In response to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s September 2013 request, the ISRP reviewed a progress report and a summary proposal for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s Project #2007-252-00, Multiscale Hyporheic Exchange. This project’s purpose is to “identify alluvial valleys across 26,300 km2 (in NE Oregon and SW Washington), describe how valley morphology and hydrologic regime interact to determine the character and magnitude of temperature influence on the river channel, and use this understanding to predict 1) the potential distribution of Chinook and summer steelhead and 2) how different alluvial valley forms will influence the resilience of water temperature in response to climate change.”
This project was first proposed and reviewed in the Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation an Artificial Production Category Review process. The ISRP recommended that the project met scientific criteria (ISRP 2010-44) but offered the qualification that the project produce a progress report within a year. The ISRP requested that the progress report describe results to date and outline a study design that explains how the project will link hyporheic processes and the geomorphic classification to restoration planning and actions, habitat effectiveness evaluation, and salmonid performances. In June 2011, the Council recommended that implementation beyond 2014 be based on the ISRP’s and Council’s reviews of the progress report.
The ISRP requests a response to a number of issues, which are detailed in the ISRP’s review memo.
In the original review of the Multi-Scale Hyporheic Exchange Project, the ISRP thought this project could provide important insights on the influence of geomorphology, vegetation, and hydrologic regimes in alluvial valleys on hyporheic flow, water temperature, and subsequent salmonid distribution, growth, and abundance. Therefore, this project, in concept, has great potential for contributing important information on one of the pressing issues associated with conserving and restoring Columbia River fish stocks. Due to ISRP concerns about some of the project elements, the ISRP requested a progress report after one year. Comments below relate to this progress report and an updated study proposal. Unfortunately, these documents indicate that many of the qualifications raised in the 2011 ISRP review have not been addressed. In addition, the study design and methods have significantly changed, compromising the potential of this project to achieve the stated objectives.