At the Council’s April 19, 2011 request, the ISRP reviewed the Master Plan prepared by the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (hereafter Tribes) titled Crystal Springs Fish Hatchery and Programs for Snake River Chinook Salmon and Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout. The Master Plan is proposed through BPA Project #2008-906-00, Crystal Springs Planning and Operations/Maintenance. This is a Step 1 review in the Council’s Three Step Review Process. Step 1 is the feasibility stage, and all major components and elements of a project should be identified. This review focuses on the Tribes’ responses to the Step 1 scientific review elements specified by the Council.
Overall, the ISRP found the Master Plan and supporting documents to be very well organized and prepared with excellent detail in some sections, especially those related to hatchery design and operation. The plan in general does a good job of presenting material regarding two fish species, three different field settings, and a proposed hatchery in a clear and professional manner.
However, while the policy basis for the proposed hatchery and relationship to subbasin plans and U.S. v. Oregon are thoroughly presented, the scientific justification for the proposed hatchery is lacking. The Master Plan does not present a convincing case that existing environmental conditions are adequate to achieve the primary objectives in the foreseeable future, which is what the ISRP is called upon to evaluate. Additional information and consideration of several key issues are needed before the Master Plan moves to Step 2. As currently presented, reviewers do not believe the conservation goals of the Yankee Fork (and probably Panther Creek) can be achieved given current conditions, and believe that additional development is required for the Yellowstone cutthroat trout restoration effort to meet scientific criteria. The ISRP requests a response on these and other issues. See the attached report for details.
This review should be considered with the concurrently released review of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ Supplementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation Program (#2008-905-00). See ISRP 2011-16.