Federal Columbia River Power System
Tributary Habitat Research, Monitoring and Evaluation

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Reclamations Tributary Habitat RME program is focused on carrying out the requirements of the FCRPS 2008 Biological Opinion in the Methow Basin in Washington State. The Pacific Northwest Region has invested substantial resources in implementing Columbia River tributary habitat improvements that support the 2008 biological opinions recommended actions. Reclamation’s monitoring efforts are meant to evaluate tributary habitat conditions, tributary habitat action effectiveness, and to use that knowledge to improve the biological effectiveness of future habitat improvement actions.

Reclamation’s Methow Subbasin Intensively Monitored Watershed Program (Methow IMW)

Tributary habitat improvement effectiveness monitoring efforts in the middle reach (M2) of the Methow River were initiated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) beginning in 2009. This initial monitoring effort focused on documenting pre-treatment fish population and stream habitat conditions in the M2 reach over a three year period (2009-2012). Plans were developed to continue this monitoring during a post enhancement phase (2013-2016) in order to investigate the reach-level response of the fish and habitat to the habitat enhancement efforts. This monitoring ended lapsed in 2013, was resumed in 2015, and has been completed.

The components of the current monitoring effort are described below and consist of an intensively monitored watershed demonstration report, before and after treatments studies, and a biological model development and use.

Intensively Monitored Watershed Demonstration Report
This report would summarize the Beaver Creek studies, the Whitefish Island and 3R projects efforts, the modeling effort, and any other work conducted by Reclamation during the BiOp period in the Methow Basin. The report will include a “lessons learned” section.

Before-after-control-impact (BACI) studies
These studies will evaluate the effectiveness of the Whitefish Island and 3R tributary habitat improvement projects for Upper Columbia (UC) spring chinook and steelhead. There are three components to the BACI studies – fish, habitat, and food web. The “pre” conditions are summarized in Bellmore reports and previously published USGS reports.

ISU Food Web Analysis Study
This study will address the relationships between habitat improvement and fish population changes through an investigation of the mechanisms (physical habitat, prey resources, or food web interactions) causing the change.

Trophic and Life Cycle Models
A food web model will be used as a tool to evaluate responses to habitat improvement projects and will be used to evaluate the biological uplift among alternatives for an ongoing habitat project. It also will be tested to determine watershed carrying capacity using CHaMP data. Products from this effort will be published papers, model results, and potential use as a tool for habitat project alternative evaluation.

Future RME Program
The future program will likely cover hydrosystem, hatchery, and predator control activities in addition to tributary habitat action monitoring. In addition, it is likely that the tributary habitat components of the program will move away from research and toward basic monitoring tied more closely to tributary habitat project needs. Further, science will be front loaded into project development to incorporate the target species biological requirements. To the extent possible, tools developed to date would continue to be used and supported.

