McLoughlin Creek Enhanced Chum Assessment

This project proposes to continue an assessment program to estimate the survival and exploitation rates of an outer Central Coast chum stock at McLoughlin Creek (Bella Bella). Production from the Heiltsuk CEDP hatchery at Bella Bella has sustained this stock to a point where it has been able to consistently support both a commercial and FSC harvest in recent years. Starting in brood year 2008, production from this facility was doubled to 2M fed fry released. Returns in recent years have suggested outer coast chum may be surviving at a higher rate than inner coast chum stocks. This project will estimate the survival and exploitation rate of this stock, which can inform both hatchery production as well as fishery management decisions for both inner and outer Central Coast chum stocks. Years 1 and 2 (2012 (2011BY)), 2013 (2012BY) of this project consisted solely of juvenile salmon marking, while year 3 (2014 (2013BY)) was the first and only year with both juvenile marking, as well as adult return assessment components. Years 4-6 (2015-2017) consist solely of assessment of adult returns.