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199703800 - Listed Stock Chinook Salmon Gamete Preservation

Sponsor: Nez Perce Tribe

Budgets: FY07: $339,525 | FY08: $354,522 | FY09: $362,233

Short description: Preserve genetic diversity of endemic Snake River basin Chinook Salmon and steelhead using cryogenic technology.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $65,000 | FY08: $65,000 | FY09: $65,000

Comment: Reduce the work elements to what the Council concluded were the priority elements at this time (maintain current inventory, no new collection).

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

Previous comments from the Provincial/Systemwide Review still apply. To repeat, "It is time for a thoughtful analysis of what the Fish and Wildlife Program wants to accomplish in gene conservation, whether or not cryopreservation continues to be a useful tool, and whether an ever-increasing commitment to this program is consistent with that goal." The project applies to a number of subbasins and to ESA planning in the Columbia River Basin, and should benefit focal species. The program could turn out to be critically important if ecosystem dysfunction issues can be addressed and "old" genes are wanted to expand the diversity in the extant population. The proposal was clearly written and provided a strong technical and scientific background. There was evidence of excellent collaboration between the project and agencies, tribes, and universities. The project history is well described. Proponents and cooperators publish in the peer-reviewed literature and report at regional and national conferences. The narrow, task-oriented objective that was provided should have been superceded by an overarching objective dealing with preserving genetic diversity in ESA-listed fishes. Reviewers would have appreciated more evidence that project personnel are able to keep up with all emerging technologies. Another important issue, not apparently addressed in the proposal, is when is active collection of sperm completed, and thus when is it appropriate for the proposal to shift into a lower budget maintenance mode. Also, if future monitoring indicates a significant reduction in sperm viability then there would be a need to rotate or update earlier collections. This should be addressed at some point in time.

State/province recommendation: MS: High Priority

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: $308,447 | FY08: $308,447 | FY09: $308,447

Comment: This project collects gametes to support the safety net Program initiated in previous biological opinions. This project should be reviewed with all hatchery projects.