Related Documents

Landscape Studies
11/2012 Chapter 9.—Using Remote Sensing to Assess Anthropogenic Influences on Stream Temperature PDF 2 mb
06/2011 Landscape classification of Pacific Northwest hydrologic units based on natural features and human disturbance to support salmonid research and management PDF 2.53 mb
Methow and Entiat Watersheds
08/2019 Methow River Subbasin Effectiveness Monitoring Program Report PDF 11.27 mb
04/2016 Response of Ecosystem Metabolism to Low Densities of Spawning Chinook SalmonPDF 992 kb
03/2016 Aquatic Trophic Productivity Model: A Decision Support Model for River Restoration Planning in the Methow River, WashingtonPDF 4.15 mb
01/2016 Progress and Challenges of Testing the Effectiveness of Stream Restoration in the Pacific Northwest Using Intensively Monitored WatershedsPDF 934 kb
12/2015 Upper Methow River Reach Assessment River Miles 61-80PDF 34.99 mb
02/2015 Middle Twisp River Reach Assessment and Restoration StrategyPDF 12.08 mb
01/2015 Spatial Complexity Reduces Interaction Strengths in the Meta-Food Web of a River Floodplain MosaicPDF 1.18 mb
05/2014 Juvenile Salmon and Steelhead Occupancy of Stream Pools Treated and Not Treated with Restoration Structures, Entiat River, Washington PDF 311 kb
04/2014 Juvenile Anadromous Salmonid Production in Upper Columbia River Side Channels with Different Levels of Hydrological ConnectionPDF 342 kb
03/2014 The Response of Stream Periphyton to Pacific Salmon PDF 738 kb
01/2014 Methow River Studies, Washington — Abundance Estimates from Beaver Creek and the Chewuch River Screw Trap, Methodology Testing in the Whitefish Island Side Channel, and Survival and Detection Estimates from Hatchery Fish ReleasesPDF 992 kb
05/2013 Beaver Creek Passage Improvement Study PDF 730 kb
05/2013 Monitoring the Benefits of Instream Habitat Diversity PDF 449 kb
05/2013 More Fish Use Reconnected Side Channel near Elbow Coulee PDF 2 mb
03/2013 Methow Intensively Monitored Watershed 2012 Annual Report PDF 18 mb
12/2012 Potential Effects of Changes in Temperature and Food Resources on Life History Trajectories of Juvenile Oncorhynchus Mykiss PDF 712 kb
2012 The Floodplain Food Web Mosaic: A Study of its Importance to Pacific Salmon, with Implications for their Restoration PDF 2.55 mb
2012 Monitoring of Stream Restoration Habitat on the Main Stem of the Methow River, Washington, During the Pre-Treatment Phase (October 2008–May 2012) with a Progress Report for Activities from March 2011 to November 2011 PDF 256 kb
2012 The floodplain food web mosaic: a study of its importance to salmon and steelhead with implications for their recovery (preprint) PDF 1 mb
08/2012 Genetic Variation in Oncorhynchus mykiss in Tributaries to the Lower Methow Basin PDF 803 kb
08/2012 Effectiveness of Actions in Beaver Creek PDF 894 kb
04/2012 Colonization of Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in a Natal Stream After Barrier Removal PDF 130 kb
12/2011 The ecological importance of floodplains in montane river networks: Implications for habitat restoration and salmon recovery PDF 2.96 mb
10/2011 Colonization of Wild and Hatchery Steelhead in a Small Tributary after Barrier Removal PDF 1.46 mb
2010 Effectiveness of a Redesigned Water Diversion Using Rock Vortex Weirs to Enhance Longitudinal Connectivity for Small Salmonids PDF 293 kb
2010 Guidelines for Calculating and Enhancing Detection Efficiency of PIT Tag Interrogation Systems PDF 300 kb
11/2010 Effectiveness of a redesigned water diversion using rock vortex weirs 5 to enhance longitudinal connectivity for small salmonids PDF 293 kb
11/2010 Mainstem Methow habitat effectiveness monitoring of stream restoration: Study Plan update for FY2011 and FY2012 PDF 680 kb
02/2010 Assessing Limitations to Life History Diversity to Help Prioritize Actions for Restoring Steelhead PDF 1 mb
2009 Hydraulic modeling and upstream fish passage effectiveness evaluation at rock vortex weirs based on field observations PDF 283 kb
2009 Contribution to steelhead smolt production from differing life history strategies: downstream movement as parr versus staying until time of smolting PDF 1.7 mb
2008 Measuring the Performance of Two Stationary Interrogation Systems for Detecting Downstream and Upstream Movement of PIT-Tagged Salmonids PDF 287 kb
01/2008 Lower Methow Tributaries Intensive Effectiveness Monitoring Study Interim Report For the period: July 2004-November 2006 PDF 1.4 mb
2007 Effectiveness of a redesigned water diversion using rock vortex weirs 5 to enhance longitudinal connectivity for small salmonids PDF 277 kb
Grande Ronde Watersheds
07/2016 Estimation of Catherine Creek Chinook Salmon Reach-Specific Survival During Spring Emigration PDF 2.45 mb
09/2015 Grande Ronde River Report PDF 16.09 mb
05/2014 Identification and Characterization of Catherine Creek Juvenile Spring Chinook Salmon Overwintering Rearing Habitat in Upper Grande Ronde Valley PDF 2.37 mb
02/2012 Fisheries Monitoring System: Catherine Creek PIT Tag Interrogation Systems PDF 791 kb
Upper Salmon Watershed
01/2016 Riparian Habitat Management Plan: Upper Lemhi River, Leadore, ID PDF 6.04 mb
02/2013 Yankee Fork Drainage Fisheries Summary and Analysis PDF 2.26 mb
2010 Jordan River 2010 Stream Survey Report, Salmon-Challis National Forest PDF 2.93 mb

Related Links
Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program (CHaMP)
Integrated Status and Effectiveness Monitoring Program (ISEMP)
Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP)
NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program

Sue Camp
Natural Resource Specialist
(208) 378-5030

Bureau of Reclamation
Columbia-Pacific Northwest Region
1150 N Curtis Road, Suite 100
Boise, Idaho 83706

Last Updated: 12/14/21