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15 Conclusions and Recommendations: Toward a Sustainable Future for Salmon Anadromous salmon in the Pacific Northwest and their habitats have been adversely affected by the region's development, including such factors as for- estry; agriculture; grazing; industrial activities; dams; commercial, residential, and recreational development; and fishing. Development and its associated pres- sures and changes will continue. Considerable action would be needed merely to arrest the decline of salmon and maintain even the current degraded status. Im- proving the prospects for sustainability of anadromous salmon is complicated and contentious, and it has no simple or single solution. But the Committee on Protection and Management of Pacific Northwest Anadromous Salmonids reached consensus on several important conclusions and recommendations. If the committee's recommendations are adopted, a considerable reallocation of financial and natural resources will follow. Life-history and migration patterns of salmon complicate their management because, for example, fish hatched in the Columbia River are caught as far away as southeastern Alaska and northern British Columbia. Solutions to the salmon problem must recognize the influence of fishing in Alaska and British Columbia, in addition to that in the Pacific Northwest. Indeed, unless Alaska, British Co- lumbia, and the Pacific Northwest cooperate, solutions to the salmon problem might be impossible. In the absence of such cooperation, any success would entail greater expense for the Pacific Northwest. In most respects, the salmon problem is a problem of how to match scales of management, governance, fishing, research, and understanding with scales of biology, hydrology, and environmental change in space and time. The salmon traverse a great variety of environments throughout their life cycle, including 358
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 359 thousands of miles at sea and up to 1,500 km in rivers. Salmon cross interna- tional and state boundaries, and they are important components of several ocean and inland aquatic ecosystems. Salmon catches are governed by local, state, federal, tribal, and international treaties, conventions, agreements, organizations, commissions, and agencies; salmon environments are used for commerce, agri- culture, industry, recreation, public safety, and hydropower. Climates that affect salmon fluctuate from year to year and over decades and vary between regions. Human cultures that depend on salmon and the economic factors that affect salmon values have spheres of influence that range from a few to thousands of kilometers and a few to thousands of years. Many of the committee's conclu- sions and recommendations reflect an attempt to reconcile some of those diverse scales. The committee has developed the conclusions and recommendations that follow within the framework of rehabilitation, rather than degradation, restora- tion, or substitution. We present an approach to solving the salmon problem, then a general con- clusion, and finally a set of more-specific conclusions and recommendations regarding environmental changes, including habitat changes, both natural and anthropogenic; genetic structure of salmon populations and species and appropri- ate units to be managed for conservation; fishing and fishery management; hatch- eries and other techniques for increasing the number of fish spawned naturally; dams; goals and values; information needs; and institutional and management considerations, including international, federal, state, local, and other jurisdic- tions. GENERAL CONCLUSION Economic development and human population growth without sufficient attention to salmon and their environment have created widespread declines in anadromous salmon abundances in the Pacific Northwest. Although some salmon populations are stable or increasing, the overall pattern is one of decline. Many factors have contributed to salmon declines; it is therefore unlikely that reducing or compensating for only one type of adverse impact will be enough to reverse the decline in any watershed. To rehabilitate salmon populations and their eco- systems, changes in fishing, dam and hatchery operations, and land uses would be required. The degree of change needed in each of these factors will be related to their contribution to the problem in each watershed and to the degree of rehabili tation desired. Until very recently, the importance and benefits of rehabilitating salmon and their ecosystems have been overridden by the motivation to sustain catch, a reliance on technology, and economic considerations. Weighing the direct and collateral benefits of rehabilitating salmon populations against the dislocations that are sure to occur raises profound questions that should be discussed in ways that allow opportunities for citizens to participate.
360 UPSTREAM: SALMON AND SOCIETY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST The salmon problem took many years to develop, and its solution will re- quire the commitment of time, money, and effort. There is no simple answer to this complex social and biological problem. To achieve long-term protection for a diverse and abundant salmon resource in the Pacific Northwest, two conditions must be met: · Management must recognize and protect the genetic diversity of salmon. It is not enough to focus only on the abundance of salmon: their long-term survival depends on genetic diversity within and between local breeding popula- tions. This diversity and the protection and rehabilitation of salmon habitat are the bases of sustained production of anadromous salmon and of the species' evolutionary futures. Because of their homing behavior and the distribution of their populations and their riverine habitats, salmon populations are dependent on diversity in their genetic makeup and population structure and thus are unusually susceptible to local extinctions (Chapter 61. Attempts to control mortality by fishing and improving environmental conditions and to compensate for mortality with hatchery-produced fish must keep genetic diversity as the highest priority. · Any solution to the salmon problem must take the effects of growth in human population and economic activity into account. If economic and popula- tion growth in the region continue, many of the forces that have reduced salmon runs will continue to make it harder and more expensive to rehabilitate salmon in the Pacific Northwest successfully. The social structures and institutions that have been operating in the Pacific Northwest have proved incapable of ensuring a long-term future for salmon, in large part because they do not operate at the right time and space scales. As described in Chapter 13, differences among watersheds mean that different approaches are likely to be appropriate and effec- tive in different watersheds, even where the goals are the same. This means that institutions must be able to operate at the scale of watersheds; in addition, a coordinating function is needed to make sure that larger perspectives are also considered. Substantial institutional changes would be needed to achieve those goals. The specific recommendations that follow were made in the context of those two goals. A crucial aspect of the recommendations is the overriding need to focus management goals primarily on genetic diversity rather than on biomass production. ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES Large changes have occurred in salmon habitats, including the ocean. Some changes are natural, others are due to human impacts; some appear to fluctuate, others are more trendlike; some can be directly influenced by human activities, others at present cannot. Rehabilitation must now operate within that context and
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 361 must acknowledge the inherent uncertainty associated with environmental changes and variability. Oceanic Conditions Conclusion. Variations in ocean conditions powerfully influence salmon abundance. Ocean conditions-especially water temperature and currents and associated biological communities have common effects over wide geographic areas and have become less favorable for salmon in the Pacific Northwest since the late 1970s. Because ocean conditions vary, fish deaths caused by numerous human activities such as fishing could be more damaging just when fish popula- tions are most likely to be depleted by natural conditions. Recommendation. Fishery management must take the variability in ocean conditions into account. Some might be tempted to attribute all changes in salmon abundance to changes in ocean conditions and to conclude that manage- ment related to rivers is therefore unimportant. However, because all human effects on salmon are reductions in the total production that the environment allows, management interventions are more important when the ocean environ- ment reduces natural production than when ocean conditions are more favorable. In a situation of such uncontrollable external variation, it would make sense for fishing to take a f xed and sustainable proportion of the returning spawners rather than a fixed number, as has been common practice, whether ocean conditions are favorable or unfavorable as long as the number of returning spawners exceeds a minimal safe threshold based on demographic and genetic considerations. Be- low that threshold, no fishing should be allowed. Management should attempt to reduce human-caused deaths of fish in rivers and at sea especially when ocean conditions are unfavorable (as measured by estimates of survival rates at sea). Any favorable changes in ocean conditions which could occur and could in- crease the productivity of some salmon populations for a time should be re- garded as opportunities for improving management techniques. They should not be regarded as reasons to abandon or reduce rehabilitation efforts, because condi- tions will change again. Regional Variation Conclusion. There is considerable regional variation in the physical, biologi- cal, social, cultural, and economic environments of salmon. No unified solu- tion to the salmon problem, management strategy, research strategy, institutional arrangement, or governance structure can be expected to apply to the entire Pacific Northwest. Recommendation. Any approach to improving the status of salmon popula
362 UPSTREAM: SALMON AND SOCIETY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST tions must have regional components that, when possible, reflect the bio- regions relevant to salmon biology and conservation. Preemptive recovery plans should include management and research strategies, institutional arrange- ments, and governance structures that are flexible and can be adjusted to fit . . . regions variations. VALUES AND INSTITUTIONS Conclusion. Extractive interests have structured regional practices and in- stitutions for the management of natural resources and for the modification of environments for human benefit. Society in the Pacific Northwest is in the midst of assessing values with respect to natural resources and their use. Histori- cally, the region has been governed by an extractive value system. The values were ingrained into the social and political institutions that developed to manage and control resources. Recommendation. Institutional changes that better reflect societal interests in maintaining biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems should be sought in light of the conflicts among those interests during a period of change. A broad range of techniques should be used in estimating societal interests, including opinion surveys, focus groups, public participation, and con- tent analysis of written commentary. Because institutional arrangements reflect the commitments of earlier times, continued conflict focused on institutional rules and procedures is to be expected as part of the process of change. Recommendation. Goals and values should emerge in significant part through cooperative management, so that those most directly involved play an instrumental role in determining how the rehabilitation of salmon takes shape in the places they regard as their own. Efforts to rehabilitate salmon should be accompanied by efforts to communicate with stakeholders and the general public in ways that allow for their evaluation of goals and values of the rehabilitation projects and their participation, where appropriate, in cooperative management. Recommendation. Interdisciplinary approaches to the salmon problems should be strengthened and should incorporate the expertise required to deal with nonbiological and nonmonetary aspects. Greater effort should be made to use interdisciplinary working groups to evaluate projects, to work on methodologies needed to incorporate monetary and nonmonetary criteria into those evaluations, and to accurately depict and (where appropriate) quantify the value of salmon to the region.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS GENETICS AND CONSERVATION Genetic Resources 363 Conclusion. Sustained productivity of anadromous salmon in the Pacific Northwest is possible only if the genetic resources that are the basis of such productivity are maintained. We have already lost a substantial portion of the genetic diversity that existed in these salmon species 150 years ago. The possible genetic effects of any actions must be considered when any management deci- sions are made. The local reproductive population, or deme, is the fundamental biological unit of salmon demography and genetics. An adequate number of returning adults for every local breeding population is needed to ensure persis- tence of all the reproductive units. The result of regulating fishing on a meta- population basis and ignoring the reproductive units that make up a metapopula- tion is the disappearance or extirpation of some of the local breeding populations and the eventual collapse of the metapopulation's production. Recommendation. Salmon management should be based on the premise that local reproductive populations are genetically different from each other and valuable to the long-term production of salmon. Managing from that perspective will protect habitat and also protect resources for the long term. Efforts should be made to identify and protect remaining native wild populations and their habitats. Minimum sustainable escapements should be established for as many populations as possible. Populations that have unusual genetic adapta- tions or occupy atypical habitats are of special importance and should be identi- fied and protected. The genetic diversity within existing spawning populations is not replaceable and must be conserved to protect present and future opportuni- ties, including the evolutionary process in salmon. This principle seems self- evident, but risks continue to be imposed on such populations. Regional Population Structure Conclusion. The metapopulation model of geographical structure is impor- tant for salmon because of the geographical arrangement of salmon into discrete spawning populations (domes) adapted to the environmental condi- tions in which they reproduce. Local demes of salmon are small enough and exist in variable-enough environments for it to be likely that they will have relatively short persistence times on an evolutionary scale. Although the deme is the functional unit of salmon genetics and demography, the cluster of local popu- lations (the metapopulation) connected by genetic exchange via natural straying is the fundamental unit on an evolutionary time scale. This conclusion is crucial because it leads to many other conclusions and recommendations about salmon management. For example, most of this report's conclusions and reco~nmenda
364 UPSTREAM: SALMON AND SOCIETY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST lions about hatcheries, fishing, and habitat rehabilitation are founded on the importance of maintaining appropriate diversity in salmon gene pools and popu- lation structure, which has not been adequately recognized by many. Recommendation. It is important to maintain geographical clusters of demes or metapopulations. The loss of genetic material in small populations is domi- nated by random events (genetic, demographic, and environmental), so the loss of genetic material in one deme should be largely independent of that in another. In a cluster of demes, a large proportion of the original genetic variation should remain. Thus, small populations might not be viable for long periods in isolation but are important in maintaining genetic variation as parts of a metapopulation. HABITAT LOSS AND REHABILITATION Conclusion. Freshwater habitats are critically important to salmon because they constitute the spawning grounds and nurseries in which the genetic makeup of a population is determined. Many human activities- notably forestry, agriculture and grazing, hydropower, and commercial, residential, and recreational development-have contributed to degradation of the riv- erine and adjacent riparian and near-river habitat and caused loss of habitat of spawning adults and young salmon, and loss of associated components of the ecosystem. So few intact basins or subbasins are in good condition that those few should be viewed as critical salmon refuges and as sources of plants and animals necessary for ecosystem recovery as other watersheds are improved. Part of this source of recovery is provided through the occasional straying of salmon to adjacent streams. Thus, especially if the refuges harbor large popula- tions, this potential for colonizing other suitable habitats is important (Chapter 71. In addition, programs that have relied on artificial habitat and hatchery-produc- tion techniques have usually not lived up to expectations and in some cases have actually hastened the decline of wild salmon populations, as described in chapters 7 and 12. Most of the traditional habitat research and current performance stan- dards (e.g., forest-practice rules) have emphasized protecting habitats in headwa- ter stream networks with secondary consideration to lowland systems. In the decline of salmon and their future, more attention needs to be given to rehabilita- tion of streams subject to county and city planning and land-use authorities. Although rehabilitating habitat will be more difficult in a region experiencing rapid population growth, it is not prudent or appropriate to abandon streams that are degraded, and rehabilitation can be worth the effort. Chapter 7 outlines examples of projects to rehabilitate streams in the Seattle area. All streams providing spawning or rearing habitat can contribute to the long-term survival of salmon populations in river basins. Recommendation. Riverine-riparian ecosystems and biophysical watershed
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 365 processes that support aquatic productivity should have increased protec- tion. Riparian zones are important for the maintenance of aquatic productivity, but insufficient protection has been given to these critical areas in the past. The width of riparian zones requiring protection from harmful human disturbances is usually not known with certainty, but all possible ecological functions should be considered when attempting to define riverine-riparian boundaries. Within the domain of interactions between aquatic and terrestrial environments that charac- terize the riparian zone, some human activities might occur without major disrup- tion; however, it is critical that the full range of ecological functions be explicitly protected, including all biotic and physical processes that mediate the exchange of energy, water, nutrients, and organic matter between watersheds and their streams. In many cases, the riparian zone in which these exchanges occur may be substantially wider than the narrow border of vegetation often specified in current regulatory language (e.g., state forest-practices acts) for nonfederal forest lands. Riparian zones associated with streams draining rangeland or agricultural or urban areas often lack any regulatory prescription. Beyond the edge of the riparian zone, it is important that hydrologic pro- cesses within watersheds not be altered by human activities to such an extent that patterns of water, sediment, and organic matter inputs to streams degrade aquatic habitat or rip arian functions. Human activities resulting in habitat degradation include activities that prevent some important ecological processes (e.g., flood- ing and groundwater recharge) and activities that alter the rates of other processes (e.g., accelerated erosion). Although land and water will continue to be used in most Pacific Northwest watersheds, recovery of productive salmon habitat will necessitate a concerted effort to rehabilitate the full range of natural conditions in aquatic and riparian ecosystems. To facilitate that recovery, the following six recommendations are offered: 1. Forestry, agricultural, and grazing practices should allow riparian zones to maintain a full range of natural vegetative characteristics, i.e., characteristics occurring in watersheds with natural disturbance regimes. Riparian zones should ideally be wide enough to fulfill all functions necessary for maintaining aquatic productivity. 2. Sediment from all land uses should be reduced to magnitudes appropriate to the geological setting of a river basin. In practical terms, the goal is that human activities should cause no net increase in sediment over natural inputs. Likewise, water temperatures should reflect as closely as possible the normal regime of temperatures throughout the basin. 3. Patterns of water runoff, including surface and subsurface drainage, should match to the greatest extent possible the natural hydrologic pattern for the region in both quantity and quality. Effects of consumptive water uses on both the timing and the quantity of flow should be minimized. Water-management tech- nologies that promote the restoration of natural runoff patterns and water quality
366 UPSTREAM: SALMON AND SOCIETY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST should be strongly encouraged. That will mean implementation of methods to reduce the volumes of water used for irrigation, industrial, and urban uses. 4. Toxic waste products from industrial, mining, agricultural, and urban activities should receive the appropriate treatment before being discharged into any body of water. 5. Habitat reclamation or enhancement activities should emphasize rehabili- tation of ecological processes and functions, not artificial creation of habitat. Placement of permanent or semipermanent habitat structures in streams should be discouraged unless it can be clearly demonstrated that no other alternative is available. Existing artificial structures that appear to be impeding natural recov- ery should be removed. 6. Beneficial long-term effects of natural disturbances, such as flooding, should be preserved or restored whenever possible. Lowland slough and estua- rine habitat rehabilitation should receive high priority in coastal regions. Rehabilitation of riverine-riparian ecosystems will take time. Recovery of im- portant ecological processes, even with appropriate human intervention, may take decades to centuries and will require patience and long-term commitment. Restoration efforts should be coordinated across large areas of the landscape, be accompanied by adaptive management agreements, monitoring and evaluation, and be guided by the results of thorough watershed analyses. DAMS Conclusion. Although as many as 90% of young salmon might survive passage over, around, and through any individual major hydropower project on the Columbia-Snake river mainstem, the cumulative reduction in sur vival caused by passing many projects has adversely affected salmon popu- lations. Partly because salmon do not have rights to water, allocation of water rights usually has not included considerations of their long-term survival. (Of course, the current concern over their survival has included considerations of water availability for them.) Recommendation. Improve salmon survival rates associated with passing hydropower projects in the Columbia and Snake rivers. The following ap- proaches are recommended: . Determine existing reach survivals (survival rate of fishes as they pass through a reach or a specified stretch of the river), e.g., by project and project components. On completion of such studies, initiate measures to improve sur- vival, prioritized by the greatest gains obtainable. · Secure water as need is demonstrated-for example, where changes in annual patterns or total amounts of streamflow are shown to decrease survival
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 367 from water-consumers by subsidizing water conservation by buyout of water rights (which might require legislative changes in transfer of water rights to point of use) and by improved reservoir-system operation, e.g., through improved ac- curacy of seasonal streamflow forecasts through telemetering, satellite assess- ments of snow coverage and water content, and other technological means. As long as other rights to public water are considered sacrosanct in any river basin, it will be difficult to respond to demonstrated needs of salmon in a timely man- ner. All options should be open to consideration, after appropriate evaluation of costs and benefits. For example, flood-control-rule curves should be considered open to change, because in some cases increased seasonal streamflows might need to be balanced against increased risk of downriver flooding. · Continue downriver transportation of smelts by barge in the Columbia and Snake rivers as long as data indicate that survival in transport exceeds that of inriver migration. It is critical that barging (and any other treatments be done with experimental controls so that information can continue to accumulate, i.e., enough smolts should continue innver migration to assess the effectiveness of transportation. And it is essential not to treat all the fish in a river in such a way that failure of a treatment can have catastrophic consequences for the entire population. Careful scientific monitoring is essential for addressing controver- sies about transportation and other interventions. · Improve information on the migratory characteristics of salmon in the Columbia-Snake river system. PIT-tag applications should be expanded to enough wild fish and as many hatchery fish as possible to conduct convincing scientific analysis and to separate hatchery from wild fish. The utility of genetic markers that can be safely and quickly detected from fish scales or slivers of fin tissue should be explored. Interrogation facilities (facilities that detect tags) should be set up at all bypasses so that adult returns can be evaluated to compare survival of fish that migrate via bypass, transport, and turbine and spill, and so that reach-specific information can be obtained on tagged smelts. Spawning- ground surveys should be greatly expanded to evaluate homing efficacy in trans- ported and nontransported fish. Conclusion. The many dams on the Columbia River and its tributaries cumulatively have had large effects on salmon survival. Therefore, the addi- tion of any new major dams in undammed reaches of large rivers in the region (e.g., the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River) would make the situation worse; existing dams should have adequate fish-passage facilities where feasible and appropriate before being relicensed. Conclusion. Because there has not been a major seasonal shift in the annual Snake River hydrograph, it is doubtful, a priori, that the declines in Snake River salmon populations have resulted from or are reversible by seasonal changes in flow regime alone. Even if flow changes could be helpful in a
368 UPSTREAM: SALMON AND SOCIETY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST rehabilitation effort, they are likely to be insufficient without changes in other human interventions in the salmon life cycle and habitat. Conclusion. Because the Snake River system stores and then diverts sub- stantial quantities of water for consumptive uses, and the volume of water flowing through the system has therefore decreased, beneficial changes in flow regime for salmon can in principle be obtained in a controlled fashion by reallocating human uses of water, including agricultural uses. Whether those changes can be made at lower total social cost than large-scale engineering changes, such as drawdown, would need to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. Conclusion. Transportation of smelts to bypass middle Columbia dams might prove better than Driver migration as more data become available on bypass and collection in that region. Because of the stress, injury, post-bypass losses, and delayed arrival of smelts at the ocean resulting from decreased water velocities in reservoirs, the most appropriate use of bypass facilities at most dams might be to collect fish for transportation. Avoidance of mortality at downstream hydropower dams and in reservoirs is an attractive concept. The concept might become even more attractive as means develop to improve survival through release point protocols. Any experiments with transportation should follow the guidelines discussed earlier. Recommendation. Transport of middle Columbia summer migrants should be investigated. At McNary Dam, upstream from three hydropower projects, transportation of subyearling migrants yielded transport:benefit ratios (observed survivals to adulthood of transported smells to observed survivals of inriver migrants) of over 3.0:1 in tests in the 1980s. FISHING AND FISHERY MANAGEMENT For rehabilitation of salmon populations, the aim of fishery management- as for other management efforts should be to achieve long-term sustainability based on maintaining genetic diversity. In the recommendations below, the overall goal is to reduce total fishing mortalities (or to increase escapements) to be consistent with the present productivity of salmon and to develop and imple- ment catching technology that ensures minimal mortality in depleted demes. Too Few Spawners Conclusion. Not enough fish are being allowed to return to spawn. It is essential to keep in mind that unless enough fish are able to spawn, there will not be enough fish produced to compensate for all the sources of mortality imposed by human activities and to provide sustainable runs of wild salmon. Therefore, a
