Columbia Basin – CSMEP

Collaborative Systemwide Monitoring and Evaluation project (CSMEP) for the Columbia Basin

Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority

CSMEP was a co-ordinated collaborative effort to improve the quality, consistency, and focus of fish population and habitat data to answer key monitoring and evaluation (M&E) questions relevant to major decisions in the Columbia Basin. ESSA Technologies Ltd. worked closely with the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority (CBFWA) in leading this project, which included over 30 scientists from state, tribal and federal fish and wildlife agencies, as well as outside experts. CSMEP was a major 5 year commitment of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council towards regionally integrated M&E across the Columbia Basin and was initiated in October 2003 with funding from the Bonneville Power Administration of $970,000 per year.

CSMEP focused on developing improved methods of monitoring and evaluation to better answer key management questions for agencies in the Columbia Basin. To this end, ESSA lead CSMEP through a systematic approach involving multiple research objectives, each executed collaboratively to:

  • identify specific fish and habitat management questions and the types of data required to answer these questions (indicators, spatial scale, sampling frequency);
  • inventory existing monitoring for evaluating the status of salmon, steelhead, bull trout and other species of regional importance across the Columbia River Basin;
  • make existing monitoring data available through the Internet;
  • critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing monitoring data and associated evaluation methods for answering fisheries questions at multiple spatial scales;
  • design improved monitoring and evaluation methods that will fill information gaps and provide better answers to these questions in the future;
  • assist implementation of pilot projects or large scale monitoring programs; and
  • evaluate new monitoring program results and proposed changes within regional monitoring programs.

Models and analyses and all work products from this project can be found on the publicly accessible CSMEP website.