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CORPS OF ENGINEERS FACT SHEET

MISSOURI RIVER BIOLOGICAL ASSESSEMENT

NOVEMBER 2003

 

New information developed since the preparation of the 2000 Biological Opinion:

 

•  Corps engineering studies demonstrate the recommended Gavins Point Dam changes will not achieve the desired biological attributes.

•  Reservoir tern and plover habitat computer model - Shows a 25% increase in habitat in the reservoirs and a 16% increase along the river stretches.

•  Historic tern and plover mortality report - Corps operations were responsible for the loss of only 6% of terns and plovers from 1988 to 2003.

•  Designation of critical piping plover habitat - Identifies reaches of critical habitat

•  National Academies of Science report - Ecosystem restoration is critical to the successful recovery of the listed species.

 

Elements of the Biological Assessment:

 

•  Permanent flow changes at Gavins Point and Fort Peck dams are not initially included in the proposed action.  

•  Test of increased spring releases from the Fort Peck powerhouses and spillway.

•  Test flows in the fall from Gavins Point and Fort Randall dams.

•  Acceleration of acquisition shallow-water habitat for pallid sturgeon and construction sandbar habitat for terns and plovers.

•  Greater support to hatchery propagation of pallid sturgeon.

•  Strong research, monitoring and evaluation program.

•  Adaptive management through the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Program (MRRIP) with stakeholder support and involvement.

 

Drought Conservation Measures :

 

•  Mar 15 storage less than 54.5 MAF - Transition to minimum navigation flows                       at 49 MAF

[Currently - Less than 54.5 MAF - Transition to minimum navigation flows that begin at 46 MAF]

•  Jul 1 storage less than 57 MAF - Transition to minimum navigation flows at 50.5 MAF

[Currently - Less than 59 MAF - Transition to minimum navigation flows that begin at 50.5 MAF]

•  Jul 1 storage less than 51.5 MAF - Stepped approach to season shortening to 6 months that begins at 36.5 MAF

[Currently - Less than 31 MAF - Stepped approach to season shortening to 5.5 months that begins at 25 MAF]

•  Mar 15 storage less than 31 MAF - No service to navigation.   Secretary of the Army must approve consecutive no-navigation years.

[Currently 21 MAF - No service to navigation]

 

The November 2003 Biological Assessment and related Missouri River management materials are available at the Northwestern Division website www.nwd.usace.army.mil and the "Hot Topics" section of the Corps' website www.usace.army.mil .              

 

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