Click here to open
a printable (PDF) version of this document.
Shared Strategy: A 5-step voluntary & collaborative
process to develop a recovery plan for salmon in Puget Sound
A key step of the Shared Strategy is the development of recovery
planning ranges and targets (interim recovery goals) for the 22
individual chinook fish populations in Puget Sound. Ranges and
targets will also be provided for bull trout and Hood Canal summer
chum. The ranges and targets are provided here primarily to give
a sense of the magnitude of the effort necessary to return chinook
populations to recovered, harvestable levels. The ranges and targets
also provide a common measurement for recovery planning that can
be used by habitat, hatchery, and harvest managers to guide the
identification and evaluation of recovery actions. These ranges
and targets can facilitate discussion across watersheds as well
as within habitat, harvest and hatchery programs to determine the
level of recovery necessary to meet local and regional interests
plus evaluate the most effective manner to achieve the long-term
sustainability of fish at harvestable levels.
Factors for Recovery - The Shared Strategy goal for recovery is
self-sustaining populations of salmon at harvestable levels. In
order to achieve sustaining populations, four interrelated factors
are critical; abundance of fish at various life stages, productivity
of individual populations (number of returning adults produced
by the parent spawner), spatial distribution of fish and habitats,
and diversity of different life traits (run timing, age structure,
size, etc.) These four factors need to work together to support
the health of individual populations and the whole species in Puget
Sound. Current planning ranges and targets address abundance and
productivity. The attached tables help illustrate the fundamental
relationship between abundance and productivity factors (e.g.,
improving and maintaining productivity may temper the need for
higher spawner abundance). Spatial distribution and diversity will
be addressed later in the process and will be tailored to the characteristics
of individual populations at the watershed level. Desired outcomes
for spatial distribution and diversity may lead to the revision
of abundance and productivity targets and ranges as the complete
picture of chinook goals becomes clearer.
Planning Ranges and Targets - The planning range, as determined
by several technical models, provides a broad estimate of the abundance
needed for a population to be viable over time. The ranges are
large because of the variation in environmental conditions and
uncertainty in historical information. The planning target provides
a more specific measure within the range that is helpful for evaluating
recovery actions in habitat, harvest, and hatcheries. The target
predicts the abundance and productivity of a salmon population
based on a fully functioning estuary, improved freshwater conditions,
restored access to blocked habitats, and poor ocean conditions.
It is important to remember that each of these numbers represents
different points along the same population performance curve and
that the planning target is the curve itself, not any one specific
number of spawners or migrants.
Magnitude of change - The planning ranges and targets were developed
by scientists and policy staff over a number of months. Fully understanding
how they were developed can be accomplished through more detailed
briefings from Shared Strategy staff and participating scientists.
The most important message to draw from the target and range is
the magnitude of change from current conditions that is necessary
to support self-sustaining populations. Current spawner abundance
is provided in Table 1 to help illuminate the magnitude of change
needed. Step 3 involves the Shared Strategy - and all of its collaborative
partners - working with individual watersheds to understand the
planning ranges and targets for their populations and the magnitude
of change that will be needed in all life stages of the salmon
population to move along the path toward recovery. Identifying
changes to habitat, hatchery, and harvest actions that help achieve
this magnitude of change is the essence of Step 3.
What to do with the planning targets - Local governments, watershed
groups, and marine groups are asked to work with the state, tribes,
and federal Services to identify the actions necessary to attain
the planning targets and reach consensus on how to implement those
actions. This could be accomplished by first examining how existing
and planned efforts in your watershed help move towards achievement
of the planning targets. Following this initial assessment of current
(or planned) efforts, it will then be possible to see where additional
changes may be necessary to achieve the targets.
For example, if current plans call for changes and improvements
to habitat conditions that will increase salmon production from
800 fish to 2,000 fish, but the planning target is 3,000 fish,
what additional changes could be proposed to gain this increase
in fish? Restored estuary? Protected riparian habitat? Harvest
restrictions? Increased hatchery production? All of these actions
have important implications for the people living and working in
the watershed. The advantage of working at the watershed level
is that this is where it will be possible to consider those critical
social, economic, and cultural implications as well as the biological
needs of the fish that are unique to each watershed.
For more information about planning targets - and what to do with
them - for your watershed, please contact Carol MacIlroy or Margaret
Duncan, Watershed Specialists, Puget Sound Salmon Forum at 206.447.3336.
(The numbers are presented for the populations for which the analysis
has been completed. State and ribal biologists are still developing
the numbers for the populations that are blank.)
* Represents spawner escapement 1987-2001.
1. The low productivity number in both the range and the target represents
one adult fish return per spawner, also called the equilibrium point of 1:1
(recruits per spawner).
2. The high productivity number represents the number of spawners at the point
where the population provides the highest sustainable yield for every spawner.
The productivity ratio is in parentheses for each population and represents
the relationship of recruits per spawner (e.g., 3.8:1 for Upper Skagit)
Groups working at the watershed level have requested that planning
targets be expressed as the number of juvenile freshwater outmigrants
needed to allow the population to persist over time. Co-manager
(state and tribes) analysis provides an estimate of the number
of juvenile migrants required to maintain population viability
under recently observed adverse estuarine and marine conditions.
The numbers are presented for the populations for which the analysis
has been completed. State and tribal biologists are still developing
the numbers for the populations that are blank.