Letter to Congress
On behalf of the Council I am pleased to submit the Council's recommendations for policies to guide the future use of artificial production of fish in the Columbia River Basin. The Council's recommendations respond to direction in Senate Report 105-44 accompanying the Fiscal Year 1998 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill (S-1004).
The Artificial Production Review and Evaluation (APRE) Report, which includes our recommendations, resulted from the Council's 1999 Artificial Production Review report to Congress. The 1999 report established priorities to guide the use of artificial production and recommended a thorough review of all hatchery programs in the Columbia basin. The APRE Report comprises that review.
The Council looks forward to the opportunity to work with you to incorporate our recommendations in future policy and funding decisions. We also plan to report to you annually regarding accomplishments toward improving hatchery operations in the basin.
Summary of recommendations
As part of a comprehensive effort to improve artificial production in the Columbia Basin, the Council recommends that federal fish and wildlife agencies work with the Council, the Bonneville Power Administration, state fish and wildlife agencies and tribes to accomplish the following tasks:
- Consistent with basinwide goals and priorities, establish long-term management objectives for hatchery and wild stocks that describe measurable contributions to harvest and conservation
- Identify hatchery programs as either being integrated with wild stocks or segregated from wild stocks and articulate how each program will contribute to long-term management objectives
- Implement essential hatchery reforms that align with the basinwide goals and management objectives, prioritized in a manner that considers potential biological benefits and cost-effectiveness
- In a publicly transparent fashion, monitor, review and report progress toward accomplishing long-term management objectives for each hatchery and wild stock. The Council should annually report to Congress on progress toward hatchery reform in the Columbia Basin.