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Project Proposal Request for FY 2007 - FY 2009 Funding (Revised Summer 2006)

Proposal 199107200: Redfish Lake Sockeye Salmon Captive Broodstock Program

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Table of Contents
Part 1. Administration and Budgeting
Section 1: General Administrative
Section 2: Project Location
Section 3: Project Species
Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Section 5: Relationship to Other Projects
Section 6: Biological Objectives
Section 7: Work Elements
Section 8: Budget
Section 9: Project Future
Section 10: Documents
Part 2. Reviews
Part 1 of 2. Administration and Budgeting
Section 1: General Administrative Information
Process Information:
Date Proposal Submitted & Finalized Status Form Generator
July 14, 2006 Finalized Paul Kline

Proposal Type: Ongoing
Proposal Number: 199107200
Proposal Name: Redfish Lake Sockeye Salmon Captive Broodstock Program
BPA Project Manager: Gregory Baesler
Agency, Institution or Organization: Idaho Department of Fish & Game
Short Description: Establish captive broodstocks of Redfish Lake sockeye salmon. Spawn captive adults to produce eggs, juveniles, and adults for reintroduction and future broodstock needs. Evaluate juvenile out-migration and adult returns by release option.
Information Transfer: Through the development of project annual reports to meet both NOAA Fisheries Permit and BPA contractual obligations. Through meeting notes produced in association with the project's technical oversight committee meetings (available from project sponsors as well as BPA). Through published manuscripts and symposia. Through public presentations to non-technical as well as professional audiences.
 
Project Proposal Contacts
Contact Organization Address Phone/Email Roles Notes
Form Submitter
Paul Kline Idaho Department of Fish and Game 1414 E. Locust Ln.
Nampa, ID, 83686
Ph: 208-465-8404
Fax: 208-465-8434
Email: pkline@idfg.idaho.gov
Form Submitter
All Assigned Contacts
Greg Baesler
Ph:
Fax:
Email: gdbaesler@bpa.gov
BPA COTR
Danny Baker Idaho Department of Fish and Game 1800 Trout Rd.
Eagle, ID 83616
Ph: (208) 939-4114
Fax: (208) 939-2415
Email: dbaker@idfg.idaho.gov
Technical Contact
Conan Chiu Idaho Department of Fish and Game 1075 Park Blvd.
Boise, Idaho 83707
Ph: (208) 287-2813
Fax: (208) 334-2148
Email: cchiu@idfg.idaho.gov
Administrative Contact
Jeff Heindel Idaho Department of Fish and Game 1800 Trout Rd.
Eagle, ID 83616
Ph: (208) 939-4114
Fax: (208) 939-2415
Email: jheindel@idfg.idaho.gov
Technical Contact
Paul Kline Idaho Department of Fish and Game 1414 E. Locust Ln.
Nampa, ID, 83686
Ph: 208-465-8404
Fax: 208-465-8434
Email: pkline@idfg.idaho.gov
Form Submitter
Technical Contact
Tom Rogers Idaho Department of Fish and Game 600 S. Walnut St.
Boise, ID 83707
Ph: 208-334-3791
Fax: 208-334-2114
Email: trogers@idfg.idaho.gov
Supervisor
Tom Rogers is the Anadromous Hatchery Supervisor for the IDFG
Dan Schill Idaho Department of Fish and Game 600 S. Walnut St.
Boise, ID 83707
Ph: 208-287-2777
Fax: 208-334-2114
Email: dschill@idfg.idaho.gov
Supervisor

Section 2: Project Location
Sponsor Province: Mountain Snake ARG Province: No Change
Sponsor Subbasin: Salmon ARG Subbasin: No Change
Location(s) at which the action will be implemented
Latitude Longitude Waterbody Location Description County/State Subbasin Primary?
44 55 26N 114 50 50W Lake Alturas Lake Blaine, Idaho Salmon No
43 58 60N 114 51 47W Lake Pettit Lake Blaine, Idaho Salmon No
44 9 24N 114 53 7W not applicable Sawtooth Fish Hatchery Custer, Idaho Salmon No
43 40 27N 116 24 7W not applicable IDFG Eagle Fish Hatchery Ada, Idaho Boise No
44 8 41N 114 54 51W Lake Redfish Lake Custer, Idaho Salmon Yes

