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199601900 - Technical Management Team (TMT)

Sponsor: University of Washington

Budgets: FY07: $597,642 | FY08: $552,925 | FY09: $578,067

Short description: The project provides single-point, internet-based access to a subset of information to guide and support BPA's independent decisions pertaining to its responsibilities under the Power Act and Endangered Species Act, as well as tools for data analysis.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $331,279 | FY08: $277,279 | FY09: $277,279


ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)


This is an exemplary proposal among the database projects, for a project that appears to provide products of widespread use and value. The project title should be probably be changed, however, to reflect the fact that this is DART enhanced with additional analytical functions. The primary significance to regional programs is to the Power Act sections requiring improved passage survival and flows. The proposal includes excellent M&E. The proposal presents a brief but clear background on the utility of the second-tier database provided by this project, although the ultimate value of this data to fish management is not explicitly described. A clear rationale is provided for the need for the integrated environmental data and fish passage data and analysis provided by DART. Detailed lists of the analyses provided by DART are included, as well as a number of analyses for which data and analytical assistance was provided. The project’s history is described in an excellent interpretive narrative on actions tied to their accomplishments, the process of their evolution and the reasons why. It discusses the types of internal monitoring performed through post-season analysis of passage predictions. A figure of monthly usage from 1998-2005 is provided, as well as a list of entities using DART between 2004-2005, and the number of hosts served by season. Less clear, however, is how useful this information has been to all the regional entities that tapped it. Also, how is this information accessed? Are the raw data they capture and make available checked for accuracy? Are DART analyses peer-reviewed? Have their second-tier databases been used effectively for adaptive management? A new element includes absorbing some of the routine analysis function of the Fish Passage Center. Part of the proposal is to continue the Fish Passage Consortium, a group of PNW university faculty with expertise in fish passage issues. The Council and Bonneville will need to specifically distinguish which work elements should be funded to fulfill the tasks of the FPC, if the FPC is not funded. There always has been some overlap with FPC, DART and NOAA, but the ISRP has considered this a value added to the program rather than redundant. A long list of measurable objectives relate to the reporting and analysis functions of DART as well as newly added functions. These relate to provision of information to managers to analyze proposed hydro operations on fish (pre-season), tracking fish passage (in-season), and measuring the effect of the hydrosystem on fish (post-season). Fourteen objectives are listed. Methods are presented in detail with an explanatory background section. M&E is built into this project throughout. In the last review the ISRP recommended that the next proposal from this sponsor should include an evaluative summary of usage that indicates the distribution of use across different types of users and products, the details of a plan for how DART assesses demand for current and new products, the type of outreach that is done to assess demand, and methods used to inform and expand the user base. The sponsors have responded to this recommendation in their project operations, the results of which are reported in this proposal. The amount, distribution, and type of use are monitored quarterly for potential improvement in services. Post-season evaluations of pre-season predictions are conducted on a routine basis. Services are reviewed at the end of the year in a series of regional meetings to identify areas of needed modification. The project has excellent provisions for information transfer of data, analysis, support services, and for adaptive modification of information transfer practices on the basis of feedback.

State/province recommendation: MS: Fish passage monitoring

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: $331,279 | FY08: $277,279 | FY09: $277,279

Comment: This is the DART project. A portion of this proposal addresses functions formerly performed by Fish Passage Center. This proposal should be reviewed in the context of the other fish passage monitoring proposals. DART has been providing second tier data base for 14 years. The MSRT would like to review the DART functions in relation to the support they provide to BPA and others in the CRB. This project should also be reviewed with the Data Management projects.