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199801001 - Grande Ronde Captive Brood O&M

Sponsor: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW)

Budgets: FY07: $829,250 | FY08: $867,556 | FY09: $907,684

Short description: Captive rearing and spawning of threatened spring Chinook salmon from Catherine Creek, upper Grande Ronde River and Lostine River. Research to evaluate the effectiveness of rearing protocols and treatment and prevention of bacterial kidney disease.

view full proposal

Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $723,718 | FY08: $723,718 | FY09: $723,718

Comment: ISRP fundable in part (qualified). No additional parr collection, as per ISRP recommendation, and to continue and complete the captive propagation experiment Budget reduction reflects the removal of the work element task titled - Collect 300 Naturally Produced Chinook Salmon Parr / cohort / stock. Other budget reductions not specific. Project to be implemented as proposed with reduced scope, other than what is specified.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable in part (Qualified)


Fundable-in-part to continue and complete the captive propagation experiment. The project has already continued to collect parr beyond the timeframe that was initially envisioned. Additional parr collections do not seem justified. This project should be limited to raising the parr they now have collected, and completing the envisioned experiment. The ISRP recommendation is Qualified in that the design of the final analysis needs to be capable of quantifying the demographic effect of natural spawning by captive propagated and supplementation adults on natural production in the next generation. Several concerns were raised in the preliminary ISRP review. First it was not clear from the proposal that an increase in the abundance of natural-origin adult Chinook is a goal of this project, and the ISRP response stated that the ISRP believes it should be. Second, the proposal implies that a sustained production of wild fish is a goal; however, since the 150,000 smolts with an SAR of 0.1% is a goal from fish production, the ISRP response stated that "it is not clear how these fish are being called wild Chinook salmon," and that "the critical benefit to the focal species would be an increase in the numbers of natural-origin adults in the treatment stream, not just increases in the numbers of hatchery-origin adults.” The preliminary ISRP review then asked the sponsors to address four questions. The following is an assessment of the quality of their responses. 1. Identify the method by which they will determine the demographic benefit to the focal species – in terms of an increase in the numbers of natural-origin adults. Their response was very thorough: "We are using a variety of approaches to assess the natural-origin demographic benefit provided by natural spawning hatchery fish, including: comparing demographic trends … comparing pre- and post-treatment smolts produced per parent in all three treatment streams." 2. Outline the 19-year experiment identified in the December 19, 2003 document and clarify when juvenile (parr) collections are no longer needed to support that experiment. They did that, but explained "we continued to collect parr because we had not met our goal of a consistent return of 150 adults spawning in nature and had problems with the experimental component that required more brood years of parr collection for captive rearing (see below)." Given that this is an experiment, this seems unjustified. We emphasize that a demographic benefit from this program is yet to be demonstrated. On that basis, we encourage the co-managers to seriously consider the option of phasing out the captive propagation program in the Lostine system, per the discussion in the response to the ISRP. 3. If that timeframe is already passed provide justification for additional collections. The response, "We had not achieved our threshold annual goal of a consistent return of 150 adults spawning in nature in the Catherine Creek and Grande Ronde River populations at the time we collected the 1999 brood year parr (Table 1)." Sponsors have passed the timeframe for collecting parr for their experimental evaluation of captive propagation and continue to collect parr, albeit at a reduced number. The rational for continuing the collections is that the target populations have not yet reached the abundance thresholds decided upon by the co-managers. A decision on the efficacy of the captive propagation technology will be decided in 2014 after the data collection and analysis from the 19-year experimental phase is concluded. Further, the ISRP encourages the timely reporting of the demographic response of the target populations as the data becomes available. 4. Identify the timeframe for providing a reasonable demographic benefit to the focal species or the technology would be judged ineffective. Their response was straightforward: "We plan to follow the schedule of the 19 year experiment to determine whether the Captive Broodstock program can increase the number of natural spawners." That is encouraging. The authors, however, did add the following: "At that time, we will have adequate data to assess relative reproductive success of the Captive Broodstock F1 generation, trends in total population abundance, recruits:spawner ratios, total adults spawning in nature and abundance of natural origin adults and compare these within streams in pre- vs. post-supplementation comparisons and with unsupplemented reference streams. The evaluation of the reproductive success of the Captive Broodstock offspring will also be done genetically by identifying the F2 generation on the spawning grounds. We will also measure and compare variables such as survival, size and age at maturation, sex ratio, migration and spawn timing, and spawning distribution." The ISRP concern is that the DNA pedigree analysis should provide the way to conduct the evaluation – but it not sufficiently clear what is to really be done. Because that information is the key to determining the real level of success of the captive propagation experiment underway, that methodology could/should be explained in detail.

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: OSPIT - Blue Mountain

Recommended budgets: FY07: $723,718 | FY08: $723,718 | FY09: $723,718

Comment: OSPIT recommends holding the budget to the FY06 level and flatlining for FY08 and 09.