Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
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Project Summary

Project 2007-372-00 - Lake Roosevelt Sturgeon Hatchery
Project Number:
Lake Roosevelt Sturgeon Hatchery
Studies in the Transboundary Reach of the Columbia River have shown that the white sturgeon population has experienced almost total recruitment failure since the mid-1980’s and currently consists of an aging cohort of adults with juvenile age classes lacking. Preliminary results from recent stock assessments in the U.S. portion of the Reach suggest that the reproductive potential of the population is currently high based on the abundance of broodstock sized fish, good condition factors and maturation characteristics similar to mid-Columbia populations that support limited levels of exploitation with periodic recruitment events. Spawning has been documented annually in the Canadian portion of the Reach since 1993 and spawning was identified in the U.S. in 2005. Gamete viability is good based on the success of conservation aquaculture efforts using wild caught broodstock, high survival rates of eggs and larvae during in situ incubation experiments, and recent collections of larvae in the U.S. Despite this, recent gill netting in the Transboundary Reach has failed to capture wild YOY fish. Rearing habitat appears productive based on the post-release growth rates of hatchery juvenile releases that have exceeded those of hatchery juveniles released in the Kootenai River and are similar to those of wild juvenile “trawl and haul” transplants in the mid-Columbia. These results suggest that factors limiting recruitment may primarily be acting on life stages between the initiation of exogenous feeding and age 1. The cause of the early mortality is unknown, but could be due to a variety of factors that are primarily acting within the U.S. portion of the reach. The goal of the proposed project is to complete the NPCC three-step process to develop a white sturgeon conservation hatchery that will enhance natural reproduction until natural recruitment is restored.
Proponent Orgs:
Spokane Tribe (Tribe)
Starting FY:
Ending FY:
Province Subbasin %
Intermountain Columbia Upper 100.00%
Artificial Production
Focal Species:
Sturgeon, White - All Populations except Kootenai R. DPS
Sturgeon, White - Lower Columbia River
Trout, Rainbow
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 0.0%   Resident: 100.0%   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

No Decided Budget Transfers

Pending Budget Decision?  No

Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2024
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
2022 (Draft)
2015 $650 0%
2007 (Draft)


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
35922 SOW Spokane Tribe 2007-372-00 EXP LAKE ROOSEVELT STURGEON HATCHE Closed $24,406 11/1/2007 - 8/31/2009
43955 SOW Spokane Tribe 2007-372-00 EXP LAKE ROOSEVELT STURGEON HATCHERY Closed $2,641 9/1/2009 - 8/31/2010
49357 SOW Spokane Tribe 200737200 EXP LAKE ROOSEVELT STURGEON HATCHE Closed $2,094 9/1/2010 - 8/31/2011
54386 SOW Spokane Tribe 2007-372-00 EXP PLANNING LAKE ROOSEVELT STURGEON HATCHERY Closed $4,681 9/1/2011 - 8/31/2012
58585 SOW Spokane Tribe 2007-372-00 EXP PLAN/DESIGN LAKE ROOS STURGEON HATCHERY Closed $3,525 9/1/2012 - 8/31/2013
62485 SOW Spokane Tribe 2007-372-00 EXP LAKE ROOSEVELT STURGEON HATCHERY Closed $137,146 9/1/2013 - 8/31/2014
65819 SOW Spokane Tribe 2007-372-00 EXP LAKE ROOSEVELT STURGEON HATCHE Closed $5,320 9/1/2014 - 1/31/2015
67875 SOW Spokane Tribe 2007-372-00 EXP LAKE ROOSEVELT STURGEON HATCHE Closed $149,036 2/1/2015 - 1/31/2016
71146 SOW Spokane Tribe 2007-372-00 EXP LAKE ROOSEVELT STURGEON HATCHERY Closed $29,485 2/1/2016 - 1/31/2017
75492 SOW Spokane Tribe 2007-372-00 EXP LAKE ROOSEVELT STURGEON HATCHERY Closed $0 2/1/2017 - 1/31/2018

Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):8
On time:7
Status Reports
On time:27
Avg Days Late:3

                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
35922 43955, 49357, 54386, 58585, 62485, 65819, 67875, 71146, 75492 2007-372-00 EXP LAKE ROOSEVELT STURGEON HATCHERY Spokane Tribe 11/01/2007 01/31/2018 Closed 43 14 0 0 20 34 41.18% 1
Project Totals 43 14 0 0 20 34 41.18% 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: Resident Fish, Regional Coordination, and Data Management Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2007-372-00-NPCC-20130807
Project: 2007-372-00 - Lake Roosevelt Sturgeon Hatchery
Review: Resident Fish, Regional Coordination, and Data Management Category Review
Proposal: RESCAT-2007-372-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 3/5/2014
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement with conditions through completion of Step Review Process. (Also see related project 1995-027-00 - Lake Roosevelt Sturgeon Recovery.) Also refer to the Resident Fish Review and Rec's for White Sturgeon in Part 2.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2007-372-00-ISRP-20120215
Project: 2007-372-00 - Lake Roosevelt Sturgeon Hatchery
Review: Resident Fish, Regional Coordination, and Data Management Category Review
Proposal Number: RESCAT-2007-372-00
Completed Date: 4/17/2012
Final Round ISRP Date: 4/3/2012
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:

Although the sponsors have clearly demonstrated the recruitment limitations affecting white sturgeon in this river reach, they have not provided any further scientific justification for the initiation of a Three-Step Review. They note that: "the first step of the process includes a feasibility study component that includes a comprehensive evaluation of existing facilities, (including Sherman Creek Hatchery), to determine if renovation of an existing facility will meet our needs, or if a new facility must be built. ” Existing information provided to the ISRP did not yet clearly indicate the need for additional hatchery capacity beyond the existing capacity.

