This annual Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board (UCSRB) implementation report to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) provides an overview of recovery projects completed in 2019 that benefit Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed Upper Columbia (UC) spring Chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout. The report also provides an overview of environmental conditions and an update on changes in “All-H” (hydropower, hatchery, harvest, habitat) management sectors affecting Upper Columbia listed salmon and steelhead in 2019. The recovery of listed salmon, steelhead, and bull trout populations in the region is, in part, dependent upon the implementation of habitat restoration and protection actions identified in the Upper Columbia Spring Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Plan (Recovery Plan; UCSRB 2007) and the Upper Columbia Regional Technical Team’s (UCRTT) Biological Strategy (RTT 2017). NMFS formally adopted the Recovery Plan in August 2007, which calls for submittal of annual updates to NMFS by systematically revising the Implementation Schedule (Recovery Plan Appendix M). The process by which the Implementation Schedule is developed is presented in Attachment 2 of this report. The following summary of habitat actions completed during the 2019 calendar year and an update on the status of projects in planning is one component of the UCSRB’s approach to tracking progress in implementation of the Recovery Plan.
This Annual Report documents progress toward recovery using a systematic, integrated approach. The Recovery Plan envisions an “All–H” approach for success and information exchange and collaborative solutions across all management sectors is pertinent to recovery. The systematic tracking of implementation of the Recovery Plan requires a comprehensive effort to look at progress across management and geographic boundaries. This 2019 Annual Report includes information on environmental changes that occurred in all habitats of Upper Columbia listed salmon and steelhead and changes to management across hydropower, hatchery, and harvest arenas affecting these populations. These changes provide context to the recovery efforts being undertaken to restore and protect habitat in the Upper Columbia and their contribution to the recovery and sustainability of Upper Columbia spring Chinook and steelhead viability.
Returns of spring Chinook and steelhead remained low in 2019 in the Wenatchee, Entiat, Methow, and Okanogan (Figure 1). A total of 1,715 spring Chinook (445 natural- and 1,270 hatchery-origin) returned to the Upper Columbia in 2019, which was the lowest return to the region since 1999. A total of 1,627 steelhead (439 natural- and 1,188 hatchery-origin) returned in 2019 which was one of the lowest returns on record, and the lowest return total in the last 40 years (WDFW 2020). The 12-year geometric mean of natural-origin returns for both species remains well below the goals set for delisting in all four basins.
A total of 1,715 spring Chinook (445 natural- and 1,270 hatchery-origin) returned to the Upper Columbia in 2019, which was the lowest return to the region since 1999.
Total spring Chinook counts at Priest Rapids Dam show that the run of 8,109 adults in 2019 was slightly more than the previous two years but still less than half of the 10-year average. Of the spring Chinook that returned to the region, 1,404 were unlisted spring Chinook returning to Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery (Muir et al. 2020). Steelhead counts at Priest Rapids continued to decline, with less than 4,000 adults passing for the year. This total was just 22% of the 10-year average. (Columbia River DART 2020). Runs across the interior Columbia Basin showed similar trends with most showing returns less than half of the 10-year average in 2019.
Entiat Spring Chinook
Methow Spring Chinook
Wenatchee Spring Chinook
Figure 1. Spring Chinook and steelhead returns between 2000-2019 and percent hatchery-origin spawners (pHOS) by year. The black line indicates the 12-year geometric mean of spawners, and the dashed line is the abundance delisting target. Source: NOAA SPS data; WDFW SaSI data; WDFW and USFWS unpublished data 2020.
Habitat Conditions in 2019
El Niño years typically produce drier and warmer winters in the Pacific Northwest. The winter of 2019 (November 2018 through April 2019) was a weak El Niño period with an Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) anomaly of 1.6 °F (National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center 2019). As a result, during the winter of 2019 the precipitation was below average and temperatures were above average. Winter was particularly low, at 39% and 44% below normal in Chelan and Okanogan counties, respectively (West Wide Drought Tracker 2020). Precipitation for all of 2019 was 23% and 20% below normal in Chelan and Okanogan Counties, respectively.
As a result of the drier winter, snowpack across the Upper Columbia was lower than average. The average peak snow water equivalent (the amount of water held in the snowpack) at eight stations across the four sub-basins in the Upper Columbia was 202 inches, which on average was 59 inches or 21% lower than an average snow year (NRCS 2020). The average snow disappearance day was May 13th, which was 11 days earlier than the average historic snow disappearance day. As expected with the lower than average snowpack, streamflow was lower and flow timing occurred earlier in the year (USGS 2020). Across eight streamflow gauges analyzed (one mainstem and one tributary location for each of the four sub-basins), the annual discharge was 31% lower than average (Figure 2). Across the Upper Columbia, the center of mass of flow timing (the day half of all annual flow has occurred) was on average 12 days earlier than historic streamflow. Furthermore, summer flows were much lower than normal. The mean July streamflow across the eight gauges was 53% below normal. The mean August streamflow across the Upper Columbia was on average 40% below normal.
Snowpack in the Upper Columbia was 21% lower than an average snow year.
Ocean conditions in 2019 continued to trend toward neutral and/or poor for outmigrating juvenile salmon.
Peak summer water temperatures were on average slightly elevated in 2019 (USGS 2020). The peak 7-day average water temperature across the five USGS sites averaged 69.0 °F, which was 1.7 °F higher than the average historic 7-day maximum average stream temperature. Of the five stations, the Wenatchee River station at Monitor was the greatest above historic levels, reaching 72.4 °F which was 3.9 °F above average. The warmest river measured was the Okanogan River at Malott which reaching a peak 7-day average of 75.7 °F. Water temperatures in the mainstem Columbia were slightly below average in July and August (1.3 °F) and nearly average temperatures in the spring and fall (Columbia River DART 2020).
Wildfire is a major driver of aquatic habitat in the Upper Columbia. Despite many large wildfires in recent years, according to the NWCC (2019) annual report there were no major wildfires in the Upper Columbia in 2019. The only two wildfires in the Upper Columbia reported were the 280-acre Swanson Mill fire Southeast of Orville and the South Fork Creek wildfire that burned 200 acres in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Figure 2. Streamflow in 2019 and median historic streamflow at four United States Geological Service (USGS) stations.
Ocean conditions in 2019 continued to trend toward neutral and/or poor for outmigrating juvenile salmon. While 2018 was fairly neutral, NOAA’s 2019 indicators ranked on the warmer side. Many of the biological variables were neutral or negative. However, the May-Sept northern copepod anomalies were much higher than normal, ranking second highest in the time series. The high abundance of northern copepods is usually an indicator of good feeding conditions in the Northern California Current. However, most of 2019’s other indicators point to a more neutral and/or poor year for outmigrating juvenile salmon (see 2019 NOAA Report here). NMFS uses these indicators to provide annual outlooks of salmon returns one to two years in advance of their return to their natal streams.
Figure 3 Left: Ocean ecosystem indicators of the Northern California Current. Colored squares indicate either positive (green), neutral (yellow), or negative (red) conditions for salmon entering the ocean. Far right columns indicate forecast of adult returns based on ocean conditions in 2018. Right: Average catches of juvenile coho (black bars) and yearling Chinook (red bars) during trawl surveys off the coast of Washington and Oregon. Both taken from (Peterson et al. 2019).
In addition to physical and biological indicators, NMFS also conducts juvenile trawls to monitor the number of juvenile salmon present in the ocean. Abundance of yearling Chinook salmon during June surveys has a significant and positive relationship to spring Chinook jack counts at Bonneville Dam the following spring, and to adult spring Chinook counts at Bonneville Dam two years later. Thus, catches of yearling salmon in June may be a good indicator of first-year ocean survival of yearling Chinook and coho salmon. The juvenile salmon catch in 2017 was the lowest on record, but catches of Chinook in June 2019 were about average, indicating ocean survival of juvenile Chinook and coho was also about average (Peterson et al. 2019).
Impacts from poor ocean conditions take years to fully register in the adult fish returns and to dissipate. The delay varies by species based on their life cycle in freshwater and the ocean. Chinook generally have a four- to five-year delay and steelhead have a one- to two-year delay, on average. Adult returns in 2019 reflected the negative impacts of smolts experiencing poor ocean conditions one to three years previously (2016-2018). Poor ocean conditions over the past six years (particularly between 2014-2017) mean that returns of most species will likely continue to be low in the coming years but could start recovering in the next few years given that ocean conditions and juvenile survival in 2018-2019 were about average, or at least better than they were in 2017.
The UCSRB completed the Harvest Background Summary in 2020 which provides a comprehensive view of harvest in relation to Upper Columbia listed spring Chinook and steelhead. The summary covers information on harvest up until 2018. Subsequent information on harvest is contained in this annual report.
Fisheries in 2019 continued to be restricted due to low abundances of Columbia River salmon and steelhead. Because of low returns and the need to meet hatchery broodstock goals, there were no conservation fisheries for Upper Columbia steelhead or Upper Columbia spring Chinook. This was the fifth year in a row that there were no conservation fisheries. Anadromous fisheries offered in the Upper Columbia in 2019 included summer Chinook and coho. There was a limited spring Chinook fishery in the Icicle River and on the mainstem Columbia River in the Chief Joseph Dam tailrace in 2019. Both targeted unlisted, hatchery-origin spring Chinook.
Harvest of Upper Columbia spring Chinook and summer steelhead occurred primarily in the mainstem Columbia River below the confluence of the Snake River. Under the U.S. v. Oregon Management Agreement, fisheries in this area are managed in accordance with an agreed-upon harvest rate schedule (Table A1). This harvest rate schedule and the pre-season forecast for upriver spring Chinook are used to plan fisheries based on the allowable impacts allocated to treaty and non-treaty fisheries. In 2019, the spring Chinook run forecast was 157,500 adults to the mouth of the Columbia, comprised of an upriver component of 99,300 fish and a lower river component of 58,200 fish. The final upriver spring Chinook run size was 73,101 adults, or 74% of the preseason forecast.
In 2019, there continued to be no commercial fisheries targeting upriver spring Chinook in the mainstem Columbia River. Non-treaty harvest of upriver spring Chinook primarily occurred through recreational fisheries. Treaty harvest of spring Chinook occurred through ceremonial and subsistence (C&S) fisheries. Total harvest (kept catch plus release mortality) of upriver spring Chinook in 2019 in the Lower Columbia River was 6,762 spring Chinook. Of these, approximately 70% were caught in treaty C&S fisheries and the remaining 30% in non-treaty recreational fisheries. Out of the total upriver spring Chinook harvest, an estimated 128 spring Chinook were from the Upper Columbia spring Chinook ESU. Non-treaty and treaty fisheries in the Columbia River did not exceed their Endangered Species Act (ESA) take limits for Upper Columbia spring Chinook. The non-treaty ESA impact rate was 0.75% for Upper Columbia spring Chinook, which did not exceed the 1.5% allowed. The 2019 treaty mainstem ESA impacts on the ESA-listed natural-origin Upper Columbia spring Chinook was 6.6% which was less than the allowed impact rate of 7.8% (ODFW & WDFW 2020).
There are limited data on population-specific harvest in Columbia River fisheries by brook year (BY). Approximately 12.5% of hatchery-origin Wenatchee spring Chinook BY2013 was harvested in treaty and non-treaty fisheries in the Lower Columbia (up from 7.8% in BY2012 and below average of 18.3%). Impacts to natural-origin steelhead are accrued from incidental release mortalities during mainstem fisheries. Upper Columbia steelhead are included in the A-index component of upriver steelhead.
The largest proportion of Upper Columbia steelhead pass Bonneville Dam between July and October – during the summer and fall fisheries. The total return to Bonneville Dam of upriver summer steelhead (April-October passage) was 75,600 fish and included 66,174 A-Index fish. The 2019 return was 60% of the forecast of 126,950 upriver steelhead and 45% the recent 10-year (2009-2018) average return of 282,249 fish (ODFW & WDFW 2020). Total harvest (direct and indirect mortality) of A-index summer steelhead in winter, spring, and summer fisheries in 2019 was 1,443 hatchery-origin and 184 natural-origin adults. Fall season harvest of A-Index steelhead totaled 340 hatchery-origin and 184 natural-origin steelhead. Most recorded non-treaty harvest impacts were from recreational fisheries below Bonneville dam and recreational “dip-in” tributary fisheries. Similar to past years, impacts to wild winter steelhead were minimal in 2019, estimated at 0.20%, which was well within the 2.0% ESA impact rate limit. Treaty harvest of A-index steelhead is not reported.
The UCSRB completed the Hydropower Background Summary in 2019 which provides a comprehensive view of hydropower in relation to Upper Columbia listed spring Chinook and steelhead. The summary covers information on hydropower up until 2017. Subsequent information on hydropower is contained in UCSRB annual reports.
Environmental conditions in 2019 resulted in average water temperatures and dissolved gas levels and low flow for most of the migration season. Dams on the Columbia River mainstem have multiple routes available to provide passage for migrating smolts, including spill as one possible route. Additional spill in 2019 at the lower four mainstem Columbia federal dams continued under a mandate by the U.S. District Court of Oregon (known as “spills to gas caps”). The Court-mandated additional spill is intended to decrease travel time and increase survival of spring migrating juvenile salmon. This additional spill does not pertain to the mid-Columbia Public Utility District (PUD) dams (the Court-mandate only directed federally-managed dams to increase spill). Spring spill at the PUD dams was generally below the most recent 10-year average in 2019 (Columbia River DART 2020).
Survival through the hydrosystem is estimated annually by NMFS for hatchery-origin Upper Columbia spring Chinook and steelhead. Survival of natural-origin Upper Columbia spring Chinook and steelhead is not assessed. For PIT-tagged hatchery-origin spring Chinook, estimated survival from release sites in the Upper Columbia to McNary Dam was slightly lower (50.6%) compared with 2017 and 2018. Survival from McNary Dam tailrace to Bonneville Dam tailrace was 78.5% (95% CI: 68.3- 90.3%), which was near the long-term average of 81.2%. Total UC spring Chinook survival through the hydrosystem (release to Bonneville) in 2019 can be estimated to be in the range of 40% (50.6% * 78.5%) (NOAA 2019).
For PIT-tagged hatchery steelhead originating from the upper Columbia River in 2019, estimated survival from release site to McNary Dam was also lower in 2019 (34.2%) compared with previous years. Survival from McNary Dam tailrace to Bonneville Dam tailrace was 60.6% (95% CI: 52.1- 70.5%). This estimate is below the long-term average of 76.4%. Total UC steelhead survival through the hydrosystem (release to Bonneville) in 2019 can be estimated to be in the range of 20% (34.2% * 60.6%) (NOAA 2019).
Yearling Chinook and Steelhead Survival (2008-2019)
Release to Bonneville (Computed)-CHN
Release to Bonneville (Computed)-STL
Release to McNary-Chinook
Release to McNary-Steelhead
Figure 4. Estimated survival and standard error (SE) through the Columbia River hydropower system for hatchery-origin yearling Chinook salmon and steelhead originating in the upper Columbia River, 2008–2019 (data from Zabel 2020))
The UCSRB completed the Hatchery Background Summary in 2017 which provides a comprehensive view of hatchery programs in relation to Upper Columbia listed spring Chinook and steelhead. The summary covers information on hatchery programs up until 2016. Subsequent information is contained in UCSRB annual reports.
In 2019, hatchery programs in the Upper Columbia released a total of 832,902 steelhead smolts (up from 685,758 in 2018) (Fish Passage Center 2020; Figure 5). These smolts were released as part of conservation and safety-net programs in the Okanogan, Methow, Wenatchee, and mainstem Columbia (Wells Hatchery). Approximately 40% were marked to allow for mark-selective harvest and adult management. Close to 2.7 million spring Chinook were released in the Upper Columbia in 2019. Of these, 1.159 million were listed spring Chinook released as part of conservation and safety net programs (up slightly from 1 million smolts in 2018). The remaining 1.5 million smolts were unlisted spring Chinook smolts released from Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery and Chief Joseph Hatchery. Hatchery production generally increased in the Upper Columbia compared with smolt releases in 2018 but was still below the long-term average in many watersheds (Figure 5).
Adult fish returning to the Upper Columbia are intentionally managed to enhance the number and success of natural-origin spawning adults, primarily by removing hatchery-origin fish. A variety of management tools, including conservation fisheries, hatchery outfall trapping, and trapping at weirs or dams are used to remove
hatchery-origin adults. Because of this, and changes in hatchery- and natural-origin returns, the percentage of hatchery-origin spawners (pHOS) has, on average, decreased or remained the same in most populations over the past decade (Figure 1). Because of the very low returns the past three years, some subbasins have experienced higher than expected pHOS in their returns. Based on 2019 estimates of hatchery- and natural-origin spawning escapement for spring Chinook and steelhead, the change in pHOS varied across the four subbasins. The rates of pHOS in the Wenatchee and Methow spring Chinook populations exceeded 75%. Another notable change was in the un-supplemented Entiat steelhead population where pHOS was 75% due to the extremely low returns of natural-origin fish (37 adults) and high rates of hatchery straying into the Entiat.
One method for assessing the risk of a supplementation program is to determine the influence of the hatchery and natural environments on the adaptation of the composite population. This is estimated by the proportion of natural-origin fish in the hatchery broodstock (pNOB) and the proportion of hatchery-origin fish in the natural spawning escapement (pHOS). A composite metric called the Proportionate Natural Influence (PNI) is used to look at these two factors together to assess genetic risk. The greater the value, the greater the strength of selection in the natural environment relative to that of the hatchery environment. For the natural environment to dominate selection, PNI should be greater than 0.50, and integrated populations should have a PNI of at least 0.67 (HSRG/WDFW/NWIFC 2004). Because of low escapement, Upper Columbia populations can be managed to meet escapement goals rather than PNI in some years.
In 2019, the low escapement of spring Chinook and steelhead drove the PNI below 0.5 in most spawning areas. The PNI of Wenatchee spring Chinook was 0.42, Nason spring Chinook was 0.30, and Methow spring Chinook was 0.48 (Snow et al. 2020). Steelhead had slightly higher PNI values with Wenatchee steelhead at a PNI of 0.53 (Hillman et al. 2020) and Wells Hatchery steelhead at 0.55 in 2019 (Snow et al. 2020).
Figure 5. Spring Chinook and steelhead hatchery production by release river (2010-2019). Release areas with an asterisk are unlisted (either harvest production or 10j reintroduction).
Habitat restoration and protection projects in the Upper Columbia are tracked on the Salmon Recovery Portal database, administered by the State of Washington Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office (GSRO). All habitat projects that could benefit salmon, steelhead, and bull trout, regardless of funder or sponsor, are tracked through this database. The UCSRB is responsible for managing the information that is collected on projects, and this information is used to track our progress toward implementing habitat goals in the Upper Columbia Recovery Plan and Upper Columbia Biological Strategy.
2019 Habitat Accomplishments
18 Projects Completed
of habitat protected
of stream treated
of new side channel
In 2019, partners completed 18 projects across all four major subbasins (similar to the number completed in 2018) (Figure 6). Of these completed projects, 12 were restoration, three protection, two design, and one was monitoring. Since 1998, there have been 510 projects completed in the region, a third of which (167 projects) were implemented in the last five years. Based on the last five years of implementation, an average of 23 projects have been completed annually. Although the total number of projects completed in 2019 is below average, it is similar to the number completed in the prior two years. As noted in previous annual reports, the scope and scale of current projects is significant based on the recorded budgets for recently completed projects. The total budget for the 18 projects was $7.6 million, with several projects close to or exceeding $1 million total budget. The average funding per project in 2019 was $424,668 which is less than in 2017 and 2018 but more than almost all prior years. The rise in average cost per project coincides with a decline in the number of projects as the region shifts toward fewer, higher-budget projects being implemented, either due to increasing costs or larger, more complex projects. A complete list of projects completed in 2019 is provided in Attachment 1.
Total Number of Projects and Money Spent By Year
Figure 6. Total number of habitat projects and money spent by year (1998-2018).
Because there are three listed fish species in the Upper Columbia and one of those species is critically endangered, it is important to track the amount of habitat work benefitting each species. All 18 completed restoration and protection projects occurred in the range of steelhead but only eight occurred in the range of endangered spring Chinook. Spring Chinook was the target species in less than half of the restoration and protection projects (7 of the 18). The number of projects benefitting spring Chinook was down from 2017 and 2018. Some of the restoration and protection projects benefitted all three listed species and several also benefitted unlisted species and stocks such as summer Chinook, lamprey, coho, and sockeye. Both planning projects targeted spring Chinook and the monitoring project was aimed at better understanding spring Chinook survival in Lake Wenatchee.
Just under 25% of the projects were located in areas prioritized as high (rank 1-3) in the Biological Strategy for restoration or protection. The same percentage were in low or unranked assessment units (Figure 7; Figure 8). Remaining projects were in moderate priority areas. Projects generally addressed priority ecological concerns in their respective project areas. Of the 13 restoration and planning projects completed, a quarter of them addressed a high priority ecological concern but another quarter of the projects addressed an ecological concern that was either low priority or unranked for that assessment unit. Compared with the previous three years, a lower percent of projects addressed high priority ecological concerns and there was an increase in the percent of projects that were not addressing priority areas or ecological concerns.
Priorities were developed based on the current status of habitat, the threat of future degradation (protection), and the potential for restored benefit and function (restoration and protection). In any given year sponsors may implement projects in low or unranked assessment units or address low or unranked ecological concerns. The reasons are varied but it should be noted that these projects represent important opportunities despite being outside the highest priority areas. More discussion on this topic can be found in the UCSRB Habitat Report (UCSRB 2014).
Number of Projects by Priority Ranking
Figure 7. Number of project by assessment unit and ecological concern priority rankings as defined in the Biological Strategy.
The four subbasins (Wenatchee, Entiat, Methow, and Okanogan) discussed in this report span an area of over eight million acres. Although there are some similarities in degraded habitat conditions throughout the tributaries, each watershed is diverse and has specific ecological concerns. The region uses a reach-based action approach to ensure priority habitat projects are implemented with a clear understanding of the existing physical processes. This reach-based approach to project development incorporates information from tributary and reach assessments completed by project partners, which ensures restoration and protection actions are based on a sound scientific assessment of physical channel processes.
2019 Project Locations and Priority Area
Figure 8. Map showing the location of projects completed in 2019 in related to priority areas identified in the Biological Strategy.
The following section briefly discusses the subbasins where projects occurred and features projects that address the identified ecological concerns in those areas. These projects demonstrate the region’s commitment to habitat projects that benefit key species and their habitat needs.
Partners in the Okanogan subbasin implemented two restoration projects in 2019. (See Attachment 1).
Featured Project: Pharr Side Channel
Sponsor: Colville Confederated Tribes
Location: Okanogan River
Funding: $300,000 total from Bonneville Power Administration (Fish Accords) ($300,000)
Outcomes: created 0.25 miles of off-channel habitat
The primary focus of this project was to increase the quality and quantity of juvenile rearing habitat needed from the late-winter through early-summer. Site specific project objectives were to increase the quantity of secondary channel habitats for short-term rearing of Chinook and steelhead, increase habitat complexity in secondary channel habitats, and improve sediment sorting processes in secondary channels and on the floodplain. Rearing fish prefer low-velocity, off-channel areas where energetic demands are low and food availability is high. However, these types of habitat conditions are sparse throughout the river and identified as a high-priority for restoration in the Pharr Road site. The project included: creation of a side channel inlet, enhancement of the side channel geometry, placement of a large wood habitat structure at the side channel inlet, and revegetation of the riparian area.
Data in the Salmon Recovery Portal database can be used to asses the status of identified projects in the reigon. There are currently 80 planned, 44 proposed, and 71 active projects in the SRP database (SRP October 2020). The total funding request (based on budget) for planned projects is $28.7 million and the total for proposed projects is $30.2 million. The UCSRB will continue working with partners in 2020 to build out the capability of using the Salmon Recovery Portal to capture out-year needs of sponsors. The full list of projects in the region can be found in the Implementation Schedule at https://www.ucsrb.org/mdocuments-library/reports/.
