Appendix D. Program goals and objectives

Theme One: Protect and Enhance Habitat to Provide a Home for Species

  1. Goal: Provide environmental conditions that support ecosystem functions necessary to restore healthy, self-sustaining and harvestable populations of native resident and anadromous fish and wildlife. This includes areas above and below Hungry Horse and Libby dams, and in and adjacent to Lake Roosevelt.
    1. Objectives: remain to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: habitat, non-native and invasive species, predator control, future hydroelectric development and licensing and protected areas, water quality, climate change, mainstem hydrosystem flow and passage operations, estuary, plume and near-shore ocean, adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed under the ecosystem health and Council actions categories
  2. Goal: Enhance conditions in the estuary and near-shore plume to support habitat diversity, and productive, abundant, and diverse salmon and steelhead populations
    1. Objectives: remain to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: habitat, water quality, climate change, mainstem hydrosystem flow and passage operations, estuary, plume and nearshore ocean, adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed under the ecosystem health and Council actions categories
  3. Goal: Reestablish a more natural hydrological pattern that reflects seasonal fluctuations, rate of fluctuations, peaks, and temperature.
    1.  Objectives: remain to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: habitat, water quality, mainstem hydrosystem flow and passage operations, adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed under the ecosystem Health and council actions categories
  4. Goal: Provide adequate water quality and quantity to support targeted species
    1. Objective: Projects do not exceed the interim total dissolved gas (TDG) standards during spill events[1]
      Project(s) TDG standard
      Dworshak 110% as set by Idaho State
      Libby 110% as set by Montana State
      Grand Coulee Operate to minimize TDG production
      Hungry Horse 110% as set by Montana State
      Albeni Falls None
      Columbia River and Snake River Dams In general, meet established TDG levels .Either 110 percent TDG standard, or as modified by State water quality waivers, currently up to 115 percent TDG in the dam forebay, and up to 120 percent TDG in the dam project tailwater.
  5. Goal: Hydrosystem projects will rely on local inflows for drawdown and refill; maintain biological productivity in the reservoirs; and release water or dampen flow fluctuations to benefit fish in reservoirs and downstream.
    1. Objectives: remain to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: water quality, mainstem hydrosystem flow and passage operations, adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed under the ecosystem health and Council actions categories
  6. Goal: Coordinate aquatic and terrestrial actions
    1. Objectives: remain to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: wildlife mitigation, adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed under the ecosystem health and Council actions categories
  7. Goal: Improve andexpand the habitat function, structure, complexity and range of aquatic habitats in mainstem and tributaries of the basin, including riparian, wetland, floodplain, alluvial reaches, estuary, and near-shore ocean, to enhance life history and species diversity that are impacted by the hydrosystem.
    1. Objectives: As interim habitat objectives, increase the amount of: acre-feet of water protected; stream miles with improved complexity; acres of riparian habitat treated or improved; fish screens installed or addressed for fish protection; and miles of improved access to fish habitat
      • Strategies: habitat, non-native and invasive species, predation control, future hydroelectric development and licensing and protected areas, water quality, climate change, mainstem hydrosystem flow and passage operations, estuary, plume, and nearshore ocean, adaptive management
        • Indicators: Council Actions; could be developed under the ecosystem health category
  8. Goal: Protect, enhance, reconnect, and restore fish populations in mainstem and tributary areas
    1. Objectives: remain to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: habitat, non-native and invasive species, predation control, future hydroelectric development and licensing and protected areas, water quality, climate change, mainstem hydrosystem flow and passage operations, estuary, plume, and nearshore ocean, adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed under the ecosystem health and Council actions categories
  9. Goal: Improve natural populations by connecting stronger populations with weaker populations
    1. Objectives: remain to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: future hydroelectric development and licensing and protected areas, strongholds, adaptive anagement
        • Indicators: to be developed under the ecosystem health and Council actions categories
  10. Goal: Reconnect side channels, floodplains, riparian areas, and uplands to improve and maintain aquatic conditions, especially in the Columbia and Snake river mainstems
    1. Objectives: remain to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: habitat, non-native and invasive species, predation control, future hydroelectric development and licensing and protected areas, water quality, climate change, mainstem hydrosystem flow and passage operations, estuary, plume and nearshore ocean, adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed under the ecosystem health and Council actions categories
  11. Goal: Restore and protect thermal refuge areas for salmonids
    1. Objectives: remain to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: water quality, climate change, mainstem hydrosystem flow and passage operations,  adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed under the ecosystem health and Council actions categories
  12. Goal: Mitigate for wildlife losses
    1. Objectives: Acquire habitat units (HU) to offset losses or fulfill settlement agreements
      • Strategy: wildlife mitigation
        • Indicators: HUs acquired and maintained or settlements established

