Category: 2018

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)

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.

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.

N20-I45 Skeena/Nass Sockeye Lakes Hydroacoustic Surveys 2020 Report

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

 

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

 

Terminal Abundance of WCVI Chinook Salmon

Chinook salmon stocks originating from the West Coast of Vancouver Island (WCVI) contribute significantly to the ocean harvests in fisheries in Southeast Alaska and northern British Columbia, as well as being of prime importance to near-shore fisheries along the WCVI itself. Consequently, commercial and sport fishermen, as well as First Nations up and down the coast have a vested interest in the status of WCVI Chinook salmon. Management agencies and organizations responsible for fisheries in Southeast Alaska, northern British Columbia, and along the WCVI have need of stock status information concerning WCVI Chinook salmon.
The overall goal of this project is to estimate the aggregate terminal returns of WCVI hatchery and natural origin Chinook salmon, including catch plus escapement inside the surf line such that the estimates are asymptotically accurate and have a CV of 15% or less. This will be achieved through 1) the first comprehensive assessment of catch plus escapement along the WCVI, and 2) refinement of the ‘driver stock’ approach for estimating aggregate terminal return from a distant fishery.
The “driver stock” approach was first developed through the Sentinel Stock Program, and is based on the assumption that an indicator stock (or stock group) experiences the same exploitation and maturation rates as the aggregate. If the assumption holds, the incidence of this indicator stock group in an ocean fishery (using information such as CWT, otolith, DNA) and in its terminal area would have the same ratio as the catch of the indicator stock group in the same ocean fishery to its terminal run size. When using a single CWT stock, estimating terminal run size is simple. However, given the complexity of the WCVI stock aggregate and terminal WCVI fisheries, the key assumptions of the method – i.e. that maturation rates and exploitation rates are constant across the WCVI aggregate, were not met.
The purpose of this project is to 1) improve the precision of the terminal return estimates of natural and hatchery origin chinook salmon along the WCVI, 2) quantify the variation in maturation, exploitation rates, abundance across the WCVI aggregate, and 3) use the additional information to refine the application of the driver stock approach to the WCVI aggregate through development of a Bayes method. These results will benefit existing stock reconstructions and forecasts in the assessment of the WCVI Chinook salmon stock complex.

N17-VHP02 Terminal Abundance of WCVI Chinook Report 2017

VHP16-04 Progress - Terminal Abundance of WCVI Chinook Salmon. Year 2 of 3

VHP15-02 Terminal Abundance of WCVI Chinook Salmon. Year 1 of 3

Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction

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.

N20-I23 Alsek River Sockeye Salmon Run Reconstruction Using GSI 2020 Report

N18-I14 Alsek River Sockeye Run Reconstruction Using GSI 2018 Report

N17-I16 Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction 2017

N16-I49 Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction Using GSI 2016

N15-I11 Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction 2015. Year 4

N14-I10 Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction 2014

N13-I12 Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction 2013

N12-I17 Alsek Sockeye Run Reconstruction, 2012

 

 

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 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. 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?

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

 

Atnarko River Chinook Escapement Estimation

The Atnarko River was identified as a potential escapement and exploitation rate indicator for Central BC early summer Chinook, and in 2009 the Atnarko River Chinook stock was proposed as an exploitation rate indicator. It was funded under the Coded Wire Tag (CWT) Improvement program, and the purpose of the five-year mark-recapture program was to improve escapement estimates for early summer Chinook.
Since then, the program has met the data standard of a coefficient of variation (CV) of 15% or less. Continued mark-recapture estimates on the Atnarko River will build on the information thus far. The project will estimate the escapement of Chinook salmon and generate estimates such that the fraction of CWT fish is known relative to the wild and/or unmarked escapement, and this data is essential for Chinook run reconstruction calculations. This program is part of a comprehensive group of programs on Atnarko River Chinook salmon that includes the production of Chinook fry and CWT application (under separate submission to the Northern Fund) and terminal fishery monitoring.

