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200703400 - Columbia Cascade Pump Screen Correction

Sponsor: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)

Budgets: FY07: $316,666 | FY08: $300,416 | FY09: $309,428

Short description: This project proposes to start a voluntary compliance pump screen correction program in the Methow, Entiat, & Wenatchee River basins in order to reduce juvenile fish losses due to entrapment in water diversions as called for in the most recent FCRPS BiOp.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $308,000 | FY08: $308,000 | FY09: $308,000

Comment: Funding is conditioned upon favorable ISRP and Council review of a reponse to the ISRP concerns.

ISRP final recommendation: Response requested

Comment:

There is a clear need for this work, but the ISRP recommends a response on several specific issues (see list below). The ISRP’s primary concerns are that the proponents do not adequately explain the extent of the problem, and no monitoring and evaluation of effectiveness is proposed. 1. The background information is brief but to the point, and basically indicates that the extent of the problem related to salmonid mortality at pump withdrawal sites is not known. There are anecdotal accounts of fish being entrained during pump operation but a much more complete documentation of the severity of this problem would seem appropriate before funding an expensive program to upgrade screening at all pump locations. The proposal would be improved by a more detailed summary of the TAPPS pump screen inventory data for the Methow, Entiat, and Wenatchee, and Okanogan Basins and new screening criteria adopted by the CBFWA’s Fish Screen Oversight Committee. Only one reference (Everest and Chapman 1992) is cited. More detailed information on the extent of the problem is needed. 2. The need to evaluate the impact of pump diversions is clearly indicated in the subbasin plans for the Columbia Cascade Province. This evaluation should be completed before launching a screen upgrade program. The proposal includes a thorough listing of relevant plans, other entities in the Columbia Basin working on screening projects, and ongoing projects in the Columbia Cascade Province that are producing fish that could benefit from correcting pumps that are killing fish. Can the proponents provide comprehensive information on the pumps that are causing fish mortality, and the specific interactions between this project and others projects that would benefit? Collaboration with specific projects funded in the Fish and Wildlife Program and described in the subbasin plan inventory is not described. 3. The objectives related to the assessment of the pump screens in the province are appropriate and would be an important contribution. Without further justification, the objectives related to installing new screens are premature. How were the costs for repairing screens estimated without knowing which screens would be fixed? The ISRP suggests that the project should undertaken in a sequenced fashion, with the initial focus on understanding the severity of the problem with pumps, identifying those pump sites that have the greatest impact on listed fishes, and determining which irrigators would be willing to work on a cooperative project to correct the priority screens. 4. There is relatively little detail provided on the work elements. What are the assessment and correction protocols of the Voluntary Cooperative Compliance Program? How will the screen assessments be conducted? What criteria will be used to judge the severity of the entrainment problem at a given site? Are any studies to quantify the severity of the problem planned? If so, what is the design? 5. There is no specific monitoring for effectiveness proposed, although there is presumably basin monitoring that will be useful. Even though we assume that WDFW staff are familiar with screens, and know what works and what does not, the lack of M&E is a deficiency. There are demonstrated benefits from screening irrigation intakes to any species that could be entrained in a water intake, not just salmon. The benefits to the fish and the overall effectiveness of this project would be enhanced if those specific screens that are most problematic could be identified and addressed first. It is likely that benefits will persist over the long-term, but this could not be substantiated without periodic M&E. The proponent's response should include a specific plan for monitoring effectiveness. 6. The facilities appear to be appropriate, but what is the actual WDFW office where the program would be located? The proponents appear to be well qualified to conduct the outreach and construction parts of the project. A lead person will be hired and trained specifically for this project. Will this person have the scientific background to successfully design and implement a program for monitoring screen effectiveness? The data collected will reside in the WDFW TAPPS database, but what is the specific information sharing strategy with the other agencies and entities would benefit from this project? In summary, the ISRP suggests that the proposal could be restructured to focus on the assessment portions of the project. More detail should be provided on how the assessment will be conducted. Once the assessment is complete and the pump sites prioritized, a proposal for funding to correct the screens and evaluate the effectiveness of the screens could be submitted. The proponents need to demonstrate provisions for monitoring and evaluation of the proposed screening work, whether they or another division of WDFW or others are doing the evaluation.

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