CORPS OF ENGINEERS FACT SHEET
MISSOURI RIVER BIOLOGICAL ASSESSEMENT
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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