At the Council’s May 21, 2008 request, the ISRP reviewed the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (ODFW) Revised Master Plan for the Hood River Production Program (HRPP), which was originally developed in 1991. The HRPP consists of supplementation, research, monitoring, evaluation, and habitat improvements. It is jointly managed and evaluated by the Warm Springs Tribes and ODFW (Projects 1988-053-03, 1988-053-04, 1988-053-07, 1988-053-08, and 1988-053-15). The physical habitat project (1998-021-00) is managed by the Warm Springs Tribes. This is a Step 1 review in the Council’s Three Step Review Process.
The ISRP recommends Meets Scientific Review Criteria – In Part (qualified). Overall, the ISRP found this revision of the master plan to be an impressive step forward in concept, decision-logic, organization, and scientific justification. However, the ISRP qualifies the recommendation because of concerns about:
- using acclimation ponds to volitionally release steelhead in the mid/upper watershed where released fish can residualize;
- using hatchery-origin adults for broodstock when natural fish are low in abundance, and;
- insufficient justification for assessment methods for the monitoring component.
The ISRP recommends “in-part” because facility improvements needed to implement the proposed spring Chinook rearing experiment are justified, but the construction of six production ponds at Moving Falls cannot be scientifically justified until the experiment is complete in 2018 and data analyzed. The six ponds are not needed for the experiment but are proposed for program implementation. The ISRP recommends that the project sponsors edit and update the Step One Revised Master Plan for the Hood River Production Program before proceeding to Step Two.