Biology Committee Meeting

July 1-2, 1998, UDWR, Salt Lake City, UT

ATTENDEES: Frank Pfeifer, Larry Crist, Mike Carnevale, Tom Pitts, Gary Burton, John Hawkins, Kevin Christopherson, Tom Chart, Robert Forrest, Tom Czapla, Angela Kantola, Dave Swanson, Henry Maddux, Pat Nelson, Bob Muth, Tim Modde, Tom Pruitt, Dan Beyers, Kevin Bestgen, Barry Saunders.

Action or "to-do" items are identified by a ">."

Recommendations to the Management Committee are in ALL CAPS.

Wednesday, July 1 (Convene 8:30 am, Adjourn 5:00pm)

1. Miscellaneous committee business - Henry Maddux noted that the Management Committee is hosting a ground (bus) tour of Colorado River mainstem water management facilities. Biology Committee members are invited.

2. Review/modify agenda - The agenda was modified as it appears below.

3. Review/finalize report by Muth et. al "Reproduction and early life history of razorback sucker in the Green River, Utah and Colorado, 1992-1996. The Committee approved the report as final.

4. FY 99 Workplan review - Henry Maddux introduced the draft work plan and budget summary, discussed the limited funding, and outlined the process the Program Director's staff used to develop the draft plan. Henry noted that some of the new scopes of work were not received in time to undergo complete peer review before the Program Director's office had to make their recommendations. Frank Pfeifer recommended that we stop considering new scopes of work that aren't submitted by the peer-review deadline. Tom Czapla distributed a revised scope of work for the new, unsolicited project to develop and supply feed for Colorado squawfish (instead of razorback sucker). Henry called attention to operation and management costs for the new Grand Valley hatchery facility and Frank said that only an additional $25K is needed for that (instead of $50K). Henry asked the Committee to try to "balance the budget" as they recommend revisions to the draft work plan. Larry Crist suggested that the Committee also develop a contingency list, as they have in the past. The Committee reviewed each project under their purview. Their comments individual scopes of work are recorded in the table at the end of this meeting summary.

Discussion of Old Charley Wash (OCW) operation: Pat says he thinks OCW can be used for both native fish rearing and nonnative fish control. Larry Crist recommended basing operations on hydrology, so that when flows >14,000 cfs (flows over-top the dike), we operate for native fish rearing; when flows are below that, we use OCW use to control nonnatives. Tim Modde suggested that OCW also could be used to growout age-1 hatchery fish to better acclimate them to the wild environment. The Committee recommended that if it's a low water year and OCW is not stocked with endangered fish for growout, we'll operate it at the discretion of the Refuge Manager (with a recommendation from Program that it be drained in July for removal of nonnatives). If it's a high water year, and flows overtop the banks into OCW then we'll wait and drain it in late October to facilitate removal of native and endangered fish with minimum mortality. Since we had overbank flows this year, the Committee decided we should wait to drain it until October. >Pat will develop an operation plan for OCW reflecting this.

>Tim Modde needs to provide the Committee with a revised FY 98 scope of work for Yampa River catfish removal (#88).

THE BIOLOGY COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED THAT THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE ASK THE COLORADO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE TO MAKE A PRESENTATION ON POND RECLAMATION AT THEIR AUGUST MEETING. >The Program Director agreed and will inform Colorado of this request. >Colorado also should send the Biology Committee a list of the ponds that have been reclaimed this year.

The Committee identified their need to further examine the problem of limited razorback broodstock, and put this on the agenda for their next meeting.

>Tom Czapla will find out the status of the DNA fingerprinting work (the Program provided samples, but didn't provide funding to the follow-up work). Tom Czapla said that the results of work that the Program funded were inconclusive. (This was reported at DFC, but was a Program report completed?)

Kevin Bestgen emphasized the need to continue early squawfish life history research (such as proposed in 22e and 22f). Kevin presented data showing that while adult Colorado squawfish abundance in the Green River basin is 2-3 times higher than in the mid-80's, age-0 Colorado squawfish abundance has declined dramatically in recent years, especially in the lower Green River where most juveniles are produced.

>Larry Crist and Tom Czapla will work together to convene the ISMP group to clarify ISMP objectives, but first, the Biology Committee spend some time discussing this. >The Program Director's office will draft something for the Biology Committee to begin discussing. >Tom Czapla will work with Ron Ryel to revise the FY 99 ISMP evaluation scope of work.

>Tom Czapla will follow-up on the overdue revised IMO model report from Todd Crowl (the revision is supposed to incorporate most of Grand Junction CRFP's and Kevin Bestgen's comments).

The Committee asked the >Program Director's office to be sure to provide copies of peer review comments with the scopes of work in the future.

For future reference, Angela Kantola asked how the Committee preferred the Program Director's office to show their revisions to the proposed scopes of work; the Committee preferred the redline/strike-out method over placing comments at the end of the SOW's.

Thursday, July 2 (Convene 8:00am, Adjourn noon)

5. Other business:

a. Utah reports out for peer review - Tom Pitts inquired as to the status of reports Utah sent out for peer review (he heard that some peer reviewers had returned reports saying they were not yet ready for review). Henry Maddux said that many of the reports had hand-written editorial comments that had not yet been incorporated, some had unlabeled figures, one was formatted as a master's thesis, and others also were in the wrong format. Tom Chart apologized that some of the reports were sent out in poor format. He said they've received some peer review comments and hope to have better drafts out before the Management Committee meeting. The Committee discussed the peer review process and agreed that PI's are supposed to check with intended reviewers first to make sure they're willing to do a review. Tami has been checking with the peer reviewers on the Utah reports. Kevin Christopherson said they've developed a table of reports they have due and their status, >which they will provide to the Biology Committee and the Program Director's office (or just post to the listserver). >The Program Director's office will update the reports due list based on this table and post the update to the listserver in advance of the August Management Committee meeting.

On the subject of reports, Tom Czapla noted that the Dowling report is out for peer review and available for early Biology Committee review (contact Tom Czapla for a copy). Tom Czapla distributed a revised Genetics Management Plan for discussion at the next Biology Committee meeting. Pat Nelson noted that the revised Wydoski and Wick report has been sent out and should be discussed at the next meeting, also.

b. Nonnative fish disposal near Ouray Refuge - The Ouray Refuge Manager (Dan Alonso) has concerns about disposing nonnative fish in and around the refuge (either burying on the Refuge or throwing them up on the levees). He's talked with everyone except Utah about it and all have agreed to find alternative methods. >Gary Burton will post Dan's memo to the listsever. >The Program Director's office will check with Dan in a few months to make sure the problem hasn't recurred. >Tom Chart will make sure that Mark Hadley is aware of some of the current rumors in the basin about the Program's nonnative fish removal activities.

6. Schedule next meeting - The next meeting will be September 1-2 in Grand Junction (starting at 10 a.m. on the 1st and ending by 3p.m. on the 2nd). >Frank Pfeifer will arrange a meeting room (and perhaps a barbecue).

Items for next meeting agenda

Discussion of how to resolve the problem of limited razorback broodstock.

Discussion of where to get Colorado squawfish eggs or fry for the new 24-Road Hatchery.

Discussion of disposal of excess fish (from large family lots).

Discussion of ISMP objectives.

Review/approval of revised Genetics Management Plan

Review/approval of revised Wydoski and Wick floodplain report.

Input from BC regarding proposal for extensive oil and gas development in the Green (Duchesne) River floodplain (details have been sent to the Biology Committee).

Tim Modde said that the Park Service will probably fund two studies: 1) CSF telemetry study in Lodore Canyon; and 2) movement of razorback suckers on the bar and an associated sediment movement study (the one we asked them to defer one year). >Tim will get those sent to the Committee or posted to the listserver so that the Committee can discuss and comment on them at the next meeting.

