(Draft version October 18, 2007)

Jump to: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y  Acronyms


A-run steelhead

Summer steelhead crossing Bonneville Dam before August 26.

Acclimation pond

Concrete or earthen pond or a structure used for rearing and imprinting juvenile fish in the water of a particular body of water before their release.


See Northwest Power Act.

Action Agencies

U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bonneville Power Administration and the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Abrupt climate change

Transition of the climate system into a different state (of temperature, rainfall, and other aspects) on a time scale that is faster than the responsible forcing mechanism.

Adaptive management

A scientific policy that seeks to improve management of biological resources, particularly in areas of scientific uncertainty, by viewing fish and wildlife program actions (projects) as vehicles for learning. Projects that implement the program are designed and implemented as experiments so that even if they fail, they provide useful information for future actions. Monitoring and evaluation are emphasized so that the interaction of different elements of the system are better understood.


Possessing a life history trait of migrating between lakes or rivers and streams.

Adipose fin

The small, rayless fin along the midline of a fish's back behind the dorsal fin. Often times, this fin is removed as a marking technique.

Artificial Propagation

Any assistance provided by human technology to animal reproduction. In the context of Pacific salmon, this assistance may include, but is not limited to, spawning and rearing in hatcheries, stock transfers, creation of spawning habitat, egg bank programs, captive broodstock programs and cryopreservation of gametes.

Aleutian Low

Beginning about mid-October in each year a semi-permanent, low-pressure cell intensifies and migrates southeastward over the Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska. Weak Aleutian Low winters typically bring relatively cold and frequent storms to the Pacific Northwest with heavy precipitation and plentiful snowfall on the west slopes of the mountains. In contrast, periods with a strong Aleutian Low typically bring a split storm track that diverts storms to both the north and south of the Pacific Northwest, which results in relatively warm and infrequent storms, and reduced precipitation and snowfall throughout the region.


Different versions of the same gene are referred to as alleles. Blood types are examples of alleles. Each gene pool accounts for all of the alleles for all of the traits of the members of a population. Within a population, different alleles will occur at different frequencies.


Hydro, Hatchery, Habitat, and Harvest

All-“H”-Analyzer (AHA)

A computer model designed to evaluate the effects of alternative strategies for managing hatchery brood stocks on the abundance and productivity of natural populations, taking into account the productivity of the habitat and harvest management strategies


Earliest life stage in the life history of salmon following the hatching of eggs from redds. Characterized as tiny fish living within the redd subsisting off a yolk sac attached to their bellies. Also know as yolk-sac larvae.

Amphidromous fish

Fish that migrate from saltwater to freshwater or vice-versa during some stage of the life cycle other than the breeding period.

Anadromous fish

Fish that hatch in freshwater, migrate to the ocean, mature there and return to freshwater to spawn; for example, Chinook salmon, Pacific lamprey, and or steelhead salmon.

Angler trips

A measure of recreational fish harvest effort. One angler trip is equivalent to one person angling for one day.


Annual variations in growth ring patterns on a fish scale.


Human induced.

Applicable federal laws

A term usually intended to imply the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act.


The farming or culturing of finfish, shellfish, other aquatic plants or animals, or both in lakes, streams, inlets, estuaries, and other natural or artificial water bodies or impoundments.


B-run steelhead

Summer steelhead crossing Bonneville Dam after August 25.

Base Status

The historical status of the ESU, defined as the status of the population based on the average of quantitative survival metrics estimated from a time series of abundance data beginning in about 1980. For the most part, longer-term averages (generally 20 years) are used where they were available.


An activity or an issue that extends over the entire Columbia River watershed.

Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD)

Caused by Renibacterium salmoninarum a common pathogen known to infect wild and hatchery salmonids in the ColumbiaRiver Basin. For juveniles emigrating from the Snake River hatcheries to the mainstem dams the severity of BKD increases significantly more than for infected Columbia River hatchery fish emigrating from the hatcheries to the mainstem dams

Benthic invertebrates

Invertebrates whose habitat is in the substrate of a body of water.

Bioenergetics modeling

Tracking the flow of energy through trophic levels of an ecosystem.

Biological assessment

A document prepared for the Section 7 process to determine whether a proposed major construction activity under the authority of a Federal action agency is likely to adversely affect listed species, proposed species, or designated critical habitat.


 The variety of life and its processes, including the variety of living organisms, the genetic differences among them, and the communities and ecosystems in which they occur.

Biological diversity

Biological diversity within and among populations of salmonids is generally considered important for three reasons. First, diversity of life history patterns is associated with a use of a wider array of habitats. Second, diversity protects a species against short-term spatial and temporal changes in the environment. And third, genetic diversity is the so-called raw material for adapting to long-term environmental change. The latter two are often described as nature’s way of hedging its bets – a mechanism for dealing with the inevitable fluctuations in environmental conditions – long and short term. With respect to diversity, more is better from an extinction-risk perspective.

Biological Objectives

The initial assessments along with the vision will guide the focus of the biological objectives.

Biological objectives should clearly describe physical and biological changes needed to achieve the vision in a quantifiable fashion. They will serve as a benchmark to evaluate progress toward the subbasin vision and should have measurable outcomes. Biological objectives should (1) describe and quantify the degree to which the limiting factors will be improved, and (2) describe and quantify changes in biological performance of populations that will result from actions taken to address the limiting factors.

Biological Opinion

A document that is the product of formal consultation, stating the opinion of the Service on whether or not a Federal action is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.

Biological performance

The responses of populations to habitat conditions, described in terms of capacity, abundance, productivity, and life history diversity.

Biological potential

The biological potential of a species means the potential capacity, productivity and life history diversity of a population in its habitat at each life stage.


Organic nonfossil material of biological origin. For example, trees and plants are biomass.


The region on land, in the oceans, and in the atmosphere inhabited by living organisms.

Blocked areas

Areas in the ColumbiaRiver Basin where hydroelectric projects have created permanent barriers to anadromous fish runs. These include the areas above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams, the Hells Canyon Complex and other smaller locations.

Bonneville Power Administration (Bonneville)

The sole federal power marketing agency in the Northwest and the region’s major wholesaler of electricity. Created by Congress in 1937, Bonneville sells power to public and private utilities, direct service customers, and various public agencies in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana west of the Continental Divide, (and parts of Montana east of the Divide) and smaller adjacent areas of California, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. The Northwest Power Act charges Bonneville with additional duties related to energy conservation, generating resource acquisition, and fish and wildlife.

Boldt Decision

The 1974 decision by federal judge George Boldt decreed an even split between tribal and non-tribal fishing interests. It reinforced the idea of “usual and accustomed places” and said treaties should be interpreted as the native people understood them at the time of treaty signing. The legal principles enforced by the Boldt Decision are at the foundation of Columbia River salmon harvest management.

Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior

An agency that administers some parts of the federal program for water resource development and use in western states. The Bureau of Reclamation owns and operates a number of dams in the ColumbiaRiver Basin, including Grand Coulee, Hungry Horse, and several projects on the Yakima River.

Broodstock - Adult fish used to propagate subsequent generations of fish

Bypass system

A channel or conduit in a dam that provides a route for fish to move through or around the dam without going through the turbine units.


Captive broodstock

A form of artificial propagation involving the collection of individual fish (or gametes) from a population of wild origin and rearing these individuals in captivity throughout their lives to produce offspring for the purpose of supplementing wild populations.

Captive Propagation

Artificial propagation programs which hold fish in captive facilities through most or all of a life cycle.

Captive Rearing

A variation of the Captive broodstock strategy wherein fish of wild origin are raised to maturity and released to spawn naturally with wild fish.

Carbon dioxide (CO2)

The greenhouse gas whose concentration is being most affected directly by human activities. CO2 also serves as the reference to compare all other greenhouse gases. The major source of CO2 emissions is fossil fuel combustion. CO2 emissions are also a product of forest clearing, biomass burning, and non-energy production processes such as cement production. Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have been increasing at a rate of about 0.5 percent per year and are now about 30 percent above preindustrial levels.

Carbon sinks

Carbon reservoirs and conditions that take in and store more carbon (carbon sequestration) than they release. Carbon sinks can serve to partially offset greenhouse gas emissions. Forests and oceans are common carbon sinks.

Carrying capacity

The number of individuals of one species that the resources of a habitat can support. That is, the upper limit on the steady-state population size that an environment can support. Carrying capacity is a function of both the populations and their environments.

Caudal fin

The tail fin of a fish.

Ceratomyxa Shasta

Agent causing ceratomyxosis, an intestinal disease in salmonids resulting in high mortality rates.

Climate change (also referred to as “global climate change”)

The term “climate change” is sometimes used to refer to all forms of climatic inconsistency, but because the Earth's climate is never static, the term is more properly used to imply a significant change from one climatic condition to another. In some cases, climate change' has been used synonymously with the term, “global warming;” scientists, however, tend to use the term in the wider sense to also include natural changes in climate.


The average weather (usually taken over a 30-year time period) for a particular region and time period. Climate is not the same as weather, but rather it is the average pattern of weather for a particular region. Weather describes the short-term state of the atmosphere. Climatic elements include precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity, phenomena such as fog, frost, and hail storms, and other measures of the weather.

Climate model

A quantitative way of representing the interactions of the atmosphere, oceans, land surface, and ice. Models can range from relatively simple to quite comprehensive.

Coded wire tag

A small (0.25mm diameter x 1 mm length) wire etched with a distinctive binary code and implanted in the snout of s salmon or steelhead, which, when retrieved, allows for the identification of the origin of the fish bearing the tag.

ColumbiaBasin Index (CBI).

An index specific to the Columbia River based on unregulated flows (1938-1999) to describe historical climate changes within the basin.

ColumbiaBasin Project

A multipurpose development on the Upper Columbia River in central Washington. The major facilities of the Columbia Basin Project are Grand Coulee Dam and its impoundment, Lake Roosevelt, the Grand Coulee Powerplant complex, the pump/generating plant, Banks Lake, and Potholes Reservoir. In addition, the project includes a well-developed system of canals, dams, reservoirs, drains, wasteways, laterals, and other structures. Current irrigated acreage is about 671,500 acres.

Columbia River Compact

An interstate compact between the states of Oregon and Washington by which the states jointly regulate fish harvest in the Columbia River.

Columbia River System  

The Columbia River and its tributaries.

Columbia River Treaty

The Treaty between the United States of America and Canada Relating to Cooperative Development of the Water Resources of the ColumbiaRiver Basin, 1964. The Canadian Entity (B.C. Hydro) and the U.S. Entity (represented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bonneville Power Administration) are responsible for ensuring the provisions of the Columbia River Treaty are fulfilled.It became effective on September 16, 1964. The treaty also authorized the construction of Libby Dam on the KootenaiRiver in Montana, which creates a reservoir that extends into British Columbia.

Common name

The nonscientific name of an animal or plant most widely used and accepted by the scientific community.


Is the negative interaction between two or more individuals that occurs when a necessary resource is in short supply or when demand is greater for higher-quality resource.

Conservation easement

A legal document that provides specific land-use rights to a secondary party. A perpetual conservation easement usually grants conservation and management rights to a party in perpetuity.


All Federal agencies must consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or National Marine Fisheries Service when any activity permitted, funded, or conducted by that agency may affect a listed species or designated critical habitat, or is likely to jeopardize proposed species or adversely modify proposed critical habitat. There are two stages of consultation: informal and formal.


Needs a definition - Coordination is not an action or a subject by itself -- it is incidental to the need to make progress on a substantive program area that requires the coordinated work of more than one entity. What type of “coordination” needs to occur in any particular instance is wholly dependent on the work that needs to be accomplished and the particular entities identified that need to work together to accomplish it.

Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of the Army (Corps)

An agency with the responsibility for design, construction, and operation of civil works, including multipurpose dams and navigation projects.


As defined in the Northwest Power Act, with regard to actions that implement the Council’s fish and wildlife program, where equally effective alternative means of achieving the same sound biological objective exist, the cost-effective alternative is the one with the lowest economic cost.

Critical Habitat

(i) the specific areas within the geographical area occupied by the species, at the time it is listed…, on which are found those physical or biological features (I) essential to the conservation of the species and (II) which may require special management considerations or protection; and (ii) specific areas outside the geographical area occupied by the species at the time it is listed…upon a determination by the Secretary that such areas are essential for the conservation of the species. The conservation role of critical habitat in the survival and recovery of listed species is defined based on the condition of the essential features and PCEs of the habitat. Essential habitat features and PCEs are the physical and biological elements of the habitat that are required for survival of one or more life stages of the listed species.

Current Status

An adjustment of the initial base status estimates to reflect our best estimate of current survivals, as opposed to an average of survivals that prevailed over a period in the past. This would obviously include recent improvements already implemented but not fully reflected in the Base conditions. Current Status is defined as “estimated survival metrics adjusted for recently implemented changes in hydropower configuration and operations, hatchery operations, tributary and estuarine habitat improvements, and reduced avian predation.” These are actions that have recently been implemented, but their effects are not reflected in the time series of survival data that for the most part started in 1980.


A bacterial gill disease that has the potential to kill very large numbers of smolts in a few days. NOAA Fisheries’ smolt-monitoring program has documented cytophaga occurring at McNary and John Day dams.


Deflector screens/diversion screens

Wire mesh screens placed at the point where water is diverted from a stream or river. The screens keep fish from entering the diversion channel or pipe.


The study of characteristics of human populations, especially size, density, growth, distribution, migration and vital statistics, and the effect of these on social and economic conditions.


Migrating between freshwater and saltwater.


A day and an adjoining night.

Direct hydrosystem mortality

Direct mortality is that which occurs directly from some event along the downriver passage through (or around) the hydropower system, that is, mortality directly associated with the hydrosystem.


Is the negative ecological interactions between a host, a pathogen, and the environment that results in an impairment that interferes with or modifies the performance of normal functions of the host.

Dissolved gas

The amount of chemicals normally occurring as gases, such as nitrogen and oxygen that are held in solution in water, expressed in units such as milligrams of the gas per liter of liquid. Supersaturation occurs when these solutions exceed the saturation level of the water (beyond 100 percent).


  1. Is the adaptation of a captive population to its captive environment. It reflects the changes in quantity, variety, and combination of alleles within a captive population or between a captive population and its natural complement. Selection is the primary genetic mechanism, although it does not occur independently of genetic drift and mutation. We include both intentional (artificial selection) and unintentional selection (natural selection in a new environment) as domestication.
  2. Selection for traits that favor survival in an artificial environment and reduce survival in natural environments. That is, hatcheries may alter the behavior of cultured fish as a consequence of domestication (genetic change) and as a consequence of acclimation to the hatchery environment without genetic change.


The release of water from a reservoir for power generation, flood control, irrigation or other water management activity.


Economies of scale

Reductions in the average cost of a product that result from increased production.


The set of species and biological communities, including all biotic and abiotic factors and their interactions, existing in a particular environment and geographic area.

El Ni?

A climatic phenomenon occurring irregularly, but generally every 3 to 5 years. El Ninos often first become evident during the Christmas season in the surface oceans of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. The phenomenon involves seasonal changes in the direction of the tropical winds over the Pacific and abnormally warm surface ocean temperatures. The changes in the tropics are most intense in the Pacific region. These changes can disrupt weather patterns throughout the tropics and can extend to higher latitudes, especially in Central and North America. The relationships between these events and global weather patterns are currently the subject of much research in order to enhance prediction of seasonal to interannual fluctuations in the climate.


Degree to which large particles (boulders, rubble, gravel) are surrounded or covered by fine sediment, usually measured in classes according to percent coverage.


The classification provided to an animal or plant in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended

Federal legislation intended to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered and threatened species depend may be conserved, and provide programs for the conservation of those species, thus preventing extinction of native plants and animals.

Environmental Education

Education aimed at producing a citizenry that is knowledgeable concerning the biophysical environment and its associated problems, aware of how to help solve these problems, and motivated to work toward their solution.

Environmental characteristics

The environmental conditions or changes sought to achieve the desired changes in population characteristics.


The numbers of salmon and steelhead that return to a specified point of measurement after all natural mortality and harvest have occurred. Spawning escapement consists of those fish that survive to spawn.


The part of the wide lower course of a river where its current is met and influenced by the tides. In the both the vertical and horizontal planes, the estuary is a complex transitional zone without sharp boundaries between freshwater and marine habitats.

Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU)

A distinct population segment for Pacific salmon (the smallest biological unit considered to be a “species” under the Endangered Species Act). A population will be considered an ESU if: (1) it is substantially reproductively isolated from other co specific units, and (2) it represents an important component in the evolutionary legacy of the species.


The sum of evaporation and plant transpiration. Potential evapotranspiration is the amount of water that could be evaporated or transpired at a given temperature and humidity, if there was plenty of water available. Actual evapotranspiration can not be any greater than precipitation and will usually be less because some water will run off in rivers and flow to the oceans. If potential evapotranspiration is greater than actual precipitation, then soils are extremely dry during at least a major part of the year.

Evolutionary biology

The study of the processes by which living organisms have acquired distinguishing characteristics.

Exploitation rate

The proportion of a population at the beginning of a given time period that is caught during that time period (usually expressed on a yearly basis). For example, if 720,000 fish were caught during the year from a population of 1 million fish alive at the beginning of the year, the annual exploitation rate would be 0.72.


The natural or human-induced process by which a species, subspecies or population ceases to exist.

Extinct species

A species no longer in existence.

Extirpated species

A species no longer surviving in regions that were once part of their range.



Acronym for the Federal Columbia River Power System, which comprises 31 federal dams and one non-federal nuclear power plant in the Columbia River Basin. The Bonneville Power Administration sells the output of the FCRPS. The FCRPS comprises 14 Federal multipurpose hydroprojects. The 12 projects operated and maintained by the Corps are: Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day, McNary, Chief Joseph, AlbeniFalls, Libby, IceHarbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, Lower Granite, and Dworshak dams. Reclamation operates and maintains the following FCRPS projects: Hungry Horse Project and the Columbia Basin Project, which includes Grand Coulee Dam. The FCRPS consultation also includes the mainstem effects of other Reclamation projects in the ColumbiaBasin.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

The Commission issues and regulates licenses for construction and operation of non-federal hydroelectric projects and advises federal agencies on the merits of proposed federal multipurpose water development projects.

Fish collection/handling

Fish arriving at the juvenile fish facilities by pipe or flume are separated from adult fish and debris by a separator. They are then passed to holding ponds or raceways where they may be held until being loaded into a truck or barge.

Fish flows

Artificially increased flows in the river system called for in the fish and wildlife program to quickly move the young fish down the river during their spring migration period. (See “water budget.”)

Fish Guidance Efficiency

The proportion of juvenile fish passing into the turbine intakes that are diverted away from the turbines and into bypass facilities.

Fish and wildlife agencies

This category includes the Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior; the Idaho Department of Fish and Game; the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks; the National Marine Fisheries Service of NOAA Fisheries, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce; the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife; and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Fish and Wildlife Emergency

Acts of God or the unforeseen loss of mechanical infrastructure that necessitates an extraordinary action to avoid imminent loss of fish and / or wildlife resources or mitigate serious human health or safety concerns.

Fish and Wildlife ESA obligation

A new or ongoing project that addresses actions committed to by the Action Agencies to implement biological opinions. New projects will be reviewed by the ISRP, BPA and the NPCC prior to BPA funding.

Fish and Wildlife Lost Opportunity

New or ongoing projects that respond to a limited opportunity to benefit the fish and wildlife resource and that opportunity will be permanently lost if the requested budget increase and associated work is not approved.


The FishPassageCenter, created under authority of the Northwest Power Act, coordinates the smolt monitoring program in the Snake and Columbia rivers, and data from this program is intended to provide the information basis for federal, state, and tribal recommendations for anadromous fish passage in the Federal Columbia River Power System.

Fish passage efficiency

The percentage of the total number of fish that pass a dam without passing through the turbine units.


An individual’s contribution, relative to other individuals, to the breeding population in the next generation. Measures of an individual’s reproductive success such as its survival, fertility, and age at reproduction are typically used as measures of fitness. The fitness of a group of individuals (e.g., a population) may be defined as the group’s ability to maintain itself in its environment. Fitness is therefore a composite measure of individual reproductive success.

Flashy flow

Flow regime marked by a high frequency of high flows.


The rate at which water passes a given point in a stream or river, usually expressed in cubic-feet per second (cfs).

Flow augmentation

Increased flow from release of water from storage dams


The part of a dam’s reservoir that is immediately upstream of the powerhouse.


The young of various fishes. The salmon fry or alevins that survive to emerge from the gravel do so as fry. Depending on the species, fry immediately begin to migrate downstream or reside near in the natal stream for months or years before migrating to the sea.


A bacterial disease of salmonids usually characterized by boils on the skin of infected fish. When allowed to develop to advanced stages the disease is fatal.


A streamlined body shape typical of most salmonines (trout, salmon and whitefish) which consists of a body which is taller than it is wide. This "torpedo" shape reduces resistance in the current allowing trout to hold position in a stream. An example of a fish with a non-fusiform body shape is the largescale sucker.



A mature male or female germ cell usually possessing a haploid chromosome set and capable of initiating formation of a new diploid individual by fusion with a gamete of the opposite sex.

Gas supersaturation

The overabundance of gases in turbulent water, such as at the base of a dam spillway. Can cause a  fatal condition in fish similar to the bends.

Gene pool

The term gene pool refers to the total sum of genetic information present in a population at any given time. A gene pool can be assigned to any set group or population. This is true for plants, animals, and humans alike. Each gene pool contains all of the inherited information for all of the traits of the members of the population.

Genetic diversity

All of the genetic variation within a species. Genetic diversity includes both genetic differences among individuals in a breeding population and genetic differences among different breeding populations.

Genetic conservation refuge

Reserve area whose goal is to protect genetic diversity and natural evolutionary processes within and among natural populations, while allowing varying degrees of exploitation and modification.

Genetic integrity

The ability of a breeding population or group of breeding populations to remain adapted to its natural environment.


The complement of genes in an individual.


Stream areas with velocities generally less than one cubic foot per second and with a smooth surface. Water depth generally is less than two feet.

Global warming

Refers to a globally averaged increase in the near-surface temperature of the Earth. Global warming has occurred in the distant past as the result of natural influences. Today, this term is commonly used as shorthand for Anthropogenic Global Warming, a phrase that refers to the observed and expected impacts of human-caused increases in the strength of the natural greenhouse effect (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007).

