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1 B O N N E V I L L E A D M I N I S T R A T I O N B O N N E V I L L E P O W E R A D M I N I S T R A T I O N Columbia Basin Dams and Fish: Emerging Issues Title Sub Title F. Lorraine Bodi October 14,

2 Fish and Wildlife Legal Mandates Although BPA has fish and wildlife responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act and the Northwest Power Act, in many cases, both responsibilities can be met in the same set of actions Northwest Power Act The Administrator shall use the Bonneville Power Administration Fund to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife to the extent affected by development and operation of any hydroelectric project of the Columbia River and its tributaries. Non-Listed FISH and WILDLIFE Listed ANADROMOUS FISH RESIDENT FISH WILDLIFE Endangered Species Act Biological Opinions Each Federal agency shall.insure that any action authorized funded, or carried out by such agency is not likely to jeopardize continued existence of any endangered species or threatened species Treaty and Non-Treaty Tribal Policy BPA will consult with the Tribal governments prior to BPA taking actions, making decisions, or implementing programs that may affect Tribal resources. 2

3 Major Columbia Basin Dams and ESA-Listed Fish Chief Joseph Grand Coulee Albeni Falls Libby Hungry Horse Washington Wanapum Priest Rapids The Dalles Wells Rocky Reach Rock Island Lower Monumental Little Goose Ice Harbor Lower Granite Dworshak Montana Bonneville John Day McNary Oregon Chum Salmon Chinook Salmon Hells Canyon Oxbow Brownlee Steelhead Sockeye Salmon Idaho White Sturgeon Bull Trout 3

4 Chronology of Listings, Biological Opinions and Other ESA Related Processes Snake River Sockeye salmon E Snake River spring/ summer Chinook salmon T Snake River fall Chinook salmon T Kootenai River White Sturgeon E Snake River steelhead Upper Columbia River steelhead E T Bull Trout T Lower Columbia River steelhead T E Upper Columbia spring Chinook salmon T Upper Willamette River Chinook salmon T Lower Columbia River Chinook salmon T Middle Columbia River T Upper Columbia River steelhead T Columbia chum salmon Constant court action to Remand to NOAA To be improved. Consultations with NOAA and Action Agencies to develop a Biological Opinion () that would regulate mitigation actions USFWS USFWS NOAA USFWS NOAA NOAA USFWS NOAA All-H Strategy USFWS NOAA Remand NOAA UPA Critical Habitat New Remand For 2014 Council F&W Program Subbasin Assessments & Planning Mainstem Amendments NOAA Recovery Planning ERA of ACCORDS & MOAs Umatilla Warm springs Yakima Colville Idaho/Montana Willamette 4

5 FCRPS Biological Opinion Litigation Status Current litigation (National Wildlife Federation v. NMFS) has been ongoing since 2000 in federal district court and the 9 th Circuit Court of Appeals. The 2008 is supported by 3 states and 7 tribes, uses an All-H or lifecycle approach to mitigation: hydro, habitat, hatcheries, harvest. Court challenges from environmental groups, Oregon and two tribes are focus on hydro solutions. After an independent science review, the Administration endorsed the as scientifically and legally sound. Based on judicial direction, a 2010 supplemental was issued in May District Court opinion and ruling Aug. 2, 2011 remanded to the federal agencies for improvements by Federal government filed Protective Notice of Appeal Sept. 30 5

6 All H Approach: River Ocean River Eggs FRESH WATER HABITAT Smolt HYDRO HATCHERIES National Marine Fisheries Service US Fish & Wildlife Service States Tribes Lower Granite Adult OCEAN Bonneville 6

