Category: 2017

Mixed stock analysis of districts 108 and 111 chinook fisheries

The Stikine and Taku rivers in Southeast Alaska (SEAK) support Chinook salmon runs important for various commercial, aboriginal, and recreational fisheries in both the United States (U.S.) and Canada. Included in these are U.S. commercial gillnet fisheries in Alaskan Districts 108 and 111, as well as sport fisheries near Wrangell, Petersburg, and Juneau. U.S. fisheries in these areas harvest stocks of Chinook salmon bound for SEAK and for tributaries in the transboundary Stikine and Taku rivers. Catches of Stikine and Taku river Chinook salmon stocks are subject to a harvest sharing agreement, in which the U.S. and Canada are each given an Allowable Catch specified by the Pacific Salmon Commission, and this relies on catch, escapement, recruitment information, and stock composition estimates to forecast indices of abundance. Until recently, stock composition of harvests was estimated primarily using coded-wire tags, which provided good estimates for marked stocks. However, expansions of these estimates could be uncertain due to a lack of coded-wire tags on all stocks contributing to the fishery, incomplete tagging of index stocks, and in some instances poor estimates of escapement or terminal run size. Genetic stock identification (GSI) provides a complementary set of accurate and reliable stock composition estimates necessary to meet the directives of abundance-based management of Chinook salmon, and is currently used to recalculate actual contributions of above-border Stikine and Taku Chinook salmon to the Districts 108 and 111 sport and commercial fisheries.

N18-VHP01 Mixed stock analysis of districts 108 and 111 chinook fisheries Report 2018

N17-VHP06 Mixed stock analysis of districts 108 and 111 chinook fisheries Report 2017

N16-I59 Mixed stock analysis of districts 108 and 111 chinook fisheries Report 2016

Abundance Estimates for Stillaguamish River Chinook Salmon Using Trans-generational Genetic Mark Recapture

The primary objective of this trans-generational genetic mark-recapture (tGMR) project is to: 1) estimate the abundance of Chinook salmon spawners and effective breeders in the Stillaguamish River above the smolt trap site using genetic abundance methods. The secondary objectives of this study are to: 2) estimate the natural spawning Chinook salmon abundance by origin (hatchery or natural), sex and age, and 3) estimate a redd expansion calibration factor from historic redd-based escapement estimates and possible future redd counts. The data collected for this project also provide a genetic baseline for these population estimates, a genetic (parentage-based) estimate of the proportion of hatchery-origin spawners, and an estimate of relative reproductive success of hatchery spawners, because carcasses are classified by origin. Genetic sampling will be conducted during the fall spawning period, and smolt trapping will be conducted during the following spring.

S19-I08 Abundance estimates for Stillaguamish River Chinook salmon using trans-generational genetic mark recapture 2019 Report

S18-VHP12 Abundance estimates for Stillaguamish River Chinook salmon using trans-generational genetic mark recapture

S17-VHP17 2016 Broodyear Report Abundance estimates for Stillaguamish River Chinook salmon using trans-generational genetic mark recapture

VHP16-01: Abundance estimates for Stillaguamish River Chinook salmon using trans-generational genetic mark recapture 2015-2016

VHP15-06 Abundance Estimates for Stillaguamish River Chinook Salmon Using Trans-generational Genetic Mark Recapture. Year 1

SSP14-05 Abundance Estimates for Stillaguamish River Chinook Salmon. Year 5

SSP13-11 Abundance Estimates for Stillaguamish River Chinook Salmon. Year 4

 

 

Assessing Effects of Supplementation on Fitness of Sockeye Salmon in Auke Creek, Alaska

The overarching goal of this joint project by the University of Alaska and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game is to use parentage-based tagging over three generations of experimental hatchery supplementation to quantify differences in fitness between wild and hatchery-origin sockeye salmon in Auke Creek, Alaska. Secondary goals of this research are to test for second-generation differences in fitness between wild and hatchery-origin individuals that spawn naturally, and to quantify changes in genetic diversity and population structure in the wild sockeye salmon population as a result of three generations of hatchery supplementation. Results of this study will provide information critical for assessing the relative costs and benefits of hatchery supplementation in managing sockeye salmon populations subject to the Pacific Salmon Treaty.

