Separation By Code

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SbyC Overview

Program Overview

The PIT tag Separation by Code (SbyC) process allows researchers to target individual tagged fish and separate them from the general population as they move through juvenile and adult fish passage facilities that are equipped with PIT tag actuated gates.

By default, all PIT-tagged fish are returned to the river at each of the juvenile fish bypass sites unless a researcher requests a different disposition for a particular group of fish. Target fish can be collected in a holding tank for hands-on sampling, or the default gate actions can be over-ridden so that they follow the same route as the untagged population of fish.

SbyC actions can be applied to an entire population of tagged fish, a proportion of that population, or a predefined number of individuals. Both daily and seasonal collection quotas can be set to limit the number of fish sampled. Each SbyC action can be scheduled for a specified number of hours or days, or a specified pattern of days. Multiple populations can be identified and segregated at a given site, with unique SbyC actions assigned to each group at that site.

Please refer to the descriptions and diagrams for details regarding the PIT tag Separation by Code capabilities at the various juvenile and adult passage facilities.

Coordination

Before a Separation by Code project can be implemented by PTAGIS, the researcher must coordinate with the applicable agency contacts. The coordination necessary will vary from project to project and facility to facility. If the project involves only routing PIT-tagged fish toward collection for transportation, minimal coordination is necessary. If the project involves diverting fish into holding tanks, much more coordination is necessary. For personnel and contact details see the Program and Project contact pages.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The researcher must notify the appropriate Walla Walla or Portland district biologist, as well as, the site biologist where the project will be implemented. If the SbyC project requires access to juvenile or adult facilities, you will need to contact both the district and site biologists at least 30 days prior to the planned start of the project.

Smolt Monitoring Program

If the SbyC project requires physical access to a juvenile fish monitoring facility, the researcher must contact the state-contracted Smolt Monitoring Program leader for that facility at least 30 days prior to the planned start of the project.

NOAA Fisheries

The researcher is responsible for determining if the SbyC project requires an Endangered Species Act permit. There is not a blanket permit for SbyC activities at USACE facilities. In addition to ESA Section 7 consultation, if the project will target adult fish at the Lower Granite Dam, you will need to contact the NOAA fisheries biologist in charge of operating the adult fish trap.

Fish Passage Advisory Committee (FPAC)

All fish research and evaluation programs (including SbyC studies) with the potential to affect the disposition or condition of in-river migrant salmonids should be reviewed and approved by FPAC prior to implementation of those studies. In addition to ensuring that research activities don't conflict with Regional management objectives, this coordination step may identify potential conflicts in schedules or resources between researchers. Any SbyC project targeting adult fish at Bonneville Dam must also coordinate through FPAC.

In the past, researchers needed to contact FPAC directly for this project review and approval. Beginning in the 2013 season an online SbyC request form will now automatically notify FPAC and allow them to review and approve projects online.

PTAGIS

The Columbia Basin PIT Tag Information System (PTAGIS) administers Separation by Code and all projects must be coordinated with the PTAGIS SbyC Administrator. In the past, researchers contacted PTAGIS directly to coordinate details such as sampling schedule, PIT tag code lists, desired actions and project locations. Beginning in 2013, most of this coordination will be accomplished through an online form.

Other PIT Tag Data Coordinators

If the planned SbyC projects targets another researcher’s PIT-tagged fish, you must contact and obtain the permission of that researcher.

Request an SbyC Project

To request a new Separation by Code project, go to the Separation by Code request page under the Services menu. Click the Request new SbyC project button to get started on the process.

You will need to complete the Project, Juvenile PIT Tag Information, or Adult PIT Tag Information (as applicable) and the SbyC Actions sections of the web form before submitting your project for review. You do not need to certify that all coordination has been completed or upload tag files at this stage of the process. When you submit your project request, both FPAC and PTAGIS will be notified automatically.

You will be notified when FPAC has reviewed your request. At that point the PTAGIS SbyC administrator will review the project to ensure all information necessary for implementation is included. Before the project can be implemented, you will need to certify that all coordination has been completed and you will need to upload at least one file of PIT tag codes.

SbyC Program Contacts

Columbia Basin PIT Tag Information System (PTAGIS)

Researchers interested in using separation by code capabilities at the Region's fish facilities must submit a request for a new SbyC project at their earliest opportunity so that resources can be properly allocated for support of the study. Prior to implementing a researcher's request, PTAGIS requires that the researcher certifies (through the SbyC Request web form) that all necessary coordination has been completed.

