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200702000 - Manastash Instream Flow Enhancement

Sponsor: Kittitas County Conservation District

Budgets: FY07: $529,950 | FY08: $666,195 | FY09: $496,750

Short description: This proposal seeks to enhance instream flow by working with water users to implement irrigation conveyance and on farm water use efficiency projects, to trust water to the creek and investigate diversion timing to assist steelhead migration.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Capital

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Comment: On BPA's list of possible capital project. Need to determine capital elements. ISRP not fundable (qualified): habitat m&e programmatic issue. See decision memo discussion.

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $297,666 | FY08: $297,666 | FY09: $297,666

Comment: ISRP not fundable (qualified): programmatic habitat m&e issue, see decision memo discussion. Fund from the Water/land brokerage if possible. If it does get funded through the water/land brokerage, then funding should go to 200300100. Request restoration of expense funds through the within-year request process to implement projects. No capital component.

ISRP final recommendation: Not fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

The link with project 200300100 is made clearer in the response and the sequential nature of the two efforts (screening followed by flow enhancement) makes sense, but when this proposal and project 200300100 are considered together the ISRP maintains its concern that the projected benefits to the target fish species of the irrigation diversion screening and the experimental flow pulse are inadequately monitored. Therefore, this proposal is ranked Not Fundable because of its weak monitoring and evaluation section; however, the proposal does rate a "Qualified" because adding flow, removing barriers, and screening diversions are all actions that have the potential to be beneficial to fish populations. We encourage the project sponsors to re-submit the two proposals (next time combined) with a stronger biological monitoring component at the next solicitation. The response addressed some of the ISRP's questions and project sponsors have demonstrated a willingness to alter their proposal in a beneficial way. In particular, their willingness to approach the flow pulse as an experiment is worthwhile, although the revision provides no more specific details about how the experiment would be conducted than the original proposal (e.g., what would be the control situation?). Actual experimental design is left to future planning. Assurances that that the conserved water would be dedicated to increasing stream flow is a critical item that was not well described in the initial proposal but was made clear in the response. There was a good faith effort to estimate the surface flow savings for Manastash Creek, although admittedly the estimate was somewhat crude. It was helpful that the project sponsors stated all additional flow would be dedicated to the WDOE's water trust program. The response does describe water quality monitoring, but it does not address the ISRP's strong suggestion that steelhead use of the watershed be studied in order to help evaluate the pulse flow treatment. We believe this should be a critical part of the work and encourage the sponsors to work with other stakeholders to ensure that an effective steelhead monitoring program is formulated. Although we do not recommend the project for funding at this time, we believe it can be successfully accomplished as an adaptive management experiment with clear treatments and controls coupled with development of an adequate biological monitoring effort.

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