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199604200 - Restore and Enhance Anadromous Fish Populations and Habitat in Salmon Creek

Sponsor: Colville Confederated Tribes

Budgets: FY07: $371,425 | FY08: $474,922 | FY09: $1,961,653

Short description: This project is directed at reconnecting a productive tributary of the Okanogan River, Salmon Creek. This project involves a 12-year water lease with the Okanogan Irrigation District and construction of a low flow channel within the lower reach.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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

Comment: Tier 2. Fund at a level consistent with ISRP comments, as funds become available. Sponsors should fund the water leasing portion of the project through the water entity project.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

Reconnecting Salmon Creek to the Okanogan River is a worthwhile project that will benefit fish and wildlife. This is an excellent, well thought-out proposal. The proposal provides good information on habitat surveys and is well associated with the subbasin plan. Successful implementation will provide an estimated 11 miles of spawning habitat. This is likely to provide long-term benefits that will persist. The ISRP was somewhat critical of this restoration plan early on, because of the lack of water in the confluence area coupled with the obvious need to restore access for anadromous fish through the grossly damaged lower reaches of the river, which were clearly impassable to fish. This proposal, which springs from efforts undertaken since our first reviews, has considered those problems and addressed them in a logical and comprehensive manner. The previous ISRP review raised concerns about the potential benefit compared with the extensive restoration effort needed (and associated extremely high costs), which made this a not fundable proposal. (Insufficient benefit to fish.) In our previous review, the project sponsors estimated that about a potential of 280 steelhead and chinook could benefit from this project. This present proposal describes a reduced effort and addresses some of the concerns with availability of water in the stream and treatment of the alluvial deposit blocking passage at the mouth. This project might warrant a Three-Step review. We rate this Fundable (Qualified) because of the non-technical question whether the funding of one staff member would be sufficient to supervise this rather complex construction contract. The proposal states that no facilities and equipment are needed. Apparently, this arises from the fact that the construction work will be arranged by contract with experienced contractors. A more detailed description of the study design for the sponsors 10-year plan to monitor adult returns would improve the proposal. It is possible that M&E activities (e.g., weir construction) might affect non-focal species. The proposal would have been improved by discussion of potential problems. The proposal would also be improved by a better description of information transfer. The administrative form lists "electronic" transfer, but there is no discussion in the narrative. We found no discussion of long-term storage of data.

State/province recommendation:

Review group:

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

Comment: