At the Council’s July 18, 2012 request, the ISRP reviewed a progress report and a response for the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon’s Columbia River Basin Fish Accord proposal, Willamette Falls Lamprey Escapement Estimate, BPA project #2008-308-00. The project is developing quantitative measures for indices of abundance and escapement estimates for adult Pacific lamprey at Willamette Falls. Proposed objectives address the lack of population information in the Willamette River and address how lamprey behavior and vulnerability to predation may affect abundance estimates.
This is a follow-up review to two earlier reviews of the project (ISRP 2011-6 and ISRP 2009-23). In the 2011 review, the ISRP found that the proposal met scientific review criteria and recommended two qualifications.
The first qualification concerned completion of a full-scale project design. The sponsors’ response describes that they are still working on a full-scale project design and they expect this design to be developed in the next few years. The ISRP recommends a review of the full-scale project design in the very near future, and certainly before the start of the 2014 field season.
The second qualification was that the ISRP review a progress report at the end of 2011 or early 2012 on two key uncertainties: can PIT-tagged lamprey be successfully detected at passage locations and can lamprey be reliably counted by underwater cameras. The ISRP found this qualification to be partially met. The sponsors have made progress on developing indices of abundance and escapement estimates for adult lamprey, but the uncertainties noted in the 2011 ISRP review have not been completely resolved. Specifically, the 2011 annual progress report was completed and submitted to BPA and one of the key uncertainties was addressed – PIT tagged lamprey can be detected with reasonable efficiency at fixed sites in fishways/ladders at Willamette Falls. The other key uncertainty regarding counting lamprey with underwater video cameras was not resolved.
The attached ISRP review provides details and suggestions for improving the study and developing the full-scale project design.