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Mindy Simmons US Army Corps of Engineers Dorie Welch, Daniel Spear Bonneville Power Administration Stephanie Burchfield NOAA Fisheries Chris Allen US Fish.

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Presentation on theme: "Mindy Simmons US Army Corps of Engineers Dorie Welch, Daniel Spear Bonneville Power Administration Stephanie Burchfield NOAA Fisheries Chris Allen US Fish."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mindy Simmons US Army Corps of Engineers Dorie Welch, Daniel Spear Bonneville Power Administration Stephanie Burchfield NOAA Fisheries Chris Allen US Fish and Wildlife Service Willamette Project Biological Opinions Presentation to the NW Power Council December 2008 PORTLAND DISTRICT

2 42 miles of bank protection/revetments Downstream habitat effects Operation of 13 multi-purpose dams and reservoirs The Willamette Project Hatchery Mitigation Program

3 –Area: 11,476 mi 2 –Rain-driven hydrology –Population ~2.5M –Most populated sub-basin in Columbia River Basin Willamette Basin


5 1890 Willamette Flood Oregon State Archives, Marion Co Historical Society, MJON0209 1943 Willamette Flood Oregon State Archives, Oregon Water Resources Department, OWR0085

6 Lookout Point Dam 1950 Middle Fork Willamette River Oregon State Archives, Oregon Water Resources Department, OWR0072 Detroit Dam 1952 North Santiam River Oregon State Archives, Oregon Water Resources Department, OWR0041 Willamette Project Dam Construction

7 Detroit Blue River Cougar Hills Creek Lookout Point Foster Fall Creek Dexter Big Cliff Green Peter 13 Multi-purpose Dams and Reservoirs Willamette Project:

8 13 Multi-Purpose Dams and Reservoirs Located in tributaries, not on mainstem Willamette River Most are large, high-head dams

9 Authorized Purposes Flood Damage ReductionFlood Damage Reduction Hydropower Navigation Irrigation Fish & Wildlife Recreation Water Quality Municipal & Industrial PORTLAND DISTRICT

10 Willamette Project Hydropower Overview Eight projects with generation Projects produce 182.8 aMW Annual market value of $90 million Three projects with 300 MWs of capacity- scheduled for heavy load hours Total of 400 MWs of capacity for all projects Projects can deliver additional energy in a shortage Projects are close to major west side load centers

11 Willamette Basin Project System Benefits Hydropower –more than $90 million annually Flood Damage Reduction –$18.6 billion to date –$920 million annual average damage reduction Navigation –Flows support water quality Irrigation –minor use but supports high value crops PORTLAND DISTRICT Corvallis 1996

12 Total = 1.6 Million Acre-feet PORTLAND DISTRICT 1.2 MAF total

13 Willamette Basin Dams Operated primarily for flood damage reduction (storage) most are high-head located in tributaries Mainstem Columbia Dams Operated primarily for hydropower, run-of-river; in series on mainstem DIFFERENT EFFECTS ON FISH

14 Willamette Project Biological Opinions Completed July 11, 2008 after 8 years of consultation Proposed Action Includes: –Continued operation of 13-dam complex –Continued maintenance of 42 miles of revetments –Operation of hatchery program View the Supplemental BA at: _plan_ ba.asp View the NMFS Biological Opinion at: BO.cfm View the USFWS Biological Opinion at:

15 Willamette ESA Consultation Action Agencies U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Owns and operates projects Congressional appropriations Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Markets power from the 8 power projects Funds power share of USACE budgets U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) Markets stored water through irrigation contracts PORTLAND DISTRICT

16 Upper Willamette River Spring Chinook salmon Upper Willamette River winter steelhead Anadromous Fish in the Upper Willamette Basin (NMFS BiOp) JEOPARDY

17 UWR Chinook Salmon Population Status High extinction risk Moderate extinction risk

18 Chinook Spawning habitat loss due to no passage at dams High extinction risk Moderate extinction risk All Chinook populations affected by Corps dams are populations important for long-term recovery

19 Listed Resident Fish in the Willamette Basin Oregon chub Columbia River bull trout NO JEOPARDY USFWS Opinion includes NMFS’ RPA in Proposed Action

20 Oregon Chub Current Distribution (35 Populations)

21 Columbia River Willamette River Clackamas R. (last observed 1963 – reintroduction being considered) North Santiam R. (last observed 1945) McKenzie R. (approx. 300 adults) Middle Fork Willamette R. (15 to 20 adults) rehabilitation program underway since 1998 Willamette Basin Bull Trout Distribution Current Probable Historic South Santiam R. (last observed 1953)

22 Summary of Biological Opinions Describe Effects on Fish Highlight Major Actions from Opinions Short term (FY08-15)Long term (FY16-23) Actions/ Construction Evaluations/ Config Op Plan Actions/ Construction IMPLEMENTATION 15-year Implementation timeframe

