In previous years, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission has been funded to expand the genetic baseline for Chinook salmon with microsatellite markers and more recently single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) markers. While this has provided moderate improvement to baselines used for genetic stock identification (GSI), new technology is available that allows for vastly increasing the number of SNPs that can be added to baseline populations. This new technology uses an approach called Restriction-site Associated DNA (RAD) tags to genotype thousands of SNPs in baseline samples. This should provide a nearly unlimited number of powerful markers for GSI purposes and greatly improve the resolution and accuracy of mixed stock analyses.
Several projects on Slamgeesh Lake have been funded by the Northern Endowment Fund from 2007 onward. These projects include the installation and subsequent infrastructure improvements of the smolt trap, the weir, and repairs to the field station’s cabin.
Today and moving forward the continuation of fisheries research activities at Slamgeesh Lake is of high priority to the Upper Skeena Watershed Planning Group of the Gitxsan First Nation, the Skeena Fisheries Commission Technical Committee and the Northern Boundary Technical Committee. Complete coverage of the entire juvenile outmigration of both coho and sockeye salmon is of the upmost importance in accurately estimating recruitment. While enumeration of all returning adult coho and sockeye salmon will increase our understanding of run timing, ocean survival, coded-wire tag retention, and a complete total escapement census above the counting fence. This information is advantageous when managing the Skeena River mixed stock fishery.
We propose to lengthen the sampling season of both the juveniles in the spring and the adults in the fall to meet this need.
N18-I35 Slamgeesh Program Operation Support Report 2018
N14-I30 Slamgeesh Sampling Weir Infrastructure Improvements
N12-I14 Slamgeesh Camp Infrastructure Improvements
N10-I16 Reinstallation of Slamgeesh Lake Smolt Trap. Year 3
N08-I31 Installation of Slamgeesh Smolt Trap
N07-I09 Slamgeesh Weir Upgrade
Trapper Lake was identified as a potential sockeye salmon enhancement site in 1988 due to its under-utilized sockeye fry rearing potential. Several enhancement programs involving out-planted sockeye were attempted since, but were unsuccessful either due to out-plant and fish culture techniques or because of changes to the spawning and rearing habitat. It was observed that returning sockeye salmon from this enhancement program were nearly successful at negotiating a partial barrier near the outlet of Trapper Lake. This, coupled with the identified presence of non-anadromous sockeye (kokanee) suggested that Little Trapper Lake origin sockeye had negotiated the barrier in the past and may presently do so under certain water conditions. Improving the access for returning sockeye to Trapper Lake could result in a sustained increase in overall sockeye production from the Taku River.
N19-E01 Trapper Lake Egg Take 2019 Report
N17-E02 Trapper Lake egg take Final Report
N16-E05 Little Trapper Lake Sockeye Egg Take Report 2016
Since 2007, with support from the Southern Boundary Restoration and Enhancement Fund, calibration work has been conducted on twenty-five Sockeye populations of various stream types in the Fraser and has led to the development of indices for aerially surveyed Sockeye populations on the following three stream types: i) medium sized, clear streams, ii) medium sized, partially turbid/tannic streams and iii) large sized, clear streams. Although this represents substantial progress, significant gaps still exist on the remaining stream types and lake spawning populations. Calibration work involves the comparison between estimates generated using high precision enumeration techniques (enumeration fences, sonar, and/or mark-recapture programs) and those generated using standard low precision visual techniques. As annual calibration opportunities on target populations are limited, calibration work over the long term will be required to satisfy the data requirements for all stream types. The actual populations to be calibrated will be determined based on in-season estimates of abundance.
S18-FRP03 Calibration of Visual Assessment Methods for Fraser River Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)
S17-I06 Calibration of Visual Assessment Methods for Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Year 9
S16-I21 Calibration of Visual Assessment Methods for Fraser River Sockeye Report 2016
S15-I01 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2015. Year 7
S14-I02 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2014. Year 6
S13-I01 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2013. Year 5
S12-I02 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2012. Year 4
S11-I04 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2011. Year 3
S10-I05 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2010
S07-I05 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2007
The Kitwanga River is a biologically rich tributary of the Skeena River that produces a significant portion of the overall Skeena salmon that return each year. Kitwanga River sockeye are of significant importance because they are genetically unique, and Gitanyow Lake, in the Kitwanga watershed, is one of the ten largest sockeye producing lakes in the Skeena Watershed. Kitwanga sockeye are also considered a conservation unit as defined in Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy. Historically, Kitwanga sockeye numbered in the tens of thousands, but due to drastic declines in abundance, Kitwanga sockeye are no longer directly fished commercially or harvested for Food, Social and Ceremonial purposes.
