Review of Salmon Recovery Strategies for the Columbia River Basin

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Four documents containing strategies for recovering salmon in the Columbia River Basin have been issued recently: the Four Northwest States Governors’ Plan, the Council’s 2000 Fish and Wildlife Program, the National Marine Fisheries Service 2000 Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion, and the Basinwide Recovery Strategy (All-H Paper). These documents in the aggregate provide a federal and state agency roadmap for salmon recovery in the Columbia River Basin over the next decade. The four papers vary in the extent to which they are explicitly scientific, ranging from the technically detailed BiOp to the more general policy- and process-oriented Governors’ Plan. The purpose of this review is not to provide a thorough appraisal of the science contained in each of those documents individually. The question we ask in this review is: "Do these four documents collectively outline salmon recovery strategies that are likely to have a high probability of success?" In attempting to answer this question we considered different elements of the recovery documents, including thefamiliar "H" categories: Habitat, Harvest, Hatcheries, and Hydroelectric operations. In addition, we examined modeling and monitoring programs, climate and hydrology, and institutional arrangements.

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