Monitoring and Assessment of Fish Habitat Compensation and Stewardship Projects
We present a three-level strategy for monitoring and evaluating fish habitat compensation and stewardship projects. Basic routine monitoring is applied to stewardship projects and to minor compensation projects (e.g. small riparian planting projects). More rigorous and quantitative site effectiveness monitoring, emphasizing paired before-after control-impact (BACIP) experimental designs, is applied to larger and/or more complex compensation and stewardship projects. We stress the most important principles outlined in this guidebook (establishing measurable objectives, reference and control sites, replication, and pre-impact information) as the key elements upon which to focus any monitoring program. Program effectiveness evaluation, which applies adaptive management methods to studies involving multiple projects, is recommended using standard methods. Study design and appropriate methods are discussed for all three monitoring levels and detailed descriptions of suitable analytical techniques for assessment of no-net-loss of fish habitat are included. Four case studies are used to illustrate application of the routine and site effectiveness monitoring methods presented.