In response to the Council’s June 2, 2020 request, the ISRP reviewed a proposal from the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) for the Zone 6 Fisheries CRITFC Accord Project, #2008-527-00. This capital project proposes to install four 30-foot circular tanks with partial recirculating aquaculture system (PRAS) technology and associated infrastructure. The purpose is to improve fish quality and survival, and to optimize release timing for the existing 210,000 yearlings and a portion (340,000) of the 1.7 million subyearling upriver bright fall Chinook released annually from the Prosser Hatchery. The production of upriver fall Chinook at the Prosser Hatchery is part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers John Day/The Dalles Mitigation effort. The project aims to help adjust the stock composition of harvested fall Chinook from the current ratio of 50:50 to the target ratio of 75:25 Upriver Bright to Tule stocks. It also helps move fall Chinook releases to areas directly impacted by the construction of John Day and The Dalles dams, thereby maximizing availability of returning adults to the Zone 6 Tribal fishery.
The ISRP finds the proposal “meets scientific review criteria.”
This is solely a construction project and therefore not strictly amenable to scientific review. Adding new circular tank facilities is expected to improve the quality and post release survival of juvenile upriver bright fall Chinook currently produced by the hatchery as part of its upriver bright fall Chinook segregated harvest augmentation program. The rationale and advantages for using circular tanks with recirculating water capacities are briefly explained. This additional information helps justify the proposed work. The proposal, however, would have been more complete if a link to text in a revised Master Plan (Yakama Nation 2019) had been included. The Master Plan provides a more detailed description of the circular tank infrastructure and the fish cultural benefits that are anticipated to occur. Given the information at hand, the proposed work appears reasonable.
Although not the responsibility of this construction project, the ISRP expects that the Yakama Nation will dedicate effort under its Yakima Klickitat Fisheries Program umbrella project (YKFP, #1995-063-25) toward monitoring juvenile salmon quality, post release survival, and the harvest contribution and straying rates of the upriver bright fall Chinook produced by the program.