Action agency responses to 2002 SORS

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SOR # Response
02-8 SOR 2002-8 requested a minimum tailwater elevation at Bonneville beginning November 1, 2002 and continuing until further notice.   According to the November 6, 2002 TMT notes, the Chum operation actually started on November 5th at 7AM, the operation was to target 11.3 feet, with a range of 11.1-11.5 feet.  On November 13, 2002, TMT agreed to increase the Bonneville tailwater to target 11.5 feet with an 11.3-11.7 foot operating range.  On January 24, 2003, TMT agreed to drop the Bonneville Chum Tailwater requirement to target 11.2 feet, with an operating range between 11.0 and 11.5 feet.  Therefore, the actual 2002/2003 Chum operation was not entirely consistent with SOR 2002-8, which asked for an instantaneous minimum tailrace elevation of 11.5 feet, beginning November 1, 2002.   Between November 5th at 7AM and January 24, 2003, an 11.5-foot tailwater at Bonneville water was equaled or exceeded 72% of the time on an hourly basis.  Between November 13, 2002 and January 24, 2002 an 11.5-foot tailwater at Bonneville water was equaled or exceeded 77% of the time on an hourly basis
C-11

According to the COE, elevation limits were provided 100% of the time for the range stated in the TMT Recommendation above.

C-10

According to the COE, elevation limits were provided 100% of the time for the range stated in the TMT Recommendation above.  CRITFC does not agree with the COE elevation criteria.

C-9

According to the COE, elevation limits were provided 100% of the time for the range stated in the TMT Recommendation above. CRITFC does not agree with the COE elevation criteria.

02-7 From July 11th to August 24th, 2002 Dworshak maintained a daily average outflow of approximately 13.7 Kcfs. Between August 25th and 31st, 2002 Dworshak reduced daily average outflows to 12.1 Kcfs. From September 1-10, 2002, outflows from Dworshak were between 10.0 and 10.3 Kcfs. On September 11, 2002 the average daily outflow was 5.5 Kcfs. Lastly, between September 12th and 27th, 2002, average daily outflows were lowered to the minimum project rate of between 1.4-1.6 Kcfs.
02-6 The BOR was unwilling to draft Grand Coulee below 1280’ due to the Biological Opinion summer draft constraint and other local issues. Furthermore, the BOR stated that they may delay the refill of Banks Lake until after September. Hungry Horse began releasing 4.0 Kcfs on July 20th, 2002. Outflows increased to 6 Kcfs from July 31st to August 24th, 2002. After August 24th, outflows were ramped down to 4 kcfs until reaching an elevation of 3540 feet on September 18th, 2002.
02-5 USBR summer flow augmentation water out of Brownlee during July. In a letter addressed the COE (July 9, 2002), in response to SOR 2002-5, the IPC stated:

The SOR recommends that the Company operate the Hells Canyon Complex (HCC) to facilitate the delivery of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) water released from the Upper Snake River basin, as well as provide additional water from the HCC during July and August to assist in meeting the “summer flow objective of 51 Kcfs at Lower Granite Reservoir. This is not only an inappropriate recommendation, but one that implies that the Company bears some responsibility for meeting those flow objectives and assisting with the migration of juvenile salmonids through the lower Snake River federal projects. The Company does not.

Idaho Power Company declined to draft Brownlee early absent a shaping agreement with the Bonneville Power Administration. During the second week of August, Brownlee began to draft water for power production purposes at a rate of more than a few feet of water per week; by 8-30-02 Brownlee was at an elevation of 2055.8 feet.

Additionally, USBR stated that the powerhead at Anderson Ranch had already been used and that the powerhead at Palisades and Minidoka was not available. 

According to notes recorded at the July 10th, 2002 TMT meeting, the BOR planed to release approximately 238 Kaf of water for summer flow augmentation by the end of August. The NMFS Biological Opinion and the NWPPC Fish and Wildlife program call for the BOR to provide up to 427 Kaf of volume from Upper Snake River Reservoirs for summer flow augmentation. 
C8

Dworshak Outflow reached 13.5 kcfs July 11th, and flows were kept at around that level until August 25th when flows reduced to around 12 kcfs.

02-4

SOR 2002-4 requested that Dworshak outflows be adjusted in accordance with flows recorded at Lower Granite Dam.  Essentially, this request outlined an operations plan where Dworshak could decrease outflows from May 22nd to May 28th if flows at Lower Granite were above the 97 Kcfs flow objective.  The following plan was outlined:

When flows at Lower Granite exceed the 97 Kcfs flow target, adjust outflow at Dworshak in accordance with the level at which the flow target is exceeded at Lower Granite, down to the minimum flow of 1.5 Kcfs.  For example, if flows at Lower Granite exceed the 97 Kcfs flow target by 6.0 Kcfs, outflows at Dworshak could be lowered to 4.0 Kcfs. Conversely, if flows at Lower Granite Dam are below 97 Kcfs the outflow at Dworshak would be increased to meet the 97 Kcfs Biological Opinion flow target up to a maximum outflow of 10 Kcfs at Dworshak.

