In response to the Council’s March 12, 2018 request, the ISRP reviewed a March 9, 2018 response to the ISRP’s January 2018 review of a proposal titled Northern Pike Suppression and Monitoring (#2017-004-00). The proposal and subsequent response were from the Lake Roosevelt Co-managers, including the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT), Spokane Tribe of Indians’ (STOI), and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The goal of the proposal is to suppress northern pike in the Lake Roosevelt watershed and prevent the species from spreading and expanding into other water bodies, especially those that support anadromous salmon. The proposed approach to achieve this goal is multi-tiered and includes mechanical removal techniques, angler incentives, and targeted monitoring and research.
The ISRP provides a “Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)” assessment of the proponents’ response. The ISRP’s comments and qualifications are at two levels: (1) general comments with a programmatic qualification that needs to be addressed to determine whether long-term suppression efforts are justified and meet the ISRP’s criterion of providing benefits to fish and wildlife, and (2) project-specific comments with qualifications regarding changes to methods and other conditions that need to be met to fully justify the short-term project.
Suppression efforts in the short term can be justified as experimental, precautionary interventions, but broader analysis and discussion of potential long-term effects and actions are essential. By its design, the Lake Roosevelt suppression project could quickly and significantly change the abundance of northern pike, as well as our knowledge of their status. Accordingly, the ISRP recommends that it regularly review annual reports from the project.