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199000500 - Umatilla Hatchery - M&E

Sponsor: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW)

Budgets: FY07: $684,278 | FY08: $714,367 | FY09: $745,852

Short description: This proposal is for ongoing research, monitoring and evaluation of the Umatilla Hatchery program. The Umatilla Hatchery RM&E Project evaluates hatchery practices for steelhead supplementation and spring and fall Chinook salmon reintroduction.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $572,848 | FY08: $572,848 | FY09: $572,848

Comment: The project sponsors are to work with the Council and others to structure an ISRP/Council review of the coordinated subbasin activities in the Umatilla at some point in the next two years.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

This proposal does an excellent job of identifying the problem and providing the technical background. The section on relationship to other projects was particularly helpful, both for understanding this project proposal and the others mentioned. The proponents are to be thanked and congratulated for supplying this vital information despite the limitations of the format of the proposal form. Past history of some efforts is properly glossed over. These have been commented upon in past ISRP reviews. A history of review and adaptation within the program is clearly evident, with continual improvements, reporting, and publication. Success and failures are noted, and a list of adaptive management examples was tabled. Research continues on release strategies, but more work may be required on the issue of acclimatization sites and steelhead residualism, as well as evidence of collaboration on supplementation studies in the basin. The reported results seem to indicate that the hatchery is not contributing to natural fish populations (see Figures 1 and 2). Are there other actions that need to occur besides hatchery releases and their habitat restoration activities to increase abundance? The methods and procedures for collecting data on recovery of marked fish will be done by related projects that are specified. The goal is to obtain full accounting of all artificial production strategies -- a worthy goal. A missing ingredient seems to be designation of responsibility for combining description of both steps, the marking and recovery methods. Since it appears that the present project has the ultimate responsibility for analysis of the objectives specified, are we to assume that the progress report of this project will include both? The ISRP qualifies this fundable recommendation suggesting that this program (Umatilla Program) is too complex to adequately review in an annual process and needs a more intensive review including a site visit, and presentation and discussion of results. Such a site review should be comprehensive enough to include an assessment of program goals and measurable objectives, results to date based on whether the program is leading to increased natural production (preliminary data to date do not show this is happening), design and structure of M&E program, and importance of entire O&M elements. Also, there is need to show how co-manager's programs are working together (or at least in communication). See ISRP comments on the “Umatilla Initiative” under proposal 198343600.

State/province recommendation: Fundable, but at a reduced level

Review group: OSPIT - Plateau

Recommended budgets: FY07: $584,848 | FY08: $584,848 | FY09: $584,848

Comment: OSPIT recommends holding project funding to FY06 levels plus $12,000 and flatlined. The additional $12K provides for the ad clip and release group Coded Wire Tag, plus some additional fish health monitoring. OSPIT hopes to find greater synergies with the three M&E projects (199000500, 199000501 and 198902401) for other possible budget reductions.