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Title: Status after 5 Years of Survival Compliance Testing in the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS)

Abstract

Survival studies of juvenile salmonids implanted with acoustic tags have been conducted at hydroelectric dams within the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) in the Columbia and Snake rivers between 2010 and 2014 to assess compliance with dam passage survival standards stipulated in the 2008 Biological Opinion (BiOp). For juvenile salmonids migrating downstream in the spring, dam passage survival defined as survival from the upstream dam face to the tailrace mixing zone must be ≥96% and for summer migrants, ≥93%, and estimated with a standard error ≤1.5% (i.e., 95% confidence interval of ±3%). A total of 29 compliance tests have been conducted at 6 of 8 FCRPS main-stem dams, using over 109,000 acoustic-tagged salmonid smolts. Of these 29 compliance studies, 23 met the survival standards and 26 met the precision requirements. Of the 6 dams evaluated to date, individual survival estimates range from 0.9597 to 0.9868 for yearling Chinook Salmon, 0.9534 to 0.9952 for steelhead, and 0.9076 to 0.9789 for subyearling Chinook Salmon. These investigations suggest the large capital investment over the last 20 years to improve juvenile salmon passage through the FCRPS dams has been beneficial.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1337265
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-114788
Journal ID: ISSN 0275-5947; 400403209
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: North American Journal of Fisheries Management; Journal Volume: 36; Journal Issue: 4
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
acoustic tags; juvenile salmonids; release-recapture; Columbia River; hydroelectric dams

