The primary goals of this project are to bilaterally review stock assessment work on the Taku River and make recommendations for improving the program, and to reevaluate the escapement goal for Taku River sockeye salmon.
The Taku River is a large and complex system, with multiple tributaries and lake systems, as well as inriver indigenous, personal use, subsistence, and commercial sockeye salmon fisheries, which create special challenges for mark-recapture work in the drainage and for escapement goal analysis. Improvements to inseason and total escapement estimates of sockeye salmon on the Taku River will affect all aspects of fisheries management and lead to more efficient and sustainable utilization of the resource by the U.S. and Canada. Among the stock assessment challenges that will be examined by the review team includes issues with tag loss, tag-induced mortality, and tag misidentification or nonreporting in the mark-recapture project, fish sampling protocols at the Canyon Island fish wheels, improving estimates of the distribution of mainstem and tributary spawners in the drainage, and assessing weir projects on Canadian tributaries. Additionally, methodologies to compliment the current program will be explored with the intention of strengthening both inseason and post season estimates of Taku River sockeye salmon.