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«Technical Report 94-4 Jonathan J. Rhodes Dale A. McCullough, Ph.D. F. Al Espinosa, Jr. December, 1994 Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission 729 ...»

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Technical Report 94-4

Jonathan J. Rhodes

Dale A. McCullough, Ph.D.

F. Al Espinosa, Jr.

December, 1994

Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission 729 N.E. Oregon St., Portland, OR 97232 (503) 238-0667 www.critfc.org




Technical Report 94-4 Jonathan J. Rhodes Dale A. McCullough, Ph.D.

F. Al Espinosa, Jr.

prepared for National Marine Fisheries Service 525 NE Oregon St.

Suite 500 Portland, OR 97232 December 1994 "Scholars concerned about ecological integrity face a serious dilemma. Because ecological knowledge is incomplete, prediction of the consequences of societal action is an inexact science. With a desire to appear objective and reasonable, ecologists accept the proposition that 'tight causal proof is the only basis for instituting controls' that will protect ecological health (Woodwell, 1989).

Woodwell concludes, and I agree, that a hesitancy to accept a preponderance of evidence (as opposed to causal proof) and a willingness to compromise stringent requirements for avoiding biotic

impoverishment is the 'epitome of unreasonableness.' He continues:

'Indulgence in the hyperobjectivity now being pushed on science lends support to avarice [while it] destroys the credibility of science and scientists as a source of common sense'..."

Karr, J.R. 1992. Ecological integrity: protecting earth's life support systems. p. 223-238. In: R. Costanza, B.G. Norton, and B.D. Haskell (eds.). 1992. Ecosystem Health. New Goals for Environmental Management.

"If there is to be any chance of abating the loss of biodiversity, action must be taken immediately...The indispensable strategy for saving our fellow living creatures and ourselves in the long run, is, as the evidence compellingly shows, to reduce the scale of human activities...Unless humanity can move determinedly in that direction, all of the efforts now going into in situ conservation will eventually lead to nowhere, and our descendants' future will be at risk."

Ehrlich, P.R. and Wilson, E.O., 1991. Biodiversity Studies: Science and Policy, Science, 253: 758-762.


Spring, summer, and fall chinook salmon in the Snake River Basin have been listed as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The ESA requires that activities authorized, funded, or carried out by federal agencies do not adversely modify critical habitat for listed species. The interim policy of NMFS is that the aggregate effect of all land use activities should result in improved habitat conditions and survival for the listed salmon species. The Coarse Screening Process provides objective, measurable criteria to evaluate the consistency of single and combined land management activities with these legal and policy goals. Although salmon populations are affected by a variety of activities throughout the migratory range of the listed salmon, the Coarse Screening Process focuses only on land management activities and their effect on salmon survival in spawning and rearing habitat.

The Coarse Screening Process relies on three sets of criteria. Biologically-based habitat standards are used to determine the need for improvement in habitat conditions. Land management standards are used to determine the consistency of activities with protection and improvement of habitat conditions and, in some cases, are contingent on habitat conditions. The screening process also requires that data exist for all land management and habitat conditions set as standards that can potentially be affected by single or combined activities. Under the screening process, activities are deemed consistent with ESA habitat policies only when all three sets of criteria are satisfied.

Potential habitat standards were reviewed for their effects on salmon survival and production, their linkages to management activities, and their relevance to conditions in the Snake River Basin.

Where land management standards could adequately protect key habitat attributes, they were set in lieu of quantitative habitat standards. Habitat standards were recommended based on the habitat requirements of the listed salmon. Habitat attributes reviewed for their potential utility as screening elements included metrics for channel substrate, pools, large woody debris, bank stability, water temperature, miscellaneous pollutants, water quantity and timing. Quantitative habitat standards were recommended for channel substrate, water temperature, and bank stability. It is recommended that where these standards are not met, that any activity that can potentially delay improvement in habitat condition should be deferred or curtailed until the habitat standard is met or a statistically improving trend is documented through monitoring over at least five years.

Approaches to developing habitat standards based on the "range of natural variability" were reviewed, but are not recommended because such approaches do not adequately protect salmon populations.

Potential land management standards were reviewed for their effects on salmon habitat. Land management standards were recommended for riparian reserves, estimated sediment delivery, roads, grazing, and roadless reserves. Approaches based on "Equivalent Clearcut Areas" were not recommended as land management standards.

Application of the screening process to the John Day, Umatilla, and Clearwater River Basins is recommended to provide refugia for potential salmon colonists to and from the area currently

–  –  –

Land management standards are recommended to remain in effect until habitat conditions in at least 90% of the managed watersheds in the Snake River Basin either meet habitat standards or exhibit a statistically significant improving trend as documented through monitoring over at least 5 years.

The screening process should be applied at scales representing logical units of salmon production, which may generally include watersheds of approximately 4th to 6th order streams.

–  –  –

Many helped us in this task. They deserve none of the blame for any of deficiencies, excesses, or errors in this document, but they do deserve credit for their help. The following people helped us by supplying data, literature, important discussions, and/or helpful reviews: Dr. Leslie Bach (Umatilla National Forest), Dale Bambrick (Yakama Indian Nation), David Bayles (Pacific Rivers Council), Dr. Robert Beschta (Oregon State Univ.), Dr. Lee Benda (Univ. of Washington), Paul Boehne (Wallowa-Whitman National Forest), Dr. Daniel Bottom (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife), Kelly Burnett (USFS PNW Research Station), Dr. Don Chapman (Don Chapman Consulting Inc.), Travis Coley (USFWS), Robert Gill (Wallowa-Whitman National Forest), Dr.

David Burns (Payette National Forest), Dr. Christopher Frissell (Univ. of Montana), Charles Huntington (Clearwater Biostudies), Jeffrey Lockwood (NMFS), Richard Jones (Clearwater National Forest), Dr. James Karr (Univ. of Wash.), John Kelley (Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation of Oregon), Bruce McIntosh (USFS PNW Research Station), Dr. Philip Mundy (Consulting Fishery Biologist), Dr. Charles Petrosky (Idaho Department of Fish and Game), and Michael Purser (Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation) and the helpful staff of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission: Doug Dompier, Keith Hatch, Matthew Schwartzberg, Roberta Stone, and Jim Weber.

This report was funded by BIA/NMFS Inter-Agency Agreement Contract No. 40ABNF3.

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–  –  –

2. Density of juvenile chinook salmon in creeks with differing levels of fine sediment, Middle Fork Salmon River watershed, Idaho............................................... A-3

3. Modeled population trends in chinook salmon at different levels of survival at the smolt-to-adult and egg-to-emergence lifestages.............................................. A-4

–  –  –

5. Sediment delivery, fine sediment, estimated salmon survival, and estimated Equivalent Clearcut Area in watersheds within Salmon River Basin, Idaho............................. A-6

–  –  –

7. Sediment delivery, fine sediment, and estimated salmon survival from 1985-1992 in Pete King Creek, Clearwater National Forest, Idaho........................................ A-8

8. Sediment delivery, fine sediment, and estimated salmon survival from 1985-1992 in Deadman Creek, Clearwater National Forest, Idaho........................................ A-9

–  –  –

16. Cobble embeddedness, fine sediment, pool frequency, and sediment delivery in watersheds in the Idaho batholith on the Clearwater and Boise National Forests................... A-17

17. Percent stream surface area in pools and Equivalent Clearcut Area in watersheds in the Idaho batholith on the Clearwater and Boise National Forests........................... A-18

18. Percent stream surface area in pools and fine sediment in watersheds in the Idaho batholith on the Clearwater and Boise National Forests..................................... A-19

–  –  –

21. Bank stability, fine sediment, and Equivalent Clearcut Area in grazed and ungrazed watersheds in the Salmon River Basin, Idaho............................................ A-22

–  –  –

25. Average daily water temperatures existing in the Tucannon River, Washington in 1985 and modeled average daily water temperatures expected with restoration of riparian vegetation A-26

26. Estimated potential production of spring chinook salmon in the Tucannon River, Washington under water temperatures existing in 1985 and under water temperatures expected with restoration of riparian vegetation...................................................... A-27

27. Modeled mean daily water temperatures profiles on a small stream under various hypothetical combinations of stream shading, channel morphology, and groundwater inflow........ A-28

28. Stream shading and Equivalent Clearcut Area in subwatersheds in the Grande River Basin,

–  –  –

33. Fraction of riparian areas and watershed areas logged or roaded in subwatersheds on the Umatilla National Forest, Washington and Clearwater National Forest, Idaho.......... A-34

–  –  –

35. Estimated widths of protected vegetation, measured as slope distance from the edge of the floodplain, needed to provide completely natural levels of ecological functions affecting streams and habitat conditions......................................................... A-36

–  –  –

37. Sediment delivery, cobble embeddedness, fine sediment, pool frequency, and Equivalent Clearcut Area in watersheds with different land use histories in the Idaho batholith on the Clearwater and Boise National Forests................................................. A-38

38. Fraction of stream substrate dominated by sand and Equivalent Clearcut Area in subwatersheds in the Grande Ronde River Basin, Oregon...................................... A-39

–  –  –

40. Sediment delivery and Equivalent Clearcut Area in watersheds in the Idaho batholith on the Clearwater and Boise National Forests........................................ A-41

–  –  –

3. Results of linear regressions between watershed and habitat variables from streams in the Idaho batholith on the Clearwater and Boise National Forests........................... A-49

–  –  –

This report assumes that the reader has a working knowledge of the diverse fields that are broached in putting the synthesized information together. Unfortunately, discipline-specific jargon, that may not be familiar to some readers, is used throughout the manuscript. Although we regret inconveniences that this may pose, we realized that avoidance of technical jargon or inclusion of definitions would further bloat a large report. We trust that the trail of bread crumbs that can be found in the bibliography will provide ample guidance that the ambitious reader can use to find greater detail and definitions for jargon.

The citations included in the text are not necessarily the definitive citations for a given point.

Rather citations are made on the basis that they amply support a given point. While efforts were made to comprehensively review and synthesize available literature, an exhaustive review and discussion of available information and literature was far beyond the scope of this report. Books can and have been written on specific topics (e.g. statistical detection or channel metamorphosis) covered in the report; we trust that diligent readers will turn to the references where more detail is desired.

Habitat data used in the report were chosen on the basis of completeness and availability.

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