The sponsors indicate that "Sherman Creek Hatchery is currently meeting our aquaculture needs on an interim basis to support larval sturgeon rearing and to assist the upper Columbia/Lake Roosevelt fisheries co-managers in meeting goals to preserve and protect white sturgeon…Sherman Creek Hatchery has adequate space and production amenities to support current interim hatchery operations."They appropriately note that conservation aquaculture facility needs may change and that "identifying a dedicated facility that better meets evolving needs may become critical to meeting white sturgeon recovery goals," and that “recruitment failure hypotheses testing research and hatchery monitoring could potentially impact aquaculture production needs in the near future (within the 5 year funding cycle). "They note that "The ultimate goal of the LRWSCH 3-Step Project is not to specifically increase current production of white sturgeon, but to ensure the availability of an adequate aquaculture rearing facility in the long-term, as well as support potential changes to production goals in the near-term.”No information, however preliminary, is provided on how existing capacity would be inadequate to meet stocking goals, or what those preliminary goals might be as they relate to the need for a new hatchery. No basic numerical information is provided for the ISRP to understand how the need for a hatchery is present or imminent. This sort of information is requested in Step 1. 

Because of the uncompleted state of the revised White Sturgeon Recovery Plan (outside the control of the sponsors), it is also difficult to determine how critical a proposed hatchery is to meet recovery goals and specific production objectives at a larger scale. It remains unclear how this work is coordinated with WDFW Sherman Hatchery experimental work and the Colville Tribes. For a Step review, demonstration of agreement and integration among the various entities on management and restoration of Lake Roosevelt sturgeon should be presented. The current production at Sherman Creek, to be part of the Fish and Wildlife Program, also needs to be part of the Step Review and Master Plan development. 


Qualification #1 - Qualification #1 - full description of the actual and projected production capacity
Step 1 of the Step Review should include a full description of the actual and projected production capacity, including Sherman Creek Hatchery.
Qualification #2 - Qualification #2 - Revisit the need for additional white sturgeon rearing capacity
Revisit the need for additional white sturgeon rearing capacity after the genetic analyses are completed in the summer of 2012. The ISRP will review as part of the Step Review Process.
First Round ISRP Date: 2/8/2012
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:

The sponsors provided a reasonable rationale for initiating a white sturgeon conservation hatchery Step Review. The ISRP response request is for justification that anticipated production cannot be met with existing capacity at Sherman Creek or other neighboring facilities.

Sufficient justification of the lack of recruitment is provided in support of a request to initiate the Three Step process. However, there is no justification for the planning of a hatchery based on the need for extra capacity. With a documented history of hatchery production at Sherman Creek and enhancement in the transboundary reach, recruitment limitation does not by itself seem adequate justification for planning another hatchery. Although detailed justification for the hatchery in terms of numbers of fish to be released, target goals, expected mortality rates to maturation, etc. are finalized in the Step process, it would seem appropriate if some of the basic numbers were developed in this proposal to confirm that there is a shortage of sturgeon rearing capacity at Sherman Creek and elsewhere for supplying the transboundary reach. It seems that more than 3,000 sturgeon were produced and released last year.

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

This is a proposal to fund a planning process potentially leading to another sturgeon hatchery in the upper Columbia Basin. 

Significance to regional programs: The linkages to the NPPC Fish and Wildlife Program, Lake Roosevelt Fisheries Guiding Document, the Upper Columbia River White Sturgeon Recovery Plan, the Spokane Subbasin Plan, and other management plans are reasonably presented and summarized. Conservation aquaculture is identified as a recommended strategy in the Upper Columbia White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative, and many state and tribal agencies are participants along with US and Canadian national level agencies. There is no mention of whether this recovery initiative has been peer reviewed, and whether it has been formally approved by the participating entities. Until the recovery plan is fully vetted, its status as a forum for guiding and justifying an artificial production strategy seems premature. The sponsors’ response should describe the status of the recovery initiative.

Technical background: The summary of studies of white sturgeon status in the Columbia River above Grand Coulee and the hypothesis that recruitment limitation is due to an altered hydrograph owing to dams and reservoirs in Canada is adequately presented. The hypothesis of the primary limiting factor is consistent with white sturgeon investigations elsewhere, for example, the Snake River in Idaho. The background would be improved with additional information on the status of sturgeon conservation successes and failures using artificial production. Step 1 of a Master Plan should include this information.

The technical background (Problem Statement) is extensive and covers the status and recruitment failure of white sturgeon populations in this area well.

The overarching objective to provide a more normative age structure for white sturgeon along with conserving extant genetic diversity is reasonable and well stated. There is a need, however, to quantify these objectives. What are the goals for abundance and age structure? What is the goal for preserving genetic diversity? Many details would be expected in Step 1 or earlier; however, no information is provided here.

The potential for using wild-caught juveniles is an important opportunity and needs to be developed more fully.

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

The problem statement provides a summary of past investigations. The development of a sturgeon Master Plan is waiting for the completion of investigations of genetic diversity. It would be useful in the Master Plan Step 1 document to identify all the data that would ideally be available for development of the plan, and then identify the status and confidence in the data that is available in each category.

Available evidence indicates that the sponsors have coordinated closely with the CCT and WDFW to reach agreement on goals for a conservation hatchery. The organization appears to be in place for initiating a Step Review process. However, the relation to other specific hatchery efforts by other tribal and non-tribal entities in the basin is not well explained in the proposal. 

The problems with recruitment in the Lake Roosevelt population are well outlined in the proposal. Also, the ability to sample wild, young-of-the-year fish provide an unusual, and perhaps unique at present, capability to evaluate sturgeon artificial propagation from a different perspective than broodstock collection. This point should perhaps have been raised more prominently in the proposal.

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

Overall, responses to questions were adequate. The sponsors proposed effort appears to be coordinated with other similar BPA projects.

There was no discussion of potential future emerging limiting factors such as from adverse interactions with non-native species or effects of climate change. This should be added.

It would have been useful to clearly state and provide some evidence that that rearing capacity for sturgeon was limited, and that no space is available at Sherman Creek and other facilities. Data are presented on the releases from other hatcheries in the reach, but insufficient discussion ensues of the inadequacies of those facilities to meet production goals.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The draft Master Plan and subsequent step elements generally appear consistent with the three step process. The proposal states in a number of places that a Hatchery Genetic Management Plan (HGMP) will be developed for issues not already covered in the recovery plan. This is inconsistent with the format of HGMPs that the ISRP has seen for salmon and steelhead. The HGMP is a stand-alone product that appropriately covers all elements of production.

The discussion of the Master Plan appears focused on evaluating artificial production alternatives. The Master Plan needs to begin with a foundation on the stock status of the populations, the quantitative objectives for recovery including abundance and genetic diversity, and then evaluate options for achieving the recovery including artificial production options. Once artificial production is established as a reasonable strategy, facilities to accomplish the strategy can be evaluated.

The Deliverables identified were all related to Step Review process.

Although the vast majority of the funding requested is for sub-contractors, there is no indication of who these contractors are or if they have been contacted or involved in project coordination.

Modified by Dal Marsters on 4/17/2012 12:57:22 PM.
Documentation Links:
  • Proponent Response (3/7/2012)
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2007-372-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2007-372-00 - Lake Roosevelt Sturgeon Hatchery
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Council Three-Step Process: Step 1. Deliverable (Master plan) due by end of FY '08, out year funds dependent upon favorable step review.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2007-372-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2007-372-00 - Lake Roosevelt Sturgeon Hatchery
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Does Not Meet Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The response to the ISRP preliminary comments reviews the problem of poor recruitment of white sturgeon from post-hatch juveniles to yearling age fish. Using a generalized simulation of natural recruitment from spawning by individuals released from artificial production, the sponsors suggest this could be an important solution to making sure white sturgeon are not extirpated before the cause of recruitment failure is solved. Sponsors refer to, and provide, a white sturgeon recovery plan developed for the upper Columbia River (above Chief Joseph Dam) in the United States / Canada trans-boundary region.

In addition to the comments the ISRP provided in the preliminary review, the ISRP stresses here that artificial production actions for white sturgeon, other than those in the historically isolated Kootenai River which is a recognized Distinct Population Segment under the ESA, should consider the species in the Columbia River Basin as a whole, not just isolated reservoir populations. In the upper Columbia River White Sturgeon Plan attached to the proposal, there is a summary of genetic data that suggests that historically gene flow was likely contiguous among the anadromous reaches and that there is currently reduced gene diversity in the upper regions today. The brief culture plan presented in the proposal is a modest increase in the number of families reared currently in Canada from parents captured in the trans-boundary region. The ISRP is not convinced that this adequately addresses all the issues of gene diversity and population viability that arise in this type of endeavor, and consequently do not conclude that it is scientifically defensible. If the sponsors develop future proposals for using artificial culture of white sturgeon, the ISRP urges that even though a proposal may focus on a solution to a problem in a single segment of the mainstem Columbia, it should incorporate a broader perspective on the historic and desired future interrelationships (interbreeding) of sturgeon from across the basin.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2007-372-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2007-372-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: No Problems Exist
Cost Share Rating: None
Comment: White sturgeon hatchery planning, assume in mitigation for FCRPS.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 2007-372-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2007-372-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Peter Lofy Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Edward Gresh Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Brent Nichols Project Lead Spokane Tribe
Andy Miller Technical Contact Spokane Tribe
Peter Lofy Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration