Response for project Various: Columbia Cascade UPA habitat measures

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

Reinsert placeholder budget of $2.4 million for UPA work in this region. Reclamation and sponsors may seek implementation of projects that could involve greater costs.

Accomplishments since the last review

# of stream miles treated, including off-channels, after realignment (0.1 mi.)1.05 miles of stream complexity projected to be achieved by completion of the MacPherson Side Channel (0.3 miles) and MSRF Side Channel Enhancement (0.75 miles) actions that are commencing in FY05.
Is the screen New or a Replacement? (N/R)Replacement, adding headate to protect screen to meet compliance specifications.
Does the screen meet NOAA/FSOC specs? (Y/N)Y, upon completion of project action.
Flow rate at the screen diversion allowed by the water right. (0.1 cfs)3.5 to 5.0 cfs as estimated by Deparment of Ecology and landowner.
# of miles of habitat accessed (0.1 mi.)60.0 miles of access projected to be achieved by completion of the Chewuch (23.0 miles) , Fulton (8.2 miles), and Marrachi Diversion (21.8 miles) projects that are commencing in FY05.
Amount of unprotected water flow returned to the stream by conservation (cfs)1 cfs of increased flow projected from the Marrachi Diversion work as an ancillary benefit to the 21.8 miles of increased access anticpated for this action.

Sponsors are commencing work on six Columbia Cascade UPA projects in FY05 toward meeting the UPA metric goals for the three year period. These projects (and projected metrics) include Fulton Diversion (8.2 miles access), Chewuch Diversion (23 miles access), Hottell (1 screen), MacPherson Side Channel (.3 miles complexity restored), Marrachi Diversion (21.8 miles access and 1 cfs), and MSRF Side Channel (.75 miles complexity). When these projects are completed, the metrics can be entered into Pisces and reported as accomplishments.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

The suite of projects to be implemented in fiscal year 2006 are expected to help achieve milestones set forth and described in the tributary habitat action section of the Updated Proposed Action (UPA). The three-year metric goals that these projects are to help achieve are 5 irrigation diversion screens addressed, 12 cfs of water protected for instream flow, 60 miles of access restored to anadromous fish and 5 miles of habitat complexity restored, and 6 miles of riparian protection/enhancement. NOAA Fisheries analyses determined that habitat actions addressing primary anthropogenic limiting factors have the potential to increase the ESU populations. The updated NOAA Fisheries analyses for the Biological Opinion found that a qualitative estimate of “medium” (from 2 to 24 percent) improvements is needed for Upper Columbia River spring Chinook and steelhead. To fill part of that gap, BPA agreed to help achieve tributary habitat metric goals to improve overall survival for these ESUs during their spawning and rearing life stages. The proposed action to meet these goals focuses on four limiting factors: fish entrainment, instream flow, channel morphology, and riparian protection/enhancement; with quantitative milestone goals at three and six year intervals for the Entiat, Methow, and Wenatchee subbasins. Thus, the proposed projects for these subbasins for FY06 will be focused on addressing these limiting factors and associated metrics. When these projects are completed, the metrics can be entered into Pisces and reported as accomplishments.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

Specific Columbia Cascade projects to be implemented to meet the metric goals are also anticipated to be consistent with subbasin plans. The projects that have commenced in FY05 have demonstrated consistency with the subbasin plans. For example, the sponsors seeking to improve fish passage access through a project such as the Chewuch Diversion project in the Methow include information to show consistency with the subbasin plan: The Methow Subbasin Plan prepared for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NPCC) considers species that are listed under ESA as focal species for conservation priority and the plan identifies limiting factors and conditions for the habitat requirements of these species. Artificial barriers to fish passage such as diversion dams for irrigation are identified as a major limiting habitat condition in the plan. According to the subbasin plan (p. 180) “dams constructed for irrigation purposes can reduce fish passage to spawning and rearing grounds.” The proposed Chewuch Diversion Dam renovation project intends to address this limiting habitat condition for fish passage in the Chewuch River. (The subbasin plan on p. 44 refers specifically to the Chewuch Canal Company and describes the current diversion). A fish passage project has been identified by Reclamation at the Chewuch Canal Company’s diversion dam on the Chewuch River, an important tributary stream of the Methow River. The Chewuch River provides spawning, rearing and passage habitat for Upper Columbia spring Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), Upper Columbia summer steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), species that are listed as “endangered” or “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Additional links and page references to the subbasin plan are then provided for this example. Projects to be implemented in FY06 are expected to include narrative information that demonstrate consistency with the subbasin plans.

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

The goals for the UPA projects to be implemented using these placeholder funds will address important limiting factors, and proposals will discuss how goals match with subbasin plan priorities wherever applicable. For example, sponsors for the Chewuch diversion project discussed how the goal for removing the artificial barriers at the location matched subbasin plan priorities. The sponsors noted that artificial barriers to fish passage such as diversion dams for irrigation are identified as a major limiting habitat condition in the plan. According to the subbasin plan (p. 180) “dams constructed for irrigation purposes can reduce fish passage to spawning and rearing grounds.” The proposed Chewuch Diversion Dam renovation project intends to address this limiting habitat condition for fish passage in the Chewuch River. (The subbasin plan on p. 44 refers specifically to the Chewuch Canal Company and describes the current diversion). The Management Plan section of Methow subbasin plan describes the desired future condition for fish as “restoration of those habitats impacted in the middle and lower reaches…” (page 286). Table 54 (page 287) provides a summary list of the Methow subbasin key factors limiting fish habitat productivity—and by extension, characterizes viability concerns associated with low abundance, limited diversity, and insufficient spatial structure. More detailed information is presented for the Lower Chewuch Assessment Unit (pages 324-328), where the Chewuch Dam Renovation Project is located. Page 324:Factors Limiting Production (priority from EDT analysis) include obstructions. Page 326: Hypothesis 4 – Survival for life stages of Chinook, steelhead, and bull trout will increase by restoring proper passage conditions at barriers. Restoration Strategy 1– Remove, replace, or modify diversion dams, culverts, or other structures affecting fish passage and habitat connectivity. Since this project's goals were identified in the subbasin plan, sponsors linked the project to the subbasin plan goals and priorities.

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