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Project Summary

Project 2002-037-00 - Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration
Project Number:
2002-037-00
Title:
Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration
Summary:
The purpose of this study is to provide critical information on the status of freshwater mussels in the Middle and North Fork John Day, and the Umatilla rivers. This information is essential for the restoration of freshwater mussels.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) (Tribe)
Starting FY:
2003
Ending FY:
2032
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Umatilla 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
RM and E
Focal Species:
Freshwater Mussels
Other Resident
Wildlife
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 0.0%   Resident: 100.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Special:
None
BiOp Association:
None

Surveying for mussels in Fishing Hole, 2011.

Figure Name: Chapter 1 - Figure 1a

Document ID: P127437

Document: Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 9

Project: 2002-037-00

Contract: 55333

Surveying for mussels in Fishing Hole, 2011.

Figure Name: Chapter 1 - Figure 1b

Document ID: P127437

Document: Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 9

Project: 2002-037-00

Contract: 55333

Study area for 2004 mussel data collection.

Figure Name: Chapter 2 - Figure 1

Document ID: P127437

Document: Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 14

Project: 2002-037-00

Contract: 55333

Study area for 2011 data collection

Figure Name: Chapter 2 - Figure 5

Document ID: P127437

Document: Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 19

Project: 2002-037-00

Contract: 55333

Thin section of a Margaritifera freshwater mussel from the John Day River. Note the distortion in the growth increments near the end of the shell. These were likely in response to floods or other disturbances and occurred in almost all samples, complicating efforts to crossdate and generate a growth-increment chronology.

Figure Name: Chapter 3 - Figure 1a

Document ID: P127437

Document: Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 25

Project: 2002-037-00

Contract: 55333

Thin section of a Margaritifera freshwater mussel from the John Day River. Note the distortion in the growth increments near the end of the shell. These were likely in response to floods or other disturbances and occurred in almost all samples, complicating efforts to crossdate and generate a growth-increment chronology.

Figure Name: Chapter 3 - Figure 1b

Document ID: P127437

Document: Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 25

Project: 2002-037-00

Contract: 55333

Thin section of a Gonidea freshwater mussel from the John Day River. Growth increments were measured in the prismatic layer, as illustrated by yellow lines.

Figure Name: Chapter 3 - Figure 3

Document ID: P127437

Document: Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration; 10/10 - 9/11

Page Number: 26

Project: 2002-037-00

Contract: 55333


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) $294,327 $294,327 $294,327 $294,327 $201,612

Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla $294,327 $294,327 $294,327 $201,612
FY2017 (Current) $393,913 $393,913 $393,913 $393,913 $199,388

Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla $393,913 $393,913 $393,913 $199,388
FY2018 (Next) $283,888 $283,888 $283,888 $283,888 $0

Post 2018 – Umatilla $283,888 $283,888 $283,888 $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 $233,000 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Fish Accord Review 05/02/2008
FY2016 Expense $43,964 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Fish Accord project COLA 11/21/2008
FY2016 Expense $8,309 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Establish CTUIR FY13-17 Admin Budget (2012-010-00) 07/19/2012
FY2016 Expense $12,997 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Adjustments (YN, CCT, CRITFC) 7/15/15 07/15/2015
FY2016 Expense $9,559 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Adjustments (YN, CCT, CRITFC) 7/15/15 07/15/2015
FY2016 Expense $3,116 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (CTUIR 2002-037-00) 8/11/2015 08/11/2015
FY2017 Expense $233,000 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Fish Accord Review 05/02/2008
FY2017 Expense $50,888 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Fish Accord project COLA 11/21/2008
FY2017 Expense $8,176 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Establish CTUIR FY12 Admin Budget (2012-010-00) 01/26/2012
FY2017 Expense $8,517 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Establish CTUIR FY13-17 Admin Budget (2012-010-00) 07/19/2012
FY2017 Expense $3,116 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (CTUIR 2002-037-00) 8/11/2015 08/11/2015
FY2017 Expense $3,265 To: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Add funding to CTUIR FY17 Admin Budget (2012-010-00) 02/24/2016
FY2017 Expense $26,901 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (WDFW, CTUIR) 6/28/2016 06/28/2016
FY2017 Expense $106,198 From: Fish Accord - LRT - Umatilla Accord Budget Transfers (WDFW, CTUIR) 6/28/2016 06/28/2016
FY2018 Expense $283,888 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 0 %
FY2013 0 %
FY2012 0 %
FY2011 0 %
FY2010 1 %
FY2009 4 %
FY2008 0 %
FY2007 0 %
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
73906 SOW Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 2002-037-00 EXP FRESHWATER MUSSELS IN UMATILLA & JOHN DAY Issued $393,913 10/1/2016 - 9/30/2017



