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.