Section 3: Focal Species
Focal Species:
Primary Secondary Additional Species
Sockeye Snake River ESU

Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Past Accomplishments for Each Fiscal Year of This Project
Fiscal Year Accomplishments
2005 Trapped or observed 6 anadromous, hatchery sockeye adults. Produced 2005 hatchery captive broodstock. Released 72,108 presmolts, 78,330 smolts, 173 adults, 51,239 eyed-eggs. Estimated 35,871 smolts emigrated from Redfish Lake.
2004 Trapped or observed 27 anadromous, hatchery sockeye adults. Produced 2004 captive broodstock from in-hatchery spawning. Released 130,716 presmolts, 96 smolts, 241 adults and 49,134 eyed-eggs. Estimated that 27,885 smolts emigrated from project waters.
2003 Trapped or observed 3 anadromous, hatchery sockeye adults. Produced 2003 captive broodstock from in-hatchery spawning. Released 76,788 presmolts, 315 adults, and 199,666 eyed eggs. Estimated that 31,067 smolts emigrated from project waters.
2002 Trapped or observed 22 anadromous, hatchery sockeye adults. Produced 2002 captive broodstock from in-hatchery spawning. Released 140,410 presmolts, 38,672 smolts, 190 adults, and 30,924 eyed eggs. Estimated 75,092 smolts emigrated from project waters.
2001 Trapped or observed 26 anadromous, hatchery sockeye adults. Produced 2001 captive broodstock from in-hatchery spawning. Released 106,166 presmolts, 13,915 smolts, 79 adults. Estimated that 32,501 smolts emigrated from project waters.
2000 Two hundred fifty-seven adult sockeye returns (program-produced) enumerated (trapped/observed). Developed 2000 captive broodstock in hatchery. Released 72,114 presmolts, 148 smolts, 271 adults, 65,200 eyed eggs. Estimated that 19,621 outmigrated.
1999 Seven adult sockeye returns (program-produced) trapped. Developed 1999 captive broodstock. Released 40,271 presmolts, 9,718 smolts, 21 adults, and 20,311 eyed eggs. Estimated that 51,576 smolts emigrated from project waters.
1998 Trapped and spawned 1 anad. male sockeye (last wild founder). Developed 1998 captive brood. Incorporated cryo'd milt in spawning design. Released 141,871 presmolts and 81,615 smolts. Estimated that 146,291 sockeye smolts emigrated from project waters.
1997 Developed 1997 captive broodstock. Incorporated cryopreserved milt in spawning design. Released 255,711 presmolts, 120 prespawn adults, and 105,767 eyed eggs. Estimated that fewer than 1,000 smolts emigrated from project lakes.
1996 Trapped and spawned 1 anad. female sockeye (founder). Cryopreservation efforts continued (freezing and using). Developed 1996 captive brood in hatchery. Released 1,932 presmolts, 11,545 smolts, 120 prespawn adults, 105,000 eyed eggs.
1995 Trapped and spawned 3 residual sockeye (founders). Produced 1995 captive brood in hatchery. Cryo'd milt from wild males and used cryo'd milt in spawn crosses. Released 91,572 presmolts and 3,794 smolts. First year Pettit lake received presmolts.
1994 Trapped and spawned 1 anad. female sockeye (founder). Produced 1994 captive broodstock from spawning. Released 14,200 presmolts (first juvenile release). Released 65 adults to spawn. Key facility modifications (chilled water capability at Eagle).
1993 Trapped and spawned 8 anad. sockeye; trapped and held 48 wild smolts; trapped and spawned 18 residual sockeye (founders). Cryo'd milt from wild males. Developed 1993 captive broodstock from spawning. Released 20 adults to Redfish Lake for spawning
1992 Trapped and cryopreserved 1 anad. male sockeye; trapped and held 79 wild smolts; trapped and spawned 5 residual sockeye (program founders). Cryopreserved milt from wild fish. Produced 1992 broodstock from in-hatchery spawning.
1991 Trapped and spawned 4 anad. adults; trapped and held over 800 wild smolts (program founders). Developed 1991 captive broodstock from first program spawning. Cryopreserved milt from anad. males. Made facility modifications to accommodate captive broods.

Section 5: Relationships to Other Projects
Other Current Projects Related to this Project (any funding source)
Funding Source Related ID Related Project Title Relationship
BPA 199009300 Genetic Analyses of Oncorhynch Essential genetic support for the captive broodstock program. Part of this within-year recommendation is to locate (and fund) this program element in the IDFG project and to phase out the U of I project.
BPA 199107100 Sockeye Salmon Hab & Limnologi This program provides essential habitat assessment support for the reintroduction program. Whole-lake fertilization is also implemented
BPA 199204000 Redfish Lake Sockeye Broodstoc The National Marine Fisheries Service maintains redundant broodstocks of Snake River sockeye salmon in Washington State. This serves to increase production and spread the risk associated with catastrophic loss.
BPA 199305600 Demonstration of Captive Salmo This program develops information needed to address challenges that limit the production of viable offspring from Pacific Salmon reared in captivity, and to assess genetic consequences of captive broodstock programs.
BPA 199700100 Idaho Chinook Salmon Captive R Cooperating captive propagation program operated out of the Eagle Fish Hatchery and NMFS facilities in Washington State. Personnel and resources shared with sockeye program.

Section 6: Biological Objectives
Biological Objectives of this Proposed Project
Biological Objective Full Description Associated Subbasin Plan Strategy Page Nos
01. Develop Snake R. sockeye captive broodstocks. Maintain and modify existing facilities to produce sockeye salmon captive broodstocks. Culture broodstocks using current and emerging techniques. Develop appropriate spawning protocols (inbreeding avoidance matrices) and spawn broodstock adults. Reintroduce eggs and fish to the habitat using multiple release strategies. Salmon Strategies 1B2, 1B3, 2A1, 2A2, 2A5. RM&E Needs 4.2 21, 23, 24, 121
02. Determine contribution of reintroduced sockeye Progeny produced at the Eagle Fish Hatchery and at NMFS facilities are reintroduced to Stanley Basin waters at different life history stages using a variety of release options including: 1) eyed-egg releases to lake incubator boxes, 2) pre-smolt releases direct to lakes, 3) pre-smolt releases to Redfish Lake following net pen rearing, 4) smolt releases to outlet streams and to the upper Salmon River, and 5) pre-spawn adult releases direct to lakes. The development of egg and fish reintroduction plans has followed a spread-the-risk philosophy developed by the program's technical oversight committee and follows proven techniques applied in the commercial aquaculture field as well as in State, Provincial, and Federal agency programs. A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation component is in place to assess the contribution of reintroduced sockeye salmon. Mid-water trawling techniques are used to develop annual estimates of O. nerka population abundance, density, and biomass in Stanley Basin sockeye salmon nursery lakes. Population data, along with limnology data generated by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes are used to develop annual estimates of lake carrying capacity. Carrying capacity estimates guide the development of annual egg and fish reintroduction plans. Bull trout spawner trend data are collected annually in sockeye salmon nursery lake tributary streams as an indicator of predator population growth. Creel surveys are conducted annually in sockeye salmon nursery lakes to assess potential impacts on listed, sockeye salmon. This objective includes the development of genetic products to support the program. Salmon Strategies 1A2, 1B3, 1B4, 2A1, 2A2, 2A4, 3A2, 3C1, 3C2, 3C3, 3C4, 3C5, 4C3, 4C4, RM&E 4.2 20-25, 121

Section 7: Work Elements
Work Elements and Associated Biological Objectives
Work Element Name Work Element Title Description Start Date End Date Estimated Budget
01: Produce Hatchery Fish Produce hatchery fish Fish culture activities associated with maintaining sockeye salmon captive broodstocks at Eagle Fish Hatchery. Fish culture activities include spawning broodstocks, egg incubation, juvenile rearing, fish health sampling, and releasing all life stages. 10/1/2006 9/20/2009 $990,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
01. Develop Snake R. sockeye captive broodstocks.
* # of Female non-clip (natural origin) fish: trap/spawn NOR females (# TBA)
* # of Jack ad-clip (hatchery origin) fish: produce/rear/spawn HOR jacks (# TBA)
* # of Jack non-clip (natural origin) fish: trap/spawn NOR jacks (# TBA)
* # of Male non-clip (natural origin) fish : trap/spawn NOR males (# TBA)
* Broodstock collection: # of non-clip (natural origin) fish: trap/spawn NOR adults (# TBA)
* Incubation: # fry (button-up) produced.: Produce annual broodstock (up to 1000 fry)
* Production: # adults released from program: Produce up to 300 adults for release
* Production: # juveniles (presmolt) released from program: Occurs at Sawtooth and Oxbow
* Production: # smolts released from program: Occurs at Sawtooth and Oxbow
* Purpose of production program: Conservation
* Broodstock collection: # of ad-clip (hatchery origin) fish : Up to 800 mature HOR adults spawned annually
* Incubation: # fertilized eggs into incubation program.: Incubate up to 400,000 eggs
* Production: # eggs released from program: Produce up to 360,000 eyed-eggs for reintroduction
* # of Female ad-clip (hatchery origin) fish: produce/rear up to 1,000 HOR females
* # of Male ad-clip (hatchery origin) fish: produce/rear up to 1,000 HOR males

02: Maintain Hatchery Maintain and modify Eagle Fish Hatchery Maintain and modify current hatchery grounds, buildings and equipment to ensure good culture environment. Provide building and equipment inventory and annual herbicide usage information to BPA. Develop and maintain Eagle FH maintenance plan. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $594,450
Biological Objectives Metrics
01. Develop Snake R. sockeye captive broodstocks.
No Metrics for this Work Element

03: Rear Fish Rear juvenile Snake River sockeye salmon at Sawtooth Fish Hatchery Rear up to 210,000 sockeye salmon per year class at Sawtooth Fish Hatchery for release as pre-smolts and smolts. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $165,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
01. Develop Snake R. sockeye captive broodstocks.
* Purpose of production program: conservation
# juveniles (presmolt) into program: rear up to 150,000 presmolts
# juveniles (presmolt) released from program: release up to 150,000 presmolts
# of smolts into program: rear up to 60,000 smolts
# of smolts released from program: release up to 60,000 smolts

04: Rear Fish Rear Juvenile Snake River sockeye salmon at Oxbow FH (ODFW) Rear up to 150,000 sockeye salmon from the eyed-stage to smolt stage at Oxbow Hatchery (ODFW) located at Cascade Locks, Oregon. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $36,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
01. Develop Snake R. sockeye captive broodstocks.
# juveniles (presmolt) into program: hatch up to 150,000 eggs
# of smolts into program: produce up to 150,000 smolts
# of smolts released from program: release up to 150,000 smolts
* Purpose of production program: conservation

05: Mark/Tag Animals Mark Snake River sockeye salmon All marking required to track hatchery broodstocks and to determine out-migration and survival estimates for different release strategies. Submittal of PIT tag forecast for FY06. Upload information to PTAGIS, PSMFC, and PDRF databases. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $132,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
02. Determine contribution of reintroduced sockeye
Focal Area: tributaries, hatchery
Primary R, M, and E Type: action effectiveness
Secondary R, M, and E Type: uncertainties res., status trend mon.

06: Install Fish Monitoring Equipment Install/maintain weir on Redfish Lk Creek Smolt out-migration produced from naturally spawning program adults or the release of hatchery-origin presmolts into Redfish Lake is monitored at Redfish Lake Creek trap, and adult anadromous sockeye salmon returns are monitored at Redfish Lake Creek. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $66,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
02. Determine contribution of reintroduced sockeye
No Metrics for this Work Element

07: Submit/Acquire Data Submit Data to Regional Database Annual PIT tag information submitted to the regional PTAGIS database for use in the creation of downstream interrogation files and survival estimates. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $12,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
02. Determine contribution of reintroduced sockeye
No Metrics for this Work Element

08: Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Snake River Sockeye Salmon project field data collection Field monitoring and data collection for the sockeye salmon captive broodstock program. Includes the collection of juvenile out-migration data, O. nerka creel survey information, nursery lake predator information, lake O. nerka population, density, and biomass information (trawl-based data), and residual and adult sockeye spawning survey information. Work element includes the collection of fin tissue from smolts emigrating from project lakes, creel-sampled O. nerka, trawl-sampled O. nerka, O. nerka from other populations, and captive broodstock held in program hatcheries (for DNA analysis). 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $766,653
Biological Objectives Metrics
02. Determine contribution of reintroduced sockeye
Focal Area: tributaries, hatchery
Primary R, M, and E Type: Action effectiveness, status/trend mon.
Secondary R, M, and E Type: Uncertainties research

09: Analyze/Interpret Data Analyze and Interpret project data. Produce technical guidance information and tools. Analysis of data collected during hatchery and field activities (fish culture and spawning, smolt out-migration, O. nerka creel surveys, trawl surveys, adult return monitoring, predator surveys, and adult spawning surveys). Results are used to make informed project/program management decisions and to improve program success. This work element includes the development of genetic products considered essential for the continued success and operation of the program. Products include: annual microsatellite DNA-based inbreeding avoidance spawning plans, estimates of effective population size, genetic diversity indices, reproductive success summaries (of individuals, release strategies, and family groups), and bycatch monitoring of sport fisheries. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $445,795
Biological Objectives Metrics
01. Develop Snake R. sockeye captive broodstocks.
02. Determine contribution of reintroduced sockeye
Focal Area: tributaries, hatchery
Primary R, M, and E Type: Action effectiveness, status/trend mon.
Secondary R, M, and E Type: Uncertainties research

10: Manage and Administer Projects Sockeye salmon captive broodstock administration responsibilities. Required project management including (but not limited to): the development ,submittal, and tracking of project SOWs, budgets, and accrual estimates. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $36,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
01. Develop Snake R. sockeye captive broodstocks.
02. Determine contribution of reintroduced sockeye
No Metrics for this Work Element

11: Coordination Stanley Basin Sockeye Technical Oversight Committee (SBSTOC) coordination meetings. Project technical oversight coordination meetings are held four to six times per year. Meetings serve as a sounding board for project activity development and provide a forum to discuss project findings and results. Written material is shared and complete minutes are kept and made available to the public through BPA. Meeting minutes and project written material serve as a deliverable for this work element. This work element also includes attendance of "program essential" coordination meetings with CBFWA, BPA, and NPCC (and others as appropriate). 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $38,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
01. Develop Snake R. sockeye captive broodstocks.
02. Determine contribution of reintroduced sockeye
No Metrics for this Work Element

12: Produce Annual Report Snake River sockeye salmon captive broodstock program Annual Reporting Produce a combined annual report for BPA covering activities at Eagle Fish Hatchery (includes off-site production at Sawtooth and Oxbow hatcheries) and IDFG Research (includes field monitoring and evaluation and genetics support). 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $66,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
01. Develop Snake R. sockeye captive broodstocks.
02. Determine contribution of reintroduced sockeye
No Metrics for this Work Element

