Columbia River Hatchery Reform Project
The purpose of this Congressionally-mandated project is to develop a new performance-based management approach that allows tribal, state and federal managers to effectively manage Columbia River Basin hatcheries to meet conservation and production goals consistent with:
- Their expectations for harvest, habitat and hydropower effects on the resource
- Their respective legal responsibilities
- Sound science.
The initiative is designed so policy makers and funders can build on their confidence that decisions correspond with priorities. It's based on four principles:
- Clear Objectives – explicit and meaningful articulation of the purpose for each production program
- Acceptance that there is risk from inaction as well as action, and that it is important to have confidence in moving forward even in the face of some uncertainty
- Ability to learn and adapt
- Development of good decision-making tools.
The project will seek a series of broad policy agreements from the managers, upon which will be built a system of scientific and management information about hatcheries, habitat and harvest. Fundamental to the effort will be the decisions of the authorities in the basin about the objectives for each salmon and steelhead population and the intended goals of related hatchery programs.
For the hatchery reform process to be successful it must be aligned with the concurrent and complex authorities and initiatives that currently exist in the Columbia River Basin, including: U.S. v. Oregon, the remand of the FCRPS Biological Opinion, ESA recovery and sub-basin planning of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, and ongoing reviews of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service facilities and Mitchell Act hatcheries.
The facilitation team led by Jim Waldo and the independent science team will work closely with managers in the basin as they conduct their review of hatchery and harvest programs. The project is scheduled to be concluded in April 2008.
For more information on the Hatchery Reform Project, see http://www.hatcheryreform.us.