Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
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Project Summary

Project 1991-072-00 - Redfish Lake Sockeye Salmon Captive Broodstock Program
Project Number:
Redfish Lake Sockeye Salmon Captive Broodstock Program
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) operates a Sockeye Salmon Captive Broodstock Program at the Eagle Fish Hatchery in southwest Idaho. The captive broodstock program began at the Eagle Hatchery in 1991 as an effort to preserve the near extinct Redfish Lake population of Snake River sockeye. The captive broodstock program at Eagle Hatchery is duplicated at NOAA Fisheries' Manchester and Burley Creek facilities in Washington state. Since its inception, the program has been successful in preventing the total collapse of the population. Today, IDFG collects adults returning to the system at trapping locations in the Stanley Basin of Idaho and spawns and rears those fish at the Eagle Hatchery. IDFG also maintains captive broodstock where fish are reared from egg to maturity in a fresh water system. The current Eagle Hatchery program supports the spawning and rearing for 300 adult (male + female) sockeye each year.

Proponent Orgs:
Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) (Govt - State)
Starting FY:
Ending FY:
Province Subbasin %
Mountain Snake Salmon 100.00%
Artificial Production
Focal Species:
Chinook - Snake River Fall ESU
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU
Sockeye - Snake River ESU
Steelhead - Snake River DPS
Trout, Bull
Trout, Rainbow
Whitefish, Mountain
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
BiOp Association:

No photos have been uploaded yet for this Project.

Summary of Budgets

To view all expenditures for all fiscal years, click "Project Exp. by FY"

To see more detailed project budget information, please visit the "Project Budget" page

No Decided Budget Transfers

Pending Budget Decision?  No

Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2024
Cost Share Partner Total Proposed Contribution Total Confirmed Contribution
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Previous Fiscal Years
Fiscal Year Total Contributions % of Budget
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The table below contains contracts with the following statuses: Active, Closed, Complete, History, Issued.
* "Total Contracted Amount" column includes contracted amount from both capital and expense components of the contract.
Capital Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Total Contracted Amount Dates
23399 REL 1 SOW Engineering Science & Construction 1991-072-00 CAP VE EAGLE FISH HATCHERY IMPROVEMENT History $34,455 6/13/2006 - 8/13/2006
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Total Contracted Amount Dates
5342 SOW Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) 1991-072-00 REDFISH LAKE SOCKEYE SALMON CAPTIVE BROODSTOCK DEV Closed $3,437,824 6/11/2001 - 6/30/2005
22945 SOW Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) PI 199107200 REDFISH LAKE SOCKEYE SALMON CAPTIVE BROODSTOCK PROG. History $752,650 7/1/2005 - 6/30/2006

Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):2
On time:0
Status Reports
On time:4
Avg Days Early:12

                Count of Contract Deliverables
Earliest Contract Subsequent Contracts Title Contractor Earliest Start Latest End Latest Status Accepted Reports Complete Green Yellow Red Total % Green and Complete Canceled
5342 22945, 28255, 33644, 37981, 42983, 47584, 53181, 57759, 61898, 65733, 69491, 73152, 76501, 79593, 82725, 82726, 85501, 85502, 88217, 88218, 90471, 90470, 84045 REL 12, 84045 REL 13, CR-369926, CR-369927 2007-402-00 EXP SOCKEYE SALMON CAPTIVE BROOD O&M Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) 06/11/2001 06/30/2025 Pending 92 451 28 0 19 498 96.18% 5
23399 REL 1 1991-072-00 CAP VE EAGLE FISH HATCHERY IMPROVEMENT Engineering Science & Construction 06/13/2006 08/13/2006 History 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Project Totals 92 451 28 0 19 498 96.18% 5

The table content is updated frequently and thus contains more recent information than what was in the original proposal reviewed by ISRP and Council.

Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 1991-072-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1991-072-00 - Redfish Lake Sockeye Salmon Captive Broodstock Program
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Reduced budget reflects the removal of all genetic elements except the critical portion addressing the development of the inbreeding avoidance spawning matrix.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1991-072-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1991-072-00 - Redfish Lake Sockeye Salmon Captive Broodstock Program
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Does Not Meet Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:
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.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1991-072-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1991-072-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 10/6/2006
In Lieu Rating: Problems May Exist
Cost Share Rating: 3 - Does not appear reasonable
Comment: Captive broodstock program for preserving redfish lake sockeye; fishery managers authorized/required; need confirmation that cost share is sufficient.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1991-072-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1991-072-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None

Project Relationships: This project Merged To 2007-402-00 effective on 7/2/2007
Relationship Description: All work and budgets from projects 1991-071-00 (EXP), 1991-072-00 (EXP & CAP), 1992-040-00 (EXP & CAP), 2005-012-00 (CAP) is moved to project 2007-402-00.

Name Role Organization
Paul Kline (Inactive) Project Lead Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG)
Dan Baker Technical Contact Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG)
Jeff (IDFG) Heindel (Inactive) Technical Contact Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG)
Gregory Baesler (Inactive) Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration