Response for project 199304000: Fifteenmile Creek Habitat Impr

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

The proposed budget of $225,200 is consistent with the council's recommendation, however, escalating personnel, overhead, and materials costs require the project to cut back the level of service in many areas including seasonal maintenance technicians, clerical support, and decreased frequency of field inspections. An additional $17,500 would be required to provide the level of support that was intended at the time this proposal was submitted.

Accomplishments since the last review

Maintained approximately 109 miles of riparian protection fence in good repair on a yearly basis. Inspected all previously installed in-channel habitat structures. Installed 9 off-channel livestock watering facilities eliminating high maintenance and environmentally destructive water gaps. Completed annual spawning ground surveys. Assisted operation of juvenile out-migrating fish trap. Collected and compiled water temperature data at 12 geographic locations throughout the basin. Provided technical support to agencies and landowners concerning habitat improvement/ protection with the basin.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

Inspect and maintain all 109 miles of riparian protection fencing with existing lease agreements. Inspect all in-channel habitat structures and provide and minor repair necessary. Install 2 off-channel livestock watering facilities to eliminate high maintenance actions. Complete annual spawning ground survey. Collect and analyze thermograph data at 12 locations throughout the basin. Continue assisting with the out-migrating juvenile fish trap. Continue outreach, education and technical assistance to agencies, landowners, and others.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

This project addresses the objectives of the sub-basin plan most specifically associated with riparian recovery. These actions are consistent with the plans prioritized framework by addressing the first two conditions needed to achieve the desired biological performance under the objectives for aquatic species (Section 5.2, pg. 11): "1. Development of a fully functional floodplains and riparian vegetation throughout the watershed. 2. Restoration of large woody debris to recreate presettlement habitat characteristics in approximately 40 miles of stream. 3. Restoration of summer flows throughout the watershed by about 50% of the presettlement condition. At the mouth, this would correspond to at least 7 cfs in August, with corresponding improvements in other months. Flow restoration would provide corresponding improvements in stream temperature." By installing and maintaining riparian exclusion fencing, off-channel water systems, and maintenance of suitable riparian vegetation, this project is directly addressing number Objective 1 from above. This project further supports objective 2 by providing future woody debris for natural recruitment into the floodplain, and by providing the necessary anchor structures to minimize movement of any new habitat work. The project is a natural step to achieving the desired condition described in objective 3, by increasing the floodplains ability to safely capture, store, and regulate runoff and moderate stream temperatures. This project provides a monitoring and evaluation component that addresses the needs identified in the sub-basin plan in Section 5.6, page 52. This project is limited in scope on this component, and should be expanded in out years to further comply with the management plans recommendations.

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

This project specifically addresses the highest priorities in the subbasin plan in accordance with section 5.3, "Prioritized Strategies-- Aquatic Species" (pg. 14), by targeting riparian/ floodplain restoration throughout the Fifteenmile Creek watershed for the purpose of restoring habitat for listed stocks of Mid-Columbia winter steelhead. This has been the primary focus since the inception of this project and remains the focus by providing proper maintenance of implemented components to maximize effectiveness and protect the investment to date.

Other comments