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Project Summary

Project 1997-001-00 - Idaho Chinook Salmon Captive R
Project Number:
Idaho Chinook Salmon Captive R
The ultimate goal of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Captive Rearing Program of Salmon River Spring Chinook Salmon is to maintain a minimum number of adults spawning in specific target streams annually. To achieve this goal, the program is testing the efficacy of the captive rearing conservation approach. Project activities are divided into two parts: 1) hatchery propagation and 2) spawning performance monitoring and evaluation. The success of the project depends on developing culture techniques to produce fish with proper behavioral, morphological, physiological characteristics to successfully interact with and breed with wild individuals. Field monitoring is used to document behavioral interactions, spawn timing, success of redds spawned by captive-reared individuals, and to determine if changes in culture technique result in desired changes in reproductive behavior or performance. In addition, an important component of this program is to document successful production (juveniles and adults) from captive adult spawning events.

1) Hatchery Propagation:
a) Early Rearing (Eyed-egg through smolt). Approximately 300 eyed-eggs collected from wild/natural redds on the East Fork Salmon River and the West Fork Yankee Fork. Eyed-eggs are collected from five to six wild/natural redds and the eggs are transported to Eagle Fish Hatchery propagation. Eagle Fish Hatchery will culture these Chinook salmon through the smolt stage at which time they are transported to Manchester Research Station for seawater rearing through maturation. While in culture at Eagle Fish Hatchery; water temperature and growth rates are monitored closely to produce smolts similar in size as to their natural counterparts. During early rearing (first 15 months), juveniles are maintained in family groups based on the redd the eyed-eggs are collected from, at this point juveniles are PIT tagged and groups are mixed, while maintaining segregation between stocks. Before transfer to seawater, the juveniles are vaccinated with Renogen and Vibrogen, and marked with an Elastomer tag.
b) Adult Holding: Maturing adult Chinook salmon are transported back to Eagle Fish Hatchery for temporary holding on freshwater before release to natal streams (July/August).

2) Spawning Performance Monitoring and Evaluation:
a) Eyed-egg collections. Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) research biologists monitor wild/natural Chinook salmon spawning activities, documenting redd development (location) and stream temperatures. Based on this information, eyed-eggs are collected from five to six redds in each drainage (300 eyed-eggs from each drainage) by hydraulically sampling (redd pumping) individual redds collecting 50 to 60 eyed-eggs per redd. These eggs are transported to Eagle Fish Hatchery for rearing (see #1 above).
b) Adult Observations: After maturing Captive Reared Chinook salmon adults are transported back to Eagle Fish Hatchery, adults are marked for visual identification in the field after release. Petersen Disc, jaw, or floy tags are used to mark individual fish. A blocking weir is installed on the East Fork Salmon River to contain the captive reared salmon in the observation area (wild/natural salmon and other species are allowed to move up or down stream freely. Radio transmitters are also inserted in eight to ten adults to assist with adult movements within each drainage after release. Spawning observations include: habitat selection (pool, rifle/run, cut bank, overhead vegetation) and behavioral observations (holding, aggression, courting, moving, milling). spawn timing, and spawning behavior.
c) Reproductive Success: Genetic samples are collected from all released captive reared adult salmon and from about 500 juveniles. This information is used to determine if spawning events from captive reared Chinook salmon produced offspring the following summer using parental exclusion based on genetic analysis.
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 Spring/Summer ESU
Cutthroat Trout, Westslope
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:

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Summary of Budgets

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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
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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
315 REL 2 SOW Boehme, Christopher W/E SERVICES:IDFG SNAKE RIVER CHINOOK CAPTIVE REARING ENVIR. History $960 1/15/2000 - 11/1/2000
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Total Contracted Amount Dates
4002 SOW Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) 1997-001-00 IDAHO CHINOOK SALMON CAPTIVE REARING PROGRAM Closed $1,963,782 3/19/2001 - 9/30/2004
19681 SOW Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) PI1997-001-00 IDAHO CHINOOK SALMON CAPTIVE REARING PROGRAM History $500,659 10/1/2004 - 9/30/2005
24657 SOW Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) 1997-001-00 EXP IDAHO CHINOOK CAPTIVE REARING History $455,999 10/1/2005 - 9/30/2006

Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):2
On time:2
Status Reports
On time:3
Avg Days Early:3

                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
4002 19681, 24657, 29463, 35399, 39364, 44419, 49517, 54251, 59694, 62939, 66445 2007-403-00 EXP ID SPR CHINOOK CAPTIVE PROP Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) 03/19/2001 03/31/2016 Closed 43 105 0 0 5 110 95.45% 0
Project Totals 43 105 0 0 5 110 95.45% 0

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: 1997-001-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 1997-001-00 - Idaho Chinook Salmon Captive R
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments: Reduced budget reflects the removal of the all genetic elements except the critical needs associated with identifying progeny of captive adults.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 1997-001-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 1997-001-00 - Idaho Chinook Salmon Captive R
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The Idaho Captive Rearing program collects naturally produced Chinook salmon parr or eyed eggs, and then rears them in captivity to adults for release to increase the number of naturally spawning salmon.

The proposal indicates that this experimental effort will be terminated by 2012. The sponsors request funding to complete the evaluation of this captive rearing strategy. The ISRP raised several questions in the preliminary response.

The principal query was for an outline of the timeline of juvenile rearing and adult release, and the subsequent natural parr, smolt, and adult production, to ensure that the time frame for the data collection and analysis was sufficient. The sponsors provided an answer to this question that was sufficient.

A secondary question was about the natural spawning performance of the captive stock. In earlier proposals, the sponsors reported asynchrony in the spawning of natural and cultured adults, and poor egg viability in natural redds produced from captive stock. No mention of this was in the current proposal and the ISRP requested an update. The sponsors provided a review of the recent observations on asynchrony, reporting that during the last funding cycle this was not a problem. Egg viability was not tested during this time period. No explanation was provided for the improvement in synchrony between natural and cultured spawning adults.

Finally, the ISRP asked about the quantitative benefits from a program like this to an entire ESU, under circumstances such as the spring and summer run Chinook in the Snake River that consist of an appreciable number of spawning units. That is, assuming there is a demographic benefit in the treated tributary, what are the quantitative consequences in the Viable Salmonid Population metrics for the ESU, from these improvements in individual sites.

Sponsors responded that:
"It remains difficult for us to comment on whether the potential added adult production from this program will elevate VSP abundance or productivity parameters to a status level more desirable than the current ‘High Risk' standing. Nevertheless, added adult production will help ensure that a continuum of spawning from one generation to another occurs. Preventing cohort loss will slow the loss of critical population genetic variation and preserve future recovery options."

The ISRP appreciates this candid appraisal, but emphasizes that addressing this larger issue is critical when considering using this technology to support ESUs consisting of multiple independent populations or spawning aggregates. When you have 30 to 40 independent populations in an ESU, what aggregate demographic benefit are you getting if you can improve the status by these intensive actions in one or two of the individual populations? What is the short and medium term benefit from this type of action?

The final reports and analyses should include this later consideration of the quantitative benefits at the ESU level if benefits are demonstrated at the independent population level.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 1997-001-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 1997-001-00
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: Eagle Lake hatchery O&M, RM&E, Redfish Lake captive broodstock program; other entities authorized/required to address this stock & to perform some of the other functions; query whether cost-share sufficient.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 1997-001-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 1997-001-00
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 2007-403-00 effective on 7/2/2007
Relationship Description: Work and budgets from projects 1997-001-00 and (half of) 1996-067-00 is moved into project 2007-403-00.

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)
Conan Chiu (Inactive) Administrative Contact Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG)
Gregory Baesler (Inactive) Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration