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Project Summary

Project 2002-053-00 - Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Project Number:
2002-053-00
Title:
Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Summary:
Project Goal: Assess the status of anadromous salmonid populations in the Asotin Creek watershed above George Creek. Estimate the abundance, productivity, survival rates, and temporal and spatial distribution of steelhead/rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha).

Executive Summary: This project implements the research, monitoring and evaluation criteria specified in the Asotin Subbasin Plan by providing estimates of abundance, productivity, survival rates, and temporal and spatial distribution of ESA-listed species, primarily summer steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and secondarily spring Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha). The project also implements reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) 180 in the NMFS 2000 and 2004 Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinions (BiOp) for population status monitoring and review of status change over time. This project is designed to enumerate adult salmonids entering Asotin Creek to spawn and to estimate the juvenile migrant population and emigration patterns. Five-hundred and thirteen (513) and 477 adult steelhead were captured in 2005 (the first season of adult trapping in Asotin Creek) and 2006, respectively, resulting in a population estimate of over 600 adults, spawning in 46 river km of accessible steelhead habitat above the trapping location at road km 6.0. The juvenile steelhead population is estimated at approximately 800 juveniles per km (1,300 per mile) above the trapping location, based on three seasons of smolt trapping in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The data suggests that Asotin Creek – above eight FCRPS dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers – has a highly productive and resilient population of naturally-producing summer steelhead, which may be an important nursery of the Snake River steelhead ESU. This project will establish baseline population data (status, hatchery stray rates, productivity, survival, life history diversity), which will be used to guide proposed management actions, assess species response to on-going habitat improvement projects, and help answer critical uncertainties for Subbasin planning in Asotin Creek.

Objective 1: Estimate escapement of wild and hatchery steelhead and Chinook salmon into Asotin Creek.

Objective 2: Estimate spawner abundance and adults per redd.

Objective 3: Document juvenile steelhead life history patterns, survival rates and estimate juvenile emigrant production.

Objective 4: Collect DNA samples for future genetic characterization of the focal species.

Objective 5: Report and disseminate Asotin Creek salmonid assessment data.

Project Location: The project is located in Asotin County, Washington. Data will be collected from Asotin Creek and its tributaries at the trapping sites located 6.0 km (3.8 miles) above the confluence with the Snake River.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) (Govt - State)
Starting FY:
2002
Ending FY:
2018
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Blue Mountain Asotin 100.00%
Purpose:
Habitat
Emphasis:
RM and E
Focal Species:
All Anadromous Fish
All Anadromous Salmonids
Chinook - Snake River Fall ESU (threatened)
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU (threatened)
Lamprey, Pacific
Steelhead - Snake River DPS (threatened)
Trout, Bull (threatened)
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Special:
None

The Asotin Creek Subbasin and location of adjacent drainages included in the Asotin Creek steelhead population and monitored as part of this project.

Figure Name: Figure 1

Document ID: P125389

Document: Asotin Creek Salmonid Assessment; 3/11 - 2/12

Page Number: 12

Project: 2002-053-00

Contract: 52290


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 *
FY2017 (Previous) $251,282 $279,572 $279,572 $279,572 $198,847

BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) $251,282 $251,282 $251,282 $178,726
General - Within Year $28,290 $28,290 $28,290 $20,121
FY2018 (Current) $251,282 $251,282 $6,685 $6,685 $83,276

BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) $251,282 $6,685 $6,685 $83,276
FY2019 (Next) $0 $0 $0 $0

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

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

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2017 - FY2019)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2017 Expense $251,282 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) FY17 SOY Budgets 06/02/2016
FY2017 Expense $28,290 From: General - Within Year 2002-053-00 FY17 BOG 07/21/2017
FY2018 Expense $251,282 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) FY18 SOY Budgets 07/17/2017

