At the Council’s October 20, 2009 request, the ISRP began a review of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission’s Accord proposal, Genetic stock structure, relative productivity and migration (gene flow) of white sturgeon among Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day and McNary reservoirs in the lower mid-Columbia River region (2008-504-00). This project will use genetic markers to evaluate population structure of white sturgeon in the lower Columbia River and upstream of Bonneville Dam. The specific objectives are to 1) evaluate population differentiation and migration (gene flow) among reservoirs, 2) determine relatedness, mean productivity, and number of spawners within each reservoir, and 3) characterize broodstock including identifying origins (reservoir or population) and degree of relatedness among candidate broodstock fish for use in a potential restoration and enhancement facility. These three objectives are intended to address needs for determining genetic diversity, relative broodstock abundance, distribution and movement, and supplementation efforts.
On December 10, 2009, the ISRP released a review of the original project proposal, requested a response on eight specific items, and emphasized that the Sturgeon Strategic and Hatchery Master Plan document that is currently being prepared should guide this project (ISRP 2009-52). On March 19, 2010, the Council forwarded CRITFC’s response and requested the ISRP's review.
ISRP Recommendation: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (In Part)
The first part of Objective 1 meets scientific review criteria. That part of Objective 1 is to describe the population differentiation of white sturgeon among Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day, and McNary reservoirs. If the results from implementing the first part of Objective 1 indicate distinct differences in populations among reservoirs, then the second part of Objective 1 would be justified – evaluate the migration (gene flow) among the reservoirs.
The ISRP appreciates the efforts in the response summary document to each of the ISRP’s requests for more information, and many of the responses were adequate. However, the analytical study designs and proposed sample sizes need more detail and justification. Therefore, after Objective 1 is complete, the proponent should develop a revised proposal for the ISRP to review that includes fully developed designs for the additional Objectives 2 and 3, which are contingent upon finding distinct genetic differentiation among populations in the four reservoirs.