N19-I11B Assessing Effects of Supplementation on Fitness of Sockeye Salmon in Auke Creek, AK 2019 Report

N18-I08B Assessing Effects of Supplementation on Fitness of Sockeye Salmon in Auke Creek, AK Report 2018

N17-I10A Assessing Effects of Supplementation on Fitness of Sockeye Salmon in Auke Creek, AK Report 2018

N16-I15A Assessing Effects of Supplementation on Fitness of Sockeye in Auke Creek, AK June 2014-June 2017

N15-I22A Assessing Effects of Supplementation on Fitness of Sockeye Salmon in Auke Creek, AK. (UAF Component) Year 2 of 3

N15-I22B Assessing Effects of Supplementation on Fitness of Sockeye Salmon in Auke Creek, AK. (ADFG Component) Year 2 of 3

N14-I34A Assessing Effects of Supplementation on Fitness of Sockeye Salmon in Auke Creek, AK. (UAF Component) Year 1

N14-I34B Assessing Effects of Supplementation on Fitness of Sockeye Salmon in Auke Creek, AK. (ADFG Component) Year 1

 

 

Northern Boundary Area Sockeye Salmon Genetic Stock Identification

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)

Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling

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

 

Mixed Stock Analysis of Districts 106, 108 and 111 Sockeye

Sockeye runs from the Stikine and Taku rivers in Southeast Alaska are harvested in Canadian aboriginal, recreational, and commercial gillnet fisheries, and in US subsistence, personal use, and commercial gillnet fisheries. In the US, commercial gillnet fisheries in Districts 106 and 108 harvest wild stocks of sockeye salmon bound for Southeast Alaska island and mainland lakes, and for lakes and tributaries in the Stikine, Nass, and Skeena River drainages, while fisheries in District 111 harvest wild stocks of sockeye primarily bound for systems in the Taku River or to Crescent and Speel lakes in Alaska. Significant numbers of enhanced sockeye salmon bound for release sites in the Stikine and Taku rivers or to Snettisham Hatchery are also caught in these fisheries. Catches of Stikine and Taku river sockeye salmon stocks in Districts 106, 108 and 111 gillnet fisheries and the U.S. Stikine subsistence fishery are subject to a harvest sharing agreement outlined in Annex IV of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, in which the US is allowed 50% of the Total Allowable Catch of Stikine River and a variable proportion of Taku River sockeye salmon depending on the return of enhanced fish. Stock contribution estimates are critical to document compliance with the harvest sharing agreements, reconstruct runs of wild stocks, estimate the return of enhanced fish, forecast upcoming returns, and support sustainable management.
Genetic stock identification (GSI) is the preferred method for estimating stock contributions in fisheries in and near the Stikine and Taku rivers, and has been in use for transboundary management since 2011. GSI has improved estimates compared to past methods (scale pattern analysis), and is less logistically complex, less labor intensive, less expensive, more accurate, and delivers more timely results at a finer resolution.
This project has been conducting GSI analysis on sockeye salmon tissue samples collected from commercial gillnet fisheries in areas in and near the Stikine and Taku rivers in Southeast Alaska since 2012. The analysis will be focused on tissue samples collected in Districts 106, 108, and 111.

N18-I05 Mixed stock analysis of U.S. Districts 106, 108, and 111 sockeye salmon gillnet fisheries, 2018 Report

N17-I06 Mixed stock analysis of U.S. Districts 106, 108, and 111 sockeye salmon gillnet fisheries Report

N16-I06 Genetic Stock Identification of Districts 106, 108 and 111 Sockeye Report 2016

Transboundary Sockeye Thermal Mark Recovery (ADFG Mark, Tag & Age Lab Support)

The Thermal Mark Laboratory at the ADF&G Mark, Tag and Age (MTA) Laboratory is responsible for examining sockeye salmon otoliths recovered from commercial fisheries in southeast Alaska for thermal marks indicating hatchery origin, and for making the associated data available to biologists for management of sockeye from the transboundary Taku and Stikine Rivers.

N18-I02 Alaska Department of Fish & Game Mark, Tag, and Age Laboratory Support Report

N17-I03 Alaska Department of Fish & Game Mark, Tag, and Age Laboratory Support Report

N16-I16 Alaska Department of Fish & Game Mark, Tag, and Age Laboratory Support Report 2015-2016

N15-I23 Alaska Department of Fish & Game Mark, Tag and Age Laboratory Support. Year 2 of 3

N14-I37 Alaska Department of Fish & Game Mark, Tag and Age Laboratory Support. Year 1

 

 

Annual Run Reconstruction Northern Boundary Area Sockeye

The Northern Boundary Technical Committee’s (NBTC) northern boundary area sockeye reconstruction assessments program has been conducted annually since the mid 1990’s to provide bilaterally agreed data on the sockeye stock composition and escapement for Nass, Skeena, Macdonald, and other US sockeye stocks originating in the northern boundary area.
The key components of the program include: 1) acquiring sockeye escapement, catch and stock composition data from Alaskan and Canadian northern boundary areas, 2) updating databases and providing initial model runs, 3) facilitating the NBTC workshop to provide the bilaterally agreed outcomes on the stock specific abundances 4) provide a report on the final agreed outcomes.

N17-I24 Annual Run Reconstruction Northern Boundary Sockeye Interim Presentation

 

Skeena lakes juvenile sockeye hydroacoustic surveys

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

 

Babine Lake Sockeye Smolt Enumeration – Mark-Recapture

The Lake Babine Nation Fisheries Department (LBNF), in collaboration with the DFO, propose to build on success in the 2013 – 2019 smolt project by continuing to operate the Babine smolt enumeration facilities to provide sockeye smolt emigration estimates and smolt fitness data for the Babine Lake Watershed. Smolt production and fitness are effective indicators of Babine Lake ecosystem health which can be used to initiate and direct resource management initiatives intended to protect the Babine Lake watershed. Continued smolt trap operation would extend the data series analyzed by the DFO from 1959 to 2002, jointly by the LBN and SFC from 2013 to 2015 and independently by LBNF from 2016 to 2019. We believe that continuous data from the Babine smolt enumeration fence would provide important information on Babine sockeye population status that will contribute critical information to the understanding the large inter-annual variations in returns observed in the past two decades. An uninterrupted set of sockeye smolt population data over multiple years will help address one of the most fundamental questions of salmon stocks management — under which conditions are freshwater or marine environments the primary driver determining salmon returns?  We propose to continue the Babine sockeye smolt enumeration program in 2020 to continue monitoring smolt production, which is necessary to determine the effects of annual variation in climactic conditions, habitat conditions and prey availability.

N19-I42 Babine Lake Watershed Sockeye Smolt Enumeration Project – Mark-Recapture 2019 Report

N18-I33 Babine Lake Watershed Sockeye Smolt Enumeration Project – Mark-Recapture Report 2018

N17-I31 Babine Lake Watershed Sockeye Smolt Enumeration Project – Mark-Recapture

N16-I10 Babine Lake Watershed Sockeye Smolt Enumeration Project – Mark-Recapture 2016

N15-I17 2015 Babine Lake Sockeye Smolt Enumeration – Mark-Recapture. Year 3 of 4

N14-I15 Babine Lake Sockeye Smolt Enumeration – Mark-Recapture. Year 2 of 4

N13-I22 Babine Lake Sockeye Smolt Enumeration - Mark-Recapture Year 1 of 4