Salmon Viability Monitoring Model

Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority (CBFWA)

The Salmon Viability Monitoring Model (SVMM) was developed by ESSA for the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority’s Collaborative Systemwide Monitoring and Evaluation Project (CSMEP). The SVMM allows users to explore how alternative monitoring strategies might affect salmon population viability assessments. The model allows the user to manipulate the uncertainty surrounding each data type to reflect alternative on-the-ground methodologies (e.g., redd counts, weirs, snorkel counts). The user is also able to manipulate the test datasets to see if the effect of uncertainty on the viability assessments is dependent on the actual underlying viability of the populations. The viability assessments within the SVMM are based on the Interior Columbia Technical Recovery Team IC-TRT viability criteria. Like all NOAA Technical Recovery Teams, the IC-TRT viability criteria require information about: abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity.

The SVMM can be used in combination with CBFWA’s Integrated Costs Database Tool (ICDT) to compare the tradeoff between accuracy of viability assessments and the cost of a given monitoring design. The SVMM is a tool that can be used to:

  • Verify biological criteria used to make decisions.
  • Evaluate sensitivity of a decision to quality of monitoring data.
  • Test influence of specific types of monitoring data on decisions.
  • Compare relative effects of uncertainty in measurement (“measurement error”) versus natural variability over time (“process error”).
  • Help determine the accuracy needed to make an acceptable number of correct decisions for a given data input scenario.
  • Provide a relatively simple framework for communicating information about uncertainty to decision makers.

The SVMM and its associated user guide can be downloaded from CSMEP’s pubic website.