Feasibility study of anadromous reintroductions in the Malheur Subbasin

Salmonid Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation (RM&E)

Monitoring Research
Project IDNA11NMF4380262 BPT FY2011
Recovery Domains -
Start Date03/01/2012
End Date03/29/2013
Last Edited06/11/2018
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Funds have been used to assess the feasibility of anadromous reintroductions/subsistence harvest scenarios in the Malheur River Subbasin, tributary to the Snake River in the blocked area above Hells Canyon Complex. The actual statement of work for this funding cycle was developed from two separate work objectives, namely: habitat and water quality RM&E; and outreach and collaboration. The combination of these objectives provided quantitative information about habitat availability and potential reproductive success while allowing our department to continue to keep stakeholders and other regulatory and land management agencies involved.

Data from this project has been submitted to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as part of a proposal to receive surplus hatchery fish for subsistence release into the project area. BPT originally proposed to conduct RM&E on a state-sponsored terminal Chinook salmon fishery in 2012, utilizing PCSRF funds that were not awarded. The ODFW and BPT, as co-managers, have decided to postpone the Chinook release until a suitable stock is identified.

Project funds were used to address issues identified by federal partners through habitat surveys of areas that have been identified through past PCSRF projects as areas of potential overlap with bull trout spawning, and that are suitable for Chinook pre-spawn holding and spawning. BPT utilized the U.S. Forest Service Level II stream survey protocol to facilitate comparison to historical data collected in Malheur River headwater areas. Training on use of this protocol was provided by the U.S. Forest Service as an in-kind contribution to the project for data collection.

Project Benefit    

Project funds will be used to create a robust assessment of the current condition of anadromous habitat in the Malheur River Subbasin with respect to implementation of reintroduction scenarios. Anadromous forms have been extirpated by Bureau of Reclamation water storage facilities and Idaho Power hydroelectric projects, and were a crucial portion of the subsistence living of the Burns Paiute Tribe. Ecological impacts caused by the extirpation of anadromous forms may never be truly understood. Each year funds are requested from PCSRF to implement the next phase in this assessment, with significant steps made each year towards implemetation of reintroduction scenarios. Funds are also requested annually to conduct necessary outreach and coordination with federal and state partners, and for public education in rural eastern Oregon, which is economically dependent upon water use and grazing. The ultimate (long term) goal of the project is to reintroduce Chinook salmon into the ancestral homeland of the Burns Paiute Tribe. The interim (short term) goal of the project is to address all ecological and biological concerns, through quantitative assessment, to return subsistence harvest opportunities to Burns Paiute Tribal members. Few projects to date have attempted to assess current habitat conditions in the blocked portion of the Snake River through empircal and quantitative data collection, and the project is heavily cost-shared by the Burns Paiute Tribe Natural Resources programs, the State of Oregon, and the federal partners.


Metric Completed Originally
Research and Monitoring
  Stream Miles Monitored 25.00 25.00

Funding Details

In-Kind Other$30,320
Report Total:$130,320

Project Map


Malheur River Subbasin    

  • Worksite Identifier: Malheur River Subbasin
  • Start Date: 03/01/2012
  • End Date:
Area Description
Historic/extirpated spring/summer Chinook salmon and steelhead habitat.

Location Information

  • Basin: Middle Snake-Boise
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed: 1705011601
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Oregon
  • Recovery Domain:
  • Latitude: 44.064143363
  • Longitude: -118.582763672


    No ESU data was found for this worksite.




  • E.0 Salmonid Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation (RM&E)Y (Y/N)
    •      . . E.0.a RM&E Funding 130,320.00
    •      . . E.0.b
      Complement habitat restoration project
    •      . . E.0.c
      Project identified in a plan or watershed assessment.
      Malheur River Subbasin Assessment and Management Plan (Northwest Power and Conservation Council 2004)
    •      . . E.0.d.1 Number of Cooperating Organizations 7
    •      . . E.0.d.2
      Name Of Cooperating Organizations.
      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife U.S. Forest Service, Prairie City Ranger District Bureau of Land Management, Burns District Office Malheur Watershed Council Harney County Watershed Council National Marine Fisheries Service
    •      . . E.0.e.1 Number of reports prepared 0
    •      . . E.0.e.2
      Name Of Report
    •      . . E.1 MonitoringY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . E.1.a Monitoring funding 50,000.00
      •      . . . . E.1.b.1 Stream Miles Monitored 25.00
      •      . . . . E.1.b.2 Acres of Watershed Area Monitored 600.0
      •      . . . . E.1.b.3 Square miles of water monitored625 (Square miles)
      •      . . . . E.1.c.9 Water quantity (flow) monitoringY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . E.1.c.9.a # miles (to nearest 0.01 mile) monitored for water quantity (flow) monitoring 25.00
      •      . . . . E.1.c.11 Habitat condition monitoringY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . E.1.c.11.a # miles (to nearest 0.01 mile) monitored for habitat condition 25.00
        •      . . . . . . E.1.c.11.c # acres (to nearest 0.1 acre) monitored 600.0
        •      . . . . E.1.d
          Name Of Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy/Program
          Malheur River Subbasin Assessment and Management Plan (Northwest Power and Conservation Council 2004)
      •      . . E.2 ResearchY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . E.2.a Research Funding 80,320.00
        •      . . . . E.2.b.1 Modeling and data analysisY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . E.2.b.1.a
            Key issues addressed by modeling and data analysis research
            Can spring/summer Chinook salmon survive at the adult life stage from historic time of arrival to headwater areas until spawning?
        •      . . . . E.2.b.5 Habitat attribute studyY (Y/N)
          •      . . . . . . E.2.b.5.a
            Key issues addressed by habitat attribute research
            Can spring/summer Chinook salmon survive from arrival until spawning in the current conditions of the Malheur River?