The 2006 budget of $317,000 proposed by the NPCC will cover operation and maintenance at existing fish ladder and screen sites and will allow CTUIR to continue to provide cost share in design and implementation of small passage projects. Starting in 2002 the NPCC did not approve additional capital construction funding for this project pending completion of subbasin planning. Subbasin planning has confirmed that additional major fish passage improvements are necessary. This project is proposing a capital budget increase of $1.6M (total proposed budget of $1,917,000) to implement the elements below. This project includes costs in both the expense and capital budgeting categories. - $1.4M for construction of Hofer juvenile and adult passage improvements - $200,000 for design of Old Lowden and Bergevin-Williams ditch screening - $185,000 for operations and maintenance of existing passage facilities - $105,000 for small passage projects cost share - $ 25,000 for monitoring and evaluation of newly completed passage facilities
From 1997 to 2001, when new construction funding was annually being added to this project, accomplishments included 2 removed irrigation diversion dams (Marie Dorian and Maiden), 3 fish ladders at diversion dams (Burligame, Little Walla Walla and Nursery Bridge), 4 large juvenile fish screens and 1 smolt trap facility. Starting in 2002, only ongoing projects were completed as the NPCC decided to not support new construction funding pending the subbasin planning process. During this period, 2 fish screen/ditch consolidation projects were completed for Garden City/Lowden and Milton. Following the completion of fish passage projects, facilities were evaluated by PNNL to ensure operational criteria was being met. Beginning in 2002, the NPCC supported funding only for operation and maintenance and monitoring and evaluation of all completed projects and cost share funding for small passage projects. In 2005, the small project cost share funding is being used to conduct final engineering designs for the Gose Street adult fish passage improvements in lower Mill Creek ($60,000). The small project cost share funding ($30,000) will also be used to assist with designs of Nursery Bridge follow-up passage adjustments which are being funded mainly by the US Army COE.
|Produce Design and/or Specifications||Engineering designs will be developed for screening of Old Lowden and Bergevin Williams ditches on the mainstem Walla Walla River which are planned for construction in 2007.|
|Operate/Maintain Facility||Operation and maintenance of all fish passage facilities previously funded by this project.|
|Is the screen New or a Replacement? (N/R)||Hofer - Replacement|
|Does the screen meet NOAA/FSOC specs? (Y/N)||New Hofer screens - Yes|
|Flow rate at the screen diversion allowed by the water right. (0.1 cfs)||Hofer - 39.5 cfs maximum water right|
|# of miles of habitat accessed (0.1 mi.)||Passage improvements at Hofer Dam at river mile 4.1 in the lower Touchet River will provide improved access to approximately 75 stream miles to the headwaters plus numerous tibutary access miles which virtually includes the entire sub-watershed.|
|# of miles of habitat accessed (0.1 mi.)||Passage improvement at Gose Street in lower Mill Creek at river mile 4.8 will provide improved access to approximately 30 stream miles to the headwaters plus numerous tibutary access miles which virtually includes the entire sub-watershed.|
The goal of the project is to provide safe passage for migrating juvenile and adult salmonids in the Wall Walla Basin by constructing and maintaining passage facilities at irrigation diversion dams and canals. The majority of major fish ladder and screen projects have been completed but several remaining projects were identified through subbasin planning. The balance of these efforts is proposed to be completed with funding from this project and other cost share sources. Specific projects proposed for 2006 include implementation of adult and juvenile fish passage improvements at the Hofer diversion and canal in the lower Touchet River. This project initially funded preliminary designs for the Hofer project and the Walla Walla County CD through a grant provided by the Salmon Recovery Board, is continuing final design work in 2005. BPA funding will again be needed in 2006 to complete construction of this critical fish passage project in the lower Touchet River. Additional plans for 2006 include engineering designs for ditch consolidation and new screening at the Old Lowden and Bergevin-Williams diversions. The Hofer and Old Lowden/Bergevin Williams projects will require funding above that currently identified by the NPCC. The base level funding will be used to continue O&M and M&E at the various existing passage project sites. Local irrigation districts are utilized to conduct physical and mechanical maintenance such as ladder operational adjustments as directed by fisheries staff, screen cleaning, repairs, replacements, etc. Base funding will also be used to continue small passage project cost share efforts . Gose Street adult fish passage improvements in lower Mill Creek are planned for implementation in 2006 and will be cost shared by five sources including the Salmon Recovery Board (127K), the Pacific Coastal Salmon Funding (10K), BPA (approximately 100K), Walla Walla Watershed Alliance (50K), and WWCCD (in kind).
In the May 2004 version of the Walla Walla Subbasin Plan, the Hofer and Mill Creek (Gose Street) adult fish passage obstructions are listed under section 7.3.1 “Management Plan - Imminent Threats and Passage Barriers” (pages 147-150). The Old Lowden and Bergevin-Williams ditch screening problems are listed on page 148 under the same section. These are located in the mainstem Walla Walla River area described as “sites of significant water withdrawals along the reach without having screening or screening believed to be ineffective”. The management plan and project selection methodology state clearly that imminent threats should be addressed wherever anadromy occurs, beginning with priority geographic areas. The listed passage facilities all deal with passage concerns that pass fish into or through priority geographic areas as suggested by the Subbasin Planning Team.
In the Final Addendum of the Walla Walla Subbasin Plan (Nov 2004), under Section 1.3 “Strategic Project Prioritization Framework” (pages 9-10), adult passage obstructions and inadequately screened water diversions are termed as top priority imminent threats to acquatic focal species in the Walla Walla Basin. The addendum references imminent threat projects that are listed in the May 2004 version of the Subbasin Plan. Among the priority projects that are listed in section 7.3.1 “ Imminent Threats and Passage Barriers” in the May 2004 Subbasin Plan are the project sites that are included in this proposal. The plan further emphasizes the priority of improving adult passage at Hofer and Gose Street due to the extremely low location in which they occur in the basin (page 150). The impacts from impeded obstruction at these locations is cited as affecting fish production in the entirety of both sub-watersheds. These passage issues deal with systems that pass fish to or through priority geographic areas as identified by the Walla Walla Subbasin EDT model. Imminent threats associated with priority geographic areas are described as the highest priority projects in the Walla Walla Subbasin Plan.
Benefits from the adult and juvenile passage improvements resulting from this project are realized immediately following completion of the projects. These efforts have been a major catalyst in the comprehensive Walla Walla fish restoration program which has also included habitat, stream flow, hatchery and RM&E actions. The fish passage improvements resulting from this project magnifies the benefits of all the other complimentary investments that are being supported and implemented by numerous funding sources and partnerships throughout the Walla Walla Basin. Species benefited by this proposal are spring chinook, summer steelhead (ESA listed), bull trout (also ESA listed) and lamprey. Now that an acceptable subbasin plan is in place, we urge NPCC and BPA to support new capital expenditures in the Walla Walla Subbasin to assist with the mitigation of imminent threats in priority geographic areas.