Pending Items

Ice study report

Haines and Modde squawfish winter survival and movement

IMO report

Biology Committee Comments on and Revisions to Program Director's Recommended FY 99 Work Plan

I. Instream Flow Identification and Protection $3,776,500 $274,500 $2,710,300
17 OR Green & Yampa River Chan. Mon. $29,000 $29,000 Add a thermograph at Mineral Bottom on the Green River. Standardize the
19b O Biology Hydrology Support $48,000 $48,000
54 Aspinall Synthesis of Studies $0
84 OR Duchesne River Biological Studies $150,000 $150,000
85 OR Colorado R. Chan. Mon. (15-M Reach) $16,400 $16,400 Make sure that Coordinated Reservoir operations work group reviews this
86 O Peer Review of Geomorphology $10,000
CAP-9 OR Yampa Operation Plan $399,000 $399,000
II. Habitat Restoration $4,166,300 $146,300 $4,020,000
CAP-4b O Redlands Fish Passage $71,000 $71,000 Correct page numbers (it has two page 2's).
CAP-17b O GVIC Fish Passage Evaluation $56,100 $56,100
CAP-5 O Price-Stubb Fish Passage $675,000 $675,000
CAP-5b NEW Price-Stubb Passage Evaluation $0 $0
CAP-15 OR Tusher Wash Div. Structure Studies $79,000 $79,000
CAP-15b NEW Tusher construction $0
CAP-23 O Grand Valley Project Fish Passage $420,000 $420,000
CAP- NEW Hartland Fish Passage $50,000 $50,000
95/CAP6S OR Selenium effects on razorbacks $43,400 $43,400 Pat Nelson reported that NIWQP has agreed to fund $35K.
NEW NEW Selenium effects on RBS vs. other natives $31,900 $31,900 This SOW will be significantly revised. Pat Nelson reported that NIWQP is
NEW NEW Experimental RBS spawning in selenium $0 $0
75 NEW Floodplain Protection $0 $0
CAP-6 OR Floodplain Restoration Program
OR Contaminants site screening $83,400 $83,400
OR Environmental compliance $50,000 $50,000
OR Hydrology/geomorphology $150,000 $150,000
OR Land acquisition $1,947,800 $1,947,800 Tom Pitts recommended asking NFWF to help us get short-term staff to
OR Old Charley nonnative fish removal $8,900 $8,900 The Committee agreed to the following operational scenario: if it's a low
OR Walter Walker selenium remediation $51,100 $51,100
OR Gravel Pit native/nonnative fish $40,000 $40,000 BOR agreed this could be funded under capital funds.
OR Green River levee removal evaluation $365,300 $365,300
NEW Effects of FBR on white-top distr. $22,700 $22,700 Pat said this SOW will be revised based on peer review comments. BC
NEW Role of levee removal on mosquitoes $20,700 $20,700 Pat said this SOW will be revised based on peer review comments. BC
OR Floodplain public involvement plan
III. Reduce Nonnative Fish and Sportfish Impacts $718,000 $446,000 $171,800
59 O Green River Nonnative Fish mgmt. $70,000 $70,000 BC believes budget is high for report preparation. >Utah will look into this
87 Small Nonnative Cyprinid Removal
87a O Cyprinid removal - Utah $87,500 $87,500
87b OR Cyprinid removal - Colorado $54,000 $54,000
88 O Yampa Channel Catfish Removal $90,800 $90,800 Change PI to Tim Modde.
89 OR Colorado R. Centrarchid Removal $50,000 $50,000 The main difference between this study and #87b is that this uses
NEW NEW Yampa River Nonnative Fish Control $93,700 $93,700 This SOW should be revised based on peer review comments. BC would
CAP-18 OR Colorado River Pond Reclamation $272,000 $171,800 The Committee expressed concerns based on past performance. This will
CAP-20 O Highline screening $0 $0
IV. Propagation & Genetics Management $1,118,700 $388,000 $406,700
25 OR Bonytail Introduction $96,000 $96,000 Update SOW to reflect current status of flow-training work; provide status
29 OR O&M Propagation Facilities
