The Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s panel of independent scientists recently completed a review of 71 projects to implement the Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program over the next several years, finding that just 14 of them “meet scientific criteria,” meaning that they can go ahead without additional refinements. Thirty-seven others met scientific criteria with qualifications, meaning that the project proponents need to answer questions raised by the panel, and three proposed projects did not meet scientific criteria, according to the11-member Independent Scientific Review Panel. The ISRP earlier gave the OK to 17 other project proposals.
Most of the 71 ongoing projects help resident fish; the other projects concern data management and program coordination. The ISRP also reported on issues related to non-native fish management, trout-stocking strategies, and monitoring and evaluation of projects.
The Council and the Bonneville Power Administration use the review to ensure that projects meet the requirements of the program and federal biological opinions.
The ISRP will present its findings at the Council’s April 10-11 meeting. The Council will discuss the findings and the project proposals at its May and June meetings, and then make funding recommendations to Bonneville at the June or July meetings.