Response for project 198710001: Umatilla Anad Fish Hab - Ctuir

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

Project intends to request same amount of funding to complete work started with 2005 budget year funding, i.e., passage barrier and riparian improvements in the Birch Creek watershed and instream/riparian improvements in the Meacham Creek watershed. The former involves three diversion dams and one box culvert where two of the dams are to be removed, one dam is to be used as the initial pier for a full-channel concrete fish lader, and the box culvert is to be baffled with placement of rock vanes downstream to create jump pools. Meacham Creek work includes: (1) placement of large wood debris to improve channel complexity, (2) breaching of existing dikes that prevent floodplain sinuosity, (3) remediation of physical barriers for salmonid migration, and (4)planting of riparian vegetation for bank stability and increased canopy. In addition, CTUIR will continue to: (1) pursue consumation of new easements with private landowners adjacent to the Umatilla River and the priority tributaries, e.g., Meacham Creek, Birch Creek, and McKay Creek,(2) join with other entities in protecting headwater areas of major tributaries (via perimeter fencing), e.g., McKay Creek and East Fork Birch Creek, (3)apply for grants to supplement BPA funding for habitat improvement project implementation, and (4) practice maintenance such as fence repair and weed control on existing and new easements. The proposed budget is identical to the budgets for FY 2002 through 2005. Freezing the budgets does not allow for increases in the cost of living and other wage increases, rising utility and fuel and other materials costs, and associated administrative costs let alone project costs that were unforseen in 2002. We have absorbed these cost increases for the last 4 years. It will become more difficult if not impossible to implement the project properly without concurrent funding increases. To cover these additional costs, CTUIR requests that the project budget be increased by 10% from $350,000 to $385,000. This project represents a long-term core component of the F&W Program and proposed '06 increases represent a ramp up towards increased '07 costs that the NPCC must recognize as necessary to maintain past investments in this "base program".

Accomplishments since the last review

BPA Environmental ComplianceA NEPA checklist will be prepared that addresses those work elements in the project SOW that could impact fish, wildlife, and historic resources.
Produce Environmental Compliance DocumentationA Biogical Assessment will be prepared for instream/riparian improvements for Meacham Creek along with submittal of applications or approvals to/from USCE/CTUIR Dept. of Water Resources, NOAA/USF&WS consultation, historical preservation surveys.
# of people reached in each of 3 classes (T/S/G): Teachers, Students, General public10 teachers300 students10 public
Produce Inventory or AssessmentUmatilla River and major tributary properties will be surveyed to determine need and feasibility of easement acquisition
CoordinationS&WCD, UBWC, USFS, USBR, USCE, Umatilla County Dept. of Public Works, NOAA, USF&WS, ODF&W
Manage and Administer ProjectsManagement will continue for project prioritizations, problem identification, easement identification/negotiation, budgeting/reporting, easement maintenance, and project implementation
Provide Technical ReviewReview/comment on plans/proposals forwarded by USCE, USBR, USFS, NRCS, and Umatilla Basin Watershed Council
Produce PlanManagement plans prepared for 5 easment properties
Produce Design and/or SpecificationsEngineering design will be completed for alternative irrigation diversion for the Broun property and concrete fish ladder for the Hoeft property
Produce Annual ReportAnnual report will be prepared summarizing project findings and accomplishments.
Produce Status ReportQuarterly reports will be prepared that provide project status, accomplishments, and problems.
# of stream miles treated (0.01 mi.)2 miles
# of structures installed6 large woody debris sites; 2 passage barrier improvement sites
Start and end lat/long of treated reach (0.1")118 degrees 21 minutes; 45 degrees 30 minutes to 45 degrees 45 minutes
# of miles of fence (0.01 mi.)15 miles
# of acres of vegetation planted (0.1 ac.)5 acres
# of riparian miles treated (0.01 mi.; count each bank separately)0.5 miles
# of acres treated (0.1 ac)300 acres
# of acres treated (0.1 ac)500 acres (headwaters fencing)
Enhance Floodplain200 acres
Quantity of water protected by screening, as determined by what is stated in the water right or calculated based on flow rate (0.1 acre-feet/year)0.5 cfs = 1 AF/day (Broun property)
Is the screen New or a Replacement? (N/R)new
Does the screen meet NOAA/FSOC specs? (Y/N)yes
Flow rate at the screen diversion allowed by the water right. (0.1 cfs)0.5 cfs
# of miles of habitat accessed (0.1 mi.)50 miles
If installing a ladder, does the ladder meet NOAA specifications for attraction flow, pool dimensions, jump height, etc? (Y/N)Y
Does the structure remove or replace a fish passage barrier? (Y/N)Y
# of miles of habitat accessed (0.1 mi.)40
Was barrier Full or Partial? (F/P)P
Conduct Pre-Acquisition ActivitiesAn estimated three private landowners will be contacted to negotiate for easements for stream channel/riparian protection
Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab DataCalibrate and install some 25 thermisters for water and air temperature recording, six Isco suspended sediment/turbidity samplers, and six aquatic macroinvertebrate sampling stations in relation to project sites.

Seven new easments consumated Stream channel improvement in Spring Hollow Creek Culvert replacement in Sears Creek Design obtained for stream channel improvement in Mission Cr. Five miles of new fencing installed Two miles of streambank vegetation planted Twenty miles of fencing maintained Weed control on 200 acres Engineering design contracted and/or obtained for four passage impromement sites Two Biological Assessments and two NEPA checklists prepared/submitted for instream projects Planted willows on about two miles of Wildhorse Creek streambanks

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

1. Identify priority habitat problem properties and consumate easements with landowners for habitat improvements. 2. Implement instream/riparian habitat improvements on new easements including: (a) fish pasage improvements in the Birch Creek watershed,(b)instream/riparian improvements in upper McKay Creek watershed, and (c)passage/riparian improvements in Meacham Creek watershed. 3. Coordinate and collaborate with other entities in planning and implementing instream, riparian, and flood plain improvements. 4. Obtain habitat improvement grants from such entities as Dept. of Agriculture NRCS, NOAA, USF&WS, and Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

Project conforms with the following sections of the Umatilla/Willow Subbasin Plan: 1. Section 5.3.2 Aquatic Objectives and Strategies - Qualitative management objectives 3, 4, & 5. Flow and Passage objective 12. Fisheries objective 13. Collaboration & Communication objectives 14, 15, & 16. 2. Section 5.4.2 Wildlife Objectives and Strategies: Biological Objective 2 - Strategies 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Biological Objective 3 - Strategies 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. 3. Section 5.5 Consistency with CWA and ESA Requirements. 4. Section 5.6 Research Monitoring and Evaluation: Tier 3 monitoring and Reach Scale Sampling carried out

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

Project goals focus on improvements for the Meacham and Birch Creek tributaries to the Umatilla River. The Subbasin Plan identifies Meacham Creek as the top priority tributary to the Umatilla River for the threatened species of summer steelhead, spring chinook salmon, coho salmon, and bull trout as well as an important tributary for fall chinook salmon. The Subbasin Plan estimates that Birch Creek supports 20 percent of the summer steelhead population in the Umatilla watershed and supports a substantive resident redband trout population. Project goals reinforce the Subbasin Plans recommendations for increased cooperation and collaboration among environmental protection entities.

Other comments

Riparian improvments will be coordinated with the Dept. of Agriculture's CREP program to the extent practicable. Technical guidance in riparian planting species, densities, and location will be done jointly with NRCS staff in consultation with private landowners.