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198805301 - Grande Ronde/Imnaha Endemic Spring Chinook Supplementation - Northeast Oregon Hatchery

Sponsor: Nez Perce Tribe

Budgets: FY07: $9,809,858 | FY08: $3,478,059 | FY09: $1,014,268

Short description: Co-managers are utilizing this project to plan and develop salmon conservation and recovery programs, and the facilities necessary for implementation, in the Imnaha and Grande Ronde River subbasins. These programs are aimed at preventing extinction and restoring spring/summer Chinook salmon native to the subbasins.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Capital

Recommended budgets: FY07: $7,492,439 | FY08: $8,804,000 | FY09: $147,000

Comment: See discussion of supplementation m&e in decision memo. On May 9, 2006 the Council approved the final design and construction (Step 3) costs associated with the Northeast Oregon Hatchery (NEOH) currently in discussion between BPA and NOAA Fisheries on crediting . Final recommendation pending additional discussion with Council.

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $319,570

Comment: See discussion of supplementation m&e in decision memo. On May 9, 2006 the Council approved the final design and construction (Step 3) costs associated with the Northeast Oregon Hatchery (NEOH) currently in discussion between BPA and NOAA Fisheries on crediting.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable in part


Response for NEOH Project Group including 198805301, 20071320, 199800702, 199800703, and 199800704. Recommendation: 198805301 – Fundable in part 200713200 – Fundable 199800702 – Fundable (Qualified) 199800703 – Fundable (Qualified) 199800704 – Fundable (Qualified) The ISRP has reviewed this group of projects (NEOH) within the context of a Three-Step Review as well as within this round of project reviews. The Three-Step Review for the Master Plan behind NEOH has been completed. The ISRP gave a favorable Three-Step Review based on the scientific merit of a robust and rigorous monitoring and evaluation approach to the program while recognizing there remains a basic uncertainty as to whether the supplementation can or will contribute to recovery of naturally sustaining salmon (including spring/summer Chinook in the Grande Ronde). The partial funding recommendation here for Proposal 198805301 stems from the need to amass vital data and information about supplementation before new construction of production facilities. As such, a key precursor to beginning construction on new facilities is the completion of the supplementation experiment presented in the companion M&E project (200713200 - NEOH Monitoring & Evaluation Implementation), which is supported scientifically and is recommended for funding. This project is the critical M&E component of the NEOH set of projects. The sponsors of Project 199805301sufficiently addressed issues identified by ISRP during review and provided additional clarity to the need, role, and priorities for monitoring and evaluation for NEOH. In terms of prioritizing activities to meet data needs, the sponsors articulated those that are essential, those that are recommended, and others that are of a lower priority. As an experiment, a robustly monitored supplementation program designed within NEOH should provide data answering lingering uncertainties and controversies surrounding its capacity and role as a potential recovery tool. Therefore, the fundable part of Project 198805031 is that associated with updating the weirs, which is critical to a robust and rigorous monitoring for the experiment. Construction of the acclimation and production facilities should be limited in scale and scope to that which is necessary to meet the goal(s) for testing the efficacy of supplementation. Clear and unequivocal demonstration of supplementation as an avenue to recovery of naturally sustained Chinook ought to be a condition before fully proceeding with the expanded program, including construction. Moreover, the role and goals of supplementation, which will have a specific end-point versus production as an ongoing mitigation activity remain blurred and need to be clearly articulated. Project 199800702 is Fundable (Qualified): The ISRP requested a decision tree, which would describe a path of adaptive management. For each of the project's 8 management objectives, the sponsors responded with a list of hypotheses or criteria, which they term "management assumptions." The sponsors seem to regard the resultant outline a "decision framework" for guiding the decision process of NEOH adaptive management. The array is based on the NEOH M&E Conceptual Plan (Hesse and Harbeck 2000). While this approach is reasonable, in addition to this framework of assumptions, a decision tree would require statements of reasonably foreseeable alternative adjustments of management (including project termination) that would depend on whether the assumptions are borne out. Project 199800703 is Fundable (Qualified): The ISRP requested a decision tree detailing criteria for expected termination or continuation based on monitoring data - whether positive or negative. The response clarified planned activities if the results are positive, including termination of the captive broodstock program, etc. No information was provided on the criteria for termination if the program fails to show adequate, sustained results. The sponsors indicate that such decision would be made at an administrative level above the project level and do not say how those decisions would be made. This constitutes a lack of transparency in the plan. For reviewers to be able to evaluate the plan, the proposal should contain the criteria and anticipated alternatives that this higher level of decision-making will use. Ultimately, this sizeable project has continued for several years, but the data presented on returns suggest only modest success to date, especially with regard to natural production. As captive brood fish have returned in higher numbers, natural fish have responded much less dramatically, and dropped in 2005. Even in view of the fact that short-term population fluctuations due to environmental variation may make longer-term observation necessary, the appropriateness of undertaking a decision process at this point should be discussed. Also, some of the data presented in the response are unclear. For example, some of the abbreviated column headings in Table 3a are not explained, so the material beneath them is difficult to assign meaning or context. Project 199800704 is Fundable (Qualified): The ISRP requested a response showing a decision tree detailing criteria for termination based on results, whether positive or negative. The response was through, its content describing a decision-tree process that recognized decision-making at several administrative levels. The sponsors' presentation of the three manager-level criteria was a good effort and very satisfactory. Presentation of results (original narrative) is adequate. It is too early in the production schedule to get data on returns, although survival rates of earlier life history stages could have been reported. Data from monitoring of fish health in the hatchery are presented. Redd counts for natural spawning are shown. The ISRP makes the Fundable (Qualified) recommendation because scientific justification for the project depends on the funding of the M&E proposal 200713200. Finally, the NEOH is presented as critical to recovery of spring/summer Chinook and, therefore, warrants rigorous evaluation of progress and meeting of objectives. The program will benefit from comprehensive programmatic review at key milestones (with site visits, presentation of preliminary data and analysis, lessons learned, etc.). ISRP comments are also provided for another NEOH proposal for Three-Step Master Planning for an NEOH Walla Walla Hatchery to produce spring Chinook salmon for release in the Walla Walla River Basin, see 200003800.

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

Review group: OSPIT - Blue Mountain

Recommended budgets: FY07: $5,714,000 | FY08: $12,356,000 | FY09: $147,000

Comment: Project is considered capital for FY07 NEOH construction

State/province recommendation: Fundable, but at a reduced level

Review group: OSPIT - Blue Mountain

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: (n/a) | FY09: $319,570

Comment: Potential to not need the O&M for egg take if the hatchery is not complete until 2008. Remove O&M for 2008 and 2009? O&M and M&E costs are prioritized in the existing budget, but construction is not anticipated to occur prior to 2007. If there are savings in this province, OSPIT recommends as a priority the unspent funds would go to this project.