At the Council’s March 12, 2009 request, the ISRP reviewed Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) proposal, Chum Salmon Enhancement in the Lower Columbia River. This proposal is intended to meet needs identified in the 2008 Biological Opinion (BiOp) for the Federal Columbia River Power System by promoting recovery of lower Columbia River chum salmon populations through development of an integrated program for chum salmon habitat restoration and supplementation/reintroduction. On April 28, 2009, the ISRP provided its initial review and requested a response from WDFW on seven specific points (ISRP 2009-14). On June 8, 2009, WDFW provided a response.
ISRP Final Recommendation: Meets Scientific Review Criteria in Part (qualified)
Overall, the planning and integration activities in the proposal are justified but qualified in that the scheduling and timing sequence of the tasks during the first year need to be revised. Three-Step development should follow the habitat, genetic, stock assessment, and supplementation evaluations. The evaluation of chum salmon supplementation in the Columbia River would be enhanced by providing a critical review of the Hood Canal summer chum supplementation program which has now been underway for several years. The Three-Step Master Plan should serve as the adaptive management plan and include monitoring and evaluation (M&E) that reflects what was learned from the planning and integration analyses. A single Master Plan for chum salmon in the Lower Columbia River that integrates habitat restoration and any supplementation and reintroduction is preferable to a plan for each tributary or population component (Cascade, Gorge, etc).