In response to the Dworshak request, USACE agreed to use Dworshak to meet the 97 Kcfs flow objective at Lower Granite over the specified time, however decided to limit the volume of water used to 50 Ksfd. 

Additionally, BOR said they would not fill Grand Coulee beyond 1240 feet AMSL as long as flows at McNary were below 246 kcfs.  However, flows at McNary did not reach an average daily value of 220 Kcfs until 5-20-02, once flows in the Mainstem began to naturally increase

Lastly, SOR 2002-4 requested that Brownlee begin passing inflows.  The Idaho Power Company (IPC) agreed to pass inflows for at least the next “few days,” beginning 5-22-02.  At the time of the TMT meeting, Brownlee was approximately 1.5 feet from full, because they needed at least 1.0 feet of reservoir “cushion” for unexpected runoff events, they essentially had no other choice.

C7

According to the COE, elevation limits were provided 92% of the time for the range stated in the TMT Recommendation above. CRITFC does not agree with the COE elevation criteria.

02-3

SOR 2002-3 requested that NMFS 2000 Spring Biological Opinion flow objectives be met at McNary, Lower Granite, and Priest Rapids, using supplemented water from Grand Coulee, Dworshak, and Brownlee.  At the 5-15-02 TMT meeting, BOR agreed to draft Grand Coulee reservoir down to an elevation of 1237 feet AMSL, to maintain a minimum flow at McNary of 220 kcfs.  Additionally, BOR said they would not fill Grand Coulee beyond 1240 feet AMSL as long as flows at McNary were below 246 kcfs.  However, flows at McNary did not reach an average daily value of 220 Kcfs until 5-20-02, once flows in the Mainstem began to naturally increase.  Over the period from 5-15-02 to 5-20-02, Grand Coulee was never drafted below 1240 feet AMSL.

Also at the 5-15-02 TMT meeting, USACE agreed to operate the Dworshak reservoir to a minimum outflow of 10.0 Kcfs over the week starting 5-15-02, as opposed to decreasing outflows to 1.5 Kcfs to increase the likelihood of reservoir refill at Dworshak.  After some discussion, it was determined that Dworshak would be able to provide the 10 Kcfs flows for at least one week and still have a 70% chance of refilling.  On 5-15-02, USACE began a 10 Kcfs outflow operation at Dworshak.  Average daily outflows remained at 10.0 kcfs until the 19th of May.  On the 20th of May, an emergency TMT discussion was held, as a result of rapidly increasing flows in the Snake River.  At the TMT meeting, it was decided that Dworshak outflows could decrease below 10 Kcfs, as long as the flow objective was being met at Lower Granite.  Outflows dropped at Dworshak after 5-20-02, as flow objectives were met at Lower Granite.

Decisions were not made concerning the Brownlee operation at the 5-15-02 TMT meeting.  Representatives from the Idaho Power Company were not present.

Overall, SOR 2002-3 did not result in the flow objectives being met at McNary, Lower Granite, and Priest Rapids.  However, the SOR did result in slightly increased flows along the Snake and Columbia Rivers, as negotiations were made with operators.  At least one operator did implement the operations that were agreed too at the 5-15-02 TMT meeting.

02-2 SOR 2002-2 requested that the BiOp spill levels be implemented and the existing protocol be used during a NW or SW Reliability Event.  For the most part, this SOR was implemented in accordance with water quality standards.
C1-C6 Memo: Impact of Pool Fluctuations on the 2002 Spring Treaty Fishery
02-1

System Operational Request 2002-1 was submitted by the state, federal and tribal fishery managers to provide spill levels starting at 80 Kcfs and increasing to 100 Kcfs, at a flow equal to 170 Kcfs. The operation was requested for a five to ten day period following the release, with a check in after five days (similar to past years). The increase in flow was requested to provide sufficient depth for total dissolved gas compensation over listed chum redds below the Bonneville project. 

After significant discussion at the Technical Management Team and the Implementation Team, the Action Agencies did not agree that the SOR was implementable and implemented an alternative operation for slightly less than a three-day period. They agreed to implement an operation that had associated with it the potential risk of drafting 200 KAF from Grand Coulee Reservoir. However, natural flows increased during the implementation of the alternative operation and Grand Coulee did not draft 200 KAF. Flows were increased and spill commenced beginning at 0900 hours on March 12 and continued until 0600 hours on March 15, 2002. The Action Agencies accounted for the augmentation at Bonneville Dam as the volume above 125 Kcfs; however, the notes from the IT meeting reflect that agreement with this accounting method was not reached.

A request by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to extend the operation past the morning of March 15th, based on the fish passage and the fact that most of the water for the flow augmentation over the three day period came from local inflow, was denied.



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