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200733300 - Timing and survival of PIT tagged juvenile fall Chinook from the Hanford Reach

Sponsor: Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC)

Budgets: FY07: $151,659 | FY08: $148,120 | FY09: $151,214

Short description:

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $151,659 | FY08: $148,120 | FY09: $151,214

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

The authors propose PIT-tagging 20,000 Hanford Reach fall Chinook aimed at improving survival and informing management. Given the large investment in PIT-tagging throughout the basin and the infrastructure to monitor PIT-tagged fish, this project seems well justified. The proposal summarizes PIT tagging of Hanford Reach fall Chinook salmon over the past decade or so, indicates that tagging is not currently scheduled, and uses this as a rationale to justify PIT-tagging 20,000 juvenile salmon. The complexity of evaluating management options for improving survival of fall Chinook salmon is briefly mentioned. The PIT-tags cannot only be used to track dam-to-dam movement and survival, but they can be picked up as returning adults ascend the river. The infrastructure is largely in place to do this, and the proposal aims to take advantage of the PIT-tag sensing equipment located at key locations where Hanford fall Chinook are likely to show up. The ISRP’s qualifications include: PIT-tagging only the larger fish might yield different results from the smaller component which is 80 - 90% of the population. Larger fish are known to survive at higher proportions. Some consideration should be given to incorporating these known differences into the interpretation of the results of the investigation, before it begins. Perhaps some work has already been done on size-related movement and mortality. There was also no mention of whether there will be any attempt to determine PIT-tagging mortality rates.

State/province recommendation: MS: High Priority

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: $151,659 | FY08: $148,120 | FY09: $151,214

Comment: This project would cost share with existing projects to PIT tag Fall Chinook in the Hanford Reach for survival rates and SARs. Possible budget reductions if PIT tag costs were covered in other project(s). This is the last healthy component of mainstem spawners and there is not currently a long term tagging effort in place for this keystone stock. One member suggested cost share by Pacific Salmon commission, since much of the impact on this stock is by Alaska and Canadian fisheries.