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

Nez Perce Tribe Department of Fisheries Resources Management

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Nez Perce Tribe Department of Fisheries Resources Management

Goal 1. Restore anadromous fishes to the rivers and streams that support the historical, cultural and economic practices of the Nez Perce Tribe (CRITFC 1995).

Goal 2. Emphasize restoration strategies that rely on natural production and healthy river systems (CRITFC 1995).

Goal 3. Protect Tribal sovereignty and treaty rights (CRITFC 1995).

Goal 4. Reclaim the anadromous fish resource and the environment upon which it depends for future generations (CRITFC 1995).

Goal 5. Conserve, restore and recover native resident fish populations (NPT DFRM 2000).

Management Objectives

Objective 1. Restore and recover historically present fish species.

Objective 2. Provide for harvestable, self-sustaining populations of anadromous and resident fish species in their native habitat.

Objective 3. Manage salmon and steelhead for long-term population persistence.

Objective 4. Manage aquatic resources for healthy ecosystem function and rich species biodiversity.

Objective 5. Implement and enforce existing federal laws for protection of water quality, habitat and aquatic resources.

Objective 6. Protect and enhance treaty fishing rights and fishing opportunities.

Objective 7. Provide optimum tributary stream flows to meet life stage specific habitat requirements of resident and anadromous fish species and all other aquatic species.

Objective 8. Provide optimum mainstem river flows for anadromous fish passage and water spill at mainstem dams to maximize fish survival.

Objective 9. Integrate aquatic habitat and species management with terrestrial species management.

Objective 10. Maintain a natural smolt-to-adult survival rate of 2 to 6% for salmon and steelhead.

Objective 11. Meet federal fisheries mitigation responsibilities for LSRCP program.

Objective 12. Provide for Tribal hatchery production needs in federal and state managed facilities.

Objective 13. Address key limiting survival factors at mainstem hydroelectric facilities.

Objective 14. Coordinate with the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to fund and implement actions identified in the Biological Opinions, and to implement other emergency actions that address imminent risk to listed salmon, steelhead, and bull trout populations.

Objective 15. Develop conservation hatcheries for supplementation of ESA listed fish populations.

Management Strategies

Strategy 1. Implement natural river drawdown strategy, for recovery of anadromous fish stocks, with necessary investments in community infrastructure.

Strategy 2. Implement a no-net decline management criteria for anadromous fish stocks.

Strategy 3. Implement Northeast Oregon Hatchery production releases.

Strategy 4. Monitor steelhead in key tributary streams.

Strategy 5. Implement native steelhead broodstock development in conservation hatcheries.

Strategy 6. Implement effective monitoring and evaluation of supplementation and habitat enhancement programs on project-specific and reference stream (control) locations.

Strategy 7. Conduct necessary planning activities.

Strategy 8. Restore the natural production potential of anadromous and resident fish species.

Research Monitoring and Evaluation

Objective 1. Conduct Lower Snake River Compensation Plan (LSRCP) hatchery evaluations (NPT DFRM 2000, Hesse and Kucera 2000).

Strategy 1. Cooperatively conduct salmon spawning ground surveys.

Strategy 2. Monitor the density and selected life history characteristics of juvenile chinook salmon and steelhead in tributary streams of the Imnaha River.

Strategy 3. Determine the emigration timing of natural and hatchery reared chinook salmon smolts.

Strategy 4. Estimate the post-release survival of hatchery reared chinook salmon smolts in the Imnaha River.

Strategy 5. Determine and compare the emigration timing, travel time, and survival of natural and hatchery reared chinook salmon and steelhead smolts from the Imnaha River to Snake River and Columbia River dams.

Strategy 6. Determine the smolt-to-adult survival of natural chinook salmon.

Strategy 7. Determine adult steelhead abundance, spatial structure, and genetic diversity.

Strategy 8. Cooperatively conduct marking and mark efficiency evaluation studies of LSRCP hatchery production.

Strategy 9. Collect adult male chinook salmon and steelhead gametes from LSRCP hatcheries and from selected tributary streams for gene conservation efforts (cryopreservation).

Strategy 10. Provide effective communication and dissemination of project results.

Objective 2. Provide smolt-monitoring information to the Fish Passage Center (NPT DFRM 2000, NPT 1994, Kucera 1994).

Strategy 1. Determine the emigration timing of natural and hatchery steelhead smolts.

Strategy 2. Determine the emigration timing and travel time of previously PIT tagged hatchery steelhead smolts.

Strategy 3. Determine the emigration timing, travel time, and recovery rate of natural and hatchery steelhead from the Imnaha River to Snake River and Columbia River dams.

Strategy 4. Provide weekly smolt monitoring information to the Fish Passage Center for in-season shaping of the water budget and spill requests.

Strategy 5. Provide a final report summarizing results of smolt monitoring activities.

Objective 3. Preserve the genetic diversity of salmonid populations at high risk of extirpation through application of cryogenic techniques (NPT DFRM 2000; NPT 1997; Armstrong 2000).

Strategy 1. Coordinate salmonid gamete preservation with management agencies in the Snake River basin.

Strategy 2. Refine gene bank cryopreservation project goals for salmonid spawning aggregates at high risk of extirpation.

Strategy 3. Collect gametes from ESA-listed chinook salmon and steelhead for application of cryopreservation techniques and conduct genetic analysis of fish represented in the germplasm repository for salmonid conservation units at low levels of abundance and high risk of extirpation.

Strategy 4. Technology transfer through annual reports.

Strategy 5. Operation and maintenance of germplasm repository.

Objective 4. Develop a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan

including a summary of existing information on chinook and steelhead

population status, including base line genetic stock structure (NPT DFRM 2000).

Strategy 1. Synthesize existing data on chinook and steelhead adult abundance, spawning distribution and timing.

Strategy 2. Synthesize existing data on steelhead juvenile density, early-life history, and survival.

Strategy 3. Promote the genetic analysis of tissue samples collected from juvenile steelhead under the Lower Snake River Compensation Program. Assist with the acquiring of funding and assure comparable and transferable analysis methods are used.

Strategy 4. Summarize spawning distribution and timing, juvenile emigration and survival, juvenile(hatchery) releases, life history, ecological interactions, genetics, and fish health.

Strategy 5. Identify critical uncertainties regarding the condition stocks in the Snake River Basin and associated with supplementation of those stocks.

Strategy 6. Develop an annotated bibliography of steelhead supplementation research and management actions.

Strategy 7. Develop a monitoring and evaluation plan for collection of baseline data in appropriate subbasin tributaries.

Strategy 8. Evaluate the feasibility of conducting juvenile production monitoring, including the engineering design of trapping facilities to support year-round sampling.

Strategy 9. Develop a conservation biology assessment of adult escapement goals.

Artificial Production

Objective 1. Complete planning and development of spring chinook conservation facilities as proposed in the spring chinook master plan.

Strategy 1. Complete preliminary and final design of proposed facilities on the Imnaha River and modifications to Lookingglass Fish Hatchery.

Strategy 2. Complete NEPA analysis of proposed alternative for facilities on the Imnaha River.

Strategy 3. Construct proposed production facilities on the Imnaha River to implement the conservation hatchery program.

Strategy 4. Coordinate planning and development of NEOH facilities and programs with appropriate entities.

Objective 2. Develop a master plan for the development of a native broodstock for steelhead conservation and transition of steelhead production in the Imnaha subbasin from mitigation to conservation and restoration.

Strategy 1. Determine critical uncertainties regarding the condition of steelhead populations in the Imnaha River subbasin and develop a plan for collection of baseline data in appropriate subbasin tributaries.

Strategy 2. Collect and summarize existing information on population status.

Strategy 3. Conduct review of existing production facilities and the potential for modification to meet restoration program needs.

Strategy 4. Identify potential options for new supplementation programs and/or modification of existing LSRCP production programs to implement restoration program.

Strategy 5. Identify potential site locations for adult trapping facilities, incubation and rearing facilities, stream-side incubators, acclimation and release facilities.

Objective 3. Restore fall chinook salmon in the Imnaha River subbasin.

Strategy 1. Complete the comprehensive Snake River fall chinook recovery plan.

Strategy 2. Identify facilities necessary for implementation of the program



  1. Implement the Wallowa County/Nez Perce Tribe Salmon Habitat Recovery Plan and Multi-Species Strategy.

  2. Provide habitat for the restoration and enhancement of anadromous salmonids and other native fish species.

  3. Develop recommendations for management and utilization of water by agriculture and other industries.

  4. Conduct a public involvement program to address concerns of landowners, land managers and resource users.

  5. Provide recommendations for management of resources which will enhance the quality and quantity of stream flows.

  6. Recommend resource management and research activities.

  7. Assure that watershed restoration activities implemented in the Basin are adequately monitored and evaluated.

  8. Restore upland habitat and the native wildlife populations that depend on it.

Objective 1. Coordinate watershed restoration activities.

Strategy 1.1. Facilitate inter-agency coordination of program activities and projects.

Strategy 1.2. Coordinate planning, prioritization, design and implementation of restoration projects.

Strategy 1.3. Provide technical support for project planning, design and implementation.

Strategy 1.4. Maintain basin-wide restoration activity database.

Strategy 1.5. Prepare watershed assessments/updates and NEPA documentation.

Strategy 1.6. Conduct educational outreach.

Strategy 1.7. Coordinate project effectiveness and basin-wide water quality monitoring.

Objective 2. Improve in-stream habitat diversity for salmonid spawning and rearing.

Strategy 2.1. Add large wood component to mainstem streams and tributaries.

Strategy 2.2. Rock and log structure placements.

Strategy 2.3. Install grade control structures.

Strategy 2.4. Reconstruct channel meanders.

Strategy 2.5. Construct off-channel rearing habitat.

Strategy 2.6. Implement riparian tree planting
Objective 3. Enhance riparian condition (vegetation, function, etc.)

Strategy 3.1. Construct riparian livestock fencing

Strategy 3.2. Restore wet meadows

Strategy 3.3. Develop off-stream livestock water sources

Strategy 3.4. Close/obliterate draw-bottom roads where possible.

Strategy 3.5. Revegetate streambanks and riparian zones.

Objective 4. Reduce stream sedimentation.

Strategy 4.1. Revegetate streambanks.

Strategy 4.2. Construct rock barbs with embedded wood or use other structures as appropriate to the site (e.g., J-hooks, W-weirs).

Strategy 4.3. Use bio-engineering where hard structures are not appropriate or possible.

Strategy 4.4. Determine the source of the problem (e.g., land use, changed hydrograph) and correct if possible.

Objective 5. Increase late-season streamflows.

Strategy 5.1. Improve water conveyance efficiency in irrigation ditches.

Strategy 5.2. Improve water application efficiency on irrigated lands.

Strategy 5.3. Acquire in-stream water rights.

Strategy 5.4. Lease water rights.

Objective 6. Improve upland watershed condition and function.

Strategy 6.1. Treat and contain noxious weeds.

Strategy 6.2. Construct livestock pasture fencing.

Strategy 6.3. Manipulate tree density.

Strategy 6.4. Enhance vegetative cover (seeding).

Strategy 6.5. Reduce risk of catastrophic fire.

Strategy 6.6. Develop an assessment of upland habitat conditions and prioritize restoration actions.

Strategy 6.7. Develop a habitat type/cover type GIS overlay with condition factor.

Objective 7. Improve adult and juvenile salmonid fish passage.

Strategy 7.1. Prioritize replacement/modification of inadequate culverts based on an accepted culvert inventory methodology (e.g. U.S. Forest Service, Region 6).

Strategy 7.2. Replace/modify culverts based on the prioritization.

Strategy 7.3. Repair inadequate crossings (fords) by hardening the entrances and stream bottom or by replacing them with culverts or bridges as appropriate.

Strategy 7.4. Replace push-up gravel irrigation diversions.

Strategy 7.5. Modify impassable irrigation diversion structures.

Objective 8. Improve water quality.

Strategies: All tasks under Obj’s 3, 4, 5, 6.

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