Monitoring Program

Washington State’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) pays for three monitoring programs: Project effectiveness monitoring, intensively monitored watersheds, and fish-in and fish-out (one type of status and trends monitoring).

This short video provides an overview of salmon recovery monitoring funded by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.

Intensively Monitored Watersheds

The Intensively Monitored Watersheds program asks the question: Is restoration working to increase salmon numbers? Intensively Monitored Watersheds (or IMW) monitoring compares the number of salmon from streams where habitat restoration was done to similar streams nearby without such actions. This shows if changes in fish survival and productivity are due to restoration efforts or to other factors not related to stream restoration.

This SRFB-funded program has led to scientific findings about salmon life strategies and habitat needs and helps improve designs of restoration projects.

Watch this 2-minute video clip for an overview about intensively monitored watershed efforts funded by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board

Fish-in and Fish-out Monitoring

Fish-in and fish-out monitoring is the counting and tracking of adult salmon coming in (fish-in) to spawn and the number of juvenile or young fish headed to sea (fish-out). Measuring this transition tells us the extent that freshwater habitat and marine habitat affect the salmon numbers overall.

The SRFB funds a small portion of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fish-in, Fish-out program.

Watch this 2-minute video clip for an overview about fish-in and fish-out monitoring

Effectiveness Monitoring

Project-level effectiveness monitoring funded by the SRFB addresses whether habitat restoration projects are effectively achieving their goals. By measuring environmental conditions, habitat characteristics, and biological indicators, scientists can begin to answer questions such as: did planted trees provide shade for the stream? Did the logs that were added to streams increase pool depths?

Watch this 2-minute video clip for an overview of effectiveness monitoring funded by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board

What Does the SRFB Effectiveness Monitoring Program Do?

  • Determine the efficacy of individual projects in achieving restoration outcomes;
  • Determine the efficacy of monitoring to detect changes caused by project actions;
  • Evaluate projects within different categories, and
  • Compare the effectiveness of different categories to achieve specific outcomes (e.g., what is the effectiveness of riparian planting projects compared with livestock exclusion projects in reducing erosion?)

The program evaluated several monitoring categories (listed in more detail below). The SRFB is now using this information to guide its restoration project investments.

Other Resources

Below are additional resources related to monitoring:

  • The Washington Governor’s Forum on Monitoring Salmon Recovery and Watershed Health’s Monitoring Framework.
  • The Washington Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy and Action Plan for Watershed Health and Salmon Recovery

In addition, the Pacific Northwest regional links below contain forums for discussing methods, results, monitoring program guidance, and topics of interest among experts and practitioners.