Project Update: Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Salmon River Hatchery Facilities, Chinook Program

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The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (SBT), in cooperation with the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), has contracted with McMillen Jacobs to design and build a new summer Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) production facilities with the goal of raising up to 600,000 summer Chinook Salmon smolts for release in the upper Salmon River tributary, Panther Creek. The SBT Panther Creek Program also includes the expansion of an existing egg box program to a capacity of 800,000 eyed eggs. The process for developing the facility includes site selection, Bio programming, concept designs, design phase (30%, 60%, 90%, final), and construction. Cost estimates will be developed within the process to confirm overall costs are within the project budget for this program.

To date, our team has worked with SBT to evaluate the overall bioprogram to determine water flow quantities and aquaculture tank volumes. This effort includes evaluation of existing water quality and temperature information, along with fish growth rates and feeding regimens to achieve the overall program infrastructure needs. Major components include: nine cfs water supply systems, including water treatment requirements at the constructed head tanks; a hatchery building to house the incubation stacks and early rearing vessels for the program; the hatchery will also include feed storage, an employee locker area with restrooms, and an administrative area; nine circular grow out tanks, in a covered outdoor location; an effluent pond and drain system and housing for staff.

The McMillen Jacobs team also performed a significant siting study effort for an Acclimation/ Broodstock collection facility to be located on Panther Creek. The siting study with researching areas large enough to accommodate the facility and that would meet proximity requirements to a surface water source and power service, prioritizing properties that were for sale. The team has identified the two most ideal sites and are currently investigating further.

The main hatchery site location is anticipated to be on SBT property near the mouth of the Pahsimeroi River. The team has evaluated the property for adequate space and identified two potential hatchery layouts. The site is anticipated to have sufficient groundwater to provide a pathogen-free water source for incubation and early rearing to avoid issues with whirling disease in juvenile fish. A river source and spring source have also been identified and additional data collection is underway.

The next steps in the project are to finalize the siting study, Pahsimeroi Site Alternative Analysis, and the Bioprograms and present to BPA and cooperators for initial input.

After the final sites have been determined and the final Chinook program identified, the team will develop the initial conceptual design documentation report and drawing figures, along with cost estimates, to support the SBT Chinook Hatchery Master Plan update. We will advance the master plan and provide it to the agencies for review. Upon acceptance of the master plan, the final design will commence with construction to follow.