From a legal stantpoint, the LSR Compensation Plan hatcheries will continue until Idaho's Salmon and Steelhead have recovered and delisted from ESA protection. If/When LSR Dam breaching brings about the de-listing of ESA listed salmonids, great savings from the closure of LSRCP hatcheries could be expected with 1.4 to 3% rate reduction for Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) customers.
"For 40 years, the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan has ensured harvest of Idaho salmon and steelhead can continue.With an O&M cost of $33 million for LSRCP hatcheries, (NOT including the $44 million in Research & Monitoring of Hatchery Effects) these fish are costing $250 per SR adult (= $33 million / (55,000 + 59,000 + 18,000)).
"Each year, 55,000 adult steelhead, nearly 59,000 adult Spr/Sum Chinook salmon and over 18,000 Fall Chinook return to the Snake River Basin every year for harvest."
If it is true that LSR dam breaching will bring about the recovery and de-listing of SR Salmon & Steelhead, LSR Compensation Plan hatcheries will no longer be legally required, and could be closed, because mitigation will no longer be necessary. In the meantime, substantially reducing egg production at the LSRCP facilities makes sense, especially considering that these facilities have NEVER met their production goals of 293,500 returning to Columbia River (below LSR dams) with 58,700 passing above Lower Granite Dam.
Same answer applies to BPA's habitat funding. BPA's commtiment to continue funding is being confirmed by the Fish Accord extensions through 2022, at which time they are expecting the CRSO process to conclude with some guidance as to how to proceed beyond 2022. Remarkably, the State of Washington has yet to sign on to a Fish Accord, though a non-legally binding Memorandum of Understanding is expected.
Notably, these LSRCP hatcheries have never met their mitigation goals. With real potential for the recovery and de-listing of Snake River Chinook, a strong argument could be made for placing their "compensation" hatcheries in non-operational status (potentially reopening them if salmon populations fail to rebound).
Removing the O&M expense of the LSR dams, following dam breaching, is revenue neutral for BPA's financials and with the closing of LSRCP Compensation Plan Hatcheries (annual O&M of 33 million) BPA rates would go down.
|BPA's 31 Dams
|BPA's LSR Dams||LSRCP Hatcheries||w/o LSR||w/o LSR & LSRCP|
|Annual Power Output||74,420 GWh||8,190 GWh||66,230 GWh||66,230 GWh|
|O&M / MWh||$5.35||$7.08||$5.28||$4.77|
|Total Cost / MWh||$10.40||$13.06||$10.07||$9.47|
Source:2017-2030 Hydro Asset Strategy Bonneville Power Administration, June 2016 (page 23 & 100)
Spring/Summer Chinook Program Review -- Lower Snake River Compensation Plan (December 2010)
"The established goal for spring/summer Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha was to return 58,700 adult fish above Lower Granite Dam after providing 234,800 adults to fisheries in the ocean and Columbia River below the project area."
. . .
In 1992 NOAA Fisheries listed Snake River spring/summer Chinook as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In 1994 and 1995 the annual returns were so low that some believed extinction may be imminent. The tone of the second symposium held in February 1998 was very somber. A common theme was expressed in one of the reports:
“If we cannot improve mainstem passage survival and increase natural productivity so that progeny-to-parent (Adult-to-Adult) ratios consistently exceed 1.0, recovery will never occur. Natural populations will go extinct and only hatchery fish will remain.” (p. 95, Carmichael, Parker and Whitesel 1998 ). . .
Fish Passage Center's (from 2017 CSS Annual Report)
"The highest 2012 LGR-to-BOA SAR was for the Cedar Flats release at 1.14, while the lowest LGR-to-BOA SAR (without jacks) the lowest was for Lyons Ferry Hatchery releases in the Snake River at 0.56%." (A SAR greater than 2% is needed for an Adult-to-Adult ratio to be greater than 1:1).
If you want the details...
