3.2 NONFISHING ACTIVITIES AFFECTING SALMON ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT

In addition to the effects from fishing activities, the adverse effects of habitat alterations, dam and hatchery operations are widely recognized as major contributors to the decline of salmon in the region. Nehlsen et al. (1991) associate these activities with over 90% of the documented stock extinctions or declines. The importance of habitat is underscored in undammed coastal watersheds with declining salmon populations. Surveys of both public and private lands in the Pacific Northwest reveal widespread degradation of freshwater, wetland, and estuarine habitat conditions. Attempts to improve salmon survival by reduction in fishing pressure may have little effect on salmon populations if essential fish habitat quantity and quality are inadequate. Ocean survival by adults, for example, is of little value if appropriate tributary habitat is not available for spawning and early life history survival of offspring (Gregory and Bisson 1997).

The Magnuson-Stevens Act mandates a consultation process for federal agencies whose activities may adversely affect EFH. This consultation process is intended to provide those agencies with technical assistance in making their activities consistent with conservation of EFH. This section first provides information on the consultation process itself, then provides a brief overview of salmon habitat requirements, and lastly a discussion of potential adverse effects and a menu of conservation options which might alleviate those effects. The purpose of identifying adverse effects and companion conservation measures is to provide general guidance for consultations, and to make this information available ahead of time to federal and nonFederal actors so that they may proactively include habitat conservation in their planning.

3.2.1 The Consultation Process

The value of early consultation in avoiding downstream issues can be seen in a review by Drabelle (1985) of the first ten years of the ESA implementation when informal consultations increased about 30% per year, correlating with the annual decrease of 30% in formal consultations and jeopardy opinions. While there is no formal requirement for state and private collaboration in the consultation process on adverse effects to salmon EFH, there is a common interest in the reduction of threats to ESA-listed species, prevention of future listings, and productive and sustainable coastal fisheries in the context of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Conservation of anadromous fish resources through voluntary coordination is a goal without geographical or jurisdictional boundaries.

Established habitat conservation policies and approaches of the Council and NMFS provide the framework for implementing the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires federal agencies undertaking, permitting or funding activities that may adversely affect EFH to consult with NMFS. Under section 305(b)(4) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS is required to provide EFH conservation and enhancement recommendations to federal and state agencies for actions that adversely affect EFH; however, state agencies and private parties are not required to consult with NMFS. EFH consultations will be combined with existing interagency consultations and environmental review procedures that may be required under other statutes such as the ESA, Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, the Federal Power Act, or the Rivers and Harbors Act. NMFS Northwest or Southwest Regional Offices will provide additional information on the consultation process upon request.

A Programmatic Approach to the Consultation Process

EFH consultations may be at either a broad programmatic level or project-specific level. Programmatic is defined as "broad" in terms of process, geography, or policy (e.g., "national level" policy, a "batch" of similar activities at a "landscape level" involving metapopulation dynamics, etc.). Where appropriate, NMFS will use a programmatic approach designed to reduce redundant paperwork and to focus on the appropriate level of analysis whenever possible. The approach would permit project activities to proceed at broad levels of resolution so long as they conform to the programmatic consultation. The wide variety of development activities over the extensive range of the salmon EFH, and the Magnuson-Stevens Act requirement for a cumulative effects analysis warrants this programmatic approach.

In collaboration with other federal agencies, states and tribes, NMFS will develop analytic tools. Examples of these include tools for determining adverse effects (e.g., the 1996 NMFS "Matrix of Pathways and Indicators" for evaluating the effects of human activities on anadromous salmonid habitat), watershed assessment protocols, research programs, predictive watershed models for testing policies and assessing adverse impacts, etc. These can be particularly useful for assessing cumulative impacts. Cumulative impact analysis is intended to monitor the effect on EFH of the incremental impacts occurring within a watershed or marine ecosystem context, that may result from minor but collectively significant actions. Cumulative impact analysis is a corollary of tiering from the programmatic since iterative actions of increasing focus can have various kinds of adverse effects (additive, synergistic, catalytic, threshold) over the life of a project and beyond. Utilization of such programmatic tools will enhance the predictive capability of cumulative impact analyses and help inform the selection of appropriate mitigation. Another programmatic approach is the development of incentives to defray costs of protecting and enhancing aquatic and associated terrestrial habitats. These include the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program designed to reduce soil erosion into fragile aquatic habitats, the Federal-State Cooperative Endangered Species Restoration Fund (ESA Section 6), and cost-sharing through the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service.

