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.
Collection of genetic stock identification samples from lower Stikine and Taku river commercial fisheries for eventual determination of reliable post-season estimates of the stock compositions for Chinook and sockeye in the lower Stikine and Taku in-river commercial fisheries.
The project will also provide information to assess the run timing of various stocks or stock groupings through the inriver fisheries on the Stikine and Taku rivers.
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.
This project will collect and analyse DNA information from chinook in the WCVI chinook AABM fishery. The information is required to address i) changes in the conduct and catch distribution of the WCVI chinook fishery, including a more distributed troll fishery and growth of the sport fishery relative to the base period; and ii) the impact of these changes on the reliability of the CTC chinook model to forecast abundance.
Feasibility of stream flow improvement projects continued in collaboration with fisheries agencies, First Nations, regional district and municipal governments, landowners, area streamkeepers and other ENGOs. Select east coast Vancouver Island (ECVI) watersheds were first prioritized in 2006 and have been reviewed annually by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Ministry of Environment (MoE; now Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, MoFLNRO). Evaluation involved a multifaceted process involving biological, hydrological and engineering assessments required for landowner consent, public support and regulatory approval. The work was then further focused on five high priority watersheds/sites Craigflower (Thetis Lake), Millstone (Brannen Lake), Englishman (Shelton Lake), Courtenay (Wolf Lake), and Quatse (Quatse Lake) where new storage could be developed or where existing storage could be improved or increased.