Seminar in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Launches SSI Regional Monitoring PlanNews & Program Updates
The Sakhalin Salmon Initiative Monitoring Workshop was held at the Sakhalin Fisheries and Oceanography Institute (SakhNIRO) on November 6-7, 2007. The workshop was organized by the Sakhalin Salmon Initiative Center. Participants included researchers from SakhNIRO, the Sakhalin Branch of the Federal Fisheries Agency (Sakhrybvod), Gordon Reeves of the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, and Nicole Portley of the Wild Salmon Center. The goal of the workshop was to discuss the salmonid population and habitat monitoring methodologies employed in North America and Russia and then to preliminarily conceptualize a new fisheries and habitat monitoring program in the framework of the Sakhalin Salmon Initiative, with methods drawn from both the Sakhalin and American sides.
During the first day of the workshop, researchers from SakhNIRO and Sakhrybvod presented on their agencies' respective overarching monitoring objectives and on their research at particular "control" rivers, where they have stations and conduct yearly studies. Reeves presented on government monitoring programs used in the Pacific Northwest, and also on plans for the Wild Salmon Center's monitoring program on priority rivers. Portley presented on Conservation Action Planning (CAP) methodology and its application to monitoring ecosystem health and the success of conservation initiatives.
The second day of proceedings was devoted to drafting the monitoring plan. The following decisions were taken:
- A new SSI Regional Monitoring Plan will be created, based upon a rotating panel design that will operate on a six-year cycle, rotating between the six eco-regions of Sakhalin. The Aniva region was chosen for study in 2008.
- The plan will take data from three basins within an ecoregion per year, representing the wide range of environmental conditions in the region: good-condition, medium-condition, poor-condition.
- One of the three basins per eco-region will be a SakhNIRO or Sakhrybvod control river, where yearly studies are conducted. The studies performed through our program will be performed yearly in that particular basin (i.e. one basin will be an intensively monitored basin, serving as a control for year-to-year variation, while the other two rivers will be monitoring once every six years).
- In 2008, the team will pilot the use of a rotary trap on a river in the Aniva region in order to measure outmigration of salmonid juveniles and smolts. The trap will be shipped to Sakhalin from the US.
- The monitored species in the program: pink, chum, coho, masu, taimen, grayling, kundja and Dolly Varden.
- The watershed modeling program NetMap and the concept of intrinsic potential (A measure of the natural potential of a stream or river reach to provide high-quality rearing and spawning habitat for a given species of fish) will be used to determine monitoring locations within basins. A Russian version of NetMap will be created, and a seminar instructing the local partners in the program's use will be conducted in 2008.
- The American and Russian partners in the project will jointly develop the Monitoring Plan, which will include detailed descriptions of monitoring methodologies and parameters to be measured. Vladimir Samarskiy of Sakhrybvod and Alexander Kaev of SakhNIRO will draft the first iteration of the plan.