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):20
Completed:12
On time:12
Status Reports
Completed:48
On time:4
Avg Days Late:23

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
11402 24646, 29550, 35116, 39850, 45056, 50406, 55333, 59877, 63301, 66968, 70493, 73906 2002-037-00 CHARACTERIZE DIST. & STATUS OF FRESHWATER MUSSELS Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR) 09/2002 09/2002 Pending 48 135 9 0 21 165 87.27% 3
Project Totals 48 135 9 0 21 165 87.27% 3


Review: Resident Fish, Regional Coordination, and Data Management Category Review

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-037-00-ISRP-20120215
Project: 2002-037-00 - Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration
Review: Resident Fish, Regional Coordination, and Data Management Category Review
Proposal Number: RESCAT-2002-037-00
Completed Date: 4/17/2012
Final Round ISRP Date: 4/3/2012
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:

Mussel declines are of great concern throughout North America and elsewhere because of pervasive changes to river systems. Thus, resident mussels are excellent taxa for monitoring and assessing local/regional environmental conditions. The development of a solid understanding of mussels in the Columbia Basin is a logical approach and should lead to better resource management. Project development has followed a logical and conservative pathway, and has contributed greatly to our knowledge of freshwater mussel status and trends in the mid-Columbia. The questions from the ISRP, generally relating to details, were all answered in meaningful ways with a detailed dialogue that covered the issues of concern point by point. The logic went from understanding the genetics, to the fish hosts, to the habitat relationships. Graduate students were covering various phases including habitat relationships for the various genera, and the sponsors seemed to have contact with many mussel biologists and were very familiar with the literature. The ISRP was pleased to see that data from the John Day and the Umatilla jointly being used to develop habitat relationship hypotheses that are now being evaluated.

The ISRP appreciates the approach in this study and is providing a few points of information:

(1) Contaminants can be a serious issue in the Columbia Basin and may act as a "wild card" and confound any mussel habitat relationships that may exist. The anti-cholinesterase compounds (carbamates and organophosphates) are not a simple group to evaluate, especially if mussels are dead and decaying. Residues are difficult to determine, even in fresh tissue, and fresh samples for determining cholinesterase activity should be immediately stored at -80C. Some of the anti-cholinesterase activity compounds (the carbamates) can reactivate back to normal activity at normal temperatures. Perhaps the best approach for dealing with modern pesticides, which are highly toxic but short-lived, is to understand what the farmers and ranchers are using on crops adjacent to the river. When pesticides are applied is important as well. The persistence of these products is not very long; that is, there could be an event that kills mussels and then is over with no residues remaining a short time later. The new lab at Walla Walla may provide an opportunity to address contaminants in a more meaningful way. Fisheries studies, dealing with these types of pesticides, have taken place on Hood River and can provide more background information.

(2) The ISRP notes the possibility of expanding mussel studies into Lake Roosevelt as another project, and the ISRP believes it would be prudent to significantly expand the spatial scope of mussel studies in the Columbia Basin in the near future, especially the assessment and monitoring.

