The Iskut River sockeye population is a significant component of the annual Stikine sockeye fishery. Iskut River sockeye currently are known only to spawn in the lower portion of the river. However, in the upper Iskut there are multiple large chain lakes that potentially could support substantial sockeye production if migration access could be provided.
This project would be an initial scoping and reconnaissance exercise to assess the relative feasibility of providing sockeye access to the upper Iskut watershed. Project activities would include: collecting information from literature and mapping; exploratory field surveys; and consultation with agencies, local First Nations; and relevant industry proponents (i.e. hydro projects on the Iskut).
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game in concert with Alaska Salmon Hatchery Operators and financial support from the salmon processing community has undertaken a long-term study concerning interactions of hatchery and natural origin salmon in natural systems. Samples have been collected from 4 chum salmon streams in Southeast Alaska (SEAK) for studies of potential relative difference in survival of offspring between hatchery and wild fish spawning in wild stock streams. This information will allow us to assess the ecological and genetic consequences of hatchery strays on fitness of wild spawners at the drainage scale. Evaluation of this scale is important because it will provide insight into how much these consequences can vary locally (and, potentially, why). Adult chum were sampled in 2013 and 2014 to establish genetic markers for identification of progeny in subsequent years. Otolith analysis reveals if a spawner is of hatchery or natural origin and tissue samples will be used to identify parentage of progeny beginning in 2017 and continuing in 2018 – 2023. Fish spawning in the 4 study streams will be similarly sampled for two complete generations; for chum salmon, sampling in each stream will occur over 11 years with the goal to sample F1 and F2 progeny from the first years of the project.
N20-I08 Hatchery-Wild Interactions Study: Sitka Sound Science Center 2020 Report
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.
Southern Chum stock strength must be monitored to facilitate their management, in accordance with Annex IV, Chapter 6 of the Pacific Salmon Treaty (Treaty). Catch composition in fisheries targeting Southern origin Chum populations informs managers of stock strength, mixed fishery components and exploitation rates. . We are proposing to sample Southern BC and US mixed stock Chum fisheries to determine stock composition to the levels of Canadian Conservation Unit (CU) and United States Management Unit (MU) level using genetic mixed stock analysis. Along with other stock assessment information, such as escapement, the data provided from this work is a critical component required by the ChumGEM model for run-reconstruction and eventually for forecasting run strength. This proposal follows from a previous Southern Fund project ‘Joint US and CA mixed-stock Chum fisheries sampling design’ which occurred 2012-2015. The goal is to assess the mixed stock Chum fisheries for four consecutive years in a multi-agency sampling effort.
S18-SP08A Joint US and CA Mixed-stock Chum Fisheries Sampling Design and Analysis
This project is one component of the Coast Wide CWT System which includes fully integrated CWT tagging, sampling, lab operations, analyses and data exchange along the entire west coast of North America with a high level of coordination and cooperation among the coastal states and Canada across many political jurisdictions. The funding supports fishery CWT sampling from Commercial, First Nations economic, and recreational fisheries in BC that encounter Chinook indicator stocks, as well as head lab operations and the management of resulting data.
CWT data is essential in annual analyses in deriving Canadian and US allotments of chinook total allowable catch, assessing compliance under the PST, calculating fisheries and stock specific statistics (i.e. exploitation rates, survival rates, maturation rates), monitoring trends in marine survival, assessing fishing impacts, forecasting pre-fishery ocean stock abundances, and evaluating the effectiveness of hatchery production and experimental programs. CWT data is also important for assessing stock status, forecasting stock abundance, and monitoring trends in regional survival patterns for climate change investigations and ecosystem-based assessments. Long-term time series of CWT data is key information to discern variations in salmon abundance resulting from variations in ocean survival and human-induced impacts.
VHP16-05 Canadian Mark Recovery Program CWT Sampling, Lab Operations and Reporting 2016 Year 2
The establishment of a chum sampling program for the Strait of Juan de Fuca has been identified as a top research priority through the Southern Endowment Fund by the Chum Technical Committee and other interested parties.
Strait of Juan de Fuca Sampling Program:
With the goal of stock reconstruction for Southern BC and Washington Chum salmon, one significant data gap is the diversion of chum populations through the Southern Route via Juan de Fuca Strait. This project will work towards addressing that data gap by sampling this migration route in both US and Canadian waters to determine:
The spatial and temporal stock composition of chum salmon migrating through the Southern Diversion route,
Provide sampling platform for stock identification, migration rate studies etc.
Develop time series of Catch per Unit effort data to pair with the Johnstone Strait Test Fishery to determine diversion rate of various chum populations.
One 4 year cycle of sampling in Juan de Fuca has been completed (2016-2019). It is important that this program continue through at least two full brood cycles to evaluate inter-annual variability in the spatial and temporal composition of chum stocks migrating through this pathway. The existing fisheries in the Juan de Fuca Strait have limited effort (consistent with Treaty provisions) and a dedicated assessment project of is required to generate adequate samples for analysis. Data collected in the first 4 years has improved our understanding greatly of the temporal and spatial variations of stock compositions and relative abundance moving through Juan de Fuca Strait.
