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Seven New Lamprey Conservation, Restoration Projects To Go To Council For Approval
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 (PST)

Seven new Pacific lamprey conservation and restoration projects were sent to the Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Council for final approval in December. Three lamprey projects were completed in fiscal year 2018 and the seven new projects were approved by the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Committee at its meeting Nov. 13 in Portland.

 

If approved in December by the Council, the new projects will cost the region $238,682 in FY2019. The Committee is also proposing the Council set aside $300,000 a year in cost-savings funds for future lamprey projects.

 

Cost savings are savings identified by the Council’s cost savings workgroup that comes from Fish and Wildlife Program projects administered by BPA that are either closing out or reducing expenditures.

 

Mark Fritsch of the Council’s Fish and Wildlife staff said that the pot of unspent cost savings money in FY2019 is $281,960, $352,323 in FY2020 and $1.1 million in 2021. “There is a budget to sustain this,” he said.

 

All the projects stem from the Pacific Lamprey Conservation Agreement (https://www.fws.gov/pacificlamprey/AgreementMainpage.cfm). The three first year projects cost $248,204.

 

According to a Nov. 6 Council Decision Memorandum (https://www.nwcouncil.org/sites/default/files/2018_1113_f4.pdf), the Conservation Agreement “provides a mechanism for interested parties to collaborate and pool available resources to expeditiously and effectively implement conservation and restoration actions” with the objectives to:

1) Evaluate Pacific Lamprey population structure;

2) Identify global issues that are impacting Pacific Lamprey;

3) Public outreach;

4) Data sharing;

5) Identify and characterize Pacific Lamprey for the Regional Management Units;

6) Identify, secure and enhance watershed conditions contained in the RMUs; and

7) Restore Pacific Lamprey to the RMUs.

 

The three FY2018 lamprey projects followed on five lamprey projects from 2008 through 2011 at a total cost of $2,335,186. The lamprey Conservation Team has identified an additional $1 million worth of projects, with $579,000 in high priority projects in the Columbia and Snake rivers. Seven were identified for FY2019.

 

The projects are:

1. Klickitat River lamprey passage improvement (Yakama Nation and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) -- $25,000.

2. Reduction of larval/juvenile lamprey entrainment in the upper Columbia River (Bureau of Reclamation, WDFW, Yakama Nation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Chelan County PUD) -- $62,630.

3. Southwest Washington lamprey assessment (WDFW, USFWS) -- $15,622.

4. Assessment of lamprey passage at fish hatchery, fishways and barrier dams in the lower Columbia River (USFWS, WDFW, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and private parties) -- $28,760.

5. BMPs for evaluating lamprey passage at culverts in various areas of the basin (Stillwater Sciences, USFWS, Lamprey Technical Workgroup) -- $15,000.

6. Improving adult lamprey counts in the McKenzie River in Oregon (ODFW, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Eugene Water & Electric Board) -- $27,500.

7. Juvenile lamprey passage in the lower Yakima River and Columbia River (U.S. Geologic Survey, BOR, Yakama Nation, irrigation districts) -- $37,292.

 

Add $26,878 for indirect costs by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and the total cost for the seven new lamprey projects in FY2019 come to $238,682.

 

“I initially had some hesitation of turning money over to another organization,” Jennifer Anders of Montana said of paying the PSMFC. “But this has worked out wonderfully.” The PSMFC is charging 12.69 percent of the total cost of the projects for their oversight.

 

According to Christina Wang of the USFWS, the three FY2018 projects and their costs were:

1. Lower South Fork McKenzie River Floodplain Enhancement Project (U.S. Forest Service, McKenzie Watershed Alliance, EWEB, ODFW, Corps, NOAA Fisheries) - $150,000

2. Translocating Adult Lamprey Past Mainstem Dams to Snake Basin (Nez Perce, State of Idaho, USFWS, Columbia River InterTribal Fish Commission, Corps and the University of Idaho) - $30,000

3. Adult Passage Improvement at Prosser Dam in Lower Yakima River (BOR) - $40,000

 

The PSMFC indirect cost for these three projects was $28,204 (12.82 percent), with a total cost for of $248,204.

 

Describing how some projects have multiple funding sources, Wang said that the funding from the Council for the McKenzie project amounted to just 10 percent of the full project cost that reconnects flood plains for all native fish and for all life stages of lamprey.

 

Average adult passage for lamprey at mainstem dams is just 40 to 60 percent, so many populations in the headwaters and tributaries of the Snake River are at or near extirpation. Translocation of adults is the only means to rapidly re-establish substantial larval and juvenile presence in the upper basins, she said.

 

In the Yakima River, the BOR, USFWS, WDFW and Yakama Nation added a vertical wetted wall at Prosser Dam to increase adult lamprey passage rates and time it takes to migrate. That project is expected to be completed by March 2019.

 

Also see:

 

-- CBB, July 13, 2018, “Council Fish/Wildlife Committee Discusses Tribal Plans To Restore Pacific Lamprey To Historic Range,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/441107.aspx

 

--CBB, June 1, 2018, “Science Panel Reviews Tribes’ Master Plan For Recovering Pacific Lamprey In Columbia River Basin,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/440843.aspx

 

--CBB, February 16, 2018, “Science Panel Gives Tribes’ Lamprey Synthesis Report High Marks, Some Questions About Genetics,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/440225.aspx

 

--CBB, January 5, 2018, “Science Panel Supports Basin Pacific Lamprey Conservation Initiative With Some Suggestions,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/440009.aspx

 

--CBB, February 17, 2017, “Study Looks At Genetics, Migration, Behavior Of Pacific Lamprey In Willamette River,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/438353.aspx

 

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