On November 2, 2021, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council asked the ISRP to review Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) revised proposal, “Piscivorous Fish Status and Trend Monitoring in the Columbia River Upstream of McNary Dam” (Project #2020-001-00). The revised proposal was developed to address the ISRP’s concerns with the original proposal (ISRP 2021-3). The intent of this new project is to determine the abundance, trends, and consumptive impacts of non-native fishes upstream of McNary Dam in the mainstem Columbia River. The project intends to monitor and use predator population abundance and growth rates to evaluate the effectiveness of current (i.e., deregulating harvest) and future management actions designed to increase juvenile salmon survival, with the ability to identify significant changes in predator population status.
The ISRP recommends that the revised proposal “Meets Scientific Review Criteria.” The revised proposal and point-by-point responses adequately addressed the ISRP’s concerns and should serve well to guide the project’s implementation. The ISRP recognizes and appreciates the effort it took to provide a major rewrite of the proposal, especially the improvements of the Objectives and Methods sections. The revised organization of methods by objective and sub-objective provided much needed connectivity and continuity between the goals, objectives, and methods. In addition, the methods were much improved in both clarity and scientific rigor by emphasizing the area sampled, by strengthening the habitat classification and stratification effort, by including primary and secondary non-native predators, and by establishing desired precision standards.