To protect and restore fish populations in these and other tributaries above Bonneville Dam, the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs and Yakama tribes developed the 1995 Subbasin Plans (Spirit of the Salmon Volume II). These subbasin plans, which addressed actions for both habitat protection and fish production, were a refinement of plans completed by fishery agencies and tribes in 1990—plans that defined watershed habitat and production problems and proposed remedies.
In 2000 the Northwest Power Planning Council (NPPC) adopted a new Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program that required subbasin plans for all tributaries and sections of the main Columbia and Snake rivers (in the United States) be locally developed.
Working primarily with state agencies and local watershed and recovery planning groups, the four tribes used their 1995 Spirit of the Salmon Volume II Subbasin Plans as a starting point for the fisheries recommendations in a 2001-2004 cooperative effort to draft new plans for fish and wildlife populations in upriver basins. Click here to see the subbasins and mainstem areas where the tribes focused their work.
Most of these subbasin plans were completed by 2004. The following year, they were adopted as new amendments to the Fish and Wildlife Program.
Specific habitat restoration actions identified by subbasin in Volume II of the 1995 Spirit of the Salmon Plan were incorporated in the 2004 subbasin plans and further developed in many subbasins in National Marine Fishery Service recovery plans under the Endangered Species Act. Only a few of the hatchery-related measures called for in the 1995 Volume II plans were incorporated in the 2004 subbasin plans. The tribes were able to move forward on their plans for fish production with the signing of the 2008 Columbia Basin Fish Accords.
Each subbasin plan developed under the auspices of NPCC includes information on all the existing fish and wildlife programs, activities and management plans (Inventory); a biological analysis of the potential for fish and wildlife survival improvement (Assessment); and a plan with a vision, biological objectives to measure and quantify fish and wildlife populations and environmental conditions, strategies needed to achieve the biological objectives, and a preliminary research, monitoring and evaluation framework (Management Plan).
The tribal aim in subbasin planning is watershed-wide habitat restoration to increase egg-to-smolt survival of ESA-listed and depressed populations and to help restore these populations to levels where both ESA viability criteria and the Spirit of the Salmon Plan goals and objectives are met. The subbasins of direct concern to the four tribes can be viewed at Subbasin Plans.