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Mindy Simmons US Army Corps of Engineers Dorie Welch, Daniel Spear

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1 Willamette Project Biological Opinions Presentation to the NW Power Council December 2008
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 PORTLAND DISTRICT

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

3 Willamette Basin Area: 11,476 mi2 Rain-driven hydrology
Population ~2.5M Most populated sub-basin in Columbia River Basin

4 Willamette Basin

5 1890 Willamette Flood 1943 Willamette Flood
Oregon State Archives, Marion Co Historical Society, MJON0209 From the time of Statehood through the mid 1940’s no less than 15 major floods wreaked havoc on towns and infrastructure 1861 Flood. This severe flood virtually washed away Linn, Canemah, Clackamas, and Multnomah cities. Most of the county's bridges and ferries were also destroyed in the flood 1943 Willamette Flood Oregon State Archives, Oregon Water Resources Department, OWR0085

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

7 13 Multi-purpose Dams and Reservoirs
Detroit Big Cliff Green Peter Foster Willamette Project: 13 Multi-purpose Dams and Reservoirs Dexter Cougar Blue River Explain different types of dams- concrete monolith, earthen fill, and re-regulating Fall Creek Lookout Point Hills Creek

8 13 Multi-Purpose Dams and Reservoirs
Located in tributaries, not on mainstem Willamette River Most are large, high-head dams More similar to Hungry Horse and Libby than John Day or McNary

9 Authorized Purposes Flood Damage Reduction Hydropower Navigation
PORTLAND DISTRICT Authorized Purposes Flood Damage Reduction Hydropower Navigation Irrigation Fish & Wildlife Recreation Water Quality Municipal & Industrial The dams and reservoirs support the wide variety of project purposes authorized by Congress. They were located and designed, and are primarily operated for flood control. Other authorized purposes include hydropower production, recreation, fish and wildlife, water quality, and storage of water for municipal and industrial water supply and irrigation. Some of those purposes benefit from having the water in storage in the reservoirs...while others benefit from the timed release of water to meet downstream needs. I want to stress that this is not a prioritized list--beyond the hard constraints of flood control, we do our best to try to balance all the purposes. In authorizing the projects, Congress gave the Corps relatively little guidance in terms of specific operating criteria Over the past 50 years…the Corps has continually refined operation of the reservoir system in response to changing needs and lessons learned.

10 Willamette Project Hydropower Overview
Eight projects with generation Projects produce 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
PORTLAND DISTRICT 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 The Willamette Valley Projects facilitated economic growth and development in the Valley by managing floodwaters historically impacting Eugene, Springfield, Albany and Salem, among other communities. It is an extremely productive, integrated system consistent with the vision of HD531. Operating on roughly $26 million annually, this system is a workhorse, producing benefits exceeding operating costs by as much as 50 to 1. Water quality, recreation and M&I supply needs will grow as the Valley’s population doubles by 2030. Corvallis 1996

12 Total = 1.6 Million Acre-feet
1.2 MAF total I’ll run through our normal reservoir operating criteria. This diagram shows a generic reservoir water control diagram--each of our 11 storage reservoirs has one of these. The vertical axis shows the reservoir pool elevation. The horizontal axis shows time in months of the year. This bold red line is what we call the “Rule Curve” . Rule curves are our guidelines for operating the projects...they represent the maximum amount of water we can have in storage at any given time. We usually only go above the rule curve for short periods of time during flood events. In following the rule curve, the reservoirs are drained every fall before the peak flood season. We keep them at minimum conservation pool through the winter months except during flood events when we capture flood flows and store them until the storm passes. After that the stored flood water is slowly released back into the streams. As the flood hazard passes in the late winter and early spring, we begin to store water in the reservoirs. Note how quickly we normally fill the reservoirs in February, March and April. Our objective is to have all the reservoirs full by the end of May in time for the summer recreation season. We like to keep them as full as possible through the summer, however, we are also required to release water downstream for those other authorized purposes I previously described. The water in the reservoirs is divided into sections. On the bottom is dead or inactive storage which we cannot physically touch because of the operating limits of the dams. The six big reservoirs with hydropower plants also have a section called Power Storage which we normally do not dip into except for power crises. I am certain that you all have been hearing about the power shortage in the Northwest this year. The Willamette projects can provide only a very small fraction of the generating capacity of the Columbia basin projects. However, if necessary, Bonneville Power can call on the Willamette Projects to generate power, in which case this storage may be used. The upper section of the pool is conservation storage which is used to meet all the other purposes. In a perfect world, we would maintain all the reservoirs exactly along the rule curve; but in reality that is almost impossible, especially in a very dry year like this year. PORTLAND DISTRICT

13 DIFFERENT EFFECTS ON FISH
Mainstem Columbia Dams Operated primarily for hydropower, run-of-river; in series on mainstem Willamette Basin Dams Operated primarily for flood damage reduction (storage) most are high-head located in tributaries Illustrates differences between Willamette Basin Dam and mainstem Columbia Dam footprint 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: https://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/pm/e/en _plan_ ba.asp View the NMFS Biological Opinion at: View the USFWS Biological Opinion at: https://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/pm/e/willametteBO-final_ pdf

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

17 UWR Chinook Salmon Population Status
High extinction risk Moderate extinction risk The populations affected by the Willamette Dams are considered essential for recovery (i.e., must be much closer to viable)

18 Chinook Spawning habitat loss due to no passage at dams
High extinction risk Moderate extinction risk Next element is Fish Passage – this graph simple representation of why we need safe access to upstream habitat to get populations back on track. See 4 tribs with most habitat blocked? (click to next slide) All Note that dams on Clackamas are not Corps dams; Molalla and Calapooia are small populations Describe Winter Steelhead status; location among basins, both genetic legacy and core pops in Santiam basin All Chinook populations affected by Corps dams are populations important for long-term recovery

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

20 Oregon Chub Current Distribution
(35 Populations) REPLACE WITH CURRENT MAP

21 Willamette Basin Bull Trout Distribution
Columbia River Willamette Basin Bull Trout Distribution Probable Historic Current Clackamas R. (last observed 1963 – reintroduction being considered) Willamette River North Santiam R. (last observed 1945) South Santiam R. (last observed 1953) Listed by USFWS as Threatened in (in OR, WA, ID, MT, NV) Draft Recovery Plan Published in 2002 Fish Passage Hydropower, Flood Control Hatchery Racks & Weirs Fish Management Chemical Treatments Negative Sentiment Intensive Trout Stocking Forage Base Reduction of Salmon/Steelhead Habitat & Water Quality Timber Harvest, Roads, Agriculture McKenzie R. (approx. 300 adults) Middle Fork Willamette R. (15 to 20 adults) rehabilitation program underway since 1998

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

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 Redd and eggs out of water
PROBLEM: Providing adequate water downstream of dams for all life stages Spawning Egg Incubation Redd 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) meet or exceed mainstem flow objectives – accept those in PA, based on best available information developed by ODFW, NMFS, and Corps; amend only with agreement of services limited data for trib flows; System can’t meet all trib flows plus mainstem flows in most years – may need to re-balance operations

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
Willamette River Planning Atlas (PNW Ecosystem Research Consortium) Oregon Chub: Loss of population connectivity Loss of habitat Chinook/Steelhead: Loss of winter rearing habitat; reduced spawning gravel Loss of floodplain refugia

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

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

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

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

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 Hatchery Mitigation Program
Willamette Project Hatchery Mitigation Program

35 Hatchery Mitigation Program
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) COMBINE ONTO PREVIOUS SLIDE

36 Willamette Basin Hatchery Facilities
5 major hatcheries constructed by USACE operated by ODFW Funded by USACE and ODFW Mention power share of O&M budget

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

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

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
DEXTER DAM Adult Collection 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
Cougar Fish Trap Plans 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 Operations plan to reduce handling/transport stress Dates are end of year Currently ODFW has released from trucks onto tarps for fish to slide down bank to stream; need safe release sites; mostly FS property; 6 if get funds from FS or others Outplanting adult spring Chinook also provides prey base for bull trout

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

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

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

48

49 Biological Opinion Actions: Step-wise Approach to Downstream Passage
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,

50 Biological Opinion Actions: Step-wise Approach to Downstream Passage
Downstream fish passage facilities Construction complete by: Cougar Lookout Point/Dexter Detroit/Big Cliff Evaluate for use at additional dams Analyze feasibility, alternatives, design through the COP study These were NMFS’ highest priorities, working with Recovery planning team, but studies may indicate different priorities

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 Includes evaluation of all elements of the RPA – from flow and ramping to fish passage and habitat

53 Implementation Coordination: Willamette Action Team for Ecosystem Restoration
“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 The Willamette Project Summary
Willamette dams different than mainstem Columbia dams Different effects on fish The Willamette Project Summary Need to use hatchery program to evaluate reintroduction into spawning habitat upstream of dams Need downstream habitat for rearing

56 The Willamette Project Approach
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 Evaluate feasibility of long-term actions

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 Minto Marion Forks South Santiam Leaburg McKenzie Willamette

59 Cougar Dam Cross Section


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