(Also see January 2012 Council presentation)
This 2011 Retrospective Report expands upon the review of results that the ISRP conducted as part of its programmatic and individual review of projects in the Research, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Artificial Production Category Review. As requested by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, this report summarizes accomplishments of approximately 150 Fish and Wildlife Program projects and the status of major basinwide programmatic issues in three key areas: 1) artificial production, 2) passage through mainstem dams, the river, and reservoirs, and 3) habitat restoration monitoring. The ISRP undertook this effort in response to the Council’s desire to increase the visibility of project and program results.
The ISRP found that monitoring and evaluation has improved in all three major areas covered by this report. Nonetheless, lack of a comprehensive analysis of biological objective achievements for hatchery and habitat efforts impedes the understanding of program effectiveness. The Basin would benefit from an evaluation of management strategies and a structured decision approach for these categories, an approach that combines habitat, hatchery, passage, and full life-stage recruitment information. Although hatchery production has contributed to more adult fish, and in recent years harvest opportunities have increased, with some exceptions, supplementation experiments generally have not demonstrated improvement in the abundance of natural-origin salmon and steelhead. In addition, major biological improvements have not been measured as a result of habitat restoration. Although passage issues may seem largely addressed, several topic areas remain of concern, including contaminants, altered life histories (e.g., mini-jacks), and competition and predation from non-native species.