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.
This proposal involves genetic analysis of tissue samples anticipated from the in-river commercial sockeye fishery on the Taku River. This activity was first supported by the Northern Fund in 2008 and makes use of the baseline samples collected with Northern Fund assistance from 2007-12.
This will identify the composition of the commercial harvest by stock groupings. In addition, when coupled with escapement counts from headwater counting fences (weirs), it will permit estimation of drainage-wide abundance for comparison with the mark-recapture estimate or other assessment methodology.
N20-I29 Taku River Sockeye Salmon Genetic Stock Identification Analysis of 2020 Commercial Samples Report
N19-I27 Taku River Sockeye Salmon Genetic Stock Identification Analysis of 2019 Commercial Samples Report
N16-I46 Taku Sockeye Genetic Stock Identification Report 2016
The goal of the project is to estimate the spawning escapement of the Fraser River – South Thompson age 0.3 aggregate (ST0.3A Chinook). The ST0.3A escapement will be estimated using Coded Wire Tags (CWT), Genetic Stock Identification (GSI), and CWT exploitation rate indicator stock data from escapement and Fraser River fisheries. To achieve this objective, we will increase recovery of CWTs from Chinook carcasses in the Lower Shuswap River; conduct a high-precision mark-recapture project and CWT sampling in the Middle Shuswap River; collect age samples across the South Thompson watershed; produce a CWT release group of Middle Shuswap River smolts (to augment the Lower Shuswap indicator stock); and analyze GSI and age data from the Albion Test Fishery.
N18-VHP16 Estimation of 2015 – 2018 Escapements of the South Thompson 0.3 Chinook Aggregate using a Bayesian Model that Combines Data on CWT Recoveries and GSI_Report Title Page
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
A sockeye enhancement program has been ongoing at Tatsamenie Lake since 1990. A review of the program was funded by the Northern Fund in 2005, and in 2008, the Northern Fund began supporting the Extended Sockeye Fry Rearing Project.
The fry were originally reared in lake pens, but because of a devastating disease outbreak, the project shifted to onshore rearing systems beginning in 2009. The egg to smolt survivals of the fed fry have been variable but have ranged from 10% to 70%, or 5 to 15 times compared to wild fry, depending on fry behaviour after outplanting. Assessment of adult production from this project is ongoing. Smolt to adult survivals of the reared fry will be definitively determined with the return of the corresponding adults in the coming years, but to date, the adult production from reared fry has been lower than expected. This project continues to test a technique that has the potential of increasing production for other small scale sockeye salmon enhancement projects as well as rebuilding the Tatsamenie Lake sockeye stock in low brood year cycles.
Also at Tatsamenie Lake, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans began a smolt enumeration program in 1996, and this ran continuously from 1998 through to 2011. The Northern Fund began supporting this program in 2012, and the two programs were combined in 2015. The combination allowed the Tatsamenie Lake sockeye smolt mark-recapture project to extend beyond its previous end date of June 30, through to the second week of September. This provides a more accurate smolt population estimate as well as increased precision of the estimated enhanced sockeye survival and production. This also allows for monitoring of potential early out-migration of the reared fry.
N19-E02 Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Rearing and Smolt Projects 2019 Report
N18-E07 Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Rearing and Smolt Report
N17-E01 Tatsamenie Lake Rearing Final Report
N16-E01 Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Rearing and Smolt Projects 2016
N15-E01 2015 Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Extended Rearing and Smolt. Year 11
N14-E01 2014 Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Extended Rearing. Year 10; N14-E06 2014 Tatsamenie Lake Smolt Project. Year 3
N13-E02 2013 Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Extended Rearing. Year 9
N13-E07 2013 Tatsamenie Lake Smolt Project. Year 2
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
This joint project by NOAA and the University of Alaska Fairbanks evaluates the long term fitness of hatchery and wild sockeye salmon within a small watershed in Southeast Alaska. Concern over preserving wild stock fitness in enhancement project watersheds has been expressed in the case of both the Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC) Transboundary River Plans on the Taku and Stikine Rivers, and the PSC Northern Boundary Treaty Area of Southern Southeast Alaska (Hugh Smith and MacDonald Lakes). Measurement of the fitness effects and potential impact of such enhancement projects is needed to avoid long term undesirable effects on wild stocks. Initial genetic sampling and trial fish culture work in 2008, 2009, and 2010 showed potential for utilizing microsatellite and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers to assess the parentage of Auke Lake sockeye and to identify the progeny of wild and enhanced fish, and this allows the evaluation of the survival and introgression, if any, of the enhanced fish into the wild population. Furthermore, we have demonstrated the ability to sample very close to 100% of the adult sockeye entering the system and provided a low impact design for sampling, capturing, maturing and spawning small numbers for use as brood stock in this study. During the summers of 2011, 2012 and 2013, we captured and held adult sockeye in the Auke Creek Research hatchery, and conducted experimental matings in all three years. We have incubated, cultured and released approximately 50,000 juvenile sockeye into Auke Lake in the springs of 2012, 2013, and 2014. Complete sampling of upstream migrating adult sockeye has occurred from 2008 thru 2015 and smolt sub-sampling has occurred in May and June of those years as well.
Beginning in 2016, additional objectives were added to cover the sampling, marking and recovery of coho salmon at Auke Creek. Because of the operational efficiencies and base support this was accomplished with a small budget increment. Auke Creek is the longest and most complete coho salmon time series in Southeast Alaska, and is used as an indicator of marine survival, harvest and productivity for coho in the region.
N19-I12 Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of Sockeye 2019 Report
N17-I11 Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of Sockeye Report 2017
N16-I04 Genetic changes associated with in-basin supplementation of a population of sockeye (NOAA Component) 2016. Year 8
N15-I06 Genetic changes associated with in-basin supplementation of a population of sockeye salmon; Phase 3 (NOAA Component of Joint Proposal with UAF/ADFG McPhee/Gilk-Baumer). Year 7
N14-I05 Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of a Population of Sockeye Salmon; Phase 6 (NOAA Component of Joint Proposal). Year 6
N13-I05 Genetic changes associated with in-basin supplementation of a population of sockeye salmon; Phase 5, NOAA Component of Joint Proposal, Joyce (AFSC)
N12-I04 Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of Sockeye Salmon (NOAA Component). Year 4
N11-I10A Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of a Population of Sockeye Salmon; Phase 3 (UAF Component)
N10-I12 Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of a Population of Sockeye Salmon; Phase 2
N08-I26A Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of a Population of Sockeye Salmon; Feasibility (UA Fairbanks Component)
N08-I26B Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of a Population of Sockeye (NOAA Component)
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
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.