The Puget Sound Coordinated Ecosystem Monitoring program Launch Committee identified a Salmonid Work group as one of ten work groups that should be implemented as soon as possible. The current Salmonid Work Group began in January 2011 and was funded by the USEPA and staffed and led by the National Marine Fisheries Service as a means to begin addressing the dashboard indicator for Chinook salmon and Partnership responsibilities for ESA listed species.
Sub-Work Group on Population Monitoring Assessments
The Salmonid VSP Monitoring Sub-Work Group consists of a variety of individuals from various tribes and entities in Puget Sound and participants change depending upon what sub-region of the sound is being evaluated. The current effort, in cooperation with the Partnership, is designed to develop an assessment of ongoing salmon and steelhead population monitoring accuracy and precision, and how to improve data sharing and reporting for dashboard indicators for Chinook salmon, summer chum salmon, and steelhead trout. The intent is to identify crucial monitoring gaps for VSP and hatchery effectiveness monitoring, prioritize those gaps, and to develop proposals for funding additional monitoring to fill those gaps.
The assessment is being performed in five sub-regions of Puget Sound: Hood canal, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Georgia Strait, North Sound, and Central-South Sound. The main participants include individuals from Skokomish Tribe, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, Pt. No Point Treaty Council, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe; Lummi Nation; Nooksack Tribe, Swinomish Tribe, Upper Skagit Tribe, Sauk-Suiattle Tribe, Stillaguamish Tribe, Tulalip Tribes, Muckleshoot Tribe; Suquamish Tribe; Puyallup Tribe of Indians; Nisqually Indian Tribe, Squaxin Island tribe, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission; Long Live The Kings; Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group; Seattle City Light; National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Northwest Regional Office; Puget Sound Partnership, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife; Skagit Cooperative; National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Snohomish County, members of the Steelhead Technical Recovery Team (TRT); and the Puget Sound Recovery Implementation Team (RIT) for Chinook.
In this section you will find the results from the VSP assessment work conducted during 2011. Results are summarized in three primary tables, organized by the five Puget Sound sub-regions, and by species. The three tables are:
1) The VSP Assessment tables
2) VSP Summary Tables
3) Basinwide Prioritization Tables
These tables have been compiled for all five Puget Sound sub-regions. The table structures and meta-data definitions are described below. To access the tables for any of the sub-regions, watersheds, or species of interest to you, click on the links below:
HOOD CANAL (skokomish, etc.)
Chinook, Steelhead, Summer Chum:
JUAN DE FUCA (discover bay, dungeness, elwha)
Chinook, Steelhead, Chum:
GEORGIA STRAIT (nooksack, samish)
NORTH SOUND (skagit, stilliquamish, snohomish):
CENTRAL/SOUTH SOUND (lake washington, cedar, green, puyallup, nisqually)
The term VSP is derived from the guidance document produced by the National Marine Fisheries Service, (McElhany et al.2000) and refers to four specific areas of life history information that must be known in order to determine the status of salmonids listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. These are adult abundance, productivity, spatial distribution, and diversity. The assessment tables are organized by species, then by Major Population Groups, and then by identified TRT populations. Under each of the four VSP criteria there are a number of life history elements that address that component. The Puget Sound Recovery Implementation Team (RIT) recently completed an analysis in terms of the Key Ecological Attributes (KEA) that describe the life history of a Chinook salmon and relate to the VSP criteria. As a result you will see in the tables a series of questions designed to determine the status of knowledge concerning each of those KEAs. NOAA’s “Guidance For Monitoring Recovery of Salmon and Steelhead” (Crawford, 2011) , and the Washington Forum on Monitoring adopted protocols are used as a standard with which to compare ongoing actions.
In order to more easily evaluate the critical gaps in monitoring for each TRT population within an MPG, a Monitoring Evaluation Summary Sheet has been developed that shows a color coded score for each of the KEA attributes for the TRT population and a total score. This is followed by a description of the key gap or gaps, current fund sources for ongoing monitoring and any proposals for increased monitoring together with its relative priority to other gaps in the MPG.
KEA Monitoring Scoring table
These tables were developed to help answer where the various monitoring activities are occurring in the MPG and which populations are most likely to be used for monitoring hatchery effectiveness, habitat effectiveness and fish in and fish out. Following is the metadata table for the Basinwide Prioritization tables.
 McElhany, P., M.H. Ruckelshaus, M.J. Ford, T.C. Wainright and E.P. Bkorkstedt. 2000. Viable salmonid populations and the recovery of evolutionarily significant units [Report]/NW Fisheries Science Center. Seattle, WA. NOAA Fisheries Service. NOAA Tech Memo NMFS-NWFSC-42.