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Project Summary

Project 2008-116-00 - White Sturgeon Enhancement
Project Number:
White Sturgeon Enhancement
White sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus, like many sturgeon species worldwide, have suffered declines in abundance and distribution. The subpopulation of white sturgeon in the upper Columbia River above Grand Coulee Dam is classified as Critically Endangered (CE) by the IUCN and listed as endangered under the Canadian Species At Risk Act (SARA) due to persistent recruitment failure. Recruitment failure in the upper Columbia River between Grand Coulee and Hugh Keenleyside dams (the Transboundary Reach) white sturgeon population was first documented during studies conducted in the early 1990’s in the Canadian portion of the Reach (the Keenleyside Reach). Similar results were obtained in 1998 in the Washington portion of the Reach (the Roosevelt Reach). In response to increasing concerns over the threat of extinction, the Upper Columbia White Sturgeon Recovery Initiative (UCWSRI) was formed in 2000. The UCWSRI is an international organization with members from state, provincial, and federal fisheries agencies, Canadian First Nations, U.S. Tribes, and industry stakeholders in British Columbia and Washington State. The Initiative produced an Upper Columbia White Sturgeon Recovery Plan (UCWSRP) that is compatible with the ESA and SARA legislation. The goal of the UCWSRI, as defined in the UCWSRP, “is to ensure the persistence and viability of naturally reproducing populations of white sturgeon in the upper Columbia River and restore opportunities for beneficial use if feasible.”

The White Sturgeon Enhancement Project (WSEP) is a new project that was identified in the 2008 Fish Accords Memorandum of Agreement between the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) and the FCRPS Action Agencies. The project is intended to complement the existing recovery effort by addressing factors limiting recruitment of white sturgeon in the Transboundary Reach. This will be achieved by implementing the UCWSRP in direct coordination with the UCWSRI partners and Lake Roosevelt Co-Managers. Thus, the project goal is that of the UCRWSRI (above). The project specific objectives are consistent with the short- and medium-term objectives in the UCWSRP. The CCT WSEP objectives are to 1) monitor the status and trend of the Transboundary Reach white sturgeon population, and 2) identify factors limiting natural recruitment of white sturgeon in the Transboundary Reach.
Proponent Orgs:
Colville Confederated Tribes (Tribe)
Starting FY:
Ending FY:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Province Subbasin %
Intermountain Columbia Upper 100.00%
RM and E
Focal Species:
Sturgeon, White - All Populations except Kootenai R. DPS
Sturgeon, White - Lower Columbia River
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"

Expense SOY Budget Working Budget Contracted Amount Modified Contract Amount Expenditures *
FY2018 (Previous) $633,570 $669,224 $633,570 $930,184 $763,196

Post 2018 - Colville $548,038 $518,840 $761,743 $624,993
Fish Accord - Colville $121,186 $114,730 $168,442 $138,203
FY2019 (Current) $549,159 $549,159 $549,159 $181,457

Fish Accord - Colville $549,159 $549,159 $549,159 $181,457
FY2020 (Next) $549,159 $549,159 $0 $0 $0

Fish Accord - Colville $549,159 $0 $0 $0

* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 31-Jan-2019

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2018 - FY2020)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2018 Expense $633,570 From: Post 2018 - Colville FY18 Initial Planning Budgets (WS, CTUIR, YN, CRITFC, CCT, ID) 2/10/2017 02/13/2017
FY2018 Expense $85,532 To: Post 2018 - Colville CCT Establish FY18 budget for 2009-007-00 Accord Administration. 02/21/2018
FY2018 Expense $121,186 From: Fish Accord - Colville Accord Budget Transfers (CCT) 3/12/18 03/12/2018
FY2019 Expense $549,159 From: Fish Accord - Colville Accord Extensions (Colville Tribe) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018
FY2020 Expense $549,159 From: Fish Accord - Colville Accord Extensions (Colville Tribe) 10/1/2018 10/01/2018

