Over the past eight years, the ISRP has conducted numerous reviews of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s (CTUIR) Walla Walla Spring Chinook Master Plan (2000-038-00) and the related project proposals. The Master Plan proposes to add incubation, early rearing, and final rearing facilities to the existing South Fork Walla Walla Adult Holding and Spawning Facility (i.e., Umatilla Hatchery satellite facility operating under the Council’s Fish and Wildlife Program since 1997) in order to produce annually 500,000 yearling spring Chinook smolts. This production group would be reared to full term, acclimated at the new facility, and released directly into the South Fork Walla Walla River, which is identified as the primary potential spring Chinook natural production area in the upper mainstem portion of the subbasin.
On November 13, 2008, the ISRP released its latest review, a Step 1 review in the Council’s Three Step Review Process, and found that the Master Plan did not meet scientific review criteria (ISRP 2008-14). On March 29, 2010, the Council sent the ISRP the CTUIR’s response and requested the ISRP's review.
The ISRP finds that the Master Plan, augmented by the response, still does not meet scientific review criteria. The ISRP notes that the response was in places helpful but ultimately incomplete in terms of the content needed to permit the ISRP to find the Master Plan meets scientific review criteria. The response offers considerable explanatory prose and tribal perspective, but does not adequately address the underlying scientific concerns. If the ISRP concerns or interpretations, or the basis of targets or recommendations by HSRG (e.g., PNI and pHOS) are incorrect, misguided, or otherwise unsupported by scientific principles or evidence, the proponents should clearly demonstrate these rather than suggesting that they disagree that the levels are not important. See the ISRP's attached memo for full details.