FY 2007 Solicitation Homepage

Project Proposal Request for FY 2007 - FY 2009 Funding

Proposal 200001200: Evaluate Factors Limiting Columbia River Chum Salmon

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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
January 10, 2006 Finalized Timothy Whitesel

Proposal Type: Ongoing
Proposal Number: 200001200
Proposal Name: Evaluate Factors Limiting Columbia River Chum Salmon
BPA Project Manager: Deborah Docherty
Agency, Institution or Organization: USFWS-Columbia River Fisheries Program Office
Short Description: We propose to evaluate factors limiting Columbia River gorge chum salmon populations. This is to provide an understanding of factors affecting chum salmon spawning primarily in Hardy Creek and Hamilton Springs.
Information Transfer: Information generated from this work will be formally transferred to (for example) scientists, managers and policy makers primarily through quarterly and annual reports (hard and electronic copies), peer-review publications as well as presentations at management forums and technical meetings. In addition, information will be transferred through participation on the Wilammette.Lower Columbia Technical Recovery Team which is administered by NOAA. Information generated from this work will be informally transferred to (for example) scientists, managers and policy makers primarily through memos, phone calls and emails.
 
Project Proposal Contacts
Contact Organization Address Phone/Email Roles Notes
Form Submitter
Timothy Whitesel USFWS, CRFPO 1211 SE Cardinal Ct., Suite 100
Vancouver, WA 98683
Ph: 360.604.2500
Fax: 360.604.2505
Email: timothy_whitesel@fws.gov
Form Submitter
All Assigned Contacts
Jeff Johnson USFWS-CRFPO 1211 SE Cardinal Ct., Suite 100
Vancouver, WA 98683
Ph: 360.604.2500
Fax: 360.604.2505
Email: jeff_johnson@fws.gov
Technical Contact
Howard Schaller USFWS-CRFPO 1211 SE Cardinal Ct - Suite 100
Vancouver, WA 98683
Ph: 360.604.2500
Fax: 360.604.2505
Email: howard_schaller@fws.gov
Contract Manager
Timothy Whitesel USFWS, CRFPO 1211 SE Cardinal Ct., Suite 100
Vancouver, WA 98683
Ph: 360.604.2500
Fax: 360.604.2505
Email: timothy_whitesel@fws.gov
Technical Contact

Section 2: Project Location
Sponsor Province: Lower Columbia ARG Province: Mainstem on the ground/Multiprovince
Sponsor Subbasin: Columbia Lower ARG Subbasin: Mainstem on the ground/Multiprovince
Location(s) at which the action will be implemented
Latitude Longitude Waterbody Location Description County/State Subbasin Primary?
N 45.37.40/45.37.35 W 121.59.37/122.00.59 stream Hamilton and Hardy creeks , Washington Columbia Lower Yes

Section 3: Focal Species
Focal Species:
Primary Secondary Additional Species
Chum Columbia River ESU
Coho Lower Columbia River ESU

Section 4: Past Accomplishments
Past Accomplishments for Each Fiscal Year of This Project
Fiscal Year Accomplishments
2005 Abundance estimates, Described biological characteristics, Successfully operated emergence traps, Presented activities and results in quarterly and annual reports, Provided data to FPC and others, Presentation to CBFWA, office seminar, NWR workshop
2004 Abundance estimates, Described biological characteristics, Monitored adult movement using radio telemetry, Successfully operated emergence traps, Presented activities and results in quarterly and annual reports, Provided data to FPC and others
2003 Abundance estimates, Described biological characteristics, Monitored adult movement using radio telemetry, Presented activities and results in quarterly and annual reports, Poster presentation at workshop, Office seminar, Provided data to FPC and others
2002 Abundance estimates, Described biological characteristics, Monitored adult movement using radio telemetry, Operated artifical spawning channel, Presented activities and results in quarterly and annual reports, Oral presentation at AFS meeting
2001 Estimated adult and juvenile chum salmon abundance, Described biological characteristics, Monitored adult movement using radio telemetry, Completed construction of artifical spawning channel, Presented activities and results in quarterly and annual report
2000 Estimated adult and juvenile chum salmon abundance, Described biological characteristics, Monitored adult movement using radio telemetry, Began construction of artifical spawning channel, Presented activities and results in quarterly and annual reports

