Response for project 199701900: Stinking Water Salmonid Project

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

The Burns paiute Tribe fish and Wildlife Department strongly recommend that FY 2006 funds be allocated to project no. 199701900, Evaluate the Life History of Native Salmonids in the Malheur River Subbasin. The proposed FY 2006 budget set forth from the NPCC is needed and sufficient to successfully implement the proposed FY 2006 tasks.

Accomplishments since the last review

FY 2003 and 2004 Accomplishments Category - RM & E and Data Management Work Element - Collect Data Metric Description - Reservoir and River Fish Collection Value - 2736 Trap Hours Metric Description - Distribution Survey on Big Creek, Lake Creek and Meadow Fork Creek Value - 25.05 River KM Sampled Metric Description - Distribution Survey On Logan Valley Mitigation Site – Project #2000-09-00 Value - 2600 meters of Big Creek and Lake Creek Sampled. Metric Description - Upper Lake Creek Population And Distribution Survey Value - 7.2 River KM Sampled Metric Description - Stream Temperature Data Value - 3 Annual Monitoring Sites on Logan Valley Mitigation Site Project #20000900 Metric Description - Tailrace Fish Collection Value - 120 Creel Hours Metric Description - Summer Distribution Survey On Malheur River Mitigation Site – Project #2000-027-00 Value - Electroshocked via drift boat 7 sites in 2003 – 3080 seconds of electro-fishing time Electroshocked 9 sites approximately 900 meters of the Malheur River Metric Description - Bull Trout Spawning Surveys Value - 122.2 Stream miles Surveyed Metric Description - Radio Tagged Bull Trout (subadult) from North Fork Malheur River and Upper Malheur Value - 19 fish tagged Metric Description - Tissue Samples from Bull, Brook, and Brook/Bull Hybrid Fish from Lake Creek and Meadow Fork Creek Value - 1,253 Total Tissue Samples Metric Description - Genetic Analysis of Brook, Bull, and brook/bull hybrids from Lake Creek Value - 460 fish analyzed by USFWS Abernathy Fish Technology Center Annual report for FY 2003 has been completed and submitted to BPA. Annual Report for FY 2004 is currently in draft form. Final Report for FY 2004 is due September 1, 2005 to BPA according to contract.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

FY 2006 Goals Category - RM & E and Data Management Work Element - Collect Data Metric Description - Collect Tissue Samples from Bull and Redband Trout from Elk Creek, Sheep Creek, Horseshoe Creek Value - Collection of 300 Tissue Samples Metric Description - Tissue Samples from Redband Trout from Canyon and Black Canyon Creeks Value - 100 Tissue Samples Metric Description - Genetic Analysis of Bull Bull and Redband Trout from Elk Creek, Sheep Creek, Horseshoe Creek Value - Analysis of 300 Tissue Samples Metric Description - Genetic Analysis of Redband Trout from Canyon, Hunter and Black Canyon Creeks Value - Analysis of 150 Tissue Samples Metric Description - Population and Distribution Surveys on Canyon and Black Canyon Creeks Value - 11 miles of survey Metric Description - Habitat Surveys on Canyon and Black Canyon Creeks Value - 11 miles of survey Metric Description - Stream Temperature Data Value - 3 Sites on Logan Valley Mitigation Site Project #2000-09-00 Metric Description - Bull Trout Spawning Surveys Value - 58 Stream miles surveyed

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

The project is consistent with the Malheur River Subbasin Plan and implements Aquatic Strategies 4.2.1, 5.1.1, and 5.1.2 (Page 78 and 94). These strategies relate to Objectives 5.1 and 4.2 for redband trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). This project is also consistent with the draft Malheur River Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus) Recovery Plan (2002) Task Number 4.1.1 and 5.5.4. These bull trout strategies relate to Objective 2.2 in the Malheur River Subbasin Plan (Page 76 and 95). This project is also consistent with the NPCC 2000 Amendments and the 1995 NPCC Fish and Wildlife Program, measures 10.5.B, 10.5.B.1, and 10.5.B.2. This project is also consistent with the Management Plans of project no. 2000-009-00, Logan Valley Wildlife Mitigation Site and 2000-027-00, Malheur River Mitigation Site. Redband and bull trout is a focal species for the Malheur River Subasin Plan (Page 19).

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

Bull Trout Genetic studies in the Malheur River have been identified as a high priority task in the draft Malheur River Bull Trout Recovery Plan (2002) Task Number 4.1.1 and 5.5.4. The bull trout genetic studies in the Malheur River in 2006 will provide an increased understanding of bull trout interactions and population dynamics, and may lead to revision of recovery criteria. Genetic baseline information would also be a necessity in the implementation of any artificial propagation program. Furthermore, it was intended to include the Draft Malheur River Bull Trout Recovery Plan into the Malheur River Subbasin Plan and directly linked to As stated in the Malheur River Subbasin Assessment and Management Plan for Fish and Wildlife Mitigation in Appendix A, Part 2 – Aquatic Assessment pages 34-36, very little is known on redband trout in the Malheur River Subbasin, particularly below Agency Valley and Warm Springs Dam. According to the Qualitative Habitat Assessment for Redband Trout, habitat data available is limited to “expert opinion” for habitat located below Agency Valley Dam and Warm Springs Dam. Abundance, genetic, distribution, and population information collected in FY 2006 will focus on stream associated with the Malheur River Mitigation Site (project no. 2000-027-00). Furthermore, the Protective Habitat Ranking for this reach is 6th out of 53 reaches and Restoration Habitat Ranking is 32nd out of 53 reaches. Again, the data available is “expert opinion” and an effort to quantify habitat and abundance/genetic composition of redband trout is needed to identify site specific habitat protection activities on land associated with the deeded and associated allotments of the Malheur River Mitigation Site.

Other comments

This project has provided the Burns Paiute Tribe as well as state and federal agencies a relatively increased set of data for local management. The data collected from this project has been used in several USFWS Biological Opinions, Bull Trout Recovery Plan for the Malheur River Subbasin, and in the Malheur River Subbasin Plan itself. The Malheur River Subbasin is a high priority basin for the Burns Paiute Tribe Fish and Wildlife Department. Though many priorities are diverted too anadromous interests, this project provides local management agencies an opportunity to coordinate efforts and collect viable information in regards to the remaining native resident fish.