(3) The data base developed on this project, especially if activities increase in scope, needs to be strong and perhaps 2% of the budget for data management is inadequate. Studies along the Upper Mississippi have been ongoing for many years and perhaps lessons learned can be obtained from their work (starting point might be Upper Midwest Science Center USGS, LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and UMRCC Ad Hoc Mussel Committee, USFWS, Bloomington, Indiana). The sponsors probably know these people already.

(4) Locally, a Freshwater Mussel Workgroup planning committee includes Kevin Aitken, Molly Hallock, Shelly Miller, Shivonne Nesbit, Al Smith, and Cynthia Tait. Again, the sponsors may already know these people.

 

First Round ISRP Date: 2/8/2012
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:

A response is requested on the following items:

  1. Identify hypothesized limiting factors for low recruitment
  2. Explain how exotics could change host relationships
  3. Identify hypothesis for the observed death of mussel beds

Mussel declines are a great concern throughout North America and elsewhere because of pervasive changes to river systems. Mussels are excellent taxa for monitoring and for assessing environmental conditions. Developing a solid understanding of mussels in the Columbia Basin will be prudent and useful for better resource management. This project is under the guidance of scientists with considerable experience and a scientific publication record associated with this or similar projects. The development of the project follows a logical pathway to where they are now. The project has contributed greatly to our knowledge of freshwater mussel status and trends in the mid-Columbia, and the proposed work will likely be worthwhile.

In order to provide a more useful scientific review of the project, the ISRP needs additional details on monitoring protocols and methods in a response. This is especially important for: 1) Deliverable 2, mussel reintroduction. Is enough known about mussel glochidia to expose fish caught in the Umatilla River as a pilot project? 2) Deliverable 3, apply and test predictive mussel-habitat models, 3) Deliverable 4, use of growth-increment chronologies, and 4) Deliverable 6, artificial propagation.

The proposal had two main thrusts, namely basic mussel research and restoration of mussels in the Umatilla. The mussel research component looks justified but restoration requires more justification. The project sponsors need to take a close look at the life history of the mussels. If low recruitment is the primary problem, what are the limiting factors? It was unclear if the sponsors had obtained adequate information to move into the next phase of translocation. Does project staff know enough to proceed with restoration? How do exotics change the host relationships? Are the limiting factors understood? If these are not addressed before translocation, can success be expected? For example, what if there is unsuitable habitat or a lack of fish hosts? Evidence was presented on the death of the mussel bed in the John Day. Do project sponsors have a hypothesis for this finding that can help direct the project? This is an important project, one that will become more valuable with time.

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

The project addresses the status and trends of freshwater mussels in the Columbia River Basin and in particular the area of the mid-Columbia occupied by the Umatilla Indian Reservation, an issue of broad regional importance. Because mussels are long-lived they are particularly useful as long-term bio-indicators of watershed conditions and habitat quality, including sentinels for metals and organic contaminants. The sponsors have a good grasp of the published literature. Specifically, this project is now designed with four objectives that are important and clearly articulated. The goal is to restore mussels to Umatilla River and other mid-Columbia basins to rebuild ecosystem diversity function and traditional cultural opportunities. The objectives of the work are clearly stated. 

The work has been generally divided into three emphasis areas: (1) determining the current status of three genera of freshwater mussels in the Umatilla and upper John Day Rivers, (2) conducting a genetic analysis of existing populations to determine taxonomic status and evolutionary relationships, and (3) determining the feasibility of re-introducing mussels to streams where they have been extirpated or have greatly diminished in abundance.

The project sponsors have provided an adequate description of the significance of the work to other projects dealing with freshwater mussels, although there are relatively few in the mid- and upper Columbia. They point out that mussels have historically been an important food resource for native cultures in the area, but that mussels have suffered serious declines just as in other areas of North America. Currently, scientific evidence suggests that freshwater mussels are the most imperiled group of animals in the United States, and some species could be ESA listed. The project will provide information to guide freshwater mussel restoration and monitoring efforts.

