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200713700 - Open Channels

Sponsor: Friends of the Teton River

Budgets: FY07: $150,000 | FY08: $150,000 | FY09: $0

Short description: Open Channels has 3 elements: 1. Removing fish barriers to improve connectivity of tributary headwaters to the River. 2. Improving flow conditions in tributaries during critical YCT reproduction. 3. Stream bank restoration, improved habitat & less sediment.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $150,000 | FY08: $150,000 | FY09: $0

Comment: Address ISRP concerns during contracting.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable in part

Comment:

The response provides a more complete justification for the original request, including details of appropriate collaboration with Idaho Fish and Game and an irrigation company, among partners. More monitoring has been explained, including that to be done by Idaho Fish and Game. The sponsors have addressed questions about expected fish benefits, the quantity of streamflow (cfs) needed to restore connectivity, and available resources. The portion of the proposal to develop/negotiate water right transactions is fundable. It is clearly described, preceded by strong preliminary study, and has a very high potential for benefiting native salmonids. Flow restoration in tributaries and removal of barriers to fish migration are justified. The ISRP recognizes the difficulties involved in formalizing water transfers in this area at this time, but encourages the sponsors to keep this future possibility in mind (see Columbia Basin Water Transaction Program criteria). It is not clear that streambank and habitat restoration as presently planned will be the most effective strategy to benefit Yellowstone cutthroat trout after flow restoration. Two-thirds of the cost of the work proposed is for restoring a section of the bank of Trail Creek. Unfortunately the "hard" approach proposed (rock "stabilization" and structure placement) is expensive and subject to failure. In addition, details were lacking and neither the proposal nor response provides enough material for thorough review of this project component at this time. Sponsors are strongly encouraged to fully explore softer bioengineering and passive restoration techniques. Habitat restoration design can be funded at this point, but not implementation. Monitoring results of the current Trail Creek restoration work described in the response will be useful in developing plans for the segment currently proposed.

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: Fundable

Review group: Snake

Recommended budgets: FY07: $150,000 | FY08: $150,000 | FY09: $0

Comment: No change to proposed budget