On March 19, 2009, the ISRP received a request from the Council to review the Lake Roosevelt Fisheries Guiding Document dated March 2009 and prepared by the co-managers of Lake Roosevelt: the Spokane Tribe of Indians, the Colville Confederated Tribes, and Washington Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. Development of the guiding document was a requirement included in the Council Recommendation for Fish and Wildlife Program projects Spokane Tribal Hatchery 1991-046-00, Sherman Creek Hatchery 1991-047-00, Chief Joseph Kokanee Enhancement Project 1995-011-00, and Ford Hatchery 2001-029-00. Council instructions to the fisheries managers of Lake Roosevelt were specific: Require that the Spokane Tribe, Colville Confederated Tribes, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife finalize their joint guidance document for review by the ISRP and Council by September 2008. The managers should develop a coordinated and scientifically justifiable approach as part of the guidance document. Production goals and objectives must include standards for survival, harvest, and escapement, and not just pounds of fish produced and released from a hatchery. These requirements from the Council were a consequence of the ISRP's last review of the Lake Roosevelt Kokanee Program (ISRP report 2007-10), that concluded: there is no scientific justification to continue artificial production of kokanee for stocking Lake Roosevelt or programs to develop and support naturally produced kokanee. However, the ISRP believes that if it could be conclusively demonstrated that the entrainment problem was controlled or significantly reduced, if the walleye population was significantly reduced and managed, and if drawdown levels were reduced or managed, then artificial production and/or support of natural production of kokanee could be re-initiated. This review evaluates whether managers have successfully addressed these three elements. We also evaluate whether the Guiding Document contains biological objectives for kokanee releases and a timeline setting an end-point to artificial production if the project goals are not met.
ISRP Recommendation: Does Not Meet Scientific Review Criteria The ISRP finds that the Lake Roosevelt Guiding Document does not provide scientific justification for continuation of the kokanee hatchery program. An adequate guiding document would include:
- a summary of comprehensive biological information on the fish population dynamics, trophic relationships, food webs, and nutrient processes that determine kokanee life-stage survivals, abundance, and fishery yields in Lake Roosevelt;
- the fishery program goals for kokanee and a timeframe for closing the gap between the current state and desired state of the resource;
- using the life-stage survival information from (1) above, development of a strategy to reduce mortality attributed to each limiting factor sufficient to achieve the program goals (the adaptive management experiment); and
- an outline of a monitoring plan sufficient to estimate the importance of biological and environmental parameters thought to determine kokanee abundance, escapement, and fishery yields in Lake Roosevelt.