• Status monitoring tracks fish, habitat changes over time

    Status monitoring research esti­mates the status of fish populations and watershed conditions, and over time tracks indicators of habitat, wa­ter quality, water quantity and other factors that affect watershed health.


    Status monitoring also includes collecting daily adult and juvenile fish passage data at the eight federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.  This information helps inform real-time decisions about hydrosystem operations.


    Biologists record and track fish status in individual streams and tributaries throughout the Basin.  Photo courtesy of Bureau of Reclamation


    The Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have two long-term aquatic habitat and trend monitoring programs on federally-managed lands within the basin: 


    • AREMP (Aquatic-Riparian Effectiveness Monitoring Program) is associated with the Northwest Forest Plan and covers western Oregon and Washington. 


    • PIBO (Pacfish/Infish Biological Opinion) is associated with the aquatic strategies.  (PACFISH addresses anadromous fish-producing watersheds in the Northwest and northern California and INFISH covers native inland fish in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana.


    Through PIBO, the land management agencies collect stream habitat, macro invertebrates, riparian vegetation and temperature data within 1251 field sub-watersheds within the Columbia River Basin.  In addition PIBO has collected data at over 400 Designated Grazing Monitoring Areas to specifically evaluate stream habitat trends as related to grazing.  


  • Measuring fish health

    One measure of a population’s health is its abundance – a measure of the number of natural origin adult fish returning to the spawning grounds.  Abundance is different from adult returns, which are usually measured by counting fish at the dams.  Abundance is a more involved calculation that looks only at wild fish and only at fish that return to the tributaries.  As such, it can lag dam counts by several months to a year.


    Abundance trends are a key measure of recovery under ESA.  Other measures that the FCRPS BiOp uses to evaluate the status of listed populations are productivity (average number of progeny produced per adult spawner), population growth rate, and extinction risk.