Review of the COMPASS Model

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NOAA Fisheries, along with federal, state, tribal agencies, and the University of Washington, are developing a new comprehensive fish passage model (COMPASS) that is intended to replace the currently used simulated fish passage model (SIMPAS). NOAA Fisheries has indicated that the new COMPASS model will be used extensively in the new Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion (BiOp) and that it should be subjected to thorough and transparent scientific review. At the request of NOAA Fisheries the ISAB reviewed the partially completed COMPASS model specifically addressing several questions regarding the model capabilities, complexity, data usage, statistical protocols, documentation, and graphical interface. The ISAB's review is attached.

The ISAB concludes that the new COMPASS model should prove to be a welcome addition to the analytical tools available to both scientists and managers alike. The ISAB's critique is explicitly intended to provide a series of strong but constructive suggestions to facilitate the continuing development of what should be a valuable new modeling tool for the region. The model is still under active development, particularly the components for stochasticity and the Bonneville-to-ocean-Bonneville segment, and will profit from another review when it is complete. The ISAB looks forward to that review.

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