February 2010 update: It was brought to the ISRP’s attention that our review contained comments to elements not included in the Yakama Nation’s nutrient enhancement proposal for the Methow Subbasin but instead applied to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ nutrient enhancement proposal for the Salmon River Subbasin (#2008-904-00; see ISRP 2009-53). The timing of the response reviews of these similar projects overlapped. We examined our comments and re-examined the proposal and found that we incorrectly attributed some comments to the Yakama proposal on components that were only in the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes proposal. The critical and primary points of our review were correctly attributed to the Yakama’s proposal; consequently, our final recommendation is unchanged.
The mistakes in our earlier memo are corrected in the above report. Incorrect statements are indicated with red, strikeout font. Updated text is in blue font and bracketed. We apologize that our mistakes distracted from the main points of our review and are grateful the mistakes were brought to our attention.
At the Council’s June 17, 2009 request the ISRP began a review of the Yakama Nation’s Columbia River Fish Accord proposal titled Upper Columbia Nutrient Supplementation (2008-471-00). The project is intended to assess and characterize nutrient availability, and if needed the project proponents will perform controlled experimental addition of limiting nutrients to enhance natural production of anadromous salmonids and their supporting ecological functions and limnological conditions in rivers in the Methow Subbasin.
On July 10, 2009, the ISRP released a preliminary report requesting a response on nine specific items (ISRP 2009-27). On October 26, 2009, the Council submitted the Yakama Nation’s response documents which included point-by point responses to our review comments and an updated project proposal that incorporates the responses.
The ISRP finds the proposal and response do not meet scientific review criteria. The ISRP states that the increasing popularity of trophic system enhancement as a method for increasing salmon production in the Columbia Basin indicates the need for careful assessment of the technique’s effectiveness. Unfortunately, the study described in this proposal is unlikely to improve understanding of this technique. Many of the issues that were raised in the initial set of ISRP comments were not adequately addressed in the response and would need to be addressed for this project to be technically justified.