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200721600 - Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership-Fish Population Monitoring (FPM)--RME Design and Protocols. Programmatic and Standardized Work Products for PNW and the Columbia Basin

Sponsor: Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP)

Budgets: FY07: $19,718 | FY08: $28,718 | FY09: $28,718

Short description: This proposal will support four FY 07-09 tasks to standardize RME protocols, indicators, methods and analytical processes. All tasks have been approved by the PNAMP Steering Committee representing 20 Charter Agencies. www.reo.gov/PNAMP

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $19,718 | FY08: $28,718 | FY09: $28,718

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

ISRP final recommendation: Admin (see comments)


Having standardized protocols for aquatic habitat and fish population monitoring is a high priority. However, this proposal is for coordination assistance and administrative support. The ISRP therefore recommends that it be classified as an Administrative proposal. The Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership is a very widely ranging effort with partners that include state, tribal, and federal entities, as well as NGOs. The focus of PNAMP is on developing standardized protocols for monitoring status and trends in aquatic habitat and fish populations, in order to achieve greater consistency and comparability among data collected by various organizations. Artificial production, mainstem passage and survival, estuary survival, and harvest are not really included in PNAMP's scope. Overall, the technical and scientific background for this proposal is not clear. The budget only requests $77K over a 3-year period, and this is for several tasks that represent a small (but significant) subset of PNAMP activities having to do with fish population monitoring. This needed to be more adequately explained in the background section. Additionally, the proposal contains some statements that represent serious simplifications and that are not referenced, e.g., "Thirty five years ago, the abundances of juvenile and adult salmonid populations were found to be well-described using 4 variables: gradient, elevation (or stream width), temperature, and % pool. Since then, these relationships were shown to hold true throughout the nation..." Simplifications such as this completely overlook trophic considerations, water quality, and other important environmental features. Hopefully, PNAMP is not starting with this assumption. There was insufficient specificity in the proposal to draw clear relationships between the PNAMP effort and relevant parts of the Fish and Wildlife Program, the BiOp, and other regional plans, even though it would have been possible to do this for the particular tasks for which the proposal requests funding (i.e., fish monitoring protocols and a training manual). The Relationships to Other Projects section of the proposal began with a table that appeared to be pasted in from another document, and including a table heading would have been very helpful. Some of the projects in the table were not relevant to the objectives of this particular proposal, but instead described work that is ongoing in the greater PNAMP effort. As well, some of the linkages between the other projects and PNAMP were not explained. After the table, the proposal included a series of outcomes that seemed out of place in this section. This material was largely derived from the 2005 Strategy paper that was included as a separate file (which made for difficult reviewing). There were very few explicit links to other projects, and some of the material was out of order, e.g., Outcome D preceded Outcome C. Additionally the bullets under Outcome C (page 8) did not match this outcome at all. It was difficult to match the specific tasks in the form of the five bulleted objectives on page 10-11 with the specific tasks identified on the following three pages. Once again it appeared that the stated objectives were general PNAMP goals, while this proposal seeks to fund a small subset of the goals. The proposal was not clear on this point throughout the submission, and adding the 2005 Strategy paper as a separate attachment instead of bring the relevant parts directly into the project narrative didn't help. Surprisingly, two of the tasks: the fish population monitoring protocols with gap analysis, and the field method training manual, are both scheduled for completion before funding for this project would have been decided, and even the third task of developing standardized tagging methods is scheduled for completion in September 2006. This left open the question of what, exactly, this proposal is for? The objectives would have been a good place to show how the PNAMP products could be applied to a real subbasin such as the Yakima or John Day. However, no examples were given. There was little description of provisions for monitoring or evaluating success in developing the standardized fish population monitoring protocols that appear to be at the heart of the proposal. If the protocols and training manual are developed, how will we know if they are useful? This proposal would have benefited from a section that describes implementation and feedback.

State/province recommendation: MS: High Priority

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: $19,718 | FY08: $28,718 | FY09: $28,718

Comment: This proposal should be rolled into the PNAMP coordination proposal (project number 200400200). It is confusing why these tasks and costs would not be included in the coordinator project.