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Umatilla Subbasin Habitat Areas and Quality - Fish



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Umatilla Subbasin Habitat Areas and Quality - Fish


Salmonid habitat in the Umatilla subbasin has been considerably reduced over the last century. Since the late 1800’s, habitat has been fragmented and degraded from increasing land use and disturbance (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 2000). Approximately 70% of the Umatilla River has been levied or channeled (observation, aerial photography, CTUIR habitat survey), effectively disconnecting major portions from the floodplain (Shaw and Sexton 2000). Similarly, it is estimated that 70% of all Umatilla tributaries are in need of riparian improvement (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1990).

Extensive vegetation removal and disturbance associated with urban development, cultivation, forestry, transportation corridors, flood control and navigation has occurred and continues to occur in the subbasin (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 2000). This results in an aquatic landscape which suffers from inadequate streamflows, excessive temperatures, structural impediments, inadequate riparian corridors, simplified and reduced instream habitat, and excessive erosion (e.g., CTUIR 1996; Crabtree 1996; Shaw and Sexton 2000; ODFW 1990). These factors have jeopardized stronghold habitats, reduced the number of adult spawners and have contributed to decreased smolt-to-adult returns in anadromous species. According to the Oregon Statewide Assessment for the Umatilla River Basin, “[t]he most commonly cited causes of beneficial use degradation were vegetation removal along streambanks, removal of thermal cover over streams, and surface erosion. The land uses most commonly cited in connection with these problems were irrigated and non-irrigated agriculture, grazing, and associated vegetation management within grazing and agriculture” (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality 1988; Purser, 1994).

In 1984, the CTUIR established riparian area restoration priorities, totaling more than 130 miles (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife 1990; Shaw 1996-1997). The following are priority streams for restoration


  • Meacham and lower North Fork Meacham Creeks

  • South Fork Umatilla River and Thomas Creek

  • Mainstem Umatilla River (Meacham Creek to North and South Forks of Umatilla River)

  • Squaw Creek

  • East Fork, West Fork and mainstem Birch Creek

  • Buckaroo Creek

  • Ryan Creek

  • Mainstem Umatilla River (Pendleton to Meacham Creek)

  • Spring Creek and Shimmiehorn Creek



Umatilla Subbasin Limiting Factors - Fish

The primary limiting factors to salmonid abundance and distribution were defined by the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority (Draft Annual Implementation Work plan 2000) as

  • Inter-related water quantity and quality problems (e.g., low flows/high temps. & pollutants) result in poor survival during juvenile rearing and migration in the lower Umatilla River.

  • Low flows and diversion barriers restrict adult migration

  • Riparian degradation and lack of pools reduces adult holding and juvenile rearing survival in the upper reaches of the Umatilla subbasin

  • Water quantity, quality, and sediment problems limit salmonid spawning and rearing.



Umatilla Subbasin Needs, Strategies, and Actions Incorporated into this Proposal

Needs, strategies, and actions for improving the population status of key fish species listed in the Umatilla/Willow Subbasin Summary and incorporated into this proposal include:




  • Need: Improve Stream Flows

Strategy 4. Protect, enhance and restore instream flows to improve passage conditions and increase rearing potential for anadromous and resident fishes in the Umatilla River Basin.

Action 4.8 Continue to refine knowledge of flow limited stream reaches and results of enhancement efforts to address remaining needs.



  • Need: Improve Stream Temperatures

Strategy 2. Protect, enhance or restore water quality to improve the survival, abundance and distribution of indigenous resident and anadromous fish.


Action 2.1 Reduce stream temperatures by restoring or enhancing riparian vegetation, floodplain function and increasing hyporehic and instream flows.
Action 2.5 Support timely updates and resource inventories related to local land use plans to prevent further development and degradation of floodplains, wetlands, riparian and other sensitive areas.
Action 2.6 Properly maintain, relocate, or eliminate forest, public, and private roads in riparian or other sensitive areas.
Action 2.8 Use existing cooperative or regulatory programs to reduce sediment delivery to stream channels from roads, agriculture, logging, and other land use activities.
Action 2.9 Monitor and evaluate efforts to improve water quality and utilize data to assist in management decisions.


