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UncertaintyHow can we efficiently and effectively manage and restore estuarine habitat to increase the carrying capacity of the estuary for salmonids and other focal species (anadromous salmonids, white sturgeon, Pacific lamprey, and eulachon)?
ThemeHabitat estuary, plume, and ocean
SubthemeEstuary management and restoration - interactions
Sources Anadromous Salmonid Monitoring Strategy - Spring Chinook
Recommendations for the 2014 Program Amendment from WDFW, WAGSRO, USRTF, Cowlitz I.T., NOAA-F
RME/AP Synthesis Report
Estuary Synthesis Report
NPCC 2009 Science Policy Exchange - Ferguson
NPCC Science Policy Exchange Summary 2007
NPCC 2006-3: Research Plan 2006
Criticality Level Priority
Rationale This uncertainty is the bottom-line issue for this theme because results will assist the Council in working with partners in the estuary to establish clear biological objectives and indicators that prioritize future management and restoration actions. This uncertainty focuses specifically on carrying capacity, which is defined in the Program as "The number of individuals of one species that the resources of a habitat can support. That is, the upper limit on the steady-state population size that an environment can support. Carrying capacity is a function of both the populations and their environments." At present, we lack empirical evidence that management and restoration efforts in the Columbia River estuary have increased the carrying capacity of salmonid populations. The conceptual approach currently used by partners to evaluate the overall effectiveness of restoration efforts in the estuary does not directly involve measures of fish population dynamics (e.g., carrying capacity) that are used elsewhere in the Basin (ISAB 2012-6, 2014-1). This broad question addresses core goals of the Program to restore ecosystem function, enhance conditions for salmonids, and improve and expand habitat function, structure, and complexity in the estuary. Addressing this question will also contribute to the wild fish strategy in the Program, which states as a general measure that the Council will consider the needs of wild fish in all facets of its fish and wildlife program, including carrying capacity and habitat actions. Many sub-questions can be derived from this overarching question.

Projects that address this uncertainty:

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ID Title Sponsor Locations Purpose Emphasis Addresses
199302900 Survival Estimate for Passage through Snake and Columbia River Dams and Reservoirs National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hydrosystem RM and E Indirectly
199602000 Comparative Survival Study (CSS) Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Fish Passage Center, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Programmatic RM and E Indirectly
199702400 Avian Predation on Juvenile Salmonids Oregon State University, Real Time Research Predation RM and E Indirectly
199801400 Ocean Survival Of Salmonids National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Programmatic RM and E Indirectly
200300700 Lower Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Monitoring Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership Columbia River Estuary/Columbia Estuary, Lower Columbia/Columbia Lower Habitat RM and E Indirectly
201003100 Snake River Chinook and Steelhead Parental Based Tagging Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) Blue Mountain/Grande Ronde, Blue Mountain/Imnaha, Columbia Plateau/Snake Lower, Mountain Snake/Clearwater, Mountain Snake/Salmon Programmatic RM and E Indirectly

last updated: Jan 26, 2016