Biology Committee Meeting

January 15-16, 1998, FWS, Grand Junction, CO

ATTENDEES: Larry Crist, Mike Carnevale, Gary Burton, John Hawkins, Leo Lentsch, Yvette Converse, Robert Forester, Tom Czapla, Kathy Holley, Keith Rose, Tom Pruitt, Anna Toline, Frank Pfeifer, Tom Pitts.

Miscellaneous Business

Genetics Management Plan

The committee initiated a review of the Genetics Management Plan (Plan) and based on concerns that were raised, recommended a procedure and timeline to finalize a revised document.

1) Tom Czapla will solicit input from the Genetics Panel on issues and concepts that should be incorporated in the Plan by 1/30/98. Current BC input and any additional issues will also be provided to Tom by 1/29/98.

2) Concurrent with (1) Tom Czapla will address technical comments received to date and produce a revised document for discussion with a workgroup from the Biology Committee by 2/20/98. Any additional issues that are of concern to program participants and interested parties must also be submitted to Tom Czapla by 2/20/98. To facilitate the process any issues submitted for inclusion in the Plan Individuals must include a brief background framing the issue, proposal for resolution if any and supporting rationale..

3) The small work group composed of Tom Czapla and interested Biology Committee members will convene on 3/2/98 at 10:00 am at the FWS Office in Grand Junction to meld the revised document with unresolved issues and proposed resolutions. The dates for a revised document and other follow-up will be determined 3/2/98.

4) A final draft of the Plan will be sent to the Genetics Panel for review - date to be determined.

5) The goal for BC approval of the final revised Genetics Management Plan is June 1998.

1) What populations/stocks are being managed for? - list and agree on populations and name designations (for program consistency).

2) How are we going to manage Ne for wild and captive populations?

- summarize Ne of fish that have been stocked;

- identify Ne objective of 1000 fish in populations;

- identify approaches for maximizing Ne:

- equal family lots issue

- how will we incorporate F1s now reaching sexual maturity into brood stocks (what tools are available?, potential pedigree analysis?).

3) Inclusion of current genetic information - what is available and should it be included?

4) Appropriate level of detail on brood stocks - use of other supplementary documents.

5) Does the Genetics Management Plan limit stocking too much?

6) Interrelationship between guidelines and the Genetic Management Plan.

7) What is the need for a humpback chub refugia population?

8) The numbers of fish by age class that need to be retained in captive broodstocks needs to be reevaluated.

1) Need to develop theoretical background/rationale/criteria for stocking.

2) What is the preferred disposition/use and space priority for Chemoreception fish at Ouray.

3) How are/were outstanding CAP7 issues to be resolved?

- by MC at November 13 meeting?

- Program staff will identify the remaining issues for resolution by 1/16 BC mtg.

Propagation and Genetics FY98 Operations:

1) Long Range Facilities Plan;

2) Annual Propagation Plan (what fish to what facility, production, facility use);

3) Genetics Management Plan.

1) Disposition of spawn from Green River Razorbacks at Horsethief in spring 1998:

- Priority 1: use in 1:1 crosses for Green River broodstock & augmentation;

- Priority 2: use in half-sib crosses for Green River broodstock & augmentation (dependent on # of ripening males);

- Priority 3: use extra male gametes to supplement Colorado River broodstock.

2) Disposition of young humpback chub from unregulated spawn in 1997 at Horsethief:

-Move these fish to Wahweep to be held as backup broodstock.

3) 1997 stocking of razorback sucker:

-This issue remains delayed dependent on April 98 inventory and how the available fish are addressed in the AOP. The Biology Committee recommends that the stocking of razorbacks in the Green River,

-1) be resolved within the context of the AOP for the short-term;

-2) for the long-term, it should be addressed within Genetic Management Plan and augmentation plans;

- UT will make appropriate recommendations to the Program;

- final numbers will be based on spring inventory of available fish and family lots.

4) Hatchery Facilities Plan: Tom Czapla will provide to the BC by mid February.

- Wahweep has 4 ponds available for RBS and 1 available for BTC.

- Ouray can raise 12-15 family lots of RBS in the old building facilities and 10-11 ponds are available for growout.

Miscellaneous Propagation and Genetics Issues:

1) Colorado Squawfish Genetics Paper: in light of Genetics Panel comments the BC recommends the report not be accepted by the Program; the Program request return of all tissues, data, analyses, etc., related to this project for archiving; and any publications based on this material must first receive BC approval.

2) Genetics Panel member rotation and reimbursement recommendations:

- rotation will be granted upon request of a Genetics Panel member. Replacement member will be selected from viable choices provided by the Panel and Program.

- Panel members should be retained at with $1000/yr + travel expenses. Annual retainer could be raised if work load warrants.

3) Fish distribution equipment for shared use by Horsethief and Ouray facilities:

- UT will investigate what surplus equipment they have available to fit the need;

- this need could possibly be met with expenditure of CAP 7 funds.

Review of Effect of Daily Fluctuations from Flaming Gorge Dam on Formation of Ice Covers on the Green River, September 1997, by Daly, Tuthill, et al:

The Committee requested a revised version to reflect modifications resulting from BC discussion and written comments to be submitted by John Hawkins. Verbal comments included:

Review of Downstream Transport of Colorado squawfish larvae in the Green River drainage: temporal and spatial variation in abundance and relationships with juvenile recruitment (Bestgen et. al )

The Committee reviewed and approved Kevin Bestgen's report with the following stipulations:

The committee further noted that the report was of excellent quality and well written.

Upcoming and Outstanding Reports

The committee discussed the status of several reports including the following:

In general there was an incomplete understanding of the status of many reports and concern over the potential number of reports that the committee will need to review in the upcoming year.

The Program Director's office will work with the Biology Committee chairman to assemble a list of outstanding reports and their status as agenda items in upcoming meetings and also prepare a list of reports that are expected to be submitted to the Biology Committee for the remainder of FY 1998.

Report Review Process (Final Project Reports)

The committee discussed the report review process and proposed revisions to the process. The general consensus of the committee was that the existing process was adequate if implemented properly. A recommendation was made to reaffirm the process in a memo to the Program Director's office and clarify exactly how the process should work and what are the responsibilities of the various participants.

The chairman will send a memo to the Program Director's office outlining the process, objectives of the various steps, and responsibilities of the authors, peer reviewers, program staff and committees.

Request for YOY Colorado squawfish samples

The Laval Fish Lab (Colorado State University) received a request for samples of young Colorado squawfish from a student at University of Colorado for mtDNA analysis. The request is for 20-30 fish from multiple sites in the same year. The Biology Committee recommended that the request be approved with the following recommendations and stipulations;

The chairman (Larry Crist) will send a memo to the Program Directors office detailing the recommendation and stipulations.

Status of Interim Management Objectives

The newest revision of the Interim Management Objectives (IMO) and the Demographic model were passed out at the meeting. The revisions reflect comments received and the workshop input. Leo Lentsch indicated that input received at the workshop did not result in changes in the IMO population numbers. The committee discussed the process to finalize the documents and adopted the following recommendations:

Inter-Agency Standardized Monitoring Workplan

The Biology Committee reviewed and discussed the Inter-Agency Standardized Monitoring Program (ISMP) workshop recommendations and proposed Scope of Work for FY 1998. General agreement was reached that ISMP should for now focus on the collection of long term trend data and development of population estimates for various target populations. Based on the discussion it was recommended that certain research related Scopes of Work and Larval drift sampling be submitted as separate scopes of work and evaluated independently rather than as part of ISMP. As a result the committee removed several Scopes of Work from the ISMP and placed them on a list for contingency funding.

As a result of the recommended changes the overall program budget for ISMP was reduced by approximately $120,000. However, the committee specifically noted that as initial feasibility work for some population estimates are completed and these programs implemented, the full funding as originally identified will be required in out years (FY99 and beyond).

Priority Projects for Contingency Funding

Based on input from the Program Director, revisions to the contingency list and a review of previously identified priorities the Biology Committee reevaluated the unfunded scopes of work and ranked them for priority funding. The Biology Committee recommendations are given below. The scopes of work arranged in priority from highest to lowest include.

1 Selenium effects (63K)

2 Redlands evaluation (29.4K)

3 CS YOY CPUE/Population estimate (45K)

4 Gila Study (32K)

5 Yampa River Drift Station (25K - estimated)

6 Lower Green Drift Station (25K?)

8 Colorado R. - Loma Drift Station (25K?)

7 Gunnison River Drift Station (25K?)

Chemoreception, Ice Study and Spawning Site Study were the lowest priorities and fall below the above items in terms of priority funding.

Based on recommendations from the Program Staff it was decided not to prioritize funding for any capital projects at this time, with one exception. Program staff recommended and the Biology Committee concurred that funding for Wawheep ($500K) should proceed.

Selenium Effects Proposals

The Committee reviewed proposals by Dan Beyers and Frank McCormick. Based on a discussion of the proposal the committee recommended that the Beyers proposal be selected for funding. Program Directors Office will clarify with Mr. Beyers a technical issue on the standard length of the chronic toxicity test. In addition the Biology committee noted that although this is a one year proposal it will be necessary to follow up this laboratory study in FY 99 with field verification studies. Field verification should be included in FY99 program guidance.

Amendment to Leota Bottoms SOW

The Committee approved the amendment to the Leota Bottoms SOW for sampling during the spring of 98 with the following stipulations:

Duchesne Scope of Work

The Duchesne Scope of Work was approved with minor revision and the notation the budget carryover questions should be resolved by the Program staff. In addition, Keith Rose stated that in out year the Principal Investigators will be responsible for preparation and submission of the proposed SOW for that year.

FY97 Annual Reports

The issue was raised that the 97 annual reports received either little or no review this year other than by individuals and questions on the adequacy of several reports were raised. The committee recommends that:

Other Business