Table of Information for Projects Completed in 2019
List of projects completed in 2019. Source: Salmon Recovery Portal database (October 2020). CF= Cascade Fisheries, CCD= Cascadia Conservation District, CCNRD= Chelan Country Natural Resources Dept., CCT- Colville Confederated Tribes, MSRF- Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, YN= Yakama Nation.
Annual Implementation Schedule Update Process
The 2019 Implementation Schedule was generated directly from the Salmon Recovery Portal (SRP) online database. Summarized below are the steps the Upper Columbia region takes to build science, best available information, and public input into the Implementation Schedule updates. The process is based on guidance from NMFS (Interim Endangered and Threatened Species Recovery Planning Guidance, July 2006) that outlines the following three types of Recovery Plan revisions, and required public process:
“Updates” – do not require formal public process. A memo to NMFS outlining the updates will complete the record.
“Revisions” – require a formal Federal Register Notice. These have an associated comment period.
“Addenda” – are communicated by attaching information updates as an addendum in a memo to NMFS. This process may require formal public input.
Upper Columbia Process for Implementation Schedule Updates
Using NMFS guidance, the UCSRB uses the following process for annual updates to the Upper Columbia Spring Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Plan Implementation Schedule.
In the fall (October/November) the Implementation Team Leader will assemble all updates in reporting terminology. The sources for reporting codes are derived from PNAMP, PCSRF and the SRP. The IT Leader will engage the Regional Technical Team in a review of those terms.
The table of terms will be presented at the winter Implementation Team meeting for discussion and revision. The Implementation Team will also confirm the process for engaging the Watershed Action Teams in updating the Implementation Schedule.
The Implementation Team Leader will work with the 5 Watershed Action Teams to update the Implementation Schedule with (a) any revised reporting codes; and (b) all relevant information regarding actions implemented and actions planned for the future. The Watershed Action Teams will work with their constituents and respective stakeholders to engage them in the update process, which may include additional public meetings.
The Implementation Team Leader will consolidate all updates into the Upper Columbia Spring Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Recovery Plan Implementation Schedule. The IT Leader will also use this information to update the three-five year work plan for implementation.
The updated Implementation Schedule will be presented to the UCSRB Directors for discussion. Following the presentation of the updated Implementation Schedule, the Board will hold a formal public comment period during one of its regularly scheduled meetings. Upon approval by the Board, the updated Implementation Schedule will be sent as an attachment to a memo to NMFS advising the agency of the updates.
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Muir, H., M. Maxey, T. Becker, M. Cooper 2020. Monitoring and Evaluation of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Spring Chinook Salmon Program, 2019. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Leavenworth WA.
Hillman, T., M. Miller, M. Hughes, C. Moran, J. Williams, M. Tonseth, C. Willard, S. Hopkins, J. Caisman, T. Pearsons, and P. Graf. 2020. Monitoring and evaluation of the Chelan and Grant County PUDs hatchery programs: 2019 annual report. Report to the HCP and PRCC Hatchery Committees, Wenatchee and Ephrata, WA.
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Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. 2019. Northwest Annual Fire Report 2019. Portland, OR, USA.
NOAA. 2020. Memoradum: Preliminary survival estimates for the passage of spring-migrating juvenile salmonids through Snake and Columbia River dams and reservoirs, 2019. September 19, 2019.
Peterson, W.T., J. Fisher, C. Morgan, S. Zeman, B. Burkey, K. Jacobson. Ocean Ecosystem Indicators of Salmon Marine Survival in the Northern California Current. NOAA NMFS Report. December 2019.
Salmon Recovery Portal. 2020. Online database access October 2020.
Snow, C., C. Frady, D. Grundy, B. Goodman, and A. Haukenes. 2020. Monitoring and evaluation of the Wells Hatchery and Methow Hatchery programs: 2019 annual report. Report to Douglas PUD, Grant PUD, Chelan PUD, and the Wells and Rocky Reach HCP Hatchery Committees, and the Priest Rapids Hatchery Subcommittees, East Wenatchee, WA.
United States Geological Survey (USGS). 2019. U.S. Department of the Interior. https://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/sw.
WDFW. 2020. WDFW-Salmonid Stock Inventory Population Escapement. Data on data.wa.gov.