Category: 2014

Cowichan River – Broadway Run Slope Stability

Slope stability concerns in the Block#51 reach of the Cowichan River (upstream of Skutz Falls), and more particularly at Broadway Run, have been under geotechnical and river engineering investigation almost annually over the last five years. The primary objective of these studies has been to assess failure mechanisms/hazards and identify the most cost-effective design for stabilizing the Broadway Run slope.

S14-H02 Cowichan River – Broadway Run Slope Stability Remediation

S12-H02 Cowichan River – Broadway Run Slope Stability Construction Designs & Permitting



Sockeye Stock Composition Comparison of Area 4B/5 Versus Area 20

Observers have collected sockeye samples from the Area 4B/5 gillnet test fishery near Neah Bay annually for the last six years. Samples from Area 20 on the Canadian side of the Strait are assumed to represent stock proportions in catches on the U.S. side of the Strait. We propose to compare the DNA results already collected on approximately the same dates. This comparison will confirm or disconfirm the assumption that Area 20 stock composition estimates serve as accurate proxies for the U.S. catches in the Strait.

Qualark Acoustics: estimating daily salmon passage in the Fraser River near Yale, BC

Hydroacoustic programs have been conducted on the Fraser River at Mission, B.C. by the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission (1977-1985) and the Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC; 1986 to the present) to estimate gross upstream passage of Fraser River sockeye salmon. The estimates of daily salmon passage provided by the hydroacoustics program, combined with information from test fishery, stock identification, and catch monitoring programs are used in models to provide estimates of stock abundance, timing, and escapement that are vital to the in-season management of Fraser River Sockeye Salmon.
Following years of discrepancies between the Mission and spawning ground estimates investigations have been undertaken to determine the causes of the discrepancies between these two estimates. As part of the investigations into these discepancies DFO conducted a 5-year experimental program from 1993-1998 at Qualark Creek to design, test and perfect specialized in-river equipment and analytical protocols for riverine acoustic measurements. When Qualark was in monitoring mode in the 1990’s, the pattern of upstream passage tended to track that at Mission, but occasionally showed noticeable differences.

DFO reactivated the Qualark Hydroacoustic Site in 2008 to test the feasibility of the site for estimating salmon abundance with dual-frequency imaging sonar (DIDSON). The daily salmon flux has been estimated in-season using a DIDSON system on each bank of the river between 2008 and 2016. Assessing the performance of the Qualark program through these operational years, DFO has concluded that the site at Qualark is an excellent location for acoustic enumeration of salmon flux in the Fraser River. The site has the ideal characteristics for detecting and tracking Sockeye Salmon as they move upstream, and produces reliable in-season estimates of salmon flux.

Qualark’s sampling system includes 2 DIDSON acoustic units, deployed one on each bank of the Fraser River and operated 24 hours per day during the period of Sockeye Salmon migration. The sampling system also includes integration of catch data from the the daily test fishing operation conducted at the Qualark site on the Fraser River by the Yale First Nation. Daily salmon migration flux is derived by simple time expansion of sub-sampled salmon flux over 3 acoustic data range bins.

S17-I28 Qualark 2017 Summary Report

S16-I18A Qualark Acoustics: Estimating Daily Salmon Passage in the Fraser River Near Yale, BC Report 2016. Year 5

S15-I04A Qualark Acoustics: estimating daily salmon passage in the Fraser River near Yale, BC in 2015. Year 4

S14-I09A Qualark Acoustics: Estimating Daily Salmon Passage in the Fraser River Near Yale, BC. 2014. Year 2

S13-I15A Qualark Acoustics: Estimating Daily Salmon Passage in the Fraser River Near Yale, BC. 2013


Genotyping of coho salmon by direct amplicon sequencing

New types of DNA sequencers have become available where it should now be possible to directly genotype individual fish, bypassing the analysis previously required for genotyping of microsatellites and SNPs. One of these newer style sequencers (the Ion Torrent Proton) has been obtained by the MGL. Amplicon sequencing will likely radically change the techniques used to genotype individual fish in stock identification applications and the genetic baseline that can be derived from it can provide a foundation for all international and domestic coho salmon fisheries management applications involving stock identification.