  • Need: Improve Riparian Habitats and Instream Habitat Quality/Diversity

Strategy 3: Protect, enhance or restore instream and riparian habitat to improve the survival, abundance and distribution of indigenous resident and anadromous fish.

Action 3.1 Enforce Federal, Tribal, State and local land use regulations designed to protect fish habitats.

Action 3.2 In the short term, plant native vegetation, construct pools and place large woody debris in streams to provide adequate pools and cover for fish. Maintain operation and maintenance of projects already in place.

Action 3.3 Over the long term, implement improvements to stream geomorphic features (sinuosity, width/depth ratio, pool frequency, depth and dimension, entrenchment, etc.) that will result in benefits to fish habitat quantity and quality.

Action 3.4 Over the long term, restore riparian vegetation and adjacent valley bottom and upland vegetation to result in the natural long term recruitment of large woody debris into streams.

Action 3.5 Implement provisions of the Umatilla River Basin Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Water Quality Management Plan.

Action 3.6 Reduce sediment deposition in area streams by reducing erosion and sediment delivery to waterways.

Action 3.7 Improve watershed conditions to reduce human-induced increases of flood peak flows and duration to reduce instream substrate scour, deposition or movement.

Action 3.8 Improve floodplain function to improve stream channel stability, hyporehic flows and instream habitat diversity.

Action 3.9 Improve or eliminate stream fords and other substrate disturbances.

Action 3.10 Protect critical habitat to improve production and survival of indigenous fish. Continue to refine delineation of stronghold areas.

Action 3.11 Monitor and evaluate efforts to protect, enhance and restore instream and riparian habitats.



  • Need: Reduce Sediment Inputs

Apply Strategies 2 and 3 as listed above.


  • Need: Protect Stronghold Habitats

Strategy 3: Protect, enhance or restore instream and riparian habitat to improve the survival, abundance and distribution of indigenous resident and anadromous fish.


Action 3.10 Protect critical habitat to improve production and survival of indigenous fish. Continue to refine delineation of stronghold areas.

Umatilla Subbasin Objectives and Strategies – Wildlife

The following Objectives and Strategies, selected and incorporated directly from the Umatilla Subbasin Summary (Saul, et al 2000), provide the rationale for activities contained in this funding proposal. Riparian habitat enhancement objectives and grassland protection objectives are the focus of FY02 of this proposal, while other objectives are addressed in years three through six.




Habitat Objectives


Forest Habitats

  • Restore and maintain late seral ponderosa pine habitat

  • Maintain and restore habitat connectivity across forest landscapes
  • Increase heterogeneity in species composition and structural stage

  • Increase snag and down wood density

  • Restore fire as an ecological process


Strategies

  • Design vegetative management strategies consistent with historical succession and disturbance regimes


Grassland/Shrub Steppe Habitat
  • Protect and enhance remaining shrub steppe habitats


  • Minimize further degradation of shrub steppe habitat (e.g., reduce, eliminate or improve livestock grazing practices)

  • Maintain cryptogamic crusts where they occur, and seek ecologically appropriate sites for restoration to ensure proper functioning native plant communities.

  • Maintain sites dominated by native vegetation and initiate actions to prevent infestations of exotic vegetation


Riparian and Wetland Habitats

  • Protect and enhance riparian and wetland habitat.


Strategies

  • Institutionalize a policy of “no net loss” of riparian and wetland habitat (i.e., discourage loss and conversion of habitat, but when unavoidable, mitigate with equal or greater restoration efforts)

  • Initiate actions to increase high quality riparian and wetland habitat through restoration of degraded riparian habitat

  • Maintain all tracts of contiguous cottonwood gallery forest >50 acres, regardless of understory composition

  • Maintain multiple vegetation layers and all age classes (e.g., seedlings, saplings, mature, and decadent plants) in riparian woodlands

  • Initiate actions to increase size (width and length) and connectivity of existing riparian patches (i.e., reduce fragmentation) through restoration and acquisition efforts

