Response for project 199801900: Wind River Watershed

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

The budget is consistent with that previously allocated, but due to cost increases, it is not sufficient to fund the level of effort as proposed since 2001. Most partners have experienced cost increases on an annual basis, which have not been met for the last 4 years. Personnel costs for USGS have risen 5-7% each year, and overhead costs have risen 17%. To meet these increased costs would require an increase of $65K in FY2006 to match what USGS received in FY2001. Similarly, UCD personnel and operating costs have risen, so it would require an increase of $20K. Because most of WDFW budget is salaries, their increase in overhead, from 15% to 30%, caused a reduction from 3 months to 1 month for the Project Leader. One of the smolt traps was severely damaged in 2005 and may not be useful for another season. WDFW is scheduled for a technical report for 2006, which includes combining smolt and adult population estimates for an initial evaluation of fish population dynamics and habitat. WDFW requests an additional $20K to meet BPA reporting requirements, $15K for trap replacement and repair, and $30K for a technical paper on fish habitat relationships. The funding for USFS is deemed adequate at this time. Total increase needed, to conduct the project as last proposed, would be $150K. It should also be noted that during the last two years, BPA continues with unfunded mandates with regard to budget tracking such as PISCES. The $150K increase is a reasonable estimate of what we would ask for in 2007 if we do not get it in 2006. Another item for 2007 may be the need for an adult fish trap in Trout Creek if Hemlock Dam and the current trap are removed. In addition, our new proposal for FY2007 promises to have some new objectives and tasks based on our adaptive learning, which may or may not require a cost increase.

Accomplishments since the last review

# of people reached in each of 3 classes (T/S/G): Teachers, Students, General publicUSGS, WDFW, and USFS reached potentially several thousand members of the general public and science community through presentations at meetings. UCD and USFS reached over 750 students and adults through educational and outreach activities.
CoordinationCoordinated data use for Wind EDT with WDFW, YN, UCD, USFWS, and others. Worked with USFWS on fish diseases. Worked with OSU on stable isotopes. Worked with LCRFEG on nutrient enhancement research. Meetings held: 38 Watershed Council and 15 TAC.
Manage and Administer ProjectsSubmitted annual SOWs.Submitted a property inventory to BPA in 2005.Submitted accrual estimates.
Provide Technical ReviewCompleted a sediment transport analysis of Hemlock Dam. Completed technical assessment of steelhead performance with Hemlock Dam removed. Completed Environmental Assessment for future restoration work. Provided technical assistance to 14 landowners.
Produce Annual ReportAnnual reports were submitted for 1998 and 1999 as multi-agency efforts. Since then, each agency has submitted their own annual reports. USGS has submitted through 2002, WDFW through 2004, UCD through 2004, and USFS through 2003. Others are in prep.
# of stream miles treated (0.01 mi.)6.0 km of stream restoration through addition of LWD.
# of road miles decommissioned (0.01 mi.)15.9 km of road decommissioned.
# of acres of vegetation planted (0.1 ac.)Planted 4,400 trees. Underplanted 70 acres of riparian area.
# of acres treated (0.1 ac)Removed weeds on 17 riparian acres. Thinned 90 forested riparian acres.
Operate/Maintain FacilityInstalled and operated four cameras and two PIT-tag detection antennas in the Hemlock Fish Ladder.
If installing a ladder, does the ladder meet NOAA specifications for attraction flow, pool dimensions, jump height, etc? (Y/N)Upgraded two culvert crossings to bridges
Does the structure remove or replace a fish passage barrier? (Y/N)N
Was barrier Full or Partial? (F/P)P
Install Fish Trap/Monitoring WeirInstalled and operated smolt traps each year, currently 4 each year .Operated two adult traps each year.Installed weir in Trout Creek for summer 2004
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataPerformed 11 km of electrofishing surveys, 56 km of snorkel surveys, 111 km of redd surveys, and 32 km of habitat surveys. Maintained 43 thermographs, visited 14 sites for water-quality (140 samples total), and installed and maintained 1 stream gage
Mark/Tag Animals9,146 steelhead parr were PIT tagged by USGS efforts. Thousands of smolts were PIT tagged or coded wire tagged by WDFW. Hundreds of adult steelhead were floy tagged by WDFW.
Submit/Acquire DataAll PIT-tag data were submitted to the PTAGIS database. Recapture data and out-of-subbasin interrogation data were queried from the PTAGIS database.
Manage/Maintain DatabaseHabitat, fish population, temperature, and flow data have been entered into electronic format and organized into internal database systems.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

# of people reached in each of 3 classes (T/S/G): Teachers, Students, General publicContact 100s of general public and scientific community through Wind River presentations at Watershed Council and professional meetings in 2006
CoordinationContinue coordination with USFWS Lower Columbia River Fish Health Center.Continue to facilitate Watershed Council and Technical Advisory Group meetings.Continue to collaborate with ongoing nutrient enhancement research funded by LCFRB.
Manage and Administer ProjectsPrepare SOWs.Prepare administrative record for Hemlock Dam project.
Produce PlanPlan installation of fish habitat and bank stabilization structures
Produce Annual ReportContinue data analysis and Annual Reporting.
# of stream miles treated (0.01 mi.)Implement 4,800 m of instream work to increase habitat complexity
# of acres of vegetation planted (0.1 ac.)Plant 1,000 trees in riparian areas
# of acres treated (0.1 ac)Remove weeds from 7 acres
Operate/Maintain FacilityContinue to evaluate fish passage at Hemlock Dam with cameras and PIT tag readers.
Install Fish Trap/Monitoring WeirInstall and operate four smolt traps.Operate two adult traps.
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataConduct 2.5 km electrofishing population surveys, 4.1 km snorkel surveys, and 37 km of redd surveys. Maintain 43 thermographs, monitor water quality at 5 sites, and operate 1 stream gage.
Mark/Tag AnimalsPIT tag 3,000 steehead parr gained from smolt trapping and instream electrofishing. Thousands of steelhead smolts will be PIT tagged or coded wire tagged through smolt trapping. Hundreds of adult steelhead at Shipherd Fall trap will be floy tagged.
Submit/Acquire DataSubmit PIT tagging data to PTAGIS database.Query out-of-subbasin PIT tag interrogation and recapture information.
Manage/Maintain DatabaseWe will continue to transfer data to electronic format and add to our existing database of fish, habitat, and temperature data.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

Consistency. The project implements the recovery goal for summer steelhead by conducting habitat improvement work identified as Habitat Measures (Mgt Plan, pages J-146-157) and Habitat Actions (Mgt Plan, page J-161 – J-162) in the Wind Subbasin Plan. Habitat Measures include improvement of instream habitats, riparian areas, water quality, passage, and assessment of the effectiveness of these measures. Habitat is being actively improved by addition of LWD, riparian thinning to accelerate tree growth, and tree planting. This work addresses concerns of hatchery fish on wild fish outlined in Section 5.5.2 page J-156. Snorkel surveys, electrofishing, redd and carcass surveys and smolt trapping all are tracking the distribution and density of wild spawned Chinook in the upper reaches of the subbasin. Hemlock Lake and Dam are listed as items of concern in Table 31 in Section 5.4.3. The project continues to monitor the effects of Hemlock Lake and Dam on juvenile and adult steelhead passage. This project addresses Sections 5.9 and 5.10, pg. J-171 of the management plan in the Subbasin plan, which call for investigations of Ecological Interactions and Monitoring, Research, and Evaluation, respectively. Research conducted through the Wind River Restoration effort is consistent with the need to address Critical Uncertainty Research defined in Section 7.8 of the Lower Columbia Province Plan.

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

Priority. This work addresses concerns and questions on water temperature and links between habitat conditions and salmonid population performance outlined in Section 3.4.3 page J-53 and section 3.5, page J-57, respectively. The project is consistent with, and implements measures and questions outlined in Section 1 Pg J-4 – J-6 regarding information on preserving life-histories, monitoring success of restoration, and evaluating effects of Hemlock Lake. This project focuses on several Prioritized Measures for the Wind River Subbasin defined in Section 5.4.3, Numbers: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10. This work addresses several Habitat Actions from the Mgt. Plan Table 32 of Wind River Subbasin Plan: “Wind 2. Floodplain restoration”, “Wind 8. Technical Assistance to and involvement of Landowners”, and “Wind 11. Increase voluntary participation”. Priority work includes: floodplain restoration by vegetation planting, weed removal, and planning for habitat structures in the Middle Wind River (reaches 5a and 5c), which are included as Group B (Tier 2) reaches. This project examines the links between fish and habitat, limiting factors, and the effects of restoration and ecological change. The project establishes baseline data to detect change in fish populations and their habitat. This project enables a measure of success of priority restoration actions by preservation or active measures outlined in pages J-147 – J-162. Accomplishes priority work by focusing restoration efforts on “limiting factors and threats” identified in the Mgt Plan (pages J-141), and by focusing efforts on priority areas (Mgt Plan pages J-139 through J-145).

Other comments

This project addresses some of the restoration priorities outlined in the subbasin plan directly, but of equal importance is the assessment of the effectiveness of these restoration activities. Section 1 Pg. J-4 of the subbasin plan addresses the uncertainty of "how much is enough" with respect to restoration of depressed populations; this work specifically seeks to address just such a question. Research and monitoring results produced by this group will be applicable to many projects and subbasins. Through effectiveness monitoring, future active or passive restoration can be more effectively planned and prioritized. Data generated by this project have contributed to EDT modeling for the Wind and to testing of the EDT model. The Wind River Subbasin Plan is contained within the Lower Columbia Province Plan (LCPP), which identifies the need for Biological Status Monitoring, Habitat Status Monitoring, and Action Effectiveness Monitoring (Chapter 7 of the LCPP). Monitoring is recommended to occur in Intensively Monitored Watersheds such as the Wind. Both “Routine” and “In-depth” biological monitoring, as defined in Section 7.4 of the LCPP, are occurring in the Wind Subbasin. “Habitat Status Monitoring” and “Action Effectiveness Monitoring” are both occurring in the Wind Subbasin to a degree that lessons learned from this project is of high regional value. Data gathered through the Wind River Restoration project will serve to address question under Critical Uncertainty Research (Section 7.8 of LCPP), specifically, “Salmonid Status and Population Viability”, “Stream Habitat”, “Hatchery”, and Ecological Interactions”.