DNA stock composition of chinook catch in the Strait of Georgia recreational fishery

This project will support DNA analysis of chinook samples collected in the Strait of Georgia area recreational fishery. The objective is to estimate fishery related mortality and exploitation rate of spring and summer 52 chinook returning to the Fraser River as well as other stocks. Sampling in the existing creel survey and by a group of 30+ ‘Avid Anglers’ will ensure adequate sample sizes. This project is incremental to the DNA sampling proposed separately for the Victoria area / Juan de Fuca and will assess the level of harvest and so exploitation of this Fraser chinook stock group in the approach through the Strait of Georgia relative to the exploitation in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Historic CWT from Dome Creek (spring 5/2) suggest the majority of this stock group approaches through Juan de Fuca.  The last of the Dome Creek CWT was over 10 years ago and there is significant debate on the impact of approach fisheries on this and other stocks of concern. This project will provide more up to date information on relative fishery impacts.  If the exploitation is minor then estimation of the exploitation using the Fraser chinook run reconstruction (provides the abundance to the mouth of the Fraser) plus the Juan de Fuca fishery may be sufficient as an indicator stock (that is assume a constant small percentage from all other marine fisheries).   

The stock composition estimates from this project will also support conservation of chinook as critical habitat for southern resident killer whales.