Any questions regarding SbyC capabilities or request requirements should be directed to:

Nicole Tancreto
Columbia Basin PIT Tag Information System Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
205 SE Spokane Street, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 595-3100
ntancreto@psmfc.org

Fish Passage Advisory Committee (FPAC)

All fish research and evaluation programs (including SbyC studies) with the potential to affect the disposition or condition of in-river migrant salmonids should be reviewed and approved by FPAC prior to implementation of those studies. In addition to ensuring that research activities don't conflict with Regional management objectives, this coordination step may identify potential conflicts in schedules or resources between researchers. FPAC will automatically be notified of any new SbyC request submitted through the SbyC Request web form.

Contact:
Paul Wagner, Chairperson Fish Passage Advisory Committee
NOAA Fisheries, Portland
(503) 231-2316
Paul.Wagner@noaa.gov

National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), Endangered Species Act Consultation

Many of the PIT-tagged fish in the Columbia Basin belong to stocks listed as "Threatened" or "Endangered" under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). The separation and/or collection of these fish at COE fish facilities may constitute a "take" as defined by the ESA, and require a permit or other authorization (e.g., Section 7 consultation) to do so. Even if the fish of interest are not part of any listed stocks, SbyC diversions may include incidental, non-target, animals, tagged or otherwise, that are listed. There is no blanket permit for SbyC activities at COE facilities, and the researcher is responsible for determining if his or her actions require a permit, or are covered by an existing permit issued to his or her agency. Researchers whose SbyC activities are not covered by an existing ESA permit or other authorization should contact the NOAA Fisheries Northwest Region ESA Section 10 Permit Coordinator no less than six months prior to the planned implementation of the study, in order to secure a permit prior to the onset of field activities. Researchers are cautioned that permits and consultations can take six to nine months to process. Please plan ahead.

Contact:
Blane Bellerud NOAA Fisheries, Portland
(503) 231-2238
Blane.Bellerud@noaa.gov

Walla Walla/Portland District Corps of Engineers (COE)

The COE operates the hydroelectric projects at which PTAGIS manages SbyC activities. Each COE District Biologist will act as liaison between researchers and both the Operations Division and the Project Biologist. Researchers should contact the District Biologists at least 30 days prior to their field study, to allow ample time for the processing and approval of their request. Coordination with the COE District Biologist may precede, but does not replace, contact and coordination with both the COE Project Biologist and the project's Smolt Monitoring Program Biologist.

For SbyC activities located at Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental, and McNary dams contact:

Greg Moody
US Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District
(509) 527-7124
Gregory.P.Moody@usace.army.mil

For SbyC activites located at Bonneville and John Day dams contact:

Mike Langeslay
US Army Corps of Engineers Portland District
(503) 808-4774
Mike.J.Langeslay@usace.army.mil

SbyC Project Contacts

LGR - Lower Granite

Lower Granite Dam Juvenile Fish Facility (GRJ)

The current SbyC configuration at the Lower Granite Dam juvenile fish facility includes both the capability to collect individual PIT-tagged fish for physical examination and the ability to divert specific PIT-tagged fish toward collection for transportation vessels (the default action for all PIT-tagged fish is to return to the river). SbyC activities at this site should be coordinated with both the COE project biologist and the SMP/Transportation Program agency biologist a minimum of 30 days before the study to ensure the complementary implementation of sampling activities.

Elizabeth Holdren
US Army Corps of Engineers Lower Granite Dam
(509) 843-1493
Elizabeth.a.holdren@usace.army.mil

Charles Morrill
Wash. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
(360) 902-2747
Charles.Morrill@dfw.wa.gov

Lower Granite Dam Adult Fish Trap (GRA)

The Adult Ladder Trap at Lower Granite Dam is operated by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries). Activities at the trap include collection of morphological data (e.g., size, sex, and condition), application of external tags, and segregation and transportation of specific fish stocks to hatcheries. SbyC activities at the Trap should be coordinated with both the COE project biologist and the NOAA Fisheries biologist a minimum of 30 days before the start of the study.

Elizabeth Holdren
US Army Corps of Engineers Lower Granite Dam
(509) 843-1493
Elizabeth.a.holdren@usace.army.mil

Darren Ogden
NOAA Fisheries
(509) 843-3058
Darren.Ogden@noaa.gov

LGO - Little Goose

The current SbyC configuration at the LGO JFF includes both the capability to collect individual PIT-tagged fish for physical examination and the ability to divert specific PIT-tagged fish into or away from transportation vessels (or to/from a direct return to the river). SbyC activities at this site should be coordinated with both the COE project biologist and the SMP/Transportation Program agency biologist a minimum of 30 days before the study to ensure the complementary implementation of all sampling activities.

Towns Wies
US Army Corps of Engineers Little Goose Dam
(509) 399-2233

Pat Keniry
Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
(541) 962-3026
patrick.j.keniry@state.or.us

MCN - McNary

The current SbyC configuration at the McNary Dam juvenile fish facility includes both the capability to collect individual PIT-tagged fish for physical examination and the ability to divert specific PIT-tagged fish towards collection for transportation vessels (the default action when this facility is in transport mode is to divert PIT-tagged fish back to the river). The ability to collect PIT-tagged fish for physical examination is only available before transportation starts, which has been around July 15 in recent years. SbyC activities at this site should be coordinated with both the COE project biologist and the SMP/Transportation Program agency biologist a minimum of 30 days before the study to ensure the complementary implementation of sampling activities.

Bobbie Johnson
US Army Corps of Engineers McNary Dam
(541) 922-2212

Charles Morrill
Wash. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
(360) 902-2747
Charles.Morrill@dfw.wa.gov

JDA - John Day

The current SbyC configuration at the John Day Dam juvenile fish facility includes the capability to collect individual PIT-tagged fish for physical examination. SbyC activities at this site should be coordinated with both the COE project biologist and the Smolt Monitoring Program biologist a minimum of 30 days before the study to ensure the complementary implementation of sampling activities.

Miroslaw Zyndol
US Army Corps of Engineers John Day Dam
(541) 506-7861
Miroslaw.A.Zyndol@usace.army.mil

Rick Martinson
Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission Smolt Monitoring Office
(541) 296-8989
rickdm@gorge.net

BON - Bonneville

Bonneville Dam Second Powerhouse Juvenile Monitoring Facility (B2J)

The current SbyC configuration at the Bonneville Dam Second Powerhouse juvenile monitoring facility includes the capability to collect individual PIT-tagged fish for physical examination. SbyC activities at this site should be coordinated with both the COE project biologist and the Smolt Monitoring Program biologist a minimum of 30 days before the study to ensure the complementary implementation of sampling activities.

Ida Royer
US Army Corps of Engineers Bonneville Dam
(541) 374-4020
Ida.M.Royer@usace.army.mil

Rick Martinson
Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission Smolt Monitoring Office
(541) 296-8989
rickdm@gorge.net

Bonneville Dam Adult Fish Facility, Washington Shore (BO3)

The Bonneville Adult Fish Facility (AFF) is adjacent to, and receives fish from, the North (Washington) Shore Fish Ladder. Various tagging and collection activities are conducted by federal, state, tribal, and academic entities. SbyC activities at the AFF should be coordinated with both the COE project biologist a minimum of 30 days before the start of the study. Proposed activities also need to be reviewed by FPAC, which will occur automatically when you submit your SbyC project request. If you have any questions prior to submitting your request, you may contact FPAC directly.

Ida Royer
US Army Corps of Engineers Bonneville Dam
(541) 374-4020
Ida.M.Royer@usace.army.mil

Paul Wagner, Chairperson
Fish Passage Advisory Committee
NOAA Fisheries, Portland
(503) 231-2316
Paul.Wagner@noaa.gov

LMN - Lower Monumental

The current SbyC configuration at the Lower Monumental Dam juvenile fish facilityprovides the ability to divert specific PIT-tagged fish away from collection for transportation vessels (the default action for all PIT-tagged fish is to be diverted back to the river). SbyC activities at this site should be coordinated with both the COE project biologist and the SMP/Transportation Program agency biologist a minimum of 30 days before the study to ensure the complementary implementation of sampling activities.

Bill Spurgeon
US Army Corps of Engineers Lower Monumental Dam
(509) 282-7211
William.F.Spurgeon@usace.army.mil

Charles Morrill
Wash. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife
(360) 902-2747
Charles.Morrill@dfw.wa.gov

Facility Diagrams