Mr. Frank L. Cassidy Jr., Chair
Northwest Power Planning Council
851 S.W. 6th Avenue, Suite 1100
Portland, Oregon 97204-1348
Dear Mr. Cassidy:
This letter constitutes the ISRP’s review of the revised National Marine Fisheries Service’s proposal "Evaluate Hatchery Reform Principles," which would test NATURES rearing techniques and release strategies at the Carson National Fish Hatchery. In the Fiscal Year 2001 Columbia River Gorge project selection process, the proposal received a "do not fund" recommendation from the ISRP after the response loop (Attachment 1). The Council's recommendation from the selection process was that Bonneville not fund the project. However, if the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) required Bonneville to fund the study under the biological opinion for the federal hydropower system, the Council asked that Bonneville notify the Council and require:
- The experimental design be again submitted to the ISRP and reviewed for a funding recommendation by the Council;
- A comprehensive summary of NATURES research be presented to the Council, and;
- NMFS should explain to the Council why this research need is not being addressed by the ongoing experimental design at the Cle Elum facility or the proposed design at the Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery.
Subsequently, NMFS revised the study design, and NMFS staff informed the Council staff that NMFS would shortly formally call for the study to be funded as a Biological Opinion measure. On March 22, 2001, Council staff requested the ISRP to review the revised study design with the intent that a prompt ISRP review would expedite implementation once a final determination is made by NMFS and Bonneville that the study does implement a Biological Opinion measure. The ISRP distributed the revised proposal to its Columbia River Gorge review team to determine whether the revised proposal addressed the ISRP’s concerns and constituted a scientifically sound proposal that offers benefits to fish.
ISRP Final Recommendation
Fundable for 3 years of treatments; request additional clarifications before commencement of study.
ISRP Review Summary
The Columbia River Gorge review team (of the ISRP) continues to be mixed in their opinion on this proposal; but it is improved from previous presentations. After several reviews and discussions, however, we have narrowed our concerns to three issues:
- technical and scientific background related to the proposal,
- design and execution of the program, and
- budget details.