Lyons Ferry and Tucannon Fish Hatcheries -- Columbia River Basin Hatchery Review Team (March 2011)
Lyons Ferry FH - The Lyons Ferry Fish Hatchery (Lyons Ferry FH) is located along the Snake River at river mile (RM) 59.1, directly below the confluence of the Palouse River in Franklin County, Washington. Initially it was operated as two separate facilities. Washington Department of Wildlife (WDW) operated the north hatchery, producing steelhead and rainbow trout. Washington Department of Fisheries (WDF) operated the south hatchery, rearing spring and fall Chinook. A merger of the two agencies in 1994 led to a merging of the two facilities, and has since been operated by WDFW through LSRCP funding as Lyons Ferry FH. Facilities include two incubation buildings with office space and feed storage, plus adult fish trapping, holding and spawning structures. A visitor center provides interpretive information for guests of the hatchery. There are eight residences for staff on site to fulfill security and emergency response needs.
. . .
|2001||Snake||1,864 is 75%||5,474 is 43%||7,338|
|2002||Snake||1,800 is 67%||4,838 is 46%||6,638|
|2003||Snake||2,153 is 75%||7,121 is 48%||9,274|
|2004||Snake||0 is 0%||0 is 0%||0|
Fall Chinook - Collection of fall Chinook occurs at Lyons Ferry FH and Lower Granite Dam. The trapping protocol at Lyons Ferry FH is dependent upon what is estimated to be trapped at LGR, the in-season stray rate encountered, and updated return estimates. In effect, trapping is estimated for LGR, and then the remaining numbers of fish needed to meet egg take goals are trapped at Lyons Ferry FH. If changes occur in season, the percent trapped at LGR will not change, rather the trapping at Lyons Ferry FH changes. Excess adults trapped at Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery may be used to supplement Lyons Ferry FH production shortages of LGR and volunteer adult returns.
Spring Chinook - Trapping for the Spring Chinook broodstock program is conducted exclusively at the Tucannon FH adult trap, located just upstream of the hatchery and adjacent to the Rainbow Lake intake. Adults collected for spawning are transferred by truck to Lyons Ferry FH for holding.
Steelhead - The Lyons Ferry Hatchery stock steelhead adults are trapped on-station from volunteers that swim into the fish ladder at Lyons Ferry FH. Fish are held in large adult holding raceways adjacent to the trap until sorting and spawning.
The Touchet River summer steelhead is considered an endemic program, meaning all production is derived from natural parentage broodstock. These adults are trapped on the Touchet River at the Dayton AF intake structure and transferred to Lyons Ferry FH for holding and spawning.
The Tucannon River summer steelhead is considered an endemic program, meaning all production is derived from natural parentage. The adults for this program are collected at a temporary trap on the lower Tucannon River and transferred to Lyons Ferry FH for holding and spawning.
. . .
Curl Lake AP is located along the Tucannon River at RM 41 in Columbia County, Washington and is currently used for acclimation and release of Tucannon River spring Chinook into the Tucannon River. After the spring Chinook are released, the pond is stocked with resident trout for fishing. It is emptied after fishing season ends October 31st each year, and recharged by hatchery staff prior to spring Chinook acclimation the following January.
. . .
Spring Chinook production is now solely comprised of a conventional program. With the phase out of the captive broodstock program in 2006, the conventional smolt release program goal will be increased to 225,000 smolts per year (as agreed to under US v OR), for release in 2009.
A. General information
Lyons Ferry FH In 1984 Phase II of the Lyons Ferry Fish Hatchery (FH), the salmon rearing facility to be operated by WDF, was completed. It is located on the north shore of the Lower Monumental Dam pool just below the mouth of the Palouse River. The facility was built to produce 9,162,000 fall chinook smolts at 90 fish per pound (fpp) for a total of 101,800 points of production. At the estimated return rate of 0.2 percent (0.2% SAR estimated!), the facility was designed to meet the entire 18,300 adult return goal.