Consultation Scenarios

Table 3-1 lists examples of habitat alteration and corresponding potential effects on Pacific salmon. Table 3-2 describes most (but not all) of the types of activities which are likely to generate these effects and which may require consultation if undertaken, funded, or permitted by a federal agency in salmon EFH. Specific conservation measures for meeting the habitat objectives listed in Table 3-3 will be refined during the consultation process and will be based on the particulars of the proposed program or project activities. The range of conservation measures will be based on the premise that activities such as aquaculture, forestry, grazing, etc., need not retard or prevent achievement of the habitat objectives listed in Table 3-3.

 

TABLE 3-1. How habitat alteration affects Pacific salmon. (Page 1 of 3)

Ecosystem Feature

Altered Component

Effects on Salmonid Fishes and Their Ecosystems

Water Quality

Increased Temperature

Altered adult migration patterns, accelerated development of eggs and alevins, earlier fry emergence, increased metabolism, behavioral avoidance at high temperatures, increased primary and secondary production, increased susceptibility of both juveniles and adults to certain parasites and diseases, altered competitive interactions between species, mortality at sustained temperatures of >73-84 F, reduced biodiversity.

 

 

Decreased Temperature

Cessation of spawning, increased egg mortalities, susceptibility to disease (USACOE 1991).

 

 

Dissolved Oxygen

Reduced survival of eggs and alevins, smaller size at emergence, increased physiological stress, reduced growth.

 

 

Gas Supersaturation

Increased mortality of migrating salmon.

 

 

Nutrient Loading

Increased primary and secondary production, possible oxygen depletion during extreme algal blooms, lower survival and productivity, increased eutrophication rate of standing waters, certain nutrients (e.g., nonionized ammonia, some metals) possibly toxic to eggs and juveniles at high concentrations.

Sediment

Surface Erosion

Reduced survival of eggs and alevins, reduced primary and secondary productivity, interference with feedings, behavioral avoidance and breakdown of social organization, pool filling.

 

 

Mass Failures and Landslides

Reduced survival of eggs and alevins, reduced primary and secondary productivity, behavioral avoidance, formation of upstream migration barriers, pool filling, addition of new large structure to channels.

Habitat Access

Physical Barriers

Loss of spawning habitat for adults; inability of juveniles to reach overwintering sites or thermal refugia, loss of summer rearing habitat, increased vulnerability to predation.

Channel Structure

Flood Plains

Loss of overwintering habitat, loss of refuge from high flows, loss of inputs of organic matter and large wood, loss of sediment removal capacity.

 

 

Side-Channels

Loss of overwintering habitat, loss of refuge from high flows.

 

 

Pools and Riffles

Shift in the balance of species, loss of deep water cover and adult holding areas, reduced rearing sites for yearling and older juveniles.

 

 

Large Wood

Loss of cover from predators and high flows, reduced sediment and organic matter storage, reduced pool-forming structures, reduced organic substrate for macroinvertebrates, formation of new migration barriers, reduced capacity to trap salmon carcasses.

 

 

Substrate

Reduced survival of eggs and alevins, loss of inter-gravel spaces used for refuge by fry, reduced macroinvertebrate production, reduced biodiversity.

 

 

Hyporheic Zone

(biologically active groundwater area)

Reduced exchange of nutrients between surface and subsurface waters and between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, reduced potential for recolonizing disturbed substrates.

Hydrology

Discharge

Altered timing of discharge related life cycle cue (e.g., migrations), changes in availability of food organisms related to timing of emergence and recovery after disturbance, altered transport of sediment and fine particulate organic matter, reduced prey diversity.

Hydrology (continued)

Peak Flows

Scour-related mortality of eggs and alevins, reduced primary and secondary productivity, long-term depletion of large wood and organic matter, involuntary downstream movement of juveniles during high water flows, accelerated erosion of streambanks.

 

 

Low Flows

Crowding and increased competition for foraging sites, reduced primary and secondary productivity, increased vulnerability to predation, increased fine sediment deposition.

 

 

Rapid Fluctuations

Altered timing of discharge-related life cycle events (e.g., migrations), stranding, redd dewatering, intermittent connections between mainstream and floodplain rearing habitats, reduced primary and secondary productivity.

Riparian Forest

Production of Large Wood

Loss of cover from predators and high flows, reduced sediment and organic matter storage, reduced pool-forming structures, reduced organic substrate for macroinvertebrates.

 

 

Production of Food Organisms and Organic Matter

Reduced production and abundance of certain

macroinvertebrates, reduced surface-drifting food items, reduced growth in some seasons.

 

 

 

Shading

Increased water temperature, increased primary and secondary production, reduced overhead cover, altered foraging efficiency.

 

 

Vegetative Rooting Systems and Streambank Integrity

Loss of cover along channel margins, decreased channel stability, increased streambank erosion, increased landslides.

 

 

Nutrient Modification

Altered nutrient inputs from terrestrial ecosystems, altered primary and secondary production.

Exogenous Material

Chemicals

Reduced survival of eggs and alevins, toxicity to juveniles and adults, increased physiological stress, altered primary and secondary production, reduced biodiversity.

Exogenous Material

Exotic Organisms/Plants

Increased mortality through predation, increased interspecific competition, introduction of diseases, habitat structure alteration.

Estuarine Structure

Tide Flats

Loss of primary and secondary productivity, loss of prey.

 

 

Eel Grass Beds

Loss of cover from predators, loss of primary productivity, loss of prey.

 

 

Marshes (Salt Water, Brackish, and Tidal-Freshwater)

Loss of cover, loss of primary productivity, loss of prey, loss of sediment and nutrient filter.

 

 

Tidal Freshwater Swamps, Including Sloughs

Loss of cover, loss of primary productivity, loss of prey, loss of refuge area during high flows.

 

 

Channels

Loss of cover, loss of refuge from tidal cycles, high flows, loss of sediment/nutrient filter.

 

 

Large Woody Debris

Loss of cover, organic matter storage, habitat complexity.

Estuarine Water Quality

Dissolved Oxygen

Increased physiological stress, reduced growth.

 

 

Nutrients

Increased primary and secondary production, possible oxygen depletion during extreme algal blooms.

 

 

Temperature

Susceptibility to diseases, parasites, behavioral avoidance.

 

 

Exogenous Chemicals

Toxicity to juveniles and adults and their prey, increased stress, lower disease resistance, behavioral alterations.

Estuarine Water Quality (continued)

Exogenous Organisms, Plants

Introduction of diseases, habitat competition, increased predation, changes to habitat structure, nutrient cycling, prey species.

Estuarine Hydrology

Low Freshwater Inflows/Alterations in Timing of Flows

Alterations of juvenile survival, alterations in timing of migrations, altered transport of sediment and organic matter, altered estuarine circulation, loss of cover, increased vulnerability to predators.

Marine Water Quality

Water Quality (Sediment, Nutrients)

Reduced cover, prey effects, reduced feeding efficiency.

 

 

Exogenous Chemicals

Toxicity to juveniles and adults, toxicity to prey, increased stress, susceptibility to disease, altered primary and secondary production.

 

 

Low Freshwater Inflows/Timing Alterations

Reduced cover (e.g., in plumes), altered nutrient input.

* Freshwater portions of this table are excerpted from Gregory and Bisson (1997) with minor adaptions from that paper. See Gregory and Bisson (1997) for references to original documents on freshwater effects. Also see Spence et al. 1996, and NRC 1996 for additional narrative explanation of how alterations in habitat components effect salmon.

Estuarine effects from: Casillas et al. 1997, Cohen 1997, Cortright et al. 1987, FRI 1981, Lebovitz 1992, Levings and Bouillon 1997, Felsot 1997, Levy 1982, NRC 1996, Luiting et al. 1997, Phillips 1984, RAC 1997, Simenstad 1983, 1985, and Simenstad et al. 1990.

TABLE 3-2. Actions likely to affect salmon habitat and habitat components likely to be altered (See Tables 3-1 and 3-3 for cross reference on how changes in habitat components affect salmon and generally desired habitat conditions). (Page 1 of 2)

ACTIONS LIKELY TO EFFECT SALMON EFH

COMPACTION OF SOIL / CREATION

OF IMPERVIOUS SURFACES

DISCHARGE OF WASTE - WATER, RUN-OFF

ESTUARINE

HABITAT

ALTERATION

INTRODUCE/TRANSFER/ CONTROL OF EXOTIC

ORGANISMS/PLANTS/ DISEASE

CREATION OF MIGRATION BARRIERS/

HAZARDS

MARINE HABITAT ALTERATION

REMOVAL OF PREY

(DIRECT REMOVAL)

REDD

DISTURBANCE

(DIRECT)

EXAMPLES OF ACTIVITIES THAT MAY INVOLVE THOSE ACTIONS

forestry, agriculture, ranching, road building, construction, urbanization

industrial/food processing, mining, desalinization, aquaculture, forestry, agric. grazing, urbanization, vessel fueling/ repair, dredging, oil/ mineral development

jetty or dock constr., dredging, spoil disposal, waste discharge, vessel oper. (shallow water) ballast water disposal , aquaculture, pipeline install.

aquaculture, bilge water discharge, inter-basin water/fish transfer, fish introduction, boating

dam and irrigation facility constr/operation road building, navigation lock oper., dock installation stream bed mining, tide gate installation/ maintenance

dredge spoil disposal, mineral, oil level/ transport, wastewater discharge, ballast discharge, spill dispersal, incineration,

fishing, dredging, water intakes, water diversions

grazing, fishing, dredging, sand and gravel extraction, reservoir excavation for flood control

HABITAT COMPONENTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steam Water Quality:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temperature

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dissolved Oxygen

X

X

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sediment/Turbidity

X

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

x

Nutrients

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contaminants

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Habitat Access:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Physical Barriers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stream Habitat:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Substrate

X

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

Large Woody Debris

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pool Frequency

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pool Quality

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Off-Channel Habitat

 

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prey

X

X

 

 

X

X

 

 

X

X

Predators

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

Channel Condition & Dynamics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Width/Depth Ratio

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

Streambank/Channel Complexity

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

Floodplain Connectivity

X

X

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stream Flow/ Hydrology:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change in Peak/Base Flows

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Increase in Drainage Network

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

Estuarine Habitat:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extent/cond. of habitat types

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

x

 

 

 

 

Extent/cond. of eel grass beds

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

Water Quality also disease &

contaminants

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

Water Quantity/ Timing of Fresh

water inflow

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

x

 

 

 

 

Prey

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

x

X

 

 

Predators

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

x

X

 

 

Marine Habitat Elements:

Water Quality/disease/

contaminants

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Water Quantity/ Timing-Riverine

Plumes

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prey

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

X

 

TABLE 3-2. Actions likely to affect salmon habitat and habitat components likely to be altered (See Tables 3-1 and 3-3 for cross reference on how changes in habitat components affect salmon and generally desired habitat conditions). (Page 2 of 2)

ACTIONS LIKELY TO EFFECT SALMON EFH

REMOVAL/ ALTERATION

OF RIPARIAN VEGETATION

ALTER AMOUNT

OR RATES

OF WOODY

DEBRIS INPUT

REMOVAL OF

WOODY DEBRIS FROM STREAM, LAKES, BAYS

INCREASE /

DECREASE IN

SEDIMENT DELIVERY

 

STREAMBANK

OR SHORELINE ALTERATION

STREAM BED AND CHANNEL ALTERATION (ALSO BEDS, CHANNELS OF LAKES, BAYS)

