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11 Recommendations BASINWIDE ISSUES Scope of ESA Actions Recovery of enciangerecT suckers ancT threatened coho salmon in the I(lamath basin cannot be achieved by actions that are exclusively or primar- ily focused on operation of USBR's I(lamath Project. While continuing consultation between the listing agencies ancT USBR is important, cTistribu- tion of the listecT species well beyond the boundaries of the I(lamath Project ancT the impairment of these species through lancT- ancT water-management practices that are not uncler control of USBR require that the agencies use their authority uncler the ESA much more broacTly than they have in the past. Recommendation 1. The scope of ESA actions by NMFS ancT USFWS shouicT be expanclecT in several ways, as follows (Chapters 6, 8, 91. · NMFS ancT USFWS shouicT inventory all governmental, tribal, ancT private actions that are causing unauthorized take of enciangerecT suckers ancT threatened coho salmon in the I(lamath basin ancT seek either to autho- rize this take with appropriate mitigative measures or to eliminate it. · NMFS ancT USFWS shouicT consult not only with USBR, but also with other fecleral agencies (e.g., U.S. Forest Service) uncler Section 7(a)~11; the fecleral agencies collectively shouicT show a will to fulfill the interagency agreements that were macle in 1994. 344
RE COMMENDA TIONS 345 · NMFS anti USFWS shouicI use their full authority to control the actions of fecleral agencies that impair habitat on feclerally managed lancis, not only within but also beyond the I(lamath Project. · Within 2 yr, NMFS shouicI prepare ancI promulgate a recovery plan for coho salmon, anti USFWS shouicI clo the same for shortnose anti Lost River suckers. The new recovery plans shouicI facilitate consultations uncler ESA Sections 7(a)~1), 7(a)~2), anti lO(a)~1) across the entire geographic ranges of the listecI species. · NMFS anti USFWS shouicI more aggressively pursue opportunities for non-regulatory stimulation of recovery actions through the creation of demonstration projects, technical guidance, anti extension activities that are intenclecI to encourage anti maximize the effectiveness of non-govern- mental recovery efforts. Planning ant! External Review For all three of the listecI fish species, monitoring, research, ancI reme- cliation have been hanclicappecI by lack of effective central planning, by insufficient external review, anti by poor connections between research anti remecliation (Chapters 6, 8, 101. Recommendation 2. Planning anti organization of research anti monitoring for listecI species shouicI be implementecI as follows. · Research anti monitoring programs for enciangerecI suckers shouicI be guiclecI by a master plan for collection of information in clirect support of the recovery plan; the same shouicI be true of coho salmon. · A recovery team for suckers anti a second recovery team for coho salmon shouicI administer research anti monitoring on the listecI species. The recovery team shouicI use an aciaptive management framework that serves as a clirect link between research anti remecliation by testing the effectiveness anti feasibility of specific remecliation strategies. · Research anti monitoring shouicI be reviewed comprehensively by an external pane! of experts every 3 yr. · Scientists participating in research shouicI be requirecI to publish key findings in peer-reviewecI journals or in synthesis volumes subjected to external review; administrators shouicI allow researchers sufficient time to clo this important aspect of their work. · Separately or jointly for the upper anti lower basins, a broacIly basecI, diverse committee of cooperators shouicI be establishecI for the purpose of pursuing ecosystem-basecI environmental improvements throughout the basin for the benefit of all fish species as a means of preventing future listings while also preserving economically beneficial uses of water that are compatible with high environmental quality. Where possible, existing fecI-
346 FISHES IN THE KLAMATH RIVER BASIN eral ancI state legislation shouicI be used as a framework for organization of this effort. ENDANGERED LOST RIVER AND SHORTNOSE SUCKERS Needs for New Information The enciangerecI suckers have been extensively stucliecI, particularly in Upper Klamath Lake, in ways that have proven very useful to the diagnosis of causes for clecline in the abundance of suckers. Research anti monitoring programs will continue to be valuable in revealing mechanisms that cause clecline of the listecI species, in cleveloping a scientific basis for recovery actions, anti in evaluating trial remecliation measures through aciaptive management. Research that is focused on gaps in knowlecige or on mecha- nisms that appear to be particularly important to the recovery of the suck- ers will be most useful in support of the recovery effort. Recommendation 3. Research anti monitoring on the enciangerecI suckers shouicI be continued. Topics for research shouicI be acljustecI annually to reflect recent findings anti to aciciress questions for which lack of knowlecige is a handicap to the clevelopment or implementation of the recovery plan. Gaps in knowlecige that require research in the near future are as follows (Chapters 5, 61. · Efforts shouicI be expanclecI to estimate annually the abundance or relative abundance of all life stages of the two enciangerecI sucker species in Upper Klamath Lake. · At intervals of 3 yr, biotic as well as physical anti chemical surveys shouicI be concluctecI throughout the geographic range of the enciangerecI suckers. Suckers shouicI be samplecI for indications of age distribution, qualitative measures of abundance, anti condition factors. Sampling shouicI inclucle fish other than suckers on grouncis that the presence of other fish is an indicator of the spreacI of nonnative species, of changing environmental conditions, or of changes in abundance of other endemic species that may be approaching the status at which listing is neeclecI. Habitat conditions anti water-quality information potentially relevant to the welfare of the suckers shouicI be recorclecI in a manner that allows comparison across years. The resulting survey information, along with the more cletailecI information available from annual monitoring of populations in Upper Klamath Lake, shouicI be synthesized as an overview of status. · DetailecI comparisons of the Upper Klamath Lake populations Which are suppressed anti the Clear Lake anti Gerber Reservoir popula- tions (which are apparently stable), in combination with studies of the environmental factors that may affect welfare of the fish, shouicI be con-
RE COMMENDA TIONS 347 cluctecI as a means of diagnosing specific life-history bottlenecks that are affecting the Upper I(lamath Lake populations. · Multifactorial studies uncler conditions as realistic as practicable shouicI be macle of tolerance anti stress for the listecI suckers relevant to poor water-quality conditions in Upper I(lamath Lake anti elsewhere. · Factors affecting spawning success anti larval survival in the William- son River system shouicI be stucliecI more intensively in support of recovery efforts that are focused on improvements in physical habitat protection for spawners anti larvae in rivers. · An analysis shouicI be concluctecI of the hyciraulic transport of larvae in Upper I(lamath Lake. · Relevant to the water quality of Upper I(lamath Lake, more inten- sive studies shouicI be macle of water-column stability anti mixing, espe- cially in relation to physiological status of Aphanizomenon anti the occur- rence of mass mortality; of mechanisms for internal loacling of phosphorus; of winter oxygen concentrations; anti of the effects of limnohumic acicis on Aphanizomenon. · A demographic mocle! of the populations in Upper I(lamath Lake shouicI be prepared anti used in integrating information on factors that affect incliviclual life-history stages. · Studies shouicI be clone on the clegree anti importance of predation on young fish by nonnative species. · Aciclitional studies shouicI be clone on the genetic identities of subpopulations. Remeclial Actions Because the suckers currently are not showing evidence of recovery, new types of actions intenclecI to promote recovery are essential. The main focus of action in the recent past has been maintenance of specific minimum water levels in Upper I(lamath Lake. Current evidence suggests that these manipulations will not be effective in causing restoration of suckers in Upper I(lamath Lake, despite evidence that higher water levels maximize certain habitat features that are known to be important to the suckers. Aciclitional harm to the suckers might result, however, from changes in the I(lamath Project operations that wouicI allow greater degrees of mean or maximum cirawclown than those observed in the l990s. USFWS may con- tinue to investigate the effects of lake level in a more clirectecI way by collaborating with USER in experiments involving water-level manipula- tions. Some new types of manipulations not proclucecI by past operating procedures might be especially informative. In planning experiments USFWS shouicI consider the possibility that sustained high water levels couicI be cletrimental to the suckers by increasing the severity of mass mortality
348 FISHES IN THE KLAMATH RIVER BASIN through maintenance of high water-column stability, thus exacerbating surface oxygen clepletion at times of mixing cluring the late growing season. Water levels in Clear Lake ancI Gerber Reservoir appear to have been adequate to sustain stable populations except at extreme cirawclown, the occurrence of which is a risk to the suckers. Current evidence indicates that attempts to intercept nutrients from the watershed will not improve the quality of water of Upper I(lamath Lake, ancI thus cannot be taken as a likely way to achieve recovery of suckers. Recovery actions for suckers of Upper I(lamath Lake at present shouicI emphasize measures that maximize production ancI survival of young fish on the basis that aciclitional recruitment into the subaclult ancI aclult stages couicI partially or fully offset mass mortality of aclults. In aciclition, experi- ments shouicI be clone on artificial oxygenated refugia that may be used by large fish. Recoverv planning should assume that, because mass mortality of aclults will likely continue in Upper I(lamath Lake, significant efforts shouicI be macle to establish self-sustaining populations elsewhere in the I(lamath basin. Recommendation 4. Recovery actions of highest priority based on current knowlecige of enciangerecI suckers are as follows (Chapter 61: · Removal of Chiloquin Dam to increase the extent of spawning habi- tat in the upper Sprague River ancI expand the range of ancI conditions uncler which larvae enter Upper I(lamath Lake. · Removal or facilitation of passage at all small blockages, clams, diversions, ancI tributaries where suckers are or couicI be present. · Screening of water intakes at Link River Dam. · Modification of screening ancI intake procedures at the A Canal as recommenclecI by USFWS (20021. · Protection of known spawning areas within Upper I(lamath Lake from disturbance (inclucling hycirologic manipulation, in the case of springs), . . . . except: -or restoration activities. · For river spawning suckers of Upper I(lamath Lake, protection ancI restoration of riparian conditions, channel geomorphology, ancI sediment transport; elimination of disturbance at locations where suck- ers clo spawn or couicI spawn. These actions will require changes in grazing ancI agricultural practices, lancI management, riparian corridors, ancI public education. · Seecling of abanclonecI spawning areas in Upper I(lamath Lake with new spawners ancI physical improvement of selectecI spawning areas. · Restoration of wetiancI vegetation in the Williamson River estuary ancI northern portions of Upper I(lamath Lake. · Use of oxygenation on a trial basis to provide refugia for large suckers in Upper I(lamath Lake.
RE COMMENDA TIONS 349 · Rigorous protection of tributary spawning areas on Clear Lake ancI Gerber Reservoir, where populations are apparently stable. · Reintroduction of enciangerecI suckers to Lake of the Woocis after elimination of its nonnative fish populations. · Reestablishment of spawning ancI recruitment capability for encian- gerecI suckers in Tule Lake ancI Lower I(lamath Lake, even if the attempts require alterations in water management, proviclecI that preliminary studies indicate feasibility; increased control of sedimentation in Tule Lake. · All proposed changes in I(lamath Project operations shouicI be re- viewecI for potential adverse effects on suckers; water level limits for the near future shouicI be maintained as proposed by USER in 2002 but with modifications as required by USFWS in its most recent biological opinion (20021. THREATENED COHO SALMON Needs for New Information While the biology of coho salmon is well known in general, studies of coho salmon specific to the I(lamath River basin have been few ancI clo not provide the requisite amount of information to support quantitative assess- ments of population strength ancI distribution, environmental correlates of successful spawning ancI rearing, overwintering losses ancI associated habi- tat deficiencies, water temperatures at critical points in tributary waters, ancI effects of hatchery-rearecI fish on wilcI coho. Main-stem conditions are primarily of interest with respect to the spawning run ancI the downstream migration of smolts. Tributary conditions, which have been much less stucI- iecI than main-stem conditions, are critical to both spawning ancI rearing; habitat inclucles but extends beyond the main stems of the large tributaries ancI into the small tributaries ancI heac~waters that strongly favor spawning ancI rearing of coho. Recommendation 5. Needs for new information on coho salmon are as follows (Chapters 7, 81. · Annual monitoring of aclults ancI juveniles shouicI be concluctecI at the mouths of major tributaries ancI the main stem as a means of establish- ing a record of year-class strength for coho. Every 3 yr, synoptic studies of the presence ancI status of coho shouicI be macle of coho in the I(lamath basin. Physical ancI chemical conditions shouicI be clocumentecI in a manner that allows interannual comparisons. Not only coho but other fish species present in coho habitats shouicI be samplecI simultaneously on grouncis that changes in the relative abundance of species are relevant to the welfare of coho ancI may serve as an early warning of cleclines in the abundance of
350 FISHES IN THE KLAMATH RIVER BASIN other species. Results of synoptic studies, along with the annual monitoring at tributary mouths, shouicI be synthesized as an overview of population status at 3-yr intervals. · DetailecI comparisons shouicI be macle of the success of coho in specific small tributaries that are chosen so as to represent gradients in potential stressors. The objective of the stucly shouicI be to identify thresh- oicis for specific stressors or combinations of stressors ancI thus to establish more specifically the tolerance threshoicis for coho salmon in the I(lamath basin. · The effect on wilcI coho of fish releasecI in quantity from hatcheries shouicI be cleterminecI by manipulation of hatchery operations according to aciaptive-management principles. As an initial step, release of hatchery fish from Iron Gate Hatchery (all species) shouicI be eliminatecI for 3 yr, ancI indicators of coho response shouicI be clevisecI. Complementary manipula- tions at the Trinity River Hatchery wouicI be clesirable as well. · SelectecI small tributaries that have been impaired shouicI be experi- mentally restored, ancI the success of various restoration strategies shouicI be cleterminecI. · Success ot specific livestock-management practices in improv- ing channel conditions ancI promoting clevelopment of riparian vegetation shouicI be evaluatecI systematically. · Relationships between flow ancI temperature at the junctions of tributaries with the main stem ancI the estuary shouicI be quantified; pos- sible benefits of coordinating flow management in the Trinity ancI I(lamath main stem shouicI be stucliecI. Remecliation Actions intenclecI to improve environmental conditions for the threat- enecI coho salmon to ciate primarily have involvecI hycirologic manipulation of the main stem at Iron Gate Dam. Continual focus on hycirologic concli- tions in the main stem is an excessively narrow basis for recovery actions or for a recovery plan in that coho salmon are strongly oriented toward tribu- taries for all phases of the freshwater phase of their life cycle except migra- tion at the aclult ancI smolt stages. Changes required by NMFS in the flow of the main stem inclucle aciclitional water specifically for smolt migration; it is unknown whether this will be a major benefit to coho, but in the absence of information to the contrary it is a reasonable requirement. Es- tablishment of more stringent minimum flows for the other parts of the year, as compared to the operations cluring the l990s, are of uncertain benefit to coho salmon, although they may be of substantial benefit to other species that use the main stem more extensively. In apportioning responsi- bility to USER for providing minimum flows according to its proportional