23 Downstream Effects: Altered Seasonal Flow Pattern Spring Reservoir Refill (Feb-May) –Inflow > outflow –Lower than natural spring flow –PROBLEM: reduced flows affect winter steelhead outmigration and adult spring Chinook migration; steelhead spawning/incubation flows Summer Flow Augmentation (May-Aug) –Outflow > inflow –Higher than natural summer flow –Water quality benefits, rearing habitat

24 PROBLEM: Providing adequate water downstream of dams for all life stages SpawningEgg IncubationRedd and eggs out of water

25 Flow Management Actions Operational changes implemented in 2000 Minimum mainstem flows Tributary flows –Spawning –Incubation –Rearing Process for adjusting targets based on water forecasts Coordination and in-season management team Down-Ramping rates (avoid sudden decreases in flow)

26 Downstream Effects: Altered Geomorphic Processes Winter Flood Damage Reduction (Dec/Jan/Feb) –Capture peaks of flood events, slow release –Decreases magnitude of floods PROBLEM: Fewer channel-forming flows + loss of floodplain connectivity + Loss of large wood and gravel from reservoirs

27 PROBLEM: Downstream Loss of Channel Complexity and Floodplain Connectivity Chinook/Steelhead: –Loss of winter rearing habitat; reduced spawning gravel –Loss of floodplain refugia Oregon Chub: –Loss of population connectivity –Loss of habitat Willamette River Planning Atlas (PNW Ecosystem Research Consortium)

28 Habitat Restoration Program On-site actions for Oregon Chub, other species Action Agencies will develop an off-site habitat restoration program Recovery Plans, Willamette Subbasin Plan, and other habitat assessments will be synthesized to guide restoration work Collaborative Habitat Team representing state, tribes, and federal agencies will recommend projects and assist in the prioritization of actions Action agencies will work with other habitat programs in the Willamette to identify opportunities and leverage funding where possible Complete 2 habitat projects per year starting in 2010

29 Warm Cold Dam Too cold Downstream Effects: Temperature PROBLEM: Water is too cold during the summer SUMMER Adult salmon stop migrating to spawning grounds

30 Reservoir drawn down for flood operations Cold Dam Too warm PROBLEM: Water is too warm during the fall and winter FALL/WINTER Salmon eggs in gravel die or hatch too early Downstream Effects: Temperature

31 Dam Correct temp Warm Cold Correct temperature MIX “surface spill” SOLUTION: Temperature Control Operation Downstream Effects: Temperature Detroit Dam 2007 – 8 Detroit Dam 2009?

32 New Intake Tower Dam Correct temp Warm Cold SOLUTION: Temperature Control Structure Correct temperature Downstream Effects: Temperature Cougar Dam 2005 Detroit Dam 2018?

33 Biological Opinion Actions Operate Temperature Control tower at Cougar Dam (ongoing since 2005) Operational Temperature control at Detroit in 2009 (based on 2007 and 2008 operations) Permanent temperature control at Detroit by 2018

34 Willamette Project Hatchery Mitigation Program

35 Mitigation for lost production caused by blocked access to habitat upstream of dams Current program produces: Spring Chinook salmon (part of ESU; integrated) Summer steelhead (non-native, segregated program) Catchable trout NO winter steelhead program (winter steelhead are ESA- listed)

36 Willamette Basin Hatchery Facilities 5 major hatcheries constructed by USACE operated by ODFW Funded by USACE and ODFW

37 Downstream Effects: Summer Steelhead Hatchery Program Non-native Skamania stock summer steelhead –Popular sport fishery Evaluate site-specific effects on ESA-listed winter steelhead Modify program in collaboration with ODFW

38 Downstream Effects: Spring Chinook Hatchery Program Use hatchery fish to evaluate reintroduction of Chinook salmon back into their historic habitat above the impassable dams (e.g., NS, SS, McK, MFW) Implement new HGMPs for integrated programs –supported by Hatchery Scientific Review Group –Increase percentage of natural-origin fish in brood Minimize risks on stronghold wild populations (McKenzie) –Manage hatchery-origin spawners

39 Action: Leaburg Fish Sorter McKenzie Chinook is a stronghold wild population Leaburg Dam is located on the McKenzie River and owned and operated by Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) Action Agencies will construct a sorting facility at the dam to prevent hatchery fish from straying above the dam and into wild fish sanctuary above Leaburg Action Agencies will work with EWEB, ODFW and NOAA to design, construct and operate the fish sorter BPA lead for funding design and construction (USACE and ODFW fund operation and maintenance) Complete by 2014

40 How do the Action Agencies move forward? Can we JUST improve habitat downstream of projects? Flows and operations Improve temperatures Habitat improvement and floodplain restoration Hatchery improvements Altered downstream habitat ESA Sec 7 Consultations Recovery Planning Dams blocked access to historical spawning habitat

41 Quality adult holding habitat adequate quantities of spawning gravel most is managed by USFS or BLM Do we ALSO need access to habitat upstream of dams? Considerations:

