Integrated Status and Trends Monitoring (ISTM) Demonstration Project

Project Description

The Integrated Status and Trend Monitoring (ISTM) project is intended to demonstrate the approaches and utility of integrating the collection of information to address multi-scale questions about the status and trends of fish (salmon, steelhead, and potentially bull trout), and physical, chemical, and biological attributes in stream networks. The overall intent is to assist PNAMP’s participating members in developing strategic action plans for monitoring in the bi-state lower Columbia (LC) river demonstration area, as well as to demonstrate the general approach to developing such plans for other areas in the Pacific Northwest. The ISTM effort will provide entities tasked with monitoring fish populations and aquatic habitat in the Pacific Northwest with a roadmap for integration of scientifically sound monitoring programs intended to meet the needs of decision-makers and managers. Specifically, it will apply this approach and develop recommendations for integrated monitoring plans for salmon, steelhead, and potentially bull trout populations listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and their habitats in the LC area. Among the many monitoring components, key features of this effort are improved understanding of the extent and qualities of existing information, key gaps, and how a region-wide “master sample” concept can be applied to select sampling locations where appropriate. Generic objectives in the ISTM project for both habitat and fish are:
1. Identify decisions, questions, and monitoring objectives
2. Review existing programs and designs
3. Identify monitoring designs, sampling frames, protocols, and analytical tools
4. Use trade-off analyses to develop recommendations for monitoring
5. Recommend implementation and reporting mechanisms

The ISTM effort is being accomplished using a collaborative approach involving PNAMP members and other local partners. Anticipated PNAMP products include development of design, analysis and implementation tools, coordination to integrate actions into planning and implementation of efforts addressing fish recovery and watershed health in the demonstration area, and products summarizing the approaches, tools, guidance, and results from the demonstration project for possible use in other parts of the Pacific Northwest. The master sample concept, along with other monitoring and monitoring design tools, has broad applicability to address status and trends questions in the estuarine and near shore marine areas (area-based master sample), in addition to the status and trends of attributes along linear stream networks.

Read more about this project in the 2009 overview report: Integrating Aquatic Ecosystem and Fish Status and Trend Monitoring in the Lower Columbia River: Overview.

You can also learn more about the separate components on these project pages: ISTM Fish Monitoring component, ISTM Habitat Monitoring component, and ISTM Master Sample component.

For more information about PNAMP activities on this topic, click on "Events", "Documents" and "Key Documents" in the bottom right corner of this page.

Project Team

There are three sub-components to the ISTM project. Please see the individual pages for more details about the project team or contact Jen Bayer (PNAMP/USGS), who is providing project management.


ISTM Mainstem Framework Report Complete

February 12, 2014 - 10:57am

We are pleased to share the latest product from the ISTM Project:"Status and Trends Monitoring of the mainstem Columbia River – Sample frame development and review of programs relevant to the development of an integrated approach to monitoring" (to access the report, go to:

This report presents progress towards the completion of the stepwise process to facilitate the development of an ISTM for the mainstem Columbia River. As in previous products from the ISTM component focused on fish population monitoring, we discuss planning and regulatory documents that can be used to identify monitoring goals and objectives and present existing monitoring and research activities that should be considered as the development of a Columbia River ISTM proceeds. We also report progress towards the development of sample frames for the Columbia and Snake Rivers and their floodplains and aspects of response and survey designs as they pertain to the formulation of a mainstem Columbia River ISTM.

We thank USGS staff Tim Counihan, Jill Hardiman, and Steve Waste for completing this report!

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