Response for project 200206900: Protect & Restore Little Salmo

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

The Nez Perce Tribe Department of Fisheries Resource Management Watershed Division (Watershed Division) requests funding for this project in FY 2006 at $200,000.

Accomplishments since the last review

CoordinationCoordination with various entities throughout the watershed (i.e., USFS, BLM, Boise Cascade, and private landowners) is an on-going effort.
Manage and Administer Projects"Fish Passage Feasibily Study", as funded by the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF), has been managed and administered by a Project Manager. Activities include: planning, coordination, and budget management.
Produce PlanA "Fish Passage Feasibility Study" has been completed for Little Salmon Falls (2004). The plan includes design alternatives, feasibility, and cost estimates.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

Produce Environmental Compliance DocumentationAssist with the production of all environmental compliance documentation necessary for project implementation (e.g., Cultural Survey & Report, NEPA, ESA, USACE, and Idaho Dept. of Water Resources)
CoordinationCoordinate with USFS, BLM, Boise Cascade, private landowners, and all other interested parties. Hold public meetings.
CoordinationResearch and write grants for matching funds for fish passage projects as well as riparian and agricultural BMPs.
Provide Technical Review"Fish Passage Feasibility Study" will be reviewed by an internal technical review team and will be followed by recommendations and an Implemention Plan.
Produce PlanImplementation plan for establishing anadromous fish passage through Little Salmon Falls.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

The project is consistent with and implements: - Problem 12, Aquatic Objective 12A, strategies 1 and 2 (Mgmt. Plan pg. 53) - Problem 59, Objective 59A, strategies 1,2, and 4 (Mgmt. Plan pg. 96)

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

The Little Salmon Watershed is listed as one of the top 5 most impacted watersheds in the subbasin (Mgmt plan. pg. 157). The construction of Hwy 95 through the Little Salmon River corridor has created a structural barrier that precludes passage of anadromous fish from below the falls to above the falls. "The Salmon Fisheries Technical Team considered structural barriers and tributary connectivity to be among the most important and readily addressable factors currently limiting aquatic focal species in the Subbasin. The expected biological benefits to cost ratio likely would be favorable and biologic response would be immediate." (Mgmt. Plan pg. 162) The Management Plan (pg. 153) suggests that "...filling key data gaps will further improve the accuracy of the prioritization process." The completion of a Watershed Assessment will fill key data gaps in the Little Salmon Watershed and allow the Watershed Division as well as other agencies to identify and prioritize projects that will assist with the restoration and protection of aquatic and terrestrial species in the Little Salmon Watershed.

Other comments

Since originally proposed in 2001, this project has progressed through the use of PCSRF funds. Coordination has been an integral part of the project. Various meetings have been held, both with the public and with agencies that have interest in the Little Salmon Watershed. In 2004, a "Fish Passage Feasibility Study" was completed for Little Salmon Falls. The purpose of this study was to determine if re-establishing anadromous fish passage through or around Little Salmon Falls is feasible and if so, to develop structural designs to facilitate this task. Re-establishing passage around the Falls for Chinook salmon and steelhead was determined to be feasible, and thus design alternatives for facilitating passage were developed. All alternatives involve the use of existing side channels. The Feasibility Study provides 3 design alternatives for each of the 3 falls that together comprise Little Salmon Falls. The Watershed Division requests funding in FY 2006 ($200,000) for one FTE Project Coordinator and to complete a watershed assessment of the Little Salmon Watershed. During FY2006, the coordinator will be meeting and coordinating with various parties, selecting preferred design alternatives for the fish passage project, compiling necessary data for environmental compliance documentation (i.e., NEPA, ESA, USACE, SHPO, etc.), and searching for matching fund sources for implementation of the fish passage and other BMP projects in the watershed.