All posts by John Son

Fiona Martens and Catherine Michielsens selected to co-lead Chief Biologist role

Dear PSC Family,

I am pleased to announce that Catherine Michielsens and Fiona Martens were the successful joint candidates for the PSC Chief Biologist position. The bilateral selection committee was quite impressed with their knowledge, skills, and joint application. Together they have many years of experience at the Secretariat supervising and leading professional staff, as well as expertise in providing scientific and logistical support.

Their application was different in that they applied as co-leaders. While this differs from past models in the Secretariat, co-leadership is widely used in modern workplaces to leverage the strengths of two individuals to deliver one program. As co-leaders, they will modify their current roles but not entirely vacate them. Some duties will follow them to their new positions while other duties will be transferred to other staff, consistent with existing job classifications.

In the selection process, I perceived this new approach would work to accommodate the evolving needs of PSC staff, the Fraser River Panel, and technical committee members. As co-leaders, Catherine and Fiona will share the responsibilities of the position in a manner that accords with their individual strengths. Catherine will focus on providing scientific input, oversight, and direction while Fiona will provide operational oversight and ensure the successful implementation of strategic and workflow plans as well as oversee the regular communication of Fraser River Panel-related information and reports. To highlight the differences in their jobs, the title of Chief Biologist will be adjusted to Chief, Fisheries Management Programs for Fiona and to Chief, Fisheries Management Science for Catherine.

Catherine and Fiona are looking forward to this new role and aspire to provide a dynamic and modern work environment for the staff at PSC headquarters. I look forward to supporting them in this and welcome any questions regarding their co-leadership model. Please join me in welcoming Fiona and Catherine to their new and innovative jobs at the Secretariat!

John Field
Executive Secretary
Pacific Salmon Commission

The Larry Rutter Memorial Award 2019

The Pacific Salmon Commission is pleased to announce Mr. Phillip Anderson as the recipient of the 2019 Larry Rutter Memorial Award for Pacific Salmon Conservation.

Throughout his impressive career in fish and wildlife management, and as a naturalist and outdoorsman, Phil has made notable contributions to resolving U.S/Canadian issues and to ensuring a sustainable and resilient Pacific salmon resource for the people of Canada and the United States. Starting as a charter boat operator in 1970, through his accomplishment as an outstanding Lead Negotiator for the United States to renew chapters of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, he has been exemplary in his communication, negotiation, and leadership skills. It is this triumvirate, along with his deep understanding of technical and political issues, that has allowed Phil to treat others with dignity and respect while still bringing tough positions to the international negotiation table.

As challenges continue to mount in the management of Pacific Salmon, including threatened and endangered stocks, changing ocean conditions, and reductions in available harvest, Phil continues to remain focused on conservation issues. Given the diverse domestic landscape, legislative requirements, and the deeply technical nature of the negotiations, his contribution to resolving the myriad challenges in the negotiations were often the key to ensuring a new conservation and harvest sharing agreement under the Treaty. Through his leadership, skill, respect and unfailing energy, Phil Anderson worked with his team of Commissioners to balance the U.S. position on conservation issues and harvest sharing challenges.

For these and many other reasons, Phil was chosen as the 2019 recipient for the Larry Rutter Memorial Award. He received the award at the Commission’s 34th Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon.

About the award

Larry Rutter was a fixture in Pacific salmon conservation and management for more than three decades until his untimely death in rutter22014. He was a leading influence in how the Tribes, the United States, and Canada approached salmon management and research during the turn of the 21st century. The Commission established the award to help memorialize Larry’s lifetime of work including his legacy in the PSC, the Pacific Northwest Tribes, the Southern Fund Committee, and beyond.

The award itself is a custom-made talking stick, crafted by renowned Coast Salish carver Jim Yelton of Sechelt, B.C. The stick has three symbols from top to bottom: Salmon, Human, and Bear. All of these have symbolism in the PSC context: Salmon at the center of our Human work, and Bear, the teacher of conservation who would gorge on fish but allow enough to pass for the next generation. The stick is re-created annually for each award recipient.


Northern and Southern Funds issue their 2019 Call for Proposals

The Pacific Salmon Commission’s Northern and Southern Fund Committees announce their Calls for Proposals for projects starting in 2019 consistent with the goals and principals of the two Funds. Preliminary, stage-one applications with ideas and concepts submitted by private, non-profit, and public sector applicants will be accepted.

The deadline for submissions is midnight on Sunday, September 2nd, 2018.

Northern Fund

Proposals for projects beginning in 2019

Southern Fund

Proposals for projects beginning in 2019

Salish Sea Marine Survival Project

The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project leverages human and financial resources from the United States and Canada to determine the primary factors affecting the survival of juvenile salmon and steelhead in the Salish Sea. It is the largest and most important research of its kind in the shared waters of British Columbia and Washington State, addressing a key uncertainty impeding salmon recovery and sustainable fisheries. The project will, for the first time, undertake a comprehensive study of the physical, chemical and biological factors impacting salmon survival, in order to improve our collective understanding of salmon in saltwater, facilitating smarter management and stronger returns.

Over 60 organizations, representing diverse philosophies and encompassing most of the region’s fisheries and marine research and management complex, are working together on this massive transboundary effort. And, the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) and Long Live the Kings (LLTK) are coordinating it.

New PSC Technical Report

The following report is now available for download:

Skip McKinnell. Atmospheric and Oceanic Extrema in 2015 and 2016 and their Effect on North American Salmon. PSCTR No. 37.

New Joint Transboundary Technical Committee Report

The following report is now available for download:

Pacific Salmon Commission Joint Transboundary Technical Committee. Salmon Management and Enhancement Plans for the Stikine, Taku and Alsek Rivers, 2017.  TCTR(17)-3.

New Joint Transboundary Technical Committee Reports

The following reports are now available:

Pacific Salmon Commission Joint Transboundary Technical Committee. Final Estimates of Transboundary River Salmon Production, Harvest and Escapement and a Review of Joint Enhancement Activities in 2014.  TCTR(17)-1.


Pacific Salmon Commission Joint Transboundary Technical Committee. Final Estimates of Transboundary River Salmon Production, Harvest and Escapement and a Review of Joint Enhancement Activities in 2015.  TCTR(17)-2.

New Chinook Technical Committee Report

The Chinook Technical Committee released their Annual Report of Catch and Escapement for 2015.

South Fork Nooksack Chinook Captive Broodstock Implementation

Continue to develop, culture, and implement a captive adult broodstock program using juvenile Chinook recruited from the South Fork of the Nooksack River. This is accomplished by receiving up to 1,000 juvenile fish from the Skookum Creek facility, identifying them as either yearling or sub yearling and placing them in discrete vessels for rearing. Additional work includes passive integrated transponder (PIT) tagging and subsequent transfer of half of the fish to the NOAA facility at Manchester for extended rearing in saltwater, while the other half remains at Kendall Creek Hatchery. During the summer months developing adults are identified for maturation and then transferred to the Skookum Hatchery for spawning. The resultant eggs and fry are then incubated, reared, and released into the South Fork of the Nooksack River in the spring of the following year.

The 12 months of staff funding is to support the increasing burden and complexity of fish culture, DNA sampling, PIT tagging, fish health monitoring, data entry, tracking and enumeration and technical reports associated with the program.




New Chum Technical Committee Report

The Chum Technical Committee released the 2013 Post Season Summary Report.  Click the link below to download the report.