198909800 - Idaho Supplementation Studies

Sponsor: Idaho Department of Fish and Game/NPT/SBT/USFWS

Budgets: FY07: $2,014,483 | FY08: $2,098,127 | FY09: $2,207,751

Short description: The goal of the Idaho Supplementation Studies is to evaluate supplementation as a recovery/restoration strategy for spring/summer Chinook salmon in Idaho. The project is a multi-agency effort, covering 30 streams throughout the Salmon and Clearwater subbasin.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $1,950,306 | FY08: $1,950,306 | FY09: $1,950,306

Comment: Four sponsors and contracts for this one project (IDFG, NPT, SBT, USFWS). Scope of work not changed. Deferred maintenance and equipment replacement funds to outyears. Eliminated subcontracts for fish aging and statistical support. Eliminated increase in PIT tag numbers for improved precision. Eliminated merit/COLA and training.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)

Comment:

This is an important project entering a final data collection phase, which will carry important implications for using supplementation as a strategy and for using large-scale ecosystem experiments in the Columbia River Basin. The ISRP reviewed a portion of the ISS in December 2005. The ISRP continues to recommend that they include an analysis of the data as an observational study using regression models. They have moved from hypothesis testing to a modeling approach. They are using a statistician from U of I that is highly qualified. They should continue to take note of advice from their statistician. The technical explanation of supplementation was adequate but not remarkable. The important measures needed to evaluate supplementation, the practical difficulty of collecting the data under the environmental conditions in the Columbia River basin, and the challenges in implementing the initial ISS design are not well developed. A primary recurring ISRP concern is the adequacy of redd and carcass data. The redd data alone is of limited utility, which they recognize. They need to assess the carcasses originating from the various combinations of natural and hatchery fish. Precision and bias of the carcass counts needs to be measured regularly. The FY07-09 proposal is consistent with the material last reviewed. The ISRP recommends that future funding beyond FY08 be contingent ("Qualified") on reporting of results from 2006-2007 returns, in 2008, coupled with a presentation to reviewers. The ISS plans to follow the last cohorts, plus a year of subsequent natural production. Thus, the project should be complete by 2016. The history of the project is adequately described and the difficulties in maintaining the study design are identified. The project proponents have not taken the lead in making progress of the ISS widely known. Modifications in the statistical design are largely a product of prodding by the ISRP with support of the Council. Some of the biological objectives in Section 6, such as "assess out of basin factors affecting smolt outmigration" and "calculate mainstem mortality" do not seem particularly germane to the evaluation of supplementation. At this point in the ISS, the critical element is estimating adult abundance and partitioning it and subsequent production by adult source - natural adults, supplementation adults, and general production hatchery adults. This is not a simple straightforward task but is essential to a robust statistical evaluation of the ISS and subsequent interpretation for management decisions. It is not entirely clear from the work elements that the ISS proponents have fully considered and addressed the recommendations from the most recent ISRP review. Addressing bias and other difficulties with redd and carcass counts is not well developed; proponents are advised to review the approaches in project 199107300 Idaho Natural Production Monitoring. There is a disappointing lack of peer reviewed literature submission; dissemination of information from this project has been poor. If robust data is collected and then appropriately analyzed, this project will provide benefit to the region by helping clarify whether there are benefits from supplementation. If there are adverse effects to non-target populations they have occurred already but are not quantified.

Response loop edit

See the sponsor's revised proposal from the response loop. You'll be taken to CBFWA's proposal system in Section 10 where most sponsors uploaded revised narratives or other responses to the ISRP comments.

State/province recommendation: Fundable

Review group: Snake

Recommended budgets: FY07: $532,209 | FY08: $532,209 | FY09: $532,209

Comment: Scope of work not changed. Deferred maintenance and equipment replacement funds to outyears. Eliminated subcontracts for fish aging and statistical support. Eliminated increase in PIT tag numbers for improved precision. Eliminated merit/COLA and training dollars. Reduced administration travel support. Reduced offsite equipment storage.

State/province recommendation: Fundable

Review group: Snake

Recommended budgets: FY07: $245,000 | FY08: $257,250 | FY09: $270,113

Comment: Included with the three other co-operators proposal

State/province recommendation: Fundable, but at a reduced level

Review group: Snake

Recommended budgets: FY07: $1,041,250 | FY08: $1,173,097 | FY09: $1,173,097

Comment: no tasks removed - note USFWS is $131,847 of 2007 funds

State/province recommendation: Fundable, but at a reduced level

Review group: Snake

Recommended budgets: FY07: $131,847 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Comment: no tasks removed - note USFWS is $131,847 of 2007 funds