The enumeration of Kitwanga sockeye has been ongoing since 2000, first through the operation of a temporary fence in the upper part of the watershed, and then through the operation of the Kitwanga River Salmon Enumeration Facility (KSEF) located near the mouth of the Kitwanga River. The KSEF has been in operation for the last 12 years and has proven to be an extremely important in-season/post-season fisheries management tool. Despite this, no long-term funding has been secured to operate the KSEF on a yearly basis. In the past few years, the cost to operate the facility has been variously shared by the Gitanyow Fisheries Authority, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Salmon Commission, Pacific Salmon Foundation and Skeena Wild Conservation Trust.
N19-I41 Kitwanga River Salmon Enumeration Facility (KSEF) – 2019 Report
N18-I31 Kitwanga River Salmon Enumeration Report 2018
N17-I28 Kitwanga River Salmon Enumeration Report 2017
N16-I40 Kitwanga River Salmon Enumeration Report 2016
N15-I36 Kitwanga River Salmon Enumeration, 2015
N14-I25 Kitwanga River Salmon Enumeration, 2014
N08-I17 Kitwanga River Sockeye Salmon Enumeration, 2008
N07-I18 Kitwanga River Sockeye Salmon Enumeration, 2007
N06-I39 Kitwanga River Sockeye Salmon Enumeration, 2006
N05-I01 Kitwanga River Sockeye Salmon Enumeration 2005
NP11 Kitwanga sockeye enumeration, 2004
Provisions of the Pacific Salmon Treaty specify harvest sharing arrangements of Nass and Skeena River sockeye salmon returns for the U.S. and Canada. The United States is allowed to harvest a fixed percentage of the Annual Allowable Harvest of Nass and Skeena sockeye stocks in Alaska’s District 101 gillnet and District 104 purse seine fisheries. Accurate estimates of the stock-specific catch in commercial fisheries of each nation are required to estimate the total return of these stocks and the percentage of each stock caught in treaty-limited fisheries. Annual catches over or under the agreed percentage are made up for in subsequent years.
Until recently, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) used scale pattern analysis successfully to estimate contributions of Nass, Skeena and Southeast Alaska sockeye stocks to fisheries in southern Southeast Alaska. Since 2006, the Auke Bay Laboratories has used genetic analysis for the Northern Boundary sockeye fisheries. Results from comparisons between stock composition using scales and genetic analysis show both methods provide accurate estimates of stock composition, although DNA analysis is able to discriminate stocks at a finer resolution than scales. An additional advantage of the DNA technique is that it does not require annual sampling to re-establish the escapement baseline.
The purpose of this project is to continue the genetic stock identification of the commercial sockeye catch in ADF&G District 101 gillnet fishery and District 104 seine fishery using the baselines developed by the ADF&G.
N18-I10 Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Genetic Stock Identification Report 2018
N17-I09 Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Genetic Stock Identification Report 2017
N16-I02 Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Genetic Stock Identification Report 2016
N15-I02 Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Salmon Genetic Stock Identification for 2015. Year 9 of 17
N14-I02 Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Salmon Genetic Stock Identification for 2014. Year 8
N13-I02 Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Salmon Genetic Stock Identification for 2013. Year 7
N12-I07 Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Salmon Stock Identification for 2012. Year 6
N11-I04 Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Genetic Stock Identification. Year 5
N10-I11 Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Salmon Genetic Stock Identification. Year 3
N08-I30 Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Genetic Stock Identification. Year 3
N07-I19 Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Genetic Stock Identification. Year 2.
N06-I12A Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Salmon Genetic Stock Identification
N06-I12B Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Salmon Genetic Stock Identification (ADFG)
Provisions of the 1999 Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) specify abundance-based harvest sharing arrangements of Nass and Skeena River sockeye salmon returns for the U.S. and Canada. The United States is allowed to harvest a fixed percentage of the annual allowable harvest of Nass and Skeena sockeye stocks in Alaska’s District 101 gillnet and District 104 purse seine fisheries. Accurate estimates of the stock-specific catch in commercial fisheries of each nation are required to estimate the total return of these stocks and the percentage of each stock caught in treaty-limited fisheries.
Since 1982, scale pattern analysis (SPA), sometimes in conjunction with other biological markers, has been used to survey the weekly catch of Northern Boundary and Transboundary sockeye salmon stocks in Southeast Alaska fisheries. However, problems in accurately estimating stock-specific catches and total returns of sockeye salmon in the early years of the Pacific Salmon Treaty resulted in an extensive investigation, and it was concluded that improved stock identification techniques, such as genetic stock analysis, were needed to accurately evaluate effectiveness and improve, if possible, existing run reconstruction methods. Two blind tests of scale analysis vs. genetic analysis demonstrated that, while both techniques were accurate, the genetic analysis had higher precision and could also often identify many specific stocks, while scale analysis is limited to identifying a few stock-groups. Neither technique can identify enhanced fish where the brood stock came from wild stocks that are also present in the mixed stock fisheries; thus, otoliths are used in annual stock composition estimates and run reconstructions.
ADF&G proposes to continue collecting weekly otolith, tissue, and scale samples of sockeye from the Southeast Alaska commercial harvest in the District 101 gillnet and District 104 purse seine fisheries, among other districts and fisheries for projects that complement this program. Stock identification analysis using age composition, thermal mark presence, and new, more stock-discrete DNA techniques will be conducted at NOAA’s Auke Bay Laboratory. This project also complements the continuing work by DFO in Areas 3, 4 and 5.
N18-I06 Northern & Transboundary Sockeye Salmon Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling Report
N17-I07 Northern & Transboundary Sockeye Salmon Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling Report
N16-I05 Northern & Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 9
N15-I08 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 8
N14-I07 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 7
N13-I07 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 6
N12-I05 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 5
N11-I13 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 4
N10-I10 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 3
N08-I12 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 2
N07-I25 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Salmon Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling
Weir counts have been made on the Klukshu River, part of the Alsek River system, by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in co-operation with the Champagne-Aishihik First Nation, since 1976. A mark-and-recapture program ran from 2000 to 2004, and in 2005 and 2006, the Alsek sockeye population was estimated using tissue sample and catch information from the commercial sockeye fishery in Dry Bay as well as the weir counts. By recommendation by the Northern Fund Committee in 2008, a statistically valid sampling strategy that would provide the foundation for reconstructing sockeye and Chinook returns to the Alsek River was completed. Based on this model, it was proposed that funding be provided to analyze sockeye tissue samples collected in the commercial sockeye fishery in Dry Bay (up to 750 per season), to reconstruct the Alsek sockeye runs as described in Gazey’s analysis. The program has been running successfully each season since 2012.
N20-I23 Alsek River Sockeye Salmon Run Reconstruction Using GSI 2020 Report
N17-I16 Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction 2017
N16-I49 Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction Using GSI 2016
N15-I11 Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction 2015. Year 4
N14-I10 Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction 2014
N13-I12 Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction 2013
N12-I17 Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction, 2012
We propose to use hydroacoustic methodology combined with trawl and gillnet sampling to estimate the limnetic fish species composition in six Skeena River and Nass River watersheds lakes and to estimate the population and rearing densities of age-0 sockeye fry and competitor limnetic species at each surveyed lake. The sockeye trawl and gillnet samples will also provide age and size data for the juvenile sockeye population at each lake. For 2020, we propose to survey Azuklotz, Bear, Damdochax, Lakelse, McDonell, and Wiiminosik lakes.
Sockeye originating from the selected lakes are harvested in both Canadian and American fisheries, and thus relevant to the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Hydroacoustic surveys are a cost effective method for assessing the status of sockeye stocks. Adult escapements for many BC north coast sockeye lakes are currently not determined due to high costs from the remoteness of the lake or due to other factors such as poor visibility for assessing lake spawners. The hydroacoustic methodology allows for a quick and accurate assessment of the stock status of each surveyed lake. For lakes where reliable estimates of adult escapement are available, hydroacoustic fry surveys are useful for quantifying spawner-to-fry productivity. Finally, the estimates of age-0 sockeye fry population can be compared to the lake carrying capacity for each lake.
N19-I43 Skeena Sockeye Lakes Hydroacoustic Surveys 2019 Report
N18-I34 Skeena Sockeye Lakes Hydroacoustic Surveys Report 2018
N17-I32 Skeena Sockeye Lakes hydroacoustic surveys 2017
N16-I09 Skeena Sockeye Lakes Hydroacoustic Surveys Report Year 4 0f 5
N15-I16 2015 Skeena Sockeye Lakes Hydroacoustic Surveys. Year 3 of 5
N14-I14 Skeena Sockeye Lakes Juvenile Sockeye Hydroacoustic Surveys. Year 2 of 5
N13-I20 Skeena Sockeye Lakes Juvenile Sockeye Hydroacoustic Surveys. Year 1 of 5
Funding of this proposal will augment the existing joint Canada and US coded wire tagging programme and serve to provide the resources to meet the Stikine River chinook and coho salmon smolts tagging objectives. The data derived will be used to determine the distribution, run timing, marine survival, and magnitude of marine catches of adult Stikine River chinook salmon, and distribution and run timing adult Stikine River coho salmon. This project is directly linked to the requirement in Annex IV, Chapter 1, paragraph 3(a)(2&3) of the PST to develop and implement abundance-based management regimes for Stikine chinook and coho salmon.