Theme Two: Ensure Species Survival by Promoting Abundance, Diversity and Adaptability 

  1. Goal: Achieve full mitigation for anadromous fish, native resident fish, and wildlife losses by restoring healthy[2], self-sustaining, and harvestable, natural-origin anadromous fish, especially salmon, steelhead, eulachon, lamprey species, resident fish, including sturgeon and bull trout
    1. Objective: Halt declining trends in Columbia River Basin salmon and steelhead populations
    2. Objective: Consistent with ESA efforts, increase total adult salmon and steelhead runs, with an emphasis on those above Bonneville Dam, by 2025 to an average of 5 million annually
    3. Objective: As an interim population objective, increase total adult runs for listed lower Columbia salmon and steelhead to meet NOAA Fisheries’ FCRPS Biological Opinion.
    4. Objective: As an interim population objective for pacific lamprey populations, continue to maintain a stable and increasing population trend
    5. Objective: As an interim population objective, maintain a stable and increasing population trend for sturgeon and bull trout
    6. Objective: As an interim population objective, maintain a stable and increasing population trend for kokanee, cutthroat trout and other resident fish focal species
  2. Goal: Achieve full mitigation for anadromous fish and native resident fish
    1. Objective: As an interim objective, increase total adult salmon and steelhead runs to an average of 5 million annually by 2025 in a manner that emphasizes the populations that originate above Bonneville Dam and supports tribal and non-tribal harvest.
    2. Objective: As an interim objective, achieve smolt-to-adult return rates in the 2-6 percent range (minimum 2 percent; average 4 percent) for listed Snake River and upper Columbia salmon and steelhead.
  3. Goal: Encourage biologically diverse species that are resilient to environmental variability
    1. Objective: Within 100 years, achieve population characteristics that, while fluctuating due to natural variability, represent full mitigation for losses of fish.
      • Strategies: wild fish, propagation and hatchery programs, adaptive management, resident fish mitigation, lamprey, sturgeon, eulachon, anadromous fish mitigation in the blocked areas
  4. Goal: Achieve the delisting and recovery criteria for ESA-listed species in the biological opinions, including for listed salmon and steelhead in NOAA Fisheries’ 2008 FCRPS, Upper Snake and Willamette River biological opinions, and those for listed Kootenai River White Sturgeon, bull trout, and Oregon chub in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s FCRPS (2000), Libby Dam (2006) and Willamette River (2008) biological opinions (see footnote).
    1. Objective: Restore the widest possible set of healthy, naturally reproducing and sustaining populations of salmon and steelhead in each relevant geographic level.
    2. Objective: As an interim population objective for Kootenai River white sturgeon, bull trout, and other ESA-listed species tracked by program indicators, continue to maintain a stable and increasing population trend
  5. Goal: Achieve anadromous fish inriver migration and passage survival that approximates natural survival during inriver migration
    1. Objective: Achieve the four juvenile and adult fish passage performance standards consistent with the most recent NOAA Fisheries FCRPS Biological Opinion[3]. As of 2009 these consist of:
      • Annually achieve juvenile fish dam passage performance standards at each Snake River (SR) and lower Columbia River dam:
      ESU Juvenile Standard
      spring Chinook and steelhead (spring migrants) Achieve at least 96 percent dam passage survival
      Snake River fall Chinook subyearlings (summer migrants) Achieve at least 93 percent dam passage survival
      • Annually achieve the adult fish performance standards for each of the salmon and steelhead evolutionarily significant units (ESU) listed below for the specified reaches between Bonneville Dam (BON), Lower Granite Dam (LGR), and McNary Dam (MCN):
      ESU Adult Standard Reach
      SR Fall Chinook 81.2% BON to LGR
      SR Spring – Summer Chinook 91.0% BON to LGR
      SR Sockeye Use SR spring/summer Chinook salmon and steelhead as surrogate until a standard is developed. BON to LGR
      SR steelhead 90.1% BON to LGR
      UCR spring Chinook 90.1% BON to MCN
      UCR steelhead 84.5% BON to MCN
      MCR steelhead Use SR steelhead as surrogate until a standard is developed. Variable
      CR chum None, assume survival is adequate if SR fall Chinook BON to LGR standard is met None
      LCR Chinook None, assume that survival for spring and fall populations is adequate if SR spring/summer Chinook and SR fall Chinook standards are met. None
      LCR coho None, assume that survival is adequate if SR fall Chinook BON to LGR standard is met. None
      LCR steelhead None, assume that survival is adequate if SR steelhead BON to MCN standard is met. None
      UWR Chinook None, not expected to migrate upstream of Bonneville Dam None
      UWR steelhead None, not expected to migrate upstream of Bonneville Dam None

