1. Refining program goals and quantitative objectives

Working with others in the region, including the state and federal fish and wildlife agencies and tribes, other federal agencies and the independent science panels, the Council will oversee a regional process to survey, collect, identify, and refine a realistic set of quantitative objectives for program focal species and their habitat related to the four broad themes and program goal statements. Evaluating progress toward program goals and objectives will occur through the adaptive management strategy and will be reported using program indicators [see Tracking Status of the Basin’s Fish and Wildlife Resources section].

Where possible, the quantitative objectives identified through this regional process should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound,[1] and based on an explicit scientific rationale, as appropriate. These objectives may include various types of measurement such as specific numbers, ranges of numbers, densities, or trend direction. The data needed to assess progress about goals and objectives and inform indicator graphics used in tracking should be based on existing monitoring efforts or other publicly available sources of data. The Council will ask the Independent Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB) to review objectives for scientific quality and usefulness in tracking progress and adaptively managing our efforts.

The process to identify potential quantitative objectives (and program goals) should consider existing relevant Columbia River Basin documents[2] as they may serve to inform quantitative objectives relevant for tracking program progress. This process will also consider the quantitative objectives recommended through the 2014 Program amendment process.

a) Objectives for adult salmon and steelhead

The Program shares in the region’s broader vision of natural-origin salmon and steelhead populations across the basin that are diverse, resilient, productive, and sufficiently abundant to allow substantial opportunities for tribal and non-tribal harvest [see ecosystem function strategy and other strategies].

Objectives that represent different perspectives on healthy and harvestable populations already exist. The Council will work with state and federal agencies and tribes in the region to collect, organize, review, and report on these quantitative objectives by the end of 2015. This effort should include a review of agency and tribal management plans, draft and final federal recovery plans, subbasin plans and other relevant documents and reports. The final report will include, but not be limited to, an inventory of non-ESA listed populations of salmon and steelhead that lack federal recovery objectives. The Council (working cooperatively with the agencies and tribes) will define a process for tracking the region’s progress on enhancing salmon and steelhead population status in the context of the quantitative objectives defined in the final report. The Council will rely on the agencies and tribes to identify “best source” locations of population status information to inform this process (including but not limited to the Coordinated Assessment program and NOAA’s Salmon Population Summary data base).

The Council will work with the states, federal agencies, and tribes to identify specific indicators for Bonneville-funded hatchery programs that could be tracked and reported to inform progress on meeting mitigation objectives (i.e., harvest, supplementation, reintroduction, and conservation). Potential indicators that should be tracked include: contribution to hatchery broodstock, natural spawning, and harvest by hatchery. Potential indicators that could be tracked include: in-hatchery survival (egg to smolt); juvenile production/releases; hatchery smolt-to-adult returns and hatchery recruits per spawner. The Council, agencies, and tribes will work with the Coordinated Assessment (CA) partners, the Fish Passage Center and others as appropriate, to collect existing indicator information. The Council recognizes that the development of a “common data exchange standard” for hatchery indicator information (through the CA effort) is an ongoing process.

b) Other anadromous and resident fish objectives

While hydrosystem-related losses are less well understood for fish species such as lamprey, sturgeon, eulachon, bull trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee, and other focal species, the program nonetheless aims to mitigate for these losses and to track, using indicators, the progress toward meeting program goals and objectives [see program strategies]. The process for developing objectives for other anadromous and resident focal species includes the following steps:

Step 1

Once the process to produce objectives for hatchery salmon and steelhead is completed, the Council will work with the fish and wildlife agencies and tribes to survey, collect, and organize existing quantitative objectives for focal species including lamprey, bull trout, eulachon, white sturgeon, kokanee, rainbow trout, and cutthroat trout.

Step 2

As soon as practicable, the Council will determine which of these to consider as program objectives, as well as considering needed modifications to existing goal statements, objectives, and indicators. The Council will conduct a program amendment process if it is determined that adopting the objectives should be considered.

c) Ecosystem function, habitat, and hydrosystem objectives

The program is aimed at rebuilding healthy, naturally producing fish and wildlife, habitats, and the biological systems within them [ecosystem function strategy]. The program requires goals, objectives, and indicators that track the progress of these mitigation efforts, including wildlife mitigation, which relies on acquiring habitat units.

Step 1

The Council will identify measureable objectives in the region. The data needed for these objectives should be available and not require extensive new data-gathering efforts.

The Council will:

  • Work with the fish and wildlife agencies and tribesto assess feasibility of hydrosystem survival performance standards for lamprey.
  • Support regional efforts to develop ecosystem health indicators as well as efforts by fish and wildlife agencies and tribes to identify quantitative biological objectives.
  • Work with the fish and wildlife agencies and tribes and the ISAB to refine existing goals, objectives, and indicators related to habitat characteristics, including biological diversity.

Step 2

As soon as practicable, the Council will determine which objectives to consider as program objectives. The Council will conduct a program amendment process if it is determined that adopting the objectives should be considered.

d) Public engagement quantitative objectives

The Council will initiate an internal process to identify objectives and indicators for this topic [see program strategies: public engagement]. Once the process to produce objectives is completed, the Council will seek public input to help identify the most useful objectives. The Council will conduct a program amendment process if it is determined that adopting the objectives should be considered.

[1] Objectives achieving the five criteria are referred to as SMART objectives.

[2] Documents include but are not limited to, Northwest Power Act, past versions of the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife program, subbasin plans, ISAB recommendations for objectives, Coordinated Assessment project’s indicator tables, NOAA recovery plans, USFWS recovery plans, Hatchery Scientific Review Group documents, theColumbiaBasinFishAccords,theWashingtonEstuaryAgreement,theWillametteWildlifeAgreement, Montana Wildlife Agreement, US V OR settlement, Columbia River Treaty, FCRPS BiOP RPA, NOAA delisting criteria, Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit, and the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership quantitative habitat protection and restoration targets.

← A. Program goals and quantitative objectives

IV. Strategies — how the program will achieve the changes →

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