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200718700 - Use of Mainstem Habitats by Juvenile Pacific Lamprey (Lampetra tridentata)

Sponsor: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Budgets: FY07: $144,910 | FY08: $166,255 | FY09: $100,033

Short description: Characterize the use of mainstem Columbia and lower Snake river habitats by juvenile Pacific lamprey and identify river reaches with high potential for restoration or expanded use.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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


ISRP final recommendation: Fundable


Short-term hydropower operations may have discernable effects on abundance and reproduction of mainstem spawning lamprey, as it does with fall Chinook salmon. This project will provide much needed information on juvenile lamprey use of Columbia and Snake River mainstem habitats that could be used to identify the areas with highest potential for restoration of mainstem lamprey populations, and reduce risks from stranding of juveniles from hydropower operations. The objectives are clear and measurable. The approach is innovative and has been used successfully by the sponsors to identify potential fall Chinook mainstem habitat. This proposal received a fundable recommendation from the ISRP during the last review cycle. The ISRP continues to believe that this work will be an important component of lamprey recovery within the Columbia Basin. Technical and scientific background: The proposal clearly explains the need for a study of habitat utilization by lamprey in the mainstem Columbia and Snake. This study would be the first of its kind to characterize mainstem lamprey habitat. The sponsors propose to identify options for restoration of mainstem habitat and to reduce risk of stranding due to changes in water surface elevation. The narrative refers to Wydoski and Whitney (1979). This publication was updated in 2003 and includes many lamprey references that appeared after the first edition was published (Wydoski and Whitney 2003. Inland Fishes of Washington. American Fisheries Society and University of Washington Press.) Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: Lamprey restoration is identified as a priority in several subbasin plans. Relationships to other projects: The proposal complements other ongoing studies that primarily address use of tributary habitat. The proposal also addresses critical uncertainties identified by the Columbia Basin Pacific Lamprey technical work group. The sponsors say they will employ approaches and performance measures similar to other lamprey projects to ensure consistency among projects. This is a new project, so active collaboration with other projects has not yet been undertaken. Objectives: Objectives are clearly defined and outcomes are measurable. A reasonable timeline is specified. The Hanford Reach will be the focus of the first years work because a great deal is known about its habitat characteristics. In the following years the work will shift to the tailraces of three dams. Tasks (work elements) and methods: For the most part the methods are adequately explained. The sponsors should give some thought to the following questions: 1. Has it been demonstrated that boat electroshocking is an effective means for sampling juvenile lamprey? 2. The sponsors state that the product of objectives 1 and 2 will be a description of all rearing areas and relative abundance of lamprey in the entire reach. How will the data from selected sampling sites within a reach be extrapolated to the entire reach, or is this product to be generated by the landscape modeling? 3. The sponsors state that a habitat model will be developed for each reach. They need to provide more detail about the model. Is it a statistical model, a GIS-based model? Monitoring and evaluation: The project results will allow for determination of success or failure, and will be applicable to other lamprey projects. Facilities, equipment, and personnel: The Pacific Northwest National Lab is a well-known research facility and the personnel are highly qualified for this work. Information transfer: The proposal promises quarterly and annual reports, but there is no mention of long-term storage of data or meta-data. The sponsors have a good record of peer-reviewed publication. There is every reason to expect they will publish the results of this work. Benefit to fish and wildlife: The project should provide long-term benefits for lamprey populations. The sponsors propose to identify options for restoration of lamprey in mainstem areas. The sponsors are aware that electroshocking could be deleterious to juvenile salmon using shallow water habitats. Their highly trained technical staff should minimize danger to non-focal species. The work could lead to improvements in mainstem habitat that could benefit non-focal vertebrate and invertebrate species.

State/province recommendation: MS: Recommended Action

Review group: MSRT

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

Comment: This proposal would address critical uncertainties identified by the LTWG. This is a High Priority issue that is being addresses by several proposals. These proposals should be reviewed as a group to determine the priorities for this funding cycle.