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Project Summary

Project 2002-053-00 - Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Project Number:
2002-053-00
Title:
Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Summary:
Project Goal: Assess the status of anadromous salmonid populations in the Asotin Creek watershed above George Creek. Estimate the abundance, productivity, survival rates, and temporal and spatial distribution of steelhead/rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha).

Executive Summary: This project implements the research, monitoring and evaluation criteria specified in the Asotin Subbasin Plan by providing estimates of abundance, productivity, survival rates, and temporal and spatial distribution of ESA-listed species, primarily summer steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and secondarily spring Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha). The project also implements reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) 180 in the NMFS 2000 and 2004 Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinions (BiOp) for population status monitoring and review of status change over time. This project is designed to enumerate adult salmonids entering Asotin Creek to spawn and to estimate the juvenile migrant population and emigration patterns. Five-hundred and thirteen (513) and 477 adult steelhead were captured in 2005 (the first season of adult trapping in Asotin Creek) and 2006, respectively, resulting in a population estimate of over 600 adults, spawning in 46 river km of accessible steelhead habitat above the trapping location at road km 6.0. The juvenile steelhead population is estimated at approximately 800 juveniles per km (1,300 per mile) above the trapping location, based on three seasons of smolt trapping in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The data suggests that Asotin Creek – above eight FCRPS dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers – has a highly productive and resilient population of naturally-producing summer steelhead, which may be an important nursery of the Snake River steelhead ESU. This project will establish baseline population data (status, hatchery stray rates, productivity, survival, life history diversity), which will be used to guide proposed management actions, assess species response to on-going habitat improvement projects, and help answer critical uncertainties for Subbasin planning in Asotin Creek.

Objective 1: Estimate escapement of wild and hatchery steelhead and Chinook salmon into Asotin Creek.

Objective 2: Estimate spawner abundance and adults per redd.

Objective 3: Document juvenile steelhead life history patterns, survival rates and estimate juvenile emigrant production.

Objective 4: Collect DNA samples for future genetic characterization of the focal species.

Objective 5: Report and disseminate Asotin Creek salmonid assessment data.

Project Location: The project is located in Asotin County, Washington. Data will be collected from Asotin Creek and its tributaries at the trapping sites located 6.0 km (3.8 miles) above the confluence with the Snake River.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) (Govt - State)
Starting FY:
2002
Ending FY:
2024
Stage:
Implementation - Project Status Report
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Blue Mountain Asotin 100.00%
Purpose:
Programmatic
Emphasis:
RM and E
Focal Species:
All Anadromous Fish
All Anadromous Salmonids
Chinook - Snake River Fall ESU
Chinook - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU
Coho - Unspecified Population
Lamprey, Pacific
Steelhead - Snake River DPS
Trout, Bull
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Special:
None

Description: Page: 12 Figure 1: The Asotin Creek Subbasin and location of adjacent drainages included in the Asotin Creek steelhead population and monitored as part of this project.

Project(s): 2002-053-00

Document: P125389

Dimensions: 960 x 720


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

Decided Budget Transfers  (FY2023 - FY2025)

Acct FY Acct Type Amount Fund Budget Decision Date
FY2023 Expense $311,302 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) FY23 SOY Budget Upload 06/01/2022
FY2024 Expense $324,999 From: BiOp FCRPS 2008 (non-Accord) FY24 SOY Budget Upload 06/01/2023

Pending Budget Decision?  No


Actual Project Cost Share

Current Fiscal Year — 2024   DRAFT
Cost Share Partner Total Proposed Contribution Total Confirmed Contribution
There are no project cost share contributions to show.
Previous Fiscal Years
Fiscal Year Total Contributions % of Budget
2023 $9,180 3%
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015 $3,100 1%
2014 $3,100 1%
2013 $3,100 1%
2012 $3,200 1%
2011 $3,200 1%
2010 $3,200 1%
2009 $3,200 2%
2008 $3,100 2%
2007 $3,000 1%

Contracts

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.
Expense Contracts:
Number Contractor Name Title Status Total Contracted Amount Dates
14059 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 ASSESS SALMONIDS IN ASOTIN CREEK WATERSHED Closed $126,148 6/1/2003 - 5/31/2004
6388 REL 45 SOW Applied Archaeological Research 2002-053-00 ASSESS SALMONIDS IN ASOTIN CREEK WATERSHED History $3,299 7/30/2003 - 8/31/2003
18229 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 ASSESS SALMONIDS IN ASOTIN CREEK WATERSHED Closed $183,109 6/1/2004 - 5/31/2005
22720 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 ASOTIN SALMONID M&E 2005 CONTRACT History $97,178 6/1/2005 - 12/31/2005
25282 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 ASSESS SALMONIDS IN ASOTIN CREEK WATERSHED History $205,358 1/1/2006 - 12/31/2006
BPA-005601 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop Assess Active $969 10/1/2006 - 9/30/2007
30626 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMONIDS IN ASOTIN CREEK WATERSHED History $207,559 1/1/2007 - 1/31/2008
36582 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 200205300 EXP ASSESS SALMONIDS ASOTIN CR WS Closed $125,342 2/1/2008 - 2/28/2009
BPA-004314 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Assess Salmonids Asotin Cr WS Active $4,512 10/1/2008 - 9/30/2009
41280 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMONIDS ASOTIN CR WS Closed $120,792 3/1/2009 - 2/28/2010
BPA-004905 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Assess Salmonids in the Asotin Creek Watershed Active $3,504 10/1/2009 - 9/30/2010
46626 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMON POPULATIONS IN ASOTIN CREEK 2010 Closed $209,831 3/1/2010 - 2/28/2011
BPA-005721 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assess. Active $7,745 10/1/2010 - 9/30/2011
52290 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMON POPULATIONS IN ASOTIN CREEK 2011 Closed $215,114 3/1/2011 - 2/29/2012
BPA-006387 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assess. Active $7,627 10/1/2011 - 9/30/2012
56432 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMON POPULATIONS IN ASOTIN CREEK 2012 Closed $235,548 3/1/2012 - 2/28/2013
BPA-007027 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Active $8,416 10/1/2012 - 9/30/2013
60556 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMON POPULATIONS IN ASOTIN CREEK 2013 Closed $242,776 3/1/2013 - 2/28/2014
BPA-007735 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Active $8,351 10/1/2013 - 9/30/2014
64990 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMON POPULATIONS IN ASOTIN CREEK 2014 Closed $250,418 3/1/2014 - 2/28/2015
BPA-008397 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Active $8,331 10/1/2014 - 9/30/2015
68433 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMON POPULATIONS IN ASOTIN CREEK 2015 Closed $242,822 3/1/2015 - 2/29/2016
71824 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMON POPULATIONS IN ASOTIN CREEK 2016 Closed $247,156 3/1/2016 - 2/28/2017
BPA-009539 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Active $6,663 10/1/2016 - 9/30/2017
75614 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMON POPULATIONS IN ASOTIN CREEK 2017 Closed $272,909 3/1/2017 - 2/28/2018
BPA-010192 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Active $6,677 10/1/2017 - 9/30/2018
74314 REL 29 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMON POPULATIONS IN ASOTIN CREEK Closed $243,715 3/1/2018 - 2/28/2019
BPA-010772 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Active $7,877 10/1/2018 - 9/30/2019
74314 REL 60 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMONIDS ASOTIN CR WS Closed $243,405 3/1/2019 - 2/29/2020
BPA-011707 Bonneville Power Administration PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Active $6,935 10/1/2019 - 9/30/2020
74314 REL 93 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMONIDS ASOTIN CR WS Closed $243,405 3/1/2020 - 2/28/2021
BPA-012080 Bonneville Power Administration FY21 Pit Tags Active $6,930 10/1/2020 - 9/30/2021
74314 REL 123 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMONIDS ASOTIN CR WS Closed $247,493 3/1/2021 - 2/28/2022
74314 REL 153 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMONIDS ASOTIN & TUCANNON CR FY22 Closed $299,079 12/1/2021 - 11/30/2022
84042 REL 23 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMONIDS ASOTIN CR WS Issued $311,302 12/1/2022 - 11/30/2023
84042 REL 56 SOW Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMONIDS ASOTIN CR WS Issued $324,999 12/1/2023 - 11/30/2024



Annual Progress Reports
Expected (since FY2004):30
Completed:28
On time:27
Status Reports
Completed:77
On time:55
Avg Days Early:1

                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
14059 18229, 22720, 25282, 30626, 36582, 41280, 46626, 52290, 56432, 60556, 64990, 68433, 71824, 75614, 74314 REL 29, 74314 REL 60, 74314 REL 93, 74314 REL 123, 74314 REL 153, 84042 REL 23, 84042 REL 56 2002-053-00 EXP ASSESS SALMONIDS ASOTIN CR WS Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) 06/01/2003 11/30/2024 Issued 77 158 17 0 1 176 99.43% 2
BPA-5601 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop Assess Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2006 09/30/2007 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-4314 PIT Tags - Assess Salmonids Asotin Cr WS Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2008 09/30/2009 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-4905 PIT Tags - Assess Salmonids in the Asotin Creek Watershed Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2009 09/30/2010 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-5721 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assess. Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2010 09/30/2011 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-6387 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assess. Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2011 09/30/2012 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-7027 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2012 09/30/2013 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-7735 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2013 09/30/2014 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-8397 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2014 09/30/2015 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-9539 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2016 09/30/2017 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-10192 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2017 09/30/2018 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-10772 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2018 09/30/2019 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-11707 PIT Tags - Asotin Cr Salmon Pop. Assessment Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2019 09/30/2020 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
BPA-12080 FY21 Pit Tags Bonneville Power Administration 10/01/2020 09/30/2021 Active 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Project Totals 77 158 17 0 1 176 99.43% 2


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: 2022 Anadromous Fish Habitat & Hatchery Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-NPCC-20230310
Project: 2002-053-00 - Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Review: 2022 Anadromous Fish Habitat & Hatchery Review
Approved Date: 4/15/2022
Recommendation: Implement
Comments: Bonneville and Sponsor to take the review remarks into consideration in project documentation.

[Background: See https://www.nwcouncil.org/2021-2022-anadromous-habitat-and-hatchery-review/]

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-ISRP-20230407
Project: 2002-053-00 - Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Review: 2022 Anadromous Fish Habitat & Hatchery Review
Completed Date: 4/7/2023
Final Round ISRP Date: 2/10/2022
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:

In our initial review, the ISRP requested a response on the topics listed below:

1. Clarify goals and objectives

2. Methods for new goals and objectives

3. More detailed description of methods

4. Project evaluation and adjustment

5. Influence of take limits

6. M&E matrix – support

The ISRP thanks the proponents for their efforts to prepare the revised proposal and provide point-by-point responses. The responses and revisions to the proposal were extensive, comprehensive, and addressed all of the major and minor issues. The ISRP appreciates the detail and completeness of the responses by the proponents. The revised proposal provides much improved goals, objectives, and tasks with clearer continuity and connectivity. The revision of the Methods section to align with the objectives and tasks, along with the additional detail, improved the proposal significantly. The enhanced description of the evaluation and adjustment process clarifies the project’s adaptive management approach. The ISRP also wants to recognize the contributions and cooperation of this project with the Tucannon Programmatic Habitat Project (201007700) to produce a broader scale synthesis of M&E in the subbasins.

The ISRP offers a few suggestions for future improvements that we believe will further enhance project success. We recognize the difficulty in formulating monitoring and evaluation objectives in SMART format; however, we suggest that the proponents consider adding measurable criteria when possible. For example, Task 2 could be improved by specifying what “high level performance” represent for estimates of juvenile abundance. Moreover, for Task 4, by providing the specific types of estimates of productivity that the project produces.

Adaptive management processes occur at multiple scales from the project level to major management decisions. We encourage the proponents to consider the project’s role at all levels in the adaptive management processes.

In response to the request from the ISRP for more information on population-level analysis, the proponents removed the objective to provide analysis related to population dynamics throughout the hydrosystem and in the marine environment. The development of stock recruitment models and a life cycle model were deemed outside the scope of the project. Although we are not expecting the proponents to add this objective back into the project, we suggest that project staff consider, as time permits, ways to get assistance from and collaborate with others (e.g., AMIP Life Cycle Modeling workgroup) on the broader population-level analyses and modeling. Utilization of the extensive datasets generated by the project in these types of analyses would provide valuable information.

Preliminary ISRP report comments: response requested (Provided for context. The proponents responded to the ISRP’s questions; see response link and final review above.)

Response request comment:

This research, monitoring, and evaluation project was initiated in 2002, and the proposal continues the focus on providing viable salmonid population (VSP) data needed to assess status and trends of the ESA listed Asotin Creek steelhead population. The project provides invaluable data on aspects of the production dynamics of a summer steelhead population that experiences minimal effects from hatchery fish. Owing to high sampling effort and use of relatively advanced analytical methods, the project provides reliable estimates of natural origin escapement and emigrant (parr and smolt) abundance. Increasing use of PIT detection antennas in tributaries, combined with PIT tagging of all fish at the mainstem fence, is an innovative and robust way of estimating tributary-specific escapements, which will be helpful in evaluating benefits of habitat restoration. This project is well under way to being one of a few long-term steelhead production studies.

The information provided by the project is essential for conducting ESA status assessments that include parameters for abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity. The project is soundly supported by the Subbasin Plan and NOAA Recovery Plan. The project has been successful in achieving the original basic objectives and tasks of providing baseline VSP parameter data and coordinating relationships among other projects that use the data.

The proposal characterizes past objectives and accomplishments well, including adaptive changes to field sampling and analytical approaches. The project has clearly generated useful information on steelhead.

The proponents are requested to address the following items in a revised proposal and include a brief point-by-point response to the ISRP referencing where and summarizing how the issues were addressed in the revised proposal:

  1. Clarify goals and objectives. Clarify, reformulate, and make consistent the goals, objectives, and tasks of the project, including consistency with the SMART objective format.
  2. Methods for new goals and objectives. Realign and expand the methods section to be consistent with the new goals, objectives, and tasks.
  3. More detailed description of methods. Expand and add detail to the methods for the escapement estimates, juvenile outmigration, the validity of some of the key assumptions, and plans for developing stock-recruit relationships (see Methods section of this review for details).
  4. Project evaluation and adjustment. Describe the adaptive management process more thoroughly.
  5. Influence of take limits. Complete an assessment of whether take limits will impact future sampling and identify what adjustments can be made to address any identified limitations.
  6. M&E matrix - support. As habitat projects and monitoring projects are not presented as part of an integrated proposal or plan, the need for a crosswalk to identify the linkages between implementation and monitoring is extremely important for basins or geographic areas. The ISRP is requesting a response from the Tucannon River Programmatic Habitat Project (201007700) to summarize the linkages between implementation and monitoring projects in the Lower Snake, Tucannon, and Asotin geographic area. We ask this project to assist them in creating the summary and provide information to them about what is being monitored by this project and where and when the monitoring occurs. A map or maps of locations of monitoring actions would be helpful in this regard.

Q1: Clearly defined objectives and outcomes

The goals and objectives section is incomplete and needs revisions to be consistent with the guidance provided in the proposal form template. A goal related to population dynamics assessment (stated later in the proposal) should be added to the statement of the four goals. SMART objectives should be stated for each goal, as they describe the elements necessary to achieve the goals.

The proposal has four stated goals for the future operations:

• maintain existing data sets for VSP ESA assessments

• develop tools that prioritize and evaluate management and restoration actions

• maximize collaboration with stakeholders and conservation partners

• use innovative methods to inform conservation and recovery.

In addition to the goals that are provided in the goals and objectives section, the following goal is stated elsewhere in the proposal: (5) Evaluate population dynamics within the subbasin and in the hydropower system and ocean. However, the objectives provided appear to be primarily associated with a single combined goal that includes the individually stated goals. In addition, no clear objectives are provided for information sharing or participation in adaptive management decision processes. Also unclear was how the tributary-specific escapement estimates, in the absence of tributary-specific juvenile production estimates, will be used.

The ISRP also requests that the proponents provide details and plans for addressing a key objective of this study of developing a stock-recruit relationship to describe production dynamics for a population that is minimally affected by hatchery-origin fish. This would include estimation of adult recruit-per-spawner and smolt-per-spawner relationships (or egg deposition instead of spawner abundance given information on size/age/sex at return). The ISRP encourages the project team to begin estimating these stock-recruit relationships and more advanced versions that attempt to explain some of the variation in recruits-per-spawner by including environmental covariates (e.g., flow, water temperature, which could include metrics influenced by habitat efforts).

Q2: Methods

The methods appear sound although it is difficult for the ISRP to fully evaluate them. The methods provided for objective 1, and the associated tasks that focus on VSP parameter data, are clear. In general, the methods need additional details and need to be tailored and clearly described in relation to the revised goals and objectives. In addition to relating methods to newly formulated and clarified goals and objectives (and tasks), other issues to consider for revising the methods are:

• Escapement estimates are based on mark-recapture because fish may move upstream of the weir site prior to installation or move past the weir undetected during high water (this should be clarified in the proposal). As the ISRP understands it, the escapement estimate is based on a two-event closed mark-recapture model, where any unmarked fish are marked during upstream passage over the weir and detected as kelts during downstream passage. The proportion of kelts with a mark is used to estimate the capture probability of the weir during upstream migration. Thus, there are two unstated key assumptions of the approach: a) 100% of kelts moving downstream past the weir will be detected; and b) there is no mortality between upstream and downstream passage. Is there any data to support these assumptions, especially b)?

• A Bayesian approach is used to estimate sex-, origin-, and age-specific escapement. The latter is critical for stock-recruit analysis that depends on assigning each returning spawner to its brood year. Owing to limitations in the model description, we were unsure whether age-specific escapement estimates account for the uncertainty in age assignment. In some years, the number of scales collected can be low, and given a relatively large number of freshwater-marine age combinations, assignment error to any one total age category would be high. Clarification of the model being used to estimate outmigrant abundances and how it relates to other commonly used models would strengthen the methods and ensure comparability with other analyses.

• Additional methods should be added related to the stock-recruit analysis to estimate productivity. Only recruit-per-spawner vs time plots were provided in the proposal. Without a stock-recruit analysis, which could include covariate effects (e.g., habitat, flow, marine condition indices) the causes for variation in the relationship are not defined (density-dependent or other covariate effects). When a more formal analysis is done, a state space modeling approach (e.g., Fleischman et al. 2013, Stanton et al. 2017) should be considered to account for the uncertainty in brood year assignment.

• Addition of details about release locations and timing of releases (day or night). Key assumptions or factors should be stated. For example, confirmation that fish move past the trap within a week (assuming a diagonal version of a weekly-stratified estimator is being used) and whether fish are being released far enough away from the traps to not violate the assumption that marked and unmarked fish are fully mixed by the time they reach the trap.

• Any evidence or proposed analyses to address whether age or size significantly affects capture probability, and whether uncertainty in age assignment is propagated forward through the estimation of age-specific run sizes.

• Information on the role of strays in influencing the project outcomes.

References

Fleischman, S.J., M.J. Catalono, R.A. Clark, and D.R. Bernard. 2013. An age-structured state-space stock-recruit model for Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Science 70:401-414.

Stanton, B.A., M.J. Catalano, and S.J. Fleischman. 2017. From sequential to integrated Bayesian analysis: Exploring the continuum with a Pacific salmon spawner-recruit model. Fisheries Research 186: 237-247.

Q3: Provisions for M&E

The project has been successful in generating basic VSP parameter data for abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity. The project team has made effective modifications and improvements to field sampling protocols and analytical approaches, shifting from spawning ground surveys to PIT-tagged adult distribution to assess spatial structure and adding Bayesian analyses to improve parameter estimates related to determining abundances. These are two good examples of adjustments that have been made within the project.

There were major elements requested in the proposal preparation guidance related to the adjustment process that were not addressed. There were no descriptions of the adaptive management process or decision framework used to evaluate outcomes, adjust goals, objectives, actions, monitoring, or methods. In addition, the proposal did not describe time frames for adaptive adjustments, who is involved, how information is shared and utilized in the process, and how adaptive decisions are documented. The project evaluation and adjustment process section needs further description.

