Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
RSS Feed for updates to Project 2008-112-00 - Resident Fish Loss Assessment Follow this via RSS feed. Help setting up RSS feeds?

Project Summary

Project 2008-112-00 - Resident Fish Loss Assessment
Project Number:
2008-112-00
Title:
Resident Fish Loss Assessment
Summary:
None
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Colville Confederated Tribes (Tribe)
Starting FY:
2008
Ending FY:
2032
BPA PM:
Stage:
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Intermountain Columbia Upper 100.00%
Purpose:
Programmatic
Emphasis:
RM and E
Focal Species:
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 0.0%   Resident: 100.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Special:
None
BiOp Association:
None

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"

Expense SOY Budget Working Budget Contracted Amount Modified Contract Amount Expenditures *
FY2018 (Previous) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

Post 2018 - Colville $0 $0 $0 $0
FY2019 (Current) $0 $0 $0 $0

FY2020 (Next) $0 $0 $0 $0

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 31-Oct-2018

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2018 - FY2020)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2018 Expense $0 From: Post 2018 - Colville FY18 Initial Planning Budgets (CCT) 7/26/2017 07/27/2017

Pending Budget Decision?  No


Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2019
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
2013 $0 0 %
2012
2011
2010

No Current Contracts




Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):0
Completed:0
On time:0
Status Reports
Completed:0
On time:0
Avg Days Late:None



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: 2008-112-00-NPCC-20130807
Project: 2008-112-00 - Resident Fish Loss Assessment
Review: Resident Fish, Regional Coordination, and Data Management Category Review
Proposal: RESCAT-2008-112-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 2/26/2014
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement with condition through FY2013. Sponsor to develop assessment tools for methodologies assessing hydrosystem impacts. Funding recommendation beyond FY2013 based on favorable ISRP and Council review.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2008-112-00-ISRP-20120215
Project: 2008-112-00 - Resident Fish Loss Assessment
Review: Resident Fish, Regional Coordination, and Data Management Category Review
Proposal Number: RESCAT-2008-112-00
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:

The response listed extirpated, native, and non-native fish species present in the blocked area above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams, and included the note that there was "serious concerns about the status of 11 of these species." Further explanation was not provided, but a brief list of suspected factors was included. Prominent among these were likely introduced or non-native species and the possibility of toxin-related issues. Separation of hydrosystem impacts from these and other major issues remains a significant challenge. Regardless, the key steps include identification of limitations to production, given a clear definition of the management objectives and vision, followed by development of a program to address these limits, where possible, or "remedy the factors limiting resident fish production." The project is in the very early stages of this process, for example form an advisory team. As such, developing a conceptual approach might prove a productive route initially. The approach should incorporate clear problem definition and current knowledge from the literature to be followed by identification of information gaps and suggested field trials to confirm aspects of sub-models and mitigation approaches. Please see the programmatic comment on structured decision making.

As well, the ISRP requested the following information:

A clear statement of why the project is needed would help frame the proposal, but other than references to historical mitigation agreements it was difficult to fully understand the motivation for the project. Is there something fundamentally missing from the way the current resident fish program is being implemented that is not adequately taking into account continuing and underappreciated harm to resident fishes?

The project sponsor's response was generally adequate. It was helpful to list both the resident native and non-native fishes (Table 1), as well as the potential limiting factors (Table 2). The connection between several of the potential limiting factors in Table 2 and construction and operation of the hydrosystem was not unclear and would have benefited from more explanation.

The reasons for classifying some native resident species as "species of concern" and not others (Table 1) also deserved clarification. Are they considered species of concern because they were traditionally eaten? How does their current status (healthy, threatened, significantly endangered, etc.) affect their priority in this particular assessment effort? Finally, it was not clear if the inclusion of northern pikeminnow on the concern list was that pikeminnows have become too abundant because of hydrosystem development, or that they might be at risk of becoming imperiled.

The proposal needs to provide more information about how the scientific review and modeling work would be carried out. A response should answer the following questions. Will there be a committee of scientific experts, or a management committee referred to in the abstract? In either case, how will they be selected? Will the modeling be contracted out or will project sponsors do it themselves through the work of the expert committee? How will results of the science assessment be used in a general management context, specifically related to setting restoration targets of native fishes? How does this work relate to resident fish substitution plans whereby some funded species can compete with native species? How will the pre-development condition of the drainage system be characterized to establish baseline conditions prior to dam construction?

Most of the questions were answered satisfactorily. As currently conceived, it appears that scientific input and collaboration will occur through PNNL. The project sponsors may wish to take steps to ensure that the advisory team has sufficient technical representation to provide proper scientific oversight. The response clarified that the goal of the project is to identify environmental stressors related to the hydrosystem and not to set numeric targets for resident species of concern. The response did not address the question related to the potential interaction between resident fish substitution projects and native species. The ISRP hopes this topic will be included in the assessment.

Finally, the ISRP did not understand the basis for the budget request. The proposal requests about $500K annually for three years, most of which is for salary support. For a project that does not involve field work this amount seems high. Yet the indirect/overhead costs constitute over 50% of the annual budget estimates. Why are overhead costs this high, and how will the funds be used? Were these costs meant to cover contracts to Battelle or other consultants for literature review and modeling? Although this question is not central to the ISRP’s scientific review, it is helpful to the ISRP’s understanding of the proposal.

The project sponsors provided an adequate explanation for the overhead costs, although some of the organizational overhead costs, for example decontamination and lab supplies, are not likely applicable to this project.

