Biology Committee Meeting Conference Call Summary

May 21, 1998

PARTICIPANTS: Larry Crist, Frank Pfeifer, Doug Osmundson, Leo Lentsch, Tom Pitts, Mike Carnevale, Robert Forrester and Richard Meyerhoff for Bill Davis, Gary Burton, Dave Swanson, Tom Czapla, Kathy Holley, and Angela Kantola. (John Hawkins was out of the office, Tom Nesler, Leo Lentsch and Chrissy Wilson were called but were unavailable)

1. Review/modify agenda - the agenda was modified as it appears below.

2. Approval of final draft report -- "Monitoring Cobble-Gravel Embeddedness in the Streambed of the Upper Colorado River" - Richard Meyerhoff commented on the biological implications section saying that he believes it speculates too much about productivity, which the study didn't really evaluate. Doug agreed that the focus of the study on how fast cobble fills with fines after flushing. They didn't look at invertebrates, although as noted in the recommendations, it would be appropriate to do so. Doug will re-word the biological implications section to clarify that he didn't mean to imply that this is the controlling variable for productivity. The Committee approved the body of the report. >Doug will post the revised recommendations to the listserver by the end of June and the Biology Committee will be asked to respond within 2 weeks of that posting. If there are no major concerns with the revisions, the report will be considered final. Tom Pitts asked if the geomorphological panel had reviewed this report. That panel just formed, so they haven't reviewed it. The report will be finalized without their review since the review process was initiated prior to formation of the panel, but Tom Pitts may ask them to review the final, just to get their reaction.

3. Approval of final draft report "Estimation of Winter Survival, Movement and Dispersal of Young Colorado Squawfish in the Green River" by Haines, Beyers, and Modde (report and a copy of the review comments were sent to committee members March 15). Robert Forrester had a few minor comments that >he will post to the listserver. The report doesn't have a conclusion section and some conclusions seem to be in the recommendations. The report states that population estimates are more accurate that CPUE, but given the broad confidence intervals on some of these estimates, that doesn't seem to be an appropriate statement to make (McAda's comment). Larry Crist stated that the report is technically sound, but he would like to see Chuck McAda's comment addressed and a separate conclusion section added (and the conclusions pulled out of the discussion and recommendations sections). The Committee approved the report as final with the understanding that >those changes will be made.

3. Review and Discussion of Reports Due List - The Committee needs to verify the accuracy of this list, get revised dates for all overdue reports, and schedule peer and Biology Committee review. >Kathy Holley will add reports due that are shown in FY 97 and FY 98 scopes of work and create two separate lists, one of overdue reports and one of upcoming reports due. >Program coordinators will contact the appropriate principal investigators and negotiate revised due dates and peer and Biology Committee review dates by June 5 and >then Kathy will get a revised list posted to the listserver the next week. >Biology Committee members should comments on the current list to Kathy by June 5. >The Program Director's office will check on the status of Little Snake River reports and the final White River work plan report.

4. Update and Discussion of Propagation Issues

a. Genetics Management Plan - The Committee last discussed support for combining razorback populations. Tim Modde sent his comments in, Czapla just received additional comments from Pitts, and Anna Toline's comments are in the mail to Czapla. >Czapla said he thinks he can get those incorporated by the first week in June.

b. Hatchery Facilities Plan - Still working on incorporating Pitts' comments. Czapla said he's not sure when that will be completed because it's somewhat dependent on the stocking plans. However, >Czapla will try to address Pitts comments and get something out fairly quickly if he can use the information from existing stocking plans.

c. Green River Stocking Plan - Czapla is meeting with Chrissy Wilson first week in June; and >will have something for Committee review by mid-June.

d. 24 Road Expansion - The Management Committee obligated $225K of FY 98 funds to begin work on an additional intensive-culture facility at 24 Road for Colorado squawfish. Frank gave Reclamation a plan for a facility that could raise 75,000 squawfish per year to 4" in length. The goal is to have the facility operational by next spring. Some FY 99 funds may be needed to complete the facility (or additional unobligated FY 98 funds); Pfeifer said he thinks he'll know better what will be needed by about mid-July and >he'll keep the Management Committee apprised of that.

e. Colorado Squawfish Genetics Report- Holt Williamson recently reported: "We are making progress in Region 2 regarding CSF genetics ... we have a person willing to come over from Pinetop FHC to take a fresh look at additional data analysis... I've sent her the background documents (last week) but have heard nothing back yet. Slow but sure, I hope. We may need to visit with Doug on some of the sampling details."

f. Razorback Spawning Update - Frank Pfeifer said they ended up with 14 lots of razorbacks at the Grand Valley facility.

g. Razorback Spawning Update - Czapla said that they got mostly males and a few females in the Green River last week. This week they got two males and one female so far. It appears that we'll probably only get a maximum of 5 new razorback lots from the Green River this year. >The Biology Committee needs to discuss soon what to do differently next year since the Green River population may be too small to get the number of lots we need. Some options are to reconsider the 5 x 5 cross or to use razorbacks from the lower basin.

5. July 1-2 meeting in Denver, FWS Regional Office 4th floor conference room beginning at 8:00 a.m. on July 1 and ending at 12:00 p.m. on July 2. Agenda item: Biology Committee review and comments on draft FY 99 work plan (package will be mailed from Program Director's office on or before June 19th).