2003

Figure Name: Photo 8

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 9

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Channel Reconstruction Monitoring and Evaluation: Post project 2011

Figure Name: Photo 9

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 9

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Channel Reconstruction Monitoring and Evaluation: Before project 2003

Figure Name: Photo 10

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 10

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Channel Reconstruction Monitoring and Evaluation: Post project 2011

Figure Name: Photo 11

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 10

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Channel Reconstruction Monitoring and Evaluation: Before project 2003

Figure Name: Photo 12

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 11

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Channel Reconstruction Monitoring and Evaluation: Post project 2011

Figure Name: Photo 13

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 11

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Feral hog rooting

Figure Name: Photo 14

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 12

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Ward Creek 2005

Figure Name: Photo 15

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 13

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Ward Creek 2011

Figure Name: Photo 16

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 13

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Shanty Creek 2001

Figure Name: Photo 17

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 14

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Shanty Creek 2011

Figure Name: Photo 18

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 14

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Antelope Creek 1984

Figure Name: Photo 19

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 15

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Antelope Creek 2011

Figure Name: Photo 20

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 15

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

Contrast Photo of Riparian exclosure fencing (Livestock have only been in pasture for five weeks)

Figure Name: Photo 21

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 16

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

No caption provided.

Figure Name: Photo 22

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 23

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

No caption provided.

Figure Name: Photo 23

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 23

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808

No caption provided.

Figure Name: Photo 24

Document ID: P122680

Document: Trout Creek Watershed Restoration Project, 2/10 - 1/11

Page Number: 23

Project: 1994-042-00

Contract: 51808


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) $434,168 $434,168 $434,168 $583,711 $394,918

BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) $434,168 $434,168 $583,711 $394,918
FY2017 (Current) $416,881 $416,881 $416,872 $416,872 $203,705

BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) $416,881 $416,872 $416,872 $203,705
FY2018 (Next) $0 $0 $0 $0

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

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 31-Mar-2017

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2016 - FY2018)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2016 Expense $434,168 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) FY16 Initial Planning Budgets - Expense 05/22/2015
FY2017 Expense $416,881 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) FY17 SOY Budgets 06/02/2016

Pending Budget Decision?  No


No Project Cost Share

FY2016 0 %
FY2015 0 %
FY2014 0 %
FY2013 38 %
FY2012 6 %
FY2011 39 %
FY2010 0 %
FY2009 35 %
FY2008 9 %
FY2007 20 %
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
BPA-004323 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Active $0 10/1/2007 - 9/30/2008
BPA-004428 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Active $5,415 10/1/2008 - 9/30/2009
BPA-004984 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Active $7,048 10/1/2009 - 9/30/2010
BPA-005558 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Active $4,894 10/1/2006 - 9/30/2007
BPA-005707 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Active $8,125 10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011
BPA-006349 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Active $7,603 10/1/2011 - 9/30/2012
BPA-006993 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Active $7,466 10/1/2012 - 9/30/2013
68237 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1994-042-00 EXP TROUT CREEK OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE Issued $373,858 2/1/2015 - 9/30/2016
71579 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1994-042-00 EXP TROUT CREEK OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE Issued $434,168 2/1/2016 - 1/31/2017
BPA-009537 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Active $3,811 10/1/2016 - 9/30/2017
75015 SOW Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1994-042-00 EXP TROUT CREEK OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE Issued $413,061 2/1/2017 - 1/31/2018



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):12
Completed:11
On time:11
Status Reports
Completed:52
On time:26
Avg Days Late:12

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
5896 21110, 24582, 33262, 37576, 41577, 46247, 51808, 56123, 60331, 64453, 68237, 71579, 75015 1994-042-00 TROUT CREEK HABITAT RESTORATION Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 07/2001 07/2001 Issued 52 254 3 0 11 268 95.90% 1
BPA-005558 PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Bonneville Power Administration 10/2006 10/2006 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-004323 PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Bonneville Power Administration 10/2007 10/2007 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-004428 PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Bonneville Power Administration 10/2008 10/2008 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-004984 PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Bonneville Power Administration 10/2009 10/2009 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-005707 PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Bonneville Power Administration 10/2010 10/2010 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-006349 PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Bonneville Power Administration 10/2011 10/2011 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-006993 PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Bonneville Power Administration 10/2012 10/2012 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-009537 PIT Tags - Trout Creek O&M Bonneville Power Administration 10/2016 10/2016 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Project Totals 52 254 3 0 11 268 95.90% 1


Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1994-042-00-ISRP-20130610
Project: 1994-042-00 - Trout Creek Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal Number: GEOREV-1994-042-00
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:

Overall, this is an effective project. It is refreshing that it both implements and monitors projects and promises to yield improved monitoring information based on PIT tagging. Additional monitoring by augmenting fisheries expertise to the project could increase benefits.

 

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

The purpose of this project is to enhance stream and riparian habitat to increase outmigration of ESA listed summer steelhead smolts in Trout Creek. Trout Creek steelhead make up a large percentage of the summer steelhead run in the Lower Deschutes River. As is usually the case in Mid-Columbia Basin watersheds, degradation of riparian and aquatic habitat is a threat to sustainability of the fish population. The project is consistent with the Deschutes Subbasin Plan, the 2008 FCRPS Biological Opinion and the Oregon Middle Columbia (Mid-C) Steelhead Recovery Plan (2010), among others. The project involves continued development, design, and implementation of habitat restoration projects that focus primarily on instream and riparian habitat improvement Additionally, this project continues to maintain and monitor the existing habitat restoration work, and monitors focal species in the watershed. The long-term, watershed scale program has reportedly contributed to a "viable" rating for summer steelhead.

All the proposed work will be on private lands. The sponsors state that they have gained the trust of landowners and access to their land over the course of this project. This effort is significant because it is likely that increased abundance of steelhead cannot be achieved without habitat restoration on private lands. The project’s work is consistent with each of the twelve strategic actions in the Oregon Middle Columbia Implementation Spreadsheet for the Deschutes Eastside Summer Steelhead Population. This is important because it places the Trout Creek project in the context of a larger strategic plan. Is there a management plan specific for Trout Creek, for example a Watershed Restoration Action Plan? If so, an overview the plan and its objectives would have been informative.

This project is unusual in that it proposes not only to implement habitat restoration actions (Objective 3) but also to monitor smolt out migration (Objective 1) and adult abundance (Objective 2). More specific objectives for smolt out-migration and adult abundance monitoring need to be established. There are some questions on this monitoring. Is fish monitoring intended primarily to assess trends in abundance or is it also intended to determine whether fish are responding to habitat enhancement actions, or both? What are the trends in fish abundance? Apparently juvenile distribution and abundance is not being assessed and monitored, which is unfortunate.

A substantial amount of fish and habitat data apparently has been collected, providing a data series that spans 14 years. The fish data that is being collected should allow the sponsors to estimate freshwater survival, one important measure of freshwater productivity, and smolt to adult returns, a measure of the impacts of out of basin factors on survival. In addition, the sponsors indicate that they have been collecting a considerable amount of habitat monitoring data. It seems that this project provides the opportunity to determine basin scale cumulative effects of habitat enhancement actions to improve fish abundance and productivity.

The sponsors have more than 20 years of experience working in the watershed and know the system and landowners well. A watershed assessment was completed for the drainage that examined watershed processes and function, identified major data gaps, and reportedly prioritized each of six sub-watersheds for their importance for restoration. However, no details were given on findings of the assessment, how watersheds were prioritized, or whether the assessment was used to frame a watershed scale restoration strategy.

Objectives are qualitative and do not incorporate a time frame for accomplishment of expected results.

Can what happened in 1998 that led to high out-migration numbers be replicated? The population responds to high water flow years and high rainfall. Late summer rainfall is especially important. Are there any habitat features, for example water depth, that can effectively substitute for the high flows?

