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Project Summary

Project 2008-117-00 - Rufus Woods Redband Net Pens
Project Number:
Rufus Woods Redband Net Pens
The Colville Tribal Hatchery is more than 20 years old. It was designed to produce 50,000 pounds of trout annually. It was designed to receive eggs from elsewhere not to hold broodstock. The Colville Tribes have committed to replace coastal strains of rainbow trout with the native redband rainbow. In order to meet this commitment at least three raceways must be used to hold broodstock. Two additional raceways were constructed but no improvements have been made to the water system. Consequently insufficient water and space are available to hold sufficient broodstock as well as meet the stocking requirements for the lakes and streams on the Colville Reservation.

Several options for holding broodstock offsite were investigated. It was concluded that the most practical option was to contract with a local aquaculture facility to hold redband broodstock and other fish as needed in order to lessen the load on the hatchery and it's water system.
Proponent Orgs:
Colville Confederated Tribes (Tribe)
Starting FY:
Ending FY:
Province Subbasin %
Intermountain Columbia Upper 100.00%
Artificial Production
Harvest Augmentation
Focal Species:
Trout, Interior Redband
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


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
45865 SOW Colville Confederated Tribes 2008-117-00 EXP RUFUS WOODS REDBAND NET PENS History $160,126 2/1/2010 - 1/31/2011
51235 SOW Colville Confederated Tribes 2008-117-00 EXP RUFUS WOODS REDBAND NET PENS History $163,062 2/1/2011 - 4/30/2012
57082 SOW Colville Confederated Tribes 2008-117-00 EXP RUFUS WOODS NET PENS History $190,987 5/1/2012 - 4/30/2013
61175 SOW Colville Confederated Tribes 2008-117-00 EXP RUFUS WOODS REDBAND NET PENS History $216,357 5/1/2013 - 4/30/2014
65059 SOW Colville Confederated Tribes 2008-117-00 RUFUS WOODS REDBAND NET PENS History $252,441 5/1/2014 - 4/30/2015

Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):5
On time:5
Status Reports
On time:21
Avg Days Early:2

                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
45865 51235, 57082, 61175, 65059 2008-117-00 RUFUS WOODS REDBAND NET PENS Colville Confederated Tribes 02/01/2010 04/30/2015 History 24 24 0 0 1 25 96.00% 0
Project Totals 24 24 0 0 1 25 96.00% 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: 2008-117-00-NPCC-20111205
Project: 2008-117-00 - Rufus Woods Redband Net Pens
Review: Resident Fish, Regional Coordination, and Data Management Category Review
Proposal: RESCAT-2008-117-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 3/5/2014
Recommendation: Implement with Conditions
Comments: Implement with conditions through FY2014. Sponsor to develop a trout stocking plan, including project specific concerns, as described by the ISRP, prior to FY2015. Funding recommendation beyond FY2014 based on favorable ISRP and Council review of the trout stocking plan.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2008-117-00-ISRP-20120215
Project: 2008-117-00 - Rufus Woods Redband Net Pens
Review: Resident Fish, Regional Coordination, and Data Management Category Review
Proposal Number: RESCAT-2008-117-00
Completed Date: 4/17/2012
Final Round ISRP Date: 4/3/2012
Final Round ISRP Rating: Does Not Meet Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:

The recommendation is for Colville Hatchery Operation and Maintenance (198503800) and Rufus Woods Redband Net Pens (200811700). The comments apply to both proposals, although specific comments on the progression of the Net Pens project are provided below.

The ISRP appreciates the effort the Colville Tribal Fisheries staff put into the response to the ISRP’s preliminary review of the Colville Tribal Hatchery and the Rufus Woods net pen proposals. The sponsors provided an informal description of the resident trout and net pen programs while attempting to address the ISRP questions. A number of questions from the ISRP’s preliminary review were addressed, and the panel is better able to understand the scope and details of the project. While the information was interesting, the presentation does not allow one to evaluate the recent performance of the program in terms of harvests by tribal members in relation to numbers of eggs brought into culture and fish stocked in reservation waters. 

The sponsor needs to develop a trout stocking master plan which guides the annual stocking, provides a basis for Fish and Wildlife Program proposal review, and provides for evaluation of the success of the program. The plan should generally include information requested in Three Step Master Plans for anadromous hatcheries. The plan should critique the resident fish hatchery program for its ability to provide catchable trout on the reservation while demonstrating efficient and productive practices. The plan should develop hatchery and harvest goals and collect information to evaluate whether these goals are being met. Some documentation of fishing effort is needed on each lake that is stocked; otherwise it is impossible to determine whether the effort is worthwhile. This plan should incorporate the Rufus Woods net pen project and fish purchased and released under the Rufus Woods Habitat/Passage Improvement, Creel, and Triploid Supplementation (200740500).

The ISRP finds that the project does not meet specific review criteria established by the 1996 amendment to the Power Act for NW Power and Conservation Council Fish and Wildlife Program. Those criteria state that projects: 1) are based on sound science principles; 2) benefit fish and wildlife; 3) have clearly defined objectives and outcomes; and 4) have provisions for monitoring and evaluation of results. In particular, documentation addressing ISRP review criteria 1, 3, and 4 are not evident in the proposal, annual reports, or response.

Projects are based on sound science principals. The ISRP is unable to conclude the stocking regime for each body of water has a defensible scientific rationale. Table 7 of the response to the ISRP lists each body of water and identifies the number of fish stocked of each species in 2011, and identifies potential problems in the lakes and streams. A plan is needed that identifies the different species, their size, and their numbers, that could potentially be stocked in each lake or stream and a justification for those species, numbers, and sizes based on empirical stock recruitment information from the lake or stream. The narrative provided in the proposal suggests that some biological information is used to establish a stocking program, but the decision framework is never presented. Stocking brook trout in North and South Twin Lake is an example of the stocking that is inadequately justified. The proposal states that self-sustaining populations of brook trout occupy these lakes. No stock recruitment or harvest data are provided to indicate that hatchery fish are necessary to provide a fishery. What factors led to the stocking of about one million trout into the relatively small Twin Lakes in 2009? What is the justification for the proposed increased of stocked large triploid trout in Rufus Woods Reservoir from 20,000 to 60,000 fish, and what information is available that these additional fish have minimal effects on native fishes. Stocking catchable rainbow trout in streams based on pre-stocking electrofishing surveys of abundance is another example. The justification for why a specific abundance level triggers additional stocking is not provided. Documentation of the stocking decision framework is important for informing future managers in addition to informing this review by the ISRP. Additionally, fish rearing protocols at the net pens should be documented.

The basis for raising specific number of fish and stocking them into the reservation water bodies needs justification beyond the obvious need to provide resident fish harvests for tribal members. The program should demonstrate that its operations are effective and efficient in achieving the ultimate goal of providing harvests. 

Projects have clearly defined objectives and outcomes. The ISRP expects there will be established standards for hatchery and net pen production (egg take, eyed egg success, hatching success, and numbers released) for each species, and that the program will explicitly self-evaluate to those established benchmarks. The ISRP expects there will be standards established for fishery yields (CPUE, total harvest in relation to fish stocked, economic and other social benefits) for each body of water and the project as a whole. These standards should be consistent with types of data that can be collected. For example, if CPUE is measured in terms of fish per angler per day, then the standard should also be set using fish per angler per day. Although some fishery goals and evaluation were provided for the net pen project, others were incomplete. 

Projects have provisions for monitoring and evaluation. The ISRP concludes a sufficient monitoring program is not in place. A defined and statistically justified M&E plan is required for the resident fish stocking program that addresses both the biological/chemical/food-web and harvest factors. The ISRP understands and appreciates the difficulty in conducting direct creel surveys in small, remote lakes and streams. Nonetheless, the ISRP believes that effort needs to be made to better document the use of these lakes and the harvest of fish for the intended purpose of recreational angling or subsistence fishing. The documentation may need to use interview and survey techniques from the social science realm rather than the fisheries field.

The ISRP expresses concern about the fish culture performance at the hatchery. Hatchery performance data were provided by the sponsor that raised questions, yet there was no evaluation of these production numbers by the sponsors. Table 4 in the response to the ISRP summarizes egg take, eyed eggs, fish ponded, and fish released for brook trout, Lahontan cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and redband rainbow trout. For brook trout and Lahontan cutthroat trout, the average percent eye-up for the past seven years has been 67% and 54% respectively, and survival to release has been only 36% and 30% respectively.For rainbow trout from Washington Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, the survival from green egg to release averaged only 25% for brood years 2006 and 2007. This level of success in the fish-rearing phase of the program is in need of investigation and improvement. Also, why does the number of green eggs vary so much within a species from year to year? The ISRP acknowledges the information provided on water supply challenges. The hatchery production program should be designed around water supply constraints.

The ISRP previously concluded in 2009 that the Rufus Woods Redband Net Pen Project met scientific review criteria with the qualifications that the project be designed as a proof-of-concept test for native redband brood fish management, and that future proposals identify goals and monitoring results that are integrated with the overall Colville resident fish hatchery program. The current proposal indicated that net pen culture of redband trout did not meet the Tribe’s needs (see statement below).Although the net pen proposal identified some goals, for example harvest 30% of stocked fish, and provided some observations this information was incomplete, as noted above. 

The current proposal reflects major changes in the Rufus Woods Redband Net Pens (200811700) project direction. The original proposal was for rearing redband trout broodstock, and actual stocking of production fish was a minor element with numbers and locations of fish to be stocked unidentified. The sponsor has suggested that redband trout are not suitable for stocking in reservation lakes and perform poorly in the tribal hatchery, although conflicting statements were also provided in the proposal: “The project successfully reared and released over 16,960 kg of redband rainbow trout into Rufus Woods and reservation lakes. This amount constitutes 76% of the Colville Tribal Resident Fish Hatchery’s annual production goal (Shallenberger, E., 2010). Associated project costs calculated out to be less than a quarter of what it would cost to raise these fish at the hatchery. The project has provided a cost effective way to grow much larger fish, alleviate some pressure on the hatchery’s current resources and provided a wonderful spring fishery on North and South Twin Lakes and Lake Rufus Woods.” Nevertheless, the sponsor has transitioned this project from rearing redband broodstock to rearing triploid rainbow trout for direct stocking into Lake Rufus Woods, North and South Twin Lakes, and unspecified reservation streams. Justification for this production is needed in a Master Plan. The ISRP is unable to determine why triploid rainbow trout from the net pens are needed for Lake Rufus Woods since project 200740500 is purchasing triploid fish from net pen operators for stocking.

ISRP Retrospective Evaluation of Results

The original goal of the Rufus Woods Net Pens project (200811700) was to raise native redband trout broodstock and reduce capacity issues at the Colville Tribal Hatchery. After implementing the project, the sponsor stated that “the project successfully reared and released over 16,960 kg of redband rainbow trout into Rufus Woods and reservation lakes. This amount constitutes 76% of the Colville Tribal Resident Fish Hatchery’s annual production goal (Shallenberger, E., 2010). Associated project costs calculated out to be less than a quarter of what it would cost to raise these fish at the hatchery. The project has provided a cost effective way to grow much larger fish, alleviate some pressure on the hatchery’s current resources and provided a wonderful spring fishery on North and South Twin Lakes and Lake Rufus Woods.” Nevertheless, in the most recent proposal, the sponsor concluded that the performance of redband trout in the hatchery and Rufus Woods net pens was insufficient to meet program needs. Stocking native redband trout was deleted as a key objective in the 2011 proposal.

The project has transitioned to rearing and releasing triploid rainbow trout. The goal in 2011 was to release 20,000 large triploid trout into the Twin Lakes and 20,000 trout into Rufus Woods for tribal and sport harvests. A reported 10,000 trout were stocked into South Twin Lake, but no values were presented for North Twin Lake or Rufus Woods. In 2011, approximately 1,769 rainbow trout were harvested in Rufus Woods and 15,477 trout were captured in the Twin Lakes. This project needs to be incorporated into a resident fish hatchery Master Plan, improve upon its stocking plan, and carefully evaluate whether the project is achieving specific goals such as catch per hour or percentage of stocked fish harvested.


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

The proposal needs major revision including:

  1. an expanded explanation of significance to regional programs/plans
  2. a revised technical background giving a more complete history of lost fisheries and the need for resident fish substitution
  3. objectives that are specific and measurable
  4. deliverables and work elements that specifically describe the tasks needed to meet objectives
  5. detailed methods for raising the net pen fish or a sub-contractors specifications and methods
  6. a description of the evaluation and decision framework used to establish stocking location and numbers, and how this stocking is integrated in the Colville Tribal Hatchery rearing and stocking plans.

See the ISRP’s programmatic comments on fish stocking.

The Council’s 1999 Artificial Production Review (NWPCC 1999-15) established that evaluating hatcheries based on numbers or pounds of fish produced and released was inadequate and that goals and objectives were required for post-release performance. The ISRP looks for clear metrics for performance in the hatchery or net pen including in-pen survival and growth, disease monitoring or other health inspections, percentage of triploid trout, net pen water quality compliance inspections, and food conversion as well as post-release performance including survival for stated intervals, harvest, and fish condition. These should be identified and reported for the time period since the last ISRP review. The Rufus Woods net pen project provided data for in-pen survival and growth, but there was no information on survival and harvests of these fish in Twin Lakes and Rufus Woods. The proposal should also identify impacts of the stocked fish on resident fishes in each of the receiving waters, including elevated harvest rates on native trout in response to higher fishing effort for example in Rufus Woods. The ISRP understands that post release data may come from other projects, but the information should be summarized in the net pen proposal.

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

Significance to Regional Programs: Insufficient information was provided. The proposal identifies that the CCT Fish Management Plan includes elements that the project fulfills, but those elements should be described. The linkages to elements in subbasin plans beyond the San Poil are likely since fish are intended for release in Lake Rufus Woods. The proposal should identify how it is linked to other relevant regional planning efforts such as the Lake Roosevelt Guiding Document, the Lake Roosevelt Fisheries Evaluation Project, and the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program. Additionally, the numbers of fish to be purchased and released into Lake Rufus Woods by this project should be described. Interactions with the Lake Rufus Woods Creel and Supplementation (2007-405-00) project and the Resident Fish above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams (1997-004-00) need to be stated. 

Technical Background: Insufficient information is provided. The sponsor states the program provides subsistence and recreational trout fishing opportunities to substitute for lost anadromous fishing. This overarching purpose is fine. The technical background does not provide sufficient information on the specific lakes on the Colville Reservation that might be stocked using fish from this project. A decision framework, for example a regional resident fish stocking plan, that identifies the policy and scientific guidance from tribal management plans to direct the annual stocking is needed. This framework should be described in a comprehensive residence fish stocking plan that encompasses all hatchery activities in the upper Columbia region. A brief description with references of lost anadromous fisheries is needed to demonstrate the need for the resident fish substitution.

Objectives: Incomplete information is provided. There are three objectives identified: supplement fishery to provide harvest; increase efficiency and decrease the cost; relieve pressure on Colville Tribal Hatchery. These objectives need quantitative standards identified as goals that can be evaluated by metrics. There are no quantitative objectives for fish rearing success or for subsequent harvest. There should be quantitative objectives for fish harvesting metrics such as catch per effort, total harvest, angler days, and angler satisfaction as well as quantitative objectives for fish growth and survival. None are provided in the proposal. Monitoring is needed to evaluate whether the objectives are achieved.

