Response for project 200302300: Chief Joseph Dam Hatchery

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

The Colville Tribe's "Chief Joseph Hatchery Master Plan" was approved by the NPPC in March of 2005. The Master Plan identifies purchasing two pieces of property for two different acclimation sites The two sites are Omak Creek (already purchased by CCT) and the Wilson property (needed for the Riverside Pond). The Omak Creek Pond site is 3.5 ac. with a house on the property. The Wilson property is 165 ac. with a home on the property. To purchase these properties, $300K was budgeted for FY-06. The Wilson property owner had an appraisal done, generating an appraised price of $1.5 million. BPA is now in the process of doing a supplemental appraisal. When this appraisal is complete, we will have a better idea on cost. In the mean time, CCT is requesting that an additional $1.3 million be budgeted for land acquistion for FY-06. The Wilson Property is also being viewed as excellent wildlife habitat and would qualify for wildlife acquisition (habitat credits) from BPA's capital dollars. Therefore this Wilson property becomes a dual-use project. CCT is struggling with the best way to secure the Wilson property. We know that we can not justify purchasing 165 ac. for the acclimation pond. The land owner does not want to sell the 5 ac. for an acclimation site. He wants to sell the whole 165 ac. The Omak Creek property was purchased 3-4 four years ago for two reasons; 1. The property was located next to the Okanogan River on the north (approx. 500'of river front). It was a excellent location for the summer chinook acclimation pond (CCT had submitted a summer chinook hatchery proposal in the three year rolling review). 2. CCT Fish and Wildlife needed office space in the Okanogan area. The lay out of the house provided good office room. CCT Colville Busines Council approved $165,900 to purchase this property, with the expectation of getting $100,000-$125,000 reimbursed at a later date. CCT used PCSRF to purchase adjacent property by Omak Cr.

Accomplishments since the last review

Completed Council 3-Step Process: Step 1. CCT completed the Chief Joseph Master Plan in less than 1 year for $393,000. It was approved by NPCC in March 2005. The proposed hatchery will raise summer/fall Chinook and spring Chinook at about 1/10 the cost of other recently approved or constructed hatcheries.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

1. Complete Council 3-Step Process: Step 2 NEPA adn ESA compliance and preliminary design 2. Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation - Complete an EIS for CJDHP 3. Complete land purchase for two acclimation ponds. 4. Collect field data - Test live-capture, selective fishing gears for broodstock collection.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

The CJDHP is integral to the Okanogan sub-basin plan. The Vision for the Okanogan Sub-basin Plan includes: "The Okanogan subbasin will support self-sustaining, harvestable, and diverse populations of fish and wildlife and their habitats, which in turn, supports the economies, customs, cultures, subsistence, and recreational opportunities within the basin." The CJDHP will be a key feature in restoring the CCT's ceremonial and subsistence fishery. A prioritized "theme" of the sub-basin plan is the "Judicious Use of Artificial Production and Supplementation". "... it is indisputable that without the important contributions of production programs, few viable anadromous fish stocks would exist in the Upper Columbia. It is also evident that without the judicious use of artificial production as a strategy in this subbasin plan, many other populations of fish could be forced to extinction." The sub-basin plan's Artificial Production Species Summary includes: "Summer/Fall Chinook: Summer Chinook are artificially propagated and released into the Okanogan subbasin as an integrated recovery program to support the conservation of the natural population and consider surplus fish for recreational and tribal ceremonial and subsistence fisheries. The Colville Tribes have proposed to expand the conservation aspects of this program to increase the abundance, productivity, and diversity of summer/fall Chinook in the subbasin. Spring Chinook: Spring Chinook are artificially propagated and released in the Okanogan subbasin as an interim, isolated harvest program to support tribal ceremonial and subsistence fishing and provide information for a proposed, long-term integrated recovery program." "Because of the ecological context of the Okanogan subbasin and the socio-economic needs of the Colville Tribes, recreational constituencies and local communities, artificial propagation programs are necessary to mitigate for subbasin losses and to conserve the species..."

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

The subbasin plan includes objectives and strategies that are addressed by the CJDHP: "Hypothesis 1: Artificial production (supplementation) provides an increase in fish population numbers and is required to meet tribal trust responsibilities, provide harvestable surplus for people of this region, and to aid in salmon and steelhead recovery efforts because of population decreases caused by habitat loss, main-stem Columbia River dams, and downriver harvest activities. (Hatchery activities should be consistent with approved Hatchery Genetic Management Plans and the artificial production section of this plan) Objective 1-1. Provide tribal and selective recreational harvest opportunities for summer/fall Chinook, summer steelhead, sockeye salmon, and spring Chinook were feasible. Strategy 1-1A. Build summer/fall Chinook acclimation ponds at strategic locations and release artificial production from these sites annually. Strategy 1-1B. Increase or maintain artificial production capacity at levels necessary to meet management needs, maintain new and existing acclimation sites, and support existing and new scatter plantings. Strategy 1-1C. Monitor adult salmonid returns annually, determine a baseline, and evaluate trends. Objective 1-2. Increase the number of spawning summer/fall Chinook in this AU by 50% Strategy 1-2A. Build summer/fall Chinook acclimation ponds at strategic locations and release artificial production from these sites annually." "With implementation of the CJD Hatchery Program, the run of early-arriving summer/fall Chinook is expected to increase by 3,000 – 15,000 fish while the later-arriving portion of the run is expected to increase by 3,000 – 14,000 Chinook. In time, the natural-origin run of summer/fall Chinook should increase with the increased utilization of the historical spawning habitat and planned improvements to mainstem passage." Under the Phase I program, between 1,600 and 5,600 adult spring Chinook are expected to be available

Other comments

1. The NEPA strategy for Chief Joe has shifted from using the FWIP EIS Tiered Record of Decsion (ROD) to initiating a project-specific EIS. It was initally assumed that BPA staff would do the majority of this work under a Tiered Program ROD. This is not the current situation and work will need to be contracted . 2. A request for within year modification for this project specific EIS was provided to the BOG for the May 4, 2005 meeting. A budget document showing a high and low range, schedule and NEPA Strategy provided by BPA is on the BOG web site. The high range total budget provided for FY 05, 06 and 07 was 600,000 (132K for FY 05) (450K for FY 06) (18K for FY 07)