13: Produce Status Report Quarterly Project Status Reports Produce quarterly status reports for the project. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $9,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
01. Develop Snake R. sockeye captive broodstocks.
02. Determine contribution of reintroduced sockeye
No Metrics for this Work Element

14: Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation Environmental compliance reports and clearance for the project Submit NOAA Permit Reports 1120, 1233, and 1124 to NOAA. This work element also includes any additional environmental compliance coverage documentation 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $37,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
01. Develop Snake R. sockeye captive broodstocks.
02. Determine contribution of reintroduced sockeye
No Metrics for this Work Element


Section 8: Budget

Itemized Estimated Budget
Item Note FY 2007 Cost FY 2008 Cost FY 2009 Cost
Personnel [blank] $356,381 $363,508 $370,778
Fringe Benefits [blank] $167,499 $170,848 $174,265
Supplies [blank] $355,439 $384,760 $403,998
Travel [blank] $18,300 $19,200 $19,900
Overhead [blank] $188,499 $197,046 $203,477
Totals $1,086,118 $1,135,362 $1,172,418

Total Estimated FY 2007-2009 Budgets
Total Itemized Budget$3,393,898
Total Work Element budget$3,393,898

Cost sharing
Funding Source or Organization Item or Service Provided FY 2007 Est Value ($) FY 2008 Est Value ($) FY 2009 Est Value ($) Cash or in-kind? Status
Idaho Department of Fish and Game Facility Improvements $95,000 $25,000 $25,000 In-Kind Under Development
Totals $95,000 $25,000 $25,000

Section 9: Project Future
Project Future Costs and/or Termination
FY 2010 Est Budget FY 2011 Est Budget Comments
$1,400,000 $1,400,000 See cost share comments below
Future Operations & Maintenance Costs
This program receives a cash cost share from the IDFG Chinook Captive Rearing Project (199700100). Discussions to resolve how to offset the loss of this cost share should begin prior to the sunsetting of the Chinook program in 2012.
 
Termination Date Comments
not identified The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will continue recovery efforts to maintain and rebuild the Snake River sockeye salmon populations. Any decision to terminate this program will involve federal and state policy decision makers.
 
Final Deliverables

Section 10: Narrative
Document Type Size Date
Fix-it Loop Documents
Documents Originally Submitted with this Proposal

Part 2 of 2. Reviews of Proposal
Administrative Review Group (ARG) Results
Account Type:
Expense
Location:
Province: No Change
Subbasin: No Change
Primary Focal Species
No Change
ARG Comments:


NPCC Final Funding Recommendations (October 23, 2006) [Full NPCC Council Recs]

FY 2007 NPCC Rec
$1,017,070
FY 2008 NPCC Rec
$1,017,070
FY 2009 NPCC Rec
$1,017,070
Total NPCC Rec
$3,051,210
Budget Type:Expense
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Recommendation:Fund
NPCC Comments: Reduced budget reflects the removal of all genetic elements except the critical portion addressing the development of the inbreeding avoidance spawning matrix.


NPCC Draft Funding Recommendations (September 15, 2006) [Full NPCC Council Recs]

FY 2007 NPCC Rec
$1,017,070
FY 2008 NPCC Rec
$1,017,070
FY 2009 NPCC Rec
$1,017,070
Total NPCC Rec
$3,051,210
FY 2007 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2008 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2009 MSRT Rec
$ 0
Total MSRT Rec
$ 0
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
NPCC Comments:
NPCC Staff Comments: See issue memo.

