Draft Imnaha Subbasin Summary November 30, 2001 Prepared for the Northwest Power Planning Council Subbasin Team Leader



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Draft
Imnaha

Subbasin Summary
November 30, 2001
Prepared for the Northwest Power Planning Council
Subbasin Team Leader

Don Bryson, Nez Perce Tribe


Writing Team Members

Craig Rabe, ecopacific

Anne Davidson, ecopacific

Darin Saul, ecopacific



Contributors

William Warren, Washington State University

Jamie Willey, Washington State University

Dora Rollins, Washington State University

Tim Tate, Washington State University

Bureau of Land Management

Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission

Lower Snake River Compensation Plan

National Marine Fisheries Service

Nez Perce Tribe

Oregon Department of Agriculture

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Oregon Natural Heritage Program

Oregon State University

Oregon Water Resources Department

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Umatilla National Forest, USFS

Wallowa Whitman National Forest, USFS

Wallowa Resources
DRAFT: This document has not yet been reviewed or approved by the Northwest Power Planning Council

Imnaha Subbasin Summary

Table of Contents



Introduction 1

Subbasin Description 3


Present Subbasin Management 105

Imnaha Subbasin Recommendations 161

References 184

Appendices 193


List of Figures




Figure 1. Location of Imnaha subbasin in the Blue Mountain Ecoprovince 2

Figure 2. Location and major features of the Imnaha subbasin 4

Figure 3. Geology of the Imnaha subbasin 5

Figure 4. Topography and elevation in the Imnaha subbasin. 7

Figure 5. Precipitation patterns in the Imnaha subbasin 9

Figure 6 Current vegetation cover in the Imnaha subbasin. 11

Figure 7. Average annual flows in the Imnaha subbasin (Imnaha gage #13292000) (USGS data) 15

Figure 8. Streamflow restoration priorities in the Imnaha subbasin (ODFW, 2001 22

Figure 9. 303d listed streams of the Imnaha subbasin. 25

Figure 10. Land ownership in the Imnaha subbasin 28

Figure 11. Land use patterns in the Imnaha subbasin 29

Figure 12 Areas in the Imnaha subbasin that are managed and/or protected using a conservation-based strategy 37

Figure 13. Summer steelhead redd counts in the lower six miles of Camp Creek for the run years 1965-2000 (Streamnet database) 40


Figure 14. Season-wide estimates for natural steelhead released from the Imnaha River trap to Lower Granite Dam, from 1995 to 1999. Error bars indicate the 95% confidence limit (modified from Cleary et al 2000 and Cleary et al. in prep.) 43

Figure 15. Season-wide estimates for hatchery steelhead released from the Imnaha River trap to Lower Granite Dam, from 1995 to 1999. Error bars indicate the 95% confidence limit (modified from Cleary et al 2000 and Cleary et al. in prep.) 43

Figure 16. Summer steelhead spawning and rearing areas in the Imnaha subbasin. Due to scale (1:100,000), not all streams containing steelhead are shown (Streamnet data). 46

Figure 17. Estimated annual steelhead harvest in the Imnaha subbasin for the run years 1956-1994 (Streamnet data 2001). 47

Figure 18. Spawning and rearing locations of Imnaha spring/summer chinook 50

Figure 19. Season-wide survival estimates for natural chinook salmon released from the Imnaha River trap to Lower Granite Dam, from 1993 to 1999. Error bars indicate 95% confidence limits. Asterisks indicate upper confidence levels greater than 100% (Modified from Cleary et al. 2000 and Cleary et al in prep). 54

Figure 20. Season-wide survival estimates for hatchery chinook salmon released from the Imnaha River trap to Lower Granite Dam, from 1993 to 1999. Error bars indicate 95% confidence limits (Modified from Cleary et al. 2000 and Cleary et al in prep). 54

