responses from six entities to a January request for information for white
sturgeon project proposals in the Columbia and Snake rivers were received by
the Northwest Power and Conservation Council by February 28, the deadline to
reply to the RFI.
the responses, which were short proposal summaries describing potential
projects that could be funded with up to $300,000 from program cost-savings,
two would expand existing sturgeon projects and a third was new work that could
actually be funded as a Columbia River Accords project.
other four responses were for new work, according to information from the
Council’s Fish and Wildlife staff, and just two of the proposals were easily
implementable within the two-year period – 2017 to 2018 – the Fish and Wildlife
Committee had sought, according to Lynn Palensky of the Fish and Wildlife
proposals that have already been sent to the Independent Scientific Review Panel
for review were presented to the Committee at its meeting in Portland Tuesday,
the proposals, one was especially ready to fund, according to Tony Grover,
manager of the Council’s Fish and Wildlife department. That was an Oregon
Department of Fish and Wildlife proposal for white sturgeon spawning habitat
and use in the John Day reservoir. According to a staff synopsis of the
proposal, it was for tagging, tracking and analysis that would assess spawning
staging areas, behavior and habitat in the reservoir.
proposal that could be funded by the Accords is a project to determine sex of
sturgeon through a genetic marker. The staff summary says it would discover and
develop a genetic marker for sex determination for use in status assessments. The
project was proposed by the Columbia River InterTribal Fish Commission and the
the genetic marker, sex is nearly impossible to determine by just looking at
the fish, Grover said. The project could cost up to $150,000.
a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife status assessment for isolated
at-risk populations of white sturgeon in lower Snake River reservoirs between
Ice Harbor and Lower Granite dams.
spawning monitoring (larvae collection) below Ice Harbor Dam to understand the
current use of habitat. The proposal was submitted by Golder Associates, a
Canadian company with offices worldwide.
Northwest National Laboratory proposed two projects:
simulate white sturgeon early life history in Columbia Basin reservoirs using a
2D model to determine the effect of river flow and transport of juvenile
sturgeon above Grand Coulee Dam in order to understand recruitment failure and
Implant long-lived (no battery) acoustic tags for tracking movement and habitat
use in Snake and Columbia Rivers
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geologic Survey proposed a study to
look at sturgeon population status, spawning habitat and predation by 1) using
eDNA to assess tributary use by sturgeon in the lower Columbia River; 2)
constructing and testing spawning habitat models using existing data and
develop habitat suitability maps; and 3) assessing feasibility of side scan
sonar and underwater video to locate carcasses below Bonneville’s power house 4
that died from predation.
up to $300,000 for sturgeon projects originated from cost-savings identified by
the Council’s Cost-Savings Workgroup from fish and wildlife projects
administered by the Bonneville Power Administration that are either closing out
or reducing expenditures in fiscal year 2016. The money has been set aside and
the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Committee wants to spend that money in FY2017
on the Council’s emerging priority programs.
2016 the workgroup identified $651,915 in cost savings that would be available
in fiscal year 2017, including for sturgeon programs.
identified another $77, 773 from a quarterly projects review and reported that
to the Fish and Wildlife Committee this week. The cost savings is from an
Oregon project -- Spring Chinook Captive Propagation. The project began ramping
down in FY 2016 and continued in FY 2017 as the captive brood facility at
Bonneville hatchery is mothballed, a staff report said.
$110,000 per year over three years will become available from a Deschutes River
project, Investigation of Relative Reproductive Success of Stray Hatchery &
Wild Steelhead and Influence of Hatchery Strays on Natural Productivity in
staff policy review of this project has resulted in an understanding that the
original goals and objectives for this project are unlikely to be achieved as a
result of a significant unanticipated reduction in out-of-basin steelhead fish
straying into the Deschutes,” the staff report said.
was through no fault of the researchers, Grover said. “There were changes to
the temperature control structure the Pelton-Round Butte dam and also
transportation of smolts stopped so there are far fewer strays in the system.”
had been budgeted for $335,000 per year. The close out of the project will take
three years, so cost savings of $110,000 will be available each year in FY
2018, FY 2019 and FY 2020.
staff report said that “BPA has created a reserve fund for cost savings in FY
2017. The availability of funds is dependent on: (1) the spending trajectory
within the FY18/FY19 rate period, and (2) developing a process to reallocate
funds to other priorities.”
Council cost savings workgroup is composed of Montana Council member Jennifer
Anders, Brian Mercier, Peter Cogswell and Scott Donahue of BPA, and Kerry Berg,
Palensky, Laura Robinson and Grover, of the Council’s Fish and Wildlife staff.
cost savings workgroup initially developed a cost savings methodology, which
was approved by the Council at its July, 2015 meeting in Spokane. See
information about the workgroup and methodology used to determine eligible cost
savings can be found at http://www.nwcouncil.org/fw/cost-savings-group/
January 19, 2017, “Council, BPA Release ‘Request For Information’ On ‘Ready To
Implement’ Sturgeon Projects,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/438206.aspx.
December 22, 2016, “Council FW Committee Identifies More Than $500,000 In
Project Cost Savings To Free Up For Others,”
November 18, 2016, “Council’s ‘Cost-Savings’ Workgroup Earmarks Some FW Project
Cost Savings For Hatchery Repairs,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/437987.aspx
May 20, 2016, “Council’s ‘Cost Savings Workgroup’ Looking To Review More
CBB, “Council Approves More Than $550K In Cost-Savings From FW Projects; Money
Goes To Emerging Priorities,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/436489.aspx
CBB, March 11, 2016, “BPA, Council Identify More Than $500,000 In Cost Savings
In Fish And Wildlife Projects,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/436206.aspx
CBB, August 14, 2015, “Council, BPA Move Forward On Efforts To Fund ‘Emerging’
Fish/Wildlife Project Priorities” http://www.cbbulletin.com/434736.aspx