Response for project 200302200: Monitor/Eval Okanogan Basin Pr

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

Many of the original proposal elements were undefined and over the last year since funding was initiated many items have become defined and specific information is beginning to be collected. The certainty of budgeting is becoming clearer as well. The current contract that will last until March, 1 2007 was for $852,482 and included several pilot studies to define addition parts of this project. At this time, we believe that level funding of this project would allow for a more complete implementation of status and trend monitoring variables and greater consistency with the upper Columbia Strategy than would the currently proposed funding level. The amount of information collected by this project in the Okanogan Basin is directly related to funding received through this project the more dollars allocated the more data and the less money allocated will in turn require more of a reduction in what information can be collected. We believe that level funding at $852,482 provide a good balance between financial costs with the need for information in the Okanogan River basin. Funding this project at $852,482 in March 2007 to Feb. 2008 will allow this project to fully implement the study design that has been developed over the last year.

Accomplishments since the last review

Produce Environmental Compliance DocumentationDeveloped all complience documents needed to implement this project in fy-2005
# of people reached in each of 3 classes (T/S/G): Teachers, Students, General publicAquired landowner consent to access all annually monitoring sites in 2005
Produce Status ReportProduced quarterly reports for BPA throughout 2005
Install Fish Trap/Monitoring Weirinstallation of a fish trapping facility on Omak Creek-2005
Develop RM&E Methods and DesignsWe have been developing the study designh for monitoring of the Okanogan River basin as a whole. This includes protocol development and coordination with other groups conducting RME in the upper Columbia ESU, Okanogan Basin, and Colubia River Basin
Develop RM&E Methods and DesignsComplete OBMEP protocols for data collection
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataThis work includes collecting data on anadromus fish such as spawning serveys, redd counts, snorkel surveys, several habitat varibles, several water quality veriables at 150 sites throughout the Okanoagan River basin both is US and Canada.
Mark/Tag AnimalsProvide the resource to have the locally adapted broodstock released into Omak Creek 100% pit-tagged for BY-2004 and BY-2005
Submit/Acquire DataSeveral data collection efforts have been completed to complie a local data repository for the Okanogan River from various sources some in canada, and some in the Unitied States.
Manage/Maintain DatabaseWe have purchased and installed the equipment to house a fisheries data base for this project and for information related to the Okanogan River basin
Disseminate Raw & Summary DataAttended several conferences and meeting to both inform other groups as to our activities and to gain information on what other programs are doing that might benefit us.
Analyze/Interpret DataMinor data analysis have been conducted to help determine is the data are suitable for further roll-up and analysis but little can be be completed until additional data are acguired.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

BPA Environmental ComplianceProduce all environmental complience documents needed in FY-2007
CoordinationCoordinate activities with other agencies as needed in the Okanogan Bwatershed, upper columbia ESU, columbia cascade province, and columbia River basin
Manage and Administer Projectsprovide all necessary papaerwork, sOW, and BUdget information needed for the power council and BPA
Produce Annual Reportproduct annual metric report and technical report
Produce Status ReportProvide status reports in pices
Install Fish Trap/Monitoring WeirInstall fish counting equiopment on lower Okanogan River and test to determine effectiveness
Develop RM&E Methods and DesignsComplete Protocols for OBMEP feild data collection
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataDo steelhead redd surveys in tributaries and along mainstem of the Okanogan River.
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataTest and operate smolt traps on the lower Okanogan River
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Datado snorkel surveys at all E-map sites
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataConduct vedio counts at Zosel Dam and three tributary locations to determine total escapement above these points.
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataColect inverebrate samples at all emap sites.
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Datamaintain efforts to collect realtime discharge data throughout the Okanogan River basin.
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataCollect water quality and temperature data at all E-map tributary sites 3 times per month
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataSupport on-going efforts to collect real-time temperature data on the main-stem Okanogan River and in select tributaries.
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataCollect physical habitat data at al, E-map sites consistent with OBMEP protiocols and other cooperative agreements.
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataCollect data called for in the Okanogan Basin subbasin as needed to fill identified data gaps.
Manage/Maintain DatabaseComplete database design and provide links to other databases to more widely distribute information and deemed appropriate for recovery of endangered steelhead and other species as needed.
Disseminate Raw & Summary DataDevelop raw data for inclusion into other data bases and prepare summary reports for broad distribution
Analyze/Interpret DataComduct analysis and disseminate raw data as needed and requested.
Is the measuring device portable or fixed (P/F)?Install flow and temperature devices thorughout the Okanogan River watershed sufficent to have at least one gauge on all anadromus fish accessible tributaries.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

The need for data either for evaluating actions, or trends or for simply providing information by whgich to better apply limiting resource can not be over stated. Reliable, consistent, and long-term data is rare in the Okanogan and simple basic information does not exist for some tributaries. The need for this project in the Okanogan Basin is required in all AUs throughout this subbasin in order to address data gaps such as outlined on page 27, 31, 35, 38, 41, 48, 58. One of the primary limiting factors for several tributary a=watershed was considered a lack of knowledge and this project would eliminate this a reference of this is on page 52. LEVEL OF CERTAINTY: See Okanogan Level of Proof (LOP) Appendix F for details on ratings for each attribute. Also see the Master Attribute Rating Table for additional comments associated with LOP for individual reaches.THis project was specifically developed to help improve the level of proof in EDT and this is extensively needed in the Okanogan subbasin. See below.

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

This is the actual text from the subbasin plan and comes from page 9 under priority theme 5. "Continue Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation. To put into practice effective adaptive management and make informed decisions, an on-going and disciplined commitment to research, monitoring and evaluation is a required theme. Because of the considerable lack of knowledge in the Okanogan, continued research monitoring and evaluation efforts are needed to answer even the most basic questions about fish and wildlife population status, trends, habitat conditions and life history assumptions. Evaluation of new and existing monitoring data, remote sensing data, and information from areas outside the Okanogan subbasin (e.g., mainstem, ocean and estuary) will also provide a mechanism to determine if progress is being made toward achieving the priority themes and objectives contained in this management plan. To track progress and inaugurate an adaptive management process, the management plan will rely upon a sound monitoring framework and plan outlined under the Okanogan Basin Monitoring and Evaluation Program (OBMEP). This program, in its first year of implementation, has been developed concurrently with Bonneville’s pilot studies in the Wenatchee, John Day and Salmon River systems with guidance provided by the Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership, the Coordinated Systemwide Monitoring and Evaluation Projects, and the federal Research Monitoring and Evaluation Program. The program is being developed in consultation with Canadian officials, and various federal, state and tribal monitoring programs and experts at the local level."

Other comments

This project has to date discovered before un known barriers to anadromous fish and has documented the existence of summer steelhead spawing in the main-stem reaches. This information along with over 2,500 data points of information on specific habitat measurements have been accomplished in the first year of funding to this project. As time moves on new discoveries that change the way we think of the Okanogan in terms of anadromus fish may become less frequent but the data will become more consistent and provide for improved decision making and evaluation. A long-term committment to funding this project would be most useful for the futrue needs of this outstanding project. As we complete the design and pilot program parts of the implementation and as the infrastructure come on-line a long-term contract for specific survices might be possible. Level funding in FY 2007 of $852,482 would show a commitment for the long-term futrue that is critical for the success of this type of RM&E effort.