 

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

Riparian and aquatic habitat restoration has been ongoing for 30 years in Trout Creek. There have been substantial accomplishments to improve habitat conditions, but there are few, cumulative and quantitative results provided either for improved habitat conditions or fish numbers. It appears that there is a long history of monitoring activities but a very limited evaluation and summary of findings. The project has been monitoring smolt out migration and adult abundance annually for about 14 years. Several tables of fish data were presented in the proposal, but there was little data analysis or interpretation. Results from only a few projects were presented and these consisted of photo point information and brief summaries of quantitative changes in a limited number of habitat variables. Again, there was little or no data analysis and interpretation. The sponsors made little attempt to relate changes in habitat conditions to changes in fish abundance or productivity. They apparently have collected a considerable amount of data on fish and habitat but, based on the results presented in this proposal, it seems that data analysis should be progressing at a more rapid rate. The sponsors should consider enlisting additional agency help in addressing this deficiency. Some analyses such as trends in smolts per redd might prove informative.

Management changes discussed by the sponsors are primarily focused at the project and/or treatment scale. There do not appear to be any planned major project wide changes in direction and restoration methodology. It is likely that a critical evaluation of general program organization, management, and overall performance could provide some insights for further improvement of program efficiency and effectiveness, particularly at a sub-watershed scale.

Additionally, after 30 years of work one would think that the amount of priority work remaining could be located, prioritized and given initial cost estimates. This proposal merely calls for another 5 years of funding without discussion of how to complete priority actions in priority locations.

There are some good specific examples of changes to restoration activities that have resulted from lessons learned, but there is not a coherent program to incorporate an adaptive management approach to the program.

An ISRP review (2006) suggested a summary of lessons learned was needed. A limited summary is provided, but much of the information is actually personal observation and is not accompanied by clear statements as to the lessons learned or how these have been incorporated into the current program.

 

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

Although coordination with Jefferson SWCD seems excellent based on the site visit the sponsors could have provided more details about their working relationship with the closely related BPA-funded project, Trout Creek Watershed Restoration (1998-028-00). Both projects are engaged in habitat enhancement, although the Trout Creek Watershed Restoration is not monitoring fish abundance. If one of the goals of the proposed work is to evaluate fish response to habitat enhancement actions, then the two projects will have to work more closely, including sharing data.

Although it appears that the sponsors are collecting a considerable amount of habitat monitoring data, the actual RM&E plan is not clearly described. The sponsors should have provided the objectives and design of the RM&E program in some detail. The sponsors also should have indicated whether monitoring is occurring at the site, reach, tributary, or basin scale, and discussed the frequency of sampling and the measurements that are being made at each scale. They also should have discussed the status and plans for data analysis.

There is a limited discussion of emerging limiting factors including feral swine, noxious weeds and straying of hatchery fish. Broader-scale emerging issues such as climate change, water use and availability, and forest health are not mentioned.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The sponsors identify several new enhancement projects that they propose to begin. To determine the benefits to fish, it would be informative if the sponsors had estimated changes in aquatic habitat expected for each project such as how much spawning and rearing habitat could be created. It would have been helpful if they provided a map showing the locations of the smolt traps, adult counting facilities, redd surveys, and monitoring sites. These locations are important because they will determine the scale at which fish response to habitat enhancement actions can be assessed.

There is a long list of deliverables that are stated in general terms and do not offer a quantitative description of desired results.

There appears to be a consistent completion of planned work and a strong linkage to local landowners and the general community. Project staff appears to be effective at addressing habitat issues.

Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

A wide range of monitoring is conducted including smolt outmigrants, returning adults, spawning counts, habitat monitoring and riparian evaluation for agreement compliance. Data are summarized, but there appears to be limited evaluation and summary of findings for individual monitoring elements or for the combined suite of monitoring. This is unfortunate given the long term data sets that are in place.

There is no discussion of future involvement in ISEMP, CHaMP or AEM, although ISEMP methods are cited. It appears that much of the current monitoring program could be affected by these monitoring activities.

PIT arrays should help with monitoring. Resulting data should be analyzed for its benefits to assessing project success.

It is important to monitor juvenile fish densities in addition to smolts. There is more that could be done in this area.


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

Qualification #1 - Qualification #1
The ISRP does not request a response. However, prior to contracting the sponsors should evaluate monitoring data and provide a summary of conclusions. This should be done for each discrete area of monitoring and integrated findings provided for the full suite of past monitoring. A protocol for monitoring vegetative or riparian area should be specified. Also a protocol for monitoring the response to restoration by non-salmonids, such as reptiles and amphibians, should be described.
Qualification #2 - Qualification #2
During contracting a comprehensive review of lessons learned is needed that includes: an examination of the strategic use of the watershed-scale assessment; the value of focusing restoration treatments into a subset of priority sub-watersheds; progress that has been made to fill key data gaps identified in the watershed assessment; findings on the need to move to longer term CREP agreements, given that the time frame for expected response has been changed to 25 years and CREP agreements are for 15 years.
Qualification #3 - Qualification #3
During contracting a discussion is needed of how the current monitoring program is likely to be affected by ISEMP, CHAMP and AEM.
Qualification #4 - Qualification #4
The project has shown much hard work and on the ground project completion. There is a need for a more organized and strategic approach to program organization and delivery.
First Round ISRP Date: 6/10/2013
First Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
First Round ISRP Comment:

Overall, this is an effective project. It is refreshing that it both implements and monitors projects and promises to yield improved monitoring information based on PIT tagging. Additional monitoring by augmenting fisheries expertise to the project could increase benefits.

 

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

The purpose of this project is to enhance stream and riparian habitat to increase outmigration of ESA listed summer steelhead smolts in Trout Creek. Trout Creek steelhead make up a large percentage of the summer steelhead run in the Lower Deschutes River. As is usually the case in Mid-Columbia Basin watersheds, degradation of riparian and aquatic habitat is a threat to sustainability of the fish population. The project is consistent with the Deschutes Subbasin Plan, the 2008 FCRPS Biological Opinion and the Oregon Middle Columbia (Mid-C) Steelhead Recovery Plan (2010), among others. The project involves continued development, design, and implementation of habitat restoration projects that focus primarily on instream and riparian habitat improvement Additionally, this project continues to maintain and monitor the existing habitat restoration work, and monitors focal species in the watershed. The long-term, watershed scale program has reportedly contributed to a "viable" rating for summer steelhead.

All the proposed work will be on private lands. The sponsors state that they have gained the trust of landowners and access to their land over the course of this project. This effort is significant because it is likely that increased abundance of steelhead cannot be achieved without habitat restoration on private lands. The project’s work is consistent with each of the twelve strategic actions in the Oregon Middle Columbia Implementation Spreadsheet for the Deschutes Eastside Summer Steelhead Population. This is important because it places the Trout Creek project in the context of a larger strategic plan. Is there a management plan specific for Trout Creek, for example a Watershed Restoration Action Plan? If so, an overview the plan and its objectives would have been informative.

This project is unusual in that it proposes not only to implement habitat restoration actions (Objective 3) but also to monitor smolt out migration (Objective 1) and adult abundance (Objective 2). More specific objectives for smolt out-migration and adult abundance monitoring need to be established. There are some questions on this monitoring. Is fish monitoring intended primarily to assess trends in abundance or is it also intended to determine whether fish are responding to habitat enhancement actions, or both? What are the trends in fish abundance? Apparently juvenile distribution and abundance is not being assessed and monitored, which is unfortunate.

A substantial amount of fish and habitat data apparently has been collected, providing a data series that spans 14 years. The fish data that is being collected should allow the sponsors to estimate freshwater survival, one important measure of freshwater productivity, and smolt to adult returns, a measure of the impacts of out of basin factors on survival. In addition, the sponsors indicate that they have been collecting a considerable amount of habitat monitoring data. It seems that this project provides the opportunity to determine basin scale cumulative effects of habitat enhancement actions to improve fish abundance and productivity.

