Response for project 198506200: Yakima Screen Evaluation

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

The identified budget of $110,551 is consistent with the budget for FY 06 recommended by BPA and the Council. However, the proposed budget does not reflect increases in the number of sites to be evaluated (25 sites under the original proposal, 26 anticipated in FY 2006) or the rising cost of fuel and labor. The FY 2005 budget is $113,498 and an additional $6,500 in FY 2006 is necessary to cover the increasing number of sites and rising costs. Thus, to maintain the level of work consistent with the original scope and intent of the project, the requested budget for FY 06 is $119,498. In addition, ISRP and other’s comments recommend a biological evaluation to backup conclusions drawn from the passive monitoring we have been performing. This task would require PIT-tag equipment and tags, and labor to tag fish set up PIT-tag antennas, and monitor each site during each the biological evaluation. Additional cost of this task would be $70,000. The project sponsor recognizes this is additional work that is not to be considered in the FY 06 budget request. However, given the importance of the ISRP’s recommendation and the fact the recommendation falls within the original project scope, we have identified this budget need. The total requested budget for FY 06 which will enable additional sites to be sampled as well as implement the ISRP’s recommendation is $189,498.

Accomplishments since the last review

Produce Annual Report2001 – Evaluated 23 Phase II fish screen sites, 69 site visits. Carter et al. 2002 (on BPA web page)
Produce Annual Report2002 – Evaluated 23 Phase II fish screen sites, 69 site visits. Carter et al. 2003 (on BPA web page)
Produce Annual Report2003 – Evaluated 23 Phase II fish screen sites, 69 site visits. Vucelick et al. 2004 (on BPA web page)
Produce Annual Report2004 – Evaluated 25 Phase II fish screen sites, 75 site visits. Vucelick et al. 2005 (soon to be on BPA web page)

Since 2003 we have implemented a more formal procedure for notifying responsible agencies of any problems found during the evaluation and following up on any repairs/fixes.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

Produce Annual ReportAnnual reporting of FY 2006 Phase II fish screens evaluations, as well as the biological evaluation of up to 3 screen sites if this task is funded.
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataPassive monitoring evaluation of at least 26 Phase II fish screen sites, (78 site visits).
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataBiological evaluation of fish movement at up to 3 fish screen sites.

The goals of this project are to ensure up to 26 Phase II fish screen facilities are performing their function of protecting fish past an irrigation diversion. We will to continue to provide technical assistance to support the cooperating agencies in evaluating screen designs as they are developed and to address site-specific concerns at Phase I or Phase II sites as they are identified. Task 1 – Continue to evaluate at least Phase II fish screen sites up to 3 times each during FY2006 using passive monitoring techniques (velocimeter to measure sweep and approach velocities, underwater video of seals and screens, visual inspection of maintenance of sites) to determine if the sites are operating as designed and meet NMFS criteria and seals to provide safe, efficient passage of juvenile fish back to the stream and not through the screens Task 2 - Based on ISRP and other’s comments, we also propose conducting a series of biological evaluations at up to 3 selected sites to address questions about the efficacy of passive monitoring to evaluate screen facility performance. Using the latest PIT-tag technology, we propose to release tagged fish at the headworks of a screening site and monitor their successful passage with a detector installed in the fish bypass at the terminus of each structure. Using only PIT tags and a detector, we would be able to monitor the percentage of fish passed and total transit time through each screening facility. Flow conditions would not be altered and fish would not be handled after PIT-tagging. Other PIT-tag detection sites (Chandler Juvenile Facility and McNary Dam) can be used to help track outmigration and account for successfully bypassed fish.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

Key Findings (i.e., limiting factors) in the Yakima Subbasin Management Plan for the mid-elevation Yakima, low-elevation tributaries, and mid-elevation Naches are that inadequately screened diversions divert and kill fish (chapter 4, pages 53, 57, and 64). The biological objectives and strategies for these limiting factors are to continue with screening improvements and monitoring. This project is consistent with these biological objectives and strategies by ensuring screen facilities are operated and maintained in a way that provides safe and efficient passage of fish.

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

The second priority of the Tier 1 habitat limiting factors listed on page 11 of the Yakima Subbasin Management Plan Supplement is listed as Obstruction/Entrainment (passage), with "diversion dams and canal headworks" one of the cause of limitations. This project provides regular evaluation of screening facilities at the canal headworks, with immediate reporting to the responsible agencies of any problems found that would be harmful to fish.

Other comments