ISRP Retrospective Evaluation of Results

As with many proposals that seek to define the extent of a selected problem, in this case the status and threats to resident fishes above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams, the project sponsors are proposing a steering committee composed of managers that will guide the work of a scientific committee (PNNL) that will build a model, which will in turn provide the basis for restoration actions. We suggest the model should be peer-reviewed by the ISRP and that structured decision making processes should guide each step of the approach. Because the outcome of this project is highly uncertain, in terms of threat identification and restoration priorities, frequent external oversight will help ensure that conclusions are well-supported.

Qualification #1 - Qualification #1
The CCT and PNNL have provided information that has helped the ISRP understand the objectives of this project. As stated in the response, actual methods for assessing hydrosystem impacts on resident fishes are under development. Because these methods (including models) have not yet been completed, scientific review would help to ensure that assumptions about hydrosystem impact on resident species are based on the most current available information. Therefore, the qualification is that the ISRP should review the assessment tool(s) when they are finalized in 2013, before field assessments are undertaken. The development of an advisory team (representative managers) is proposed as a first step, with facilitation and model development to come from PNNL. This approach is important, but in itself may be insufficient. What may be needed is a workshop-based collaborative approach that includes engaged stakeholders, following the procedures of structured decision management, as the ISRP described in our programmatic comments in this report and in our 2011 Retrospective Report (ISRP 2011-25). This is particularly important in projects such as this where the goals are still general and where models and methods remain to be developed. Because the outcome of the assessment is highly uncertain, it is possible the project may generate more questions than it answers. Therefore, it is important that the process lead to specific hypotheses that can be tested in the field, with results being incorporated into future management decisions.
First Round ISRP Date: 2/8/2012
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:

This was a very interesting proposal; however, it lacks sufficient focus or details at this point for scientific evaluation.

  1. A clear statement of why the project is needed would help frame the proposal, but other than references to historical mitigation agreements it was difficult to fully understand the motivation for the project. Is there something fundamentally missing from the way the current resident fish program is being implemented that is not adequately taking into account continuing and underappreciated harm to resident fishes?

  2. The proposal needs to provide more information about how the scientific review and modeling work would be carried out. A response should answer the following questions. Will there be a committee of scientific experts, or a management committee referred to in the abstract? In either case, how will they be selected? Will the modeling be contracted out or will project sponsors do it themselves through the work of the expert committee? How will results of the science assessment be used in a general management context, specifically related to setting restoration targets of native fishes? How does this work relate to resident fish substitution plans whereby some funded species can compete with native species? How will the pre-development condition of the drainage system be characterized to establish baseline conditions prior to dam construction.

  3. Finally, the ISRP did not understand the basis for the budget request. The proposal requests about $500K annually for three years, most of which is for salary support. For a project that does not involve field work this amount seems high. Yet the indirect/overhead costs constitute over 50% of the annual budget estimates. Why are overhead costs this high, and how will the funds be used? Were these costs meant to cover contracts to Battelle or other consultants for literature review and modeling? Although this question is not central to the ISRP’s scientific review, it is helpful to the ISRP’s understanding of the proposal.

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

The resident fish mitigation program for the Upper Columbia River was designed primarily to offset the loss of anadromous salmonids when Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams were constructed. This proposal calls for a three-year investigation of the effects of the construction of the two dams and the resultant inundation of riverine habitats by water impounded behind the Lake Rufus Woods and Lake Roosevelt dams on native resident fishes. It is difficult to relate the project to regional programs dealing specifically with the loss of resident, non-anadromous species because mitigation for the loss of salmon and steelhead through enhancement of mostly trout and kokanee resident species is the primary objective of nearly all other efforts.

Although the goals and objectives of the proposal were stated clearly, one of the objectives calls for a comparison of fish communities in historical riverine conditions, reference conditions or baseline conditions of the reservoirs functioning as natural lakes, and current conditions. However, the "reference conditions" concept requires further clarification, as it is not clear from the proposal how reservoirs functioning as natural lakes are fundamentally different from reservoirs functioning as water storage impoundments.

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

This is a new project that involves compilation of available literature and data on resident fish populations in the area of interest, or modeling the effects of dam operations on fish habitats and changes in biotic communities.

Other than the generation of reports on the effects of the two dams and reservoirs on resident fishes, no specific plans are presented for how the information would be used in a management context.

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

The literature review and modeling efforts will be targeted at identifying the factors related to dam construction and reservoir operation most likely to have impacted native resident fishes. Although the deliberate or accidental introduction of many vertebrate and invertebrate non-native species has also resulted in significant impacts to the native fauna, as well as other types of anthropogenic habitat loss, the primary emphasis of the proposal seems to be on hydrosystem operations.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

Three deliverables are identified: (1) evaluate the reference condition and biotic and abiotic factors controlling resident fish communities; (2) quantify the effects of dam construction and operation on fish communities; and (3) communicate the analytical findings to managers and policy-makers. The project is proposed to begin with the formation of an advisory team composed of regional fish managers, but beyond this step there was little description of how the loss assessment would occur.

Details of additional metrics and methods were not provided.

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

No protocols or methods specific to this project were uploaded to MonitoringMethods.org.

Modified by Dal Marsters on 4/17/2012 1:10:35 PM.
Documentation Links:
  • Proponent Response (3/6/2012)

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Sandra Fife Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Peter Lofy Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Sheryl Sears (Inactive) Technical Contact Colville Confederated Tribes
Bret Nine Project Lead Colville Confederated Tribes
Timothy Hanrahan (Inactive) Technical Contact Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
David Geist (Inactive) Technical Contact Pacific Northwest National Laboratory