BPA began funding salmonid monitoring and evaluation projects in the Umatilla subbasin in 1980, with many projects completed by the mid-1990s (Table 56). Additional fish and wildlife monitoring and evaluation projects have also been completed using non-BPA funding sources (Table 57). An oversight committee (Umatilla Management, Monitoring and Evaluation Oversight Committee; UMMEOC) composed of key management personnel and research project leaders carefully coordinates fisheries monitoring and evaluation activities in the subbasin. The committee ensures that projects are coordinated and address the most important monitoring needs. Furthermore, a formal Annual Operation Plan (AOP) is developed each year to further coordinate monitoring and evaluation activities with hatchery, passage and other projects. Initial monitoring and evaluation efforts examined salmonid abundance, age, growth, life history characteristics, and distribution. Evaluations also addressed instream and riparian habitat conditions, salmonid flow needs, water temperature, and the effectiveness of new adult ladders and juvenile by-pass screens. Monitoring activities also examined steelhead genetics, artificial production issues, and smolt to adult survival rates
Monitoring natural and artificial production of salmonids has been streamlined, but remains important for management and restoration in the Umatilla subbasin. Long-term monitoring includes enumeration of adult returns at Three Mile Dam, harvest monitoring, redd surveys, stream and riparian habitat surveys, artificial production evaluations, fish health monitoring, smolt migration survival and timing estimates, and annual index site sampling for long-term trend data on species composition and parr densities (Table 56). Some monitoring is conducted annually, such as redd surveys and water temperature monitoring, but other factors are evaluated less often, such as the assessment of instream and riparian habitat, and population genetic characteristics.
Wildlife surveys and inventories (e.g., big game aerial surveys) are coordinated and conducted regularly within the Umatilla Subbasin by ODFW and CTUIR. Population monitoring addresses species responses to enhancement projects and provides important information for harvest and other wildlife management activities. Wildlife mitigation projects are habitat based and use the USFWS’s Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) for evaluating their success. Treatment specific monitoring techniques are also employed to evaluate treatment methods.
Table 59. BPA-funded Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program research, monitoring, and evaluation activities (Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority 1999; Bonneville Power Administration and Northwest Power Planning Council 1999; Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission 2001)
Completed Monitoring and Evaluation Projects
Identify the genetic composition of endemic steelhead
Compile a data base for a coordinated approach to restoring and enhancing anadromous fish
Evaluate survival of acclimated and unacclimated coho salmon, chinook salmon and summer steelhead tagged and released into the Umatilla River
Monitor and evaluate adult salmon and steelhead passage at five irrigation dams in the middle and lower Umatilla River. Conduct instream and riparian habitat surveys on the mainstem and major tributaries in the Umatilla Basin
Study hardwood riparian recovery in N.E. OR
Assess adult salmon and steelhead passage at the Umatilla River mouth
Develop restoration and monitoring plan for Pacific lamprey
Analyze the potential effects of a the new Westland diversion ladder on Umatilla River subbasin streamflow
Ongoing Monitoring and Evaluation Projects
Standardize fish health monitoring programs with Columbia River anadromous hatcheries
Monitor and evaluate the natural production of adult salmon and steelhead including spawning, rearing, juvenile migration and adult returns. Monitor water temperatures in coordination with other projects.
Monitor in hatchery growth and production and smolt to adult survival of general hatchery production groups. Evaluate experimental rearing and release strategies used during the artificial propagation of salmon and steelhead.
Initiate the restoration and monitoring plans for Pacific lamprey in the Umatilla Subbasin.
Pre and post habitat enhancement project monitoring
Identify problems and develop solutions to land use issues impacting fisheries habitat