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200716000 - Evaluation of spawning success in Pacific salmon using electromyogram telemetry

Sponsor: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Budgets: FY07: $199,983 | FY08: $205,896 | FY09: $212,652

Short description: The project sponsors propose to implant sockeye salmon with electromyogram transmitters to determine when and how frequently they spawn, and to investigate differences in spawning among groups of fish exposed to different rearing conditions.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Not fundable

Comment:

This proposal offers an innovative technological approach to studying salmon reproduction. The technique may provide some excellent data on the bioenergetics of the spawning act, and the proponents have expertise in the area electromyogram telemetry. However, the ISRP had difficulties envisioning how the data would be beneficial to fish and wildlife and how the project ties in with subbasin design and objectives. The literature review for the proposal was not thorough and did not include the many examples of the effects of hatchery culture on the timing of the spawning. Given the rarity of these fish, the ISRP also had some concerns that the transmitters might have effects on the health and well being of the sockeye. Finally, the ISRP has recommended “not fundable” for the set of ongoing Redfish Lake sockeye captive rearing projects because of the lack of success of this method for conserving the population.

State/province recommendation: MS: Recommended Action

Review group: MSRT

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

Comment: This project is evaluating the question of whether specific fish are spawning in the wild (Red Fish Lake sockeye), where and when they spawn. This project is different from the genetic studies in that if stocks are shown to be less fit, this project can help explain why. This project should be grouped with similar efforts to insure no redundancy and appropriate priorities. The underlying research into reproductive success of salmon and steelhead is a Core Program need. Which projects should be funded to address the critical management questions cannot be determined by the MSRT. The new reproductive success projects are ranked Recommended Action. Although this information is understood as a high priority need, how each of these projects are addressing specific management questions needs to be explained.