Steps to Supplementation Success

Monday, September 9, 2013: 4:20 PM
Marriott Ballroom A (The Marriott Little Rock)
Jay Hesse , Department of Fisheries Resources Management - Research Division, Nez Perce Tribe, Lapwai, ID
Becky Johnson , Department of Fisheries Resources Management - Production Division, Nez Perce Tribe, Lapwai, ID
Peter Cleary , Department of Fisheries Resources Management - Rearch Division, Nez Perce Tribe, Lapwai, ID
Craig Rabe , Department of Fisheries Resources Management - Research Division, Nez Perce Tribe, McCall, ID
Maureen A. Hess , Fish Science, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Hagerman, ID
Planning and implementation of hatchery programs involves coordination of program intent and evaluation of performance across various levels of technical, management, and policy representatives, from multiple organizations. Establishing transparent expectations for program intent and standardized reporting of program performance vertically within organizations and horizontally across organizations is needed.  Hatchery production marking, genetic fitness, and management of adult return disposition are three topics commonly debated in hatchery program management. This presentation will provide success stories and recommendations for broader application associated with:  1) Snake River Fall Chinook marking, 2) Johnson Creek summer Chinook fitness, and 3) Lostine River spring Chinook adult disposition management.    

A comprehensive marking strategy was developed for Snake River fall Chinook hatchery programs. The mark strategy accounted for harvest mitigation, hatchery operation, and monitoring and evaluation. Fifty percent of the production is marked externally, 28% of the production is internally marked, and 22% is unmarked.  Under this marking strategy, non-selective recreational and treaty harvest is occurring, natural-origin fish are being incorporated into the broodstock, and natural-origin abundance is being measured.

The Johnson Creek summer Chinook supplementation project was initiated to avert extirpation.  Adult return management consisted of using only wild fish in the broodstock with no restrictions placed on hatchery fish escapement to spawning grounds.  With the use of genetic based parentage assignment we documented a 30% increase of natural origin adult returns, an equal reproduction rate between naturally-spawning hatchery fish and wild fish, and fitness of the natural population was maintained. 

Management of Lostine River spring Chinook salmon adult returns is guided by hatchery and harvest sliding scales.  Allocation of adult returns is based on estimated abundance of wild returns and relative abundance of hatchery returns. Hatchery return disposition from this integrated mitigation/supplementation program has been 12% to consumption and 88% to conservation.  Consumption consisted of harvest (6%) and distribution as food (6%).  Conservation consisted of broodstock (6%), adult outplants to under-seeded habitat (7%), and natural spawning (75%).