  • Limit grazing intensity to maintain the integrity of native species composition and health


Habitat Needs
Forest

  1. Protect, maintain, and enhance late-seral dry forest habitats

  2. Maintain large patch size late-seral dry forest stands

  3. Restore and maintain snag and downed wood densities of a variety of species to meet nesting and foraging requirements of forest dwelling landbirds
  4. Move mid-elevation and foothill big game winter range habitat into protected status


  5. Protect, enhance, and restore aspen groves.

  6. Reduce road densities and associated impacts to watershed functions

Grasslands



  1. Enhance and restore native perennial grassland habitats

  2. Reduce non-native annual grasses in shrub-steppe and grassland habitat

  3. Pursue and implement effective biological controls on noxious weeds including yellow-star thistle and knapweeds

Riparian


  1. Control noxious weeds in specific high value habitat areas (e.g. reed canary grass in wetland and riparian communities)

  2. Restore riparian understory shrub communities

  3. Maintain and improve large structure riparian cottonwood galleries for Lewis’s woodpeckers



Wildlife Populations - Goals


  1. Achieve and sustain levels of species productivity to mitigate for wildlife and wildlife habitat losses caused by the development and operation of the hydropower system (NWPPC 1995).

  2. Maintain wildlife diversity by protecting and enhancing populations and habitats of native wildlife at self-sustaining levels throughout natural geographic ranges (Puchy and Marshal 1993).

  3. Restore and maintain self-sustaining populations of species extirpated from the state or regions within the state, consistent with habitat availability, public acceptance, and other uses of the lands and waters of the state (Puchy and Marshal 1993).

  4. Provide recreational, educational, aesthetic, scientific, economic and cultural benefits derived from Oregon’s diversity of wildlife (Puchy and Marshal 1993).
  5. Ensure long-term maintenance of healthy populations of native landbirds (Altman and Holmes 2000a, 2000b)


  6. Identify, establish standards, and implement management measures required for restoring threatened and endangered species, preventing sensitive species from having to be listed as threatened or endangered, and maintaining or enhancing other species requiring special attention (Puchy and Marshal 1993).



Wildlife Populations - Objectives


  1. Restore anadromous fish populations to support dependent wildlife and promote natural nutrient cycling

  2. Maintain, protect and enhance big game winter range

Proposed riparian and instream enhancement activities designed to address limiting factors described in the Technical Background section assist in meeting the objective or restoring anadromous fish populations. Outyear grassland enhancements and reductions in total and open road density meet the second objective of maintaining, protecting, and enhancing big game.


Mule Deer (Squaw Creek Watershed Mitigation Species)

Objectives

Maintain healthy populations of mule deer in the subbasin


Strategy

Move heavily used critical winter range to protected status, managed for optimum big game winter habitat



Mule deer are one of the mitigation species of the Squaw Creek Watershed project, and the species utilizes Squaw Creek year round, though use is highest in winter. During the course of ODFW/CTUIR co-operative big game herd composition surveys, as many as 90 mule deer have been counted during a single survey flight. The habitat protection activities, and out-year project activities including grassland enhancements and reducing total and open road density, benefit mule deer and assist in meeting the above objectives.
Elk

Objectives
  • Maintain healthy Rocky Mountain elk populations


  • Maintain, enhance, and restore elk habitat

  • Minimize conflicts between wintering wild ungulates and commercial agricultural activities.

  • Enhance consumptive and non-consumptive recreational uses of Oregon’s elk resource


Strategies

  • Ensure both adequate quantity and quality of forage to achieve elk population management objectives in each management unit

  • Ensure habitat conditions necessary to meet population management objectives on critical elk ranges

  • Maintain public rangeland in a condition that will allow elk populations to meet and sustain management objectives in each unit

  • Move heavily used critical winter range to protected status, managed for optimum big game winter habitat.

  • Increase forage quality and quantity in big game winter range.

Squaw Creek also provides critical big game winter range for Rocky Mountain elk. As many as 490 elk have been observed in the watershed during the course of herd composition surveys. Activities designed in part to benefit mule deer, are also expected to benefit elk. Beneficial activities include habitat protection, grassland enhancements, and reductions in total and open road density.

