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Title: Phase I Water Rental Pilot Project : Snake River Resident Fish and Wildlife Resources and Management Recommendations.

The Idaho Water Rental Pilot Project was implemented as a part of the Non-Treaty Storage Fish and Wildlife Agreement (NTSA) between Bonneville Power Administration and the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority. The goal of the project is to improve juvenile and adult salmon and steelhead passage in the lower Snake River with the use of rented water for flow augmentation. The primary purpose of this project is to summarize existing resource information and provide recommendations to protect or enhance resident fish and wildlife resources in Idaho with actions achieving flow augmentation for anadromous fish. Potential impacts of an annual flow augmentation program on Idaho reservoirs and streams are modeled. Potential sources of water for flow augmentation and operational or institutional constraints to the use of that water are identified. This report does not advocate flow augmentation as the preferred long-term recovery action for salmon. The state of Idaho strongly believes that annual drawdown of the four lower Snake reservoirs is critical to the long-term enhancement and recovery of salmon (Andrus 1990). Existing water level management includes balancing the needs of hydropower production, irrigated agriculture, municipalities and industries with fish, wildlife and recreation. Reservoir minimum pool maintenance, water quality andmore » instream flows are issues of public concern that will be directly affected by the timing and quantity of water rental releases for salmon flow augmentation, The potential of renting water from Idaho rental pools for salmon flow augmentation is complicated by institutional impediments, competition from other water users, and dry year shortages. Water rental will contribute to a reduction in carryover storage in a series of dry years when salmon flow augmentation is most critical. Such a reduction in carryover can have negative impacts on reservoir fisheries by eliminating shoreline spawning beds, reducing available fish habitat, and exacerbating adverse water quality conditions. A reduction in carry over can lead to seasonal reductions in instream flows, which may also negatively affect fish, wildlife, and recreation in Idaho. The Idaho Water Rental Pilot Project does provide opportunities to protect and enhance resident fish and wildlife habitat by improving water quality and instream flows. Control of point sources, such as sewage and industrial discharges, alone will not achieve water quality goals in Idaho reservoirs and streams. Slow, continuous releases of rented water can increase and stabilize instream flows, increase available fish and wildlife habitat, decrease fish displacement, and improve water quality. Island integrity, requisite for waterfowl protection from mainland predators, can be maintained with improved timing of water releases. Rebuilding Snake River salmon and steelhead runs requires a cooperative commitment and increased flexibility in system operations to increase flow velocities for fish passage and migration. Idaho's resident fish and wildlife resources require judicious management and a willingness by all parties to liberate water supplies equitably.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
928003
Report Number(s):
DOE/BP-21416-1
TRN: US200816%%713
DOE Contract Number:
91BP21416
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Portland, OR
Sponsoring Org:
US Department of Energy
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
13 HYDRO ENERGY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ADULTS; AGRICULTURE; BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION; DRAWDOWN; FISHERIES; FLEXIBILITY; HABITAT; JUVENILES; MAINTENANCE; MANAGEMENT; POINT SOURCES; RIVERS; SALMON; SEWAGE; SHORTAGES; STORAGE; WATER QUALITY Fishes - Idaho