April 4, 2008

Mr. Bill Booth, Chairman
Northwest Power and Conservation Council
851 SW Sixth Avenue, Suite 1100
Portland, OR 97204-1348

Dear Chairman Booth,

As per Council Document No. 2001-17, I respectfully submit on behalf of the Ad Hoc Supplementation Workgroup (AHSWG) the attached report , “Recommendations for Broad Scale Monitoring to Evaluate the Effects of Hatchery Supplementation on the Fitness of Natural Salmon and Steelhead Populations - Final Draft Report of the Ad Hoc Supplementation Monitoring and Evaluation Workgroup”, as part of the public comment process for amendments to the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program.

This report contains a set of recommendations specifically addressing issues related to operation of salmon/steelhead hatcheries and to their associated monitoring and evaluation programs in the Columbia basin. This report is a product of the response to the recommendation of the ISRP and ISAB in their report “Monitoring and Evaluation of Supplementation Projects” (2005-15) to convene a group of fisheries scientists and managers drawn from across a variety of concerned management agencies, to establish the basic design(s) for a basinwide evaluation of the effects of hatchery supplementation on the abundance and fitness of affected natural salmon/steelhead populations. This response initially took the form of two Ad Hoc Supplementation Monitoring and Evaluation workshops, held in 2006 and 2007. Following the second workshop, a smaller working group was created (the AHSWG) to elaborate the ideas presented during the workshops into a more fully developed set of recommendations, as summarized in the attached report. Notably, this group included several persons active within the Hatchery Subgroup of the Collaborative Systemwide Monitoring and Evaluation Project (CSMEP), a group working on similar issues related to M&E of hatchery programs. The designs proposed by CSMEP have in large part been incorporated into the recommendations of the AHSWG.

Of note, this report is indicated as being a “final draft”. We are also submitting the report for review to the full list of participants at the two Workshops. In addition to accepting written comments on the report by these persons, we are holding a third Workshop (June 3-4, NOAA-NWFSC, Seattle, WA) to provide an opportunity to review and debate the recommendations within a common forum. Suggested changes to these recommendations will be incorporated into the document and a final version of the report will be produced following the June Workshop.

A caveat to submittal of this report is that it represents the collective views of a group of fisheries scientists and managers working on issues related to Columbia River fisheries, but does not represent an official position of any of the agencies for which we work. We hope the Council will find our report informative and applicable to the Fish & Wildlife Program amendment process, and we remain available to offer any needed clarification which might be requested as to our recommendations.

Chris A. Beasley


Submitted byCommentAttachment
Pace, CharlesThe Council should adopt and implement the recommendations contained in the AHSWG report and assign priority to monitoring and evaluation activities for specific populations with unique life histories that are at risk because of low abundance/productivity (e.g., the Sawtooth and Pahsimeroi hatchies in the upper Salmon River). For such populations, supplementation "above the wier" may of necessity be "opportunistic," i.e., possible only when adult returns of hatchery-produced fish exceed broodstock requirements. The Council should be ensure that the unique opportunities and risks for such populations be a priority within the "broad scale" M&E program recommended by the workgroup.