Greenhouse Effect

The effect produced as greenhouse gases allow incoming solar radiation to pass through the Earth's atmosphere, but prevent most of the outgoing infra-red radiation from the surface and lower atmosphere from escaping into outer space. This process occurs naturally and has kept the Earth's temperature about 59 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it would otherwise be. Current life on Earth could not be sustained without the natural greenhouse effect.

Greenhouse gas

Any gas that absorbs infra-red radiation in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), halogenated fluorocarbons (HCFCs) , ozone (O3), perfluorinated carbons (PFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).



The locality or external environment in which a plant or animal normally lives and grows. As used in this program, habitat includes the ecological functions of the habitat structure.

Habitat Conservation Plan

An agreement between the Secretary of the Interior and either a private entity or a state that specifies conservation measures that will be implemented in exchange for a permit that would allow taking of a threatened or endangered species.

Habitat fragmentation

Breaking up of a specific habitat into smaller unconnected areas. A habitat area that is too small may not provide enough space to maintain a breeding population of the species in question.

Habitat project survival benefits (from FCRPS action agency documents, 2007)

  • Low: habitat attributes have been enhanced but biological benefit is not likely to be apparent in a typical monitoring strategy; some cumulative effect is reasonable to expect.
  • Moderate:  habitat attributes have been enhanced and biological benefit should be apparent in a typical monitoring strategy.
  • High:  habitat attributes have been enhanced or restored to the extent that a basic monitoring strategy would clearly indicate a biological benefit.

Habitat suitability index (HSI)

Unitless number bounded by 0 and 1 where 0 represents no habitat and 1 represents optimum habitat.

Habitat unit (HU)

A value derived from multiplying the HSI for an evaluation species by the size of the areas for which the HSI was calculated (HU = HSI x size of habitat)

Harvest controls

Regulations established for commercial and sport fisheries to ensure that the correct proportion of the different stocks escape to spawn.

Harvest management

The process of setting regulations for the commercial, recreational and tribal fish harvest to achieve a specified goal within the fishery.


An artificial propagation facility designed to produce fish for harvest or spawning escapement. A conservation hatchery differs from a production hatchery in that it specifically seeks to supplement or restore naturally spawning populations.

Hatchery fish

A fish that has spent some of its life cycle in an artificial environment and whose parents were spawned in an artificial environment.

Hatchery Population

A population of fish that depends on spawning, incubation, hatching, or rearing in a hatchery or other artificial propagation facility.


The presence of different alleles of a gene at one or more locations on a chromosome.

HUCs (Hydrological Unit Codes)

Refers to a strictly hierarchical mapping/classification system of water containment units conducted by US Geological Survey. Levels in the hierarchy are denoted by numbers, including the following: 4-HUC = subbasin, 5-HUC = watershed; 6-HUC = subwatershed.

Hydroelectric power or hydropower

The generation of electricity using falling water to turn turbo-electric generators.


The hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River and its tributaries.


Oxygen limitation.


Implementation Team

A policy-level work group within the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Regional Forum that provides advice on the implementation of the FCRPS biological opinion on the effects of the federal dams in the ColumbiaRiver basin. The IT oversees the Technical Management Team, which deals with hydrosystem operations, the System Configuration Team, which deals with structural changes at the mainstem federal dams to improve fish passage, and the Water Quality Team, which addresses water quality issues at the mainstem dams.


A body of water formed behind a dam.


The physiological and behavioral process by which migratory fish assimilate environmental cues to aid their return to their stream of origin as adults.

Initial Controlled Flow (ICF)

The annual system flood control objective. It is fundamentally a water balance calculated using

the available system storage volume at the end of the drawdown period, the forecasted seasonal runoff volume, and the minimum expected volume to be released for flood control during the runoff season. The resultant volume is then converted to a flow rate and labeled the ICF. The simplistic interpretation of this ICF is that all unregulated flow above the ICF during the runoff season at The Dalles can be stored, thereby refilling reservoirs. The ICF, therefore, is the trigger to initiate system refill, and is used to increase project refill probability while minimizing peak runoff at The Dalles.


Water diverted from surface water bodies or pumped from groundwater and applied to agricultural lands though ditches, canals, dikes, pumps, pipes and other water conveyance systems for the purpose of raising crops in areas that do not have sufficient moisture under natural conditions. Irrigation accounts for most surface water withdrawals in the ColumbiaRiver Basin. Total irrigation withdrawals for the ColumbiaRiver Basin in the U.S. are about 33 MAF of water each year; about 19 MAF of this withdrawn water returns eventually to the river as return flows and is available for reuse. Irrigation depletions are less than 7 percent of the Columbia River’s observed outflow. Total irrigated acreage in the United States portion of the basin in 1990 was between 6.9 and 7.1 million acres. The area of land irrigated in any single year varies from 10 to 20 percent with water supply and the general economy

Irrigation screens

Screens using wire mesh placed at the point where water is diverted from a stream or river. The screens keep fish from entering the diversion channel or pipe.


Has more than one reproductive cycle in its lifetime. Sturgeon and some steelhead are iteroparous (i.e., repeat spawners).



Small reproductively mature male salmon that return to spawn after spending only one winter in the marine environment.

Jeopardy biological opinion

A Section 7 biological opinion that determines that a Federal action is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.


Fish from approximately one year of age until sexual maturity.



Steelhead that return to the sea after spawning and may return to natal streams to spawn again (also see iteroparous).


La Ni?

La Nina is an extensive cooling of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean that occurs less frequently than El Nino and is its climatic opposite. It occurs when easterly trade winds in the tropics strengthen, intensifying the up-welling of cold waters off the coast of Peru and Ecuador. The effects of La Nina are strongest during the Northern Hemisphere winter, and include abundant snowfall in the interior of the ColumbiaBasin.

Lambda (λ)

Population growth rate (λ) or median annual population growth rate. A λ = 1.0 means that a population is neither growing nor declining, on average, across a given time period; whereas a λ = 0.9 means that the population is declining at a rate of 10 percent annually—a trend that is not sustainable in the long term. Conversely, a λ = 1.1 indicates a population is increasing 10 percent each year, a circumstance that likewise cannot continue ad infinitum since all habitats have an upper limit or carrying capacity. Lambda is estimated using the first and last four-year running sums of a time series of naturally spawning adults, ignoring the intermediate observations. As such, λ is very sensitive to the starting and ending points chosen for the estimate.

Lamprey or Pacific lamprey

Lampetra tridentate. Pacific lamprey are dark bluish gray or dark brown in color and can reach 30 inches in length and weigh over a pound. Pacific lamprey are anadromous. They enter freshwater streams of the ColumbiaRiver Basin from July to October and spawn the following spring. Juvenile lamprey will stay burrowed in the substrate of the streams for 4 to 6 years,  During its ocean phase of two to three years, Pacific lamprey are scavengers, parasites, or predators on larger prey such as salmon and marine mammals.

Large Woody Debris

Material (such as a log, tree, or branches) with a diameter greater than 10 cm and a length greater than 1 meter in the stream.

Latent mortality hypotheses

For salmon and steelhead, the delayed effect of the downstream passage experience.

Life history diversity

The multitude of life history pathways (temporally and spatially connected sequences life history segments) available for the species to complete its life cycle.

Limiting Factors

Salmon and steelhead have been adversely affected over the last century by many activities including human population growth, introduction of exotic species, over fishing, developments of cities and other land uses in the floodplains, water diversions for all purposes, dams, mining, farming, ranching, logging, hatchery production, predation, ocean conditions, loss of habitat and other causes (Lackey et al. 2006).

