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199902000 - Analyze Chinook Salmon Spatial and Temporal Dynamics and Persistence

Sponsor: US Forest Service (USFS) - Rocky Mt Research Station

Budgets: FY07: $88,154 | FY08: $92,485 | FY09: $97,035

Short description: The project sponsors propose continuation of research applying a continuous, spatially explicit, and temporally extensive redd database to advance understanding of the spatial and temporal dynamics and factors influencing persistence of wild Chinook salmon populations.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $88,154 | FY08: $92,485 | FY09: $97,035


ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)


The sponsors propose to continue aerial surveys of the Middle Fork Salmon River to fully census spring and summer Chinook salmon redds, collect tissue from spawning Chinook in remote areas to add to tissue collections used to produce genotypic data, and perform correlative and cross-wavelet analysis of the relationship between the location of Chinook salmon redds and landscape features. The quality of the work and publication trail is excellent. The data on the spatial and temporal variation in Chinook salmon redds is used in recovery planning by State, Federal, and Tribal agencies. The analysis of the relationship between environmental factors and spatial and temporal variation in redd (Chinook) abundance will add to the basic understanding of the persistence of Chinook salmon metapopulations. On this basis the ISRP believes this effort is justified. At this time, the ISRP also qualifies the support for this activity. Specifically, there is a merging of research (the analysis of relationships between habitat conditions and redd abundance, and comparisons of index versus full census of redd counts) and annual trend monitoring of adult Chinook abundance via redd counts. These two functions of this proposal need to be clearly identified, and the research component needs to be justified in the future based on its broader application to the Snake and/or Salmon River systems. The project’s publication record is excellent, but there is a lack of evidence that what is being learned is being translated into either modified sampling schemes, innovative analyses of persistence by TRTs, or modified land use management in other watersheds. There is a point of diminishing returns in any research effort. The level of effort for the trend monitoring and for the research components in the future needs to reflect data needs and the incorporation of the research products into management actions. There are still vast amounts of spatial information collected on Chinook redds (in relation to habitat factors) to analyze and publish, so it is difficult to justify collecting even more. Managers might be consulted to determine the aspects of the data they are particularly interested in. Finally, the next generation of space imagery may provide sufficient resolution to count redds, and this might be useful as a tool in sampling and monitoring salmon populations. This technology would greatly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of sampling and monitoring salmon populations.

State/province recommendation: MS: High Priority

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: $88,154 | FY08: $92,485 | FY09: $97,035

Comment: This project provides a long term data base with large geographic coverage that can be used for evaluating future sampling designs. The data collected by the project also contributes significantly to TRT evaluations and management of these stocks. How does this project fit into a regional monitoring program?

State/province recommendation: Not fundable

Review group: Snake

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

Comment: Project not prioritized