• Action effectiveness monitoring: are actions achieving targeted results for fish?

    Action effectiveness studies look at “cause and effect” relationships between management actions and improvements to fish survival and/or environmental conditions. In other words, these studies help evaluate whether actions for fish are achieving their biological objectives. 


    Fish passage and survival at the dams is a long-standing example of action effectiveness monitoring.  The action agencies and NOAA Fisheries use findings on juvenile survival and fish passage efficiency through different passage routes at the dams to decide where and how to make structural and operational changes to improve survival.


    Effects of restoration actions on improving the characteristics of tributary streams can be easily  demonstrated through long-term monitoring of key attributes that provide trend data. 


    Adult fish swimming by a viewing window at a dam.  Photo by Tony Grover, Northwest Power and Conservation Council. 

    The effect of habitat improvements on fish survival is a more difficult to isolate, since there are many factors that affect fish health, and it is difficult to isolate the contribution of improved tributary habitat. 


    Intensively monitored watersheds help provide a laboratory where data on can be collected on a single ecosystem – including water temperatures and water quality, soils, fish status, vegetation, etc. – over time.  This more extensive data allows researchers to develop a comprehensive understanding of the factors controlling salmon health and productivity and how these factors are influenced by various restoration actions. 


    Other action effectiveness monitoring includes studies of avian, pikeminnow and sea lion predation on juvenile and adult salmon and monitoring and evaluation of safe­ty-net hatchery programs.








  • Columbia Basin Habitat Monitoring Program


    In order to compare information across multiple populations of ESA-listed fish, Action Agencies, tribes and States are adopting a standardized fish habitat monitoring protocol, the Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program (CHaMP).

    CHaMP is a Columbia River basin-wide habitat status and trends monitoring program built around a single habitat monitoring protocol. This program will provide information on the status/trends in habitat conditions, and will support habitat restoration, rehabilitation and conservation actions, performance assessments, and the adaptive management requirements of the 2008 FCRPS BiOp.


    ChaMP researchers have selected 26 watersheds with a variety of existing habitat conditions where projects will be implemented and assessed for the cumulative impact of habitat improvements throughout the watershed.  They are:




    CHaMP Watersheds

    Hood River

    Wind River



    Fifteen Mile

    Lower Mainstem John Day

    North Fork John Day

    Upper Mainstem John Day

    Middle Fork John Day

    South Fork John Day


    Upper Grande Ronde

    Catherine Creek


    Lolo Creek



    South Fork Salmon

    Big Creek



    Yankee Fork