Listed species

A species, subspecies, or distinct vertebrate population segment that has been added to the Federal lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants as they appear in sections 17.11 and 17.12 of Title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (50 CFR 17.11 and 17.12).

Littoral zone

Area of shore between mean high water and mean low water.

Lower Snake River Fish and Wildlife Compensation Plan

Authorized by the Water Resources Development Act of 1976 to mitigate for fish and wildlife losses caused by construction and operation of the four lower Snake River dams.



Pacific lamprey juveniles (ammocoetes) in the process of metamorphosis to their marine-tolerant physiology. The equivalent of a salmon smolt.


The main channel of the river in a river basin, as opposed to the streams and smaller rivers that feed into it. In the fish and wildlife program, mainstem refers to entirety of the main channels of the Columbia and Snake rivers.

Mainstem passage

The movement of salmon and steelhead around or through the dams and reservoirs in the Columbia and Snake rivers.

Mainstem survival

The proportion of anadromous fish that survive passage through the dams and reservoirs while migrating in the main channels of the Columbia and Snake rivers.

Management plans

The management plan sets forth desired direction for the subbasin on a hierarchical approach,

taking into account the science, local conditions, concerns, Treaty rights, and applicable law and policy. It is where the science and the social aspects come together. The hierarchical approach begins with a vision for the subbasin, then outlines biological objectives describing the desired environmental conditions, and then identifies a set of strategies to achieve the objectives. In addition, the management plan includes a monitoring and evaluation plan for the strategies that may be implemented. Plans should have a 10-15 year horizon recognizing that additional information and analysis may indicate the need for periodic refinement.


Data exist in two forms: primary data and metadata. Primary data are numbers or counts, for example, the number of adult fish counted in a given time period, interval, and location. Metadata describe how those numbers were obtained, including the monitoring design (selection of times and locations), objectives, and methods.

Mid-Columbia dams

Dams owned by the mid-Columbia Public Utility Districts. They include Wells, Rocky Reach, Rock Island, Wanapum and Priest Rapids dams.

Mid-Columbia Public Utility Districts (PUDs)

Public Utility District No. 1 of GrantCounty, Public Utility District No. 2 of ChelanCounty and Public Utility District No. 1 of DouglasCounty.

Minimum operating pool

The lowest water level of an impoundment at which navigation locks can still operate.

Mixed-stock fishery

A harvest management technique by which different species, strains, races, or stocks are harvested together.


Making systematic geo-referenced observations of the environment-such as measuring water level or counting trees-is essential to detecting changes in ecosystems over time.

Monitoring for biological inventories

The counting of salmon, steelhead, resident fishes, and wildlife within migrations or water bodies and from year to year to establish a numerical basis for evaluating trends in population sizes and needs for (and results of) water and habitat management and improvement.

Monitoring for programmatic effectiveness

The monitoring of the success of specific projects and programs within the fish and wildlife program (in both social and biological terms) as a basis for evaluating whether to continue them as part of the program or to develop alternatives through adaptive management.


A study of the form and structure of animals and plants.


Native Species

A population of fish that has not been substantially impacted by genetic interactions with non-native populations, or by other factors, that persists in all or part of its original range. In limited cases a native population may also exist outside its original range (e.g. in a captive broodstock program).

Natural fish

A fish that has spent essentially all of its life-cycle in the wild and whose parents spawned in the wild.

Natural production

Spawning, incubating, hatching, and rearing fish in rivers, lakes, and streams without human intervention.

Natural resource trustees (trustees)

Government officials who act on behalf of the public when there is injury to, destruction of, loss of, or threat to natural resources as a result of a release of a hazardous substance or a discharge of oil. Trustees include the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Interior, Defense, Agriculture, and Energy; state agencies; and Native American tribes. NOAA is the lead federal trustee for coastal and marine resources.

Natural selection

The differential survival and reproduction of organisms with genetic characteristics that enable them to better utilize environmental resources.

Naturally spawning populations

Populations of fish that have completed their entire life cycle in the natural environment and may be the progeny of wild, hatchery or mixed parentage.


The process by which introduced fish successfully establish a naturally spawning population.


Describing the environment and conditions of the marine zone between low tide and the edge of the continental shelf, a depth of roughly 200 meters.

Nez Perce Water Rights Settlement

The Settlement resulted in Idaho authorizing up to 427,000 acre-feet of water for flow augmentation, plus an authorization an additional 60,000 acre-feet for the same purpose through 2034. These provisions increase the long-term probability of obtaining 427,000 acre-feet, and in some years providing as much as 487,000 acre-feet. The Nez Perce Tribal component provides for use of 200,000 acre-feet of water stored in Dworshak Reservoir for flow augmentation and temperature control (cooling) in the lower Snake River in August and September.

Northwest Power Act

The Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 839 et seq.), which authorized the creation of the Northwest Power Planning Council. The Act directs the Council to develop the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program to protect, mitigate, and enhance fish and wildlife, including related spawning grounds and habitat on the Columbia River and its tributaries, to establish an Independent Scientific Review Panel to review projects implementing this program that are proposed for funding by Bonneville, and to make final recommendations to Bonneville on implementation of projects.

Non-native species

Introduced species (especially invasive exotic species). These can have a distinct advantage in competing with native species because they escape a large percentage of the pathogens and parasites from their native range and are slow to pick up new infections in their newly invaded range. There is convincing evidence that non-native fish species are continuing to increase in the ColumbiaBasin aquatic habitats, and climate change is likely to further accelerate their expansion, often at the expense of native species.


An element (oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorus) or compound required for the growth and development of an organism.


Ocean type

A juvenile fish that migrates quickly from its natal stream to the ocean and does not spend a winter in fresh water.

Off-site mitigation

The improvement in conditions for fish or wildlife species away from the site of a hydroelectric project that had detrimental effects on fish and/or wildlife, as part or total compensation for those effects. An example of off-site mitigation is the fish passage restoration work being conducted in the YakimaRiver Basin for the detrimental effects caused by mainstem hydroelectric projects.


The genus containing the five species of salmon and steelhead found within the Columbia Basin: Chinook (O. tshawytscha also known as tyee or king),chum (O. keta also known as dog or calico), coho (O. kisutch also known as silver), sockeye (O. nerka also known as red, blueback, silver trout and in the resident form as kokanee) and steelhead (O. mykiss and known as rainbow in the resident form).

Operational losses

The direct wildlife losses caused by the day-to-day fluctuations in flows and reservoir levels resulting from the operation of the hydrosystem.


Small bony structures, or ear stones, found in the heads of all bony fishes. Otoliths help fish sense up from down and also have a role in hearing. Otoliths show annual, and for juvenile fish, daily patterns of growth and therefore form a permanent record of life history events. Evaluation of otoliths has become an important research tool for understanding the life history of fish.


The mouth or outlet of a river, stream, lake, drain or sewer.


An overfished stock is one that becomes sufficiently small that a change in management regulations is required to achieve an appropriate population level or rate of rebuilding.


Harvesting at a rate greater than that which will meet the management goal.


Pacific Decadal Oscillation(PDO)

A pattern of Pacific climate variability that shifts phases on a multi-decadal time scale, usually about 20 to 30 years. The PDO is detected as warm or cool surface waters in the Pacific Ocean, north of 20?N. During a “warm,” or “positive,” phase, the west Pacific becomes cool and part of the eastern ocean warms; during a “cool” or “negative” phase, the opposite pattern occurs.

Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC)

The Pacific Salmon Commission is the bilateral commission with responsibility for administering the PST.

Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST)

The Pacific Salmon Treaty, signed between the U.S. and Canada in 1985, governs salmon interceptions by each country.


Salmon and steelhead fry that linger in fresh water streams become parr, and after 1 to 5 years will smoltify and then migrate to the ocean.


