200730000 - Fish Passage Technical Services Project
Sponsor: Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC)
Budgets: FY07: $1,555,069 | FY08: $1,602,717 | FY09: $1,651,390
Short description: Staff central analytical group to provide technical support to state and federal fishery managers.
Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)
Funding category: Expense
Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0
Comment: A portion of the unallocated balance will be available for the Council to make final project funding recommendations for fish passage science and analysis.
ISRP final recommendation: Response requested
This is a proposal to replace most of the functions of the current Fish Passage Center (FPC), which is a required element in the Fish and Wildlife Program. The ISRP found this proposal lacking sufficient technical detail for an adequate technical review and requests a response. This project is very similar in organization, language, objectives, and methodology to project proposals # 200732100 and # 200732600. In general, these three proposals recommend a return to the same organization and staff of the present FPC, which may be dissolved in November 2006. The ISRP recommends close coordination among these four proposals' proponents (CRITFC, ODFW, CBFWA, and WDFW) to develop one well-organized proposal with sufficient technical detail to address ISRP comments/recommendations. A response should address the comments and suggestions made within each of the following sections of the proposal: Technical and scientific background: Only general statements are given describing the need for the technical support that this project has provided to the state, tribal, and federal fishery managers: "The project addresses the problem of the continuation needed technical support for the fishery managers which has been recognized in the Northwest Power and Conservation Council Fish and Wildlife Program and a central structure that the agencies and tribes have built upon over the years. The core staff structure, data, analysis and technical services continue the cost effectiveness and efficiency established and operational to date. The central function provides a foundation for ongoing and future collaborative efforts of the states, tribes and federal fishery mangers. Specifically those in the Biological Opinion appendices related to long term system wide monitoring and Evaluation." This section does not indicate the kinds of technical services to be provided (i.e. daily juvenile and adult fish passage data, passage timing, duration, survival, etc.), their importance, or do anything to help justify this project. The Abstract preceding this background section does a better job of this. Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: The Council’s Mainstem Amendments (2003) and the BiOp are cited as requiring this project to provide technical support to the state, tribal, and federal fishery managers. The specific objectives of this project in relation to these regional programs/plans are not described. Relationships to other projects: On the administrative form, three BPA Projects are listed as having a close relationship to this one, and a brief relationship of this project to each is described. The narrative of the proposal doesn't do this, but describes an organizational structure and gives a description of oversight and governance structure, which doesn't seem to belong in this section. The function of the Hatfield School of Government (at PSU) is not clearly explained other than "Specifically, the Hatfield School will help clarify performance guidelines necessary to avoid advocacy-based technical services and ensure objectivity and transparency. The Hatfield School will review the oversight process and a sampling of technical service products on a semi-annual basis to assess performance relative to established guidelines." Detailed descriptions should be added to determine how the school will "clarify the performance guidelines" and what criteria the school will use to review technical service products. The section describing Oversight and Governance Structure along with the proposed Memorandum of Agreement and Principles for Fish Migration and River Management Technical Assistance should be included in the background section, not here. The project history section only consists of a few sentences and is lacking sufficient detail to provide project accomplishments and give adequate justification for continued support. For such a long-running project there have been a number of important accomplishments and completed documents that need to be listed. Objectives: Objectives are not clearly stated, and it appears that the sub-objectives (a-d) under Objective 1 are the real objectives and most of the main objectives are general statements related to program activities and collaborative activities. Tasks (work elements) and methods: Too often the reviewer is referred to FPC documents or memos for details that should be included in the proposal. Examples are: pg. 8 "Data auditing procedures will be implemented using procedures outlined in the Fish Passage Center’s September 17, 1997 memorandum describing the data auditing tasks"; pg. 9 - "Maintain the web based presentation and distribution of the Smolt Monitoring Program by species in the present daily format with daily automatic updates to the SQL data system concurrently with presentation on the web utilizing the data protocols described in the FPC32 Smolt Monitoring Program Remote Sites Data Entry Program"; pg. 11 - "Consistent with the present FPC work statement, attend and provide technical assistance to the agencies and tribes in the water quality technical committee, including the annual water quality report for NOAA, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the state water quality agencies." The methodology for some of the most important work elements in this proposal (e.g. passage index, relative abundance, migration timing, travel time, and survival estimates) is briefly summarized on about one page. The methods for each of these work elements needs to be clearly detailed. Monitoring and evaluation: The major functions of the FPC are M&E. However, the proposal only makes several general statements that the project will "develop annual smolt monitoring plan with the Fish Passage Advisory Committee of CBFWA" and as Objective 5 - "Participation in long-term development of Research, Monitoring & Evaluation in coordination with CSMEP and other regional RM&E programs, as requested by managers participating in the Remand processes, and as needed for the SMP." The proposal needs to provide some detail of how they will develop this annual monitoring plan and give details of how they will coordinate with other regional RM&E programs. Facilities, equipment, and personnel: Nothing useful is mentioned about facilities and equipment. The project personnel are the current staff of the FPC, who have a long history of association with the FPC and are well qualified.
State/province recommendation: MS: Fish passage monitoring
Review group: MSRT
Recommended budgets: FY07: (n/a) | FY08: (n/a) | FY09: (n/a)
Comment: The fish and wildlife managers believe that this project may meet their needs. See February 16, 2006 FPAC memo for articulation of fish and wildlife manager needs. These functions are Core Program activities. The MSRT recommends that a group should be formed that would develop the criteria for evaluating projects to serve fish passage monitoring functions for FY 2007-2009.