At the Council’s November 17, 2009 request, the ISRP reviewed the Colville Confederated Tribes’ monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plans for the Chief Joseph Dam Hatchery Program (CJHP), project #2003-023-00. The M&E plans were submitted to meet the requirements of Step Three of the Council’s Three Step Review Process. This final step review is the seventh review over the past six years that the ISRP has conducted for this project, either through the project selection or the Step-Review process. These past reviews, responses, and briefings have resulted in a healthy and constructive scientific dialogue with evidence of progress at each step for this complex and ambitious hatchery program.
The CJHP’s M&E plans have summer/fall Chinook and spring Chinook components that are intended to comprehensively address hatchery production, harvest, and natural production in concert with the Tribes’ ongoing Okanogan Basin Monitoring and Evaluation Program. In addition to being designed as a framework for gathering critical monitoring information, the plans are intended to describe a detailed process for annual review and application of M&E information to the Tribes’ conservation and fisheries management goals for each of the Chinook runs.
The ISRP finds that monitoring and evaluation plans submitted for Step-Three review meet scientific review criteria.
The Colville Tribes have developed a two part M&E plan (one for summer/fall and one for spring Chinook salmon) to manage the Chief Joseph Hatchery Program that is consistent with the Master Plan and Fish and Wildlife Program adaptive management. The essential features of the M&E plans are decision frameworks for the scale of artificial production based on the abundance of natural-origin summer/fall Chinook (or spring Chinook for the reintroduction program) with constraints on the number/proportion of hatchery-origin salmon that can mix with natural-origin fish on the spawning grounds. This framework is consistent with best management practices for artificial production as developed by the Hatchery Scientific Review Group (HSRG) and other science groups that have contemplated guidelines for co-managing natural and hatchery populations for harvest and conservation.
The ISRP anticipates a continued integration of an increasingly refined and comprehensive M&E approach in guiding Master Plan implementation.