N18-VHP12 Atnarko River Chinook Salmon Spawning Escapement Estimation Final 2018

N17-VHP05 Atnarko River Chinook Salmon Spawning Escapement Estimation Report 2017

N16-I30 Atnarko River Chinook Escapement Estimation Report 2016. Year 3

N15-I33 Atnarko River Chinook Escapement Estimation 2015. Year 2

N14-I33 Atnarko River Chinook Escapement Estimation 2014. Year 1

Multi-species salmon assessment for the Wannock River

The Waanukv/Owikeeno watershed historically supported one of the largest sockeye populations in BC, currently supports some of the largest Chinook salmon found in the eastern Pacific and has unknown numbers of coho, pink and chum salmon. Prior to implementing the DIDSON and ARIS sonar monitoring systems on the Waanukv River annual estimates of Chinook and sockeye
escapements to the Waanukv/Owikeeno watershed were highly uncertain. The 2012-19 projects have provided the first reliable escapement estimates for Waanukv Chinook since the mark-recapture studies conducted in the 1990’s. The 2014-19 projects have provided the first estimates of the total sockeye escapement to the Owikeeno watershed that were based on quantitative daily counts for the entire sockeye run. Historical escapement estimates for Waanukv Chinook were derived from deadpitch surveys and estimates for Rivers Inlet Sockeye were derived by expanding visual escapement estimates for a few of the tributaries to Owikeeno Lake where spawners could be seen. The results from this project will be used to refine escapement goals and direct restoration and enhancement efforts for each salmon species.

N19-I47 Waanukv River Multi-Species Escapement Monitoring System Using DIDSON, ARIS Sonar, and Test Fishing, 2019 Report

N18-I36 Multi-species salmon assessment for the Wannock River Report 2018

N17-I34 Multi-species salmon assessment for the Waanukv (Wannock) River Report 2017

N16-I13 Multi-species salmon assessment for the Wannock River 2016 Year 3 of 3

N15-I20 Multi-species salmon assessment for the Wannock River, 2015. Year 2 of 3

 

Tracing the impacts of Canadian commercial fisheries on Northern BC chum stocks using DNA and otolith analysis

This project seeks to provide stock composition information about chum caught in Canadian Area 3 commercial seine and gillnet fisheries in order to assess the impacts of those fisheries on weaker wild stocks of concern. The proposed methodology continues analysis of otolith for hatchery thermal marks and adds DNA analysis of unmarked chum and continued expansion of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) database, providing further information for management

N19-I36A Tracing the impacts of Canadian commercial fisheries on Northern BC chum stocks using DNA and otolith analysis Report 2019

N18-I25A Stock Composition of Chum Intercepted in Canadian Area 3 Commercial Fisheries (DFO) Report 2018

N18-I25B Stock Composition of Chum Intercepted in Canadian Area 3 Commercial Fisheries (ADFG) Report 2018

N16-I08A Chum Stock ID Assessment (Canadian Area 3 Commercial Fishery Otoliths). Year 5

N15-I14A Chum Stock ID Assessment (Canadian Area 3 Commercial Fishery Otoliths). Year 4

N15-I14B Chum Stock ID Assessment (Canadian Area 3 Commercial Fishery Otoliths) (ADFG Component) Year 4

N14-I13B Chum Stock ID Assessment (Canadian Area 3 Commercial Fishery Otoliths) (ADFG Component) Year 3

N13-I15B Chum Stock ID Assessment (Canadian Area 3 Commercial fishery otoliths) (ADFG Component). Year 2

N12-I24A Chum Stock ID Assessment (Canadian Area 3 Commercial fishery otoliths) (Ecotrust Component)

Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Stock Assessment

To counter recent reductions in federal funds, and to provide adequate non-federal matching funds this Northern Fund grant is used to augment the existing Alaska Department of Fish & Game Chinook salmon program budget by providing funding for: (1) analysis of data for use by the Chinook Technical Committee (CTC), the Transboundary Technical Committee (TTC) and for other relevant Pacfic Salmon Treaty activities; and (2) analysis of aerial survey, age, sex, and length composition, mark-recapture, smolt, and harvest data for South East Alaska indicator stocks.

2019 N15-I13 Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Stock Assessment 2019 Report

2018 N15-I13 Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Stock Assessment Interim Report Years 4-7

N14-I12 Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Stock Assessment. Year 3

N13-I14 Southeast Alaska Chinook Salmon Stock Assessment. Year 2