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RFP: Professional Services: Contractor for a White Sturgeon Master Plan effort to build a white sturgeon hatchery

Closing Date: Sep 1, 2021

The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) invites you to submit a proposal for professional services for the White Sturgeon Master Plan effort to build a white sturgeon hatchery for production level stocking in selected Columbia and Snake river reservoirs.

CRITFC is a subdivision of the tribal governments of the Warm Springs, Yakama, Umatilla, and Nez Perce tribes. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, CRITFC has been active in managing fisheries and putting fish back in the rivers since 1977. For more information on CRITFC please visit our website at

Position Details

In May 2008, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and the United States represented by the Bureau of Reclamation signed agreements with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation (CTWSRO), the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (YN), the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC), and the states of Idaho and Montana. These agreements are known as the Columbia Basin Fish Accords.

Resulting from many years of federal courts litigation, the Accords are a set of binding policy and legal agreements which support the tribal commitment to put fish back in the rivers and restore the watersheds where they live. The Tribal governments and CRITFC agreed not to litigate against hydropower for a decade, and in return the Federal government set aside over $600 million to fund high priority tribal fish recovery and habitat restoration projects.

The BPA is a federal power marketing agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). BPA’s operations are governed by several statutes, such as the Northwest Power Act. This act, along with other directives and acts, including the Endangered Species Act (ESA), requires BPA to protect, mitigate, and enhance of fish and wildlife affected by the development and operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) hydropower facilities. The BPA is guided in its program implementation by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NPCC). The NPCC, through its Fish and Wildlife Program, provides project selection and funding recommendations, informed by their public and Independent Science Review Panel (ISRP), for the mitigation of hydropower impacts on fish and wildlife.

On February 24, 2009, the NPCC received from BPA a Columbia Basin Fish Accords proposal from CRITFC for Project #2007-155-00, Sturgeon Strategic and Hatchery Master Plan. The proposal was submitted to the ISRP for review and the ISRP concluded that the proposal met their scientific review criteria. On April 14, 2009, based on the ISRP review, the NPCC supported this Accord project. Consistent with regional recommendations, CRITFC initiated the process to prepare a White Sturgeon Master Plan describing a sturgeon hatchery program designed to help mitigate impacts of development and operation of the FCRPS on sturgeon population productivity and fishery opportunities in lower mid-Columbia River and lower Snake River reservoirs. This Master Plan is a component of CRITFC’s Develop a Master Plan for a Rearing Facility to Enhance Selected Populations of White Sturgeon in the Columbia River Basin and the Yakama Nation’s Project Sturgeon Management.

The NPCC has a ‘Three-Step Review Process’ for artificial propagation projects proposed for funding by the BPA; they are as follows:

  1. Complete and submit a plan including the justification and rationale for a sturgeon hatchery. Proposal shall include all design and drafts of construction and potential site locations.
    Titled: White Sturgeon Hatchery Master Plan, Lower Columbia & Snake River Impoundments.
  2. Development of preliminary hatchery design with production goals, cost estimates, and completion of necessary environmental reviews.
  3. Development of final design prior to construction and operation.

On May 10, 2016, after satisfying a number of related programmatic issues associated with recommendations for Step 1 of the Sturgeon Master Plan, the NPCC granted authorization to implement Step 2 of the plan, allowing for Step 2 work to begin in July 2016.

The objective of this RFP is to locate an individual or firm to assist the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission with professional services necessary to help complete Step 2 of our Master Plan effort to build a white sturgeon hatchery for production level stocking in selected Columbia River reservoirs. This production level facility will focus on fishery Zone 6, and to a lesser extent, the lower Snake River reservoirs.

Essential Job Functions

The following tasks will be our focus in the coming contract year. In addition, there will be coordination meetings with staff of our member Tribes, co-managers, and the BPA necessary to facilitate the following (Tasks A-D):

A. Manage & Administer Contracts

Coordinate with CRITFC project manager regarding contracting, subcontracting reporting, and quarterly reporting.

  • Budgetary & schedule updates
  • Invoicing & subcontractor charges
  • Prepare contract renewal package for BPA
  • Quarterly reporting

Deliverables: Work plan, budget updates, accrual report as directed
Schedule: September 1, 2021 – August 31, 2022

B. Initiate Master Plan Step 2.

Step 2 of the NPCC Master Planning Process is initiated following NPCC approval of the Step 1 plan which includes responses to the secondary ISRP review. Step 2 is a progress review/preliminary phase that should identify any major difficulties in the design and proposal. At this point the submission should provide the detail and the specifics to assure that all details will meet the intent and scope of the previous decision and ensure financial responsibility. In Step 2, the design is advanced to a variance of ±25-35% from the ±35-50% in Step 1. By the completion of Step 2, environmental review has also been completed and any changes after this point should be minor. Step 2 submittals will include a summary of the completed Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or Environmental Assessment, and preliminary design documents.

  • Revise draft Step 1 plan to include additional information (i.e. ISRP comments, hatchery design issues, water availability, coordination with regional sturgeon professionals, etc.) and designs completed under Step 2 of the planning process.

Deliverables: Revised draft plan
Schedule: September 1, 2021 – August 31, 2022

C. Assist with NEPA Process

This work element involves assistance with preparation of environmental compliance documents required by Step 2. It covers work by the Contractor to investigate, gather, acquire, or prepare data and documents in support of obtaining environmental clearances for BPA. Work may include providing maps, drafting a biological assessment, obtaining permits, conducting public involvement activities, completing a cultural resource survey and report, inspecting watercraft, vehicles, and heavy equipment for invasive species, implementing best management practices for lamprey, etc. It is expected that BPA will lead the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for this project. CRITFC’s role will be to provide assistance as appropriate. If this project requires an EIS this step would require 12-24 months which would mean that it will not be completed in this contract period.

  • Assist in the selection of environmental compliance for NEPA work.
  • Assist EC lead to meet necessary environmental compliance requirements.

Deliverables: Environmental Compliance assistance as directed by BPA’s EC lead
Schedule: September 1, 2021 – August 31, 2022

D. Facility Designs

Following NPCC approval of the Step 1 Master Plan, development plans are advanced to the confidence level of ± 25 to 35% in the Step 2 submittal. At this stage, design is advanced to a degree that allows completion of a full environmental review. While Step 2 is still considered preliminary, technical detail is sufficiently refined to identify implementation constraints, costs and configurations that will subsequently change in only minor ways.

This task involves one subcontract for fish culture support and one contract from CRITFC or BPA for hatchery design engineering. The engineering contract for this stage of planning will require a formal solicitation process to be conducted through the appropriate procurement process. In addition, the work will involve the competition of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between CRITFC, Yakama Nation (YN), and BPA prior to the formal solicitation. The selected contractor will provide assistance with this process as directed.

Job Requirements/Qualifications

  • Qualified individual or fully integrated team of professionals must have a minimum of 2 decades of working experience with white sturgeon in the Columbia River Basin. Experience should include management and research activities from employment with state, tribal or federal agencies. Working experience with state and tribal sturgeon managers and biologists, NPCC staff, and BPA COTR’s is necessary for continuity of the project from Step 2 to Step 3.
  • Must provide a qualified individual or fully integrated team of professionals with expertise in fisheries science, hatchery program development and operations planning, fisheries engineering, environmental compliance, and capital and operation cost estimating, and planning. Applicant must have excellent working knowledge and capacity for white sturgeon genetic analyses from captive and wild fish. Project lead should have a minimum of a Master of Science in Biology, Fisheries, or a related field. Regional recognition of sturgeon expertise should include presentations, publications, and workshop planning on white sturgeon.
  • Provide a record of developing these programs in a manner that meets the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Three-Step Review Process, specifically with developing a Step 2 Master Plan.
  • Describe experience with NPCC’s Three-Step Review Process and history of success with ISRP approval of Step Review and other planning documents.
  • Environmental Compliance Qualifications: Explain proficiency in meeting environmental and biological regulatory requirements.
  • In addition, the contractor is required to provide clear written expectations for the resource commitments the contractor needs CRITFC to furnish, to ensure successful implementation.


To assist evaluation, it is desirable to format the submission similar to the headings listed below. The submittals should be clear and to the point. For the purpose of this RFP, each Contractor will submit a proposal package to the CRITFC that includes the following components:

Cover letter
Summary of proposal
Proposed method of task completion: Describe the method and approach the Contractor proposes in order to complete the tasks as noted in the Project Description and outlined in the Scope of Services sections.

Qualifications and experience

  • Provide information (engineers, planners and fisheries, hatchery program planning and analysis and Contractor if separate firms), relative to firm’s size, history, personnel, special expertise and general credits. Individual resumes, awards, associations, etc., may be included. Include contact information (name, address, phone number, email address) for a single entity that will be the point of contact during the selection process.
  • Describe who will perform the various tasks, the amount of their involvement and responsibilities, and give their qualifications.
  • Provide a list of at least five (5) projects, at least one (1) of which needs to be with white sturgeon.

Approach to Project: Include a statement of your team’s approach to this specific project, including integrated planning and design philosophy, understanding of program goals, alternative concepts and other methods for consideration. Special consideration will be given to consultants who demonstrate experience with NPCC, ISRP protocols, as well as familiarity with the BPA funding process and tribal requirements. Additional working experience with CRITFC member tribes is highly useful to this project.

Examples of Work: Renderings, photographs, preliminary drawings, may be submitted as examples of your previous hatchery planning and development work.

Past Performance: Submit three reference letters from prior clients or client representatives on related projects. Letters from projects specifically related to this facility are preferable (e.g. Three-Step Review Process, hatchery design/construction).

Compensation: Provide a detailed description of the desired compensation for services (retainers, fees, commissions, etc.) and how these amounts are calculated. Dollar amount quoted should contain all pricing information relative to performing the service requested in this RFQ. The total maximum price is to contain all direct and indirect costs including all out-of-pocket expenses required to deliver the entire solution. All costs must be listed separately, clearly identified, and un-bundled.

Note: Contractor will agree that Contractor is an independent vendor with respect to CRITFC and Contractor shall not be entitled to any fringe benefits (health, life or accident insurance benefits, paid vacation, or any other employee benefit); Federal Social Security; Worker’s Compensation; or Unemployment Insurance benefits. Contractor is responsible for paying any tax due as a result of this RFQ.

Working Conditions


CRITFC Motor Vehicle Policy


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