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 369 goal of management should be to increase the size and maintain the diversity of spawning populations and to re-establish ecosystem processes. Recommendation. Escapements should be increased. A shift must be made from focusing on catch to focusing on escapement. Increasing the number of adults that return to spawn (escapement) will enhance opportunities for evolution of genetic diversity through colonization, straying, and competition, and will bolster nutrient input to streams. Management should set new goals of minimum sustainable escapement (MSE), allowing escapements to vary above the MSE, as opposed to managing one fixed escapement. Such a process has been imple- mented along the Washington coast. "Escapement floors" have been established for each species and system. Returns above the floor are shared by terminal users and spawning escapements. Only larger escapements will allow larger catches. Increased escapements, however, imply reduced catch or increased productivity to sustain a catch in the short term. Over the short term, reduced catch rates can result in a smaller catch. Over the longer term, lower, but sustainable, catch rates applied to increased salmon abundance (resulting from the increases in numbers of spawners) will, on the average, result in increasing catches. As with all aspects of management, an adaptive approach is recommended so that advantage can be taken of experience. Protection of Genetic Diversity Conclusion. Long-term survival and production of natural salmon runs depend on maintenance of genetic diversity and metapopulations. Recommendation. Fishery management should explicitly recognize the need to conserve and expand genetic diversity via natural increases in population sizes. A holistic approach should be taken that recognizes the interdependence of genetics, habitat, and salmon production, and it must account for the uncertainty in scientific knowledge and the inherent variability of biotic and abiotic environ- mental factors. This is accomplished by never allowing numbers of salmon to decline below the minimum sustainable escapement and by filling out the den- dritic structure of salmon metapopulations in a river basin. When escapements exceed the MSE, the extra fish should be allocated between escapement and catch. It will often not be possible to maintain all the diverse habitats dictated by the full dendritic structure of the watershed. Land-use planners and managers must be vigilant in preserving as much of the structure as possible (i.e., allowing for connectedness of spawning populations) and then developing approaches for rehabilitating other parts of it.
370 UPSTREAM: SALMON AND SOCIETY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST Strong and Depleted Populations Conclusion. Past practices of salmon management have not treated strong and depleted populations differently enough, and more important salmon management has not been sufficiently based on recognition of the impor- tance of demes. The anadromy of salmon and their tendency to return to their natal streams to spawn results in a population structure in which metapopula- tions clusters of demes are important. Conservation of salmon must take that structure into account to achieve long-term survival of diverse salmon popula- tions. Recommendation. Management of salmon should be based on the genetic structure of their populations and should allow for separate management regimes for strong and depleted demes and metapopulations whenever pos- sible. In general, the aim is to assure adequate escapements for depleted popula- tions. To achieve this aim, fishing should take place only where the demic identity of the salmon is known and where catching technology can reduce mor- tality rates in depleted demes. In many cases, that would require fishing to take place in the home-stream estuary or in the river upstream. Inriver gear should be changed to live-catch systems to the greatest possible extent, permitting release of fish of depleted populations or species. Implementing this recommendation initially will require low fishing effort in many areas, especially in the ocean, and will require the cooperation of British Columbia and Alaska, because many salmon that originate in the Pacific Northwest are caught at sea in southeastern Alaska and in British Columbia. Ideally, those fish would be allowed to be caught in terminal fisheries in the Pacific Northwest. If only the ocean fisheries in the Pacific Northwest are closed, more northerly ocean fisheries will still impose a large mortality on a mixture of depleted and strong populations. Be- cause of the diversity of interests and agreements, conventions, and treaties among various parties and nations in the region, and because there are various costs and benefits associated with all methods for rehabilitating salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest, a serious political effort will be needed to achieve the com- mon goal of protecting depleted populations in an acceptable way. Typically, negotiations within the Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC) have been character- ized by conflict and stalemate resulting from winner-loser negotiations and the desire of users to avoid disrupting fisheries. The committee notes, however, that management actions have already disrupted some fisheries, especially those in the more terminal areas. Disruption is inevitable during the rehabilitation of Pacific Northwest salmon. An effective Pacific Salmon Treaty is needed, how- ever, to balance changed allocations among fisheries and to balance short-term losses against the long-term gains that will be derived by conserving and rehabili- tating the Pacific Northwest salmon. To assist in establishing greater cooperation in the Pacific Salmon Commission, new approaches are encouraged. For ex
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 371 ample, re-establishing reciprocal fishing agreements would allow each country greater access to its salmon production and might allow financial agreements to aid in fishing-effort reductions through vessel buybacks or the buying out of portions of catch ceilings and vessels to reduce ocean interceptions permanently, or to aid in rehabilitation costs. HATCHERIES Role of Hatcheries Conclusion. The management of hatcheries has had adverse effects on Nate; rat salmon populations. Hatcheries can be useful as part of an integrated, comprehensive approach to restoring sustainable runs of salmon, but by themselves they are not an effective technical solution to the salmon problem. Hatcheries are not a proven technology for achieving sustained increases in adult production. Indeed, their use often has contributed to damage of wild runs. The current approach to hatchery use the enhancement of catchable salmon runs- entails a large and continuing input of human energy and money. In addition, such use of hatchery production often results in reduction of already depleted wild runs by further reducing natural populations of salmon (see Chapter 12~. In many areas, there is reason to question whether hatcheries can sustain long-term yield, because they can lead to loss of population and genetic diversity and adversely affect natural populations, as discussed in Chapter 12. Therefore, it is unlikely that hatcheries can make up for declines in abundance caused by fishing, habitat loss (including that resulting from dams), etc., over the long term. Hatch- eries might be useful as short-term aids to a population in immediate trouble while long-term, sustainable solutions are being developed. Indeed, such a new mission for hatcheries-as a temporary aid in rehabilitating natural populations could be important in reversing past damage from hatcheries as well as from other causes. Recommendation. The intent of hatchery operations should be changed from that of making up for losses of juvenile fish production and for increas- ing catches of adults. They should be viewed instead as part of a bioregional plan for protecting or rebuilding salmon populations and should be used only when they will not cause harm to natural populations. Hatcheries should be considered an experimental treatment in an integrated, regional rebuilding program and they should be evaluated accordingly. Whenever hatcheries are used, great care should be taken to minimize their known and potential adverse effects on genetic structure of metapopulations and on the ecological capacities of streams and the ocean. Special care needs to be taken to avoid transplanting hatchery fish to regions in which naturally spawning fish are genetically differ- ent. The aim of hatcheries should be to assist recovery and opportunity for
372 UPSTREAM: SALMON AND SOCIETY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST genetic expression of wild populations, not to maximize catch in the near term. Only when it is clear that hatchery production does not harm wild fish should the use of hatcheries be considered for augmenting catches. Hatcheries should be audited rigorously. Any hatchery that "mines" broodstock from mixed wild and natural escapements to meet its normal operating targets should be a candidate for immediate closure or conversion to research. Diseased broodstocks should be rigorously culled to minimize disease in progeny. It is useful for all hatchery fish to be identifiable. Visible marks, such as finclips, have some advantages, but other methods, such as passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags, coded-wire tags, and genetic markers are also useful. Marking hatchery fish externally is particularly important when fishers and managers need to distinguish between hatchery and wild fish. Regional Variation in Use of Hatcheries Conclusion. Current hatchery practices do not operate within a coherent strategy based on the genetic structure of salmon populations. A number of hatcheries operate without appropriate genetic guidance from an explicit conser- vation policy, although this is beginning to change. Consistency and coordina- tion of practices across hatcheries that affect the same or interacting demes and metapopulations is generally lacking. Recommendation. Hatcheries should be dismantled, revised, or repro- grammed if they interfere with a comprehensive rehabilitation strategy de- signed to rebuild natural populations of anadromous salmon sustainably. Hatcheries should be tested for their ability to rehabilitate populations whose natural regenerative potential is constrained severely by both short- and long- term limitations on rehabilitation of freshwater habitats. Hatcheries should be excluded or phased out from regions where the prognosis for freshwater-habitat rehabilitation is much higher, as is the case for many watersheds of the Oregon coast. This recommendation, for example, would allow continuation of the hatch- ery-supported fishery on chinook at Willamette Falls because it is disrupting neither wild populations nor rehabilitation efforts. Recommendation. Decision-making about uses of hatcheries should occur within the larger context of the region where the watersheds are located and should include a focus on the whole watershed, rather than only on the fish. Coordination should be improved among all hatcheries release timing, scale of releases, operating practices, and monitoring and evaluation of individual and cumulative hatchery effects, including a coastwide database on hatchery and wild fish proportions and numbers. Hatcheries should be part of an experimental treatment within an adaptively managed program in some regions but not in others.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 373 Recommendation. All hatchery programs should adopt a genetic-conserva- tion goal of maintaining genetic diversity among and within both hatchery and naturally spawning populations. Agencies involved in management of anadromous salmon should recognize that achievement of population-rebuilding goals will be jeopardized without concurrent adoption of a genetic-conservation goal. Hatchery practices that affect straying genetic interaction between local wild fish and hatchery-produced fish should be closely examined for consis- tency with regional efforts. INFORMATION NEEDS Funding Adequacy Conclusion. Research has been adequately funded but inadequately guided. Recommendation. An independent, standing scientific advisory board should be established to ensure that the available research dollars are spent most productively to answer the most critical questions as soon as possible. The advisory board would encourage cooperation from other organizations and individuals in the region to help to design and evaluate research and would serve as a conduit for information. It should be composed of experts in relevant disciplines, including natural and social sciences and engineering. The primary funding agencies for salmon research in the region (at least the Bonneville Power Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Agriculture) should carefully consider the advice of the advisory board with respect to identification of critical questions, research funding, monitoring, and other science-based deci- sions concerning salmon. When they do not follow the board's advice, they should provide written justification. The committee's reports should be publicly available. Adaptive Management Conclusion. Much of the current uncertainty over the benefits of habitat- improvement projects, hatcheries, and other management and restoration approaches results from lack of scientific monitoring and evaluation. Many habitat programs involving millions of dollars have been undertaken over the last 20 years with little or no monitoring. Even when monitoring has been under- taken, lack of replicates and controls, uneven measurement consistency, and lack of commitment to long-term study have constrained the opportunities to learn from these programs. Recommendation. Watershed analysis, adaptive management, a careful in
374 UPSTREAM: SALMON AND SOCIETY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST ventory, and strong regional monitoring programs are needed to provide the context within which management decisions can be made. A systematic evaluation of the condition of Pacific Northwest watersheds and the status of salmon populations must be undertaken. Some states and federal agencies are initiating such efforts. Watershed analysis should encompass multiple land uses throughout river basins. A regional network of reference sites should be estab- lished for adaptive-management experimentation similar to the trials now being implemented on federal forest land. Integrative measures of watershed produc- tivity (such as smolt production) must be monitored at many more locations than is the case today. Finally, a clearer picture of the status of salmon populations throughout the region is needed to increase confidence in decisions about how to allocate financial and human resources to solve the salmon problem. INSTITUTIONS Conclusion. Continued human population and economic growth threatens the existence of salmon in the Pacific Northwest. In the absence of explicit choices to do otherwise, salmon will continue to decline. Conclusion. The current set of institutional arrangements contributes to the decline of salmon and cannot halt that decline. Institutional arrangements have a long reach in time, space, and function and are formed and designed on political bases. For the most part, human institutions that affect salmon have taken only incidental account of salmon biology. Because of the character of the social processes by which institutional arrangements emerge and change, rational analysis is necessary but not sufficient for constructive change. Conclusion. The current set of institutional arrangements is not appropriate to the bioregional requirements of salmon and their ecosystems. A critical institutional need is to link a bioregional (ecosystem) perspective to cooperative management (i.e., joint management by a government agency and a community of stakeholders) as a governing concept. Meeting this need is primarily a politi- cal task, not a scientific one. Conclusion. Political turbulence has thwarted attempts to take a long-term perspective, even though salmon management requires time scales of de- cades to determine whether a given approach is successful. Conclusion. Attempts to halt the decline of salmon over the last 30 years have led to institutional reforms in fishing management, funding, habitat conservation, dam operations, and protection of endangered populations. They have not halted the decline but have raised expectations that the decline would be ameliorated.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 375 Recommendation. Because the problems facing salmon are multidimen- sional, an interdisciplinary approach to solving them is essential. Market mechanisms should be used to help people know the costs of choices, and subsi- dies that prevent markets from operating effectively should be removed. In addition to the biological and environmental benefits of a sustainable salmon population, effective solutions should improve the operation of market forces and thus reduce some economic factors that now lead people to undervalue salmon and their ecosystems. Recommendation. Bioregional cooperative management that incorporates stakeholders in governance should make use of local knowledge, provide incentives for long-term learning, and balance local interests against the problems that arise at the edges of bioregions and the requirements to deal with stem effects. Such an approach would reorient and diversify human man- agement in ways that improve the possibilities of sustainability. Bioregional cooperative management is inherently diverse in goals and enables a region to respond to changing conditions with greater resilience. It also provides resilience against political and economic turbulence. Recommendation. Our limited understanding of salmon and the ecosystems they inhabit requires adaptive management if rehabilitation is to have a chance. Systematic, experimental learning is faster and less expensive than trial- and-error learning, which has proved ineffective within the current institutional arrangements. Recommendation. All institutional changes should take into account the long time scales of and likelihood of surprise in attempts to rehabilitate salmon and their ecosystems. Recommendation. Hydropower prices, which internalize the full costs of growth, should be used to provide funding for rehabilitation of salmon and their ecosystems, especially in areas that are affected by hydropower projects. Recommendation. The institutional framework for fishery management should be unified and streamlined. The committee is reluctant to recommend a detailed model of institutional structure that is most likely to be successful. One reason is that no institutional solution to a similar problem stands out above all others, most have advantages and disadvantages. Another reason is that any institutional structure's success will depend in large degree on having been cre- ated by all groups of stakeholders and not imposed from outside. However, three major principles must be adhered to.
376 UPSTREAM: SALMON AND SOCIETY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST 1. The institutional structure must allow for a sharing of decision making among all legitimate interests. 2. It must consist of local units small enough to ensure local legitimacy and to respond to local variations in environmental and socioeconomic factors, and it must make use of local knowledge. 3. There must be a mechanism to ensure that the larger-scale environmental and anthropogenic forces behind and consequences of local actions are taken into account, i.e., the interests of the greater region should not be submerged by or sacrificed to local interests. Our incomplete understanding of salmon, their ecosystems, and the social sys- tems that affect them requires adaptive management, and adaptive management requires a long-term point of view. The following suggestions are made with the three principles in mind. · Organize a commission for management of each river basin, combining smaller basins into single groups. · Include American Indian tribes in the process of rehabilitation. Strong populations and terminal fisheries-among the goals of rehabilitation will ben- efit everyone in the long run. · Organize cooperative-management groups to develop more selective fish- eries and techniques, such as converting gill-net to live-catch systems and devel- oping techniques appropriate to terminal fisheries. · The activities of river-basin commissions and preemptive recovery plans must be coordinated with the Northwest Power Planning Council, the Pacific Salmon Commission, the Pacific Marine Fisheries Commission, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and other institutions that have a multibasin focus. Recommendation. The committee proposes that the relevant agencies in the Pacific Northwest, including the National Marine Fisheries Service, agree on a process to permit the formulation of salmon recovery plans in advance of listings under the Endangered Species Act and that the Pacific Northwest states, acting individually and through the Northwest Power Planning Coun- cil, provide technical and financial assistance to watershed-level organiza- tions to prepare and implement these preemptive recovery plans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Department of Com- merce, and Department of State, and Bonneville Power Administration should also provide technical and financial assistance to those efforts. In describing the biological, social, and practical reasons for a constructive course of action, the committee has emphasized three components. First, because of the unusual biology of salmon populations, action to protect
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 377 a given population must be organized within the biologically relevant drainage and along its migration route in freshwater and at sea. Second, although much of the habitat modification carried out by humans over the past 150 years has been detrimental to salmon, research and practice over the past several decades have taught much about habitat needs and improve- ment. However, science cannot ensure the recovery of any specific salmon population. A long-term adaptive, experimental approach is both logically com- pelling and pragmatically indispensable for the large collection of demes that constitute Northwest salmon. Third, acting at the bioregional scale requires cooperation among diverse landowners and water-rights holders. No body of law or practical way to consoli- date governing powers is sufficient to put each bioregion under the supervision of a single managing entity today. From that practical reality grows the need to rely on cooperative management as a way to act in the face of fragmented control. Because of the groundwork carried out by generations of fisheries biologists, and most recently summarized in the Federal Ecosystem Management Assess- ment Team's (FEMAT) report and the subbasin planning process of the North- west Power Planning Council, it is possible to identify some of the geographic outlines of salmon bioregions. One way to harness the Endangered Species Act's potential for disrupting human activities in a biologically constructive fashion is to foster the development of preemptive recovery plans which incorporate bind- ing contractual commitments from funding sources-for adaptive management to rehabilitate specific salmon populations within their bioregions and migration routes. The plans would include a set of experimental actions and monitoring methods that ensure that lessons important for salmon management would be learned within several salmon lifetimes (up to 20 years, perhaps even longer) and that lead to a scientifically grounded expectation that the salmon population