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

The proposal provides a thorough description of past accomplishments. The project sponsors are to be commended for publishing their research on mussel genetics and evolutionary relationships. Some basic questions concerning genetics and intermediate host fish have been at least partially answered. The current proposal continues the work previously undertaken by exploring the feasibility of reintroducing mussels to areas where different species have been extirpated, by developing and refining models relating mussel abundance to stream habitat features, and by investigating the cause(s) of mass mortality events. It also adds the elements of elucidating mussel effects on the habitats of other species and forecasting potential effects of climate change on the long-term environmental favorability of streams in the Umatilla Reservation for mussel populations.

From an adaptive management standpoint, the emphasis to date has been on knowledge acquisition and not on policy change. The proposal states that the emphasis will be refocused from research to restoration, but it appears that nearly all funding is to be spent on research at this stage of the project. The positive aspects are that the sponsors are developing predictive models to test assumptions, to improve understanding, and to generate knowledge and, working collaboratively with researchers from outside the region. A limiting aspect is that most of the work is being done locally. The ISRP notes that the researchers are listed to become involved with similar studies associated with Lake Roosevelt. Given the importance of mussels for ecosystem functioning, and the policy importance if they become ESA-listed, as they are elsewhere, it would be prudent to significantly expand the spatial scope of the work, especially the assessment and monitoring. Adaptive management needs to be greatly expanded. It is not clear how information from this project guides natural resource decisions. While it is true that the information has had some impacts, the adaptive management process is not developed to the point that efficient and knowledgeable decisions can be made in both policy as well as science to inform policy. 

3. Project Relationships, Emerging Limiting Factors, and Tailored Questions for Type of Work (hatchery, RME, tagging)

The project appears to be well integrated into the relatively few other projects dealing with freshwater mussels in the Columbia River Basin; in fact, this project has been a major contributor to advances in knowledge of mussel distribution and evolutionary relationships. The project assisted with mussel salvage (5,000) before and during riverine habitat restoration projects including the dewatered channel of the John Day River and shared equipment and data with the lamprey population status project. While there are some relationships, these should be actively expanded to include cooperation with additional projects and agencies in the Basin.

Considerable research is needed before it will be possible to say with confidence why mussels have vanished from many reaches where they would be expected to exist. The proposal will examine habitat characteristics, intermediate hosts which appear to be mostly sculpins or cyprinids, and water quality. The water quality work focuses on water temperature changes, the ISRP understands that there has been 70 years of de-watering in the Umatilla Basin, but we wonder if exposure to toxins from a variety of potential sources might also be a factor for these long-lived organisms. What is being done to look at agricultural chemicals and other substances that could cause lethal, sub-lethal, or reproductive impairment effects? It would also seem that an evaluation of ages or age classes from current populations including recently dead specimens as well as an evaluation of ages from shells in middens might be particularly informative to form some ecological perspective on what may have transpired over time. Has there been consistent reproduction during the post de-watering era, and if not, what were the water conditions during the successful reproduction years?

Translocation of mussels from existing healthy populations such as from the Middle Fork John Day River to streams where habitat is suitable but mussels are absent might benefit from mark-recovery studies. However, the proposal did not contain many details about how success of the reintroductions would be determined. If the method of choice is determined to be release of glochidia-infested fishes, it may take a long time before results are observed because mussels are slow-growing and juveniles may be difficult to sample. What is the role of non-native fish species in the reintroduction?

 4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

Deliverables in general closely follow the objectives; however, there are some concerns:

DELV-6: If the technique has been successful in eastern United States applications, why would one expect the process to be different for similar efforts in the western United States?

DELV-4: It is not clear how can this be accomplished if the environmental data are not available. It seems that the mussels are responding on a daily to annual scale whereas much of the environmental data, especially from historical periods, is available on annual to decadal scales which demonstrates a mismatch in scales. 

