Response for project 199007700: Dev Of Sytemwide Pred Control

Comment on proposed FY 2006 budget

The proposed FY 2006 budget is adequate to continue the base Sport Reward Fishery and its evaluation as well as incorporate the two new tasks that will be tested in the 2005 season. These include exploration of dam angling under current flow conditions at lower Columbia river dams and testing of long line gear to remove pikeminnows adjacent to lower Columbia river dams.

Accomplishments since the last review

In 2004, 267,213 pikeminnows were removed in the sport reward fishery with our increased reward incentive. This was an all time high for the program. This record catch translated into an exploitation rate of 17%, also the highest on record. The catches in 2003 were 196,977 fish with an exploitation rate of 10.5% Salmonidae composed the majority (69-89%) of fish remains identified to species in the digestive tracts of northern pikeminnow in all reaches of the study area in 2004. The 2004 northern pikeminnow abundance index below Bonneville Dam (excluding the tailrace BRZ) was 40% lower than the average value of four previous years sampled (1994-1996, and 1999). The 2004 John Day Reservoir northern pikeminnow abundance index was an order of magnitude lower than the program average (1990-1996, 1999). Northern pikeminnow predation indices varied by season and area in 2004. The 2004 combined spring predation index for below Bonneville Dam (excluding the tailrace BRZ) was 32% lower than the average of the previous 3 years (1995, 1996, and 1999), and between 1992 and 2004 we observed an 88% drop in the overall spring predation index for below Bonneville Dam. The combined summer 2004 predation index for below Bonneville Dam was 89% less than in 1992. Modeling results estimated potential predation by northern pikeminnow on juvenile salmonids in 2004 at 79% of pre-program levels. If exploitation rates remained simlilar to mean 1996-2003 levels, further reductions in potential predation are likely to be minimal. Even if exploitation rates were maintained at the 2004 levels, long-term projections indicate further reductions in predation are likely to be minimal._ However, it is important to maintain the benefits achieved and work to increaae them by the continued removal of predatory sized pikeminnow.

FY 2006 goals and anticipated accomplishments

1. To achieve an exploitation rate of 14-16% in the sport reward fishery. 2. Maintain the pressure on croping out predatory size pikeminnow from the population with a harvest of at least 200,000 fish for the year. 3. Determine the feasibility of bringing back a sucessful dam angling component to the fishery in 2004 with a test fishery by experienced anglers at lower Columbia river dams. 4. Test feasability of removal of pikeminnows by long line fishing at lower Columbia river dams by use of the contractor from upriver PUD projects.

Subbasin planning

How is this project consistent with subbasin plans?

This work not related to a subbasin plan

How do goals match subbasin plan priorities?

This work not related to a subbasin plan

Other comments

The Northern Pikeminnow Management Program is a component of the Biological Opinion. As such its main goal is to reduce pikeminnow predation systemwide in the mainstem Columbia river from the mouth up to Priest Rapids Dam and in the Snake river from the mouth up to Hells Canyon Dam. These removals and subsequent reduction in predation with increased salmonid survival suppport all subbasin plans aimed at increasing salmonid survival in the Columbia river. It is part of the action agencies updated proposal.