Official Government Website

Recommendation Tracker

The Columbia Basin Collaborative (CBC) develops recommendations for decision-makers to consider for implementation. This page outlines the recommendations developed in the CBC process that are supported by the diverse parties of the CBC and their implementation status. Click on the arrow below to see the recommendations by topic. View the full text in PDF format by clicking on the recommendation title. A PDF of all the CBC supported recommendations can be found here.


The CBC aims to achieve the quantitative and qualitative goals for salmon and steelhead documented in the Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force (CBPTF) Phase 1 and 2 Reports. The CBPTF “explored the various limiting factors that impact salmon and steelhead across their life cycles. The results of the analyses show that no single strategy (e.g., reducing predation, increasing habitat, reducing harvest) will achieve the Goals on its own. Instead, improvements in multiple factors will be needed to increase abundance to desired levels for most stocks. Together, these improvements create synergies that compound benefits greater than those achievable through single actions.”  

The CBPTF also identified that, “reliable and predictable funding is essential. Funding must be targeted to achieve the Partnership’s Quantitative and Qualitative Goals. New funding sources should be identified. Funding must come from multiple sources, consider the burden across communities, and account for past, present, and potential impacts.”   

The CBC agrees with these objectives and hence the recommendations below are aimed to help achieve those CBPTF Goals. No one recommendation can meet these goals alone. 

The parties of the CBC have come to consensus that the below recommendations are valid for implementer consideration. As stated in the Charter, “sovereigns with management decision-making authority will review recommendations and make independent decisions to implement or support actions. The CBC itself is not a management decision-making body but will strive to support its recommendations through to implementation.”  

Hydropower Recommendations

Availability of run timing data varies across the basin. Enhanced information of run timing and entry timing could be used in adaptive management of spill and/or bypass operations to ensure safe passage routes for early migrating salmon and steelhead. Benefits to improved data include potentially improving passage timing for wild and hatchery origin fish across the basin. 

This recommendation advocates for increasing detection at mainstem facilities. Data could be collected through smolts traps, PIT tag detection (barges or other) or in some cases mainstem bypasses and traps or other methods. State and tribal agencies, dam operators, and fishery co-managers are needed to implement the action. Costs and regulatory processes vary depending on the data collection methods, data gaps, and site. 

Collected data could have implications for system-wide water management, power production, predator management, fisheries management, and other sectors, which could be an opportunity or a challenge. 

Status: Reached consensus by Integrations/Recommendations Group at April 2023 Meeting.

Maintain and improve mainstem reach survival estimates and Smolt to Adult Return (SAR) data by installing PIT tag detection systems at key mainstem hydro-projects so that reach-based juvenile salmon and steelhead survival and SAR estimates can be generated throughout the Columbia and Snake River basins. Maintaining and improving reach-based survival estimates will allow for changes in reach survival to be identified, investigated, and addressed. Improving juvenile detections at key projects (and downstream of Bonneville Dam) will allow for more accurate estimates of SARs from different ESUs/DPSs and populations within the Columbia River Basin. Recommended key projects and structures include: Wanapum Dam juvenile bypass; Wanapum Dam adult fishway; one McNary Dam surface spillbay; Bonneville Dam spillway; and the Columbia River estuary (where these “downstream” detections are needed to make survival estimates to Bonneville Dam and could serve as the basis for generating SAR information for ESUs/DPSs and populations within the Columbia River Basin – including the Willamette River basin).

Status: Reached consensus by Integrations/Recommendations Group at January 2024 Meeting.

Predation Recommendations

Steller sea lions (SSL) and California sea lions (CSL) residing at Bonneville Dam and Willamette Falls consume salmon up to 6% mortality rate.  The ODFW, WDFW, IDFG, and CRITFC jointly manage and implement lethal removal of SSLs and CSLs under the Marine Mammal Protection Act Section 120 Pinniped Removal Program.  This recommendation supports extending authorization of MMPA and asks to fully fund the status-quo 120(f) permit scope. The recommendation also asks for one-time funding for new sea lion removal equipment and to replace outdated equipment. In addition, the recommendation asks for funding to increase the capacity to remove sea lions and process animals, including a program to maintain an on-call veterinarian roster and a training program for biologists and technicians for seasonal work. The recommendation calls for extending and fully funding pinniped abundance estimation and kill rate monitoring programs, e.g., USACE Bonneville monitoring, as well as pursuing research and development into lethal tributary removals and the use of darts.

Status: Reached consensus by Integrations/Recommendations Group at April 2023 Meeting.

Abundance of double-crested cormorants nesting upriver of East Sand Island has grown dramatically in recent years, causing concern for the recovery of salmonid runs.  This recommendation advocates for using non-lethal techniques to reduce double-crested cormorant abundance on the Astoria-Megler Bridge colony and other colonies upriver of East Sand Island. The recommendation asks for to apply dissuasion and social attraction techniques to “push” cormorants from where we don’t want them and “pull” them to where we do.  

Adaptive management is crucial to the implementation of this recommendation, and monitoring and evaluating cormorant dispersal and outcomes for salmonids is critical.  

This recommendation also emphasizes the importance of coordinating this effort with Oregon Department of Transportation and Washington Department of Transportation, as well as other regional players.  

Status: Reached consensus by Integrations/Recommendations Group at April 2023 Meeting.

Invasive non-native fishes compromise salmonid species in the Columbia River watershed through predation, competition for food, interbreeding, disease transmission, food web disruption, and physical habitat alteration.  

This recommendation advocates for determining which water bodies are contributing to the increased abundance of Northern Pike or other invasive non-native fishes in the Columbia Basin. In addition, the recommendation asks for implementing wide scale eDNA monitoring in key lakes, reservoirs, tributaries, tributary mouths and the mainstem Columbia River for the presence of Northern Pike and other key invasive non-native fishes.  

The recommendation asks to explore and implement actions to reduce or stop Northern Pike or other invasive non-native fishes from immigrating into anadromous waterbodies, including suppression methods and public outreach. In addition, the recommendation would encourage developing Northern Pike Rapid Response plans for each “section” of the Columbia River.  It also asks to continue funding Northern Pike Suppression projects in the upper Columbia River watershed beyond 2025 (the current end of most funding plans). 

Status: Reached consensus by Integrations/Recommendations Group at April 2023 Meeting.

There is no coordinated, large-scale program to investigate and quantify the overall predatory impact of piscine predators (e.g., Northern Pikeminnow, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye) to juvenile salmonid stocks. Without this, recommending meaningful piscine predation management actions and subsequently monitoring for the effects of those management actions will be difficult. 

This recommendation asks to design a modular PPMEP study to generate unbiased estimates of predator abundance and the consumption rates of juvenile salmonids. This could include using assessments in the following areas to inform the PPMEP design: gear effectiveness, develop GIS models of habitat, evaluate diet analyses, information on non-native predators.  A PPMEP study design could then be implemented, through future action items, to generate metrics to inform adaptive management of the lower and mid-Columbia River Basin. 

Status: Reached consensus by Integrations/Recommendations Group at April 2023 Meeting.

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