This is the ISRP's Review of the Rufus Woods Supplementation and Creel Project (2007-405-00). This is not an item for the Council's December meeting but will be discussed at a later meeting.
At the Council’s request of August 2007, the ISRP reviewed proposal 2007-405-00, Rufus Woods Supplementation and Creel Project. The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Colville Tribe) propose to stock triploid rainbow trout into Lake Rufus Woods to provide increased tribal subsistence and tribal and non-tribal recreational harvest. In addition, the Colville Tribe proposes to evaluate stocking success with creel data collection.
The proposal was submitted to the Budget Oversight Group in early April as part of the third quarter review associated with Fiscal Year 2007. The request was presented to the Council at their August meeting, and they approved sending the proposal to the ISRP for review. The ISRP reviewed the proposal with the same criteria used during the FY 2007-09 project review. The ISRP was not able to reach a final recommendation on the proposal submitted in August because several key issues needed to be clarified to justify the proposal. Consequently, in a September 27, 2007 memo, the ISRP asked the project sponsor to revise their proposal and clarify the issues. On November 2nd, the Council forwarded the project sponsors’ revised proposal and requested a final ISRP review. Based on this final ISRP review, the Council will make a funding recommendation on this project.
ISRP Recommendation and Summary: Meets Scientific Criteria (Qualified)
Qualification: The proposal still does not contain sufficient information on creel sampling, stable isotope analysis, and trout diet analysis to judge whether these elements of the project will fulfill their objectives. The tribe states that they will hire a biometrician who will assist with the design and analysis of the creel study. The ISRP agrees with the need for a statistically valid creel sampling approach and further suggests that the biometrician assist in designing the isotope and diet studies (if either if these two efforts go forward) as well. The isotope study should be undertaken with caution as many isotope analyses can be expensive, and only after it is shown that stable isotope concentrations can really be used to differentiate between rainbow trout of the five different possible origins in the reservoir. Diet studies should be described in greater detail and should contain explicit provisions for ensuring that a full range of rainbow trout sizes is included in the analysis to determine if prey switching occurs as fish grow larger. The ISRP recommends that a scientifically defensible plan of work be drawn up for each of these three project elements prior to stocking 24,000 feminized triploid rainbow trout. The ISRP is willing to review these study plans for scientific quality.