Pending Budget Decision?  No

Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2019   DRAFT
Cost Share Partner Total Proposed Contribution Total Confirmed Contribution
US Department of Interior (DOI) $93,882
Total $0 $93,882
Previous Fiscal Years
Fiscal Year Total Contributions % of Budget
2018 $307,131 (Draft) 31 % (Draft)
2017 $131,876 (Draft) 9 % (Draft)
2016 (Draft)
2015 $28,400 4 %
2014 $15,000 2 %
2013 $95,000 12 %


The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, 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
73548 REL 26 SOW Colville Confederated Tribes 2008-116-00 EXP WHITE STURGEON ENHANCEMENT Issued $633,570 4/1/2018 - 3/31/2019
CR-329926 SOW Colville Confederated Tribes 2008-116-00 EXP WHITE STURGEON ENHANCEMENT Pending $549,159 4/1/2019 - 3/31/2020

Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):8
On time:5
Status Reports
On time:22
Avg Days Early:1

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
56172 58656, 63531, 67010, 70837, 74692, 73548 REL 26 2008-116-00 EXP WHITE STURGEON ENHANCEMENT Colville Confederated Tribes 03/2012 03/2012 Pending 28 62 6 0 30 98 69.39% 0
Project Totals 28 62 6 0 30 98 69.39% 0

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: 2008-116-00-NPCC-20130807
Project: 2008-116-00 - White Sturgeon Enhancement
Review: Resident Fish, Regional Coordination, and Data Management Category Review
Proposal: RESCAT-2008-116-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 2/26/2014
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement with condition through FY2017. Sponsor to submit to the ISRP, specific objectives and methods for physical habitat modeling (deliverable 4) and deliverables 5 and 6 (Determine behavioral impacts on larval sturgeon exposed to heavy metals; and Assess rates of contaminant bioaccumulation to assess recruitment failure) as requested by the ISRP in qualification #1. Implementation of deliverables 4, 5 and 6 based on favorable review by the ISRP. Refer to Data Management Review and Recommendations (Part 3) for database development aspects of the project. Also refer to the Resident Fish Review and Recommendations for White Sturgeon in Part 2.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2008-116-00-ISRP-20120215
Project: 2008-116-00 - White Sturgeon Enhancement
Review: Resident Fish, Regional Coordination, and Data Management Category Review
Proposal Number: RESCAT-2008-116-00
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 sponsor’s response was very informative. It included a detailed description of how this project relates to and coordinates with project #199502700, and several detailed diagrams indicating project functions and roles for all significant tasks. It also included likely approaches and methods for several of the tasks to be performed by subcontractors including physical mapping/modeling and contaminant monitoring. The sponsors provided reasonable justification for subcontractors and identified subcontractors when possible at this time. Although no final contractors have been selected, the list of those to be invited includes highly qualified entities.The sponsors have assembled the specifications for approaches and methodologies for the RFPs which indicate many of the detailed methods to be used. However, some methodologies cannot be identified or developed until the subcontractors are hired. The sponsors should provide information about the subcontractor who is conducting the work and what specific methods will be used. At that point the ISRP wishes to review the specific objectives and methods. The sponsors previously described, and in the response clearly stated, the trial approach of the broadband sonar work for sturgeon.

Qualification #1 - Qualification #1 - identify and hire the subcontractor
For the predation and food web components of the project, the sponsor needs to identify and hire the subcontractor, identify qualified staffing additions to conduct the work, and develop detailed methodologies, including the starvation approach. The ISRP should review the specific objectives and methodologies prior to implementation.
Qualification #2 - Qualification #2 - develop a plausible rebuilding schedule for the stock
The sponsor needs to develop a plausible rebuilding schedule for the stock with production and cohort/age structure goals during contracting. Similar work by other entities, including the Kootenai Tribe, should be reviewed for applicability.
Qualification #3 - Qualification #3 - annual reports
High quality annual reports need to be completed and updated.
First Round ISRP Date: 2/8/2012
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:

A response is requested that identifies the coordination and collaboration with 199502700. A diagram that clarifies which project is responsible for which task is needed. The ISRP cannot determine if duplication is present.