Another issue is the question of how some sampling methods may be impacted by take limits. We were unclear whether take issues would affect the number of fish that can be measured, scaled, and marked, or will it also limit the period of operations for the weir or RST. Given the potential for this issue to seriously impact this project, a more detailed discussion and perhaps planning for contingencies is warranted.

Q4: Results – benefits to fish and wildlife

The project has provided extensive results that address the basic original objectives and tasks. An excellent summary of the data related to VSP parameters for abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity was provided. The results produced to date have been valuable and essential for completion of the Asotin Creek steelhead population viability assessments. For example, the project results showed a recent decline in spawner abundance and recruits-per-spawner since 2016 that have remained low. There was no presentation of results related to higher-level questions associated with uncertainties in parameter estimates, spawner-recruit relationships, and full life cycle population dynamics. Such analyses would expand the value and further link project outcomes to management needs.

Documentation Links:
Review: RME / AP Category Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-NPCC-20110106
Project: 2002-053-00 - Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Review: RME / AP Category Review
Proposal: RMECAT-2002-053-00
Proposal State: Pending BPA Response
Approved Date: 6/10/2011
Recommendation: Fund (Qualified)
Comments: See Programmatic issue #2.
Conditions:
Council Condition #1 Programmatic Issue: RMECAT #2 Habitat effectiveness monitoring and evaluation—.

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-ISRP-20101015
Project: 2002-053-00 - Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Review: RME / AP Category Review
Proposal Number: RMECAT-2002-053-00
Completed Date: 12/17/2010
Final Round ISRP Date: 12/17/2010
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria
Final Round ISRP Comment:
The response is complete and addresses ISRP comments. A better description of M&E procedures and progress to date is provided. The response places Asotin Creek as an IMW within the context of ISEMP and CHaMP. It describes past data collected and the project plan for provision of new data. Data will be used to establish a baseline against which trends in productivity, abundance, distribution, and diversity of Asotin Creek steelhead populations can be assessed.

Methods to monitor adult escapement, redd counts and juvenile outmigration are now described in detail. Methods of genetic sampling are also well described. Data from field sampling are summarized in graphs and tables. An impressive amount of data has been collected considering the relatively short period of time the project has been in operation and it is evident that the proponents are proceeding expeditiously with their analyses.

The proponents are focusing on determining status and trends of VSP criteria, that is, collecting baseline data rather than testing hypotheses. This approach seems appropriate at this stage of the work. They agree that formulating testable hypotheses is desirable and propose to undertake this effort in the future. The ISRP concurs with the proponents that the Asotin would be a good reference basin for these studies. The project should form an important component of an experimental management network once the complete design among sites is formed. We encourage this approach.

Given the importance and uniqueness of the Asotin population, as the project progresses the ISRP strongly suggests that the proponents consider publishing their results in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
First Round ISRP Date: 10/18/2010
First Round ISRP Rating: Response Requested
First Round ISRP Comment:

The goal of this RM&E project is to develop an index system for status and trends of a wild steelhead population by estimating abundance, distribution, productivity and life-stage survival rates of anadromous adult and juvenile steelhead in Asotin Creek and mainstem. The Asotin summer-run steelhead population has been identified as the primary population for status monitoring within the lower Snake steelhead Major Population Group. The population is somewhat unique in that it is unsupplemented and maintains a relatively large population of naturally spawning steelhead even though it lies above eight mainstem dams. It could serve as a valuable reference stream within the IMW program. For these reasons, continued monitoring of this population should be a high priority. The ISRP seeks a more thorough presentation and interpretation of work and results to date and as planned, toward a comparative experimental approach to recruitment analyses. The project is consistent with the Asotin Subbasin Plan, MERR, the NPCC Research Plan, NOAA Fisheries “Guidance for Monitoring Recovery of Pacific Northwest Salmon and Steelhead Populations” and the Washington Statewide Steelhead Management Plan. It addresses several RPAs in the 2008 Biological Opinion. This project is closely tied to regional programs. It serves as a supplementation reference stream and collects data for management of ESA-listed steelhead stocks. It collaborates with other projects and is a part of the Integrated Status and Effectiveness Monitoring Program (ISEMP.) A clear technical background is provided. The project states five objectives (which are really tasks): 1. Estimate escapement and spawner abundance of wild and hatchery steelhead in Asotin Creek 2. Estimate adults per redd in the Asotin Creek mainstem 3. Document juvenile steelhead and Chinook salmon life history patterns, survival rates, and estimate emigrant production in the Asotin Creek mainstem 4. Collect DNA samples for future genetic characterization 5. Disseminate data This project seems organized and very worthwhile, with potential value to an array of regional recovery needs. However, more detail needs to be provided on procedures of monitoring and evaluation, as well as more evaluation of progress to date. The proposal should place past activities and accomplishments in the context of the project’s and the subbasin’s objectives, evaluating strengths and weaknesses and showing how they will strategically affect the conduct and direction of the project. This project received a favorable rating in the last ISRP projects review, and there remain several favorable traits. That is, there is good justification for continued funding. Asotin steelhead are a relatively viable, unsupplemented population occurring above eight mainstem dams and so would have value as a reference stream for IMW work and in maintaining viability of Lower Snake steelhead. The proponents appear to have made progress in evaluating status and trends of Asotin steelhead. Nonetheless, a more thorough presentation of results is needed. Also, more detail is needed on methods for data collection and analytical methods particularly for objectives 1-3 (Deliverables 2 and 4). In addition, there is a need to briefly summarize their results from annual reports (which were well-written, but separate documents). This is an opportunity to compare with other basins and programs utilizing the CHaMP protocols; however, preliminary characteristics and differences should at least be listed. They also should compare recruitment results to the Tucannon and Walla Walla rivers (and others) and develop testable hypotheses from the recruitment analyses, toward an adaptive management experimental approach. The goal is to provide data toward understanding the biology and recruitment of wild, unsupplemented summer-run steelhead in this lower Snake River tributary, as an index of status and trends, but little or no information on results is provided. In addition, the proponents suggest the site will provide information on habitat restoration and serve as the wild control for evaluation of supplementation. However, details of these evaluations were lacking. Adult PIT tagging efforts incorporate ISEMP methodology, and there is mention of genetic monitoring (SNPs) but, again, details are needed. No recruitment analyses were attempted, albeit they are working with somewhat preliminary data (trapping commenced in 2004). The list of accomplishments is substantive, but the proponents need to provide a more thorough presentation of results. Results should be presented in graphs and/or tables, with explanation, interpretation, and general conclusions drawn. Returns of both hatchery (strays) and naturally spawning fish should be provided, and in comparison to elsewhere. The results should be organized according to past project objectives to allow the reviewer to determine if the project is progressing satisfactorily toward accomplishment of its objectives. Given these caveats, this site should form an important contribution to the evolving IMW network.

Documentation Links:
  • Proponent Response (11/15/2010)

2008 FCRPS BiOp Workgroup Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-BIOP-20101105
Project Number: 2002-053-00
Review: RME / AP Category Review
Proposal Number: RMECAT-2002-053-00
Completed Date: None
2008 FCRPS BiOp Workgroup Rating: Supports 2008 FCRPS BiOp
Comments: BiOp Workgroup Comments: No BiOp Workgroup comments

The BiOp RM&E Workgroups made the following determinations regarding the proposal's ability or need to support BiOp Research, Monitoring and Evaluation (RME) RPAs. If you have questions regarding these RPA association conclusions, please contact your BPA COTR and they will help clarify, or they will arrange further discussion with the appropriate RM&E Workgroup Leads. BiOp RPA associations for the proposed work are: (50.6 62.5)
All Questionable RPA Associations ( ) and
All Deleted RPA Associations ( )
Proponent Response:
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2002-053-00 - Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Fund
Comments:

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2002-053-00 - Asotin Creek Salmon Population Assessment
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 proposal is excellent, especially the reporting of progress to date. The installation of the resistivity counter is a positive step and should help enumerate adult Chinook and steelhead escapements, particularly in combination with the juvenile PIT tag effort.

Technical and scientific background: The goal of this project is to assess the status of anadromous salmonid populations in the Asotin Creek watershed. Much of Asotin Creek and its tributaries have been straightened, diked or relocated. Many habitat restoration projects have been completed or are ongoing in the Asotin Creek watershed with state (Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Washington Conservation Commission) and federal (BPA) funding. More than $1.5 million has been spent on habitat restoration projects in the Asotin Creek Subbasin.

The data suggests that Asotin Creek - above eight FCRPS dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers - has a highly productive and resilient population of naturally-producing summer steelhead, which may be an important nursery of the Snake River steelhead ESU.

Fish management in Asotin Creek, directed by Washington's Wild Salmonid Policy (WSP 1997), is focused on the protection and restoration of wild steelhead (lower Snake River ESU) and bull trout. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) designated the Asotin Creek Subbasin a wild steelhead refuge in 1997 and has planted no hatchery fish since 1998. Limited efforts have been made to assess the salmonid populations in the subbasin. Most of the data used by the co-managers for fish management are from limited research, monitoring, and evaluation (RM&E) activities conducted with funds from the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan (LSRCP).

Rationale and significance to subbasin plans and regional programs: This project implements the research, monitoring and evaluation (RM&E) criteria specified in the Asotin Subbasin Plan by providing estimates of abundance, productivity, survival rates, and temporal and spatial distribution of ESA-listed species, primarily summer steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and secondarily spring Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha). The project also implements reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) 180 in the NMFS 2000 and 2004 Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinions (BiOp) for population status monitoring and review of status change over time. This project is designed to enumerate adult salmonids entering Asotin Creek to spawn and to estimate the juvenile migrant population and emigration patterns

Relationships to other projects: As a result of the several associated projects in the Asotin subbasin, a sizeable investment has now been made toward understanding salmonids in Asotin Creek. Allowing the project to continue until relevant metrics can be described for a small system with a relatively large steelhead population has significant potential value. This is underscored by early project data that show substantially more adults and juvenile out-migrants in the system than were expected (ASP 2004, p5. 15; 45). Understanding the population dynamics of the Asotin Creek steelhead population can be instructive for understanding small-river summer steelhead biology throughout the Interior Columbia basin and the potential of these smaller systems to contribute to recovery.

Project history: A detailed and thorough recounting of project history and accomplishments is provided.

Objectives: Five objectives clearly defined and linked to Asotin Subbasin Plan

Tasks (work elements) and methods: Detailed methods with sound scientific principles and explained and referenced.

Facilities, equipment, and personnel: The basic infrastructure needed to complete the proposed work elements is already in place.

Information transfer: An Annual Report will be submitted to BPA as a deliverable work product, which will include an abstract, introduction, description, methods, results, discussion, summary, and list of expenditures, in the Pisces format. Quarterly status reports will also be submitted to BPA in Pisces. Written or oral summaries will be provided to co-managers, subbasin planners and other interested parties, as necessary/requested, for inclusion in Asotin Subbasin planning efforts. The data from this project will also be submitted to the StreamNet database, if possible.

Benefit to focal and non-focal species: For the steelhead Snake River ESU, this assessment work should provide benefits including improved knowledge of species/habitat relationship. The baseline data collected for each focal species under this project is needed to refine fish return and management goals, and to assist in the establishment of future numeric fish population goals as outlined in the Asotin Subbasin Plan (ASP 2004, p. 160). In addition, assessing the Asotin Creek steelhead population may provide a better understanding of limiting factors that affect similar or adjacent populations. Moreover, data from this project could be used to help determine if regional recovery efforts to stabilize and rebuild steelhead populations would be best spent on within-subbasin projects or out-of subbasin actions (i.e., FCRPS modifications).

Rebuilding the bull trout population and eventually reintroducing spring Chinook are goals for the Subbasin. Understanding the steelhead population trend may allow managers to initiate recovery actions directed toward these populations at the appropriate time.
Documentation Links:

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2002-053-00
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: Population status analysis; fishery managers authorized/required; query whether cost-share is sufficient here.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 2002-053-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2002-053-00
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: None

Name Role Organization
Janice Jackson Administrative Contact Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Ethan Crawford Project Lead Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Russell Scranton Project Manager Bonneville Power Administration
Jeremy Cram Technical Contact Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Russell Scranton Project SME Bonneville Power Administration
Catherine Clark Env. Compliance Lead Bonneville Power Administration