Four Panels provide technical and regulatory advice to the Commission. Each Panel is made up of no more than six representatives and alternates from each country, except for the Transboundary Rivers (TBR) Panel. Under a 2000 agreement, the Parties have set the TBR Panel at up to seven members per Party, with no alternates. Membership reflects a range of governmental and fishing interests.
Each panel is assigned responsibility for salmon stocks originating in a specific geographic area. In cases where fisheries intercept stocks for which more than one panel is responsible, the appropriate panels meet jointly.
The panels provide recommendations and comment on the management of the fisheries in their area of responsibility before and after each season's harvest. This is done by reviewing technical data on annual fishing plans and regulations, and the salmon enhancement programs of each country.
Panels provide the Commission with specific recommendations for the development of fishery plans. Agreement of both sides is needed for any decision or recommendation. The Fraser River Panel is unique in that it has responsibility for in-season harvest regulation of Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon within a specified area.
The Yukon River Panel makes recommendations to management entities on both sides of the United States/Canada border concerning the conservation and management of salmon originating in Canada. Unlike the other Panels, the Yukon River Panel follows its own internal procedures and does not report directly to the Pacific Salmon Commission.
The Yukon River Panel makes recommendations to authorities in Alaska and the Canadian government concerning the conservation and coordinated management of salmon originating in the Yukon River in Canada, but does not report to the Commission.