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NW Fishletter #367, March 6, 2017

[7] New Council Webpages Show Columbia Salmon and Steelhead Goals

A new Northwest Power and Conservation Council mapping tool allows users to view and compare different restoration goals for Columbia River salmon and steelhead.

The Natural Origin Salmon and Steelhead Adult Objectives Mapping Tool went live in February.

The Council said identifying quantitative objectives helps assess progress in achieving Endangered Species Act recovery, Fish and Wildlife Program mitigation and tribal fish-restoration goals.

Basin's fish objectives a click away. Credit: NW Council.

Fish objectives may be viewed by subbasin, major population group and population. The objectives' mapping tool and its query function can be accessed at the Fish and Wildlife Program resource maps section.

The Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force, led by NOAA Fisheries, is discussing how the region might develop shared quantitative objectives for the basin's fish.

The interactive database now includes only objectives for natural-origin salmon and steelhead designated for protection under the ESA.

Working with StreamNet, a regional fisheries data provider funded primarily by BPA, Council staff plans to build a similar database for non-ESA-listed salmon and steelhead using GIS (geographic information system) information from sources identified by salmon managers including Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission's Crosswalk Project.

A recent review of the mapping tool resulted in suggestions for improvement that the Council in-tends to implement, if feasible. A good example is adding a feature that displays the ESA-minimum abundance threshold objectives.

In addition to inventorying objectives for listed and non-ESA-listed salmon and steelhead species, the 2014 Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program says the Council will work with states, federal agencies and tribes to develop objectives for less-understood fish species that have also incurred losses from the hydropower system. These species include lamprey, sturgeon, eulachon, bull trout, cutthroat trout and kokanee.

And down the road, the Fish and Wildlife Program aims to have objectives for ecosystem restoration and indicators to track progress.

The Council partnered with Portland-based QW Consulting and StreamNet in developing this interactive database. -Laura Berg

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