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200202501 - Yakima Tributary Access & Habitat Program

Sponsor: South Central Washington Resource Conservation and Development

Budgets: FY07: $1,008,500 | FY08: $1,054,300 | FY09: $1,105,000

Short description: The Yakima Tributary Access and Habitat Program intends to: a) screen diversion structures; b) provide for fish passage at man-made barriers; c) assist landowners improve stream habitat; and, d) coordinate the acquisition of riparian buffer easements.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Capital

Recommended budgets: FY07: $600,000 | FY08: $600,000 | FY09: $600,000

Comment: ISRP fundable (qualified): habitat m&e programmatic issue. See decision memo discussion. On BPA's list of possible capital project. Need to determine capital elements.

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $466,666 | FY08: $466,666 | FY09: $466,666

Comment: ISRP fundable (qualified): Programmatic Issue: habitat m&e. See decision memo discussion. On BPA's list of possible capital project. This is the expense portion of the project. See capital budget for capital components. Request restoration of expense funds through the within-year request process to implement projects.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)


This project is in its early years and has the potential to produce some valuable information to guide further projects. The sponsors provided a good summary of passage work. However, there was no effort made in the proposal to translate the structural changes being made in these tributaries into biological changes and the project proposal did not contain an adequate description of benefits to fish populations. The response was very thin in terms of realized or potential benefits to fish. The sponsors are referred to Marmorek et al (2004) (see below) for specific information and methods to assess effectiveness of screening in the Yakima River basin. Reporting of past results was diffused throughout the narrative. The sponsors concurred with the ISRP that M&E is needed and a newly created Monitoring Plan (submitted to BPA last year) was included in the response. In the response they state that in the near future empirical data will be available to show actual benefits to steelhead and other fish species. However, the commitment to monitoring for benefits to fish still appears tentative. Statements in the response such as, "As long as project sites provide a fish friendly environment, habitat improvements are maintained, and the structures are functioning as intended and meeting the needs of water users/landowners/operators, projects will be considered successful." Another statement, "It is generally assumed that removal of fish passage barriers and correctly designed fish passage structures leads to reestablished access for salmonids" indicates that the sponsors need to be encouraged to include biologically oriented monitoring in addition to engineering indicators of success. One part of the monitoring plan will focus on selected tributaries, which harks to an index stream approach rather than the highly regarded probabilistic approach. Guidance may be required to make sure the proponents use appropriate monitoring methods. Perhaps there is scope to use the Yakima Tributary Access and Habitat Program as a demonstration project to develop and use realistic and cost-effective monitoring protocols that could be used elsewhere in the Columbia River Basin. This Fundable recommendation is Qualified to indicate that a better monitoring protocol should be developed so project staff can report on fish results. In developing the monitoring design they should consider a probabilistic design, rather than an index stream approach. The ISRP will look for better reporting in the next review. This monitoring can be done through another agency/entity, but the sponsors should describe those efforts and report the results. Reference: Marmorek et al 2004. A Multiple Watershed Approach to Assessing the Effects of Habitat Restoration Actions on Anadromous and Resident Fish Populations. 420 p. (www.efw.bpa.gov/publications/H00012481-1.pdf).

Response loop edit

See the sponsor's revised proposal from the response loop. You'll be taken to CBFWA's proposal system in Section 10 where most sponsors uploaded revised narratives or other responses to the ISRP comments.

State/province recommendation: Washington

Review group: Washington list

Recommended budgets: FY07: (n/a) | FY08: (n/a) | FY09: (n/a)

Comment: See Washington guidance