• FCRPS BiOp Adaptive Management Implementation Plan

    The Obama Administration undertook an extensive effort to review the 2008 FCRPS Biological Opinion (BiOp). The process included listening to the views of the parties to the litigation, as well as those of agency and independent scientists, and a consideration of the points raised in a May 2009 letter from U.S. District Court Judge James A. Redden.


    The Administration determined that the science underlying the BiOp is fundamentally sound, but there are uncertainties in some predictions regarding the future condition of the listed species. As a result, the Administration has developed an “insurance policy for the fish” as part of the BiOp. A key to this “insurance policy” are contingency measures to be implemented in case of a significant decline in fish abundance. The plan improves on efforts to track and detect climate change and its effects on listed species and other uncertainties that could emerge over the 10-year life of the biological opinion.


    April 2013: Updated forecasting tool developed by NW Fisheries Science Center to address the following AMIP requirement: Develop additional Early Warning Indicator(s) to evaluate whether a species is likely to have substantially reduced abundance in the future based on one to two years of adult return information, preliminary biological information, and environmental indicators.


    March 2012:  Data is being submitted to the USFS Rocky Mountain Reserach stream and air temperature database per AMIP action item, NOAA to establish as regional stream temperature database. AAs to provide NOAA with past and future water temperature data from their existing monitoring stations withint 6 months after the establishment of the database and annually thereafter.


    Feb. 13, 2013: Thermal Refugia Report .  The report includes water quality studies and modeling related to adult salmon and steelhead use of thermal refugia during their upstream migration in the Columbia River Basin.


    q Response to comments on the Thermal Refugia Report

    July 26, 2012:  John Day MOP Plan of Study.  As one of the potential long-term contingency actions, the AMIP called for the Corps to complete study plans for operation of John Day Dam at its minimum operating pool (MOP) elevation.  This plan was developed in coordination with the other Action Agencies and provided to the Regional Implementation Oversight Group for review and comment.  


    March 22, 2012:  AMIP actions completed


    Feb. 7, 2012:  2011 Rapid Response and Long Term Contigency Plan


    q Cover letter


    Feb. 2011:  AMIP action item, Ensure that data on tributary and ocean habitat conditions and on tributary and estuary action effectiveness collected under RPA actions 56 through 61 is managed in a database that allows changes to be tracked over time:


    q Tributary habitat status and trend monitoring at Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program.

    q Tributary action effectiveness monitoring at NW Fisheries Science Center Integrated Status and Effect Monitoring Program.

    Estuary habitat data: information on PNNL project to develop system to track and maintain estuary status and trends and action effectiveness here.

    Ocean habitat conditions at NOAA Ocean Indicators Tool.

    Dec. 2011: In response to AMIP item, . . .resolve hatchery critical uncertainties. . . [to] . . . provide support for future hatchery management actions to reduce potential adverse hatchery effects. . .work with fishery managers to discuss potential studies and potential management tools, the agencies proposed the Columbia River Hatchery Effects Evaluation Team. Implementation of CHREET has been postponed until 2013 while the agencies and tribes undertake an extensive ESA consultation process on FCRPS mitigation hatchery programs. CHREET can then be informed by the outcomes of the consultations.

    Dec. 23, 2010:  Trend metric incorporated into the Significant Decline Trigger


    The Action Agencies reported to NOAA Fisheries today that the agencies have agreed on a method to calculate trend and that it will now be part of the AMIP’s abundance-based Significant Decline Trigger.  The AMIP requires the agencies to do this by the end of calendar year 2010.



    June 11, 2010:  Letter from the Corps to NOAA regarding the following AMIP action: Develop an appropriate safeguard, based on adult returns, that would continue summer spill at the Snake River projects through August 31 in the year following a year of very low adult [Snake River fall chinook] returns.


    May 10, 2010:  NOAA Fisheries has submitted the Supplemental FCRPS Biological Opinion, incorporating the AMIP. 

    March 31, 2010:  Dam Breach Plan of Study  The Corps, in the AMIP, committed to complete by March 2010 a Plan of Study laying out the scope, schedule, and budget to complete technical studies and a decision-making process concerning breaching the four lower Snake River dams.


    Jan. 22, 2010:  Upper Columbia Spring Chinook Early Warning Indicator


    The action agencies sent a letter to NOAA Fisheries today saying that the status of Upper Columbia Spring Chinook is unlikely to drop below the Adaptive Management Implementation Plan Significant Decline threshold in 2010 or 2011. The letter was in response to a Sept. 25, 2009, NOAA letter that said if the AMIP had been in place before September 2009, the number of natural-origin Upper Columbia Spring Chinook returning to the Columbia through 2008 would have been an AMIP Early Warning Indicator.  Intended to focus attention on possible problems to come, the Early Warning Indicator triggers a  process for the agencies to determine whether the species is likely to reach the Significant Decline Threshold. The AMIP calls for rapid response actions to address significant declines in the abundance of naturally produced salmon and steelhead. 


    The action agencies’ letter says that 2009 returns of Upper Columbia Spring Chinook exceeded the Early Warning threshold, and that the Northwest Fisheries Science Center is predicting chinook runs in 2010 and 2011 to rival the high returns of this species seen in 2001 and 2002.  In addition, the action agencies are implementing a very aggressive habitat program in the upper Columbia region, focused specifically on improvements for Upper Columbia Spring Chinook and steelhead.  Therefore, the agencies conclude that rapid response actions aimed at improving the near-term status of Upper Columbia Spring Chinook are not necessary at this time.

    Sept. 15, 2009: The Adaptive Management Implementation Plan (AMIP) was filed with Judge Redden.

    The Obama Administration concluded that, as implemented through the AMIP, the 2008 BiOp is biologically and legally sound, is based on the best available scientific information, and satisfies the ESA jeopardy standard. The BiOp is the result of extensive regional collaboration and reflects great regional consensus. With this BiOp Implementation Plan, the Administration hopes to broaden this support so that we can put the last decade of litigation behind us. It is time to get to work implementing fish protections, working with our state and tribal partners.

    Other information on the AMIP:


    Overview of the AMIP 
    Action agency letter to NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco
    Dr. Lubchenco letter to action agencies


    Federal defendants’ response to Court’s May 18, 2009 letter


  • AMIP Links

    Adaptive Management Implementation Plan 



    Adaptive Management Decision Framework (NOAA Fisheries; 2007)



    • Appendix 1. Obama Administration Review & Court Guidance
    • Appendices 2 and 3. Adaptive Management and Estuary Habitat MOA with the State of Washington
    • Appendix 4. Triggers and Early Warning Indicators
        • q Attachment 1: Abundance estimates applied to Significant Decline triggers
    • Appendix 5. Rapid Response Actions