. . .
The program is just getting underway and is far from reaching its goal. ... Preliminary results based on the 1983 brood year (BY) indicate the adult return goal is attainable (Seidel et al. 1988); however, returns from 1984 and 1985 are not as encouraging.
. . .
In addition to the fall chinook program, Lyons Ferry FH Phase II is also responsible for rearing spring chinook for the Tucannon River compensation effort. The FH was designed to produce 132,000 spring chinook at 15 fpp for a total of 8,800 pounds. At the estimated return rate of 0.87 percent for the 15 fpp spring chinook smolts, the return goal for the program is about 1,148 adults.
. . .
Approximately, 840 tourists visit Lyons Ferry FH annually. Lyons Ferry FH has a visitors’ center with signs describing salmon life-history, the Snake and Columbia River basin environment, and hatchery production. Staff work with three local schools as part of salmon in the classroom projects. School groups tour the facility annually. Lyons Ferry FH/WDFW cosponsors fishing derbies in ponds adjacent the Tucannon River and in Clarkston. The USFWS maintains a web site with the goal to provide timely information to the public regarding hatchery operations and program benefits.
Lyons Ferry FH (Phase II) was constructed in 1984 under the LSRCP Program, as authorized by the Water Resources Development Act of 1976, Public Law 94-587, to offset losses caused by the four Lower Snake River dam and navigation locks projects. Lyons Ferry FH was designed to rear 101,800 pounds (9,162,000 smolts) of fall Chinook salmon (90 fpp) for release. All adults for the program were to be trapped at Ice Harbor Dam and returns to the hatchery ladder. The adult return goal for the program is 18,300 fall Chinook salmon back to the project area (above Ice Harbor Dam). [USFWS May 1990]
. . .
The Lyons Ferry FH was initially designed to release 9.16 million fall Chinook subyearlings at around 90 fpp. Currently this facility produces 1.8 million subyearlings at approximately 50 fpp, and another 900,000 yearlings at 10-12 fpp. Additionally, the facility traps and spawns returning adult fall Chinook to meet egg take needs elsewhere, which includes providing over 1,000,000 eggs (1.0 million smolts) annually for the Idaho Power program. A program change was implemented in 2007 which includes 421,000 eyed eggs (400,000 smolts) from Lyons Ferry FH transfer to Oregon Fish and Wildlife for rearing at the Irrigon Hatchery.
The Snake River fall Chinook are managed as one population across several facilities. Both the natural and hatchery populations of Snake River fall Chinook are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Two out of the three fall Chinook populations identified by the TRT are extinct (Marsing Reach and Salmon Falls). Snake River fall Chinook is the only remaining major population group for the Snake River fall Chinook ESU.
Lyons Ferry FH and the resulting production of fall Chinook is part of legally required mitigation provided to Washington under the LSRCP Program. According to the Artificial Production Review (APR-1999), the Council stated “Management objectives such as for harvest opportunities, or for in-kind, in-place mitigation, or for protection of specific natural populations are all equally important. Acting in a manner consistent with all these mandates is not easy — some are regional in scope and some are local, some objectives overlap, others conflict unless managed carefully. But they cannot be ignored even when inconvenient.” As such, managers will have to identify their legal mandates, and do their best to provide fish for harvest, while protecting naturally spawning populations.
. . .
|Origin||Adults||Jacks||Comp of Adults||Comp of Jacks|
|LF/Snake River Hatchery||7,163||1,880||61.5%||80.1%|
|LF/Snake River natural (wild)||3,109||319||26.7%||13.6%|
Many people are familiar with the Seventh Generation philosophy commonly credited to the Iroquois Confederacy but practiced by many Native nations. The Seventh Generation philosophy mandated that tribal decision makers consider the effects of their actions and decisions for descendents seven generations into the future. There was a clear understanding that everything we do has consequences for something and someone else, reminding us that we are all ultimately connected to creation.