Annual Meeting June 17, Research Stewardship Education

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1 Annual Meeting June 17, 2016 Research Stewardship Education 1

2 James Chandler, Intern from St. Lawrence University Christina Morrisett, Research Assistant Melissa Muradian, Post-Graduate Research Associate Dr. Rob Van Kirk, Senior Scientist 2

3 Overview and accomplishments Water supply Water quality Buffalo River fish ladder Winter angler survey Summary and plans for next year 3

4 4 Photo credit: Alan Blakely

5 Completed Harriman State Park adult trout habitat study Zach Kuzniar defended M.S. thesis Manuscript submitted to Ecology of Freshwater Fish Monitored Buffalo River fish ladder for 11 th year Assessed wastewater treatment plant for City of Ashton Reviewed ESPA managed recharge program for IWRB Provided consulting services to IDFG, FTR, USFS, IWRB and others Delivered 8 professional presentations and numerous other talks Conducted second year of invertebrate sampling Greatly expanded water-quality monitoring program Submitted manuscript on Harriman State Park angler attitude survey to North American Journal of Fisheries Management Conducted survey of angler use in new winter seasons Assisting IDFG with creel survey on Teton River Initiated three-year assessment of economic value of angling 5

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7 Two sources of water: springs and runoff Water absorbed in and around Yellowstone later emerges at Big Springs and other springs in region This water is baseflow Reflects three years of cumulative precipitation Makes up 70% of Henry s Fork flow Runoff is seasonal, dependent on high-elevation snowpack on western edge of headwaters 7

8 (Water year = October 1 to September 30) Supply: Record low snowpack 2013 and 2014 were low water years Flow: Irrigation demand started April 1 High flows out of Island Park Reservoir earlier in season Third driest spring runoff since 1935 Driest water year since 1941 WY driest sequence since WY

9 Driest since 1941 WY driest sequence since WY

10 Driest since 1941 WY driest sequence since WY

11 Used 70% of reservoir Bright side: not nearly as bad as could have been Excessive drawdown prevented due to May rain and careful, collaborative management 11

12 12

13 13

14 Needed to fill Island Park Reservoir Decreased flows to 120 cfs Why so low? Three dry years in a row (2013, 2014, 2015) decreased baseflow substantially, leading to low inflows into Island Park Reservoir 14

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16 Below-average snowpack Above-average April temperatures Runoff occurred three weeks earlier Results: Above-average April flows Filled Island Park Reservoir (physically) Kept Island Park Reservoir filled for 6 weeks 16

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22 Now: Fourth dry year in a row May rain: Delayed irrigation demand until normal time Helped fill Island Park reservoir after flow test Projected flows: Gradually ramp up to 1600 cfs in next 10 days Run at 1600 cfs for 4 weeks (late June to mid-july) Future: Winter WY 2017: lower winter flows than WY 2016 Will the next four years be like the last four years? 22

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25 Sonde Network Main stem river 1. Above IP Reservoir 2. Below IP Dam 3. Pinehaven/Riverside area 4. Above Ashton Reservoir Sondes installed at sites 1-4 in 2014 USGS gage stations HFF stations: year 1 HFF stations: year 2 HFF stations: year 3

26 Sonde Network Main stem river 1. Above IP Reservoir 2. Below IP Dam 3. Pinehaven/Riverside area 4. Above Ashton Reservoir 5. Below Ashton Reservoir 6. St. Anthony 7. Above NF Teton River USGS gage stations HFF stations: year 1 HFF stations: year 2 HFF stations: year 3 Sondes installed at sites 5-7 in 2015

27 USGS gage stations HFF stations: year 1 HFF stations: year 2 Sonde Network Main stem river 1. Above IP Reservoir 2. Below IP Dam 3. Pinehaven/Riverside area 4. Above Ashton Reservoir 5. Below Ashton Reservoir 6. St. Anthony 7. Above NF Teton River Major tributaries 8. Buffalo River 9. Warm River 10. Fall River Currently in progress! HFF stations: year 3

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32 Reservoir profiles Island Park West sonde Island Park East sonde 32

33 Gates outflow cfs Turbidity FNU Gates Outflow Turbidity Temp C FNU IP East/Power plant IP West/Gates IP East/Power plant IP West/Gates Organic Carbon as a fraction of SS Load SS outflow load tons/day SS Load (tons/da Dissolved OC fraction O 2 of Load IP East/Power plant IP West/Gates June 1, 2015 July 1, 2015 August 1, 2015 June 1, 2015 July 1, 2015 August 1, 2015 IPWestData$Date.Time

34 34

35 Gates outflow cfs Turbidity FNU Gates Outflow Turbidity Temp C FNU IP East/Power plant IP West/Gates IP East/Power plant IP West/Gates Organic Carbon as a fraction of SS Load SS outflow load tons/day SS Load (tons/da Dissolved OC fraction O 2 of Load IP East/Power plant IP West/Gates June 1, 2015 July 1, 2015 August 1, 2015 June 1, 2015 July 1, 2015 August 1, 2015 IPWestData$Date.Time