7 2011 District Court Opinion and Order Quotes: Because the 2008/2010 s no jeopardy conclusion is based on unidentified habitat mitigation measures, NOAA Fisheries opinion that FCRPS operations after 2013 will not jeopardize listed species is arbitrary and capricious.... [T]here is no mechanism in the 2008 to ensure that the action agencies will implement specific projects in the time frame or that equally effective actions even exist. NOAA Fisheries reliance on undefined actions for such large survival increases is contrary to the ESA s requirement that mitigation must be specific, reliable, and certain to occur. Reliance on a commitment to achieve a certain percent increase in salmon survival does not relieve NOAA Fisheries of the requirement to rely only on those actions that are reasonably certain to occur. The Fish Accords are the foundation of the Federal Defendants habitat restoration plan and provide firm commitment to funding much of the s mitigation plan. I continue to have serious concerns about the specific, numerical survival benefits NOAA Fisheries attributed to habitat mitigation. Habitat improvement is a vital component of recovery and may lead to increased survival....[but] NOAA Fisheries acknowledges that the benefits associated with habitat improvement may not accrue for many years, if ever....the court is not required to defer to uncertain survival predictions that are based upon unidentified mitigation plans. 7

8 2011 District Court Opinion and Order Quotes: Because the does, however, identify specific and beneficial mitigation measures through the end of 2013, this and the accompanying incidental take statement shall stay in place until then. No later than January 1, 2014, NOAA Fisheries shall produce a new biological opinion that reevaluates the efficacy of the RPAs in avoiding jeopardy, identifies reasonably specific mitigation plans for the life of the biological opinion, and considers whether more aggressive action, such as dam removal and/or additional flow augmentation and reservoir modifications are necessary to avoid jeopardy. As a practical matter, it may be difficult for Federal Defendants to develop a long-term biological opinion that relies only on mitigation measures that are reasonably certain to occur. Order: During the remand period, NOAA Fisheries shall continue to collaborate with the sovereign entities, including the States of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, and the Tribes who are parties or amici to this action for the purpose of developing mitigation actions to be included in the proposed action and developing scientific and technical data to support any proposed mitigation. 8

9 FCRPS Biological Opinion Accomplishments Since 2005, the federal dam agencies and their partners have: Made major improvements to all 8 federal dams on the lower Columbia and Snake Rivers, increasing salmon survival. Opened up more than 1300 miles of new spawning and rearing habitat. Protected over 260,000 acre feet of water through leases, purchases and irrigation efficiencies. In 2010 alone, acquired more than 190 kcfs of water more than the usage of the City of Portland and surrounding areas. Improved 5700 acres of riparian habitat. 9

10 Results for the Fish Snake River sockeye have gone from near extinction to 50-year highs. Wild Snake River fall chinook are twice the previous record for adult returns. First Oregon opening of upper Snake to fall chinook fishing in more than 40 years. Restored habitat supports improved spawning and survival. For example, after water improvements in Oregon s Lostine River, more than 3700 threatened Snake River spring chinook returned, the most since surveys began in 1986 and up from just 13 in Irrigation diversions left two miles of Oregon s Lostine River dry, blocking salmon from 11 miles of spawning stream in August and September. Photo from Water leases and irrigation efficiency improvements starting in 2008 and continuing now returned water to the river. 10

11 Fish Passage Improvements Make Spill More Effective 2009 and 2010 steelhead survival through hydro system highest in last 15 years, attributed by NOAA to surface passage and spill. Snake River yearling chinook survival relatively high compared to other recent years and higher than average. performance standards are 96% dam survival for spring migrating fish and 93% for summer fish. 11

12 Bonneville Dam 2010 Passage and Survival** Estimates Yearling Chinook B2 Bypass survival = 99% B2 Turbine survival = 96.8% Bonneville 2 Corner Collector Survival = 100% Spillway survival = 94.5% Overall Survival 96.3%** **Single Release Survival measured from Bonneville Dam to the Willamette River Combined Turbine & Sluiceway survival = 99.5% 12 Ploskey et al Draft report by Battelle

13 Columbia River Treaty BPA and the Corps initiated process to consult region s state governments and tribes Reaching out to involvement interested non-governmental entities Columbia River Treaty Parties are developing their policy interests Recommendations for the future of the Treaty due to State Department in September,

14 Climate Change BPA, US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation collaborating on joint climate change and hydrology datasets for long-term planning. Summary report released Sept Findings being used in ongoing modeling and planning for Columbia River Treaty Review, ESA, flood risk management, tributary habitat restoration, asset planning. The most significant impact of climate change in the Columbia River Basin may not be the amount of precipitation but when and how it will be delivered as streamflow. Less snow and more rain in winter. More streamflow in winter and early spring; less in the summer. See the report at 14

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