In response to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s December 14, 2015 request, the ISRP reviewed the following documents provided by the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) Fish and Wildlife Department: “Fisheries Management Plan for Stocked Waterbodies,” “Colville Tribes Resident Fish Hatchery Operation and Maintenance / Monitoring and Evaluation” and “Operational Plan: Colville Confederated Tribes Resident Fish Hatchery.” These are guiding documents for the Resident Fish Division’s Hatchery Program for the following projects: Colville Hatchery (#1985-038-00) and Rufus Woods Net Pen Project (#2008-117-00; recently moved under the hatchery project).
These documents are intended to address a condition the Council placed on these projects as part of the Resident Fish, Data Management and Program Coordination Category Review in July 2012: “Implement with conditions through FY2014. Sponsor to develop a trout stocking plan, including project specific concerns, as described by the ISRP, prior to FY2015. Funding recommendation beyond FY2014 based on favorable ISRP and Council review of the trout stocking plan.”
The Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) describes management actions on the eight waterbodies within or bordering the Colville Confederated Tribes Reservation that receive nearly 98% of the hatchery’s annual fish stocking by weight. Management actions are evaluated based on sampling and objectives described in the fisheries management plan.
ISRP Recommendation: Meets Scientific Review Criteria - In Part (Qualified)
In Part: The ISRP concludes that plans to possibly use sterile non-native predators, such as tiger muskellunge, to control the abundance of non-native golden shiners in the Twin Lakes are inconsistent with the ISRP’s review criteria and the Fish and Wildlife Program's principles and non-native and invasive species sub-strategy; therefore, these plans should not be implemented.
Qualification: The three recently published reports provided to the ISRP indicate significant progress in the development of a comprehensive fisheries management plan for the stocking of resident trout on the Colville Confederated Tribes land. Together, the documents describe and provide guidance for annual stocking of eight water bodies, develop some quantitative objectives (metrics) for evaluating success through a modest monitoring and evaluation effort, and incorporate the Rufus Woods stocking program into the overall fisheries management plan. The ISRP concludes that the three reports collectively meet the ISRP’s scientific review criteria but adds the qualification that a single comprehensive fisheries management plan should be developed by incorporating relevant information from each of the three reports and by addressing additional ISRP comments described below. Addressing other ISRP comments may take some effort, and the ISRP is available to address specific questions, but we do not believe it is necessary for the CCT to provide a response to our comments within the next few months. Instead, we encourage the CCT to consider ISRP comments while managing, monitoring, and evaluating the stocking effort. Our comments can be formally addressed when the CCT prepares an updated comprehensive plan in approximately three to five years. This comprehensive document would better satisfy the previous ISRP recommendation for an integrated stocking master plan.
For detailed comments, see the ISRP's full review memo.