Figure 21. Number of fall chinook salmon redds counted in the Imnaha River between the years 1964 – 1999 (from Garcia 2000; Mundy and Witty 1998). 57


Figure 22. Bull trout rearing, spawning and migration corridors in the Imnaha subbasin 60

Figure 23. Blue Grouse poulation trends (birds/10 miles) Wallowa County 1961-1999 (ODFW unpublished data) 65

List of Tables




Table 1. Mt. Howard SNOTEL averages: monthly precipitation and snow water equivalence (SWE) (downloaded April 19, 2001. http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/wcc.html). 8

Table 2. Vegetation cover types in the Imnaha subbasin 12

Table 3. USGS gaging summary, Imnaha River Basin, Oregon 14

Table 4. Average monthly flows in the Imnaha River at the town of Imnaha (1928-2000) 14

Table 5. Annual flood flow frequency summary for two gauges in the Imnaha subbasin. 14

Table 6. Summary of rights to divert McCully Creek waters into the Wallowa subbasin (Bliss 2001) 17

Table 7. Minimum instream water rights (cfs) at the confluence of Big Sheep Creek and the Imnaha River (reproduced from Wallowa County and NPT 1993) 20

Table 8. Imnaha River watershed 303(d) listings (ODEQ 1996) 23

Table 9. Grande Ronde standards, applicable to the Imnaha, used in 303(d) (OAR 340-041-0722) listings (Oregon Administrative Rules Composition 1998, pp 5-298 – 5-302) 24

Table 10. Seven-day moving maximum stream temperatures (F) recorded at USFS monitoring stations in the Big Sheep Creek subwatershed (from USDA Forest Service et al. 1998b) 26


Table 11. Protected areas in the Imnaha subbasin based on reviews conducted by the Northwest Power Planning Council, 1994 (http://www.streamnet.org). 35

Table 12. Areas in the Imnaha subbasin that are managed and/or protected using a conservation-based strategy 36

Table 13. Fish Species present in the Imnaha River Subbasin (Mundy and Witty 1998) 38

Table 14. Snorkeling observations conducted in Big Sheep Creek, Lick Creek, and the Imnaha River (1992-2000). 41

Table 15. Juvenile O. mykiss rearing density (Number/m2) estimates for Lightning, Big Sheep, Little Sheep creek, and Gumboot creeks in the Imnaha River subbasin, 1999 and 2000. ODFW and NPT unpublished data collected under LSRCP evaluation studies. 42

Table 16. Arrival timing of PIT tagged Imnaha River natural steelhead smolts at Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental, and McNary dams from 1993 to 1999. 44

Table 17. Arrival timing of PIT tagged Imnaha River hatchery steelhead smolts at Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental, and McNary dams from 1993 to 1999. 45

Table 18. Creel survey results for summer steelhead caught in the Imnaha River for the run years 1987-1998 (ODFW data presented in Carmichael et al. 1989a; 1989b; Carmichael et al. 1991; Flesher et al. 1992; Flesher et al. 1994a; 1994b; Flesher et al. 1995; 1996; 1997; 1999) 48

Table 19. Mean  coefficient of variation (and range) for spawners, recruit and recruit per spawner numbers in aggregate and index populations of wild spring and summer chinook in the Imnaha subbasin (1939-1990). Values for recruits per spawner represent geometric means and standard deviations (coefficient of variation is standard deviation divided by the mean and expressed as a percentage) (reproduced from Beamesderfer et al. 1997). 48


Table 20. Arrival timing of spring PIT tagged Imnaha River natural chinook salmon smolts at Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental, and McNary dams from 1993 to 1999 (Cleary et al. in prep). 52

Table 21. Arrival timing of PIT tagged Imnaha River hatchery chinook salmon smolts at Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental, and McNary dams from 1992 to 1999 (Cleary et al in prep). 53

Table 22. Sport harvest of Imnaha river chinook salmon between 1953 and 1997 (Beamesderfer et al. 1997). Table 22 reflects results from the PATH analysis. Data are from punch card records that were adjusted for non-response bias and for entries that showed harvest during times of the year when there was not an open season on the Imnaha 55

Table 23. Maximum and minimum fork lengths for in-season race identification of fall chinook salmon seined on the Snake River (Connor 1993). 57

Table 24. Estimated density of bull trout in selected streams in the Imnaha subbasin sampled in 1992 (ODFW data presented in Buchanan et al. 1997) 58

Table 25. State, federally listed, or candidate wildlife in the Imnaha subbasin (ODFW website 2000; ODFW 1997; USFWS 2001; USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region 2000; Wallowa-Whitman National Forest 1995; Marshal et al. 1997) 61

Table 26. Environmental baseline for habitat indicators in the lower1 Imnaha subbasin (reproduced from USDA Forest Service 1998a)2 70

Table 27. Environmental baseline for habitat indicators in the upper1 Imnaha subbasin (reproduced from USDA Forest Service 1998a)2 72


Table 28. Environmental baseline for habitat indicators in Big Sheep Creek1, Section 7 Watershed (reproduced from USDA Forest Service 1998b)2. 74

Table 29. In-basin factors limiting various life history stages of spring/summer chinook populations in the Imnaha subbasin (summarized from Ashe et al. 2000; Mobrand and Lestelle 1997; Mundy and Witty 1998) 85

Table 30. In-basin factors limiting various life history stages of summer steelhead populations in the Imnaha subbasin (from Huntington 1994; USDA Forest Service 1994; USDA Forest Service 1998a; USDA Forest Service 1998b) 86

Table 31. In-basin factors limiting various life history stages of bull trout populations in the Imnaha subbasin (from USDA Forest Service 1999; USDA Forest Service 2000a; Buchanan 1997; M. Hanson, personal communication, April 2001) 86

Table 32. Summary of stream miles where spring chinook use is constrained in the Imnaha subbasin (defined by NPPC and downloaded from Streamnet.org). Numbers in parenthesis represent the estimated total stream miles with habitat suitable for spawning, rearing, and/or migration by spring chinook. Numbers in corresponding “constraint” rows represent the estimated number of lineal stream miles affected 93

Table 33. Summary of stream miles where fall chinook use is constrained by various factors in the Imnaha subbasin (defined by NPPC and downloaded from Streamnet.org). Numbers in parenthesis represent the estimated total stream miles with habitat suitable for spawning, rearing, and/or migration by spring chinook. Numbers in corresponding “constraint” rows represent the estimated number of lineal stream miles affected 94


Table 34. Summary of stream miles where steelhead trout use is constrained in the Imnaha subbasin (defined by NPPC and downloaded from Streamnet.org). Numbers in parenthesis represent the estimated total stream miles with habitat suitable for spawning, rearing, and/or migration by steelhead trout. Numbers in corresponding “constraint” rows represent the estimated number of lineal stream miles affected 94

Table 35. Noxious weed species of Wallowa County, Oregon (University of Montana 2001) 96

Table 36. Thirteen road-associated factors with deleterious impacts on wildlife (Wisdom 2000) 97

Table 37. BPA-funded Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program activities within the Imnaha River subbasin (Bonneville Power Administration and Northwest Power Planning Council 1999) 101

Table 38. Non BPA-funded Fish and Wildlife Program activities within the Imnaha (from Ashe et al. 2000) 103

Table 39. BPA-funded Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program research, monitoring, and evaluation activities within the Imnaha River subbasin (Bonneville Power Administration and Northwest Power Planning Council 1999) 153

Table 40. BPA-funded Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program research, monitoring, and evaluation activities within the Imnaha River subbasin (Bonneville Power Administration and Northwest Power Planning Council 1999) 174

Table 41. Subbasin Summary FY - Funding Proposal Matrix 177




Imnaha Subbasin Summary




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