29a OR Grand Valley $189,000 $189,000 BC added $25K needed for additional O&M costs at new facility.
29d OR Ouray $308,000 Costs seem high in comparison to other facilities. FWS should confirm these
29c OR Wahweap $83,000 $83,000 Is $8K needed to culture and transport bonytail if we're not doing flow
29d OR Adult razorback collection $20,000 $20,000
93 OR Gila hybridization $16,000 In light of outyear costs, the BC asked if the MC committed to funding 50%
CAP-7 OR Expansion of Facilities
OR Grand Valley Endangered Fish Facility $100,000 $100,000
OR Ouray National Fish Hatchery $50,000 $50,000
OR PIT tags and readers for augmentation $90,000 $90,000 This is all PIT tags for $90K.
OR Wahweap State Hatchery $150,000 $150,000 BC questioned need for $75K for the aquarium building when Utah said they
NEW UNSOL Develop larval CSF diet $16,700 $16,700 New SOW was submitted to and reviewed by BC. If the 10K in future years
NEW NEW Hatchery facilities review $0 BC recommends this be a 2-year SOW: with no $ in FY 99, and $12K (plus
NEW NEW Eval. CSF stocking/translocation: $0 See contingency list.
NEW UNSOL Collect RBS larvae for future broodstock $0 Committee agreed to defer until they evaluate how to solve the problem of
V. Research, Monitoring & Data Management $772,000 $772,000 $0
15 OR Larval Fish Lab Identification $50,000 $50,000
16 OR Database Management $34,500 $34,500 5K restored to this project and 22a reduced by $5K.
22 OR ISMP (733.7K total)
22a OR FWS, Adult CSF monitoring $26,000 $26,000 Frank will revise SOW to eliminate overlap with 16.
22a2 OR CSF population monitoring $44,000 $44,000
22a3 OR HBC Population estimate in Black Rocks $20,000 $20,000
22a4 OR HBC Population estimate in the Yampa $21,000 $21,000 If FY 98 results show that a population estimate isn't feasible, then the FY
22b OR CDOW ISMP on Colorado, White & $31,300 $31,300
22c OR UDWR, Salt Lake City $161,000 $161,000
22d OR Razorback Basinwide Monitoring $208,000 $208,000
22 OR Green R. YOY CSF pop. & surv. estimates $24,000 $24,000 See contingency list.
22f OR Yampa, lower Green, & lower Colo. CSF $76,800 $76,800
50 O Eval. of razorback sucker stocking $47,000 $47,000 Update SOW to include a column showing actual numbers of fish stocked.
90 O Distr. of hatchery-reared RBS $0 $0 PD'S office error. No carry-iver available (study was cut back to $10K in FY
NEW NEW Survival of early CSF life stages $0 Give to ISMP group to integrate as appropriate with other ISMP work.
NEW NEW Survival of early RBS life stages $0 For razorback suckers, we'll probably have to defer this type of work until we
NEW NEW Assessment of ISMP $10,000 $10,000 Committee supports enlisting outside help in refining population estimate
NEW NEW Contribution of tributaries to recovery $7,500 $7,500 Revise SOW, delete San Rafael assessment portion and include a
NEW NEW Maintain IMO model $10,900 $10,900 Committee didn't agree to fund model update every year, so only approved
NEW UNSOL Interactive catostomid larvae key $0 $0 Committee agrees we need to think about this for the future and may be able
TOTAL $12,097,700 $3,220,500 $7,651,300
AVAILABLE $3,219,200 $7,628,000
DIFFERENCE (Negative numbers in parentheses) ($1,300) ($23,300)
29a OR Additional funds for O&M of new Grand 7 Funded
25 OR Additional funds for #25 to monitor 6 Funded
22f OR Yampa, lower Green, & lower Colo. CSF 6 Funded
22 OR Green R. YOY CSF pop. & surv. estimates 5 $39,400
NEW NEW San Rafael River assessment 4 $62,500
NEW NEW Eval. CSF stocking/translocation: 3 $33,000
93 Gila hybridization 2 $16,000
90 O Distr. of hatchery-reared RBS 1 $21,000