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199702400 - Avian Predation on Juvenile Salmonids in the Lower Columbia River

Sponsor: Oregon State University

Budgets: FY07: $700,000 | FY08: $860,000 | FY09: $900,000

Short description: Determine predation rates by waterbirds on juvenile salmonids, evaluate the efficacy of management initiatives to reduce avian predation, and assist resource managers in the development of plans for long-term management of avian predation, as warranted.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $470,000 | FY08: $470,000 | FY09: $470,000

Comment: Scope expansion not accepted. Budget at the FY 2006 level.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

This is a strong proposal, and avian predation is definitely a problem that has been documented in a useful series of studies. This project is being funded by a number of entities, the Corps and BPA. The Council/BPA/Corps and the sponsor should clearly delineate who is funding which tasks. This recommendation is qualified, because the ISRP questions whether it is necessary to condition new sites for the terns (this pertains only to those sites more than 200 miles away), or even evaluate potential new habitat at great distances from the present colonies. These birds are adept at finding suitable habitat when the present habitat is no longer rendered suitable and will likely redistribute to their more historical range, instead of the recent concentration in the Columbia River estuary. More suitable alternative sites need to be provided within 200 miles of the present colonies, because birds need alternative sites or they will not readily move. Fisheries investigators should consider a similar approach to this project’s in sampling for PIT tags in dredge material at Burbank Slough (at mouth of Snake and Columbia).

State/province recommendation: MS: Core Program

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: $470,000 | FY08: $470,000 | FY09: $470,000

Comment: There is a funding issue with this project that the Council will want to investigate related to the USACE funding. Most of the avian predation in the mainstem is based off of dredge pilings. Although there is significant monitoring involved in this project, the MSRT ranks it as an on-the-ground because of its direct benefits to salmon survival.