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

Accomplishments: The project has one year of fish rearing experience from net pens stocked with 22g redband trout in June 2010 and released fish in the spring of 2011, under emergency circumstances because of gas super-saturation. Accurate estimates of survival are needed and observed survival should be compared with a goal in order to evaluate effectiveness of net pen rearing. The proposal did not describe whether or not juvenile fish, presumably rainbow trout, were stocked into net pens during the spring/summer of 2011 for release in 2012. No information is provided on harvest from the fish stocked.

Adaptive management: The evaluation of redband trout culture and switch from redband trout to triploid rainbow trout was provided as a management response.

ISRP Retrospective Evaluation of Results

The first year of operation (2010) determined that the performance of redband trout in the hatchery and Rufus Woods net pens was insufficient to meet program needs. The project plans to transition to rainbow trout, but no information on rainbow trout net pen operations was provided for 2011.

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

Project Relationships: The proposal notes that the Rufus Woods Net Pen Project works directly with the Colville Hatchery O&M (#1985-038-00) and Rufus Woods Creel and Supplementation (#2007-405-00). However, the project also interacts with the Twin Lakes oxygenation project and Resident Fish above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams (#1997-004-00). The full scope of the interactions is not clear and needs to be better established. The relationship of this project to Tribal management outside of the BPA scope is not discussed. BPA funded trout rearing and stocking projects implemented by other sponsors are not identified. Standards for fish release, yield in fisheries, disease management, etc. established by the State of Washington, that may apply to this project are not discussed.

Emerging limiting factors: The proposal focuses primarily on limnological conditions, dissolved gas in Lake Rufus Woods and fish health concerns during net-pen rearing. Both of these limits need to be discussed in more detail in the problem statement and/or accomplishments section. The brief discussion of the health issues, in addition to dissolved gas, needs additional details.

Tailored Questions: Adequately answered and discussed.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The general description of the primary deliverable consisting of purchasing triploid trout eggs from WDFW, hatching eggs and rearing fish to 22g, and then contracting for rearing to catchable size for a put-and-take fishery is clear. There needs to be quantifiable elements attached to the deliverables. For example, the explanation of how the deliverables meet the objectives needs additional detail. How will objectives 2 and 3 be evaluated, and what is the threshold for success?

4a. Specific comments on protocols and methods described in

Apparently, no protocols or methods were submitted to

Modified by Dal Marsters on 4/17/2012 1:13:29 PM.
Documentation Links:
  • Proponent Response (3/6/2012)
Review: Fish Accord ISRP Review

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2008-117-00-ISRP-20100323
Project: 2008-117-00 - Rufus Woods Redband Net Pens
Review: Fish Accord ISRP Review
Completed Date: None
First Round ISRP Date: 7/23/2009
First Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
First Round ISRP Comment:

The qualification is that, in future proposals, integration and linkage with the Colville Hatchery Project should be demonstrated with sufficient detail. Moreover, the proposed approach should be set up and considered a proof-of-concept test for a native brood fish management effort. See the attached memo for details.

Documentation Links:

Project Relationships: This project Merged To 1985-038-00 effective on 2/18/2015
Relationship Description: Starting with the FY15 contract cycle, all work/budget from 2008-117-00 Rufus Woods Redband Net Pens will be managed under 1985-038-00 Colville Hatchery O&M. These projects are being combined for contract, administrative and operating efficiency.

Name Role Organization
Michelle O'Malley Interested Party Bonneville Power Administration
Peter Lofy Supervisor Bonneville Power Administration
Jill Phillips Project Lead Colville Confederated Tribes
Gerald McClintock (Inactive) Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Dawn Boorse (Inactive) Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Jeannette Finley Supervisor Colville Confederated Tribes