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200303600 - CBFWA Collaborative Systemwide Monitoring and Evaluation Program

Sponsor: Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife Authority (CBFWA)

Budgets: FY07: $1,024,245 | FY08: $1,024,245 | FY09: $1,024,245

Short description: CSMEP seeks to undertake additional metadata inventories of Columbia subbasin fish data, expand their strength and weaknesses analyses of this existing data, and broaden their collaborative design of improved M&E methods for the Columbia River Basin.

view full proposal

Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $984,500 | FY08: $984,500 | FY09: $0

Comment: Interim funding at reduced level pending further Council consideration of regional monitoring and evaluation framework. Fund for only 2 years (07-08); Council expects a report for Council and science review, delivered by the end of FY 08. ISRP fundable (qualified): address in programmatic issue in the decision document.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

The proposal presented a thorough and detailed explanation of the background and need for the project, as well as a scientific overview of the challenges of large-scale monitoring. The problem created by inadequate data and the challenges to obtaining them in a large setting like the Columbia basin is well presented. The continuation of the ongoing project should be useful in establishing better monitoring and evaluation programs systemwide. The proposal clearly describes the rationale and significance of the project to the Fish and Wildlife Program, BiOp, subbasin planning, and other large-scale monitoring programs such as the Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP). It quotes relevant passages from the Research Plan and the ISAB/RP's supplementation report. It also provides helpful diagrams and a very detailed explanation to relate this project to other projects. The history of the project is described objective by objective. The summary of how CSMEP has addressed each of its early goals is well done. This project has made much progress in a relatively short time. It probably represents the most significant collaborative multi-species fish population monitoring effort in the Columbia River Basin, if not the entire US. Progress is adequately described, with hot links to additional information, reports, and presentations. The proposal, specifically Table F1, gives an excellent overview of the tasks, description of products, and timing, as well as a list of collaborating entities for each of the work elements. Details of each objective were cleanly laid out in an organized fashion. There is an extensive list of work elements described but not always with enough detail to assess. Some of the methods are ongoing, while others await development among collaborators, but the methods are well described in general and appropriate to their particular settings. There are so may tasks that progress on each is not completely uniform; e.g., the hatchery action effectiveness work is perhaps not quite as far along as some of the habitat or status and trend monitoring. For example consider the question raised in Table F4: "To what extent can hatcheries be used to enhance viability of natural populations while keeping impacts to non-target populations within acceptable limits?" This begs for a definition of "enhance viability". The sponsors should consider using the RASP definition of supplementation and questions that arise from that definition. Also, in the nine listed questions there is no explicit identification of the important questions of whether natural origin (NOR) abundance can be maintained or improved by supplementation, and no mention of the long-term fitness consequences of supplementation. These are deficiencies that should be addressed. The proposal clearly shows that the project investigators have given much thought to monitoring and evaluation, and their conclusions to date indicate that they place strong emphasis on analyzing monitoring data, not just collecting data. The proposal identifies excellent plans for information transfer including via CSMEP's web accessible meta-database, project reports, and PowerPoint presentations. All products developed by the project will be made freely available on CSMEP's public access Internet site maintained by CBFWA. There is likely to be indirect long-term benefit to focal species through links with other projects. The project investigators should consider the effects on non-focal species because this project provides a rare opportunity to update the status of some of these species at a broad scale. As the elements of CSMEP move from planning to implementation the ISRP or ISAB should be used to review these elements. Some workgroups are further along than others; the questions they are asking, and how they are being approached is still under development. Independent peer-review at timely intervals will help ensure that the analyses will serve the regional management needs.

State/province recommendation: MS: Core Program

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: $997,500 | FY08: $997,500 | FY09: $997,500

Comment: This project would be considered High Priority by several MSRT members, but all agree this project should be funded. CSMEP is accomplishing the Columbia River fish elements of the PNAMP work plan. This project has demonstrated high production and good coordination. It is likely the best program to coordinate and standardize RME and its partnership with PNAMP will assist in “marketing” standardization and agency acceptance. Comparability of data is a high priority and only CSMEP, PNAMP and a few others are collaborating to the degree necessary to ensure joint development of products and broad acceptance and future attainment of comparable and accessible data, analysis and standards.