The movement of migratory fish through, around, or over dams, reservoirs, and other obstructions in a stream or river.

Performance measures, standards and targets.

Performance measures are metrics that are monitored and evaluated relative to performance standards (benchmarks) and performance targets (longer-term goals) to assess progress of actions and inform future decisions.


The process by which green plants use light to synthesize organic compounds from carbon dioxide and water. In the process oxygen and water are released. Increased levels of carbon dioxide can increase net photosynthesis in some plants. Plants create a very important reservoir for carbon dioxide.


Any of an order or suborder (Pinnipedia) of aquatic carnivorous mammals (as a seal, sea lion or walrus) with all four limbs modified into flippers.



PIT tags

Passive Integrated Transponder tags are used for identifying individual salmon for monitoring and research purposes. This miniaturized tag consists of an integrated microchip that is programmed to identify individual fish. The tag is inserted into the body cavity of the fish and decoded at selected monitoring sites.


The area of the Pacific Ocean that is influenced by discharge from the Columbia River, up to 500 miles beyond the mouth of the river.


A group of organisms belonging to the same species that occupy a well-defined locality and exhibit reproductive continuity from generation to generation.

Population vulnerability analysis

A systematic process for estimating species, location and time‑specific criteria for persistence of a population.


A primary part of a hydroelectric dam where the turbines and generators are housed and where power is produced by falling water rotating turbine blades.


An animal that lives by killing and eating other animals for food.


An animal that is killed and eaten by other animals.

Prospective Status

Is based on the estimated effects of future actions. The current-to-prospective adjustment is simply an adjustment of the current survival estimates to reflect survival improvements expected from future  hydro, habitat, hatchery and predator control actions.


Quasi-extinction Threshold

Fewer than 50 spawners in four consecutive years for any given population - the modeling threshold used by the Interior Columbia Technical Recovery Team.



Species have areas of occurrence (ranges) that are limited by suitable climatic conditions, especially temperature and moisture availability. Thus, as temperature and precipitation patterns change, species will disappear from parts of their former ranges that have become unsuitable for their existence, and they may appear in new areas where they were formerly absent. Whether or not the ranges move or expand depends on the ability of organisms to disperse or migrate to the areas that become suitable.


The juvenile life stage of anadromous fish spent in freshwater rivers, lakes, and streams before they migrate to the ocean.Can also be for resident species (i.e., trout) in a production facility.

Rearing pond

An artificial impoundment in which juvenile salmon and steelhead are raised prior to release into the natural habitat.


U. S. Bureau of Reclamation.


The reestablishment of a threatened or endangered species to a self-sustaining level in its natural ecosystem (i.e., to the point where the protective measures of the Endangered Species Act are no longer necessary).

Recovery program (plan)

A strategy for conserving and restoring a threatened or endangered species. An Endangered Species Act recovery plan refers to a plan prepared under section 4(f) of the Act and approved by the Secretary, including: (1) A description of site-specific management actions necessary for recovery; (2) objective, measurable criteria that can be used as a basis for removing the species from threatened or endangered status; and (3) estimates of the time and cost required to implement recovery. (For Pacific salmon, “Secretary” refers to the Secretary of Commerce.)


Nest made in gravel dug by a fish for egg deposition (and then filled), and associated gravel mounds.

Removable Spillway Weir (RSW)

A fish passage technology that is an overflow structure installed in a dam’s spillway bay. It provides a more surface-oriented passage route with less delay and stress for juvenile anadromous fish.

Reproductive isolating mechanisms

Mechanisms that retain genetic diversity among populations. The primary reproductive isolating mecha?nism for anadromous fish is accuracy of homing, which can be reduced by improper hatchery operations. Stock transfers also reduce reproductive isolation.

Riparian areas and wetlands

Riparian areas and wetlands are habitats where terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are most closely linked. They are among the most diverse and dynamic habitats on the Earth, and are especially important sources of plant and animal species diversity in arid areas such as the interior ColumbiaRiver Basin. These habitats are critical to a broad range of wildlife.

Recruit-Spawner (R/S)

A measure of productivity that directly reflects the ability of a population to sustain itself. A R/S estimate simply reflects the rate at which spawning adults in one generation are replaced by spawning adults in the next generation. A R/S value < 1.0 indicates the population is not replacing itself. If this pattern continues over a sufficient period of time, the population will become extinct. Conversely, R/S >1.0 indicates the population is more than replacing itself; R/S = 1.0 means the population is exactly replacing itself. Estimating R/S requires a time series of data on adult returns.

Remand Collaboration

Federal Judge Redden ordered NMFS and the Action Agencies to form a Policy Work Group (PWG) to collaborate with sovereign States and Tribes to develop items to be included in the FCRPS proposed action, clarify policy issues, and reach agreement or narrow the areas of disagreement on scientific and technical information. The members of the PWG are NMFS, the Action Agencies, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, and Native American Tribes (the Nez Perce Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Indian Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, and Kootenai Tribe of Idaho).


A body of water collected and stored in an artificial lake behind a dam.

Resident fish

Fish that spend their entire life cycle in freshwater. For program purposes, resident fish includes land-locked anadromous fish (e.g., white sturgeon, kokanee and coho), as well as traditionally defined resident fish species.

Residence time

The average time spent in a reservoir by an individual atom or molecule. Also, the age of a molecule when it leaves the reservoir. With respect to greenhouse gases, residence time usually refers to how long a particular molecule remains in the atmosphere.

Resident fish

Fish that spend their entire life cycle in freshwater. For program purposes, resident fish includes landlocked anadromous fish (e.g., white sturgeon, kokanee and coho), as well as traditionally defined resident fish species.

Resident fish substitutions

The enhancement of resident fish to address losses of salmon and steelhead in those areas permanently blocked to anadromous (ocean-migrating) fish as a result of hydroelectric dams.


A shallow extending across the bed of a stream over which water flows swiftly so that the surface of the water is broken in waves.

Riparian habitat

Habitat along the banks of streams, lakes or rivers.


Miles calculated from the mouth of the river or, for upstream tributaries, from the confluence with the main river.

Rule curves

Graphic guides to the use of storage water. They are developed to define certain operating rights, entitlements, obligations and limitations for each reservoir.


A population of fish of the same species consisting of one or more stocks migrating at a distinct time.



A fish of the Salmonidae family, which includes soft-finned fish such as salmon, trout, and whitefish.

Salt wedge

The layer of salt water that penetrates upriver under the freshwater layer to the head of the estuary. Because the estuary is deeper near the ocean and shallower upstream, the layer is typically wedge-shaped.

Scientific take permit

A type of recovery permit authorized under Section 10 allowing for research pertaining to species recovery such as taking blood samples from a peregrine falcon for genetic analysis, or conducting surveys of freshwater mussel beds to determine species status and distribution.


Large bony scale such as that found on sturgeon.

Section 4

The section of the Endangered Species Act that deals with listing and recovery of species, and designation of critical habitat. Section 4(d) rule - A special regulation developed by the Service under authority of Section 4(d) modifying the normal protective regulations for a particular threatened species when it is determined that such a rule is necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of that species.

Section 7

The section of the Endangered Species Act that requires all Federal agencies, in "consultation" with the Service, to insure that their actions are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of listed species or result in destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.

Section 10

The section of the Endangered Species Act that lays out the guidelines under which a permit may be issued to authorize activities prohibited by Section 9, such as take of endangered or threatened species.

Self-Sustaining Population

A population of salmonids that exists in sufficient numbers to replace itself through time without supplementation with hatchery fish. It does not necessarily produce surplus fish for harvest.