Project Rational and Significance to the 1994 Fish and Wildlife Program

In addition to addressing the goals, objectives, strategies, and needs identified in the Umatilla Subbasin Summary, the Squaw Creek Watershed Project contributes to the 1994 Fish and Wildlife Program goals and objectives of achieving and sustaining levels of habitat and species productivity as a means of fully mitigating wildlife losses caused by construction and operation of the federal and non-federal hydroelectric system (11.1). Northwest Power Planning Council program measures 7.6.A, 7.6B, 7.6C, 7.6D, 11.3A, and 11.3D are addressed by this project. More specifically, the project area addresses the following goals and principles listed in FWP Section 11.2D.1, which states, “In developing wildlife mitigation plans and projects, demonstrate to the extent to which the plans/projects comply with the following principles:”



  • Are the least-costly way to achieve the biological objective.

Perpetual protection of the habitat types (riparian/wetland, native grassland, and coniferous forest) provided by the Squaw Creek project has been accomplished primarily through fee title acquisition. In a study comparing various mitigation methods (i.e., fee title acquisition and easements), Prose et. al. (1986) concluded that “Fee title land acquisition and subsequent management is generally more cost-effective than easements.” Similarly, wildlife agency acquisition specialists have also consistently found fee title acquisition to purchase land for wildlife mitigation is usually more economical in the long-term compared with the purchase of easements (Oregon Trust Agreement Planning Project, BPA et al. 1993).


  • Have measurable objectives, such as the restoration of a given number of habitat units.

Management objectives for target wildlife mitigation species are based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Evaluation Procedures (USFWS, 1980). Habitat surveys are currently underway to assess baseline conditions. Under the CTUIR-BPA MOA, the CTUIR has identified an estimated baseline of 3,832 habitat units. An estimated 5,554 HU’s can be developed through habitat enhancements for a total project benefit of 9,386 habitat units.


  • Protect high quality native or other habitat or species of special concern, whether at the project site or not, including endangered, threatened, or sensitive species.

The project area provides suitable habitat for the species listed as ‘threatened,’ including the northern bald eagle and the bull trout, as well as proposed threatened summer steelhead. Squaw Creek provides critical summer steelhead spawning and rearing habitat in the Umatilla Basin. Approximately 25% of the summer steelhead production in the Umatilla Basin occurs in Squaw Creek.



  • Provide riparian or other habitat that can benefit both fish and wildlife.

The subbasin contains approximately 23 miles of anadromous and resident fish habitat and over 50 miles riverine habitat, providing dual benefits for fish and wildlife. The subbasin supports spring chinook and coho salmon, summer steelhead, and native redband and bull trout.


  • Where practical, mitigate losses in-place, in-kind.

The Squaw Creek Wildlife Area was prioritized and developed by the CTUIR because of the size of the project (watershed scale) and its ability to achieve dual benefits for both fish and wildlife. Although the project area is located offsite, it located within about 36 air miles of Lake Wallula on the Columbia River and provides in-kind grassland, riparian hardwood and shrub, and sand/gravel/cobble/mud cover types. Habitat units for five John Day and McNary target wildlife species are provided by the project.


  • Help protect or enhance natural ecosystems and species diversity over the long term.

By virtue of its size, the Squaw Creek project area lends itself to the protection and enhancement of biological diversity and ecological integrity in the Umatilla River basin. The property contains 4,898 acres of forested environments, which benefit target wildlife mitigation species such as the downy woodpecker, black-capped chickadee, mule deer and blue grouse. The area also supports a wide variety of wildlife including Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, black bear, cougar, numerous birds of prey, beaver, primary and secondary cavity excavators and various other forest ecosystem species. Approximately 8,042 acres of native grasslands provide suitable habitat for target species such as western meadowlark. In addition, 958 acres of riparian/floodplain cover types provide habitat for the yellow warbler, great blue heron, and mink. The inter-agency HEP team supported the incorporation of mule deer and blue grouse into the analysis in order to address native upland and forested environments of the watershed. Because of its size and location adjacent to National Forest System lands, the property will contribute to the protection and enhancement Blue Mountain ecosystems.

