< Back to list of FY 2007-2009 projects

200722900 - Development of protocols and priorities for re-establishing naturally reproducing populations of Upper Willamette River Chinook Salmon above US Army Corps of Engineers dams in the Willamette Subbasin

Sponsor: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW)

Budgets: FY07: $364,001 | FY08: $522,125 | FY09: $509,700

Short description: Project will develop strategies for re-establishing self sustaining populations of Willamette Spring Chinook above 10 dams in the Willamette Subbasin. Major objectives include quantifying habitat potential and increasing survival and genetic diversity.

view full proposal

Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $364,001

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable

Comment:

This project will address one of the most significant problems limiting the viability of listed upper Willamette River spring Chinook and steelhead populations by developing strategies for re-establishing self sustaining populations of Willamette Spring Chinook above ten dams in the Willamette Subbasin. Major objectives include quantifying habitat potential and increasing survival and genetic diversity. The benefits should be quite significant and persist for the long-term. The proposal provides an excellent background clearly identifying one of the major problems limiting the productivity of Upper Willamette spring Chinook and winter steelhead: the development of ten COE hydroelectric dams that have blocked these listed species from access to quality spawning and rearing habitat. In addition, the temperature regimes and flow patterns below these dams have reduced habitat quality and further reduced the productivity of these stocks. Given their low persistence scores it is unlikely that the Upper Willamette Spring Chinook ESU could be viable without significant improvements to population spatial structure. The results of this blocked access are well described in the proposal, with references to reports of the Technical Recovery Team and the Willamette Subbasin Plan. The scientific literature is also well referenced. The background concludes with a logical approach for addressing these problems. The proposal provides a clear rationale in the utility and potential for their reconnecting historical habitats. The project will also address the question of dam and reservoir survival, which is related to determining habitat access and the productive potential of habitat. Dam blockage of habitat access is a priority issue of the Willamette Subbasin Plan, and this proposal is very closely tied to the Plan’s objectives. The proposal is extremely thorough in documenting relationships to ongoing projects and programs. Data sharing and coordination among projects is well described. Objectives are clearly defined and linked to the goal of having self-sustaining natural production of ESA-listed Chinook above US Army Corps of Engineers’ dams in the Willamette River Basin. The seven objectives are specific, measurable, and logically related to the problem statement and to the subbasin plan. Work elements are listed as tasks under each objective. Tasks are specifically worded but are not described in detail beyond a task statement. The proposal would be improved by including methods in more detail specifying how tasks will be accomplished. M&E is very well described within the task descriptions for most work elements. Information transfer is included in several tasks through the sequential preparation of reports (Tasks 1.4, 3.4, 5.4) and the intent to have coordinated review of the rationale of research tasks (Task 2.2.1). Objective 7 provides a detailed step-by-step plan to utilize and disseminate information generated by this project including: quarterly reports, annual reports, work group presentations, technical presentations to peer groups, and peer reviewed journal papers.

State/province recommendation: Fundable, but on a delayed basis

Review group: OSPIT - Estuary

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $364,001

Comment: OSPIT would recommend elevating this project to help with recovery planning and implementation of the recovery plan over and above the other recommended action projects. Given strong NOAA and ODFW support, OSPIT would recommend funding the proposed first year of this project in FY09, to fit within the available subbasin budget.