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 [no entry] 2003-31032, proposal to develop a well water source for the Hardy Creek spawning channel If such an effort takes place, we would be assessing the response of chum salmon to the habitat conditions provided in the spawning channel.
BPA 199900301 Salmon Spawning Below Lower Co Provide abundance estimates and population structure data for Hardy Creek and Hamilton Springs
BPA 200105300 Reintro of Chum In Duncan Cr Provide data and adult carcass heads for analysis of otlith marks for fish from Hardy Creek and Hamilton Springs
BPA 200303600 CBFWA Monitor/Eval Program Coordination of sampling protocols and data analysis between this and other chum salmon projects is consistent with the missions of the Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP) and the Collaborative Systemwide Monitoring and Evaluation Project (CSMEP).
Other: Washington Trout 99-1421 Hardy Creek Spawning Channel Funds from SRFB to Washington Trout contributed to constructing artifical spawning channel
Other: USACOE MIPR W66QKZ0194 Hardy Creek Spawning Channel USACOE provided funds to complete construction of artifical spawning channel

Section 6: Biological Objectives
Biological Objectives of this Proposed Project
Biological Objective Full Description Associated Subbasin Plan Strategy Page Nos
Assess habitat parameters. This objective focuses on spawning. Monitor intragravel water quality near redds at egg pocket depth using piezometers; use GPS technology to record redd locations, characterize the habitat in the study area, including sites where redds were constructed. Lower Columbia Habitat factor analysis H-35
Determine abundance and biological characteristics This objective is focused on adults. Conduct spawning ground surveys in Hardy Creek, Hardy Creek spawning channel, Hamilton Creek, and Hamilton Springs; enumerate live chum salmon as well as chum salmon carcasses; mark carcasses. Lower Columbia Evaluating and monitoring status H: 93; 7:5-13
Determine emergent chum salmon fry. Identify chum salmon redds in Hamilton Springs and Hardy Creek that are relatively isolated and can be associated with a particular female; install redd caps to determine swim-up timing, temperature unit requirements for embryo incubation, and enumerate the number of fry that emerge; conduct trials to estimate the efficiency of redd caps. Lower Columbia Tier 1 and Tier 2 monitoring H:70-81
Determine potential chum salmon egg deposition. Obtain estimates of chum fecundity as it relates to female size from the literature; (if possible) sample the number and size if eggs from natural, adult chum salmon females from hatchery programs in the Lower Columbia River. Lower Columbia Tier 1 and Tier 2 monitoring H:70-81
Enumerate and characterize smolts. Install fyke nets in Hamilton Springs, Hardy Creek, and Hardy Creek spawning channel, evaluate abundance using mark-recapture techniques, document biological characteristics of smolts. Lower Columbia Tier 1 and Tier 2 monitoring H:70-81
Population growth and limiting factors. Evaluate the time series of adult abundance and calculate ?, explore survival rates between life stages. Lower Columbia Evaluating and monitoring status H:59,93; 7:5-13

Section 7: Work Elements
Work Elements and Associated Biological Objectives
Work Element Name Work Element Title Description Start Date End Date Estimated Budget
Produce Environmental Compliance Documentation Ensure environmental compliance requirements have been met [Work Element Description Not Entered] 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $3,150
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Manage and Administer Projects Project contract administration [Work Element Description Not Entered] 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $68,107
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Produce/Submit Scientific Findings Report Produce status and annual reports [Work Element Description Not Entered] 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $95,970
Biological Objectives Metrics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Analyze/Interpret Data Adult abundance estimates, and behavioral and biological characteristics Calculate estimates of abundance for adult chum salmon spawning in Hardy Creek and Hamilton Springs based on area-under-the-curve method and recovery of marked carcasses. Describe and summarize behavioral and biological characteristics of adults. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $31,502
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine abundance and biological characteristics
No Metrics for this Work Element

Analyze/Interpret Data Dertermine population growth rate and assess limiting factors Evaluate the time series of adult abundance and age structure to calculate population growth rate. Estimate survival rates between life history stages. Assess rates relative to factors potentially limiting production. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $63,000
Biological Objectives Metrics
Population growth and limiting factors.
No Metrics for this Work Element