Citation Formats

Skalski, John R., Weiland, Mark A., Ham, Kenneth D., Ploskey, Gene R., McMichael, Geoffrey A., Colotelo, Alison H., Carlson, Thomas J., Woodley, Christa M., Eppard, M. Brad, and Hockersmith, Eric E. Status after 5 Years of Survival Compliance Testing in the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS). United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1080/02755947.2016.1165775.
Skalski, John R., Weiland, Mark A., Ham, Kenneth D., Ploskey, Gene R., McMichael, Geoffrey A., Colotelo, Alison H., Carlson, Thomas J., Woodley, Christa M., Eppard, M. Brad, & Hockersmith, Eric E. Status after 5 Years of Survival Compliance Testing in the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS). United States. doi:10.1080/02755947.2016.1165775.
Skalski, John R., Weiland, Mark A., Ham, Kenneth D., Ploskey, Gene R., McMichael, Geoffrey A., Colotelo, Alison H., Carlson, Thomas J., Woodley, Christa M., Eppard, M. Brad, and Hockersmith, Eric E. 2016. "Status after 5 Years of Survival Compliance Testing in the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS)". United States. doi:10.1080/02755947.2016.1165775.
@article{osti_1337265,
title = {Status after 5 Years of Survival Compliance Testing in the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS)},
author = {Skalski, John R. and Weiland, Mark A. and Ham, Kenneth D. and Ploskey, Gene R. and McMichael, Geoffrey A. and Colotelo, Alison H. and Carlson, Thomas J. and Woodley, Christa M. and Eppard, M. Brad and Hockersmith, Eric E.},
abstractNote = {Survival studies of juvenile salmonids implanted with acoustic tags have been conducted at hydroelectric dams within the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) in the Columbia and Snake rivers between 2010 and 2014 to assess compliance with dam passage survival standards stipulated in the 2008 Biological Opinion (BiOp). For juvenile salmonids migrating downstream in the spring, dam passage survival defined as survival from the upstream dam face to the tailrace mixing zone must be ≥96% and for summer migrants, ≥93%, and estimated with a standard error ≤1.5% (i.e., 95% confidence interval of ±3%). A total of 29 compliance tests have been conducted at 6 of 8 FCRPS main-stem dams, using over 109,000 acoustic-tagged salmonid smolts. Of these 29 compliance studies, 23 met the survival standards and 26 met the precision requirements. Of the 6 dams evaluated to date, individual survival estimates range from 0.9597 to 0.9868 for yearling Chinook Salmon, 0.9534 to 0.9952 for steelhead, and 0.9076 to 0.9789 for subyearling Chinook Salmon. These investigations suggest the large capital investment over the last 20 years to improve juvenile salmon passage through the FCRPS dams has been beneficial.},
doi = {10.1080/02755947.2016.1165775},
journal = {North American Journal of Fisheries Management},
number = 4,
volume = 36,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 6
}
  • Using the pre-2000 reach survival probabilities reported in the 2000 FCRPS Biological Opinion (BO) for three selected stocks: yearling and sub-yearling chinook and steelhead, power curves were constructed for each of the two statistical hypothesis tests suggested in the BO. These power calculation results were interpreted in terms of the ability of the statistical tests to correctly identify the true states of recovery (i.e., fail or succeed in fulfilling RPA expectations). The proposed one-sided tests have a moderate to low probability of correctly assessing the true status of the recovery by the years 2005 and 2008. The relatively poor oddsmore » of making the correct decision with the BO proposed Tests 1 and 2 suggest alternative decision rules need to be investigated and developed for assessing RPA compliance. Therefore, we propose to immediately examine alternative decision rules that might maximize the likelihood of correct decisions while minimizing the prospect of incorrect decisions. The Bayesian analysis will incorporate scientific/biological knowledge/expertise.« less
  • The Pacific Northwest is dependent upon the Columbia River and its tributaries for irrigation, for 80 percent of its electric power, and for its $130 million Chinook salmon and steelhead trout industry. Water development conflicts are increasing because of these competing uses, the most pressing being the confrontation between power generation and anadromous fish protection. An overview of this conflict reviews how it developed and examines ways to satisfy both sides. The legislative history begins with the River and Harbor Act of 1925 authorizing the Corps of Engineers and the Federal Power Commission to study and recommend water projects andmore » traces the development of the 30 dams making up the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS). A new and more sensitive framework is needed to supply adequate streamflows for fish runs and to alter regional hydroelectric consumption patterns by modifying peak load demands. Federal water managers must give more weight to the recommendations of the fish and wildlife agencies and should act to minimize the negative effects upon fisheries. 461 references. (DCK)« less
  • Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) populations have declined throughout their range in the last century and many populations, including those of the Snake River Basin are listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The reasons for their decline are many and complex, but include habitat loss and degradation, overharvesting, and dam construction. The 2008 Biological Opinion calls for an increase in the abundance of female steelhead through an increase in iteroparity (i.e., repeat spawning) and this can be realized through a combination of reconditioning and in-river survival of migrating kelts. The goal of this study is to provide the data necessarymore » to inform fisheries managers and dam operators of Snake River kelt migration patterns, survival, and routes of dam passage. Steelhead kelts (n = 487) were captured and implanted with acoustic transmitters and passive integrated transponder (PIT)-tags at the Lower Granite Dam (LGR) Juvenile Fish Facility and at weirs located in tributaries of the Snake and Clearwater rivers upstream of LGR. Kelts were monitored as they moved downstream through the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) by 15 autonomous and 3 cabled acoustic receiver arrays. Cabled receiver arrays deployed on the dam faces allowed for three-dimensional tracking of fish as they approached the dam face and were used to determine the route of dam passage. Overall, 27.3% of the kelts tagged in this study successfully migrated to Martin Bluff (rkm 126, as measured from the mouth of the Columbia River), which is located downstream of all FCRPS dams. Within individual river reaches, survival per kilometer estimates ranged from 0.958 to 0.999; the lowest estimates were observed in the immediate forebay of FCRPS dams. Steelhead kelts tagged in this study passed over the spillway routes (spillway weirs, traditional spill bays) in greater proportions and survived at higher rates compared to the few fish passed through powerhouse routes (turbines and juvenile bypass systems). The results of this study provide information about the route of passage and subsequent survival of steelhead kelts that migrated through the Snake and Columbia rivers from LGR to Bonneville Dam in 2013. These data may be used by fisheries managers and dam operators to identify potential ways to increase the survival of kelts during their seaward migrations.« less
  • Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) populations have declined throughout their range in the last century and many populations, including those of the Snake River Basin are listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The reasons for their decline are many and complex, but include habitat loss and degradation, overharvesting, and dam construction. The 2008 Biological Opinion calls for an increase in the abundance of female steelhead through an increase in iteroparity (i.e., repeat spawning) and this can be realized through a combination of reconditioning and in-river survival of migrating kelts. The goal of this study is to provide the data necessarymore » to inform fisheries managers and dam operators of Snake River kelt migration patterns, survival, and routes of dam passage. Steelhead kelts (n = 487) were captured and implanted with acoustic transmitters and passive integrated transponder (PIT)-tags at the Lower Granite Dam (LGR) Juvenile Fish Facility and at weirs located in tributaries of the Snake and Clearwater rivers upstream of LGR. Kelts were monitored as they moved downstream through the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) by 15 autonomous and 3 cabled acoustic receiver arrays. Cabled receiver arrays deployed on the dam faces allowed for three-dimensional tracking of fish as they approached the dam face and were used to determine the route of dam passage. Overall, 27.3% of the kelts tagged in this study successfully migrated to Martin Bluff (rkm 126, as measured from the mouth of the Columbia River), which is located downstream of all FCRPS dams. Within individual river reaches, survival per kilometer estimates ranged from 0.958 to 0.999; the lowest estimates were observed in the immediate forebay of FCRPS dams. Steelhead kelts tagged in this study passed over the spillway routes (spillway weirs, traditional spill bays) in greater proportions and survived at higher rates compared to the few fish passed through powerhouse routes (turbines and juvenile bypass systems). The results of this study provide information about the route of passage and subsequent survival of steelhead kelts that migrated through the Snake and Columbia rivers from LGR to Bonneville Dam in 2013. These data may be used by fisheries managers and dam operators to identify potential ways to increase the survival of kelts during their seaward migrations.« less
  • High survival through hydropower projects is an essential element in the recovery of salmonid populations in the Columbia River. It is also a regulatory requirement under the 2008 Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinion (BiOp) established under the Endangered Species Act. It requires dam passage survival to be ≥0.96 and ≥0.93 for spring and summer outmigrating juvenile salmonids, respectively, and estimated with a standard error ≤ 0.015. An innovative virtual/paired-release design was used to estimate dam passage survival, defined as survival from the face of a dam to the tailrace mixing zone. A coordinated four-dam study was conductedmore » during the 2012 summer outmigration using 14,026 run-of-river subyearling Chinook salmon surgically implanted with acoustic micro-transmitter (AMT) tags released at 9 different locations, and monitored on 14 different detection arrays. Each of the four estimates of dam passage survival exceeded BiOp requirements with values ranging from 0.9414 to 0.9747 and standard errors, 0.0031 to 0.0114. Two consecutive years of survival estimates must meet BiOp standards in order for a hydropower project to be in compliance with recovery requirements for a fish stock.« less