Salmon, steelhead, and bull trout occupying the Snake River Basin have declined precipitously to abundances warranting protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). CSMEP's Status and Trends Workgroup has focused its initial efforts on identifying monitoring design elements necessary to address one of the most important management decisions in the Snake Basin for one key species:
Has there been sufficient improvement in the status of Snake River Sp/Su Chinook to justify delisting the ESU and allow removal of ESA restrictions?
This decision is based on the abundance, productivity, spatial structure and diversity of Snake River spring/summer (SRSS) chinook over the prior 10 years (IC-TRT 2005).
The Status & Trends Workgroup is developing a simulation model that can be used for evaluating alternative designs for monitoring the status and trends of SRSS chinook at the population, major population group and ESU scales. Monitoring designs are described as high, medium, and low templates, in reference to the levels of accuracy and precision in data that are collected using each template (see map-based illustration of potential designs). Alternative design templates will be compared in terms of cost and probability of error in decisions that are associated with individual templates. The immediate objective of the simulation model is to evaluate the ability of alternative designs to reliably determine the status of SRSS chinook. The ultimate objective is to develop a tool that can be adapted for developing monitoring designs in other subbasins and for other fish species as required.