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200716900 - Total Dissolved Gas Effects on Incubating Chum Salmon Below Bonneville Dam

Sponsor: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Budgets: FY07: $451,147 | FY08: $235,341 | FY09: $164,912

Short description: The project sponsors propose to evaluate the potential for toxic exposure of incubating chum salmon to elevated total dissolved gas (TDG) below Bonneville Dam by 1) monitoring TDG below Bonneville Dam and 2) conducting laboratory toxicity tests on chum salmon alevins.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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


ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)


The proposal is well written and meets the criteria set for ISRP review, so no response is requested. However, an issue is raised relative to the status of this proposal with the Corps of Engineers to avoid redundancy in funding by BPA. If the Corps funds the project then presumably the Fish and Wildlife Program would not be involved although cost-sharing with BPA is mentioned. Long-term storage of data should be discussed. Technical and scientific background: The proponents provide a thorough review of the scientific literature and clearly define the problem. Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: The proposed project is associated with the lower Columbia River subbasin plan and the 2004 BiOp and Action Agency Response. Relationships to other project: The proposed project is linked to a similar project funded by the Corps of Engineers in FY 2006, but FY 2007 plans are not clear. However, no proposal number is given, and little description is given of the project cited, so it is difficult to evaluate the relationship (page 6). The relationship between this proposal and the one submitted to the Corps needs explanation. The status of Corps funding in FY 2007, and proposed cost sharing between the BPA and the Corps should be clarified prior to approval for funding. In addition, the proposal states that it is directly related to BPA Project 199900301. Objectives: The two objectives are clearly explained. This section would have been improved if study objectives had been matched to subbasin objectives. Tasks (work elements) and methods: Methods on investigating TDG and its impact on chum embryos and fry are sound. This section would have been improved by a map showing the study area and proposed locations of installations of piezometers. The proposal expresses some interest in measuring the habitat of newly hatched fry. These fish are capable of burrowing to some depth in certain substrates. Thus measurements of dissolved gas at the level of the redd, may not apply to some of them. Monitoring and evaluation: Monitoring is adequate for the experimental studies proposed. Long term M&E is a possibility for spill events using methods developed in the project, assuming there is an interested agency to do the work. Facilities, equipment, and personnel: Facilities are adequate. The chief Principal Investigator is a recent graduate with a developing publication record but other team members are very experienced and productive researchers in the field of total dissolved gas studies. Information transfer: The proponents plan to publish results in a peer review journal. Work products are specified as reports for each of the Work Elements. However, we see no mention of disposition of the data obtained. Will it be made available on a long-term, readily available database? Benefit to focal and non-focal species: Results of the project are expected to have broad application to chum ecology and for spill-related questions in the Columbia River Basin. Increased knowledge of the hyporheic habitat are expected to benefit some non-focal organisms (e.g., invertebrates) in the Columbia River Basin. The proposal would be improved by a discussion of possible effects of the research on other non-focal species.

State/province recommendation: MS: Recommended Action

Review group: MSRT

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

Comment: This project has approved for funding by the USACE for FY 2006. The AFEP program is annually funded and out of sync with this funding process for FY 2007 and beyond. This project is directly related to spill operations at Bonneville Dam. This project is coordinated with Project number 199900301. This is a High Priority need in the 2004 FCRPS Biological Opinion UPA. The MSRT believes that if the USACE had the responsibility to fund the feasibility study, then it would likely be their responsibility to fund the follow on work. There is a similar proposal identified in the Corps FY07 AFEP research planning process.