Analytical Tools

The Hatchery Scientific Review Group (HSRG) has developed analytical tools to support application of its principles and recommendations, including a scientific framework for artificial propagation of salmon and steelhead, benefit/risk assessments tools, hatchery operations guidelines, and monitoring and evaluation criteria.

Initially, the primary analytical tool was the “All H Analyzer” (AHA), a Microsoft Excel-based application that allows managers to explore the implications of alternative ways of balancing management of hatcheries, harvest, and habitat and hydrosystem constraints.

More recently, the AHA tool has been updated and enhanced with additional features. The In-Season Implementation Tool (ISIT) is designed to help managers make annual decisions about hatchery and harvest management. For example, annual decisions may be made about the number, size, and age of hatchery releases, the percentage of natural-origin broodstock (pNOB), weir management policies, and harvest policies. The ISIT is both a database and a calculator. It is designed to document the population’s history and current status and provide guidance on annual management decisions.

Components of the ISIT include:

  • Status and Trends data
  • Key Assumptions about the 4 H’s
  • Decision Rules
  • Annual Management Targets

Status and Trends data includes natural spawning escapement estimates (NOS and HOS), hatchery broodstock and release numbers, and harvest data. These data are updated in ISIT on an annual basis.

Key Assumptions about habitat (productivity and capacity), fish passage (adult and juvenile passage survival), in-hatchery survival and fecundity, and SARs are also documented in the ISIT. These assumptions are updated when new data are available.

Decision Rules provide guidance to managers on hatchery and harvest management based on the adult run size forecast.

The Decision Rules are used to calculate Annual Management Targets for natural escapement, harvest, and hatchery production based on the adult run forecast.

We have developed ISITs for Okanogan River summer/fall Chinook, eleven Cowlitz Basin Chinook, coho, and steelhead populations, and eighteen Willapa Bay salmon populations (Chinook, coho, and chum).

We developed a generalized version of the AHA-ISIT in 2017 for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife that may be adapted to any population.  For more information on this tool, see the HSRG’s paper, Implementation of Hatchery Reform in the Context of Recovery Planning using the AHA/ISIT Tool (2017).

The HSRG has used these tools to review and provide recommendations on state, tribal and federal hatchery programs in Puget Sound, Coastal Washington, and the Columbia River Basin. The HSRG recommends continued application of its implementation framework, including the scientific principles, standards and methods, and these assessment tools. The tools allow consultations on hatchery management to be quantitatively integrated into an “All-H” or ecosystem-based management context along with an evaluation of the effects of hydropower, harvest and habitat on populations.

Recent Applications

  • AHA-ISIT Tool developed for WDFW (can be adapted to any population)