Atlantic salmon in Maine: How the structured decision making ...

Atlantic salmon in Maine: How the structured decision making ...

Atlantic salmon in Maine: How the structured decision making process has been used to refocus management activities for recovery and restoration Meredith L. Bartron, PhD USFWS Northeast Fishery Center Lamar, Pennsylvania Background Gulf of Maine Distinct Population Segment Endangered (2009) Threats: Habitat loss Historic overfishing Ecosystem changes Atlantic salmon management in Maine Multiple agencies Multiple stakeholders & partners (industry, NGO,

academia, etc) Changing public interest and support The need for change Expansion of the DPS Multiple management & technical teams Policy & priorities Incorporating focus to include ecosystem Program review by SEI (2007) Recovery program lacks a clear conceptual framework Key elements of the recovery program need to be better integrated Strategic Habitat Conservation Objectives stated as biological outcomes

Conservation Design Monitoring and Research Biological Planning Conservation Delivery Models tie populations to sites and landscapes Deliver Conservation Monitor & evaluate results Strategic Habitat Conservation Priority Species Build the scientific

foundation for Management Population Objectives Outcome-based Outcome-based Monitoring Monitoring Defined actions Assumption based Assumption-based Research Research Conservation Conservation Delivery Delivery

Conservation Design Conservation Design Net progress toward Population objectives Synthesis of science (models) Biological Biological Planning Planning Program Accomplishments Spatially-Explicit Models; Decision Support Tools

Habitat Objectives Program Priority Areas Structured decision making NCTC Rapid Prototyping workshop Attended by a few key participants Identified and defined both the biological and governance problem Defined what recovery looked like Buy-in from agencies to move forward! 2007 Framework: requirements 1. Structured Decision Making to be more explicit 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7. and transparent Clear and agreed biological Objectives Strategies to achieve the biological objectives Actions to achieve the strategies Process is Adaptive Direct link between each action and Assessment to determine outcome related to specific objectives Governance structure with minimal layers but clear communication pathways and decision making protocols 2. Objectives Abundance A recovered Atlantic salmon DPS will be at a higher abundance than that currently existing in the US Majority of fish are wild origin Distribution

Distributed across a wide geographical area Distributed in a wide diversity of habitats Ecosystem function and diversity Required and fundamental components Functioning and diverse community Genetic diversity 3. Areas of focus Identified components where we could focus efforts to achieve the objectives Marine & estuary survival Freshwater production Hatchery programs Genetic diversity Connectivity Education and outreach Action Teams Each team has a Strategy and Metric to measure

progress to objectives Action teams Marine & estuary survival: John Kocik (NOAA) Freshwater production: Oliver Cox (MDMR) Hatchery programs: Scott Craig (USFWS) Genetic diversity: Meredith Bartron (USFWS) Connectivity: Rory Saunders (NOAA) Education and outreach: Peter Steenstra (USFWS) Genetic Diversity Action Team Strategy: Maintain the genetic

diversity of Atlantic salmon populations over time Metric: Estimates of genetic diversity based on comparable suites of molecular markers will be assessed and monitored over time Conservation Hatchery Action Team Strategy: Increase Adult Spawners through the Conservation Hatchery Program (CHP) Metric: Adult return per egg equivalent, reported by SHRU (salmon habitat

recovery unit) Using SDM, identified path forward 1. Agreed upon objectives: distribution & abundance, short term (prevent extinction) & long term (contribute to eventual self-sustaining populations) 2. Identify existing agency Atlantic salmon resources ($) and how they are spent 3. Evaluate alternatives which emphasized different management strategies based on available resources 4. Compare the biological benefit of each alternative in terms of salmon recovery 3. Actions For each action: Life stage impacted (egg, fry, parr, smolt, marine, FW adult)

Geographic impact (SHRUS) Timeframe of benefits Resourcing (cost including FTEs) Social/political issues Possible genetic risks Possible benefits to other species Possible risks to other species Short term benefits (prevent extinction) Long term benefits (long term recovery) Optimize practices to reduce risks of inadvertent selection that might reduce fitness in the wild YES Utilize broodstock database to track spawning history for all salmon held for broodstock purposes and implement spawning protocols described in the Broodstock Management Plan YES Implement stocking practices that

broadly distribute genetic groups (families) throughout the stocking sites YES Implement pedigree lines if demographic, family recovery, aquaculture escape event, or other parameter limits the potential collection of a broodstock year class YES Initiation Timescale Benefit Time Frame Endurance of Benefits % Occupied Geographic Scope

Biological Benefit Index (BBI) # SHRUs Generous Resourcing ($k) Generous Resourcing (FTE) Minimum Resourcing ($k) Minimum Resourcing (FTE) Action YES 3 15.15 52

0.712 ONGOING 1 1-3 yrs YES 3 12.15 52 0.712 ONGOING 1 1-3 yrs YES

3 12.15 52 0.71 ONGOING 1 1-3 yrs YES 3 12.15 52 0.71 ONGOING

1 1-3 yrs Identify existing Evaluate agency alternatives resources Allocation of resources (percentage) Hatchery + freshwat er FW connect + diadromou s Marine

+ estuary Action teams Status quo Marine Hatchery + estuary Marine Survival 10% 40% 5%

5% 5% 30% Estuary / Coastal Survival 6% 4% 20% 3% 16% 25%

Genetic Diversity 5% 5% 8% 10% 5% 4% Hatchery 32% 32%

50% 50% 32% 20% Freshwater 25% 17% 15% 30% 40% 19%

Population Assessme nt 22% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% Compare biological benefit of strategies 5. Adaptive Marine AT Marine & Estuary AT Estuary AT

Connectivity AT Incorporated short and long term into objectives Preventing extinction Contributing to recovery Developed additional strategies to maximize biological benefit to identify final strategy 6. Monitoring & Assessment Two major types Integrated into each individual action intended to answer whether the action had the anticipated effect, and what effect it had on the overall biological objectives (distribution and abundance) Monitoring of progress toward the biological objectives (abundance and distribution) Monitoring & Assessment Each action has incorporated an assessment component Culture & Stocking: artificial redd / egg stocking in Kennebec (Sandy River)

Eyed eggs are taken from Green Lake NFH and planted in artificial redds in the Sandy River, a large tributary of the Kennebec River. The eggs are Penobscot River F2 produced from the backup domestic brood population, and can number up to approximately 800,000. This action is the 2nd highest priority conservation use for these eggs. This project is the primary stocking strategy for the Sandy River, and the goal is to produce juvenile that is in better synchrony with environmental conditions that is subjected to less domestication pressure than a comparable fry stocked product. Includes resources for staff and operations for stocking and assessment. 7. Governance Implementation Plan Being developed by AT Chairs and Assessment Team Identifies which actions will be implemented for next 5 years Includes the strategy and metric for each team Annual Schedule

January March Winter Recovery Meeting of the Policy Board, Management Board, and Action Team Chairs Open to the Public Written and verbal reports provided by each Action Team on previous years implementation activities Report on population status and progress toward biological objectives Review and agree plan for the coming year of implementation Annual Report on Framework Implementation prepared July September Mid-year meeting held Action Team Chairs highlight any obstacles to meeting end of year targets Any new findings or information is presented and discussed The Action Team Chairs and Management Board will hold periodic meetings as needed to resolve issues, when appropriate joint meetings will be held Strategic Habitat Conservation: Activities Priority Species: ATS Net progress toward Population objectives: Defined

assessment linked to actions Population Objectives: Distribution and Abundance Defined Actions: Identified Actions Assumption-based Research Conservation Delivery Conservation Design Outcome-based Monitoring

Biological Planning Spatially-Explicit Models: Biological benefit Decision Support Tools: SDM model Framework & Recovery Plan Shared objectives Integrated approaches and activities Defined communication pathways between AT Chairs and Recovery Coordinator Antonio Bentivoglio-FWS

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