Theme Three: Compensate for a Wide Range of Impacts Caused by the Hydrosystem

  1. Goal: Enhance harvest of anadromous fish including salmon, steelhead, and lamprey, and resident fish
    1. Objective: remains to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: resident fish mitigation , anadromous fish mitigation strategy in blocked areas of the basin, hatchery, non-native and invasive species, wild fish, adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed under the abundance of fish and wildlife and Council action categories
  2. Goal: Reintroduce anadromous fish extirpated from areas blocked by the construction and operation of the Columbia River Basin's hydrosystem
    1. Objectives: remain to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: anadromous fish mitigation strategy in blocked areas of the basin, adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed under the abundance of fish and wildlife and Council action categories

Theme Four: Public Engagement

  1. Goal: Inform the public about the program to encourage involvement
    1. Objective: As an interim public engagement objective, update the indicator graphics on the program’s High-level Indicator website and dashboards and produce the report to governors and Congress
      • Strategies: public engagement, adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed  under the Council action category
  2. Goal: Encourage considering the program within a social and ecological context.
    1. Objectives remain to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: public engagement, adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed under the Council action category
  3. Goal: Achieve open public access for all program-related data.
    1. Objectives remain to be identified and adopted
      • Strategies: public engagement, adaptive management
        • Indicators: to be developed under the Council action category

[1] For details about total dissolved gas standards consult Hydropower Strategy 1—Operate the FCRPS to Provide Flows and Water Quality to Improve Juvenile and Adult Fish Survival, RPA #4, Table 1 of the FCRPS Biological Opinion (BiOp); consult the FCRPS BiOp Implementation plan and the Water Quality Plan for Total Dissolved Gas and Water Temperature in the Mainstem Columbia and Snake Rivers (WQP) for periodic updates to the TDG standards.

[2] Healthy is defined as having abundance, productive, diverse and spatially distributed populations.

[3] For more details consult the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative No. 52 - Hydrosystem Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy 2 of the NOAA Fisheries 2008 FCRPS Biological Opinion, including Table 7.

← Appendix C. Wildlife mitigation priorities, construction and inundation loss assessments, and dam licensing considerations

Appendix E. Council high-level indicators →

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