would increase during that time while preserving its genetic integrity. The recov- ery plans would need to reflect the commitments undertaken by all the parties that control the various elements of their execution; therefore, cooperative man- agement would probably characterize the plans' development and implementa- tion. The plans would be preemptive in the sense that the National Marine Fisheries Service would agree that, while an adopted recovery plan is in opera- tion, the salmon population it covers is protected as much as is possible under the Endangered Species Act. In sum, the formulation and adoption of a plan would forestall a petition under the Endangered Species Act to protect the population covered by the plan. No filing on a population would be acted upon by the National Marine Fisheries Service for two years after a state certifies that a recovery plan is being developed unless the petitioner demonstrates that a decline warranting emergency protection preceded the state's certification; this policy would allow time for a plan to be developed but set a time limit within which the National Marine Fisheries Service would have to adopt or reject a proposed plan. The Northwest Power Planning Council, the agency with the most highly
378 UPSTREAM: SALMON AND SOCIETYIN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST developed base of knowledge relevant to protection and enhancement of salmon on the bioregional scale, must be centrally involved in recovery plans for the Columbia River basin. Under current law, the council can also direct funding to support recovery-plan implementation within the Columbia River basin. Outside the Columbia basin, the states should facilitate cooperative management and planning on the bioregional scale. Funds to support those activities can learn from the model of the Timber, Fish, and Wildlife Agreement in Washington state, which combined private, tribal, and state resources. The activities of the states should be augmented by the Bonneville Power Administration, the Forest Ser- vice, and the Bureau of Land Management these agencies are developing adap- tive management areas and watershed-level plans under FEMAT. Assistance will also be needed from the Pacific Fisheries Management Council and the International Pacific Salmon Commission to target fishing restrictions to protect specific populations, as well as other relevant agencies that operate beyond state boundaries. The prospect of constructive action to conserve and rehabilitate at least some salmon populations without the conflict and delays encountered under the present Endangered Species Act regime leads the committee to advance the idea of preemptive plans. This approach requires no new legislation (although a way would need to be found to allow the government to delay action on a petition to list a species), and it calls into play resources that are already available in the region. Although the proposed shifts in incentives are incremental, the bioregion- scale learning that the adaptive plans would produce is likely to lead to more substantial change over the next several decades. The strategy that the committee proposes becomes more compelling as salmon abundances decline, in that bio- regions that fail to act are more likely to face petitions under circumstances not of their own choosing. By increasing the incentive to act on behalf of salmon populations, institutional mechanisms can play a role that is more constructive than the protective but conflicted stance of those institutions today. AN APPROACH TO SOLVING THE SALMON PROBLEM As described in previous chapters, the salmon problem took many years to develop, and its solution will require the commitment of time, money, and effort. The committee's analyses of the problems and potential solutions lead to the conclusion that there is no "magic bullet." Therefore, like the problem itself, solutions will be complex and often hard to agree on; to be successful, they will need to be based on scientific information, including information provided by social and economic sciences. In addition, to be successful, consensus will be needed about the size of the investments to be made in solving the problem and how the costs should be allocated. This means that solutions will have to be regionally based, just as the salmon problem has regional variations (see Chapter 133.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 379 The committee recommends the following general approach. For each major watershed or river basin, the following should be assessed. · All the causes of salmon mortality, including their estimated magnitude and the uncertainties associated with the estimates. Factors known to decrease natural production should also be listed. · Ways of reducing those sources of mortality or compensating for them, their probable effectiveness, and their drawbacks. · The probable costs of each method of reducing mortality; to be most useful, the estimates should include both market and nonmarket costs. To the degree possible, it is important to identify what groups would bear the major portion of the costs of each method and significant uncertainties in the estimates. (For example, reductions in catch rates would primarily affect fishers and tour- ists; changes in water use could affect agricultural interests or ratepayers; changes in riparian management could affect forest-products industries or private land- owners.) All the estimates would include substantial uncertainties, due both to lack of knowledge and to fundamental environmental, socioeconomic, and biological uncertainties. Nonetheless, such a process of assessment and evaluation is essen- tial for rational decision making. They will provide a basis for evaluating op- tions for weighing benefits and costs and for identifying areas where research is critical. All the committee's recommendations should be viewed in this con- text: they need to be considered on a regional basis (i.e., major watersheds and in a comprehensive framework that includes an analysis of their costs, probable electiveness, and the ability and willingness of various sectors to bear the costs. This will be challenging for several reasons. First, in many cases, the desired information has not been collated or does not exist. Second, considerable time and resources will be needed to perform such analyses even for one watershed. But the most important reason is that estimates of costs and how they might be distributed will require intimate knowledge of each watershed and of people's preferences and habits. These essential estimates should be made with input from the people involved. Nonetheless, the committee believes this approach will lead to improved effectiveness and if not reduced costs-at least increased cost- effectiveness and reduced controversy. THE FUTURE The best approach to establishing a sustainable future for salmon in the Pacific Northwest is to use currently available information to develop workable, comprehensive programs rather than reacting to crises. This report has analyzed many parts of the salmon problem and assessed many options for intervention. However, the effects of more people, more resource consumption, changing eco
380 UPSTREA SALMON AND SOCIETY IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST nomic demands and technologies, and changing societal values are hard to pre- dict. Because the success of programs to improve the long-term prospects for salmon in the Pacific Northwest will depend on the societal and environmental contexts, it is important to develop ways for improving our ability to identify changing contexts and to respond to them. As long as human populations and economic activities continue to increase, so will the challenge of successfully solving the salmon problem.