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200737400 - Investigating Juvenile Salmonid Mortality Associated with Lock Flushing

Sponsor: bluefish.org

Budgets: FY07: $10,000 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Short description: To date, it appears that no one has considered mortality of juvenile salmonid through the FCRPS via lock passage. This proposal seeks to address this gap in our understanding of juvenile salmonid mortality through a lockage.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Not fundable

Comment:

This is an inadequate proposal. The objectives and tasks proposed are completely unrelated to the background and rationale sections. It appears that two proposals got mixed. No explanation or itemization of the budget of $10k and its relationship to the proposed work is provided. The background section discusses different perspectives on the problem of Snake River juvenile salmon mortality and the question of improving survival. It provides extensive excerpts from the COE report "Lower Snake River Juvenile Salmon Migration Feasibility" to demonstrate that although dam breaching is identified by the Corps as a less preferable alternative to major system improvements, it may become a more realistic alternative if adaptive migration efforts are not successful. Table 6-11 is mystifying in both its relevance and its units of measurement. The proposal would perform an economic analysis to estimate the revenue effects of decommissioning Lower Snake River dams. A brief description of the contribution of the Lower Snake River dams to the Pacific Northwest power supply is presented. The rationale section describes various court findings that identify the potential of future dam breaching. It also includes extensive excerpts from the Salmon Subbasin Plan, including the vision and strategies designed to achieve objectives related to terrestrial species and habitats. These include reference to the Snake River dams but don't appear to have direct relevance to the work proposed here. It also cites the Army Corps of Engineers’ Lower Snake River feasibility report in which the relative effectiveness and economic effects of dam breaching and alternatives are mentioned, presumably to make the case that dam breaching is a realistic option deserving analysis. This proposal and accompanying proposals from the same sponsor relate to the 2000 BiOp RPA 147 "plans to mitigate disproportionate impacts on communities, industries." The proposal makes the point that analysis of some of the alternatives won't be done by the public agencies until it is shown (through a failed check-in) that current alternatives aren't working. The proposal is to analyze alternatives before the failed check-in, in order to be better equipped to address valid concerns of communities and industries and make planning more feasible. It discusses the politically charged discussion over alternatives. It is unclear what Table 6-14 "summary resource comparisons" is intended to communicate. The objective is to close a data gap in understanding of juvenile salmonid mortality during lock flushes. This objective is unrelated to the earlier stated purpose of projecting revenue effects of dam breaching. Work elements describe an experiment using a sensor fish in inadequate detail. The experiment would be performed by PNNL. No monitoring or evaluation is described.

State/province recommendation: MS: Do Not Fund

Review group: MSRT

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

Comment: Although this proposal poses an interesting question, it does not provide enough detail to evaluate nor does funding appear adequate to complete the study. Evaluation of juvenile salmonid survival through the locks is not called for in any guidance documents. A more complete proposal should be developed for the AFEP process.