RE COMMENDA TIONS 351 use of water, NMFS is recognizing in a realistic way the neecI for all con- sumptive uses to be factored into any minimum-flow regime. Major tributaries as well as small tributaries must benefit from reme- cliation if recovery is to occur. Although more cletailecI information wouicI be clesirable as a basis for remecliation, beginning points for remecliation are obvious in locations where tributaries have been critically clewaterecI or warmed to the lethal threshoicI for coho salmon (a problem that couicI be exacerbated by climate change), or where appropriate substrate has been eliminatecI anti cover is absent. Thus, there is ample justification for begin- ning remecliation immecliately. This will require extensive work on private lancis, anti also the establishment of improved management practices for mining anti forestry, some of which is uncler the clirect control of other agencies that are subject to ESA authority through NMFS. Blockage of coho migration, which occurs in clozens of locations at various scales within the I(lamath basin, is inconsistent with ESA regulations on take anti must be clealt with by NMFS. Recommendation 6. Remecliation measures that can be justified from cur- rent knowlecige inclucle the following (Chapter 81. · Reestablishment of coo! summer flows in the Shasta anti Scott rivers in particular but also in small tributaries that reach the I(lamath main stem or the Trinity main stem where water has been anthropogenically warmed. Reestablishment of coo! flows shouicI be pursued through purchase, tracI- ing, or leasing of grounc~water flows (inclucling springs) for clirect clelivery to streams; by extensive restoration of woocly riparian vegetation capable of providing shacle; anti by increase of annual or seasonal low flows. · Removal or provision for effective passage at all small clams anti diversions throughout the distribution of the coho salmon, to be completecI within 3 yr. In aciclition, serious evaluation shouicI be macle of the benefits to coho salmon from elimination of Dwinnell Dam anti Iron Gate Dam on grouncis that these structures block substantial amounts of coho habitat anti, in the case of Dwinnell Dam, clegracle downstream habitat as well. · Prescription of lancI-use practices for timber management, roacI con- struction, anti grazing that are sufficiently stringent to prevent physical clegraciation of tributary habitat for coho, especially in the Scott, Salmon, anti Trinity river basins as well as small tributaries affected by erosion. · Facilitation through cooperative efforts or, if necessary, use of ESA authority to recluce impairment of spawning gravels anti other critical habi- tat features by livestock, fine sediments clerivecI from agricultural practice, timber management, or other human activities. · Changes in hatchery operations to the extent necessary, inclucling possible closure of hatcheries, for the benefit of coho salmon as cleterminecI through research by way of aciaptive management of the hatcheries.
352 FISHES IN THE KLAMATH RIVER BASIN COSTS The costs of remecliation actions are clifficult to estimate without more cletail on their mocle of implementation by the agencies. Based on general knowlecige of costs of research anti monitoring at other locations, an ap- proximate figure for the recommendations on enciangerecI suckers over a 5- yr period is $15-20 million, inclucling research, monitoring, anti remeclial actions of minor scope. ExcluclecI are administrative costs anti the costs of remeclial actions of major scope (e.g., removal of Chiloquin Dam), which wouicI neecI to be evaluatecI incliviclually for cost. For coho salmon, re- search, monitoring, anti remeclial projects of small scope over 5 yr is esti- matecI at $10-15 million. Thus, the total for all three species over 5 yr is $25-35 million, exclucling major projects such as removal of clams. These costs are high relative to past expenditures on research anti remecliation in the basin, but the costs of further deterioration of sucker anti coho popula- tions, along with crisis management anti disruptions of human activities, may be far more costly. A hopeful vision is that increased knowlecige, improved management, anti cohesive community action will promote re- covery of the fishes. This outcome, which wouicI be of great benefit to the I(lamath basin, couicI provide a mocle! for the nation.