S14-I16 Genotyping of Coho Salmon by Direct Amplicon Sequencing

Estimating premature mortality of adult Harrison sockeye salmon

In this project we propose to tag Harrison sockeye upon entry into the Harrison River across the entire migration period, from late July through to mid-October (the beginning of spawning ground assessments), to accurately estimate premature mortality and quantify mortality in relation to river entry timing for this system. This project will reduce the uncertainty in the relationship between Harrison sockeye migration timing past Mission and survival to spawning.

S14-I06 Estimating Premature Mortality of Harrison River Sockeye Salmon


Coho CWT sampling program hand-held equipment replacement

The purpose of this project was to develop training and replace out-dated hand-held electronic CWT detection equipment for recovery of CWTs from DFO Coho escapement programs with the new Northwest Marine Technology Inc. T-wand to increase accuracy in sampling of CWTs. Deployment of this new equipment advances the management of Coho fisheries, allowing for increased confidence in Interior Fraser Coho escapement estimates and run timing which may allow for increased exploitation on other Pacific Salmon stocks.

S14-I14 Coho CWT Sampling Hand-held Equipment Replacement. Year 1

Effects of early marine growth on adult Fraser sockeye salmon returns

It is becoming increasingly apparent that we need to take into consideration the ocean conditions that salmon encounter during their marine life to establish effective management and conservation strategies for Pacific salmon stocks. Our goal is to examine early marine growth as a mechanism controlling marine survival of Fraser sockeye salmon. By developing leading indicators of salmon survival that consider short-term changes in ocean conditions and incorporating these indicators into the annual assessment of Fraser sockeye salmon, such as the current forecasting models used by DFO Fisheries Management, this project is designed to provide improved information for the management of Fraser sockeye salmon stocks.

In year 1, we carried a pilot project and found that early marine growth (daily increment measured from otoliths) and somatic growth (change in length at sea entry and time of capture) of juvenile sockeye caught at sea was significantly higher in 2008 compared to the ocean entry year 2007, which is consistent with the hypothesis that higher early marine growth leads to higher smolt survival.

In year 2, we are expanding our analysis of early marine growth of Chilko Lake sockeye salmon to include additional years for which otoliths of juveniles Chilko Lake sockeye are available. The importance of early marine growth, number and size of smolts going to sea on the number of adult sockeye salmon returning to Chilko Lake will be assessed using linear and non-linear models. In keeping the budget of Yr-2 at the same level as the pilot (Yr-1), the analysis of sockeye stock other than Chilko Lake sockeye salmon and the assessment of the importance of the various oceanic factors on early marine growth was relegated to YR-3 (see Approach section for details).

In year 3, we are proposing to expand our analyses to two CUs: Shuswap and Harrison River sockeye salmon. Shuswap sockeye salmon is used to assess if Chilko Lake sockeye salmon an indicator stock is representative of other lake type sockeye salmon populations.

S16-I01 Effects of Early Marine Growth on Adult Fraser Sockeye Salmon Returns Report 2016. Year 3

S15-I05 Effects of early marine growth on adult Fraser sockeye salmon returns. Year 2

S14-I19 Effects of Early Marine Growth on Adult Fraser Sockeye Salmon Returns. Year 1

What can Discovery Passage smolts tell us about returning Fraser River sockeye?

This project targets Fraser River sockeye and other sockeye stocks that migrate to the ocean via Discovery Passage (e.g., Sakinaw Lake sockeye). One of the main benefits of this project will be comparison of stock proportions among out-migrating juveniles versus the relative abundance of stocks in the adult return. The final report will provide conclusions on the ability of low-cost juvenile sampling in marine corridors to contribute to in-season advice for the management of sockeye fisheries in subsequent years.

Early marine residence timing and survival of Fraser River sockeye salmon in the Strait of Georgia

Over the past 20 years there has been high variability in the survival of Fraser River sockeye salmon both within and between run cycles with the greatest variability occurring over the past decade. It is generally accepted that there is significant mortality during the first few weeks that juvenile salmon are in the ocean. This project supports a trawl survey in early June during peak abundance of juvenile sockeye salmon in the Strait of Georgia to estimate the abundance of juveniles entering the Strait and provides information on variability in residence timing and migration patterns. DNA analysis will be used to determine CU specific abundance levels, distribution patterns and growth rates.

S14-I11 Early marine residence timing and survival of Fraser River sockeye in Strait of Georgia 2014

S13-I08 Preliminary Report Early marine residence timing and survival of Fraser River sockeye in Strait of Georgia 2013