Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
RSS Feed for updates to Project 2000-038-02 - Imtwaha Hatchery Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Follow this via RSS feed. Help setting up RSS feeds?

Project Summary

Project 2000-038-02 - Imtwaha Hatchery Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
Project Number:
Imtwaha Hatchery Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
Walla Walla Hatchery construction was completed 2021. The new hatchery (and this project) now encompass the old South Fork Walla Walla Adult Holding and Spawning facility that was formerly under the UHSF O&M project (1983-035-00). The purpose and goal of operations at Walla Walla Hatchery is to release 500,000 spring Chinook smolts annually with all phases of production including: adult trapping, holding, and spawning, incubation, early rearing, final grow-out and release (on site and off). Fish are produced to help restore a population of spring Chinook that were extirpated from the Walla Walla River Basin in the early to mid-1900s. The project is part of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Fish & Wildlife program, and is a component of the Fish Accord between BPA and CTUIR.

The property is located approximately 9 miles southeast of Milton-Freewater, OR. The facility is bordered by the South Fork Walla Walla River Road on the northeast and by the South Fork Walla Walla River on the southwest. The site is approximately 12 acres and now contains the existing adult holding and spawning building, intake, pump building, generator building, pollution abatement pond, outfall, and a hatchery building with 16 vertical incubation stacks, 16 early rearing tanks, 10 grow-out tanks, a research room, feed storage room, an isolated chemical storage room, offices and administrative facilities, a conference room and a visitors center. A new shop was also erected to contain vehicles, equipment, tools, hardware, a work area and an office.

Proponent Orgs:
Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) (Tribe)
Starting FY:
Ending FY:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Walla Walla 100.00%
Artificial Production
Focal Species:
Chinook - Mid-Columbia River Spring ESU
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
BiOp Association:

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"

To see more detailed project budget information, please visit the "Project Budget" page

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2023 - FY2025)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2023 Expense $1,155,864 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Umatilla Tribe (CTUIR) 2023-2025 Accord Extension 09/30/2022
FY2023 Expense $217,027 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 1/3/2023 01/03/2023
FY2023 Expense $8,195 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 1/3/2023 01/03/2023
FY2023 Expense $13,835 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 5/22/2023 05/22/2023
FY2023 Expense $13,835 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 11/20/2023 11/20/2023
FY2024 Expense $1,184,760 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Umatilla Tribe (CTUIR) 2023-2025 Accord Extension 09/30/2022
FY2024 Expense $84,563 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 11/20/2023 11/20/2023
FY2024 Expense $90,458 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 11/20/2023 11/20/2023
FY2024 Expense $13,835 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 11/20/2023 11/20/2023
FY2024 Expense $66,495 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Transfers (CTUIR) 11/22/2023 11/22/2023
FY2025 Expense $1,214,379 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Umatilla Tribe (CTUIR) 2023-2025 Accord Extension 09/30/2022
FY2025 Expense $13,988 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Feb 9, 2024 Transfers 02/09/2024

Pending Budget Decision?  No

Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2024   DRAFT
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


The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, Closed, 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
73982 REL 112 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-038-02 EXP WALLA WALLA HATCHERY O&M Closed $924,567 1/1/2021 - 12/31/2021
BPA-013484 Bonneville Power Administration FY22 Fish Food purchase Active $10,155 10/1/2021 - 9/30/2022
73982 REL 144 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-038-02 EXP WALLA WALLA HATCHERY O&M Closed $1,265,337 1/1/2022 - 12/31/2022
90468 SOW Bio-Oregon, Inc. 2000-038-02 EXP WWH FISH FOOD PURCHASE Closed $23,463 6/13/2022 - 6/30/2022
73982 REL 175 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-038-02 EXP WALLA WALLA RIVER HATCHERY O&M Issued $1,321,882 1/1/2023 - 12/31/2023
91396 SOW Bio-Oregon, Inc. 2000-038-02 EXP WWH FISH FOOD PURCHASE Closed $58,636 1/1/2023 - 12/31/2023
73982 REL 202 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2000-038-02 EXP IMTWAHA HATCHERY O&M Issued $1,373,706 1/1/2024 - 12/31/2024
93019 REL 1 SOW Bio-Oregon, Inc. 2000-038-02 EXP IMTWAHA HATCHERY FISH FOOD PURCHASE Issued $64,226 1/5/2024 - 9/30/2024

Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):3
On time:3
Status Reports
On time:14
Avg Days Early:1

                Count of Contract Deliverables
Earliest Contract Subsequent Contracts Title Contractor Earliest Start Latest End Latest Status Accepted Reports Complete Green Yellow Red Total % Green and Complete Canceled
73982 REL 112 73982 REL 144, 73982 REL 175, 73982 REL 202 2000-038-02 EXP IMTWAHA HATCHERY O&M Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 01/01/2021 12/31/2024 Issued 21 34 11 0 0 45 100.00% 1
BPA-13484 FY22 Fish Food purchase Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2021 09/30/2022 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
93019 REL 1 2000-038-02 EXP IMTWAHA HATCHERY FISH FOOD PURCHASE Bio-Oregon, Inc. 01/05/2024 09/30/2024 Issued 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Project Totals 21 34 11 0 0 45 100.00% 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: 2022 Anadromous Fish Habitat & Hatchery Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2000-038-02-NPCC-20230310
Project: 2000-038-02 - Imtwaha Hatchery Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
Review: 2022 Anadromous Fish Habitat & Hatchery Review
Approved Date: 4/15/2022
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Bonneville and Sponsor to address condition #1 (M&E responsibilities), #2 (protocols), #3 (assumptions), and #5 (objectives) in project documentation, and consider condition #4 (pathogen monitoring) and address if appropriate. Implement as confirmed in the Council's Step Review decision. This project supports hatchery mitigation authorized under the Northwest Power Act (Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program) for the Walla Walla Spring Chinook Hatchery program. See Policy Issue I.b., II.a. and II.b.

[Background: See]

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2000-038-02-ISRP-20230310
Project: 2000-038-02 - Imtwaha Hatchery Operations and Maintenance (O&M)
Review: 2022 Anadromous Fish Habitat & Hatchery Review
Completed Date: 3/14/2023
Final Round ISRP Date: 2/10/2022
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:

Beginning in 2000, the proponents (CTUIR) began an effort to reintroduce spring Chinook salmon into the Walla Walla subbasin. Initially, adult spring Chinook were outplanted into the South Fork Walla Walla and into Mill Creek. Starting in 2005, adult releases were supplemented by annual releases of 250,000 yearling spring Chinook smolts into the subbasin. Spring Chinook adult migrants were produced from the program and some natural reproduction occurred. Yet the adult returns produced from these two actions were not sufficient to reach tribal harvest and reintroduction objectives. Additionally, the continued use of out-of-basin fish was recognized as being inconsistent with best hatchery practices. The creation of a spring Chinook salmon hatchery located on the South Fork Walla Walla was initiated as an additional action that could be implemented to meet Tribal harvest expectations and eventually create a population of spring Chinook that were adapting to local conditions of the Walla Walla River. The hatchery is expected to become operational in 2021. The ISRP reviewed the Hatchery Master Plan in 2013 and also the program’s Monitoring and Evaluation Plan in 2015 and 2018. The 2018 review (ISRP 2018-9) resulted in a “Meets Scientific Criteria with Qualifications.” The qualifications fell into two categories, assessments of within hatchery performance (2+ qualifications), and evaluations of post-release performance (6 qualifications). These qualifications and other issues (data storage, release site selection, etc.) produce general confusion on how the hatchery will operate and be evaluated to meet its important role in reintroduction of spring Chinook and ultimately harvest.

In future annual reports and work plans, the proponents need to provide information to address the following Conditions:

1. M&E responsibilities. The proponents indicate that hatchery staff supported by this project (200003802 Walla Walla Hatchery O&M) will evaluate within-hatchery performance while project 200003900 (Walla Walla River Basin Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) personnel will assess post-release performance and the ecological/biological effects of the hatchery’s smolt releases. Ultimately, the metrics of these M&E activities should be presented in work plans and annual reports.

2. Production protocols. Questions raised by the ISRP regarding broodstock monitoring and holding, spawning procedures, incubation conditions, rearing methods, and fish release protocols in the 2018 review were partially addressed in the proposal. However, from the information that the ISRP has reviewed, it does not appear that key decisions for how the hatchery will be operated have been addressed. For example, gametes from adults captured at the Nursery Bridge trap (Walla Walla River) as well as adults obtained at Three Mile Dam (Umatilla River) will be used to reach the egg take goal of the hatchery. It is unclear what decision rules will be employed to coordinate egg takes at these two different sources. Presumably, to achieve a locally adapted stock, eggs from the Umatilla subbasin would only be imported to the hatchery on an as needed (infrequent) basis, but this is never mentioned. Spawning is expected to occur weekly, and the plan is to use adults throughout the entire run. What steps will be taken to adjust developmental rates in eggs collected at different times and places (NBD and TMD) to ensure that groups of juveniles can be simultaneously ponded and reared at desired densities? Can the hatchery cool incubation waters to adjust developmental rates to create such coordination or will other methods be used?

3. Production assumptions. The objectives for the number of adult pairs (175) and jacks (17) needed to reach the hatchery’s green egg take goal are clear but the underlying assumptions about fecundity and expected survival do not lead easily to these numbers. One hundred and sixty-five pairs are expected to produce 925,000 green eggs and 860,000 eyed eggs. Yet, average fecundity is stated to be 3,800 eggs. Given this fecundity value, these fish would produce 627,000 green eggs not 925,000. At spawning, single pair crosses are planned. No mention is made of how jacks may be incorporated into their proposed breeding scheme. Instead, it is suggested that males > 900 mm will be used repeatedly as sires. No rationale for this decision is presented or how the multiple use of single males may affect adult collection numbers, sex ratios, and ultimately effective number of breeders.

4. Pathogen monitoring. Bacterial Kidney Disease is an important pathogen in Chinook salmon, and the proponents propose culling egg lots from females based on ELISA optical density values (OD) to control its presence. Yet, they plan on sampling just 60 females or ~36% of their female broodstock. To be effective, ELISA OD values should be obtained on every spawned female and an agreed upon OD value for culling should be established.

5. SMART objectives. The proponents along with the hatchery’s manager need to produce an annual hatchery operation plan that describes the tasks and criteria that address the above and related questions. The plan should contain explicit SMART objectives (see proposal instructions) that cover all aspects of hatchery operations along with an accompanying adaptive management process. Much of what is needed is already in the proponent’s monitoring and evaluation plan (e.g., Table 14) and their proposal. This plan can be incorporated into the project’s next annual report.

Q1: Clearly defined objectives and outcomes

The overall purpose of the Walla Walla spring Chinook hatchery program is clearly presented in the proposal. Although the overall purpose of the new hatchery is well described, specific fish cultural objectives are not presented. Because the hatchery will not begin full operation until 2022, time is still available to develop such criteria. As indicated in the general comments section of this review, the proponents have developed explicit quantitative objectives for many of the hatchery’s operations. They will become essential components of the hatchery’s adaptative management procedure. These standards should be presented as “SMART” objectives and need to cover all aspects of the hatchery’s fish cultural operations. Having an easily identified list of SMART objectives embedded in an annual hatchery operations plan will allow the proponents to readily assess whether desired end points are being reached. As the hatchery continues to operate these standards can be adjusted and initial methods can also be modified as needed.

Q2: Methods

Generally, the methods described to perform fish cultural and routine hatchery operations and broodstock collection are appropriate. There are a few instances, however, where the proponents may wish to consider alternative methods to those described in their proposal and M&E plan. In past reviews, the ISRP has suggested using isobuckets (as done at the Cle Elum Supplementation and Research Facility) to temporarily incubate eggs from single females to prevent BKD transmission and allow the culling of egg lots with high ELISA OD values. Horizontal transmission is prevented by this approach whereas it is still possible when eggs are placed into MariSource incubation trays because of how water moves through stack incubators.

Currently, the proponents are confident that they can identify sex for prospective broodstock visually. This may well be the case. Several other spring Chinook programs in the Columbia Basin, however, are using handheld ultrasound wands to sex prospective broodstock. This has proved to be a highly accurate way to sex fish, particularly early on in a run when sexual dimorphism is not highly developed. During spawning the proponents plan on producing single pair crosses. If this approach is used, we recommend that they include backup males to help ensure high fertilization rates. Having a robust estimate of the number of green eggs spawned is a critical metric since it used to calculate survival rates at multiple life stages. The proponents plan on using a random sample of females to generate a fecundity estimate and through this relationship estimate green egg take. We suggest that fecundity estimates be made on every spawned female. Gravimetric estimates of fecundity can be rapidly made under typical hatchery operations. Making such estimates will allow the proponents to gather egg weight and quality data, and reproductive effort values. Finally, there appears to be some doubt about the usefulness of assessing precocious maturation in hatchery males. The ISRP considers this to be an important metric because the production of minijacks in spring Chinook hatcheries can be substantial. Without knowing this rate, SAR values can be biased low. Several methods can be used to acquire this type of data, including visual inspections on gonadal development on a random sample of fish just prior to, or at the time of release.

As in our earlier reviews we urge the proponents to talk with other tribal and non-tribal hatchery staff culturing spring Chinook in the Basin. Innovations and lessons learned from these ongoing hatchery programs should help the proponents craft methods and determine expected standards that can be incorporated into their SMART objectives.

Q3: Provisions for M&E

No formal adaptive management process or cycle is presented for assessing within hatchery performance. Establishment of an approach that can be followed during an annual or end of season review process is needed. Once SMART objectives have been established it should be relatively straightforward to compare observed performance with expected standards.

The proponents indicate that an Annual Operations Plan (AOP) to be co-developed by CTUIR, ODFW, and WDFW personnel will be established once the hatchery becomes fully operational. This plan appears to be largely concerned with where, when, and how hatchery reared fish should be released. If the AOP could be combined with a within hatchery operations adaptive management plan, then the project would have a comprehensive way to adjust to its challenges and opportunities.

Q4: Results – benefits to fish and wildlife

Under present environmental conditions, consistent releases of smolts from the Walla Walla Hatchery likely represent the best approach of establishing sustainable and harvestable populations of spring Chinook in the Walla Walla subbasin. Additionally, if broodstock can reliably be collected from inside the subbasin, the hatchery will also expedite the establishment of spring Chinook locally adapted to the South Fork Walla Walla and perhaps to other release locations (upper Mill Creek) as well. The project’s goals fit well within the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program and tribal visions.

Documentation Links:
Review: RME / AP Category Review
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 2000-038-02-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2000-038-02
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: None

Name Role Organization
Peter Lofy Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Carolyn Sharp Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Julie Burke Administrative Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Andrew Traylor Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Jason Thomas Project Lead Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Jennifer Krajcik Supervisor Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)