< Back to list of FY 2007-2009 projects

198503800 - Colville Hatchery

Sponsor: Colville Confederated Tribes

Budgets: FY07: $1,015,504 | FY08: $1,056,124 | FY09: $1,098,369

Short description: This proposal will provide hatchery production of resident trout that support and enhance tribal subsistence fisheries and non-tribal recreational fisheries within the Colville Indian Reservation.

view full proposal

Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $1,003,333 | FY08: $1,003,333 | FY09: $1,003,333

Comment: Budget reductions concurs with ISRP except for task 2a regarding triploid fish: continue to mark fish going into streams for tribal management.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable in part


The response, including a revised proposal with some relatively minor changes, was helpful in addressing reviewers' concerns regarding some issues but not others. The program is a stand-alone effort to provide hatchery fish to partially compensate for the loss of aquatic resources above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams. Some work is also done on native trout in Reservation streams. In the previous review the ISRP was critical of the cost - then about $8 per pound of fish stocked, with an unknown fraction of those fish actually being caught by anglers. That cost now has increased in the current proposal to approximately $20 per pound. Sponsors' response pointed out that more than one-third of that cost reflects the cost of related programs (M&E, outreach and education, fish marking). Reviewers continue the assertion (despite the response) that a large portion of those related biological programs are of no significant utility toward the project goal of providing hatchery-reared resident trout (or benefiting other fish or wildlife resources). Details of that position are presented below. The response corrects the statement made in the original proposal that only pre-1999 M&E reports and annual reports were available, and the existence of more recent reports is appreciated by reviewers. However, reviewers were not able to obtain the Reservation Lakes Survey (Fairbank 2005) prior to completing this final set of comments and thus must assume pertinent results were summarized in the sponsors' response. Following the response, reviewers continue to support Fundable in Part for the ongoing fish purchase, rearing, and stocking (Task 1) and redband and cutthroat trout stream surveys (Task 3a). Also fundable is Task 2b, to conduct creel census surveys. The response clarified that the basic creel census data were regularly used to gauge the performance of stocked trout. Given that the sponsors have some creel survey evidence that the stocking program is at least a partial success, continued hatchery production must be associated with a rigorous assessment of the reliability of the creel check program. The ISRP commends sponsors' commitment in the response to refine data collection techniques to enable them to calculate return to creel data in a more reliable and consistent manner. Reviewers reiterate that such data collection should include an estimation of numbers of fish caught, to be compared with number stocked. Relevant future findings should routinely be reported in the project history. The project has a marking program and a genetics program, and it has a limnology program directed to understanding the carrying capacity for valuable fishes. Although the program has been in existence since 1985, the presentation included only a few results gathered from creel check and virtually no results from these other activities that show evidence of benefits to fish. There is no basis provided to justify the scientific credibility of those aspects of the program, and there is no demonstrated basis for continuing much of this work. Not Fundable are Task 2a (fish marking), Task 2c (conducting relative abundance surveys on lakes), Task 3b (fish genetic evaluation), and the tasks under Objective 4 (monitoring of lake environment and plankton populations). Reviewers note and encourage continued efforts to shift stocking from non-native trout species, as has historically been done, to native redband and triploid (presumably sterile) rainbow trout. However, the ISRP recommends that only female triploids are stocked, because male triploids (in mixed sex production lots) will engage in courtship behavior with native trout, possibly leading to gamete waste (from the native trout). The ISRP notes that standardized Quality Assurance/Quality Control protocols are not yet established for using sterile female triploids to provide recreational angling in waters inhabited by native trout. Large-scale production of triploid female rainbow trout is not 100% effective. Sponsors should have the production lots they stock evaluated for the percentage of triploids, and report this as part of the project monitoring. The efficacy of avoiding hybridization between stocked and native trout is unknown when less than 100% of the stocked fish are triploids. Ongoing evaluation of hybridization in contemporaneous native trout populations will be needed in the future. Stocking triploid females to provide recreational angling in regions with highly sensitive native populations is not yet justified. See Kozfkay, J. R., J. C. Dillon, and D. J. Schill. 2006. Routine use of sterile fish in salmonid sport fisheries: are we there yet? Fisheries 31(8):392 - 401.

State/province recommendation: Fundable

Review group: Intermountain

Recommended budgets: FY07: $1,003,333 | FY08: $1,003,333 | FY09: $1,003,333

Comment: Withdrew purchase RBT fr net pens. Reduced $12,171 FY07, $52,791 FY08, $95,036 FY 09.

State/province recommendation: Washington

Review group: Washington list

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

Comment: See Washington guidance