198201304 - Coded Wire Tag - WDFW

Sponsor: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)

Budgets: FY07: $386,607 | FY08: $389,092 | FY09: $412,992

Short description: Apply coded-wire tags to production of coho and Chinook salmon at WDFW Columbia Basin hatcheries for stock assessment of hatchery and wild populations. Evaluate survival, contribution and stray rates of hatchery reared fish and compare to wild fish.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $335,094 | FY08: $335,094 | FY09: $335,094

Comment: Interim funding pending further Council consideration of regional monitoring and evaluation framework.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

This well-written proposal is for one of three projects (WDFW, ODFW, USFWS) that coordinates and funds tagging at Washington state hatcheries as part of the regional coded wire tagging (CWT) program. An excellent background section, the same as presented in the ODFW proposal, explains the need and utility of the coded wire tagging program. It describes how the CWT program addresses the issues of basin wide stock assessments and the need to monitor and evaluate hatchery production. The proposal contains a very good description of the different fish marking methods, clearly explains the basic assumptions of CWT marking and directly addresses several questions about CWT raised by the ISRP in its 2000 review. The proposal clearly describes the significance of CWT to the region through its contribution to more accurate, complete and accessible data. It describes the wide range of uses for the data produced by the CWT recovery program. It relates the program to the Fish and Wildlife Program and to the BiOp-required Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans. The proposal identifies the other CWT projects to which it is directly related, giving a clear description of how these projects interrelate to form a comprehensive monitoring program. The goal of the CWT Program is to ensure comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of all Columbia Basin Hatchery salmon production. It also describes other agencies that use the data and the management forums that depend on the data for run size forecasting and harvest allocation. The 15-year history of the project is summarized as the numbers and type of fish tagged in each year. The number of tagged fish released by this program has declined from 2,080,000 Chinook and coho in 2000 to a present goal of 1,360,800 Chinook and coho. It is not clear why the 2003-04 tagging levels are stated as a goal. The history of the number of tagged fish recovered from these releases and the annual costs of this program are not provided. Other sections of the proposal contain excellent interpretive explanation of the program and its evolution over time, particularly the "answering ISRP questions" section. The proposal has three objectives: tag and release smolts from six hatcheries, recover and decode tags, evaluate results and develop preliminary catch distribution data. The proposal makes the point elsewhere that the ability of the project to meet the overall objective may be affected by changes in the basinwide marking plan currently being developed by co-managers. Methods are well described in detail. Error checking is a routine part of the data collection process. The project is a long-term monitoring and evaluation effort that contains elements of internal monitoring throughout in error checking, annual evaluations of tagging and recovery, and annual evaluation of hatchery practices that lead to recommendations to change. Clarifications and adjustments to the proposed methods, objectives, and budgets by the sponsor in consultation with the Council and BPA might be needed given the recent reductions in salmon fisheries where CWT hatchery fish might be recovered.

State/province recommendation: MS: Core Program

Review group: MSRT

Recommended budgets: FY07: $335,094 | FY08: $335,094 | FY09: $335,094

Comment: see 198201301