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200725300 - Monitoring of Adult Abundance and Spatial Distribution for Snake River Spring/Summer Chinook Salmon ESU Populations

Sponsor: Nez Perce Tribe / Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Budgets: FY07: $505,083 | FY08: $458,274 | FY09: $365,394

Short description: This project will coordinate ongoing monitoring activities and implement new monitoring where needed to provide data for spring/summer Chinook salmon Snake River ESU populations for ESA delisting decision analysis and effectiveness monitoring.

view full proposal

Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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


ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)


This is a well-written proposal that clearly identifies the challenges to obtaining precise estimates of adult abundance of adult spring/summer Chinook counts in the Salmon River system and why they are needed to decide among management options. The approach to resolving the problem is scientifically justified. The proponents provide a good literature review of the accuracy and precision of various adult-monitoring methods. This proposal has two main objectives: (1) improve the consistency and accuracy of adult Chinook enumeration in the Snake River basin and provide statistically robust estimates of population structure and abundance, and (2) further evaluate the use of dual frequency identification sonar (DIDSON) technology. Both objectives are worthwhile. The methods employ the latest scientific techniques such as DIDSON-based counts with underwater video verification, and an EMAP-like probabilistic selection of redd count areas within major population groups. The project managers have placed a number of checkpoints within the study for feedback on quality control. The ISRP likes the examination of DIDSON technology, since this may hold promise for adult counts where there are no dams or weirs where passing adults can be accurately counted. The costs are high but the technology is very promising. Qualifications to consider: The proposal did not elaborate on how they could take into account fall backs. The relationships to other projects are not clear. Will the other projects have to be funded for this proposal to be successful? It went beyond the scope of the proposal and was very costly. There may be a cost sharing possibility for the equipment purchase. Since suitable structures housing DIDSON technology will be installed in Big Creek, would it also be possible to equip the DIDSON site with PIT-tag detectors in the event that some of the returning adults carry PIT-tags? The cover page states that the data will be made available in the form of reports to interested parties, and data will be maintained in a centralized database, but oddly there is no mention of publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The DIDSON evaluation would make an excellent paper, for example.

State/province recommendation: MS: High Priority

Review group: MSRT

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

Comment: This proposal raises the question of how much monitoring we require and intend to perform across the basin and how to distribute that monitoring.