Pending Budget Decision?  No


No Project Cost Share

FY2017 0 %
FY2016 0 %
FY2015 1 %
FY2014 1 %
FY2013 1 %
FY2012 1 %
FY2011 1 %
FY2010 1 %
FY2009 2 %
FY2008 2 %
FY2007 1 %
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
6388 REL 45 SOW Applied Archaeological Research 2002-053-00 ASSESS SALMONIDS IN ASOTIN CREEK WATERSHED History $3,299 7/30/2003 - 8/31/2003
22720 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 ASOTIN SALMONID M&E 2005 CONTRACT History $97,178 6/1/2005 - 12/31/2005
25282 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 ASSESS SALMONIDS IN ASOTIN CREEK WATERSHED History $205,358 1/1/2006 - 12/31/2006
30626 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMONIDS IN ASOTIN CREEK WATERSHED History $207,559 1/1/2007 - 1/31/2008
BPA-004314 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Assess Salmonids Asotin Cr WS Active $4,512 10/1/2008 - 9/30/2009
BPA-004905 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Assess Salmonids in the Asotin Creek Watershed Active $3,504 10/1/2009 - 9/30/2010
BPA-005601 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop Assess Active $969 10/1/2006 - 9/30/2007
BPA-005721 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assess. Active $7,745 10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011
BPA-006387 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assess. Active $7,627 10/1/2011 - 9/30/2012
BPA-007027 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Active $8,416 10/1/2012 - 9/30/2013
BPA-007735 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Active $8,351 10/1/2013 - 9/30/2014
BPA-008397 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Active $8,331 10/1/2014 - 9/30/2015
75614 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMON POPULATIONS IN ASOTIN CREEK 2017 Issued $244,619 3/1/2017 - 2/28/2018
BPA-009539 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Active $6,663 10/1/2016 - 9/30/2017
BPA-010192 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Active $6,685 10/1/2017 - 9/30/2018



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):16
Completed:15
On time:15
Status Reports
Completed:50
On time:44
Avg Days Early:2

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
14059 18229, 22720, 25282, 30626, 36582, 41280, 46626, 52290, 56432, 60556, 64990, 68433, 71824, 75614 2002-053-00 ASSESS SALMONIDS IN ASOTIN CREEK WATERSHED Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 06/2003 06/2003 Pending 50 80 12 0 0 92 100.00% 1
BPA-005601 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop Assess Bonneville Power Administration 10/2006 10/2006 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-004314 PIT Tags - Assess Salmonids Asotin Cr WS Bonneville Power Administration 10/2008 10/2008 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-004905 PIT Tags - Assess Salmonids in the Asotin Creek Watershed Bonneville Power Administration 10/2009 10/2009 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-005721 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assess. Bonneville Power Administration 10/2010 10/2010 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-006387 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assess. Bonneville Power Administration 10/2011 10/2011 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-007027 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Bonneville Power Administration 10/2012 10/2012 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-007735 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Bonneville Power Administration 10/2013 10/2013 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-008397 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Bonneville Power Administration 10/2014 10/2014 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-009539 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Bonneville Power Administration 10/2016 10/2016 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-010192 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Bonneville Power Administration 10/2017 10/2017 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Project Totals 50 80 12 0 0 92 100.00% 1


Review: RME / AP Category Review

2008 FCRPS BiOp Workgroup Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-BIOP-20101105
Project Number: 2002-053-00
Review: RME / AP Category Review
Proposal Number: RMECAT-2002-053-00
Completed Date: None
2008 FCRPS BiOp Workgroup Rating: Supports 2008 FCRPS BiOp
Comments: BiOp Workgroup Comments: No BiOp Workgroup comments

The BiOp RM&E Workgroups made the following determinations regarding the proposal's ability or need to support BiOp Research, Monitoring and Evaluation (RME) RPAs. If you have questions regarding these RPA association conclusions, please contact your BPA COTR and they will help clarify, or they will arrange further discussion with the appropriate RM&E Workgroup Leads. BiOp RPA associations for the proposed work are: (50.6 62.5)
All Questionable RPA Associations ( ) and
All Deleted RPA Associations ( )
Proponent Response:

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-ISRP-20101015
Project: 2002-053-00 - Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Review: RME / AP Category Review
Proposal Number: RMECAT-2002-053-00
Completed Date: 12/17/2010
Final Round ISRP Date: 12/17/2010
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The response is complete and addresses ISRP comments. A better description of M&E procedures and progress to date is provided. The response places Asotin Creek as an IMW within the context of ISEMP and CHaMP. It describes past data collected and the project plan for provision of new data. Data will be used to establish a baseline against which trends in productivity, abundance, distribution, and diversity of Asotin Creek steelhead populations can be assessed.

Methods to monitor adult escapement, redd counts and juvenile outmigration are now described in detail. Methods of genetic sampling are also well described. Data from field sampling are summarized in graphs and tables. An impressive amount of data has been collected considering the relatively short period of time the project has been in operation and it is evident that the proponents are proceeding expeditiously with their analyses.

The proponents are focusing on determining status and trends of VSP criteria, that is, collecting baseline data rather than testing hypotheses. This approach seems appropriate at this stage of the work. They agree that formulating testable hypotheses is desirable and propose to undertake this effort in the future. The ISRP concurs with the proponents that the Asotin would be a good reference basin for these studies. The project should form an important component of an experimental management network once the complete design among sites is formed. We encourage this approach.

