Review of the Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership's "Study Design for Comparing Monitoring Protocols"

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At the request of the Council and the Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP), the ISAB reviewed the design and proposed statistical analyses in a study comparing stream habitat monitoring protocols, which will be carried out by PNAMP. The study objectives are as follows:

Goal: To compare wadeable stream protocols used by monitoring groups within the Pacific Northwest.

Objective 1: Do protocols differ in their assessment [of] the same physical stream attributes?

Objective 2: Does the amount of variation due to crew differ among monitoring groups?

Objective 3: Which monitoring group's protocols permit the best discrimination among streams? According to the review request, "Large-scale monitoring efforts in the Pacific Northwest are currently using different protocols for a basic set of attributes, making it difficult (if not impossible) to share and compare data. There is now widespread understanding that by standardizing protocols or providing statistical crosswalks (regression analysis) among protocols, monitoring efforts will have the ability to share data and increase sample sizes, thereby increasing the statistical power to describe spatial and temporal trends."PNAMP proposes to compare mid-summer stream measurements taken by crews representing different monitoring organizations in (yet to be) selected stream reaches from the John Day River Basin, Oregon. The streams will be "wadeable", with bankfull widths less than 15 m and gradients of <1% to 6%. Although the study plan did not state why these criteria were chosen, streams bearing such characteristics probably represent a large percentage of small streams surveyed by habitat inventory crews because they include the majority of 2nd- and 3rd-order (HUC7-8) tributaries used by anadromous salmonids. We note that: Study reaches comprise only part of the fish-bearing channel network in watersheds and therefore constrain the comparison of monitoring protocols to a subset of conditions. The PNAMP comparison will not necessarily apply to monitoring protocols for the habitats of headwater trout or of salmonids spawning and rearing in larger rivers.

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