Review of the Mid-Columbia Coho Restoration Master Plan: Step 1 of a 3-step process

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At the Council's request, the ISRP reviewed the Yakama Nation's Mid-Columbia Coho Restoration Master Plan as part of the Step One process of the Council's Three Step Review. The ISRP's review is attached. This review was conducted in conjunction with the fiscal years 2007- 2009 (FY 07-09) proposal for this project, 1996-040-00, Evaluate the Feasibility and Risks of Coho Reintroduction in the Mid-Columbia. The ISRP's recommendation of "fundable (qualified)" and comments for the FY 07-09 proposal are incorporated in this memo in advance of the ISRP's final report, due August 31, 2006.

The ISRP finds the Master Plan to be a commendable draft and an excellent start to producing a final Master Plan for reintroducing coho salmon to the Wenatchee and Methow subbasins in the mid-Columbia River basin. The ISRP compliments the plan's team for their efforts. The ISRP is particularly pleased to see the recognition of the need for habitat restoration to accompany artificial production activities if self-sustaining coho salmon are to be reestablished in these subbasins. A further strong aspect is the use of the Entiat River subbasin as a reference site in trying to differentiate the effects of activities within the Wenatchee and Methow subbasins from the general effects of regional environmental and marine variation. The ISRP believes there are a number of issues that should be resolved before proceeding to Step Two of the Three Step Review, and that these should be incorporated in a revised Master Plan before proceeding. These issues are described in the attached memo.