At the request of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, the ISRP Executive Committee (hereafter "ISRP") reviewed a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) that asks for an assessment of the infrastructure present in 14 Fish and Wildlife Program hatcheries. In the Council's letter to William Maslen, Bonneville Power Administration, the Council mentions that the hatchery assessment process will have four phases. Phase 1 will consist of an asset summary, mainly the identification of the Program’s hatcheries that will be subject to this assessment. Phase 2 will be a condition assessment of the infrastructure at those facilities. While Phases 3 and 4 will be used to prioritize repairs, replacements, or additions and determine when this work will be done. The ISRP assumed that Phases 3 and 4 will be carried out in the future and that the work asked for in this RFP is limited to assessments of hatchery infrastructure condition.
The ISRP made a number of editorial changes in the RFP that they hope the Council will find useful. The ISRP provided a clean version with suggested changes incorporated and a track changes version comparing suggested changes with the original text. The ISRP also examined Appendix B and identified in red font some hatchery features that could be added to the Council's assessment template (comments on Appendix B).
When this work is being done, the ISRP asked that special attention be paid to water security and quality. The capacity of any hatchery to produce high quality fish and meet its mitigation goals is strongly influenced by its water supply. Climate change will likely cause more frequent and greater flooding. Are the Fish and Wildlife Program’s facilities equipped to handle those events? Can surface water intakes tolerate higher flows and how will a hatchery deal with greater sediment loads and likely power failures due to storm events? Are the facilities equipped with settling basins, sand filters, or other infrastructure that can be used to improve water quality during flood events or can they shift to 100% ground water if needed for a short period? How have water levels in hatchery wells changed over time? Aquifers are being depleted because of multiple and competing uses, so it is important to determine how secure a hatchery's ground water sources might be. Will water rights allow for additional wells to be constructed if needed? Additionally, as we saw this past summer, surface water temperatures during the rearing period can be quite warm. Are the program’s hatcheries impacted in this way and if so what infrastructure is needed to help alleviate this problem? Finally, are these facilities being prepared proactively for impacts due to wild fires? Are equipment and plans adequate to combat fires (e.g., routine brush clearing, portable pumps, hoses, etc. that could be employed to protect hatchery assets if necessary) and to cope with increases in sediments in their surface water due to erosion caused by fire? These questions can be partially answered during pre-site visit work sessions with hatchery staff and verified and refined during the site visits.