The proposed work elements, metrics and methods were often inadequately described for scientific review. For some of the deliverables, for example genetic analysis and taxonomic revision, methods can be deduced from the section on past accomplishments. However, for the mussel reintroduction, predictive model development, and artificial propagation deliverables not enough information was given, and details in MonitoringMethods.org were either missing or unavailable to outside viewers. For the most expensive deliverable, that is artificial propagation of mussels, no work elements, metrics, or methods were provided other than a very brief mention of artificial propagation efforts in eastern United States. Thus, the proposal should provide more details on these three deliverables before their scientific adequacy can be assessed.

One work element in particular needs clarification. Why have salmonid fishes not been evaluated as potential intermediate hosts? The survey of native fishes infested by glochidia was very revealing, but it was limited to non-salmonids. The need to protect salmonids from anthropogenic losses, including research activities, is understandable, but if glochidia can settle on salmonids, and if the overall goal of the project is to restore abundant mussel populations, it would be important to know what the host-parasite relationship of rearing salmonids to freshwater mussels is.

Regarding data management, very little information is provided on this subject, and that is a great concern. Data from this project have considerable value, now and in the future. At a minimum, information should be provided on data storage, back-up strategies, availability, anticipated changes in management, for example cloud computing and routine statistical packages. What percentage of the budget is devoted to data management?

Regarding key personnel, what are their responsibilities? A positive aspect is that the personnel listed have a strong record of publications in the peer-reviewed literature.

4a. Specific comments on protocols and methods described in MonitoringMethods.org

The protocols and methods in MonitoringMethods.org contained brief descriptions of the monitoring objectives, but there was essentially no information on the sampling methods or metrics. For some of the protocols, information was not available for viewing, stating that in order to see any information one needed to be logged in as a colleague of the owner. Sampling methods, frequencies, laboratory analyses, and statistical tests should be specified for the protocols and methods to be useful.

Method: 200850400: Population Genetic Analyses needs to be completed

Modified by Dal Marsters on 4/17/2012 2:28:11 PM.
Documentation Links:
  • Proponent Response (3/7/2012)

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2002-037-00-NPCC-20130807
Project: 2002-037-00 - Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration
Review: Resident Fish, Regional Coordination, and Data Management Category Review
Proposal: RESCAT-2002-037-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 2/26/2014
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement through FY2017. Council will expect that sponsors will coordinate with other BPA-funded western mussel activities in the Basin.
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2002-037-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2002-037-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
Comment: RM&E for freshwater mussel issues in Umatilla; fishery managers/others authorized/required to address; some cost share or other remedy needed.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-037-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2002-037-00
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: 2002-037-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2002-037-00 - Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:
This proposal gives a nice background presentation including data collected (including maps) in previous years. This proposal has an exemplary section on past results and reporting of data. It is surprising that more taxonomic work has not been done on these organisms so the genetic analyses in the proposal are well justified, particularly if Anodonta turns out to be a species complex with multiple habitat and fish host requirements. One point that the background section could have made more clear was why so few mussels exist in the Umatilla River relative to the John Day River since both rivers have a long history of anthropogenic disturbance (e.g., mining grazing and logging), and intuitively they should have similar mussel faunas.

Some of these mussels are very long-lived, e.g., 50 years, and the shells can be used like tree-rings to track environmental changes. This fundable recommendation is qualified because better documentation is needed that the sample size is adequate. Have they done a power analysis to show that their sample size is adequate? It is of interest to note that in some areas around Seattle, mussels are used to monitor habitat restoration project effectiveness. It would also be useful to know if other mussel translocation efforts have been attempted in the Columbia River Basin, and if so, how well they have succeeded.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2002-037-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2002-037-00 - Freshwater Mussel Research and Restoration
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Do Not Fund
Comments:

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Gary James Supervisor Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Deborah Docherty Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Jayne Brim Box Technical Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Julie Burke Administrative Contact Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Gene Shippentower Project Lead Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Dorothy Welch Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Elizabeth Glidewell Project Lead Umatilla Confederated Tribes (CTUIR)
Michelle Guay Bonneville Power Administration