The Council’s annual report to Governors and Congress (for example, the 2013 Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Costs Report) provides an accounting of fish and wildlife expenditures and hydropower operation costs, and how program projects are being adapted to focus on high-priority limiting factors and focal species in priority areas. The report will include a discussion of any data gaps, redundancies and recommended changes to achieve greater efficiencies. The report is compiled by the Council from data provided by Bonneville.
Science/policy exchanges: These exchanges inform the region about emerging information, innovative tools, and critical research uncertainties that may have program policy implications such as updating its priority research uncertainties. These exchanges are organized by Council in collaboration with the Independent Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB) and other interested parties, as needed, and serve to inform the Columbia River Basin’s Fish and Wildlife agencies and tribes (agencies and tribes), researchers, and policy-makers.
Council topic-specific tracking: This trackingwill include: (1) starting in 2015 annual anadromous fish forecasts and results; (2) Annual reports by Bonneville and the hatchery managers on the number of juvenile fish released each year; the number of adults that contribute to harvest, are used for broodstock, and are present on the spawning grounds for all hatchery programs that receive Bonneville funding. The first report should be submitted in December 2014. Council staff, Bonneville, fish and wildlife agencies and tribes and other experts will prepare these topic-specific reports as requested by the Council for informing the Council and policy-makers.
Council’s high-level indicator report: This is a web-based report of highly synthesized information that is conveyed graphically, related to the program’s objectives and funded actions, supported by the dashboard’s content, and is collaboratively updated as new information is made available. This report is produced annually by the Council in collaboration withthe data providers, including agencies and tribes, to inform policy-makers and ratepayers.
Council’s dashboard: This is a web-based report providing synthesis of information representing the scope of the program’s mitigation, protection, and enhancement efforts related to the program’s focal species and their habitat. The dashboards are updated as needed by the Council.
Action effectiveness report: This report from Bonneville assesses and reports on the status of evidence for the effectiveness of actions in altering physical habitat conditions, and as feasible, fish populations. This report will be compiled in collaboration with agencies and tribes and project sponsors who contribute data informing this assessment. Each report will provide an assessment of a subset of action categories implemented under the current program since the last one was adopted. These are produced by Bonneville one year prior to the start of each program amendment process to inform the Council, the Columbia River Basin fish and wildlife agencies and tribes and researchers, and ratepayers.
Annual project progress reports: These reports will be produced by project sponsors and submitted electronically to Bonneville in a format and with content requested by Bonneville consistent with the following guidelines:
- Bonneville should require all research, monitoring and evaluation projects to report annually, providing an electronic summary of their results and interim findings as well as describing benefits to fish and wildlife.
- Reports for monitoring and research activities will include as a minimum: clear objectives and hypothesis, linkage to program priorities, description of any treatments applied, scientific methods including designs and protocols, statistical analyses, statistical results, conclusions, summary of accomplishments to-date, and implications for fish, wildlife, and their habitat.
- At a minimum, all projects must have implementation monitoring that must be reported to Bonneville within six months of completion of the project or annually in the case of multi-year projects.
- Bonneville, in its contracting process, should ensure that each project adheres to the relevant protocols and methods and satisfies the reporting and data-management criteria described in this program or as adopted by the Council.
- An annual project progress report will be a stand-alone, complete document that does not rely on other documents, such as past annual project progress reports, to provide information needed to assess what has been done.
The Council expects that the organization and content of these reports will evolve over time to make them more comprehensive and accessible for the purpose of addressing information needs of Bonneville, the Council, and the ISRP including, for example, the ISRP’s project reviews and program retrospective reports.
ISAB review of the fish and wildlife program: This review evaluates the program on its scientific merits to inform theCouncil, agencies, tribes, and researchers.
ISAB topic-specific reports: These reports provide independent scientific advice and recommendations regarding scientific issues as requested by the ISAB’s administrative oversight panel and serves to inform theCouncil, NOAA Fisheries, agencies, tribes, and researchers.
ISRP recommendations based on the review of projects directly funded under the program: The ISRP provides this review as requested by the Council, following a specific set of criteria, to inform the Council’s recommendations to Bonneville. The Council will ask Bonneville to assist in extracting relevant information from annual project reports for the ISRP’s review process. This review informs the Council, agencies, tribes, researchers, and Bonneville.
ISRP retrospective review of program accomplishments: The ISRP with assistance from the scientific peer review groups reviews annually the results of prior-year expenditures based on the project review criteria, focusing on measurable benefits to fish and wildlife, and submits its findings to the Council. This report informs the Council, Bonneville, agencies, tribes, and rate-payers. As part of this report, the ISRP should summarize (1) major basinwide programmatic issues identified during project reviews, and (2) findings from Bonneville’s summary of monitoring research and findings.
ISRP recommendation based on the review of projects funded through Bonneville’s reimbursable program: The ISRP is responsible to review the fish and wildlife projects, programs, or measures included in federal agency budgets that are reimbursed by Bonneville, using the same standards and making recommendations as in its review of the projects proposed to implement the Council’s program. This review is produced as requested by the Council and serves to inform the Council, Bonneville, and project sponsors.
In addition, for this review the Council suggests the use of the reporting and project management standards of relevant NOAA Fisheries’ biological opinions for projects intended to meet the goals and objectives of those biological opinions.
 Action category refers to groups of identical actions implemented under the program, such as hatchery releases, riparian plantings, invasive species removal, and instream large wood-debris additions.