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200729900 - Investigation of the Relative Reproductive Success of Stray Hatchery and Wild Steelhead and the Influence of Hatchery Strays on Natural Productivity in the Deschutes River Subbasin

Sponsor: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW)

Budgets: FY07: $466,730 | FY08: $409,178 | FY09: $395,072

Short description: The project sponsors propose to determine the number of stray hatchery steelhead entering Bakeoven and Buck Hollow creeks, degree of introgression between hatchery and natural fish, relative reproductive success, and the influence of hatchery fish on natural productivity.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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


ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)


This project is a basic monitoring project intended to investigate the extent and consequences of steelhead straying into the Deschutes subbasin. Out of subbasin straying of steelhead is a growing issue with the increase in hatchery production throughout the basin. The technical background is extensive. The table with values of strays into the Deschutes is convincing that there is need to explore the impact to wild fish (2X wild in some years and locations). Also, the proposal presents a solid of the potential issues, including likelihood of introgression with wild fish where hatchery fish have purposely been excluded from release. The proposed work, including the expected work in the out-years, addresses a fundamental uncertainty regarding the extent and effects of out-of-subbasin strays on wild steelhead populations. The project has four objectives that relate specifically to high priority issues identified in the Deschutes Subbasin Plan for steelhead. The work should be applicable to other situations and other species as well. The project is specifically related to other projects (especially M&E projects) and will share resources to accomplish tasks. While the project will focus on a single treatment and a single control stream within the subbasin, results should have at least a modicum of "range finding" value to other situations in the larger basin. We reviewed a number of proposals aimed at undertaking parentage analysis. The description of the work is relatively thin and implies there is a standard set of protocols and experimental design for such work (which ISRP does not judge to be the case). This fact points to a general basinwide need to begin coordinating such work among groups, with other parentage studies, and with steelhead microsatellite work group for standard sampling and lab protocols. The sponsors could enhance the robustness of the sampling if multiple treatment and control reaches were included (recognizing this would incur larger costs and effort). Sponsors should at least address this issue as a limitation in its broader applicability. The ISRP’s fundable recommendation is qualified because the proposal would be improved if the following items were clarified (the ISRP is not asking to review a response): How feasible/possible is it to "remove all hatchery fish from Bakeoven Creek"? Juveniles (parr?) are to be examined to assess reproductive success. Might not smolt recruits be a more robust response variable? Are there prior experiences or attempts that can guide the efficacy of the approach? How feasible are the proposed field sampling protocols? How do we know that the adult and smolt traps are going to work at the desired efficiencies in BakeOven Creek, for example. Are there prior experiences or attempts that can guide the efficacy of the approach? How feasible are the adult steelhead traps? Are there prior experiences or attempts that can guide the efficacy of the approach? There is some vagueness in analytical approach in Objective 3. For example, "...will apply appropriate parametric and non-parametric statistical tests," might be strengthened to include the basic approach (e.g., compare means, variance, covariance, etc. – although not necessarily the "specific" test).

State/province recommendation: Fundable when money available

Review group: OSPIT - Plateau

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

Comment: The project remains a high priority for ODFW and OSPIT to determine steelhead straying, and should additional funding become available, consider the project for funding.

State/province recommendation: MS: Recommended Action

Review group: MSRT

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

Comment: Moved from local province review. This project should be grouped with similar efforts to insure no redundancy and appropriate priorities. The underlying research into reproductive success of salmon and steelhead is a Core Program need. Which projects should be funded to address the critical management questions cannot be determined by the MSRT. The new reproductive success projects are ranked Recommended Action. Although this information is understood as a high priority need, how each of these projects are addressing specific management questions needs to be explained.