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200102600 - Status, Genetics, and Life History of Coastal Cutthroat Trout above Bonneville Dam

Sponsor: US Geological Survey (USGS) - Cook

Budgets: FY07: $258,294 | FY08: $259,033 | FY09: $252,916

Short description: In an effort to fill a large information need, WDFW and USGS biologists propose to conduct extensive and intensive sampling for coastal cutthroat trout in subbasins of the Columbia River watershed above Bonneville Dam.

view full proposal

Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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


ISRP final recommendation: Not fundable


Obtaining data on coastal cutthroat trout status would be useful, but the comments in previous years that it should be collected as part of broader faunal surveys still stand. The rationale and justification for the work elements are not compelling. Therefore, the ISRP believes this project is not fundable at this time. In earlier reviews the ISRP recommended that data on the status of cutthroat trout could most efficiently be collected when faunal or other fish surveys were being conducted, and that a general review of what data is available needs to precede any new fieldwork. In response to these recommendations the sponsors produced a report on the status of coastal cutthroat trout in the Columbia River gorge province (Connolly et al. 2002) and identify in this proposal that fieldwork by several BPA projects in the Fifteenmile, Hood, Wind River, and Klickitat River subbasins would be involved in providing tissue samples and estimates of emigrants from PIT tagging juveniles. They also state that this proposal will be executed as part of a Hood River/Fifteenmile Umbrella Proposal. The ISRP recognizes this effort to address earlier criticisms, but concludes that the background in the proposal, work completed to date, and work elements in this proposal do not sufficiently resolve these issues. The background is too brief to provide justification for a problem or provide that the proposed survey would resolve that problem. The cited literature on the status of coastal cutthroat is dated and does not include any updated ESA status review by either NOAA or the USFWS. The proposal does not identify where there are gaps in the field surveys, which ongoing BPA projects will contribute to filling those gaps, and what gaps this project will address. Part of the survey work is geared to establishing relationships between habitat conditions and abundance of these trout. Yet the difficulty in establishing these relationships is not discussed. A summary of current views on those relationships is not provided, and evidence is not given that the proposal offers an approach to improve understanding of these relationships. There is no review of recent literature on genetic analysis of coastal cutthroat trout metapopulations and hybridization between O. mykiss and O. clarki clarki. It is not clear why this new literature cannot serve this region (i.e., a case has not been made that the data need to be collected everywhere). There is no demonstration of how this data will be used to improve management. The budget to generate DNA microsatellite genotypes for population structure of coastal cutthroat trout, mtDNA and scnDNA rflps genotypes for analysis of hybridization between coastal cutthroat and either rainbow/steelhead or west slope cutthroat trout appears inadequate.

Response loop edit

See the sponsor's revised proposal from the response loop. You'll be taken to CBFWA's proposal system in Section 10 where most sponsors uploaded revised narratives or other responses to the ISRP comments.

State/province recommendation: Washington

Review group: Washington list

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

Comment: See Washington guidance