A Plan for Scientific Research

Council seeks comments on an update of the research plan for the Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program

Lemhi , Sagebrush & Mts.
Scientists who advise the Council tour a project that improved habitat for salmon along the Lemhi River in the mountains of Central Idaho.

With more than $250 million spent annually on projects that implement the Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, scientific research is critical to improve knowledge and help guide decision-making. Following the advice of its two panels of independent scientists, over the last 10 months the Council updated the plan that guides research funded through the program and recently released a draft plan for 45 days of public review and comment.

See the draft plan and instructions on how to comment.

The purpose of the research plan is to help the Council, the Bonneville Power Administration, which funds projects that implement the program, project sponsors and the independent science panels (Independent Scientific Review Panel and Independent Scientific Advisory Board) continue to:

  1. improve organization of research including reporting of results and conclusions;
  2. identify critical uncertainties for research through the program;
  3. identify priority areas of current and future research;
  4. inform adaptive management of program implementation; and
  5. guide the Council’s future project-funding recommendations.

Based on recommendations of the ISAB and ISRP, the draft research plan identifies 14 areas for future research. In priority order, the top five are:

  1. fish habitat in Columbia River tributaries;
  2. fish habitat in the mainstem Columbia and Snake rivers;
  3. fish hatcheries;
  4. river flows and dam passage impacts on fish; and
  5. the Columbia River estuary, near-shore freshwater plume in the ocean, and the ocean farther off shore.

The Council’s research plan was first developed in 2006. While the plan has been reviewed periodically since then, the current revision and update is the first since 2006.