Analyze/Interpret Data Estimate fry emergence from redds and describe characteristics Estimate the number of chum salmon fry that emerged from each redd, calculate fry-egg ratio based on egg-deposition estimate, and describe timing and thermal conditions during incubation. Estimate trap efficiency. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $31,502
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine emergent chum salmon fry.
No Metrics for this Work Element

Analyze/Interpret Data Estimate juvenile abundance and biological characteristics Calculate estimates of juvenile abundance using mark-recapture techniques and describe biological characteristics of smolts. 2/1/2007 9/30/2009 $31,502
Biological Objectives Metrics
Enumerate and characterize smolts.
No Metrics for this Work Element

Analyze/Interpret Data Estimate number of chum salmon eggs deposited Develop length-fecundity relationships for female chum salmon from a literature review and sampling females from hatchery programs in the lower Columbia River. Use relationships to estimate egg deposition in Hardy Creek and Hamilton Springs based on size distribution of female spawners. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $31,502
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine potential chum salmon egg deposition.
No Metrics for this Work Element

Analyze/Interpret Data Examine habitat features associated with redds Examine habitat features associated with redds in Hardy Creek and Hamilton springs. Calculate habitat affinity index of spawning habitat relative to habitat features in the study areas. 10/1/2006 9/30/2009 $31,502
Biological Objectives Metrics
Assess habitat parameters.
No Metrics for this Work Element

Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Collect information on habitat at redds and study area Record locations of redds using GPS technology, and describe habitat features such as water depth, substrate type, and proximity to springs or seeps. Characterize intergravel water quality near selected redds using piezometers. Collect habitat information to describe habitat in the study areas at Hardy Creek and Hamilton Springs. 10/1/2006 5/31/2009 $142,730
Biological Objectives Metrics
Assess habitat parameters.
No Metrics for this Work Element

Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Collect juvenile chum salmon emigration data Install and operate juvenile fish traps and record biological information of smolts in Hardy Creek and Hamilton Springs. Release marked juveniles to determine trap efficiency. 2/1/2007 6/1/2009 $205,737
Biological Objectives Metrics
Enumerate and characterize smolts.
No Metrics for this Work Element

Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Collect recently emerged fry Install emergent traps over relatively isolated redds that can be associated with individual females of known length in Hardy Creek and Hamilton Springs (i.e., redds selected for piezometer installation nearby). Capture recently emerged fry through the spring and record water temperatures and intergravel water quality. 10/1/2006 5/31/2009 $127,467
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine emergent chum salmon fry.
No Metrics for this Work Element

Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data Conduct spawning ground surveys Spawning ground surveys will be conducted in Hardy Creek and Hamilton Springs to enumerate live chum salmon and carcasses, and record biological and behavioral characteristics. Carcasses will be uniquely marked. 10/1/2006 1/15/2009 $95,965
Biological Objectives Metrics
Determine abundance and biological characteristics
No Metrics for this Work Element


Section 8: Budget

Itemized Estimated Budget
Item Note FY 2007 Cost FY 2008 Cost FY 2009 Cost
Personnel Super. Biol. (2) $7,000 $7,500 $8,000
Personnel Lead Project Biol. (26) $50,000 $52,500 $55,000
Personnel Asst. Proj. Biol. (26) $39,000 $41,500 $44,000
Personnel Field Biol. (26) $35,000 $37,500 $40,000
Personnel Field Biol. (18) $18,000 $20,250 $22,500
Fringe Benefits .30 $44,700 $47,775 $50,850
Travel vehicle plus boat lease $10,000 $10,000 $10,000
Supplies [blank] $12,500 $10,000 $7,500
Capital Equipment none $ 0 $ 0 $ 0
Overhead 0.309, 0.100 $88,426 $92,854 $97,281
Totals $304,626 $319,879 $335,131

Total Estimated FY 2007-2009 Budgets
Total Itemized Budget$959,636
Total Work Element budget$959,636

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
USFWS-CRFPO labor $5,000 $5,000 $5,000 In-Kind Under Development
WDFW labor and technical assistance $7,500 $7,500 $7,500 In-Kind Under Development
Totals $12,500 $12,500 $12,500

Section 9: Project Future
Project Future Costs and/or Termination
FY 2010 Est Budget FY 2011 Est Budget Comments
$350,000 $360,000 Based on a level budget from 2007-2009, plus the expected cost of inflation.
Future Operations & Maintenance Costs
 
Termination Date Comments
2012 The collection of data on limiting factors should be complete. A timeseries of chum abundance should be ongoing for status evaluation. Routine assessments for long term trend and status information would need to continue.
 
Final Deliverables
Annual Report. Completion Report. Status and trend information for chum salmon in Hardy Creek and Hamilton Springs. Identification of factors limiting chum salmon production in Hardy Creek and Hamilton Springs.

Section 10: Narrative
Document Type Size Date

Part 2 of 2. Reviews of Proposal
Administrative Review Group (ARG) Results
Account Type:
Expense
Location:
Province: Mainstem on the ground/Multiprovince
Subbasin: Mainstem on the ground/Multiprovince
Primary Focal Species
No Change
ARG Comments: [none]


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

FY 2007 Budget
$151,666
FY 2008 Budget
$151,666
FY 2009 Budget
$151,666
Total NPCC Rec
$454,998
Budget Type:Expense
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Recommendation:Fund
Comments: Budget reductions not specific. Project to be implemented as proposed with reduced scope.


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

FY 2007 Budget
$151,666
FY 2008 Budget
$151,666
FY 2009 Budget
$151,666
Total NPCC Rec
$454,998
FY 2007 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2008 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2009 MSRT Rec
$ 0
Total MSRT Rec
$ 0
Budget Category:ProvinceExpense
Comments:


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

FY 2007 Budget
$ 0
FY 2008 Budget
$ 0
FY 2009 Budget
$ 0
Total NPCC Rec
$ 0
FY 2007 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2008 MSRT Rec
$ 0
FY 2009 MSRT Rec
$ 0
Total MSRT Rec
$ 0
Budget Category:Multi-province
Comments:
NPCC Staff Comments: Priority concerns for other reasons. MSRT recommends $0.

Local or MSRT Comments: This project was reviewed in the Lower Columbia and should be funded in that province. The funding for this project that was used to create the Multi-province allocation should be moved to that province as well (approximatley $263,000).


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

Recommendation: Fundable
NPCC Comments: Technical and scientific background: This project has been in existence since 2000 and has provided some very useful information on one of the basin's most overlooked species -- Columbia River chum. This chum population is recognized as a key conservation unit and the proposal does put it in that context. In general, the technical background is adequately presented, although the scientific findings to date could have been more thoroughly presented. There is an excellent description of the problem and explanation of the importance of conserving this chum population. The proposal would benefit from an acknowledgement that estuarine and marine factors could also be limiting.

Reviewers should be given data on temporal trends in chum spawning numbers. Given the length of existence of this project, it would seem to be appropriate for the proponents to provide some historical context describing any trends in abundance of chum salmon and developing some testable hypotheses that might explain the data. Such an analysis might suggest what factors are limiting abundance of chum. For example, although coho are mentioned as possible competitors for entry into the spawning channel, no discussion is presented as to how or whether this might or ought to be dealt with.

Note: The abstract refers to chum salmon "smolts", but the main proposal properly refers to chum salmon fry. The latter is the correct term. Chum salmon fry are silvery and migrate to sea immediately upon hatching, so there is no "smoltification" process per se, although they resemble other salmonid smolts with respect to their silvery appearance.

Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: The proposal does a good job of relating the project to the Council's Fish and Wildlife Program and the Lower Columbia subbasin plan. This section does not mention the BiOp, although providing winter flows for chum spawning has been one of the action items in the BiOp. The BiOp, however, is mentioned in the "Relationships to other projects" section.

Relationships to other project: The proposal puts the work in the context of other Fish and Wildlife Program funded projects, as well as USFWS projects. Collaborative efforts in the spawning area are in place. Coordination of sampling protocols with the Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP) and Collaborative Systemwide Monitoring and Evaluation Program (CSMEP) illustrate the collaborative nature of the project. The proposal would benefit from collaboration with researchers working in tributaries downstream (e.g. Grays River- 200301000) and in the estuary, given that chum fry are known estuary users.

Project history: The history of the project is generally well described, including the failure of the Hardy Creek spawning channel in 2001-2002 (but did it function as intended in 2003-2004?). However, it would have been very helpful to have summarized what is currently believed about limiting factors for Columbia River chum. This history section contains a good description of what was done in terms of actions, but it doesn’t really address what has been learned in the process. Hopefully the access problems for the spawning channel can be overcome as this technology is usually successful if adequate flow can be provided.

Objectives: Objectives are briefly presented as a series of six tasks that would be repeated for the next three years. Timelines are assumed to be seasonal. Objectives are not explicitly related to subbasin plans or the Fish and Wildlife Program. Most of the objectives are measurable and clearly defined (e.g., escapement, fry outmigration). The assessment of survival rates between life history stages (which are not defined in the proposal) will be more difficult with the present design, unless the proponents are only going to try to estimate egg-to-fry survival.

Tasks (work elements) and methods: Overall, the methods are clearly described by life history stage. For the spawning phase, there is no mention of determining spawning gravel composition -- in particular, the amount of fine sediment -- and this omission is somewhat surprising. The egg environment work seems to focus mainly on temperature, and the rationale for this is unclear. Likewise there is little discussion of measuring egg scour (not a problem?) or redd stranding (related to Bonneville Dam operations?). This struck the reviewers as a serious oversight, because redds are located in an area highly subject to fluctuations of flow, and an area in which BPA has been cooperating to a degree by maintaining flows at times.

The suite of parameters monitored in the intragravel environment needs better justification.

The area under the curve method for estimating the number of chum salmon redds needs to be better described. It is not clear whether the redd surveys encompass the entire reach or take place only in sample reaches that are accessible. Perhaps some thought might be given to a random sampling design.

It isn’t clear whether the juvenile dye marking and recapturing technique had been used with these fish before, or whether a rigorous analysis had been conducted to determine the number of fish marked (200 per week). What is the basis for that number? No information is given on statistical aspects, such as addressing the variance associated with outmigration population estimates. An explanation of de Kroon's (1986) method for determining population growth rate would be useful for reviewers. There may be better/more accurate methods available for determining this key parameter.

Monitoring and evaluation: Monitoring of chum escapements is a key component of the project. The proposal will continue an important time series. The project has a generally good history of evaluating the results and adjusting methods accordingly.

Facilities, equipment, and personnel seem quite adequate. The personnel have had direct experience with Columbia River chum salmon.

Information Transfer: Provisions for information transfer appeared to be adequate, and the project has a generally successful track history in this regard. Annual reports have been faithfully produced and are proposed. Peer-reviewed publications have not been produced although there is potential for some because of the uniqueness of this chum population.

Benefit to focal and non-focal species: This project has a clear, persistent benefit for a species that is at-risk and generally overlooked. Knowledge of chum ecology and habitat requirements from this well-integrated study will benefit chum populations elsewhere in the Columbia River Basin. If the spawning channels can be made useful for chum they may also benefit coho. Coho smolts are known to rear in (successful) chum channels. If the spawning channels can be made useful for chum they may also benefit coho. Coho smolts are known to rear in (successful) channels.


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

Recommendation: Fundable
NPCC Comments: Technical and scientific background: This project has been in existence since 2000 and has provided some very useful information on one of the basin's most overlooked species -- Columbia River chum. This chum population is recognized as a key conservation unit and the proposal does put it in that context. In general, the technical background is adequately presented, although the scientific findings to date could have been more thoroughly presented. There is an excellent description of the problem and explanation of the importance of conserving this chum population. The proposal would benefit from an acknowledgement that estuarine and marine factors could also be limiting.

Reviewers should be given data on temporal trends in chum spawning numbers. Given the length of existence of this project, it would seem to be appropriate for the proponents to provide some historical context describing any trends in abundance of chum salmon and developing some testable hypotheses that might explain the data. Such an analysis might suggest what factors are limiting abundance of chum. For example, although coho are mentioned as possible competitors for entry into the spawning channel, no discussion is presented as to how or whether this might or ought to be dealt with.

