Columbia River Fisheries Program Office
Pacific Region


Executive Branch

The Executive branch’s responsibility is to ensure that CRFPO’s programs meet FWS Region 1 Fishery Strategic Step-down Plan goals by achieving prioritized science and management objectives. The Executive branch defines the priorities for working on objectives based on regional and national guidance and funding constraints.  The Executive branch communicates to the Science Application group the most recent information on the Fisheries Strategic Plan, national and regional Service initiatives such as Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC), surrogate species, climate change, science excellence and M&E guidance.  They work closely with the Science Application group to communicate this information to the Conservation and Mitigation, Analytical, and Field Implementation groups who integrate it into management forums, and the development of work plans and field studies.  The Executive branch is responsible for communicating accomplishments, key findings, and the implication of these findings to regional and national decision makers for fishery issues.  The Executive branch also works closely with the Administration branch to meet the CRFPO's fiscal goals and objectives while increasing efficiencies in a dynamic budget landscape.  The Executive branch supervises leads from each of the other branches and groups.  The Executive branch, group leads and key staff develops guidance on work priorities, project review, project templates, and workflow.  The Executive branch is responsible for communicating this guidance to all staff.  The Executive branch members also spearheads large regional conservation efforts, represents the Service in some management forums, assists the region in developing policy on fishery resource issues, and leads special projects.


Administrative Services

The Administration branch provides a variety of support services related to budget, procurement, human resources and information technology.  The CRFPO has a budget that is comprised of both appropriated and reimbursable funding.  CRFPO budget analysts track expenditures in a variety of categories throughout the fiscal year.  Regular budget updates are provided to the Administrative Officer and shared with the Executive branch.  The Administration branch works closely with the Executive, Science Application and Management, and Field Implementation branch group leads to develop future spending plans and group specific budget tracking that addresses the priorities for CRFPO field projects and management programs.  Staff from this branch coordinates all cooperative and reimbursable agreements engaged in by the CRFPO.  The CRFPO has the only field warranted purchasing agent in Region 1, which  allows for all purchases to be made without delay;  this is essential due to the time sensitive nature of all fish marking field projects.   The CRFPO office assistants help process the staff timesheets, travel vouchers, personnel actions related to recruitment, appointment extensions, and changes in work schedules, retirements, and other HR related actions.   Lastly, an information technology specialist helps to address all CRFPO IT needs.

Group Lead - Larry Fishler

Return to top.

Science Application and Management Branch

The Science Application and Management branch helps guide and ensure scientific excellence and management relevance throughout CRFPO work activities, among many other responsibilities. This branch has three groups as described below.

Science Application Group

The primary responsibilities for this group are to guide our management and field activities for consistency with Region 1 Fisheries Strategic Step-down Plan, Service initiatives, and adhere to science excellence guidance. Members of this group has the expertise on national and regional Service initiatives such as SHC, surrogate species, climate change, science excellence and monitoring and evaluation guidance, and provides training and mentoring to other CRFPO staff.  The Science Application group works closely with all other CRFPO groups to ensure that rigorous science is followed in every management and field project.  The Science Application group, along with the Executive branch, will develop a process to guide CRFPO project reviews and work with group leaders and project biologists to incorporate national FWS initiatives and regional and CRFPO objectives.   In conjunction with reviewing CRFPO projects, the Science Application group works with the Conservation and Mitigation and Analytical Services groups and the Field Implementation branch to develop work templates (to describe roles, responsibilities, work flow, and logistics) to be reported to the Executive branch. The Science Application group also implements the internal manuscript review process.  As reports and manuscripts are developed from projects from the Conservation and Mitigation and Analytical Services groups and the Field Implementation branch, members will coordinate pre-publication internal review.  They will be reviewing these documents for scientific excellence and management relevance (e.g.  Inclusion of national initiatives, regional objectives, and adherence to goals developed in CRFPO project reviews).  Additionally, the Science Application group may work on wide ranging special projects (assigned by the Executive branch) regarding conservation assessments at landscape scales that tie together work from multiple CRFPO groups and other Service Region 1 stations.   This group may also help to synthesize time-series information from multi-jurisdictional projects to complete landscape scale and retrospective assessments to inform key management decisions. 

Group Lead - Timothy Whitesel

Return to top.

Conservation & Mitigation Group

This group represents CRFPO in various management forums and provides assessments to inform key management decisions. By assigning dedicated staff, CRFPO is now able to focus resources to develop assessments and management strategies to inform and influence decisions in key management forums. Such forums and management activities include assistance and advice on Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plans, fish passage and habitat programs, recovery and conservation planning and implementation, mainstem Columbia River fish passage, U.S. v. Oregon, PFMC, SHC, surrogate species, Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans, hatchery management coordination, Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7 consultation and Section 10 permitting. The group coordinates with the rest of the Science Application and Management branch to explicitly implement SHC principles while considering the impacts of climate change to guide management efforts on a landscape scale. CRFPO’s management responsibilities is divided among members of this group by areas of expertise; however, participation in additional management forums is encouraged to increase staffing flexibility and provide employee training opportunities. Members of other groups and branches are encouraged to participate and may be assigned to assist with assessments in many of these forums and management activities, as needed. The Conservation and Mitigation group works closely with the Science Application group to develop work templates, implement projects and produce reports for its area of management responsibility. The Conservation and Mitigation group works closely with the Executive branch to ensure national and regional policies and priorities are integrated into our technical and management advice as well as regularly brief the Executive branch on time sensitive management decisions. The Conservation and Mitigation group is also responsible for providing information and education support on all CRFPO programs. Conservation and Mitigation group staff may be called upon, as needed, to assist with particular high priority field projects as directed under the Executive branch and Science Application group in order to adapt to the dynamic workload.

Group Lead - Marci Koski

Return to top.

Analytical Services

The Analytical Services group provides a variety of technical support services (data base, study design, geographic and statistical resources, population modeling) to the Executive, Science Application and Management, and Field Implementation branches. In addition to these responsibilities, more CRFPO data base management activities (e.g. CRiS, Streamnet, PTagis, and development of information management plans) has been added. This group addresses analytical service needs throughout the office and Region, including for example bull trout recovery and lamprey conservation assessment issues as well as other landscape scale management assessment initiatives. The Analytical Services group plays an active role in project design, evaluation, and information management working in close coordination with all branches. This group also leads special projects (e.g., Comparative Survival Study, selective fishery evaluations, run forecast techniques, GIS based habitat tools) as identified and guided by the Executive branch and Science Application group. The Analytical Services group develops and helps guide spatial analyses to support the application of SHC at a landscape scale for wide ranging aquatic species. The Analytical Services group works closely with the Executive Branch and Science Application group to advance our SHC work for aquatic species in Region 1.

Group Lead - Steve Haeseker

Return to top.

Field Implementation Branch

The Field Implementation branch is responsible for carrying out all field related activities for CRFPO, and working with the other groups to analyze and report on these activities. The Field Implementation branch is comprised of two closely coordinated groups described below.

The two groups within this branch works closely with the Science Application and Management branch when developing field projects, study designs, and analyses to meet national, regional, and CRFPO mandates and objectives. They work closely with the Conservation and Mitigation group to ensure that field projects are answering key questions raised in the various management forums. Members of the Field Implementation branch also work with the Analytical Services group to maintain the highest levels of scientific rigor in all field study designs, monitoring, and assessments. This consolidation of field implementation personnel maximizes the efforts and flexibility of the existing staff to complete tasks for priority projects, allowing CRFPO to deliver conservation efforts more effectively and efficiently with limited resources. To maximize this flexibility, it is fully expected that staff from each of the two field groups will regularly be called upon to assist and support the work and projects across and within these groups, as directed by the Executive branch and Science Application group. The group leads of the Field Implementation branch coordinate and work closely with each other to implement all templates to accomplish the field activities for projects that are identified at the beginning of each year during the annual project prioritization process.

Return to top.

Marking, Detection & Technology Group

The group’s priority is marking and tagging hatchery fish, bio sampling of returning adult fish, helping to record and summarize the information with other groups, and reporting on these activities.  Also, this group’s role and responsibility has been expanded to include implementation of mark-recapture studies that include study design, marking and tagging of wild fish, installing and maintaining PIT, radio and sonic tag detection systems, active recapture approaches, and collaboratively working on analysis of mark-recapture data with the other groups.  This group leads the evaluation of the various marking and detection technologies. The group is responsible for studies such as evaluating the effects of the various marking techniques on condition, growth, behavior, and survival of fish to various life stages. These evaluations may also concentrate on topics associated with operations, efficiencies, and effectiveness of automated marking trailers versus traditional marking approaches. The technology evaluations also focus on the efficiencies of detection systems for the various design configurations (e.g., flow through versus flat plate detection design).  These added roles and responsibilities provide a better consolidation of marking, detection and technology related work activities and provide expanded employee development opportunities.

Group Lead - Jesse Rivera
Assistant Lead - Courtney Newlon

Return to top.

Population and Habitat Assessment Group

Population work focuses on gathering demographic information such as occupancy, distribution, abundance, trends, and population growth rates.  Other types of population field studies include such areas as species diversity, fish behavior, hatchery and wild fish interactions.  Habitat work integrates the population and habitat information to assess species habitat preferences, instream flow and fish a passage needs and effectiveness of various habitat restoration actions.  This group works collaboratively on population status assessments with other groups and provide support for assessing and monitoring aquatic resources on National Refuges.  In addition, this group continues to lead our hatchery evaluation program working closely with Marking, Detection, and Technology group to plan, implement, assess and report on numerous hatchery evaluation projects.  This group also provides our office’s primary support for HETs at hatcheries that our office is responsible for (i.e., Spring Creek NFH, LWS/Willard NFH, Carson NFH, Eagle Creek NFH, and Warm Springs NFH).   

Group Lead - David Hand
Assistant Group Lead - Jeff Jolley

  Return to top.
Last updated: March 26, 2014
Columbia River Fisheries Program Office
Pacific Region Fisheries Resources Home
Pacific Region Home

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page | Department of the Interior  |  | About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  | Accessibility  | Privacy  | Notices  | Disclaimer  | FOIA