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199107300 - Idaho Natural Production Monitoring

Sponsor: Idaho Department of Fish & Game

Budgets: FY07: $960,900 | FY08: $1,008,950 | FY09: $1,059,410

Short description: The project sponsors propose to refine the description of population structure of spring/summer Chinook in Idaho, monitor juvenile production of Chinook/steelhead, evaluate survival/productivity of Chinook, and estimate annual abundance of Chinook redds in the upper Salmon.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $784,650 | FY08: $784,650 | FY09: $784,650

Comment: ISRP fundable in part. Do not fund the genetic work component as per ISRP recommendation.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable in part


The sponsors responded to clarify the primary questions raised by the ISRP. The adequacy and depth of the clarification varied across the questions raised. In response to the ISRP questions of whether the project could be scaled to provide only the data needed for regional RME needs, and how past uses of the data justify continuation, the sponsors provided a succinct and sufficient response. The ISRP recognizes that the Idaho Natural Production Monitoring and Evaluation project has been instrumental in providing critical data for assessing the status and trends of salmonids (principally spring and summer Chinook) in the Salmon River subbasin. The response provided by the sponsors clarified how their objectives relate to recovery planning in general. It is clear that valuable data has been generated and that the project has added value to these data in the past through appropriate analyses. The ISRP appreciates the perspective concerning the project changing due to information demanded by regional decision-makers. In response to questions on the need for additional genetic and life history data on Chinook salmon, the sponsors respond, "The details of life history and genetic structure of Chinook salmon populations in Idaho are not well-known on the scales required for population-level recovery planning and monitoring. INPMEP should be the main source of this information for groups like the ICBTRT. Many of the population delineations made by the ICBTRT were made using professional judgment and not backed by hard data." The ISRP recognizes that microsatellite and SNP genotypes are not available for all the spring and summer Chinook in the Snake River region. At the same time NOAA Fisheries and others have been using microsatellite genotyping to evaluate a number of salmon management problems in the Snake River system. Sponsors did not show how any of this new data had altered the understanding of Chinook salmon metapopulation structure and how additional data was essential to management decisions. It is not clear if this data would do little more than reinforce the existing understanding of population structure. While more data would almost always be useful, sponsors have not identified what management decisions hinge on the data. This should be made evident before undertaking further genotyping to define Chinook salmon metapopulations. The ISRP’s intent is that the management questions and the sponsors' methods and tasks to address them be made explicit. The purpose is to help ensure that the data collected is the most useful. Further explanation of the need for describing the fine-scale genetic structure of Chinook salmon in Idaho is necessary before this component of the project is justified. The sponsors clarify that they are not involved in the investigation of hatchery effects on natural spawners and natural populations, but that data they collect on natural populations is used by projects that are conducting those investigations. This response is appreciated by the ISRP, and the importance of that effort is understood. The sponsors’ clarification of objective 1) Describe the population structure of Snake River spring/summer Chinook salmon, and 4) Evaluate life cycle survival and the freshwater productivity/production of Snake River spring/summer Chinook salmon, were unconvincing. The ISRP comment on 1 is found in the paragraph above on genetic and life-history investigations. For objective 4, the primary purpose of engaging in life cycle survival estimation is to support tributary habitat restoration effectiveness monitoring. The proposal is insufficient to evaluate whether this is the suitable vehicle to accomplish that task. The proposal does not discuss tributary habitat restoration in the subbasin and provide a connection between this project and those efforts. The sponsors' clarification of objective 2 and 3, estimation of juvenile and adult abundance and distribution is sufficient. Fundable in part to conduct the essential juvenile (parr and smolt) abundance data collections and the essential adult redd and age distribution information. The genetics work component is not scientifically justified in the proposal or response.

Response loop edit

See the sponsor's revised proposal from the response loop. You'll be taken to CBFWA's proposal system in Section 10 where most sponsors uploaded revised narratives or other responses to the ISRP comments.

State/province recommendation: Fundable, but at a reduced level

Review group: Snake

Recommended budgets: FY07: $784,640 | FY08: $784,640 | FY09: $784,640

Comment: task removed: probalistic redd surveys, Upper Salmon probalistic GPM, temp personell