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199801004 - Monitor and Evaluate Performance of Juvenile Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon from Fall Chinook Acclimation Facilities

Sponsor: Nez Perce Tribe

Budgets: FY07: $371,780 | FY08: $365,467 | FY09: $373,361

Short description: Monitor post-release performance and survival of yearling and subyearling fall Chinook from the Fall Chinook Acclimation Project (FCAP) facilities to evaluate success of the fall Chinook supplementation program above Lower Granite Dam.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0


ISRP final recommendation: Not fundable (Qualified)


Although the ISRP continues to recognize the need for a good M&E program to be in place to assess the effectiveness of these Snake River Fall Chinook Acclimation Facilities, we recommend (again) that this program should not be funded until an adequate proposal/response be received from the authors explaining how that would occur. It is clear that some data collection is occurring; what is not clear is whether or not adequate evaluation of those data is being accomplished. We qualify our recommendation simply because we realize that an adequate M&E component needs to be functioning. The following three issues were contained in our original June assessment; the response received from the authors demonstrates the basis for our continued concerns. 1. The ISRP is concerned that the metrics used for evaluating fish health (e.g., condition) are not adequate. A response should consider what the best metrics are for evaluating these fish. Unfortunately, the authors’ response was basically to inform the ISRP that the “USFWS Idaho Fish Health Lab conducts all standard fish health tests for this production program. We in turn analyze, interpret, and report those results.” That statement does not at all address our concerns. The authors go on to add, “We assume the description of standard fish health monitoring methods, from a certified fish health lab, are sufficiently contained in the narrative portion of the proposal.” A simple statement of that assumption is inadequate response because it is irrelevant to our concerns. 2. Methods have been employed since 1996, but it is not clear what has come out of this long-term effort. What has been learned? Sponsors report actions, but not the biological results. A response needs to summarize the results/synthesis of the data collected to date. The authors responded simply by saying that all needed information was included in the original proposal – but their last sentence enforces our continued concerns, “Along with the summary tables text described the basic statistical test used to analyze data.” Nowhere was there the “results/synthesis of the data collected to date” that we had requested. 3. Objectives for a project like this need to be in biological outcomes, rather than tasks accomplished. The objectives listed are really tasks, not objectives. A response needs to describe how the different objectives and tasks integrate with each other. If the project is designed simply to generate data – for someone else to analyze and interpret or not - then their response would be adequate, a simple statement that their original objectives met their mark. If, however, the objective is to evaluate not just the numbers, but their biological significance in a framework of biological hypotheses, then what is needed are some clearly stated hypotheses to test what relationship is expected between size or condition and survival, SARS, migration timing, etc. Such an effort is not present in this proposal. Because there has been a repeated call by the ISRP for biological interpretation/information synthesis, their response is inadequate.

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 when money available

Review group: OSPIT - Blue Mountain

Recommended budgets: FY07: (n/a) | FY08: (n/a) | FY09: (n/a)

Comment: The Budget cannot accommodate this Bi-op designated project, however, if additional funding becomes available, consider funding this project as a high priority.