Local or MSRT Comments: task removed: genetics element. With available funding this project has been increased by $69500 to partially fund the ost critical portions of the genetics element (orig rec $947570)


Independent Scientific Review Panel Final Review (August 31, 2006) [Download full document]

Recommendation: Not fundable
Comments: The ISRP carefully considered the sponsor’s response. The ISRP acknowledges that the recommendation in the preliminary review was controversial. The ISRP believes the project sponsors have done all they can do to promote restoration of this sockeye salmon population given the status of the population and environmental setting. The program has been well run using accepted principles of genetics, conservation biology, and salmon culture. The proposal and response are sufficient to the extent that they provide adequate data and explain the sponsor's perspective. The ISRP's pessimistic recommendation is based on our assessment that the project is not showing progress toward meeting an ultimate objective of the population emerging from being maintained by an ex situ, closed captive population. There is inevitable change in the population, and a bleak outlook that significant environmental change is likely in the near future. We are not suggesting alternative approaches that they should have pursued.

The narrative for proposal 200727600 - Idaho Department of Fish and Game Rearing expansion for Snake River Sockeye Salmon provides a more comprehensive explanation of the ultimate intent of the captive propagation project than the narrative for 199107200. From 200727600:

"The program's ultimate goal is to function as a conventional supplementation program, relying on genetically diverse, rack returns of anadromous adults to meet in-hatchery captive broodstock as well as prespawn adult out-planting needs.”

“…to address the long-term project goal and species recovery, the first important milestone to reach will be to generate sufficient anadromous adults to satisfy all in-hatchery spawning needs and to meet release objectives for eyed-eggs, presmolts, and smolts. The second milestone will be to return an adequate number of adults to release to program nursery lakes for natural spawning."

The sponsors have not made the case that the program is working - which was our original concern. There are a lot of data about the thousands of fry and smolts produced by the captive broodstock program, but only meager adult returns to the Stanley Basin.

The central point the ISRP emphasizes for the sponsor and Council is that the ISRP cannot deduce from the data provided that the population can ever progress from captive broodstock to conventional anadromous hatchery to supplementation supported and finally to naturally self-sustained. This is the goal of the program.

The sponsor argues that the reason the program has not progressed is due to a lack of smolt releases. They conclude that the levels of hatchery fish production impedes the programs success, and that more, not less, production is needed. If one reviews the releases in Redfish Lake provided in the proposal, there is substantial variation across years; in 2002 only 96 smolts were released. However, the sponsor’s conclusion that fish for release is limiting the programs is somewhat difficult to reconcile with the sponsors emphasis on the substantial numbers of adults, eggs, pre-smolts, and smolts released from the program, as it’s central success. There have in fact been difficulties in achieving the fish release goals of the culture operations. But that is not the primary issue.

The project reports that the average smolt-to-adult return ratio (SAR) is just under 0.1%. They report an average fecundity per female of 1979 eggs (calculated by the ISRP from the project’s data) and they report a recent eye-up percentage of 78%. The sponsor does not track eye-eggs into eyed-egg plants, pre-smolt plants, smolt plants, adult plants, and adults retained for future broodfish for any broodyear, in the proposal. Consequently it is not known what the survival from eyed egg to smolt is in this program. In other words, by broodyear we cannot account for the fate of the eggs produced. Under typical hatchery rearing conditions one could reasonably expect another 78% survival from eyed-eggs to smolts.

Using these biological characteristics: a fecundity of 1979 eggs per female, 78% survival from green egg to eyed egg, 78% survival from eyed egg to smolt, and 0.1% survival from smolt to adult when released in either Redfish Lake outlet or the upper Salmon River, the expected return from a cohort of eggs from a female is 1.2.

For the program to progress from an ex-situ captive population to a self-sustaining anadromous hatchery supported population, the replacement rate per female needs to be at least two (one male and one female). Thus, under the current conditions the program can never progress from captive supported to an anadromous hatchery supported population, no matter how large one made it.

Based on this assessment the ISRP believes that it is our responsibility to report our finding that the project is unlikely to achieve the ultimate goals, and is therefore not scientifically sound. The only likely way for the captive propagation program to lead to a recovered population is to substantially improve the smolt-to-adult return ratio. The ISRP does not know whether that is possible. The ISRP does not see any evidence for being optimistic that SARs will be improved in the near future.

The ISRP also points out that "Not Fundable" means the proposal is not scientifically justified. The ISRP does not make funding decisions.


Independent Scientific Review Panel Preliminary Review (June 2, 2006) [Download full document]

Recommendation: Not fundable
Comments: General Comments on the Suite of Stanley Basin Sockeye Proposals:

The ISRP recommends "not fundable" for this suite of projects (199107200, 199204000, 200727600, and 199107100) originally designed to prevent extinction of Stanley Basin sockeye salmon. Since there has been no response by the populations to recovery efforts in the Basin, it is clear that conditions outside the Basin determine the fate of these fish, and there is no evidence that these conditions are likely to improve significantly in the foreseeable future. Not only are these limiting conditions not likely to change, the fish themselves are likely to be changing as a result of present intensive propagation and rearing procedures so that their viability even under restored conditions is increasingly in doubt. Recovery of endangered species is important, but evidence presented here does not demonstrate that recovery is occurring. The view of the ISRP is that there is no scientific basis for continuing this program.

The reintroduction efforts in the Stanley Basin lakes have been thorough and well conceived. Yet few fish have returned from the ocean. Many of those that do return disappear between Lower Granite Dam and the Sawtooth Hatchery and Redfish Lake weirs. The returns are so low now, that doubling them by doubling the smolt production would not the yield the returns identified as needed in the proposal. Failure of sockeye to respond significantly to the recent (1999-2002) upturn in ocean conditions suggests that the population is no longer able to respond to the environment.

This is, however, not only a numerical problem but also a viability problem. The greater the time these fish are dependent on support of "artificial" propagation methods, the greater the genetic divergence from the original population and the lower the potential for producing a self-sustaining population. Given this inevitable divergence, fish transplanted from other populations in the basin or adjacent basins are likely to be as suitable founders as are any remaining "Stanley Basin fish" that might be available if habitat conditions are restored at some time in the future.

Additional information regarding the Stanley Lake basin sockeye salmon and captive rearing strategies is discussed in ISRP programmatic summaries provided with this report.

Although the recommendation is to discontinue the program, some specific comments regarding the program are included in the following.

Objectives in project #199107200 are all in terms of fish to be reared, spawned, and released. It is more appropriate for objectives to include the return of anadromous adults from the program followed by successful outmigration of smolts and their return. In earlier documents there is mention of recovery targets for the ESU - something like 500 adults returning to basin lakes on average, over 5 years. These targets, or their current status, should be included in the objectives.

The proposal is clearly written and provides a good description of the project. There is a reasonable summary of the work-to-date. Previous summaries described that a number of fish returning to the Stanley Lakes basin were unmarked and believed to be natural production - perhaps from spawning of released adults, anadromous adults from the program, or egg plants from this program. This was not discussed in this summary and should be. Also, according to proposal 199305600, many sockeye are tracked to Lower Granite Dam, but disappear before they reach the Stanley Lakes basin. This may be a major cause for the dismal performance of the project so far. Proponent's views on these limiting issues should be presented in the proposal.

The proposal states that NOAA project 199305600 is developing tools that are being used in the Redfish Lake sockeye captive program. But they are not identified here.

It would seem the first goal is to prevent the absolute extinction of the Snake River sockeye ESU, recognizing that it is essentially extinct in the wild now. The second goal is restoration of self-sustaining natural populations. The only apparent trigger to sunset this program is achievement of self-sustaining status by the stock. Reporting would benefit from a discussion of the basis for the proponents conclusion that viability has been and is being preserved.

Project proponents produce valuable reports and publish in the peer-reviewed literature. Sponsors should provide evidence from other species recovery efforts to show that actions (and time) proposed here are sufficient to preserve the viability of this species to a projected time of recovered habitat.

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