Given the importance and uniqueness of the Asotin population, as the project progresses the ISRP strongly suggests that the proponents consider publishing their results in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
First Round ISRP Date: 10/18/2010
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:
The goal of this RM&E project is to develop an index system for status and trends of a wild steelhead population by estimating abundance, distribution, productivity and life-stage survival rates of anadromous adult and juvenile steelhead in Asotin Creek and mainstem. The Asotin summer-run steelhead population has been identified as the primary population for status monitoring within the lower Snake steelhead Major Population Group. The population is somewhat unique in that it is unsupplemented and maintains a relatively large population of naturally spawning steelhead even though it lies above eight mainstem dams. It could serve as a valuable reference stream within the IMW program. For these reasons, continued monitoring of this population should be a high priority. The ISRP seeks a more thorough presentation and interpretation of work and results to date and as planned, toward a comparative experimental approach to recruitment analyses.

The project is consistent with the Asotin Subbasin Plan, MERR, the NPCC Research Plan, NOAA Fisheries “Guidance for Monitoring Recovery of Pacific Northwest Salmon and Steelhead Populations” and the Washington Statewide Steelhead Management Plan. It addresses several RPAs in the 2008 Biological Opinion. This project is closely tied to regional programs. It serves as a supplementation reference stream and collects data for management of ESA-listed steelhead stocks. It collaborates with other projects and is a part of the Integrated Status and Effectiveness Monitoring Program (ISEMP.)

A clear technical background is provided.

The project states five objectives (which are really tasks):
1. Estimate escapement and spawner abundance of wild and hatchery steelhead in Asotin Creek
2. Estimate adults per redd in the Asotin Creek mainstem
3. Document juvenile steelhead and Chinook salmon life history patterns, survival rates, and estimate emigrant production in the Asotin Creek mainstem
4. Collect DNA samples for future genetic characterization
5. Disseminate data

This project seems organized and very worthwhile, with potential value to an array of regional recovery needs. However, more detail needs to be provided on procedures of monitoring and evaluation, as well as more evaluation of progress to date. The proposal should place past activities and accomplishments in the context of the project’s and the subbasin’s objectives, evaluating strengths and weaknesses and showing how they will strategically affect the conduct and direction of the project. This project received a favorable rating in the last ISRP projects review, and there remain several favorable traits. That is, there is good justification for continued funding. Asotin steelhead are a relatively viable, unsupplemented population occurring above eight mainstem dams and so would have value as a reference stream for IMW work and in maintaining viability of Lower Snake steelhead. The proponents appear to have made progress in evaluating status and trends of Asotin steelhead.

Nonetheless, a more thorough presentation of results is needed. Also, more detail is needed on methods for data collection and analytical methods particularly for objectives 1-3 (Deliverables 2 and 4). In addition, there is a need to briefly summarize their results from annual reports (which were well-written, but separate documents). This is an opportunity to compare with other basins and programs utilizing the CHaMP protocols; however, preliminary characteristics and differences should at least be listed. They also should compare recruitment results to the Tucannon and Walla Walla rivers (and others) and develop testable hypotheses from the recruitment analyses, toward an adaptive management experimental approach.

The goal is to provide data toward understanding the biology and recruitment of wild, unsupplemented summer-run steelhead in this lower Snake River tributary, as an index of status and trends, but little or no information on results is provided. In addition, the proponents suggest the site will provide information on habitat restoration and serve as the wild control for evaluation of supplementation. However, details of these evaluations were lacking. Adult PIT tagging efforts incorporate ISEMP methodology, and there is mention of genetic monitoring (SNPs) but, again, details are needed. No recruitment analyses were attempted, albeit they are working with somewhat preliminary data (trapping commenced in 2004).

The list of accomplishments is substantive, but the proponents need to provide a more thorough presentation of results. Results should be presented in graphs and/or tables, with explanation, interpretation, and general conclusions drawn. Returns of both hatchery (strays) and naturally spawning fish should be provided, and in comparison to elsewhere. The results should be organized according to past project objectives to allow the reviewer to determine if the project is progressing satisfactorily toward accomplishment of its objectives. Given these caveats, this site should form an important contribution to the evolving IMW network.
Documentation Links:
  • Proponent Response (11/15/2010)

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-NPCC-20110106
Project: 2002-053-00 - Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Review: RME / AP Category Review
Proposal: RMECAT-2002-053-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 6/10/2011
Recommendation: Fund (Qualified)
Comments: See Programmatic issue #2.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 Programmatic Issue: RMECAT #2 Habitat effectiveness monitoring and evaluation—.
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2002-053-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems May Exist
Cost Share Rating: 3 - Does not appear reasonable
Comment: Population status analysis; fishery managers authorized/required; query whether cost-share is sufficient here.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2002-053-00
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: 2002-053-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2002-053-00 - Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The proposal is excellent, especially the reporting of progress to date. The installation of the resistivity counter is a positive step and should help enumerate adult Chinook and steelhead escapements, particularly in combination with the juvenile PIT tag effort.

