ISAB and ISRP Review of the CSS Ten-Year Retrospective Summary Report

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This report is the most recent in a series of ISAB and ISRP reviews of the Comparative Survival Study. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council (the Council) requested this current ISAB and ISRP review of the CSS Ten-Year Retrospective Summary Report to inform the funding decision for the CSS proposal for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009.

The ISAB and ISRP find that the ten-year summary report is clear, thorough, responsive to past ISAB comments, and was completed in a retrospective style, a major accomplishment for which the ISAB and ISRP commend the CSS investigators. The ISAB/ISRP provide their detailed evaluation in four parts: the ISRP recommendation for the CSS FY 2007-09 proposal, the ISAB/ISRP response to the two questions posed by the Council in their 2005 request for review of the CSS's 2005 Annual Report, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the CSS Retrospective in answering the concerns that were posed by the ISAB’s review of the Annual Report, and chapter by chapter specific comments for the CSS team.

The ISRP finds that the CSS FY 2007-09 proposal Meets Scientific Review Criteria (In Part). Specifically, the ISRP finds that the first three biological objectives of the CSS proposal (Estimate Smolt to Adult Survival Rates [SARs], SAR Hydro Goal, and Transport to Control [T/C] Ratios) meet scientific review criteria. The ISRP finds that the fourth objective (Upriver/Downriver Comparisons) does not meet scientific review criteria, because of inevitable confounding from other factors in establishing cause(s) of upriver/downriver differences that may be detected, regardless of sample size and detection power that could be achieved.

Overall, the CSS Ten-Year Retrospective was effective in answering the concerns posed by the ISAB’s review of the CSS 2005 Annual Report (ISAB 2006-3). The Retrospective provided improved clarity in the presentation and explanation of the sophisticated methodologies used in analyses of CSS data. The scope of CSS investigations resulted in an extensive report, containing many detailed summaries of past and present work, and the report presents key data and data summaries in support of their major conclusions. The CSS team has responded very well in a short time frame to the difficult challenge of including enough details to allow scientific review. The ISAB and ISRP also find many well-supported interpretations in the CSS Retrospective that should be carefully considered by Council and other decision-makers. Details are provided in the attached report

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