AFRP STRATEGY: IMPLEMENTATION PRINCIPLES
To ensure best effort and reasonableness, restoration actions are prioritized and selected based on five tenets of anadromous fish restoration. These principles include:
- the magnitude of the contribution to doubling natural production,
the status of target species and races
measures that protect and restore natural channel and riparian habitat values through habitat restoration actions
modifications to Central Valley Project operations
implementation of the supporting measures mandated by subsection 3406(b) of the CVPIA.
Section 3406(b)(1)(A) of the CVPIA, directs the AFRP to give first priority to measures:
which protect and restore natural channel and riparian habitat values through habitat restoration actions, modifications to Central Valley Project operations, and implementation of the supporting measures mandated by this subsection;
These principles are discussed below.
Contribution to Natural Production
Placing priority on actions that result in large increases in natural production will most efficiently contribute to meeting target production levels.
Placing priority on species and races whose abundance is precariously low will help maintain the genetic diversity of anadromous fish in the Central Valley. Maintaining genetic diversity will preserve adaptability and resilience, which are essential if natural production is to be sustainable on a long-term basis.
Winter-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) are listed as endangered and spring-run Chinook salmon as threatened under both the federal and state Endangered Species acts. Steelhead (O. mykiss) are listed as threatened under the federal ESA. All other races of Chinook salmon are considered candidates for listing by the National Marine Fisheries Service. White sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), green sturgeon (A. medirostris), striped bass (Morone saxatilis), and American shad (Alosa sapidissima) have also suffered significant, long-term declines.
Restoring Natural Habitat Values
Protecting and restoring natural channel and riparian habitat values promotes natural processes that regulate geomorphic characteristics, nutrient dynamics, and production capabilities of streams, rivers, and estuaries. Restoring natural processes is essential to ensure that physical and biological ecosystem components can resist declines and recover after natural and anthropogenic perturbations.
Modifying CVP Operations
Placing priority on actions that modify detrimental CVP operations will directly help minimize impacts on fish, wildlife, and associated habitats; help balance competing demands for the use of CVP water, including the requirements of fish and wildlife.
Implementing Supporting Measures in the CVPIA
Placing priority on implementing the supporting measures mandated by subsection 3406(b) of the CVPIA focuses restoration efforts where the Secretary has the authority to be most effective. In particular, the Secretary is directed to provide flows of suitable quality, quantity, and timing to protect all life stages of anadromous fish.
Together, these implementation principles can be used to prioritize different actions that address a common limiting factor (e.g. a lack of suitable spawning substrate) as well as compare actions that address different limiting factors (e.g. lack of suitable spawning substrate vs. illegal harvest) within each watershed. By applying these principles, the AFRP will best support and give priority to actions that contribute to increasing natural production of anadromous fish through the restoration of natural habitat values before supporting actions that increase production by other means.
August 24, 2011