This report contains the ISRP's final recommendations and comments on 15 proposals submitted in response to Bonneville Power Administration's March 14, 2003 Request for Studies (RFS) intended to address research, monitoring, and evaluation requirements under Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) Actions 182 and 184 of the NOAA Fisheries' 2000 Biological Opinion (BiOp) on the Operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS). The Request for Studies (RFS) was needed to fill research needs for the BiOp that are not actively being addressed through the Bonneville Power Administration's current implementation program. On April 25, 2003, the ISRP issued a presumably final review of the 15 proposals (ISRP 2003-7), but suggested that a response review be provided for a number of reasons, foremost of which were to ensure that the proposals adequately addressed the gaps identified for the BiOp and to provide the same opportunity for a response loop as was provided for proposals submitted in the Mainstem/Systemwide project selection process. Given the overall quality of the responses, the ISRP feels this was a useful exercise that should provide BPA and the Council more confidence in selecting proposals to meet the RPA Action items.
The RFS covered the following three topics relevant to the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative Actions:
- Action #184: Synthesis of Existing Analytical Approaches, or Development of a New Analytical Approach, for Determining the Effects of Hatchery Reforms on Extinction Risk and Recovery (2 proposals received);
- Action#184: Reproductive Success of Natural-Origin, Hatchery-Origin, and Reconditioned Kelt Steelhead (4 proposals);
- Action #182: Studies to Determine Reproductive Success of Hatchery Spawners (9 proposals).
This ISRP report and the forthcoming BPA project selection recommendations are scheduled for discussion at the Council's July meeting.