S17-I11A Joint US and CA Juan de Fuca Chum Sampling Program 2017
The return migrations of Fraser River sockeye populations overlap in space and time which affects their vulnerability in mixed-stock fisheries. Catches in fisheries directed at populations with harvestable surpluses are often constrained by impacts on stocks of high conservation concern, thus reducing total allowable catches (TACs) available to both countries. Test fisheries are key to informing reasonably accurate and timely estimates of Fraser sockeye and pink salmon run strength. However, these test fisheries sample very small fractions of the daily abundance which limits their capacity to provide run size estimates of sufficient certainty prior to verification by lower Fraser acoustics approximately one week later. This creates time lags that constrain the Panel’s ability to meet international and domestic catch allocation objectives. Furthermore, the return to use of fish for funding test fishing activities in Canada has increased concerns about the number and associated costs of test fisheries. As well, there are twelve test fisheries implemented to sample Fraser sockeye and pink salmon which are used to inform fisheries management decisions, some of which provide more useful and accurate information than others. Thus, a review of the current approach is warranted.
Fraser River pink salmon have been supporting fisheries of growing importance in both countries in most recent years, and fishing impacts on intermingled Fraser River sockeye populations that are of concern (e.g. Late-run sockeye) and have limited directed harvests of those pink salmon. In-season assessments of migration overlap, run size, and associated TACs depend on data obtained from 11 test fisheries which inform the Fraser River Panel’s decisions and are the focus of this proposal.
S17-I03 Summary of a Review of Fraser River Test Fisheries Report 2017
This proposal involves the enumeration of escapement of Chinook and sockeye salmon to three locations on Alsek River in Canada in collaboration with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN). The core of the project is the continuation of the long-standing Klukshu River enumeration project. Since 1976 Klukshu River enumeration has served as the tool by which Alsek River Canadian harvest opportunities are regulated and a critical tool for determining whether both Klukshu River, and since 2005, drainage-wide Alsek River Chinook and sockeye salmon escapement goals are achieved. Since 2016 video technology has been successfully used to enumerate returning salmon at Klukshu River.
Based on successes in 2019, we are again requesting funds in this project to support CAFN in providing technical assistance on all aspects of the project, as well as funding for continuation of two collaborative pilot projects in the Alsek River drainage. The first pilot project is to determine if sonar technology can be implemented in the Blanchard River to enumerate important Alsek River Chinook and sockeye stocks. Project scoping and preliminary trials began in 2018, and in 2019, with the support of NEF funding, we were able to deliver a successful season of sonar enumeration covering the Chinook migration period. The lessons learned and successes of the 2019 season indicate that ongoing sonar monitoring of this important stock may be annually feasible. The second pilot project is to build on past Takhanne River Chinook salmon enumeration projects by implementing non-invasive snorkel surveys to enumerate salmon. This project was very successful in 2018 and 2019 in allowing a complete census of the Takhanne River Chinook salmon stock, as well as providing valuable information on sockeye salmon in the Takhanne River. This project is adding valuable new data points to the historic time series of Takhanne salmon survey work and is now established as ongoing annual monitoring of an important Alsek River Chinook salmon stock.
N19-I22 Alsek River Watershed – Chinook and Sockeye Salmon Enumeration 2019 Report
With increasing pressure to ease fisheries restraints on Interior Fraser River (IFR) Coho, a new emphasis must be placed on better exploitation rate (ER) estimates. There is limited hatchery capacity for coho coded wire tag (CWT) smolt production in the IFR and that capacity is currently split between two systems in the Thompson River complex whereby the Coldwater and Eagle Rivers both receive approximately 60,000 smolts per year. The works proposed here will strengthen the current Coldwater CWT indicator stream assessment.The Coldwater River coho program has been an indicator for IFR coho since 1987 and also benefits from the Nicola Tribal Association’s (NTA) Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) enumeration activities including area under the curve (AUC), DIDSON operations, and carcass recovery. Current Coldwater indicator program involves a system escapement estimate using AUC and DIDSON technology. Carcass recovery is used to determine adipose fin clip (AFC) and sex ratios. We propose to enhance the existing program to obtain greater certainty around both the escapement estimate and AFC ratios of IFR coho in the Coldwater River thereby providing greater certainty around the CWT ER of IFR coho.
S19-SP35 Coldwater River Adult Coho Enumeration 2019 Report
The North Coast-Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society (NCSFNSS) proposes to conduct a creel survey of the Area 3 and 4 recreational fishery following the design and methodology used by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) in the last 6 years (Van Tongeren 2012), in order to ensure continuity of data for temporal comparisons. Software for data management and analysis will be developed in partnership with LGL to offer comparable statistics and precision of catch and effort estimates as provided by DFO’. The purpose of the survey is to provide estimates of the catch and effort of all species targeted by the recreational fishery with known variance. Of high priority for the survey is the provision of monthly in-season catch estimates for all salmon species and Halibut harvested in the North Coast recreational fishery. Biological data will also be collected, such as fin clip incidence for Coho and Chinook, scale samples of Chinook, and Halibut lengths.