WATER REMOVAL/ DIVERSION

WETLAND OR FLOODPLAIN ALTERATION

EXAMPLES OF ACTIVITIES THAT MAY INVOLVE THOSE ACTIONS

forestry, agriculture, ranching, road building, construction, gravel and mineral mining

forestry, fire suppression, flood suppression, road building, dams, beaver removal

channel clearing for navigation, rafting, flood or erosion control, wood scavenging, beaver dam removal

forestry, agriculture, ranching, road building, construction, sand and gravel extraction, mineral mining, dredging

forestry, agriculture, grazing, urbanization, erosion or flood control, dock construction, habitat restoration

dredging, sand and gravel removal, erosion control, placement of pipelines, habitat restoration

dam/irrigation/ municipal/ industrial power facility operation, push up dams, groundwater pumping, desalinization

agriculture, ranching,

construction, road building, flood control, dredging, beaver removal, habitat restoration

HABITAT COMPONENTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steam Water Quality:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temperature

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

X

Dissolved Oxygen

X

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

Sediment/Turbidity

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Nutrients

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

X

Contaminants

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

X

X

Habitat Access:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Physical

Barriers

 

 

X

X

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

Stream Habitat:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Substrate

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Large Woody Debris

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

Pool Frequency

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Pool Quality

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

X

Off-Channel Habitat

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

Prey

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

Predators

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

 

 

X

Channel Condition & Dynamics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Width/Depth Ratio

X

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

X

Streambank/Channel Complexity

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Floodplain Connectivity

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Stream Flow/ Hydrology:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change in Peak/Base Flows

X

X

X

 

 

X

X

X

X

Increase in Drainage Network

X

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

Estuarine Habitat:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extent/cond. of habitat types

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

 

Extent/cond. of eel grass beds

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

Water quality also disease and

contaiminents

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

 

 

Water Quantity/ Timing of

fresh water inflow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

X

Prey

X

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

X

Predators

X

 

 

 

 

X

X

X

 

 

X

Marine Habitat Elements:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Quality also

disease & contaminants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Quantity/ Timing-

Riverine Plumes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE 3-3. Habitat Objectives. The ranges of criteria presented here are generally applicable but not absolute, some watersheds may have unique geology, geomorphology, hydrology and other conditions that may not permit achieving the target habitat conditions. Target conditions can be established on a regional or site specific basis as needed to account for those factors (*please see footnote). (Page 1 of 3)

PATHWAY

INDICATORS

PROPERLY FUNCTIONING

AT RISK

NOT PROPERLY FUNCTIONING

Water Quality:

Temperature

50-57 F1/

57-60F (spawning)

57-64F (migration &rearing)2/

> 60F (spawning)

> 64F (migration & rearing)2/

 

 

Sediment/Turbidity

< 12% fines (<0.85mm) in gravel3/,

turbidity low

12-17% (west-side)3/,

12-20% (east-side)2/,

turbidity moderate

>17% (west-side)3/,

>20% (east side)2/ fines at surface or depth in spawning habitat2/, turbidity high

 

 

Chemical Contamination/

Nutrients

low levels of chemical contamination from agricultural, industrial and other sources, no excess nutrients, no CWA 303d designated reaches5/,13/

moderate levels of chemical contamination from agricultural, industrial and other sources, some excess nutrients, one CWA 303d designated reach5/

high levels of chemical contamination from agricultural, industrial and other sources, high levels of excess nutrients, more than one CWA 303d designated reach5/

Habitat Access:

Physical Barriers

any man-made barriers present in watershed allow upstream and downstream juvenile and adult fish passage at all flows

any man-made barriers present in watershed do not allow upstream and/or downstream fish passage at base/low flows

any man-made barriers present in watershed do not allow upstream and/or downstream fish passage at a range of flows

Stream Habitat Elements:

Substrate

dominant substrate is gravel or cobble (interstitial spaces clear), or embeddedness <20%3/

gravel and cobble is subdominant, or if dominant, embeddedness 20-30%3/

bedrock, sand, silt or small gravel dominant, or if gravel and cobble dominant, embeddedness >30%2/

 

 

Large Woody Debris

quantity of key pieces

Coast: >80 pieces/mile >24"diameter >50 ft. length4/;

East-side: >20 pieces/ mile >12"diameter >35 ft. length2/;

and adequate sources of woody debris recruitment in riparian areas.

currently meets standards for properly functioning, but lacks potential sources from riparian areas of woody debris recruitment to maintain that standard

does not meet standards for properly functioning and lacks potential large woody debris recruitment

 

 

Pool Frequency

channel width # pools/mile6

5 feet 184

10 " 96

15 " 70

20 " 56

25 " 47

50 " 26

75 " 23

100 " 18

meets pool frequency standards

(left) and large woody debris recruitment standards for properly functioning habitat (above)

meets pool frequency standards but large woody debris recruitment inadequate to maintain pools over time

does not meet pool frequency standards

 

 

Pool Quality

pools >1 meter deep (holding pools) with good cover and cool

water3, minor reduction of pool volume by fine sediment

few deeper pools (>1 meter) present or inadequate major reduction of pool volume by fine sediment cover/temperature3, moderate reduction of pool volume by fine sediment

no deep pools (>1 meter) and inadequate cover/temperature3,

Major reduction of pool volume by fine sediment

 

 

Off-channel Habitat

backwaters with cover, and low energy off-channel areas (ponds, oxbows, etc.)3/

some backwaters and high energy side channels3/

few or no backwaters, no off-channel ponds3/

 

 

Refugia

(important remnant habitat for sensitive aquatic species)

habitat refugia exist and are adequately buffered (e.g., by intact riparian reserves); existing refugia are sufficient in size, number and connectivity to maintain viable populations or sub-populations7

habitat refugia exist but are not adequately buffered (e.g., by intact riparian reserves); existing refugia are insufficient in size, number and connectivity to maintain viable populations or sub-populations7/ 

adequate habitat refugia do not exist7/:

Channel Condition

& Dynamics

Width/Depth Ratio

<102/,4/

>10

 

>10

 

 

 

Streambank Condition

>90% stable; i.e., on average, less than 10% of banks are actively eroding2/

 80-90% not eroding

 <80% not eroding

 

 

Floodplain Connectivity

off-channel areas are frequently hydrologically linked to main channel; overbank flows occur and maintain wetland functions, riparian vegetation and succession

reduced linkage of wetland, floodplains and riparian areas to main channel; overbank flows are reduced relative to historic frequency, as evidenced by moderate degradation of wetland function, riparian vegetation/succession

severe reduction in hydrologic connectivity between off-channel, wetland, floodplain and riparian areas; wetland extent drastically reduced, riparian vegetation/succession altered significantly, and channel degradation apparent

Flow/Hydrology:

Change in Peak/

Base Flows

watershed hydrograph indicates peak flow, base flow and flow timing characteristics comparable to an undisturbed watershed of similar size, geology and geography

some evidence of altered peak flow, baseflow and/or flow timing relative to an undisturbed watershed of similar size, geology and geography.

pronounced changes in peak flow, baseflow and/or flow timing relative to an undisturbed watershed of similar size, geology and geography

 

 

Increase in Drainage Network

zero or minimum increases in drainage network density from roads8/,9/

moderate increases in drainage network density from roads (e.g., about 5%)8/,9/

significant increases in drainage network density from roads (e.g., 20-25%)8/,9/

Watershed Conditions:

Road Density & Location

<2 mi/mi11/, no valley bottom roads

2-3 mi/mi, some valley bottom roads

>3 mi/mi, many valley bottom roads

 

 

Disturbance History

<15% ECA **(entire watershed) with no concentration of disturbance in unstable or potentially unstable areas, and/or refugia, and/or riparian area; and for NWFP area (except AMAs** ), 15% retention of LSOG in watershed10

<15% ECA** (entire watershed) but disturbance concentrated in unstable or potentially unstable areas, and/or refugia, and/or riparian area; and for NWFP area (except AMAs), 15% retention of LSOG in watershed10

>15% ECA** (entire watershed) and disturbance concentrated in unstable or potentially unstable areas, and/or refugia, and/or riparian area; does not meet NWFP standard for LSOG retention

 

 

Riparian Reserves

the riparian reserve system provides adequate shade, large woody debris recruitment, and habitat protection and connectivity in all subwatersheds, and includes known refugia for sensitive aquatic species (>80% intact),and/or for grazing effects: percent similarity of riparian vegetation to the potential natural community/ composition >50%12/

moderate loss of connectivity or function (shade, LWD recruitment, etc.) of riparian reserve system, or incomplete protection of habitats and refugia for sensitive aquatic species (70-80% intact), and/or for grazing effects: percent similarity of riparian vegetation to the potential natural community/composition 25-50% or better12/

riparian reserve system is fragmented, poorly connected, or provides inadequate protection of habitats and refugia for sensitive aquatic species (<70% intact), and/or for grazing effects: percent similarity of riparian vegetation to the potential natural community/composition <25%12/

Estuarine Conditions

Habitat quantity/

quality

The estuarine system provides for adequate, prey production, cover, and habitat complexity, for both smolts and returning adults.

Moderate loss of prey production, cover, and habitat complexity

Gross loss of prey production, cover, and habitat complexity

 

 

Aerial extent

Estuary provides for most (i.e., greater than 80% intact) of its historical areal extent and diversity of shallow water habitat types including vegetated wetlands and marshes, tidal channels, submerged aquatic vegetation, tidal flats, and large woody debris.

50-80% of pre-modification area or volume and diversity of habitats

< 50% of pre-modification area or volume; low diversity of habitats

 

 

Hydrologic conditions/

sediment/

nutrient input

Fresh water inflow and other hydrologic circulation patterns and sediment and nutrient inputs are similar to historic conditions.

Moderate interrruption of estuarine circulation and nutrient and sediment delivery

Gross interrruption of estuarine circulation and nutrient and sediment delivery

Estuarine Water

Quality

Dissolved Oxygen, Temperature, Nutrients, Chemical Contamination

Water quality standards for aquatic life protection met

Water quality standards are not met intermittently when salmon are present

Water quality standards are consistently not met when salmon are present

 

 

Sediments

Sediments have low levels of chemical contamination, especially of persistent aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals, or other compounds known to bio-accumulate.

Sediments have moderate levels of chemical contaminants

Sediments have high levels of chemical contaminants

 

 

Exotic species that are non-indigeneous aquatic nuisance species

Exotic species that are non-indigeneous and aquatic nuisance species are at low and decreasing levels and not interfering with estuarine system functions.

Sustained presence of multiple exotic species that are non-indigeneous and aquatic nuisance species in significant abundance

Predominance of exotic species that are non-indigenous and aquatic nuisance species, low abundance of many native species with some low or extirpated.

* This table is adapted from an August 1996 NMFS report entitled: Making Endangered Species Act Determinations of Effect for INDIVIDUAL or Grouped Actions at the Watershed Scale. Target conditions to account for specific conditions in various areas have been developed, including, but not limited to: Oregon Coast Province, Southwest Province Tyee Sandstone, Western Cascades Physiographic Region, High Cascades Physiographic Region, Klamath Province/Siskyou Mountains.

**  ECA= Equivalent Clear-Cut Area; AMA = Adaptive Management Area

1/ Bjornn, T. and D. Reiser. 1991. Habitat Requirements of Salmonids in Streams. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 19:83-138. Meehan, W.R., ed.

2/ Biological Opinion on Land and Resource Management Plans for the: Boise, Challis, Nez Perce, Payette, Salmon, Sawtooth, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests. March 1, 1995.

3/ Washington Timber/Fish Wildlife Cooperative Monitoring Evaluation and Research Committee, 1993. Watershed Analysis Manual (Version 2.0). Washington Department of Natural Resources.

4/ NMFS Biological Opinion on Implementation of Interim Strategies for Managing Anadromous Fish-producing Watersheds in Eastern Oregon and Washington, Idaho, and Portions of California (PACFISH).

5/ A Federal Agency Guide for Pilot Watershed Analysis (Version 1.2), 1994.

6/ USDA Forest Service, 1994. Section 7 Fish Habitat Monitoring Protocol for the Upper Columbia River Basin.

7/ Frissell, C.A., Liss, W.J., and David Bayles, 1993. An Integrated Biophysical Strategy for Ecological Restoration of Large Watersheds. Proceedings from the Symposium on Changing Roles in Water Resources Management and Policy, June 27-30, 1993 (American Water Resources Association), p. 449-456.

8/ Wemple, B.C., 1994. Hydrologic Integration of Forest Roads with Stream Networks in Two Basins, Western Cascades, Oregon. M.S. Thesis, Geosciences Department, Oregon State University.

9/ e.g., see Elk River Watershed Analysis Report, 1995. Siskiyou National Forest, Oregon.

10/ Northwest Forest Plan, 1994. Standards and Guidelines for Management of Habitat for Late-Successional and Old-Growth Forest Related Species Within the Range of the Northern Spotted Owl. USDA Forest Service and USDI Bureau of Land Management.

11/ USDA Forest Service, 1993. Determining the Risk of Cumulative Watershed Effects Resulting from Multiple Activities.

12/ Winward, A.H., 1989 Ecological Status of Vegetation as a base for Multiple Product Management. Abstracts 42nd annual meeting, Society for Range Management, Billings, MT, Denver CO: Society for Range Management: p277.

In keeping with the programmatic approach, NMFS intends to use the seven broad scenarios summarized below for the EFH consultation process. The specifics of each consultation, including suggested EFH conservation and enhancement recommendations, will be tailored to meet the proposed program or project activity.

1. Federal agency actions subject to ESA Section 7 consultation requirements with NMFS. With these agencies, Section 7 consultations under the ESA will be combined with EFH consultations to accommodate the substantive requirements of both ESA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act as appropriate

2. Federal agency actions not subject to ESA Section 7 consultation requirements with NMFS. In this circumstance, a programmatic approach to the consultation, tiering from the general program to specific project actions, would be appropriate. If programmatic consultations are completed, project specific consultations should only be necessary on large or otherwise significant projects which should be determined during annual program reviews as much as possible. Included in this scenario are federal agency actions subject to the National Environmental Policy Act, Federal Power Act, and/or Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. NMFS will work with the action agency to ensure that the EFH consultation process is folded into the agencys environmental review process under one of these statutes. EFH information would be submitted through the existing practice, and NMFS would provide conservation recommendations as part of its existing role in the process.

3. Federal agency actions in areas under an approved Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) with a non Federal applicant. NMFS participation in and approval of an HCP will be combined with the federal statutory consultation requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act for EFH where appropriate. In the event of any future related consultations, NMFS will incorporate conservation recommendations consistent with provisions of the HCP.

4. Federal agency actions with a NMFS approved federal and state conservation plan. In this instance, the federal action should be consistent with and complementary to the state plan. Federal agency actions are still subject to ESA Section 7 requirements, where ESA listed species occur. The EFH consultations will be combined with section 7 consultations under the ESA to accommodate the substantive requirements of both ESA and the Magnuson-Stevens Act for EFH where appropriate.

5. Federal agency actions where federal and state conservation strategies have obviated the need for a listing. In this situation, consultation of the federal agency action should be primarily at the programmatic level. Annual reviews should determine which project level actions are large or significant enough to warrant project level consultations.

6. State governments with a NMFS approved comprehensive salmon conservation plan. In situations where state actions occur in areas under a NMFS approved State Conservation Plan, NMFS participation in and approval of the Plan will be combined with the EFH consultation and will constitute the NMFS requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act for providing conservation recommendations to state agencies.

7. Other State agency actions. States are not required to consult under the Magnuson-Stevens Act provisions for EFH. However, NMFS will provide comments to state agencies on actions identified by the Council as having a substantial effect on salmon habitat.

NMFS/Council Cooperation on EFH

Section 305(b)(3) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act allows the Councils to comment on and make recommendations to NMFS and any Federal or state action agency concerning any activity that, in the view of the Councils, may affect the habitat, including EFH, of a fishery resource under its authority. However, while NMFS and the Council have the authority to act independently, it is the intention of both to cooperate as closely as possible to identify actions that may adversely affect EFH, to develop comments and EFH conservation recommendations to Federal and state agencies, and to provide EFH information to Federal or state agencies.

The Council and NMFS will develop agreements to facilitate sharing information on actions that may adversely affect EFH and in coordinating Council and NMFS comments and recommendations on those actions. For example, if a Federal action agency decision is also inconsistent with a Council recommendation made pursuant to section 305(b)(3) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the Council may request that NMFS initiate further review of the Federal agency's decision and involve the Council in any interagency discussion to resolve disagreements with the Federal agency.