In response to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s June 1, 2015 request, the ISRP reviewed the Monitoring and Evaluation Plan for the Walla Walla Spring Chinook Hatchery Master Plan (public review draft, March 2015). The draft monitoring and evaluation plan (M&E Plan) was produced by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) for two BPA-funded projects: Walla Walla River Basin Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) (#2000-039-00) and the Walla Walla Spring Chinook Hatchery Master Plan (Project #2000-038-00, Final Design/Construction).
This Step Two Review submittal of a draft M&E Plan is intended to address the condition placed on Project #2000-038-00 as part of the Council’s October 8, 2013 recommendation associated with the Step One Review of the Master Plan. “The Council recommends that the Walla Walla Spring Chinook Hatchery Master Plan proceed with Step 2 activities. This recommendation is subject to the requirement that the CTUIR fully address the comments raised by the ISRP (ISRP document 2013-12) as part of the Step 2 submittal.”
The ISRP reviewed the draft M&E Plan and requests a response. The proponents present an M&E Plan to monitor status and trends of spring Chinook salmon in the Walla Walla Subbasin associated with the Walla Walla Hatchery Master Plan (WWHMP). The M&E Plan will evaluate the effectiveness of expanded artificial production of spring Chinook salmon and other All-H activities in the subbasin aimed at reaching productivity goals that will support harvest and ultimately natural-sustained reproduction. The M&E Plan provides an important retrospective analysis of actions taken in the subbasin over the past 15 years or so, and it demonstrates a considerable ongoing effort in this regard. However, some critical elements are missing. The ISRP concludes that details on proposed protocols, methods, and metrics need to be explicitly presented in the plan. Without this information, the scientific merits of the plan cannot be fully evaluated. The ISRP’s review provides a series of overall recommendations to improve the next draft of the M&E Plan.