The sponsors have more than 20 years of experience working in the watershed and know the system and landowners well. A watershed assessment was completed for the drainage that examined watershed processes and function, identified major data gaps, and reportedly prioritized each of six sub-watersheds for their importance for restoration. However, no details were given on findings of the assessment, how watersheds were prioritized, or whether the assessment was used to frame a watershed scale restoration strategy.

Objectives are qualitative and do not incorporate a time frame for accomplishment of expected results.

Can what happened in 1998 that led to high out-migration numbers be replicated? The population responds to high water flow years and high rainfall. Late summer rainfall is especially important. Are there any habitat features, for example water depth, that can effectively substitute for the high flows?

 

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

Riparian and aquatic habitat restoration has been ongoing for 30 years in Trout Creek. There have been substantial accomplishments to improve habitat conditions, but there are few, cumulative and quantitative results provided either for improved habitat conditions or fish numbers. It appears that there is a long history of monitoring activities but a very limited evaluation and summary of findings. The project has been monitoring smolt out migration and adult abundance annually for about 14 years. Several tables of fish data were presented in the proposal, but there was little data analysis or interpretation. Results from only a few projects were presented and these consisted of photo point information and brief summaries of quantitative changes in a limited number of habitat variables. Again, there was little or no data analysis and interpretation. The sponsors made little attempt to relate changes in habitat conditions to changes in fish abundance or productivity. They apparently have collected a considerable amount of data on fish and habitat but, based on the results presented in this proposal, it seems that data analysis should be progressing at a more rapid rate. The sponsors should consider enlisting additional agency help in addressing this deficiency. Some analyses such as trends in smolts per redd might prove informative.

Management changes discussed by the sponsors are primarily focused at the project and/or treatment scale. There do not appear to be any planned major project wide changes in direction and restoration methodology. It is likely that a critical evaluation of general program organization, management, and overall performance could provide some insights for further improvement of program efficiency and effectiveness, particularly at a sub-watershed scale.

Additionally, after 30 years of work one would think that the amount of priority work remaining could be located, prioritized and given initial cost estimates. This proposal merely calls for another 5 years of funding without discussion of how to complete priority actions in priority locations.

There are some good specific examples of changes to restoration activities that have resulted from lessons learned, but there is not a coherent program to incorporate an adaptive management approach to the program.

An ISRP review (2006) suggested a summary of lessons learned was needed. A limited summary is provided, but much of the information is actually personal observation and is not accompanied by clear statements as to the lessons learned or how these have been incorporated into the current program.

 

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

Although coordination with Jefferson SWCD seems excellent based on the site visit the sponsors could have provided more details about their working relationship with the closely related BPA-funded project, Trout Creek Watershed Restoration (1998-028-00). Both projects are engaged in habitat enhancement, although the Trout Creek Watershed Restoration is not monitoring fish abundance. If one of the goals of the proposed work is to evaluate fish response to habitat enhancement actions, then the two projects will have to work more closely, including sharing data.

Although it appears that the sponsors are collecting a considerable amount of habitat monitoring data, the actual RM&E plan is not clearly described. The sponsors should have provided the objectives and design of the RM&E program in some detail. The sponsors also should have indicated whether monitoring is occurring at the site, reach, tributary, or basin scale, and discussed the frequency of sampling and the measurements that are being made at each scale. They also should have discussed the status and plans for data analysis.

There is a limited discussion of emerging limiting factors including feral swine, noxious weeds and straying of hatchery fish. Broader-scale emerging issues such as climate change, water use and availability, and forest health are not mentioned.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The sponsors identify several new enhancement projects that they propose to begin. To determine the benefits to fish, it would be informative if the sponsors had estimated changes in aquatic habitat expected for each project such as how much spawning and rearing habitat could be created. It would have been helpful if they provided a map showing the locations of the smolt traps, adult counting facilities, redd surveys, and monitoring sites. These locations are important because they will determine the scale at which fish response to habitat enhancement actions can be assessed.

There is a long list of deliverables that are stated in general terms and do not offer a quantitative description of desired results.

There appears to be a consistent completion of planned work and a strong linkage to local landowners and the general community. Project staff appears to be effective at addressing habitat issues.

Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

A wide range of monitoring is conducted including smolt outmigrants, returning adults, spawning counts, habitat monitoring and riparian evaluation for agreement compliance. Data are summarized, but there appears to be limited evaluation and summary of findings for individual monitoring elements or for the combined suite of monitoring. This is unfortunate given the long term data sets that are in place.

There is no discussion of future involvement in ISEMP, CHaMP or AEM, although ISEMP methods are cited. It appears that much of the current monitoring program could be affected by these monitoring activities.

PIT arrays should help with monitoring. Resulting data should be analyzed for its benefits to assessing project success.

It is important to monitor juvenile fish densities in addition to smolts. There is more that could be done in this area.


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

Modified by Dal Marsters on 6/11/2013 1:29:30 PM.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1994-042-00-NPCC-20131125
Project: 1994-042-00 - Trout Creek Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
Review: 2013 Geographic Category Review
Proposal: GEOREV-1994-042-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 11/5/2013
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement with conditions through FY 2018: Sponsor to work with Jefferson County through project #1998-028-00 to develop a joint strategic plan for implementation and submit to BPA by FY 2015. Sponsor should consider addressing ISRP qualifications in future reviews. See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #1—Sponsor should consider addressing ISRP qualifications in future reviews.
Council Condition #2 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #2—Sponsor should consider addressing ISRP qualifications in future reviews.
Council Condition #3 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #3—Sponsor should consider addressing ISRP qualifications in future reviews.
Council Condition #4 ISRP Qualification: Qualification #4—Sponsor should consider addressing ISRP qualifications in future reviews.
Council Condition #5 Programmatic Issue: A. Implement Monitoring, and Evaluation at a Regional Scale—See Programmatic Issue and Recommendation A for effectiveness monitoring.
Council Condition #6 Sponsor to work with Jefferson County through project #1998-028-00 to develop a joint strategic plan for implementation and submit to BPA by FY 2015.
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1994-042-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1994-042-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems May Exist
Cost Share Rating: 2 - May be reasonable
Comment: Multiple activities for habitat restoration as well as RM&E on variety of lands (private, tribal etc); assume no projects occurring where another entity is already required to perform.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1994-042-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1994-042-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1994-042-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1994-042-00 - Trout Creek Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
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:
Fundable; however, the qualification is that the sponsors need to provide some interpretation of data already collected that summarizes what they have learned from the data collected. The project would benefit from further peer review once the results to date are summarized. The ISRP will specifically look for this type of results reporting in the next review cycle.

The ISRP is aware of how important Trout Creek is to steelhead production in the Deschutes subbasin and how much production potential exists in Trout Creek after habitat improvement actions are implemented. Sponsor responses are more effective if written in a neutral informative tone than the defensive tone used in this response.

The sponsors provided some quantitative information on habitat changes that have occurred in the Upper and Lower project areas of Trout Creek. Habitat has clearly improved since institution of the projects. The ISRP remains concerned about the lack of data on fish abundance and habitat use in the project areas, although we recognize the constraints faced by the sponsors in accomplishing this task. The sponsors are concerned that this sort of data has high natural variability and attributing biological changes to treatments can be tenuous. The ISRP agrees with this concern but assessing this variability is highly important for statistical analysis and for providing context for future work. In their response to why there isn't more M&E on biological response parameters the sponsors described the effect of natural variability in increasing the difficulty of effects monitoring, but in their examples, provided information that demonstrates the value of M&E for adaptive management of habitat projects.

The sponsors stated that reference reaches are not available in the Trout Creek basin. Have they looked for references outside the basin? The sponsors presented numerous tables showing considerable data on smolt outmigration, length, redd counts, etc, but they need to provide interpretation of the data.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1994-042-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1994-042-00 - Trout Creek Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Budget reductions not specific. Project to be implemented with reduced scope. Sponsor should address ISRP concerns during the next project review process

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Tom Nelson Project Lead Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Sandra Sovay Administrative Contact Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
John Skidmore Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Jesse Wilson Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration