At the request of the Council and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the ISRP reviewed a set of nine habitat projects in the Columbia Cascade Province intended to help achieve Biological Opinion tributary habitat metric goals for Upper Columbia Spring chinook and steelhead. These projects were submitted to the Council and BPA for funding under the Fish and Wildlife Program.
The Bureau of Reclamation (an Action Agency) developed these proposals in coordination with willing landowners, local governments, conservation groups, and tribes. BPA assisted the Bureau of Reclamation in developing the set of projects for Fish and Wildlife Program funding to address needs described under the Action Agencies' Updated Proposed Action (UPA). The justification for these projects is based on NOAA Fisheries analyses that 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 survival improvements are needed for Upper Columbia River spring Chinook and steelhead during their spawning and rearing life stages. To increase survival, BPA agreed to help achieve certain tributary habitat metric goals.
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. The set of projects under review are currently scheduled for implementation in fiscal year 2005 and are intended to help achieve milestones set forth and described in the tributary habitat action section of the UPA. The three-year metric goals to which these projects will apply 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.