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

Project 2007-360-00 - Columbia River/Cowlitz River Eulachon Research and Monitoring Plan (ERMP)
Project Number:
2007-360-00
Title:
Columbia River/Cowlitz River Eulachon Research and Monitoring Plan (ERMP)
Summary:
The ERMP addresses critical information needs for improved management of eulachon in the Columbia River and its tributaries. This effort is consistent with sub-basin planning objectives, and anticipates needs related to a potential ESA status review.
Proposer:
None
Proponent Orgs:
Steward and Associates (Private)
Starting FY:
2007
Ending FY:
2011
BPA PM:
None
Stage:
Area:
Province Subbasin %
Columbia River Estuary Columbia Estuary 100.00%
Purpose:
Programmatic
Emphasis:
RM and E
Focal Species:
Species Benefit:
Anadromous: 100.0%   Resident: 0.0%   Wildlife: 0.0%
Tags:
None
Special:
None
BiOp Association:
None

No photos have been uploaded yet for this project.

Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review

Legal Assessment (In-Lieu)

Assessment Number: 2007-360-00-INLIEU-20090521
Project Number: 2007-360-00
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: Smelt population analysis, fishery managers authorized/required.

Capital Assessment

Assessment Number: 2007-360-00-CAPITAL-20090618
Project Number: 2007-360-00
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 2/27/2007
Capital Rating: Does Not Qualify for Capital Funding
Capital Asset Category: None
Comment: None

Independent Scientific Review Panel Assessment

Assessment Number: 2007-360-00-ISRP-20060831
Project: 2007-360-00 - Columbia River/Cowlitz River Eulachon Research and Monitoring Plan (ERMP)
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Completed Date: 8/31/2006
Final Round ISRP Date: None
Final Round ISRP Rating: Meets Scientific Review Criteria (Qualified)
Final Round ISRP Comment:
Eulachon are an important and underappreciated anadromous species in the Lower Columbia River. The timing of their spawning migration and their exceptionally high lipid content makes them an important food resource for many fish and wildlife at a time when other food types are scarce. Both salmon and sturgeon feed on smelt, as well as a variety of birds and scavenging mammals. The ISRP is not requesting a response, but the proposal would be improved be addressing the following comments:

Overall, the background information in the proposal was fairly complete. It would have been helpful to have presented data on historical abundance. Current runs are far lower than those of several decades ago, but no data are given. Coastwide, this species has experienced a significant decline that is consistent with Columbia River Basin populations. Even commercial harvests, although notoriously inaccurate, would have suggested the magnitude of current declines in the lower river. Nevertheless, the fact that the smelt runs have gone from supporting a commercial fishery to being considered for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing make this species an important candidate for monitoring. The proposal covered the local scientific information adequately but did not reference the important research done on this species elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska. The proposal should take into account the research conducted elsewhere.

Conditions in the marine environment can also be important limiting factors. Other than the Mt. St. Helen's eruption changing the freshwater habitat in the lower Columbia, the marine environment may be where the greatest changes in their habitat have occurred. The project should look at historical eulachon abundance in relation to Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) cycles and El nino/La nina events. Other concerns are human harvest, bird predation, and food availability in the marine environment. Canada is looking at eulachon bycatch in the shrimp fisheries off the West Coast of Vancouver Island. A consideration of these issues should be incorporated in the project.

Care should be taken to ensure sample sizes are sufficient. Has there been a power analysis to show that proposed fish samples fish are enough? The proposal mentions a potential link to the LCREP effort in the estuary, but relatively few details are given. How will this project use estuary data? Physical methods are fairly well described but a few more details could have been given, e.g., sediment monitoring methods on p. 13 of the proposal.
Documentation Links:

Council Recommendation

Assessment Number: 2007-360-00-NPCC-20090924
Project: 2007-360-00 - Columbia River/Cowlitz River Eulachon Research and Monitoring Plan (ERMP)
Review: FY07-09 Solicitation Review
Approved Date: 10/23/2006
Recommendation: Do Not Fund
Comments:

Project Relationships: None