Penobscot River Science Steering Committee Meeting
May 22, 2007
George Mitchell Center Conference Room, UMaine
Present: Jeff Reardon, Cyndy Loftin, Josh Royte, Chris Yuan-Farrell (Yale/TNC intern), Alice Kelley, Peter Vaux, Gayle Zydlewski, David Hart, Noah Snyder, Matt Collins, Karen Wilson, C. Schmitt, Rory Saunders, Dave Courtemanch Via Phone: Aram Calhoun, George Aponte Clarke, Colin Apse, Tim Sheehan
1. Project Update (J. Reardon)
- PRRT’s private campaign has raised $7.5 million; federal (non-NOAA), $5.5 million. NOAA has had meeting/information requests from Senate Appropriations Committee, Snowe, Collins, P. Kennedy (D-RI).
- PRRT is getting ready to submit permit applications, and hoping to make use of this field season to get information to inform permit applications in the fall.
- All-agency meeting on March 22 to review permit requirements and needed information. Draft study plans have gone out to agencies for 30-day review: substrate/sediments/supplemental bathymetry; ice jamming (ACE-CRL); fw mussels; shoreline survey/floodplain/wetlands/erosion; recreation (existing and potential changes in use, boat ramp/fishing/paddling access). Trust will then issue RFPs for work (process to be determined; work expected this summer or early fall; will be coordinated by Kleinschmidt; may be issues with university overhead).
2. Hydrology/Sediment Subcommittee Meeting Report-Out (M. Collins) (meeting held 11 am prior to steering committee meeting-see separate notes).
Brief overview of hydraulic model developed by Kleinschmidt using existing data, and additional information needs related to bathymetry and extending the model reach. This info gathering is one of the study plans mentioned by Jeff Reardon. Also interested in developing permanent transects for long-term monitoring. Sediment survey/bathymetry work will inform transect establishment.
There was a suggestion to form a subcommittee to address transect locations, perhaps with some from the H&H group. Results from the preliminary modeling should be available before final study plans are developed; M. Collins will distribute notes from H&H meeting and prompt creation of transect subcommittee.
3. Human Dimensions Subcommitee Meeting Report-Out (C. Daigle) Cheryl Daigle (PRRT), Jim Wilson (SMS), Lynne Lewis (Bates), John Daigle (UM Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department).
Initial discussion. Cheryl will be reviewing literature this summer, and looking at research elsewhere (Elwha, Ipswich, etc.). Group will be expanding to include more disciplines.
4. New Research/Field Work
- CS will work on calendar for coordinating on-the-river work TNC has a summer intern working on fish passage, in partnership with Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture, and will be helping to coordinate with USFWS.
- For alewives, lake outlets are big issue.
- Chris Yuan-Farrell, a master’s student at Yale, will be working on the monitoring framework turning it into a TNC product (2-year time frame). Will be looking at what research is being done and helping to identify indicators of success (power analysis). This will also help inform NOAA’s development of “core monitoring needs,” which are still under development.
- Dane Wojicki, a UM student, has funding from ASF to produce a video on Atlantic salmon, and he may be contacting some people this summer.
C. Schmitt notes that all information regarding current research activities is considered in the public domain UNLESS PI’s INDICATE OTHERWISE. So if you tell Catherine about a project and it is “not ready for primetime”, please let her know.
5. NSF RCN Proposal
NSF does not want to fund another dam removal project. The purpose of the grant is to bring together groups that may not ordinarily have the chance to interact. So have had to rethink framing of project—it is perhaps more ecosystem-restoration focused, bringing back the whole suite of diadromous species, and the Penobscot is a good site because so many species are present. There are a lot of river systems along the Atlantic Coast that either already have diadromous fish runs (i.e., Miramichi), or are working to bring them back. Brings up questions that other sites may help inform, such as:
- Which diadromous fish species do we introduce first (thinking about predator-prey interactions)?
- What other key variables need to be monitored?
Need feedback on, in terms of a budget for a project this week, what needs to get done? We will be sending a list of questions to NSF based on initial feedback, so please send ideas to include. --need help on what the science questions are going to be. Perhaps connections between diadromous-nearshore fisheries (groundfish)? True ecosystem restoration:
- would help inform marine section of monitoring framework.
- help inform understanding of how large-system monitoring frame
Still looking at role for data/outreach/research coordinator.
6. Monitoring Framework
Need to do one round of revisions and then send out for review. But what is the goal of the review? (GOMC sent out for section-by-section review, then to people with physical/dam removal review, biological review, and review by a potential “user” review.)
Perhaps give instructions to reviewers (A. Casper, Oregon folks, Elwha folks, GOMC folks for overall review)
Also specific sections?
Documentation of a vetting process—framework shows consensus in the approach to restoration monitoring on the Penobscot.
(GOMC document is a methods manual, and is for wadeable streams, whereas PRSSC product doesn’t go into methods but identifies core variables that have been deemed necessary, by consensus, to document success of the restoration.)
**human dimensions needs a few paragraphs before review
**PNAS article (Palmer et al.) stream restorations nationwide
Meeting adjourned at 3:15.