Puget Sound Chum Salmon GSI

This proposal addresses two Southern Panel priorities: genetic stock identification (GSI) sampling of Chum salmon in commercial fisheries and Southern BC and Washington Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) baseline implementation. This proposal seeks to identify fall-, winter-, and summer-run Chum salmon population contributions to mixed fisheries in Central and South Puget Sound. An initial mixed fishery analysis of the commercial Chum salmon in US Marine Areas 10 and 11 showed that some Chum salmon in the fishery originated in Georgia Strait and the Fraser River (Small et al. 2018a). Further, some Hood Canal summer-run Chum salmon were caught in the fishery; a stock unit of high conservation concern. Because Canadian and summer-run Chum salmon were unexpected in this fishery, this project will identify mixed fishery components of the purse seine fishery over four years to better understand the origins and abundance of Chum salmon populations harvested in mixed fisheries within Puget Sound throughout the season. Up to ten key Chum salmon populations in South and Central Puget Sound will be added to the genetic baseline to enhance the accuracy and precision of mixed fishery analyses in the region. Improved understanding of mixed fishery components will improve fishery management both internationally and domestically.

The outcome of this project will be more thorough representation of Puget Sound Chum salmon populations in the Chum salmon SNP baseline and better understanding of the distribution and abundance of CAN and US fish caught in the Area 10 and 11 fishery. The higher-resolution baseline will be tested with the existing mixed fishery data set from the pilot study (Small et al. 2018a) to identify improvements and to identify populations that may need better representation.