Has only one reproductive cycle in its lifetime (e.g., Chinook salmon).


Stage in the development of an ecosystem from an undisturbed, un-vegetated state toward a climax state. Stages are often classified as early, middle, or late.


An agreement between natural resource trustees and responsible parties that specifies the terms under which liability is resolved.

Sexually dimorphic

A species that has two forms, one for each sex.


The amount of bending, winding and curving in a stream or river.


A juvenile salmon or steelhead migrating to the ocean and undergoing physiological changes (smoltification) to adapt its body from a freshwater to a saltwater existence, typically in its second year.


Process of physiologically changing from fry or parr to smolt.

Spatial Structure

Spatial structure, as the term suggests, refers to the geographic distribution of individuals in a population unit and the processes that generate that distribution. Distributed populations that interact genetically are often referred to as metapopulation. Although the spatial distribution of a population, and thus its metapopulation structure, is influenced by many factors, none are perhaps as important as the quantity, quality, and distribution of habitat. One way to think about the importance or value of a broad geospatial distribution is that a population is less likely to go extinct from a localized catastrophic event or localized environmental perturbations.


The act of fish releasing and fertilizing eggs.


A group of individuals of common ancestry that closely resemble each other structurally and physiologically and that can interbreed, producing fertile offspring.

For purposes of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), a species is defined to include “any distinct population segment of any species of vertebrate fish or wildlife which interbreeds when mature.”

A population (or group of populations) will be considered “distinct” (and hence a “species”) for purposes of the ESA if it represents an evolutionarily significant unit (ESU) of the biological species. A population must satisfy two criteria to be considered an ESU:

  1. It must be reproductively isolated from other nonspecific population units, and
  2. It must represent an important component in the evolutionary legacy of the species.


Releasing water through spillways at a dam rather than through the turbines.


The channel or passageway around or over a dam through which excess water is released or “spilled” past the dam without going through the turbines. A spillway is a safety valve for a dam and, as such, must be capable of discharging major floods without damaging the dam, while maintaining the reservoir level below some predetermined maximum level.

Spillway crest elevation

The point at which the reservoir behind a dam is level with the top of the dam’s spillway.


A population of fish spawning in a particular stream during a particular season. Stocks of fish generally do not interbreed with stocks spawning in a different stream or at a different time.


An individual that breeds in a population other than that of its parents.

Stream type migrant

A juvenile fish that spends a winter or longer at or below the natal stream before migrating to the ocean.

Strategies (in the context of the Fish and Wildlife Program)

Strategies are developed to achieve biological objectives. Implementing strategies should be

aimed at addressing the limiting factors that will accomplish the biological objectives. Strategies identified within the subbasin plans will be used as a basis for Council recommendations to the Bonneville Power Administration regarding project funding. There may be several different strategies with a subbasin that are selected to meet the biological objectives that will vary depending on the condition of the populations and habitat.

Stream morphology

The study of the form and structure of streams.


A set of adjoining watersheds with similar ecological conditions and tributaries that ultimately connects, flowing into the same river or lake. Subbasins contain major tributaries to the Columbia and Snake rivers. There are 62 subbasins in the Columbia River Watershed.


Fish that are less than 1 year old

Subbasin assessment

The assessment is the technical evaluation of the biological and physical characteristics of the

subbasin. Its primary purpose is to bring together technical information for the analysis needed to develop biological objectives.

Subbasin planning

A coordinated systemwide approach to planning in which each subbasin in the Columbia system is evaluated for its potential to produce fish in order to contribute to the goal of the overall system. Subbasin planning emphasizes the integration of fish and wildlife habitat, fish passage, harvest management, and production.


The use of artificial propagation to reestablish or increase the abundance of naturally reproducing populations through the release of hatchery fry and juvenile fish in the natural environment.

Sustainable development

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In other words, development is essential to satisfy human needs and improve the quality of human life. At the same time, development must be based on the efficient and environmentally responsible use of all of society's scarce resources - natural, human, and economic.


Individuals, species, populations, etc. that share a common habitat.



The canal or channel that carries water away from the dam.


The water surface immediately downstream from a dam.


From Section 3(18) of the Federal Endangered Species Act: "The term 'take' means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct."

Target population

A species or population singled out for attention because of its harvest significance or cultural value, or because it represents a significant group of ecological functions in a particular habitat type.

Terminal fishery

A fishery designed to increase harvest of abundant fish stocks and minimize effects on depleted stocks by focusing the fishery on locations where the abundant stocks are produced -- in net pens, for example -- and where the fish also return to spawn.

Technical Management Team

A technical working group established by the National Marine Fisheries Service to provide advice on how to operate the federal dams in the Columbia River Basin in a manner that minimizes fish and wildlife impacts. The TMT deals with issues such as reservoir storage levels, flow augmentation, and spill.


The classification provided to an animal or plant likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.


Refers to the United States and Canadian border.


Collecting migrating juvenile fish and transporting them around the dams using barges or trucks.


The Treaty between the United States of America and Canada Relating to Cooperative Development of the Water Resources of the ColumbiaRiver Basin, 1964. The Canadian Entity (B.C. Hydro) and the U.S. Entity (represented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bonneville Power Administration) are responsible for ensuring the provisions of the Columbia River Treaty are fulfilled. It became effective on September 16, 1964. The treaty also authorized the construction of Libby Dam on the KootenaiRiver in Montana, which creates a reservoir that extends into British Columbia.

Treaty Rights

Rights of Indian tribes that were reserved by the 1855 Stevens Treaties between Indian tribes and the United States government. These reserved rights include the right of "taking fish at all usual and accustomed grounds and stations" as well as the "privilege of hunting, gathering roots and berries and pasturing horses on open and unclaimed lands." Certain of these rights have been fairly well defined by judicial decisions, such as those pertaining to treaty fishing.


In the Council’s fish and wildlife program, these include the Burns-Paiute Tribe; the Coeur d’Alene Tribes; the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation; the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation; the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation of Oregon; the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon; the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation; the Kalispel Tribe of Indians; the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho; the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho; the Shoshone-Paiutes of the Duck Valley Reservation; the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation; and the Spokane Tribe of Indians.


A measure of light penetration in a body of water. Higher turbidity indicates “murkier” water conditions.


U.S. v Oregon

The 1969 federal court decision that reaffirmed treaty rights to fish. The decision only applies to Washington and Oregon treaty tribes and is the basis for allocating harvest of salmon in the Columbia River to those tribes.

Upriver Bright stock (URB)

A stock of fall chinook destined for the Columbia River and several tributaries upstream from The Dalles Dam. These fish enter the Columbia from early August with the peak of the run at Bonneville Dam in early September.



The speed of water flowing in a watercourse, such as a river.

Velocity barrier

A physical structure, such as a barrier dam or floating weir, built in the tailrace of a hydroelectric powerhouse, which blocks the tailrace from further adult salmon or steelhead migration to prevent physical injury or migration delay.

Viable Salmonid population (VSP)

Metrics used in determining the viability of a salmon or steelhead population. In this framework there is an explicit consideration of four key population characteristic or parameters for evaluating population viability status: abundance, productivity (or population growth rate), biological diversity, and population spatial structure.

Vision (in the context of the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program)

The Vision describes the desired future condition in terms of a common goal for the subbasin.

The vision is qualitative and should reflect the policies, legal requirements and local conditions, values and priorities of the subbasin in a manner that is consistent with the vision described for the ColumbiaBasin in the Council’s program. The vision will provide the guidance and priority for implementing actions in the future, therefore driving the development of biological objectives and strategies for the subbasin.


Acting of free will. Volitional releases from hatcheries allow juveniles fish to move downstream from the facility on their own accord.


