Final Summary

Biology Committee Conference Call

April 30, 1999

PARTICIPANTS: Tom Nesler, Frank Pfeifer, Paul Dey, Kevin Christopherson, Tom Pruitt, Tim Modde, Dan Alonzo, Robert Forrest, Bill Davis, Mike Hudson, Angela Kantola, Pat Nelson, John Hawkins, Tom Czapla, Art Roybal, and Tom Pitts.

Action or "to-do' items are identified by a ">."

Recommendations to the Management Committee are in ALL CAPS.

Items for upcoming meeting agendas are identified by an asterisk (*).

Convene: 9:00 a.m.

1. Additions/revision to agenda - The agenda was revised as it appears below.

2. Approval of March 30-31 meeting summary - Minor revisions were made to items #3 and #10; >Angela Kantola will post the revised summary to the listserver.

Tom Nesler noted that the Committee didn't get to comment on a report that was subcontracted under the Yampa low-flow study (Miller report), which shouldn't happen in the future. For future reference, the Committee's policy is that even if a report is sub-contracted out, it should still come to the Committee for approval.

3. Discussion/Approval of Utah stocking plan - Several Committee members expressed concern about the continued reflection of the different stocking alternatives in the plan, noting that it makes the plan confusing. They want those references to be removed (from both the text and the appendices) so that the plan makes one clear recommendation. (The other stocking alternatives could be reflected in an internal Utah document, if they wish.) >Kevin Christopherson will check with Utah's Management Committee member to see if that's acceptable. If it's not acceptable, Frank said he'd like to discuss it with Utah's Management Committee member. Also, the last sentence of the first paragraph on page 11 will be removed. Tom Nesler noted that all our experience shows that stocking larger fish is more effective in areas where predation is a concern, yet the approach section continues to emphasize that it would be good to stock smaller fishes. Utah will revise the wording here and in the table on page 30 to make it clear that they just want to determine what size fish result in the greatest stocking efficiency. The recommendation on bonytail stocking also will be clarified. The Committee approved the document as final with the foregoing changes. John Hawkins emphasized that the Committee needs to make sure that they determine how stocking will be monitored and evaluated (probably as part of the discussion of ISMP). >Tom Czapla will send the plan to the ad hoc propagation work group now (since the numbers aren't changing).

4. Discussion/Approval of Utah SOW -- Stocking larval razorback suckers into floodplain depressions (if at least 10,000 excess larval fish are available this spring). (Two scopes of work have been submitted for this for FY 2000; the Biology Committee will look at both of those and discuss who does the follow-up sampling when they consider those scopes of work.) The only evaluation of the stocking this year would be incidental to sampling in this last year of the levee removal evaluation. John Hawkins expressed some concern as to what stocking plan we're following with this stocking. He also noted that if we do this stocking, the follow-up evaluation will have a very high priority for FY 2000. The Committee approved stocking up to 20,000 larval razorbacks in Stirrup. If more fish are available, >Tom Pruitt will immediately notify Frank Pfeifer who will then take it up with the Biology Committee.

5. Discussion/Approval USU evaluation of black bullhead on larval razorback suckers (not a request for Program funding, but for excess razorback larvae) - The Biology Committee agreed that if excess fish beyond the 20,000 needed for stocking larval razorbacks into floodplain depressions, then the Program will provide fish to USU. However, because the new hatchery is not completed Ouray does not have space to produce half-sibling crosses. Tim Modde suggested USU might also inquire if Dexter has excess fish for this purpose.

6. Discussion of the frequency of monitoring Modde's radio-implanted razorback suckers. Tim informed the Committee that fish presence will be monitored in each site during weekly fish collection efforts when the river is connected to the wetland, and at least once after the wetlands have been disconnected to determine which fish remain in the wetland. During occasional (possibly two aerial flights in the spring) aerial surveys in the spring, attempts will be made to locate fish in the river. >Tim will add this to his original proposal. Kevin said he was surprised by the brevity of Tim's proposal. John Hawkins suggested that if fish are found via aerial tracking, that should be followed up with on the ground tracking to determine when they move out of the wetland and if they're still alive when they do. Tim said they'll look for every opportunity and do what they can.

7. SOW construction of growout pond in Leota 10 - Tom Czapla and Dan Alonzo answered a variety of questions about this proposal.

8. Discussion/Approval of changes to Genetics Management Plan (sent out on e-mail by Czapla) - Art Roybal raised an issue of consistency on: page 9, table 1; page 13, table 2; page 16, table 3; and the text on page 15 (Yampa River pikeminnow population should be referred to as Yampa/Green). John Hawkins expressed concern about the sentence on page 5, item #5 under stocking plans that says "not in this Genetics Management Plan." Agreement couldn't be reached, so this item will be on the next meeting agenda (John Hawkins and Tom Pitts will provide recommendations for resolving this). Committee members thanked Tom Czapla for outlining where he'd made changes and how he'd addressed comments.

9. Schedule next meeting - June 3 in Denver at DIA 9 a.m. - 4 p.m (>the Program Director's office will arrange a meeting room). Agenda items will include ISMP and the Genetics Management Plan.

Adjourn: 11:10 a.m.