At the request of BPA and the Council, the ISRP reviewed the plan for implementing the Salmon River Pilot Studies. These studies are part of a larger research monitoring and evaluation (RME) initiative that includes similar efforts, ongoing and proposed, in the Wenatchee, John Day and Grand Ronde River subbasins. The Salmon River Pilot Studies are a component of "RME Pilot Project: Integrated Status and Effectiveness Monitoring Program", a Council F&W Project (BPA #2003-017-000). The Council's and BPA's recommendations for funding this project included a provision that the M&E plans for different watersheds — John Day, Wenatchee, and Upper Salmon — be reviewed by the ISRP before implementation. The Wenatchee has been reviewed previously (see ISRP 2003-6 and ISAB&ISRP 2004-1). The John Day and Upper Salmon draft plans are ready for review and potential implementation in FY06.
In this review, the ISRP comments on elements of the study designs and makes suggestions for how the monitoring studies could be improved. Overall, the ISRP strongly agrees that studies of this type are needed. The Salmon River Pilot Studies represent an important component in a project that will yield valuable data for use throughout the basin.