Water budget

A means of increasing survival of downstream migrating juvenile fish by increasing Columbia and Snake river flows during the spring migration period. The water budget was developed by the Council, which oversees its use in conjunction with the fish and wildlife agencies and Indian tribes, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bonneville Power Administration and the Bureau of Reclamation.

Water Right

A legal authorization to use a certain amount of public water for specific beneficial use or uses.


The area that drains into a stream or river. A subbasin is typically composed of several watersheds.

Weak stock

A stock of fish of which the long-term survival is in doubt. Typically this is a stock in which the population is small and is barely reproducing itself or is not reproducing itself. While ESA-listed stocks are considered weak stocks, the term also includes other populations that would not yet qualify for ESA listing.

Wildlife management

The practice of manipulating wildlife populations, either directly through regulating the numbers, ages, and sex ratios harvested, or indirectly by providing favorable habitat conditions and alleviating limiting factors.

Wild populations

Fish that have maintained successful natural reproduction with little or no supplementation from hatcheries.



A fish that is 1–2 years old.




AFEPAnadromous Fish Evaluation Program
AHAAll “H” Analyzer
ALFAlbeniFalls Dam
APREArtificial Production Review Evaluation
BABiological Assessment
BGSBehavioral guidance structure
BiOpBiological Opinion
BLMBureau of Land Management
BMPBest Management Practice
BOGBudget Oversight Group
BONBonneville Dam
BORU.S. Bureau of Reclamation
BPJBest Professional Judgment
BRNBrownlee Dam
BRTBiological Review Team
BYBrood year
CBFWAColumbiaBasin Fish and Wildlife Authority
CBTColumbiaBasin Trust
CBWTPColumbiaBasin Water Transaction Program
CDFGCalifornia Department of Fish and Game
CFRCode of Federal Regulations
cfsCubic feet per second. A unit commonly used to quantify discharge rate.
CHJChief Joseph Dam
CorpsU. S. Army Corps of Engineers
CoTCCoho Technical Committee of the Pacific Salmon Commission
CPUECatch per unit effort.
CREPConservation Reserve Enhancement Program
CRFMPColumbia River Fishery Management Plan
CRITFCColumbia River Intertribal Fish Commission (Yakama, Nez Perce, Umatilla and Warm Springs tribes)
CSSComparative Survival Study
CWAClean Water Act
CWTCoded-wire tag
DARTData Access in Real Time
DODissolved oxygen
DPSDistinct Population Segment
DWRDworshak Dam
EDTEcosystem Diagnosis and Treatment - a digital tool used to compile and assess information about anadromous fish habitat suitability.
EEZExclusive economic zone (from 3-200 miles from shore)
ENSOEl Ni? Southern Oscillation Index
EPAU. S. Environmental Protection Agency
ESAEndangered Species Act
ESBSExtended-length submerged bar screen
ESTSExtended submerged traveling screen
ESUEvolutionarily significant unit
FCOPFlood Control Operating Plan
FCRPSFederal Columbia River Power System
FERCU.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
FGEFish Guidance Efficiency
FLMPAFederalLand Policy and Management Act
FMPFishery management plan
FRAMFishery Regulatory Assessment Model
GBDGas bubble disease
HCDHells Canyon Dam
HCPHabitat Conservation Plan
HEPHabitat Evaluation Procedure
HGHHungry Horse Dam
HGMPHatchery and Genetic Management Plan
HOFHatchery origin fish
HUCHydrologic Unit Code. Number coding system used to identify watersheds.
IBISInteractive Biodiversity Information System
ICFInitial Controlled Flow
IHRIceHarbor Dam
IMWIntensively Monitored Watershed
IOSCIdaho Office of Species Conservation
ISABIndependent Scientific Advisory Board
ISBMIndividual stock-based management
ISEMPIntegrated Status and Effectiveness Monitoring Program
ISRPIndependent Science Review Board
Jack CRColumbia River jacks
Jack OCOregon coastal and KlamathRiver Basin jacks
JBSJuvenile Bypass System
JDAJohn Day Dam
KcfsThousand cubic feet per second
KEFKey Ecological Function
LCFRBLower Columbia Fish Recovery Board
LCREPLower Columbia River Estuary Partnership
LCNLower Columbia River natural (coho)
LIBLibby Dam
LGSLittle Goose Dam
LMNLower Monumental Dam
LRBLower Columbia River bright (Chinook)
LRHLower Columbia River hatchery (tule fall Chinook returning to hatcheries below Bonneville Dam)
LRWLower Columbia River wild (bright fall Chinook spawning naturally in tributaries below Bonneville Dam)
LWGLower Granite Dam
MAFMillion acre-feet
MCBMid-Columbia River brights (bright hatchery fall Chinook released below McNary Dam)
MCNMcNary Dam
MMPAMarine Mammal Protection Act
MOCMid-Oregon coast
MOPMinimum Operation Pool
MPGMajor population group
MSYMaximum sustainable yield
NEPANational Environmental Policy Act
NEOHNortheast Oregon Hatchery
NMFSNational Marine Fisheries Service
NOAANational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOCNorth Oregon coast
NOFNatural origin fish
OCNOregon coastal natural (coho)
OCNLOregon coastal natural lake
OCNROregon coastal natural river
ODFWOregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
OPIOregon Production Index (coho salmon stock index south of Leadbetter Point)
OPIHOregon Production Index public hatchery
PAProposed Action
PCEPrimary Constituent Element
PDOPacific Decadal Oscillation 
PFCProperly Functioning Conditions
PFMCPacific Fishery Management Council
PIT-tagPassive Integrated Transponder (tag)
PNAMPPacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership
POSTPacific Ocean Shelf Tracking project
PUDPublic Utility District
PRIHPrivate hatchery
PSCPacific Salmon Commission
PSMFCPacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
PSTPacific Salmon Treaty
PWGPolicy Work Group
QETQuasi-extinction Threshold
RCTOReasonably Certain to Occur
RERRebuilding exploitation rate
RM&EResearch Monitoring and Evaluation
RMPResource Management Plan (for exemption from ESA section 9 take prohibitions under limit 6 of the 4(d) rule)
RPAReasonable and Prudent Alternative
RSWRemovable Spillway Weir
SABSelect Area brights
SAFESelect Area Fisheries Enhancement
SARSmolt to adult return rate
SCHSpring Creek Hatchery (tule fall Chinook returning to Spring Creek Hatchery)
SLEDSea Lion Exclusion device
SRSStratified Random Sampling
SRSRBSnake River Salmon Recovery Board
SSHIAPSalmon and Steelhead Habitat Inventory and Assessment Project
STEPSalmon Trout Enhancement Program
STTSalmon Technical Team (formerly the Salmon Plan Development Team)
TDAThe Dalles dam
TDGTotal Dissolved Gas
TMDLTotal Maximum Daily Load
TRTTechnical Recovery Team
TSWTemporary Spillway Weir
UCSRBUpper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board
UCUTUpper Columbia United Tribes
UPAUpdated Proposed Action
URBUpper river brights (naturally spawning bright fall Chinook normally migrating past McNary Dam)
URCUpper Rule Curve
USF&WSU. S. Fish & Wildlife Service
USRITATUpper Salmon River Interagency Technical Advisory Team
USRTUpper Snake River Tribes
VAR-QVariable flow schedule - VAR (variable) Q (flow)
VSIVisual stock identification
VSPViable Salmonid Population
WCVIWest Coast Vancouver Island
WDFWWashington Department of Fish and Wildlife
WSFWater supply forecast
YBFWRBYakimaBasin Fish & Wildlife Recovery Board