The variety of actions proposed in this document, such as physical mapping/modeling and contaminant monitoring requires subcontractors, but most of them have not been identified nor have they provided specific information on methodologies. The response should provide information about who is conducting the work and what specific methods will be used.

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

This proposed project responds to objectives in a number of regional plans and programs including the NPPC Fish and Wildlife Program (2009), the Spokane Subbasin Plan, the Upper Columbia White Sturgeon Recovery Plan, the MERR Plan, and the Lake Roosevelt Guiding Document.

The technical background is detailed and provides good background information, citing many references.

There are 2 objectives for this project. 

·         OBJ-1: Monitor the status and trend of the Transboundary Reach white sturgeon population.

·         OBJ-2: Identify factors limiting natural recruitment of white sturgeon in the Transboundary Reach.

The level of detail is adequate for describing what will be done, but not how the elements will be achieved. For that we need to see some fairly detailed methods.

The experimental approach involving the collection of larvae is an important approach. However, given that somewhat high recruitment was observed in 1997 when high flow coincided with spawning, it seems that flow should be a key hypothesis to test, if feasible. Ideally, flow should be manipulated to determine the extent to which flow manipulation can influence recruitment. In the absence of the ability to alter the flows, the capture and transport approach is reasonable.

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

This section does a good job of outlining the history of activities on sturgeon related to 200811600; it also applies nearly verbatim to 199512700 with nearly the same text used in both proposals.

ISRP Retrospective Evaluation of Results

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

This project will coordinate with and share data with a fairly large number of other related BPA projects.

Potential future effects of non-native species and climate change on white sturgeon are discussed. Tagging protocols and types to be used were detailed. 

It is difficult to understand if activities listed in this proposal do or do not overlap with 199502700.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

Although the broadband sonar work does show some promise for identifying surgeon, the high number of false positives in Brundage and Jung (2009) made it difficult to apply accurately. This problem may be greater in Lake Roosevelt, especially for certain sizes of fish. At this time, and based on results of previous work, it is not clear how well this approach will work. As described, in terms of field evaluation, a small test is a more appropriate start. 

For the stock assessment work, it is unclear how this proposed work and that outlined under 199502700 are to be divided up. It appears that there is considerable duplication of effort. This relationship should be clarified.

4a. Specific comments on protocols and methods described in

The sponsors state that "In order to evaluate the larval transport/habitat mis-match hypothesis, we propose to conduct hydrographic surveys of the upper Roosevelt Reach to characterize geomorphology, substrate typology, and hydrology. Following data acquisition, we will subcontract the development of a hydrodynamic model, modeling of dynamic habitat conditions (velocity, depth, temperature) under various hydro-operation scenarios, and multivariate statistical analyses to determine relationships between habitat, hydro-operations, and historic recruitment." This is a large undertaking that will be mostly, if not totally subcontracted, yet no subcontractors are identified nor their methods described. This component should ideally be written up for this proposal by collaboration of the sponsor and a willing subcontractor. The same approach limitation occurs for the efforts to assess bioaccumulation of toxicants. No subcontractor is identified and no methods outlined. Reviewing the literature without outlining proposed methods in the proposal is not adequate. For the heavy metals assessment, a potential subcontractor is at least identified (USGS) although they provide no details, hypotheses, or methodologies.

Modified by Dal Marsters on 4/17/2012 1:16:26 PM.
Documentation Links:
  • Proponent Response (3/6/2012)

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Peter Lofy Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Jason McLellan Project Lead Colville Confederated Tribes
Bret Nine Supervisor Colville Confederated Tribes
Kary Nichols Interested Party Colville Confederated Tribes
Edward Gresh Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Randy Friedlander Supervisor Colville Confederated Tribes
Amy Mai Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration