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US Army Corps of Engineers BUILDING STRONG ® Willamette Project Biological Opinions: Improvements for fish in a dynamic environment NWHA- Panel Discussion.

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Presentation on theme: "US Army Corps of Engineers BUILDING STRONG ® Willamette Project Biological Opinions: Improvements for fish in a dynamic environment NWHA- Panel Discussion."— Presentation transcript:

1 US Army Corps of Engineers BUILDING STRONG ® Willamette Project Biological Opinions: Improvements for fish in a dynamic environment NWHA- Panel Discussion “Spawning Better Ideas for Fish Passage” February 23, 2011 Mindy Simmons Program Manager, Willamette Biological Opinion Implementation

2 BUILDING STRONG ® Multiple Authorized Purposes  Flood damage reduction  Hydropower  Navigation  Irrigation  Fish & wildlife  Recreation  Water quality  Municipal & industrial water supply

3 BUILDING STRONG ® Detroit Blue River Cougar Hills Creek Lookout Point Foster Fall Creek Dexter Big Cliff Green Peter Willamette Project 13 multi-purpose dams

4 BUILDING STRONG ® Upper Willamette River Spring Chinook salmon Upper Willamette River winter steelhead ESA- listed anadromous fish in the Willamette Basin National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) jurisdiction Adults spawn in tributaries of Willamette River Juveniles migrate to ocean for part of their life Return to same stream where they were born

5 BUILDING STRONG ® ESA- Listed resident fish in the Willamette Basin Oregon chub Bull trout U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) jurisdiction Resident fish spend their entire lifecycle in fresh water

6 BUILDING STRONG ® Major populations of ESA-listed species affected by the Willamette Project North Santiam South Santiam Middle Fork McKenzie Chinook Steelhead Chinook Steelhead Chinook Bull trout Oregon Chub: all basins have populations, many on Corps property Project Effects: Dams blocked access to upstream spawning habitat Dam operation affects rearing and migration habitat downstream of dams ==> Willamette Project dams affect many life stages of fish

7 BUILDING STRONG ® Willamette Project Biological Opinions  No FERC licensing required for federal dams (no Sec 18)  Two Biological Opinions (NMFS and USFWS) issued in 2008 include: ► Operation of 13 dams and reservoirs (and downstream effects) ► Hatchery Mitigation Program ► 42 miles of Bank Protection Projects  90 Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives (RPAs) in NMFS BiOp, T&Cs from USFWS  15-year timeframe; opportunity for great survival increases  Action agencies: USACE, Bonneville Power Administration, BOR  Regional Collaboration through Willamette Action Team for Ecosystem Restoration (WATER)

8 BUILDING STRONG ® Historical spawning habitat Downstream Habitat Improvements Flow management Temperature Hatchery improvements Habitat Restoration Projects Upstream fish passage for adults via “trap-and-haul” Minto Foster Dexter Fall Creek Types of Willamette BiOp Actions Evaluate Feasibility of Downstream Fish Passage Facilities Cougar Lookout Point Detroit (or 2018) Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation Willamette BiOp Actions : A life cycle approach Configurations and Operational Planning Study Adaptive Management

9 Adult Collection DEXTER DAM (Re-regulating dam located downstream of Lookout Point Dam) Adult Sorting; load on to truck for transport Concept: Upgrade hatchery fish facilities to use as “trap-and-haul” fish passage for adult fish Use hatchery spring Chinook to evaluate potential for reintroduction in upstream habitat Hatchery/Adult Collection Facility to take fish to hatchery Fish Passage Improvements: upstream passage

10 BUILDING STRONG ® Upgrade Minto Hatchery Fish Facility: Adult Trap-and-Haul NORTH SANTIAM BIG CLIFF DAM

11 BUILDING STRONG ® Issue: Downstream fish passage is challenging Regulating Outlets (“spill”) Power Turbines Spill gates (rarely used) Long reservoirs Predators?? Multiple passage routes Deep intakes (very little surface spill) High mortality Very little information on fish movement in reservoirs Lookout Point Dam

12 Willamette Downstream Passage: Design Requirements Report For 18 downstream passage projects, summarized:  Relevance  Design criteria  Target species  Geometry  Operation  Performance  Design studies  Design & construction schedule  Cost

13 BUILDING STRONG ® Willamette BiOp Challenges  Balance between RM&E and moving forward with designs- how much information do we need?  Performance standards- how do we avoid jeopardy and support recovery?  Understanding causes and implications of pre- spawning mortality of adult spring Chinook  Adjusting priorities based on research  Funding challenges- reliant upon Congressional appropriations and BPA ratecase

14 BUILDING STRONG ® Willamette BiOp Implementation Concept and Timeline Short term ( )Long term ( ) Short-term Implementation Actions/ Construction Adaptive Management with Regional Collaboration Evaluate Presumed RPA Actions Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation Configuration and Operations Planning (COP) Long-term Implementation Actions/Construction Pink boxes in timeline = Construction Actions


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