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200203100 - Growth modulation in salmon supplementation

Sponsor: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Budgets: FY07: $355,378 | FY08: $373,601 | FY09: $392,693

Short description: This project assesses and develops methods to control high rates of early male maturation in salmon supplementation programs. Reductions in early male maturation will increase smolt to adult survival and reduce negative genetic and ecological impacts.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $353,850 | FY08: $353,850 | FY09: $353,850


ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)


This is an excellent proposal, but this project may be nearing the point of toning down the actual collection of more research data and instead developing recommendations for protocol development and implementation of existing findings. Along these lines, the work element to look at rearing practices should be emphasized. The results of this study have broad applicability. Technical and scientific background: The technical and scientific background for this proposal is outstanding. It gives the reader an excellent basis to understand the rest of the proposal -- not only what is proposed, but why as well. Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: This proposal is clearly associated with reforms to artificial production in the basin, as evidenced by this quote: "Now, the focus is on reducing or eliminating deleterious effects of hatcheries on naturally rearing fish and redesigning and adjusting hatchery programs to rear fish that are qualitatively and qualitatively similar to wild fish, not to simply rear more fish in hatcheries." Relationships to other projects: The proposal provides excellent detail in regards to specific projects, particularly to hatchery-rearing practices throughout the basin. Project history: The proposal includes an excellent summary of the project history over the past five years, including listing important findings with excellent and informative figures. This is an interesting project at both the academic and practical levels. Objectives: Although the specific objectives are well defined by tasks, an overarching objective of improving our understanding of the influences of artificial culture on the life history trajectories of salmon would be appropriate. Tasks (work elements) and methods: Methods are extremely well explained, including nice conceptual diagrams. Monitoring and evaluation: Evaluation has been provided in the past, and will likely continue in the future, to provide important insights into altering artificial production to make it compatible with populations of natural salmon. Facilities, equipment, and personnel: Facilities have already been shown to be more than adequate. Information transfer: Publication record is excellent, that is likely best outlet, although direct input into other programs would be good. Benefits to focal and non-focal species: The project should provide benefits to both natural and hatchery populations of the focal species. There should be no adverse effect beyond interactions during data collections.

State/province recommendation: MS: High Priority

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: $353,850 | FY08: $353,850 | FY09: $353,850

Comment: This is a basic research project developing hatchery practice improvements. The study is investigating what hatchery practices are driving the large number of precocial males returning to the Cle Elum hatchery. The current proposal expands that work beyond the Yakima basin (about 20% of the proposal). The issue this project addresses (larger percentage of precocial males) is a high priority critical uncertainty. The MSRT are not sure if this study design is the best we can do for addressing this uncertainty. The MSRT will look to the ISRP review for determination of the study design adequacy. The MSRT would like to see better integration with project number 199305600. This proposal should be reviewed with all hatchery reform or hatchery research projects.