  • Complement the activities of the region’s state and federal wildlife agencies and Indian tribes.


The location of the Squaw Creek area and its management for resident and migratory wildlife and anadromous fish and water quality directly complements federal and state land manager efforts to manage and protect resources region. The property adjoins Umatilla National Forest system lands on the east and is located within the diminished boundary of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Its location therefore provides opportunities to complement resource management on lands administered by the USDA Forest Service and USDOI Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The BIA-administered Trust lands (Tribal trust lands, individual Tribal allotments, and grazing leases) within the project area were included in the 1998 Squaw Creek watershed proposal and will provide an estimated 4,335 enhancement credits for this project.

Habitat protection and enhancement of the property also meets CTUIR goals of protecting, restoring, and enhancing key wildlife habitat (CTUIR Wildlife Mitigation Plan for the John Day and McNary Dams, Columbia River Basin, 1997). Furthermore, it promotes other key Tribal goals and activities including: 1) increasing opportunities for tribal members to exercise treaty rights reserved in the Treaty of 1855; 2) developing and promoting Tribal co-management and cooperative agreements with other federal, state, and tribal agencies for the benefit of biological and cultural resources in the Columbia Basin; 3) promoting regional/landscape biological diversity; 4) maintaining consistency with the Power Council Fish and Wildlife Program; 5) assisting BPA in meeting their wildlife mitigation obligations in a cost-efficient manner; 6) minimizing expenditures on mitigation planning and maximizing on-the-ground mitigation, enhancement, and protection of wildlife habitats.


  • Encourage the formation of partnerships with other persons or entities, which would reduce project costs, increase benefits and/or eliminate duplicative activities.


Because of its location adjacent to the Umatilla National Forest and within the Umatilla Indian Reservation Boundary, Squaw Creek offers a variety of co-operative project opportunities with the Umatilla National Forest and Bureau of Indian Affairs. As is provides year round range for white-tailed deer and mule deer, and winter range for Rocky Mountain elk, co-operative project opportunities are also available with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Primary project opportunities include forage enhancement and range improvements such as spring developments.

Relation to Umatilla/Willow Subbasin Summary


This proposal addresses Subbasin goals, objectives, and needs as described in the “Technical Background” section.
Review Comments:
No comments.
Budget:


FY02

FY03

FY04

222,268

Category: High Priority



228,245

Category: High Priority



240,161

Category: High Priority




New Projects

Project: 25016 – Assessment of habitat improvement actions on water temperature, streamflow, physical habitat, & aquatic community health in the Birch Creek Watershed

Sponsor: USGS
Short Description:

This study will explore the reach- and watershed-scale impacts of stream-habitat improvement actions on water temperature, streamflow and the food web in the Birch Creek watershed of the Umabilla subbasin.


Abbreviated Abstract:

The work proposed here will quantify the impacts of stream-habitat improvement actions on water temperature, streamflow, physical habitat, and the food web in Birch Creek, a tributary to the Umatilla River in northeastern Oregon. We will collect data at both the stream-reach and watershed scales to (1) identify, evaluate, and quantify fundamental processes that govern water temperature, streamflow, physical habitat, and the food web, (2) measure how habitat restoration actions alter these processes, and (3) assess the impact on target fish species of changes in these processes. Information gained through this work will be useful for comparing and contrasting the effectiveness of different habitat-improvement actions and optimizing future restoration work and monitoring strategies throughout the Columbia Basin.


Relationship to Other Projects:

Project #

Title/description

Nature of relationship

198710001

Umatilla Subbasin Fish Habitat Enhancement Project

The proposed study will measure the impact of habitat restoration actions

Relationship to Existing Goals, Objectives and Strategies:

The work proposed here is designed to rigorously monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of habitat-restoration activities at both the reach and watershed scales in the Birch Creek Basin. Results of this work will provide important information for optimizing future habitat-restoration work and associated monitoring strategies in many watersheds throughout the Columbia Basin. For example, the results of this work will be helpful for other restoration work such as that in the Trout Creek Basin, Oregon, where the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODF&W), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers , and Jefferson County are developing long-term restoration plans. Other such projects are being funded throughout the Columbia Plateau Province as part of the BPA’s Fish and Wildlife Program. The methods developed in this study will be applicable throughout many areas in the Columbia Plateau Province.

Review Comments:

No comments.


Budget:

FY02

FY03

FY04

403,000

Category: Recommended Action



386,000

Category: Recommended

Action


454,000

Category: Recommended

Action




Project: 25029 – Westland-Ramos Fish Passage and Habitat Restoration Pilot Project
Sponsor: WID
Short Description:

Improve the upstream passsage for anadromous fisheries resources (migration, spawning and rearing), and enhace bedload transport function, by notching two diversion dams within a 1.25-mile river reach of the lower Umatilla River.


Abbreviated Abstract:

This project is a cost share with Westland Irrigation District and local landowners.


Problems

  1. Upstream migration of summer steelhead is delayed at the Feed Dam near river mile 28 on the Umatilla River near Echo, Oregon. Current facility design is the primary problem for migrating adult salmonids (Contor et al., 1997). Late returning steelhead, spring chinook, fall chinook, and coho salmon are impacted. Timing for these fish is critical; migration delay and repeated attempts to negotiate the structure may promote pre-spawn mortality, impact distances migrated, and influence selection of spawning sites.


  2. Bedload movement is impaired at the Feed and Westland Dams, and through the 1-mile intermediate channel. Maintenance activities are required to remove sediment accumulations at the fishway entrances in the forebays of the dams, and may pose an incidental take of listed and non-listed salmonids resulting from mechanical injury or temporarily degraded water quality. Bedload accumulations between the dams degrades fish habitat due to channel shifting, reduced complexity, high width-to-depth ratio, bank instability, and loss of riparian cover.

Objectives


  1. Enhance fish passage by notching the Feed dam. In-stream grade control structures would be used to stabilize the notch, and ensure retention of diversion capacity. Structures would be set at bed elevation to eliminate obstacles to passage.

  2. Minimize bedload removal operations that may pose incidental take of listed and non-listed salmonid species. Notching of both dams is necessary to route bedload past the Westland fishway structure.

The following generally outlines work components and timeframes to meet project objectives:

  1. Consider and select preferred alternative (August 1998-April 1999);

  2. Engineering feasibility of preferred alternative; develop preliminary monitoring and evaluation plan (June 1999-January 2000);

  3. Sub-basin stakeholder consensus; landowner solicitation for conservation corridor (August-December 2000);

  4. Final design and permitting (October 2001-June 2003);

  5. Implementation (July-September 2003);
  6. Develop, implement final monitoring/evaluation plan for physical and biological performances (October 2001-ongoing)


  7. Adaptive modifications/O&M (October 2003-ongoing).


Relationship to Other Projects:

Project #

Title/description

Nature of relationship

199000501

Umatilla Basin Natural Production M&E: Evaluate natural production of salmon & steelhead resulting from the Fisheries Restoration Program. Evaluate the implementation of the Umatilla Hatchery Master Plan for adult salmon & steelhead passage, etc.

Inventories & assessments (e.g. Contor et al 1997, Contor et al. 1996, and Contor et al. 1995) support the necessity to improve passage and habitat conditions in the river reaches affected by the Westland/Feed Canal diversion dams.

198710001

Umatilla Habitat Improvement/CTUIR: Conduct watershed planning & education. Identify problems & develop solutions. Implement & maintain anadromous habitat enhancement for Meacham Cr., etc.

Westland-Ramos project supports upriver habitat treatments since it complements the process of reconnecting fragmented sub-basin habitats, and improves the survival & productivity of upriver stocks using the reach as a migratory & rearing corridor.

198710002

Umatilla Habitat Improvement/ODFW: Improve habitat access, and the quantity & quality of spawning and rearing habitats for steelhead in the Umatilla Basin Streams …

Westland-Ramos project supports upriver habitat treatments since it complements the process of reconnecting fragmented sub-basin habitats, and improves the survival & productivity of upriver stocks using the reach as a migratory & rearing corridor.


