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200712200 - White Salmon River watershed assessment above and below Condit Dam before anadromous fish reintroduction

Sponsor: Columbia River Research Laboratory

Budgets: FY07: $341,115 | FY08: $305,689 | FY09: $323,804

Short description: Assessment fish population structure and habitat conditions above and below Condit Dam prior to the re-introduction of anadromous salmonids.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0


ISRP final recommendation: Fundable


This is a large and complex proposal, and the work elements go far beyond the stated title. With Condit Dam scheduled for decommissioning in 2008, there is indeed a unique opportunity to gather as much data as possible prior to the dam's removal and to track the re-establishment of anadromous salmonids in the upper White Salmon watershed after the dam is gone. In general, the technical background section is well documented, and the history of salmon management in the White Salmon River system is adequately presented. The opportunity to assess the effects of Spring Creek National Fish Hatchery tule Chinook and the upriver brights from Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery on an apparently naturally-spawning tule Chinook population in the lower river is interesting, as is the possibility that headwater rainbow trout may still harbor an anadromous life history strategy that can be expressed after dam removal. In order to ensure that specific methods of data collection and analysis used as a part of this project are consistent with regional efforts to standardize methodology, biologists will be actively involved with the Collaborative Systemwide Monitoring and Evaluation Project (CSMEP) and the Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP). Products and developments from these efforts will be used to ensure that information generated from the project is compatible with information generated in other subbasins and is useful for regionwide assessments. The ultimate product of this effort will be a planning document, created by the Yakama Indian Nation (YIN), Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which will serve as a framework for anadromous salmonid reintroduction and habitat restoration. The information on salmonid populations and habitat conditions obtained through this project will be used to create a planning document based on current scientific information. The framework of reintroduction will be as specific as possible including the number of generations that need to be conserved, the broodstocks to be used, and strategies for reintroduction will be recommended by species. The benefits of this work will be long-term. Non-focal species are not mentioned, but it is possible that exotic species can invade the White salmon subbasin. Adding a monitoring component to follow non-native species spread would be helpful.

State/province recommendation:

Review group:

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