42 PROBLEM: Inadequate or nonexistent upstream passage facilities Upstream passage currently provided only at Foster and Fall Creek dams (trap-and-haul) Fish ladders are likely infeasible –High-head dams –Variable forebay fluctuations Existing hatchery facilities designed for broodstock collection

43 SOLUTION: Use Willamette Basin Hatchery Fish Facilities as “trap-and-haul” for adult fish Adult Collection DEXTER DAM Adult Sorting; load on to truck for transport SOLUTION: Use hatchery spring Chinook to evaluate potential for reintroduction in upstream habitat

44 Upstream Fish Passage Actions Continue adult “outplanting” program Construct Trap at Cougar Dam (McK):2009 Improve or replace adult fish traps: Minto (N. Santiam): 2012 Foster (S. Santiam): 2013 Dexter (Middle Fk Willamette): 2014 Fall Creek: 2015 Develop 4 to 6 adult release sites above reservoirs by 2012 Outplanting adult spring Chinook also provides prey base for bull trout Cougar Fish Trap Plans

45 PROBLEM: Downstream Passage is Challenging Regulating Outlets (“spill”) Power Turbines Spill gates (rarely used) Long reservoirs Predators Deep intakes to passage routes (very little surface spill)

46 Cougar Dam and Reservoir South Fork McKenzie River Photo Courtesy of Portland District USACE Powerhouse Regulating Outlet

47 Photograph of the instruments located in the RO channel Regulating Outlet Willamette Project “spill”


49 Measures to improve passage through reservoirs and dams until permanent facilities are built –Fall Creek drawdown for Chinook outmigration –Test other measures: reservoir drawdown, pulsing flows, spill, other outlets –Implement feasible alternatives (“simple” by 2009; more “complex” by 2011) Head-of-Reservoir juvenile collection prototype –Evaluate feasibility – complete by end of 2010 –Construct prototype by 2014 –Biological and physical evaluations 2015 & 2016 –If effective, include in design alternatives for downstream passage at other Project dams Evaluate fish passage survival, injury, delay, timing and distribution at 8 Project dams and reservoirs, 2008 - 2015 Biological Opinion Actions: Step-wise Approach to Downstream Passage

50 Downstream fish passage facilities Construction complete by: Cougar - 2014 Lookout Point/Dexter - 2021 Detroit/Big Cliff - 2023 Evaluate for use at additional dams Analyze feasibility, alternatives, design through the COP study

51 Configuration Operation Plan “COP” Reconnaissance Phase Study due 2009 Feasibility phase to assess alternatives All major structural modifications will be evaluated for: –Biological benefit –Technical feasibility –Economic viability –Consistency with overall recovery strategies

52 Research, Monitoring & Evaluation Willamette is data-poor relative to mainstem Columbia –Very little monitoring infrastructure Developing comprehensive program, to feed into COP –Site-specific field studies –Coordinated through WATER Currently included in AFEP Annual Review –Expanded outyear efforts in separate process in Willamette

53 Implementation Coordination: Willamette Action Team for Ecosystem Restoration Manager’s Forum Steering Team Flow Management Team Fish Passage and Hatchery Management Team Environmental Coordination for Construction Projects Habitat RM&E Oversight Team “WATER” Federal and State agencies, Tribes Charter/guidelines completed by December 2008 Adaptive Management

54 Funding Strategy Most large structural modifications will be funded out of the Columbia River Fish Mitigation Fund (CRFM) Authority: Original project authorities, such as 1950 Flood Control Act (as is the original CRFM Project) Proposal to use CRFM appropriation made with 2008 budget submittal to Congress (including $800k in funding to initiate actions) Future Corps budget proposals will account for most critical needs to meet BiOp commitments in both programs The System Configuration Team (SCT) provides input on priorities for Columbia/Snake program –WATER group will perform a similar function for the Willamette component

55 Need downstream habitat for rearing Different effects on fish Willamette dams different than mainstem Columbia dams The Willamette Project Summary Need to use hatchery program to evaluate reintroduction into spawning habitat upstream of dams

56 Evaluate feasibility of long-term actions Short-term improvements and actions: Habitat Temperature Flow operations Hatcheries Long-term structural modifications may be critical to success The Willamette Project Approach Improve hatchery collection facilities as trap-and-haul

57 Questions?

58 Willamette Hatchery Mitigation Program Facilities North Santiam –Marion Forks Hatchery –Minto Ponds Collection/acclimation (nr Big Cliff) South Santiam –South Santiam Hatchery –Foster Dam (Collection) McKenzie –McKenzie Hatchery –Leaburg Hatchery –Leaburg Dam (EWEB) (some Collection) Middle Fork –Willamette Hatchery –Dexter Ponds (Collection, rearing/acclimation) Hatchery collection facility Marion Forks Willamette McKenzie Leaburg South Santiam Minto

59 Cougar Dam Cross Section

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