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198201303 - Coded Wire Tag - USFWS

Sponsor: US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)

Budgets: FY07: $115,538 | FY08: $121,315 | FY09: $127,987

Short description: The Coded-Wire Tag (CWT) Recovery Project is an on-going data collection and data management program by ODFW, WDFW, and PSMFC that contributes to the annual assessment of hatchery and wild salmon populations throughout the Columbia Basin.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $115,538 | FY08: $115,538 | FY09: $115,538

Comment: Interim funding pending further Council consideration of regional monitoring and evaluation framework.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)


This is a companion project to the ODFW and WDFW projects. It coordinates and funds tagging at three national hatcheries as part of the regional coded-wire tagging (CWT) program. A brief but adequate background section describes the CWT and the uses of the CWT data, noting that the data are used to address many of the critical uncertainties associated with release of hatchery-reared fish. It also notes that prior to this regional program, groups of CWT fish were releases unsystematically in a way that prevented any statistical robustness in analysis of the data. The proposal does not discuss issues of bias and undersampling. The proposal describes the applicability of the CWT program to a number of regional programs, most notably to various objectives of the Fish and Wildlife Program and to the Snake River Recovery Plan. The sponsors state that “the data generated from the long-term coded-wire tag program will be useful, if not essential, in meeting many of the goals and objectives and strategies of the 2000 Fish and Wildlife Program.” A large number of projects are dependent on data produced by this project: the SAFE project, Yakima River Coho Restoration Project, Umatilla and Walla Walla Rivers Restoration Projects, Wenatchee and Methow Rivers Coho Restoration, etc. The proposal lists a number of agency sponsors and supporters and makes the point that the CWT is the tool of choice for assessing fish response to environmental variables over broad geographic areas. This project is part of the overall long-term CWT program, which is a strong collaborative effort. A brief project history focuses on the funding history and number of fish tagged since the project began in 1989. In recent years, the number of fish tagged and released using BPA funding has decreased because other funding sources were found and because production releases were terminated. In 2005, about 200,000 fish were tagged; this is about 20% of the numbers tagged in the 1993-95 period because other funding sources were found and some production releases were terminated. No species breakdown or number of tags recovered is provided. Three briefly stated project objectives relate to tagging coho and Chinook, sampling returned fish and capturing release and recovery data. Methods are described in summary form and are too briefly explained with too much jargon to evaluate the soundness of techniques. The project is focused on providing information for the M&E of a range of other projects and programs. It contains elements of project effectiveness monitoring throughout in tag checking, data error checking. This is a monitoring and evaluation program, but more detail is needed to determine if this program is meeting its objectives. Clarifications and adjustments to the proposed methods, objectives, and budgets by the sponsor in consultation with the Council and BPA might be needed given the recent reductions of salmon fisheries where CWT hatchery fish might be recovered. The proposal seems to indicate that this particular part of the coded-wire tagging program is in the process of being phased out or funded by other entities.

State/province recommendation: MS: Core Program

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: $115,538 | FY08: $115,538 | FY09: $115,538

Comment: see 198201301