36 Gates outflow cfs Gates Gates Outflow IP IP East/Power plant plant IP IP West/Gates Temperature Celsius Temp Temp C Dissolved O 2 mg/l Optimal Sub-optimal Dissolved O 2 2 Stressful and/or lethal IP East/Power plant IP West/Gates June 1, 2015 July 1, 2015 August 1, 2015 IPWestData$Date.Time

37 Reservoir profiles Island Park West sonde Buffalo Confluence sonde Island Park East sonde Buffalo River sonde 37

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42 42 Photo credit: James Chandler

43 1936: Dam built 1996: Fish ladder installed 2005: Ladder improved 43

44 1936: Dam built 1996: Fish ladder installed 2005: Ladder improved 44

45 1936: Dam built 1996: Fish ladder installed 2005: Ladder improved 45

46 Monitoring Objectives: 2006: Began monitoring continuously 2013: Began PIT tag/genetics study with IDFG, reduced monitoring efforts 2014: Antenna installed 2015: Concluded Phase I of tag/genetics study, further reduced monitoring efforts 46

47 Fall (Sep-Dec) # PIT Tagged Spring (Feb-June 15) , , # Detected by antenna 30,000 70,000 Estimated outmigrants / year 47

48 48

49 Questions: Does Buffalo River contribute to Henry s Fork fishery? If so, how? Spawning? Rearing? Juvenile winter habitat? Can recruitment in Buffalo River explain variability in age-2 recruitment in Henry s Fork? Goals: Infer parentage of migrating rainbow trout Are they offspring of migrating Henrys Fork fish? Are they offspring of year-round resident Buffalo fish? A combination of the two? 49

50 Henry s Fork 2015: Collected tissue from a sample of individuals of all ages 2016 and 2017: Collect tissue from a sample of age-2 fish Buffalo River 2014: Collected tissue from all upstream-migrating spawners 2015: Collected tissue from all upstream-migrating spawners & sample of downstream-migrating juveniles 50

51 Offspring of one resident Buffalo River fish and one Henry s Fork migrant 11% 9% 80% Offspring of two Henry s Fork migrants Offspring of two resident Buffalo River fish, migrating downstream after 9-12 months 51

52 Buffalo River spawning run produces 8,000 to 30,000 fry annually recruiting insurance for HF Henry s Fork is providing majority of winter habitat for juveniles Only juveniles overwinter in Buffalo River Emphasizing importance of maintaining high winter flows in Box Canyon 52

53 Monitored February 22 June 15 Better spawning run than 2014 and

54 54

55 Decadal report analyzing data from Continue monitoring mid-february to mid-june annually 55

56 56 Photo credit: James Chandler

57 New season open January 1 May 27, 2016 Ashton Dam to Vernon Bridge ( Ashton ) S. Harriman to Riverside ( Pinehaven ) Study objective: quantify angler use and catch Counted and interviewed anglers during randomly selected three-hour survey periods Jan. 16 May survey periods at Ashton (9.6% of fishing time) 32 survey periods at Pinehaven (6.9% of fishing time) Angler interviews: 125 at Ashton 8 at Pinehaven Field work conducted by James Chandler, intern from St. Lawrence University 57

58 Winter Late Winter Early Spring Late Spring SEASON TOTAL Comparison: Regular season total in 2008 Begin Jan 16 Feb 13 Apr 2 Apr 30 Jan 16 May 24 End Feb 12 Apr 1 Apr 29 May 27 May 27 Nov 30 Ashton ,245 2,329 4,361 4,867 Pinehaven ,884 NOTE: At 2004 economic valuation, new winter use at Ashton is worth $150,000 to local economy. Updated economic valuation will be calculated in

59 Catch rate (fish/hr) Rainbow Trout Brown Trout Whitefish Total RBT Catch Comparison: 2008 Regular-season Rainbow Trout Catch Ashton % 21% 12% 1,621 4,605 Pinehaven % NA 0% 15 1,707 Population-level effects are non-detectable from this level of additional catch-and-release angling. 59

60 60

61 Finish decadal report on Buffalo River fish ladder Continue to monitor spawning in Buffalo River Finalize publications currently in peer review Expand quantity and quality of peer-reviewed publications and presentations Continue to expand water-quality program Assist IDFG with creel survey on HF and tributaries (2017) Continue economic survey (Henrys Fork in 2017) Continue/complete consulting work for IWRB, IDFG, USFS, FTR and City of Ashton Provide scenario modeling for HF Basin Study implementation Expand analysis of climate change and water management 61

62 62

63 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license issued in 1988 Construction completed in 1994 Plant owned by Fall River Rural Electric ( Fall River ) Plant operated by contractor ; operated by Fall River since January 2015 Known violations of FERC license Failure to file annual water-quality reports Dissolved oxygen < 7 mg/l in summer 2014 & flow ramping-rate exceedances since Nov. 26,

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66 Met with Fall River on Monday, June 13 Presented them with draft letter to FERC expressing our grave concern over chronic flow issues Worked with Fall River s FERC-compliance consultant on June 14 to edit letter Submitted letter to FERC on June 15: HFF is committed to working with Fall River to address water-quality issues We requested FERC investigate flow issues carefully We requested a site visit from FERC We expressed zero tolerance position to Fall River 66

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