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198812025 - YKFP Management, Data, Habitat

Sponsor: Yakama Confederated Tribes

Budgets: FY07: $1,237,239 | FY08: $1,268,041 | FY09: $2,284,582

Short description: Proposal provides for all YN management functions associated with the Yakima/Klickitat Fisheries Project including project planning, O&M, research, data management, and habitat improvement and acquisition actions in the Yakima Subbasin.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $266,666 | FY08: $266,666 | FY09: $266,666

Comment: ISRP fundable qualified: ISRP recommends that the broader YKFP program be the subject of an organized program review. Project sponsor should consider focusing the next annual review for this purpose, otherwise review will need to occur as part of the next project review cycle. As Council has asked for in the past, a Master Plan is needed for fall chinook and coho elements of the project. Budget reductions not specific. Project to be implemented with reduced scope.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)


Overall Comments for the five related Yakima/Klickitat Fishery Projects: 199506425 (YKFP Policy/Plan/Technical for ~$724K); 199701325 (YKFP Operations and Maintenance for ~$8,688K); 199506325 (YKFP Monitoring and Evaluation for ~$13,781K); 198812025 (YKFP Management, Data, Habitat for ~$4,790K); 198811525 (YKFP Design and Construction - Nelson Springs replacement facility for ~$629K). The ISRP rates the set as “Fundable (Qualified)” because we recommend that the broader YKFP program be the subject of an organized 2-3 day site and program review within the next 2 years. The general YKFP is a broad subbasin-wide supplementation project coupled with habitat improvements. The supplementation program (199506425 -YKFP Policy/Plan/Technical; 199701325 -YKFP O&M; 199506325 -YKFP M&E; 198812025 -YKFP Management, Data, Habitat) will be aimed at a brief list of primary focal species (e.g., spring/summer Chinook, spring steelhead, etc.) and is intended to be temporary while habitats are improved. Benefits to focal species will be answerable only in the context of whether supplementation, habitat, and harvest programs are beneficial to the salmon. Little information (insufficient) is provided as to the impacts or risks to non-target organisms. This will be answerable only in the context of whether supplementation impacts non-focal species. As largely a supplementation and harvest augmentation project, we urge the various cooperating co-managers to work together to provide a compelling logic path or set of evidence that it is justified in terms of benefit to the targeted populations and subbasins. It would be appropriate in a single place to describe the role(s) and activities of the various participants to provide a universal view of YKFP. The primary benefit of the current M&E program will be the examination of ongoing projects. A single robust stock assessment (with trend) would seem a critical element that is missing (or at least not obvious). We direct sponsors to the ISRP and ISAB report on the need and role for supplementation research, monitoring and evaluation, which concludes with the following statements. “Monitoring and evaluation of supplementation projects is critically important. For the monitoring to be effective, a very rigorous design is needed, and the scale and logistics of implementation will carry costs that are significant. The scientific issues underlying the definitions of performance metrics and the necessary controls in the design are genuinely complicated. Some of the scientific tools for measuring performance are new, and involve a level of knowledge of population and molecular genetics which until recently has not been part of the standard fisheries curriculum. The consequences of not conducting these studies and continuing to assume no deleterious impacts from supplementation, and being wrong, are much greater than short-term changes in salmon abundance. The natural populations that may be lost if supplementation actually decreases their fitness are irreplaceable. On the other hand, if supplementation proves an aid to natural population during distress, further application may be warranted. Both outcomes remain uncertain without adequate monitoring and evaluation, which will likewise guide best management practice and cost effectiveness.” (ISRP & ISAB 2005-15, Monitoring and Evaluation of Supplementation Projects) We also direct sponsors to the ISAB’s Supplementation Report (ISAB 2003-3) for further presentation on the general absence of supporting data for the approach. Comments specific to this proposal: This ongoing project provides primary funds for fishery management of the YKFP including management oversight, policy development, coordination and planning, administration and support, data management, review, and reporting of all aspects of the broader YKFP, especially the habitat improvement or restoration. While larger than the YKFP Policy/Plan/Technical proposal, many of the work elements are identical or similar. Sponsors need to provide further explanation as to how these proposals and work elements differ or plug in together. The short description of this proposal indicates that it would focus on elements for the YKFP programs and projects. Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: As part of the broader YKFP the Management, Data, Habitat project (MDH), provides for major project management of the other project elements with other activities of the Yakima Nation and external parties. This project also provides primary funding for 8 full time and 10 part time professionals to execute the YKFP. A key objective of the YKFP is to examine the efficacy of supplementation as an effective management tool in the subbasin (and basin-wide) while habitats are repaired or improved to provide for adequate natural production. This project more specifically focuses on habitat restoration and projects associated with the YKFP. See above general comments. Relationships to other projects: The project is the MDH component of the broader YKFP. As such YKFP is a large agency size program. Linkages to other YKFP related projects was demonstrated, but there needs to be universal document that ties in all of the current and proposed contracts among the co-managers. There appears on the surface duplication of effort; this could be addressed by such a document and through site and program review. Project history: The project's history was adequately described. As the specific project's objectives are not directly biological, much of the results or performance metrics are whether or not the YKFP is managed, coordinated, and administered. Biological objectives of the YKFP are more closely examined in context of the M&E project. Objectives: A series of ten management, coordination, and administration related primary objectives are presented. These objectives are non-biological and aimed at broader program execution. The expected outcomes are clear. Tasks (work elements) and methods: Methods are more related to business and program management as opposed to biological. As such there is no real science to review here, although review is possible for the broader program. There is opportunity to explicitly set up hypotheses regarding habitat improvement. Some additional focus on how much actual on the ground habitat work will be completed would be welcomed. Monitoring and evaluation: As the stated objectives are non-biological for this specific project, M&E are not amenable unless there is some actual habitat work being conducted (which is not obvious). As such, there is no real science to review here, although review is possible for the broader program. Facilities, equipment, and personnel: This is an ongoing project (with indefinite anticipated time horizon). There are numerous production, rearing, and monitoring facilities associated with the broader YKFP. There are also a goodly number of staff (full-time = 8 or partial time = 10) to be dedicated to the project management including business and administrative staff. It is a little unclear as to who will be doing data work and habitat work. Also, no specific habitat projects are actually described. Again here, a document describing the whole YKFP and a program review would be of great help in determining the appropriateness. Information transfer: Information transfer needs to occur for biological data (as well as coordination and planning) within the broader YKFP context.

State/province recommendation:

Review group:

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