Central BC Chinook Mark Incidence and Catch Estimation

Improved Chinook catch accounting has been identified as a Northern Fund goal and this project provides estimates for Chinook catch associated with independent (non-lodge based) anglers. The majority of Chinook catch for this fishery is lodge-based and captured by a longstanding logbook program, however, there is also an independent (non-lodge based) component to this fishery with unreported catch. This project provides the data required to estimate the independent catch component for this fishery (1761 for 2015). This project also provides the mark-rate information required by MRP to produce reliable stock-specific fishery impacts.
This project yields valid Chinook mark-rate information as well as recreational catch estimates for the Central BC sport fishery (Statistical Areas 7-10). The information is utilized in Fisheries & Oceans Canada’s (CDFO) Mark Recovery Program (MRP) to generate coded wire tag (CWT) expansion factors and to more accurately estimate stock specific impacts for this fishery.
The primary tool for collection of Chinook mark-rate data involves digital cameras distributed to lodges located in each of the DFO statistical areas (7-10). Images are collected by lodge staff showing adipose presence/absence for Chinook salmon. These data are supplemented by opportunistic observations of Chinook collected by DFO staff and charter patrol contractors who are on the fishing grounds. Past independent fishery data collected by Conservation and Protection staff such as independent fisher activity, origin, and directed effort towards Chinook are used to improve program design and expand catch observer data collected at key fishery access points.