8710400

Umatilla Passage Improvements- Westland Diversion: Construct new fish ladder, fish screens, and fish bypass & trapping facilities at Westland I.D diversion dam.

The project would provide a dam notching supplement that would complement the existing upstream passage facility by minimizing bedload aggradations at the entrance/exit points. It would preserve trap haul facilities & operations at Westland' Diversion.

8710402

Improvements at Westland Diversion: Work at Westland diversion dam to improve fish passage.

The project preserves and enhances BPA Project #8710402 investments by relieving chronic bedload issue that impair operations at the fishway entrance/exits and diversion headgates.

8343600

Umatilla Passage O &M: Operate and maintain passage facilities at five irrigation diversion sites- Three Mile Dam. Westland ladder and canal screens, Feed Canal ladder and screens.

The project would reduce annual costs of BPA Project #8343600 since it will reduce costs relative to removal of gravel/materials aggradations that impair operations of the diversion headgate and fishway entrance/exit at Feed and Westland Diversions.

8802200


Umatilla River Basin Trap & Haul Program: Provide low-water fish passage in lower Umatilla R. by trapping & hauling fish and hauling to river sections with adequate water.

The project does not negatively impact BPA Project #8802200, but complements passage objectives in the Lower Umatilla in the Westland-Feed Canal reach.

8401000

Umatilla Basin Salmon & Steelhead Restoration Plan: Develop a comprehensive plan for rehabilitation of anadromous stocks, both wild and hatchery raised, in the Umatilla Basin.

The project would complement Project #8401000 objectives by significantly improving fish passage and restoring both spawning and rearing habitat.

Relationship to Existing Goals, Objectives and Strategies:

The Westland/Ramos Project and its objectives are consistent and compatible with the vision, objectives, and strategies of the NWPPC Fish & Wildlife Program (2000) as outlined below in Table 1. Likewise, project objectives are also generally consistent and compatible with the performance standards and objectives of the NMFS Biological Opinion (2000) as outlined below in Table 2. Relative to the Umatilla Sub-Basin Summary (2001), the project’s objectives address specific strategies and associated actions for meeting sub-basin goals and objectives (Table 3).

Contor et al. (1997) concluded that the Feed Canal Dam is the only significant barrier to upstream migrating salmonid fishes, particularly adult summer steelhead and spring chinook, in the Umatilla river reach from above Three Mile Dam to above Stanfield Dam (RM 4 to RM 32.4) under adequate flow conditions. In the absence of removing this impediment to migration, delays in migration and injury will continue to occur at the expense of listed and non-listed salmonid species. Figures H-1, H-3, and H-5 (Contor et al., 1997) (H-1 Link, H-3 Link, H-5 Link) compare the upstream passage times for summer steelhead and spring chinook at the Westland, Feed, and Stanfield Dams, and illustrate the significant delay in adult passage at the Feed Dam. Table 4 (below) provides recommended actions for various fish passage barriers in mainstem and tributary reaches of the Umatilla Sub-basin below McKay. One of these recommended actions is the removal or modification of the Feed Canal Dam. “It is paramount, that appropriate strategies for revision at Feed Canal Dam are begun. If not, upstream migrants will continue to be severely delayed with some migrants completely unable to negotiate the structure.” (Contor et al., 1997). Thus, notching of the dams is an action compatible with the aforementioned recommendation.

Bed load constantly accumulates at the irrigation head gates (HID and WID) and fishway entrances in the forebays of the Feed and Westland Dams. In-water maintenance activities, using heavy equipment, are periodically required to remove these bed load accumulations (gravel, sand, and silt). These activities may pose an incidental take of listed and non-listed salmonid fishes resulting from mechanical injury and/or temporally degraded water quality during low water conditions.

