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200733500 - Migration and homing ecology of supplemented and wild spring Chinook salmon

Sponsor: Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Budgets: FY07: $395,168 | FY08: $420,483 | FY09: $426,565

Short description: Determine the spatial and temporal patterns of homing and spawning by wild and hatchery-reared salmon released from supplementation facilities and examine the physiological changes in the olfactory system during imprinting.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

This proposal is very good, and potentially the research has broad application, which should be stressed in the proposal. To be maximally relevant, the proposal should describe more explicitly how the results will inform management across the basin as to what changes are needed in this area. Technical and scientific background: The backgrounds, both technical and scientific were set up very well. It was easy to see where this proposal was going. Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: The project is significant to the Yakima subbasin, the Columbia River Basin as a whole, and to measures implemented under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). There was excellent tie-in to the Subbasin Plans and Regional Programs, including the Columbia River Basin as a whole. Relationships to other projects: This is a new project that is adequately related to existing projects in the Yakima subbasin and Columbia River Basin. The relationship to the National Marine Fisheries Service hatchery reform proposal is less clear. Some of the principal investigators serve on both projects. Clarification of any duplication is warranted. Project history: Background work to ensure that the methods are warranted has been completed and was reported. Objectives, methods, and monitoring and evaluation: Objectives are clearly stated. Methods are detailed and complete, as well as being easy to understand. The sponsors have evidently undertaken considerable preparation (seed-money start-up funds) for this proposed study, so that they seem to have a clear idea of the outcomes and the required monitoring and evaluation. Facilities and equipment: These are well delineated by objective and are more than adequate. Personnel appear to be excellent. Information transfer: Plans for direct application of results to on-the-ground management plans is not entirely clear, but the past record of publication is very good. Benefits to focal and non-focal species: Getting an improved understanding of whether volitional release of smolts and acclimation site rearing of late-term smolts improves the use of hatcheries to meet the basin goals for hatchery reform will benefit the focal species. In addition, eliminating human-induced straying for hatchery releases will have great, positive effects on salmon populations. No explicit consideration of effects on non-focal species is given, but little impact is expected beyond the effects of the production releases of hatchery fish. These will occur independently of whether the proposal is executed.

State/province recommendation: MS: Recommended Action

Review group: MSRT

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

Comment: The MSRT would like to see better integration with project number 199305600. This project would build on existing YKFP efforts to get better and more specific information on release information and carcass location post-spawning. Some MSRT members see this work as very redundant with the YKFP project and recommend a Do Not Fund. This proposal should be reviewed with all hatchery reform or hatchery research projects.