Improving CWT sampling and submission adequacy through better understanding of barriers and improved web presence

The Coded-wire tag (CWT) program is essential for estimating stock composition and fishery exploitation for Coho and Chinook salmon stocks. One of the on-going challenges with the CWT program is the return of salmon heads required to produce precise estimates of stock composition in different fisheries. Inadequate sampling rates and recovery of CWT significantly compromise the viability of indicator stock studies. As part of on-going efforts to improve the recovery of salmon heads, the Monitoring and Compliance Panel (M&C Panel) has been working with harvesters and regulators (DFO, First Nations (FN), and recreational and commercial fishers) to develop novel approaches to improve salmon-head recovery in FN and recreational fisheries.

The proposed work will build from the recommendations of the M&C Panel Steering Committee participants and will focus on recommendations that were not within the current scope of the M&C Panel guided project.

Recommendation 1: Conduct a Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice (KAP) Study. This study will help us understand the barriers to success across or within fishing communities and help to identify which segments along the pathway to successful head submissions are the most limiting factors to submission. Once the most limiting factors are understood, outreach and education solutions can be designed to specifically address these factors.

Recommendation 2: Add web-presence for the Coded Wire Tag program on the M&C Panel website. One critical gap found in the project was the lack of a web presence for the Coded Wire Tag program. In a technology-driven era, this is a critical gap in science communication and outreach, and ultimately should improve the submission of salmon heads.