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UncertaintyTo what extent is the viability or abundance of native fish and wildlife species in the Columbia River Basin jeopardized by non-native species?
ThemeNon-native species
Sources Anadromous Salmonid Monitoring Strategy - Steelhead
ISAB 2008-4: Non-native Species Impacts on Native Salmonids
ISAB 2011-1: Columbia River Basin Food Webs
Recommendations for the 2014 Program Amendment from CSKT, Cowlitz I.T., USRTF
Recommendations for the 2014 Program Amendment from USGS-NW
Estuary Synthesis Report
NPCC 2006-3: Research Plan 2006
Criticality Level Priority
Rationale This overarching question reflects advice in both the Program and the ISAB non-native report (ISAB 2008-4).Both documents emphasize that the increasing presence of non-native species, potentially exacerbated by continued legal and illegal introductions and climate change, is imperiling native species recovery efforts. Detrimental effects on native species are resulting from predation, competition for food, interbreeding, disease transmission, food web disruption, and physical habitat alterations. Non-native species change biotic interactions, create novel ecosystems, and have the potential to undermine otherwise successful habitat restoration efforts. Effects of non-natives on the native fauna are seldom well understood, are typically difficult to predict accurately, and may be recognized only after the native species are in steep and sometimes irreversible declines in abundance and recruitment. Once non-native species are established, efforts to remove them are typically unsuccessful. A key principle outlined in the Program is to “prevent, monitor, control, and stop or minimize the spread of non-native and invasive species where these pose a threat... to native fish, or to wildlife species.” In many cases, habitat conditions that originally favored native species no longer exist. Managers, thus, may have a difficult choice between attempting to manage for the native species poorly suited to the new conditions or compromising and providing fisheries with popular non-natives that are better suited to available habitat. In systems containing established non-native species, an important aspect of the decision-making process is determining whether the return to a previous state, dominated by native species, is feasible or whether there is a need to develop new goals and objectives to deal with the novel ecosystems. Management and policy decisions must consider not only the ecological aspects of non-native species on native species but the social issues and perceptions of stakeholders and the public. Among non-native fishes, the most problematic species in terms of policy development are those already introduced into a basin and that have perceived benefits (e.g., game fish) that militate against eradication or reduction actions (ISAB 2008-4). Managing such problematic species entails not only attempting to control their distribution, abundance and productivity, but also considering their effects on often-declining native species, the continually evolving landscape, and divergent, rapidly shifting public opinion. The current inconsistent management strategy for non-native, problematic species such as lake trout, walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and other panfishes (e.g., Centrarchidae) reflects how those species are perceived to be harmful to humans and other species, but also reflects ambiguous, and sometimes strongly conflicted, attitudes by the public and co-managers about the value of those species. Future research should include not only interactions among fishes, but among fish and other fauna and flora. Issues involving non-native pathogens and hosts also need to be better understood. Research also must consider effects of non-native aquatic, terrestrial and riparian species on riparian and terrestrial native species recovery efforts. Various management interventions and restoration initiatives for controlling or eradicating invasive non-native species should be implemented and monitored. This critical uncertainty is derived from the 2006 Research Plan; see Part 2, ISAB/ISRP 2016-1, CU #37, for a discussion of progress made toward addressing this uncertainty.

Projects that address this uncertainty:

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ID Title Sponsor Locations Purpose Emphasis Addresses
199501100 Chief Joseph Kokanee Enhancement Colville Confederated Tribes Intermountain/Columbia Upper Habitat Restoration/Protection Directly
200203200 Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Life History Investigations National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, University of Idaho, US Geological Survey (USGS) Hydrosystem RM and E Directly
200715600 Rock Creek Fish and Habitat Assessment Yakama Confederated Tribes Columbia Plateau/Columbia Lower Middle Habitat RM and E Directly
199004400 Coeur D'Alene Reservation Fisheries Habitat Coeur D'Alene Tribe Intermountain/Coeur D'Alene Habitat Restoration/Protection Indirectly
199007700 Development of Systemwide Predator Control Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission Predation Predator Removal Indirectly
199101903 Hungry Horse Mitigation Habitat Restoration and Research, Monitoring and Evaluation (RM&E) Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) Mountain Columbia/Flathead Habitat Restoration/Protection Indirectly
199102900 Research, monitoring, and evaluation of emerging issues and measures to recover the Snake River fall Chinook salmon ESU US Geological Survey (USGS) Programmatic RM and E Indirectly
199404700 Lake Pend Oreille Kokanee Mitigation Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Intermountain/Pend Oreille Habitat RM and E Indirectly
199500400 Libby Reservoir Mitigation Restoration and Research, Monitoring and Evaluation (RM&E) Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) Mountain Columbia/Kootenai Habitat Restoration/Protection Indirectly
199700400 Resident Fish above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams Kalispel Tribe Intermountain/Columbia Upper Hydrosystem RM and E Indirectly
199701900 Evaluate Life History of Native Salmonids in Malheur River Subbasin Burns-Paiute Tribe Middle Snake/Malheur Habitat RM and E Indirectly
200102800 Banks Lake Fishery Evaluation Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Columbia Plateau/Crab Harvest RM and E Indirectly
200700300 Dworshak Dam Resident Fish Mitigation Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Mountain Snake/Clearwater Habitat RM and E Indirectly
200715700 Bull Trout Status and Abundance on Warm Springs Reservation Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Columbia Plateau/Deschutes Programmatic RM and E Indirectly
200717000 South Fork Snake River Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Recruitment and Survival Improvement Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Upper Snake/Snake Headwaters Habitat Restoration/Protection Indirectly
200810900 Resident Fish Research, Monitoring and Evaluation (RM&E) Colville Confederated Tribes Intermountain/Columbia Upper Programmatic RM and E Indirectly
200811600 White Sturgeon Enhancement Colville Confederated Tribes Intermountain/Columbia Upper Habitat RM and E Indirectly

last updated: Jan 27, 2016