The notching the Feed Canal and Westland Dams will significantly reduce the potential for the incidental take of listed and non-listed salmonids by removing an upstream migration impediment and reducing the frequency of in-water activities to remove bed load accumulations. The dam notching action for the Feed Canal and Westland diversion structures addresses and is related to:



  1. Action 5.2 of Strategy 5 of the Sub-Basin Summary – “Modify or remove culverts, bridges, grade controls and water diversion structures as necessary to improve fish passage.” Table 4 provides recommended actions for various fish passage barriers in mainstem and tributary reaches of the Umatilla Sub-basin below McKay




  1. An Objective Related To Listed Fish Habitat Needs & Tributary Efforts in Section 9.0 of the NMFS Biological Opinion- “Passage and diversion improvements that address in-stream obstructions and diversions that interfere with/or harm listed species.”




  1. An Overarching Objective in the NWPPC Fish and Wildlife Program (2000)- “Recovery of fish & wildlife under ESA.”

Also, dam notching is an action that will provide a proportional improvement in the base survival rate of listed Umatilla summer steelhead, which is consistent with the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative of the 2000 FCRPS Biological Opinion.



Table 1. Project Objectives Relative to Addressing the Vision, Objectives, and Strategies Described in the NWPPC Fish and Wildlife Program (2000)




Project Objective 1

Improve Fish Passage


Project Objective 2

Restore Channel Habitat

Project Objective 3


Restore Riparian Habitat


Vision-Related

  • Restore natural ecological functions, habitats, and biological diversity

YES

YES

YES

Over-Arching Objectives

  • Sustain an abundant, productive, and diverse community of fish & wildlife

  • Mitigate across the basin for adverse effects to fish & wildlife

  • Sufficient populations of fish & wildlife for abundant opportunities tribal trust and treaty and non-treaty harvest

  • Recovery of fish & wildlife under ESA

YES

YES

YES

Basin-Level Biological Objectives

Anadromous Fishes

  • Halt declining trends in salmon & steelhead populations above Bonneville Dam by 2005

  • Restore the widest possible set of healthy naturally reproducing population of salmon & steelhead by 2012

  • Increase total adult salmon & steelhead runs above Bonneville by 2025

YES

YES

YES







Project Objective 1

Improve Fish Passage

Project Objective 2


Restore Channel Habitat


Project Objective 3

Restore Riparian Habitat

Basin-Level Biological Objectives

Resident Fishes

  • Maintain and restore healthy ecosystems and watersheds, which preserve links among ecosystem elements

  • Protect and expand habitat & ecosystem functions to increase abundance, productivity, and life history diversity

YES

YES

YES

Primary Habitat Strategy

Identify the current condition & biological potential of the habitat, and then protect or restore it to the extent described in biological objectives.



  • Build from strength

  • Restore ecosystems, not just for single species

YES

YES

YES

Primary Monitory & Evaluation Strategy

Monitor, evaluate, and apply results, and make information readily available.



YES

YES

YES

Table 2. Compatibility and Consistency of Project Objectives Relative to Performance Standards and Actions Related to Tributary Habitat as Described in Section 9.0, Reasonable & Prudent Alternative, of the NMFS Biological Opinion (2000)




Project Objective 1
Improve Fish Passage

Project Objective 2

Restore Channel Habitat

Project Objective 3

Restore Riparian Habitat

Biological Performance Standards

  • Evaluate status of stock relevant to life-stage specific performances

  • Evaluate how effectively actions produce expected biological responses per actions

  • Include a robust and comprehensive M& E effort

YES

YES

YES

Physical Performance Standards

  • Supplement and serve as surrogates for biological performances

  • Use key habitat attributes to evaluate performances of strategies & associated actions, relevant to riparian conditions, bank integrity, maintenance of channel complexity, habitat access.

YES

YES

YES

Objectives Related To Listed Fish Habitat Needs & Tributary Efforts1

  • Water quality- Compliance with standards for spawning & rearing areas and migratory corridors

  • Passage and diversion improvements- Address in-stream obstructions and diversions that interfere with/or harm listed species

  • Watershed health- Manage both riparian and upland habitat, consistent with needs of the species
  • Mainstem Habitat (e.g. Lower Umatilla River)- Improve mainstem habitat on an experimental basis and evaluate results

YES

YES

YES



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