- abundance and timing forecasts and escapement targets for Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon stocks provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO);
- international catch allocation goals set by the agreements between the Parties;
- domestic catch allocation goals of each country;
- management concerns for other stocks and species also identified by each country; and
- historic patterns in migration and fisheries dynamics.
The objectives that guide the Panel's decision-making are:
- to achieve the spawning escapement targets,
- meet international catch allocation goals, and
- meet domestic catch allocation objectives.
Conservation concerns of the Parties for other species and stocks are addressed throughout the process.
While many issues are of concern to the Fraser River Panel, the continuing early upstream migration of Late-run sockeye and the resulting high mortality rate remain troubling. In addition the Panel remains concerned about the en-route losses experienced by Fraser River sockeye due to high water levels and high temperatures in recent years.
The purpose of the Stock Monitoring program is to assess run size, daily abundance and migration timing of Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon at different points along their migration route during the fishing season. This information is required for developing fishing plans to attain annual escapement and catch allocation objectives. The estimation of salmon abundance is based principally on the Test Fishing and Hydroacoustics programs and the estimates of catch along the migration routes. Daily (as well as historical) test fishing results are posted on our website. Estimates of daily in-season gross escapement of Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon moving past Mission are also provided.
The purpose of the Racial Analysis Program is to identify the stock proportions of Fraser River sockeye in commercial, test and First Nations' catches. These data provide information on the abundance and timing of sockeye stocks as they migrate to their natal rivers in the Fraser River watershed. Racial data are also used to account for Fraser River sockeye salmon wherever they may be caught, and to apportion the daily estimates in-season gross escapement past Mission into discrete stock groups. Historically, the biological information from salmon scales has been used to discriminate between stock groups. However, in recent years the analysis of micro-satellite DNA has provided an important improvement in racial analysis methods. Summaries of catch and escapement of Fraser River sockeye and pink are updated prior to each in-season meeting of the Fraser River Panel.