Note: The abstract refers to chum salmon "smolts", but the main proposal properly refers to chum salmon fry. The latter is the correct term. Chum salmon fry are silvery and migrate to sea immediately upon hatching, so there is no "smoltification" process per se, although they resemble other salmonid smolts with respect to their silvery appearance.

Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: The proposal does a good job of relating the project to the Council's Fish and Wildlife Program and the Lower Columbia subbasin plan. This section does not mention the BiOp, although providing winter flows for chum spawning has been one of the action items in the BiOp. The BiOp, however, is mentioned in the "Relationships to other projects" section.

Relationships to other project: The proposal puts the work in the context of other Fish and Wildlife Program funded projects, as well as USFWS projects. Collaborative efforts in the spawning area are in place. Coordination of sampling protocols with the Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP) and Collaborative Systemwide Monitoring and Evaluation Program (CSMEP) illustrate the collaborative nature of the project. The proposal would benefit from collaboration with researchers working in tributaries downstream (e.g. Grays River- 200301000) and in the estuary, given that chum fry are known estuary users.

Project history: The history of the project is generally well described, including the failure of the Hardy Creek spawning channel in 2001-2002 (but did it function as intended in 2003-2004?). However, it would have been very helpful to have summarized what is currently believed about limiting factors for Columbia River chum. This history section contains a good description of what was done in terms of actions, but it doesn’t really address what has been learned in the process. Hopefully the access problems for the spawning channel can be overcome as this technology is usually successful if adequate flow can be provided.

Objectives: Objectives are briefly presented as a series of six tasks that would be repeated for the next three years. Timelines are assumed to be seasonal. Objectives are not explicitly related to subbasin plans or the Fish and Wildlife Program. Most of the objectives are measurable and clearly defined (e.g., escapement, fry outmigration). The assessment of survival rates between life history stages (which are not defined in the proposal) will be more difficult with the present design, unless the proponents are only going to try to estimate egg-to-fry survival.

Tasks (work elements) and methods: Overall, the methods are clearly described by life history stage. For the spawning phase, there is no mention of determining spawning gravel composition -- in particular, the amount of fine sediment -- and this omission is somewhat surprising. The egg environment work seems to focus mainly on temperature, and the rationale for this is unclear. Likewise there is little discussion of measuring egg scour (not a problem?) or redd stranding (related to Bonneville Dam operations?). This struck the reviewers as a serious oversight, because redds are located in an area highly subject to fluctuations of flow, and an area in which BPA has been cooperating to a degree by maintaining flows at times.

The suite of parameters monitored in the intragravel environment needs better justification.

The area under the curve method for estimating the number of chum salmon redds needs to be better described. It is not clear whether the redd surveys encompass the entire reach or take place only in sample reaches that are accessible. Perhaps some thought might be given to a random sampling design.

It isn’t clear whether the juvenile dye marking and recapturing technique had been used with these fish before, or whether a rigorous analysis had been conducted to determine the number of fish marked (200 per week). What is the basis for that number? No information is given on statistical aspects, such as addressing the variance associated with outmigration population estimates. An explanation of de Kroon's (1986) method for determining population growth rate would be useful for reviewers. There may be better/more accurate methods available for determining this key parameter.

Monitoring and evaluation: Monitoring of chum escapements is a key component of the project. The proposal will continue an important time series. The project has a generally good history of evaluating the results and adjusting methods accordingly.

Facilities, equipment, and personnel seem quite adequate. The personnel have had direct experience with Columbia River chum salmon.

Information Transfer: Provisions for information transfer appeared to be adequate, and the project has a generally successful track history in this regard. Annual reports have been faithfully produced and are proposed. Peer-reviewed publications have not been produced although there is potential for some because of the uniqueness of this chum population.

Benefit to focal and non-focal species: This project has a clear, persistent benefit for a species that is at-risk and generally overlooked. Knowledge of chum ecology and habitat requirements from this well-integrated study will benefit chum populations elsewhere in the Columbia River Basin. If the spawning channels can be made useful for chum they may also benefit coho. Coho smolts are known to rear in (successful) chum channels. If the spawning channels can be made useful for chum they may also benefit coho. Coho smolts are known to rear in (successful) channels.

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