This is a follow-up review to an earlier ISRP and Council review of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission’s Accord Proposal: Influence of Environment and Landscape on Salmonid Genetics, 2009-005-00.
The proposal has two basic objectives:
- Environment and Landscape Genetics – Evaluate genetic structure of natural populations of salmonids relative to their environment and identify candidate markers associated with traits that are related to adaptation of steelhead and Chinook salmon populations (i.e., smoltification and thermal tolerance); and
- Controlled Experiments – laboratory/hatchery experiments with controlled environmental variables to validate phenotypic response of fish with given genotypes.
The information gained from this proposal is intended to facilitate understanding of adaptation of natural salmonid populations to their environment. CRITFC believes this information should benefit future management of natural, supplemented, and reintroduced populations.
This ISRP finds that the revised proposal is an improvement on the original but still does not have the level of detail essential for technical review and thus does not meet scientific review criteria. The ISRP believes that a well-crafted investigation could lead to an increased understanding of the genetic and environmental causation of the anadromy dichotomy in O. mykiss. The project may very well separate resident from migrant genotypes, even within a single interbreeding population, and distinguish between non-interbreeding resident and migrant ecotypes in the same watershed. The project could improve our understanding of whether geographic variation is (at least) triggered by differences in temporal-thermal profiles. At the very least, the project could have an impact on our understanding of life-history variation and evolution of these traits. The ISRP encourages the proponent to consider further developing the investigations outlined in this proposal.