Technical and scientific background: The goal of this project is to assess the status of anadromous salmonid populations in the Asotin Creek watershed. Much of Asotin Creek and its tributaries have been straightened, diked or relocated. Many habitat restoration projects have been completed or are ongoing in the Asotin Creek watershed with state (Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Washington Conservation Commission) and federal (BPA) funding. More than $1.5 million has been spent on habitat restoration projects in the Asotin Creek Subbasin.

The data suggests that Asotin Creek - above eight FCRPS dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers - has a highly productive and resilient population of naturally-producing summer steelhead, which may be an important nursery of the Snake River steelhead ESU.

Fish management in Asotin Creek, directed by Washington's Wild Salmonid Policy (WSP 1997), is focused on the protection and restoration of wild steelhead (lower Snake River ESU) and bull trout. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) designated the Asotin Creek Subbasin a wild steelhead refuge in 1997 and has planted no hatchery fish since 1998. Limited efforts have been made to assess the salmonid populations in the subbasin. Most of the data used by the co-managers for fish management are from limited research, monitoring, and evaluation (RM&E) activities conducted with funds from the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan (LSRCP).

Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: This project implements the research, monitoring and evaluation (RM&E) criteria specified in the Asotin Subbasin Plan by providing estimates of abundance, productivity, survival rates, and temporal and spatial distribution of ESA-listed species, primarily summer steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and secondarily spring Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha). The project also implements reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) 180 in the NMFS 2000 and 2004 Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinions (BiOp) for population status monitoring and review of status change over time. This project is designed to enumerate adult salmonids entering Asotin Creek to spawn and to estimate the juvenile migrant population and emigration patterns

Relationships to other projects: As a result of the several associated projects in the Asotin subbasin, a sizeable investment has now been made toward understanding salmonids in Asotin Creek. Allowing the project to continue until relevant metrics can be described for a small system with a relatively large steelhead population has significant potential value. This is underscored by early project data that show substantially more adults and juvenile out-migrants in the system than were expected (ASP 2004, p5. 15; 45). Understanding the population dynamics of the Asotin Creek steelhead population can be instructive for understanding small-river summer steelhead biology throughout the Interior Columbia basin and the potential of these smaller systems to contribute to recovery.

Project history: A detailed and thorough recounting of project history and accomplishments is provided.

Objectives: Five objectives clearly defined and linked to Asotin Subbasin Plan

Tasks (work elements) and methods: Detailed methods with sound scientific principles and explained and referenced.

Facilities, equipment, and personnel: The basic infrastructure needed to complete the proposed work elements is already in place.

Information transfer: An Annual Report will be submitted to BPA as a deliverable work product, which will include an abstract, introduction, description, methods, results, discussion, summary, and list of expenditures, in the Pisces format. Quarterly status reports will also be submitted to BPA in Pisces. Written or oral summaries will be provided to co-managers, subbasin planners and other interested parties, as necessary/requested, for inclusion in Asotin Subbasin planning efforts. The data from this project will also be submitted to the StreamNet database, if possible.

Benefit to focal and non-focal species: For the steelhead Snake River ESU, this assessment work should provide benefits including improved knowledge of species/habitat relationship. The baseline data collected for each focal species under this project is needed to refine fish return and management goals, and to assist in the establishment of future numeric fish population goals as outlined in the Asotin Subbasin Plan (ASP 2004, p. 160). In addition, assessing the Asotin Creek steelhead population may provide a better understanding of limiting factors that affect similar or adjacent populations. Moreover, data from this project could be used to help determine if regional recovery efforts to stabilize and rebuild steelhead populations would be best spent on within-subbasin projects or out-of subbasin actions (i.e., FCRPS modifications).

Rebuilding the bull trout population and eventually reintroducing spring Chinook are goals for the Subbasin. Understanding the steelhead population trend may allow managers to initiate recovery actions directed toward these populations at the appropriate time.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2002-053-00 - Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments:

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Janice Jackson Administrative Contact Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Ethan Crawford Project Lead Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Dawn Boorse Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Russell Scranton Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Joe Bumgarner Interested Party Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Jeremy Cram Supervisor Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)