Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
RSS Feed for updates to Project 2010-050-00 - Tucannon River Steelhead Supplementation Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Follow this via RSS feed. Help setting up RSS feeds?

Project Summary

Project 2010-050-00 - Tucannon River Steelhead Supplementation Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)
Project Number:
2010-050-00
Title:
Tucannon River Steelhead Supplementation Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)
Summary:
Evaluation of the Tucannon River Summer Steelhead Endemic Stock Hatchery Program
Proposer:
Proponent Orgs:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) (Govt - State)
Starting FY:
2011
Ending FY:
2024
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Tucannon 100.00%
Purpose:
Artificial Production
Emphasis:
RM and E
Focal Species:
Chinook - Snake River Fall ESU
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU
Steelhead - Snake River DPS
Trout, Bull
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Special:
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"

To see more detailed project budget information, please visit the "Project Budget" page

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2023 - FY2025)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2023 Expense $309,647 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) FY23 SOY Budget Upload 06/01/2022
FY2023 Expense $153,442 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) Non-Accord Transfers (BiOp FCRPS 2008) 4/30/24 05/02/2024
FY2024 Expense $323,271 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) FY24 SOY Budget Upload 06/01/2023
FY2024 Expense $153,442 To: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) Non-Accord Transfers (BiOp FCRPS 2008) 4/30/24 05/02/2024

Pending Budget Decision?  No


Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2024   DRAFT
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
2023
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018 $0 0%
2017 $0 0%
2016 $0 0%
2015 $150,000 38%
2014 $124,000 41%
2013 $141,750 47%
2012 $17,750 9%
2011 $3,500 3%

Contracts

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
53444 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP EVAL TUCANNON STEELHEAD ENDEMIC PROG Closed $143,418 6/1/2011 - 6/30/2012
BPA-006594 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval FY12 Active $29,040 10/1/2011 - 9/30/2012
57970 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP TUCANNON STEELHEAD ENDEMIC STOCK EVALUATION Closed $141,349 7/1/2012 - 6/30/2013
BPA-006953 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval FY13 Active $28,052 10/1/2012 - 9/30/2013
61639 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP TUCANNON STEELHEAD ENDEMIC STOCK EVALUATION Closed $126,477 7/1/2013 - 6/30/2014
BPA-007748 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval FY14 Active $27,836 10/1/2013 - 9/30/2014
65752 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP TUCANNON RIVER-ENDEMIC STOCK EVALUATION (COMBINE) Closed $196,974 7/1/2014 - 6/30/2015
BPA-008409 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval FY15 Active $47,210 10/1/2014 - 9/30/2015
69542 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP TUCANNON RIVER STEELHEAD: EVALUATE ENDEMIC STOCK Closed $195,445 7/1/2015 - 6/30/2016
BPA-009093 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval Active $48,295 10/1/2015 - 9/30/2016
72775 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP TUCANNON RIVER STEELHEAD: EVALUATE ENDEMIC STOCK Closed $208,770 7/1/2016 - 6/30/2017
BPA-009542 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval Active $47,631 10/1/2016 - 9/30/2017
74314 REL 12 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP TUCANNON RIVER STEELHEAD: EVALUATE ENDEMIC STOCK Closed $195,175 7/1/2017 - 6/30/2018
BPA-010025 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval Active $47,694 10/1/2017 - 9/30/2018
74314 REL 45 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP TUCANNON RIVER STEELHEAD: EVALUATE ENDEMIC STOCK Closed $251,729 7/1/2018 - 6/30/2019
BPA-010779 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags/Readers - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval Active $58,616 10/1/2018 - 9/30/2019
74314 REL 73 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP EVALUATION OF TUCANNAN ENDEMIC STOCK Closed $243,798 7/1/2019 - 6/30/2020
BPA-011712 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval Active $51,118 10/1/2019 - 9/30/2020
74314 REL 107 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP EVALUATION OF TUCANNAN ENDEMIC STOCK Closed $243,976 7/1/2020 - 6/30/2021
BPA-012097 Bonneville Power Administration FY21 Pit Tags Active $51,084 10/1/2020 - 9/30/2021
74314 REL 133 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP EVALUATION OF TUCANNAN ENDEMIC STOCK FY 21 Closed $245,121 7/1/2021 - 6/30/2022
BPA-012911 Bonneville Power Administration FY22 PIT tags Active $52,020 10/1/2021 - 9/30/2022
84042 REL 4 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP EVALUATION OF TUCANNAN ENDEMIC STOCK FY 22 Closed $252,852 7/1/2022 - 6/30/2023
BPA-013312 Bonneville Power Administration FY23 PIT Tags Active $52,019 10/1/2022 - 9/30/2023
84042 REL 41 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP EVALUATION OF TUCANNAN ENDEMIC STOCK FY 23 Issued $257,627 7/1/2023 - 6/30/2024
BPA-013682 Bonneville Power Administration FY24 PIT Tags Active $52,020 10/1/2023 - 9/30/2024
CR-366658 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2010-050-00 EXP EVALUATION OF TUCANNAN ENDEMIC STOCK Pending $117,829 7/1/2024 - 6/30/2025



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):12
Completed:6
On time:6
Status Reports
Completed:51
On time:7
Avg Days Late:13

                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
53444 57970, 61639, 65752, 69542, 72775, 74314 REL 12, 74314 REL 45, 74314 REL 73, 74314 REL 107, 74314 REL 133, 84042 REL 4, 84042 REL 41, CR-366658 2010-050-00 EXP EVALUATION OF TUCANNAN ENDEMIC STOCK Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 06/01/2011 06/30/2025 Pending 51 152 12 0 8 172 95.35% 1
BPA-6594 PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval FY12 Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2011 09/30/2012 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-6953 PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval FY13 Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2012 09/30/2013 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-7748 PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval FY14 Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2013 09/30/2014 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-8409 PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval FY15 Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2014 09/30/2015 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-9093 PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2015 09/30/2016 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-9542 PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2016 09/30/2017 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
BPA-10025 PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2017 09/30/2018 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-10779 PIT Tags/Readers - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2018 09/30/2019 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-11712 PIT Tags - Tucannon Endemic Program Eval Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2019 09/30/2020 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-12097 FY21 Pit Tags Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2020 09/30/2021 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-12911 FY22 PIT tags Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2021 09/30/2022 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-13312 FY23 PIT Tags Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2022 09/30/2023 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-13682 FY24 PIT Tags Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2023 09/30/2024 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Project Totals 51 152 12 0 8 172 95.35% 2


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: 2022 Anadromous Fish Habitat & Hatchery Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2010-050-00-NPCC-20230316
Project: 2010-050-00 - Tucannon River Steelhead Supplementation Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)
Review: 2022 Anadromous Fish Habitat & Hatchery Review
Approved Date: 4/15/2022
Recommendation: Implement
Comments: Bonneville and Sponsor to take the review remarks into consideration in project documentation. This project supports monitoring and evaluation for existing production for hatchery mitigation authorized under the Water Resource Development Act (Lower Snake River Compensation). See Policy Issue I.b.

[Background: See https://www.nwcouncil.org/2021-2022-anadromous-habitat-and-hatchery-review/]

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2010-050-00-ISRP-20230407
Project: 2010-050-00 - Tucannon River Steelhead Supplementation Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)
Review: 2022 Anadromous Fish Habitat & Hatchery Review
Completed Date: 4/7/2023
Final Round ISRP Date: 2/10/2022
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:

This is an ongoing hatchery supplementation project with goals to rebuild the naturally produced steelhead population and provide adults for harvest mitigation, while also contributing to spring and fall Chinook recovery. The effort is largely a M&E effort to evaluate hatchery performance and assess the contribution of the hatchery to natural production.

The proposal provides data and an informative discussion about limitations for increasing the abundance of NOR steelhead from the current supplementation/conservation program, which was fully implemented more than a decade ago (2010) and replaced the Lyons Ferry stock harvest mitigation program. Owing to a high proportion of out-of-basin strays to the Tucannon River, including unmarked fish, the natal source of natural broodstock used for hatchery production in the new program is uncertain. This may limit the ability of the current program to rebuild natural production. The proposal also outlines issues with smolt quality and residualism and relates them to use of non-domesticated broodstock, though rearing differences (relative to Lyons Ferry) could also cause be causing these problems. Nevertheless, problems with smolt quality and residualism limit the effective production from the hatchery and could have impacts on natural production of steelhead and survival of hatchery-produced Chinook. While the outcomes from the hatchery effort have been disappointing, this project has been very effective in documenting these limitations, providing decision-makers with valuable information they could use to make adjustments. At this point in time, the data suggests that the hatchery program is not meeting its conservation or harvest mitigation objectives and significant changes may be needed to achieve the management goals.

As stated in the proposal, it is difficult to evaluate the improvement in productivity of NOR steelhead resulting from hatchery efforts relative to the original Lyons Ferry supplementation program given the large number of out-of-basin strays. This is a fundamental limitation to the effectiveness of the project, and the proponents discuss using an exclusion fence (which is likely costly) to partially mitigate this problem (at least for HOR strays, requiring marking of all HOR fish from all hatcheries in the Snake River Basin and beyond). However, the ISRP thinks it is still worth estimating NOR productivity from this project's data even though the effects of straying, hatchery broodstock changes, and habitat actions cannot be separated. It would be helpful for investigators to see if productivity is increasing or declining even if the cause for any change cannot be determined. More years of data are required to build-up the sample size to estimate informative spawner-smolt stock-recruitment models, especially if they allow for time-varying productivity or capacity terms via state-space modelling approaches.

The ISRP was glad to see the proposed effort to estimate the abundance of the residualized O. mykiss from HOR steelhead releases. These fish could have a substantive negative effect on NOR productivity by reducing survival rates of steelhead and Chinook fry and parr.

The proposal clearly describes links to other projects in the area. In regard to habitat restoration efforts, which began in the 1990s, the proponents note, "determining a fish response from these habitat restoration activities is a common request of project personnel but determining such relationships is challenging and not possible in all cases given the current scope of funding directed at the collection of the biological data." Nevertheless, the ISRP encourages the proponents to continue to improve upon high level metrics such as size-at-age of steelhead smolts, smolts-per-spawner in relation to spawning escapement (to the extent possible), water temperature, and other metrics that might be used to help evaluate fish responses to habitat restoration actions.

Although the proposal meets scientific criteria, we suggest that the proponents provide support in development of an M&E matrix for the Tucannon River.

M&E matrix - support. As habitat projects and monitoring projects are not presented as part of an integrated proposal or plan, the need for a crosswalk to identify the linkages between implementation and monitoring is extremely important for basins or geographic areas. The ISRP is requesting a response from the Tucannon River Programmatic Habitat Project (201007700) to summarize the linkages between implementation and monitoring projects in the Lower Snake, Tucannon, and Asotin geographic area. During the response loop (September 24 to November 22, 2021), we ask this project to assist them in creating the summary and provide information to them about what is being monitored by this project and where and when the monitoring occurs. A map or maps of locations of monitoring actions would be helpful in this regard.

Q1: Clearly defined objectives and outcomes

The goals and objectives are well stated, and we appreciate the proponent’s clarification that their goal of evaluating the efficacy of the hatchery program for increasing the productivity of NOR steelhead is unlikely to be achieved due to high levels of out-of-basin straying. Fundamentally then, the program is unlikely to meet its key objective. We agree with the proponents that the data being collected is useful, especially if straying rates are reduced in future. The data being collected from this project serves as a baseline to evaluate changes resulting from future actions.

Q2: Methods

Methods for each task are summarized in the proposal. Additional details are provided in the recent project report and online links provided in the proposal. The project has been applying the same methodology for many years. WDFW recognizes issues with estimating the spawning escapement of steelhead associated with the very high stray rate of out-of-basin natural and hatchery origin fish, and the problem of Tucannon River fish bypassing the river and migrating above Lower Granite Dam. WDFW suggests that a trap in the lower river could help solve the out-of-basin problem, but additional funds would be needed.

The proponents show that steelhead smolt size has steadily declined since 2000, and they suggest possible reasons for this decline. To better understand whether this decline is related to growth or age at migration, we suggest that the proponents examine length at age, i.e., for age-1, age-2, and age-3 smolts.

The proponents propose a new effort to examine residualism in hatchery steelhead using a hook and line capture mark-release approach. Data on unmarked presumably natural origin trout should also be documented and related to estimates of hatchery steelhead abundance. Natural origin steelhead in the Tucannon River are known to produce microjacks and presumably many natural trout also reside in the river.

The number of PIT-tagged NOR returns at the fence must be very low given that only 3000 are PIT-tagged as smolts and that the current smolt-adult survival is < 0.5% (i.e., < 10 returning PIT-tagged NOR adults would be captured at the fence). Thus, determining the distribution of NOR fish with PIT antennas upstream of the fence must be very uncertain, which is a significant problem given the objective of this project. It may be worth PIT tagging NOR fish at the fence to increase sample size to get a better understanding of their distribution.

Q3: Provisions for M&E

The proponents provided a comprehensive and useful M&E report that incorporates relatively long time series of data. Adaptive management in response to quantitative objectives and project results has occurred over the years. The proponents state that nearly all changes have been directed at improving hatchery smolt quality at release, and/or release locations and timing. Also, given continued difficulties with rearing fish that originate from NOR parents (high CV’s, high K-factors), which can lead to high rates of residualism, the proponents have proposed residualism surveys in the Tucannon River beginning after the 2022 release.

A previous radio telemetry study by the Corps of Engineers at Lower Granite Dam aimed to better understand the overshoot of Tucannon River steelhead, but it did not address the problem as fish had already passed the Tucannon. To answer the question, WDFW recognizes that Tucannon River steelhead should be radio tagged at some location below the mouth of the Tucannon River, so their migratory routes can be observed as they pass the mouth of the Tucannon River. This study, while not yet proposed here, could help identify environmental and/or behavioral mechanisms involved with straying above Lower Granite Dam.

Adjustments to this project are based, in part, on metrics for steelhead smolt quality, and the residualism study that is proposed is a good addition to evaluate potential impacts of supplementation- and conservation-focused stocking. A fundamental limitation of the evaluation process is the inability to determine if unmarked steelhead returning to the Tucannon River originated in this system or were NOR strays or unmarked HOR strays from other systems. Is there any way of separating the Tucannon NOR component via genetic sampling and analysis? This may not be possible due to the long history of using out-of-basin broodstock and high levels of out-of-basin straying into the Tucannon, but perhaps this could be accomplished from microchemistry of otoliths collected from NOR carcasses. Some exploration of alternate approaches to tracking the Tucannon NOR component of NOR returns seems warranted.

Q4: Results – benefits to fish and wildlife

The proposal is clear on the project accomplishments and limitations. To date, the project has been particularly useful in quantifying total escapement and spawning escapement, the contributions of HOR and NOR fish including contributions of HOR fish from other basins, smolt production, and smolt-adult survival. The proposal also includes a new project that begins to evaluate impacts of hatchery releases by estimating the size of the residualized population. The proposal is very clear about the challenges in evaluating potential benefits of increasing use of in-basin broodstock given high levels of out-of-basin strays.

The proposal and the recent project report provide a comprehensive summary of project results and conclusions. The general findings include:

• Substantial numbers of Tucannon River steelhead (both hatchery and wild origin) continue to bypass the Tucannon River and overshoot to locations above Lower Granite Dam.

• Large numbers of hatchery and other natural origin summer steelhead from other populations/programs outside the Tucannon River spawn in the Tucannon River. Many of these “stray” steelhead have overshot their intended return location (Mid-Columbia River populations) and end up in the Tucannon River to spawn as a last resort.

• To date WDFW has only been able to estimate the number of steelhead escaping into the Tucannon River based on in-stream PIT tag detections. Accurately determining how many steelhead are spawning has not been possible because many of the assumptions used to estimate the number of spawners have not been validated.

• Some type of adult trapping near the mouth of the Tucannon River is desired for the long-term management of this population. Managing steelhead straying and/or hatchery fish entering the Tucannon River that do not belong is difficult when relying on harvest efforts alone to control the number of hatchery fish on the spawning grounds.

Modified by Thomas Ono on 4/7/2023 2:37:04 PM.
Documentation Links:
Review: RME / AP Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2010-050-00-NPCC-20101101
Project: 2010-050-00 - Tucannon River Steelhead Supplementation Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)
Review: RME / AP Category Review
Proposal: RMECAT-2010-050-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 6/10/2011
Recommendation: Fund (Qualified)
Comments: Implement through FY 2016. Expansion and or continuation is dependent upon LSRCP review of Steelhead in 2011 and future step review. Implementation subject to regional hatchery effects evaluation process described in programmatic recommendation #4.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 Programmatic Issue: RMECAT #4 Hatchery Effectiveness—subject to regional hatchery effects evaluation process
Council Condition #2 Qualification: This project should be included in the CRHEET supplementation evaluation umbrella

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2010-050-00-ISRP-20101015
Project: 2010-050-00 - Tucannon River Steelhead Supplementation Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)
Review: RME / AP Category Review
Proposal Number: RMECAT-2010-050-00
Completed Date: 12/17/2010
Final Round ISRP Date: 12/17/2010
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:
Qualification: This project should be included in the CRHEET supplementation evaluation umbrella.

This is a proposal for tagging and data collection for evaluation of a steelhead supplementation program in the Tucannon River that is implemented under the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan.

The monitoring is essential to evaluate the conversion of hatchery steelhead production in the Tucannon River from the release of out-of-subbasin Lyons Ferry production stock to an endemic (local) stock primarily reared and released in the Tucannon River subbasin. The transition is an effort to maintain mitigation fisheries under the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan and US v. Oregon while protecting the native population in the Tucannon River. There are complicated circumstances (i.e., apparently half the returning hatchery and natural-origin steelhead bypass the Tucannon and enter other Snake River tributaries, and others spawn below a hatchery weir) that may compromise this effort to obtain data that will provide meaningful analysis. The proponents, however, have a good track record of evaluating hatchery programs.

If there is expansion of LSRCP hatchery facilities, it would be reasonable to have those reviewed through the Three-Step Process used in the Fish and Wildlife Program, since the LSRCP is BPA funded, and reviewed as part of the “reimbursable” program.

Although the proposed data collection is essential for the supplementation to be evaluated, the description of the actual field data collection methodology, vital statistic estimation, and supplementation evaluation is not yet detailed enough for scientific review.

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

As stated, “The primary goal of this project is to monitor and evaluate the status and trends of both natural and hatchery origin summer steelhead in the Tucannon River.”


In addition, there are four main objectives for this proposal:
1. Document change in productivity of steelhead above the Tucannon Weir
2. Estimate total adult steelhead returns to the Tucannon River
3. Estimate distribution of hatchery and wild spawners in Tucannon River
4. Document in-hatchery survival performance of supplementation steelhead.

Although these were all clearly laid out in a logical progression, it is not clear how a system can be designed for supplementation in the Tucannon that is restricted to the area above the hatchery, when the population above and below the weir are not clearly independent. The objectives for monitoring, to evaluate adult and juvenile abundance, and ultimately estimate adult-to-adult productivity, are the correct essential data to collect. It is not clear from the proposal how well this can be accomplished. The evaluation of supplementation requires using these essential data in statistical comparisons of before/after and control/reference or perhaps some other design. These evaluations need to be carefully assessed. It is not clear from the presentation how the comparisons will be made.

Significance to regional programs is amply described; the relationship to LSRCP, the BiOp, US v. Oregon, etc. is succinct.

Technical background: The current status of steelhead in the Tucannon River is not described, and the anticipated system capacity, goals of the hatchery program, and performance of the hatchery fish in the system are not clearly described. A discussion of supplementation of other steelhead in the Columbia River Basin is not presented. There is or has been supplementation of steelhead in the Hood River, Umatilla, and Imnaha rivers, and the performance of those programs was not included in the technical background.

2. History: Accomplishments, Results, and Adaptive Management

There is a general discussion of past history of using Lyons Ferry steelhead in the Tucannon to develop a harvest program for steelhead. The results of using local fish beginning in 2000 is only briefly presented, and not in a fashion that is interpretable in terms of whether the feasibility stage yielded performance justifying the proposed project’s moving to an expanded pilot stage.

Throughout the proposal there are some troubling statements, e.g., that the BiOp expects supplementation to improve productivity of steelhead. Supplementation may increase abundance, but there is not a conceptual foundation for supplementation that it will increase productivity. Under supplementation, productivity is likely to decrease owing to both density dependence and fitness effects. The ISRP is under the impression that preliminary analyses from a number of systems demonstrate that natural productivity is reduced in the presence of hatchery fish. There is a lack of attention to the need for objectives for natural-origin steelhead abundance (although mention is made of 285 fish). Supplementation has as its primary objective the goal of maintaining or increasing the abundance of natural-origin adults. This increase in generation 0+1 is to be achieved by increasing total abundance in generation 0 by permitting hatchery-origin adults to spawn naturally. This phenomenon has not yet been demonstrated (see CRHEET proposal).

So, the project needs a better description and basis for adaptive management in the Tucannon itself, and adaptive management systemwide for steelhead supplementation. The ISRP does appreciate and acknowledge the discussion of transitioning from using the Lyons Ferry hatchery steelhead to provide harvest mitigation to conservation. Discussion in various areas of the proposal to suggest that harvest of a significant portion of the “endemic” production is anticipated. That “other” hatchery programs could be implemented (including supplementation) following the cessation of supplementation above the hatchery weir appears to conflict with guidance in the Fish and Wildlife Program.

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

The relationships with other projects are explained adequately.

4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods

The set of expected deliverables is reasonable. The workplan was laid out clearly, but a better description is needed of the subbasin layout, where the new PIT tag array will be, and how various data will be collected and then evaluated.
First Round ISRP Date: 10/18/2010
First Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
First Round ISRP Comment:

Qualification: This project should be included in the CRHEET supplementation evaluation umbrella. This is a proposal for tagging and data collection for evaluation of a steelhead supplementation program in the Tucannon River that is implemented under the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan. The monitoring is essential to evaluate the conversion of hatchery steelhead production in the Tucannon River from the release of out-of-subbasin Lyons Ferry production stock to an endemic (local) stock primarily reared and released in the Tucannon River subbasin. The transition is an effort to maintain mitigation fisheries under the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan and US v. Oregon while protecting the native population in the Tucannon River. There are complicated circumstances (i.e., apparently half the returning hatchery and natural-origin steelhead bypass the Tucannon and enter other Snake River tributaries, and others spawn below a hatchery weir) that may compromise this effort to obtain data that will provide meaningful analysis. The proponents, however, have a good track record of evaluating hatchery programs. If there is expansion of LSRCP hatchery facilities, it would be reasonable to have those reviewed through the Three-Step Process used in the Fish and Wildlife Program, since the LSRCP is BPA funded, and reviewed as part of the “reimbursable” program. Although the proposed data collection is essential for the supplementation to be evaluated, the description of the actual field data collection methodology, vital statistic estimation, and supplementation evaluation is not yet detailed enough for scientific review. 1. Purpose, Significance to Regional Programs, Technical Background, and Objectives As stated, “The primary goal of this project is to monitor and evaluate the status and trends of both natural and hatchery origin summer steelhead in the Tucannon River.” In addition, there are four main objectives for this proposal: 1. Document change in productivity of steelhead above the Tucannon Weir 2. Estimate total adult steelhead returns to the Tucannon River 3. Estimate distribution of hatchery and wild spawners in Tucannon River 4. Document in-hatchery survival performance of supplementation steelhead. Although these were all clearly laid out in a logical progression, it is not clear how a system can be designed for supplementation in the Tucannon that is restricted to the area above the hatchery, when the population above and below the weir are not clearly independent. The objectives for monitoring, to evaluate adult and juvenile abundance, and ultimately estimate adult-to-adult productivity, are the correct essential data to collect. It is not clear from the proposal how well this can be accomplished. The evaluation of supplementation requires using these essential data in statistical comparisons of before/after and control/reference or perhaps some other design. These evaluations need to be carefully assessed. It is not clear from the presentation how the comparisons will be made. Significance to regional programs is amply described; the relationship to LSRCP, the BiOp, US v. Oregon, etc. is succinct. Technical background: The current status of steelhead in the Tucannon River is not described, and the anticipated system capacity, goals of the hatchery program, and performance of the hatchery fish in the system are not clearly described. A discussion of supplementation of other steelhead in the Columbia River Basin is not presented. There is or has been supplementation of steelhead in the Hood River, Umatilla, and Imnaha rivers, and the performance of those programs was not included in the technical background. 2. History: Accomplishments, Results, and Adaptive Management There is a general discussion of past history of using Lyons Ferry steelhead in the Tucannon to develop a harvest program for steelhead. The results of using local fish beginning in 2000 is only briefly presented, and not in a fashion that is interpretable in terms of whether the feasibility stage yielded performance justifying the proposed project’s moving to an expanded pilot stage. Throughout the proposal there are some troubling statements, e.g., that the BiOp expects supplementation to improve productivity of steelhead. Supplementation may increase abundance, but there is not a conceptual foundation for supplementation that it will increase productivity. Under supplementation, productivity is likely to decrease owing to both density dependence and fitness effects. The ISRP is under the impression that preliminary analyses from a number of systems demonstrate that natural productivity is reduced in the presence of hatchery fish. There is a lack of attention to the need for objectives for natural-origin steelhead abundance (although mention is made of 285 fish). Supplementation has as its primary objective the goal of maintaining or increasing the abundance of natural-origin adults. This increase in generation 0+1 is to be achieved by increasing total abundance in generation 0 by permitting hatchery-origin adults to spawn naturally. This phenomenon has not yet been demonstrated (see CRHEET proposal). So, the project needs a better description and basis for adaptive management in the Tucannon itself, and adaptive management systemwide for steelhead supplementation. The ISRP does appreciate and acknowledge the discussion of transitioning from using the Lyons Ferry hatchery steelhead to provide harvest mitigation to conservation. Discussion in various areas of the proposal to suggest that harvest of a significant portion of the “endemic” production is anticipated. That “other” hatchery programs could be implemented (including supplementation) following the cessation of supplementation above the hatchery weir appears to conflict with guidance in the Fish and Wildlife Program. 3. Project Relationships, Emerging Limiting Factors, and Tailored Questions for Type of Work (Hatchery, RME, Tagging) The relationships with other projects are explained adequately. 4. Deliverables, Work Elements, Metrics, and Methods The set of expected deliverables is reasonable. The workplan was laid out clearly, but a better description is needed of the subbasin layout, where the new PIT tag array will be, and how various data will be collected and then evaluated.

Documentation Links:

2008 FCRPS BiOp Workgroup Assessment

Assessment Number: 2010-050-00-BIOP-20101105
Project Number: 2010-050-00
Review: RME / AP Category Review
Proposal Number: RMECAT-2010-050-00
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: (63.2)
All Questionable RPA Associations ( ) and
All Deleted RPA Associations ( )
Proponent Response:

Project Relationships: None

Name Role Organization
Daniel Gambetta Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration
Russell Scranton Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Martin Allen Project SME Bonneville Power Administration
Michael Herr Project Lead Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)