Since 2007, with support from the Southern Boundary Restoration and Enhancement Fund, calibration work has been conducted on twenty-five Sockeye populations of various stream types in the Fraser and has led to the development of indices for aerially surveyed Sockeye populations on the following three stream types: i) medium sized, clear streams, ii) medium sized, partially turbid/tannic streams and iii) large sized, clear streams. Although this represents substantial progress, significant gaps still exist on the remaining stream types and lake spawning populations. Calibration work involves the comparison between estimates generated using high precision enumeration techniques (enumeration fences, sonar, and/or mark-recapture programs) and those generated using standard low precision visual techniques. As annual calibration opportunities on target populations are limited, calibration work over the long term will be required to satisfy the data requirements for all stream types. The actual populations to be calibrated will be determined based on in-season estimates of abundance.
S18-FRP03 Calibration of Visual Assessment Methods for Fraser River Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)
S17-I06 Calibration of Visual Assessment Methods for Fraser River Sockeye Salmon Year 9
S16-I21 Calibration of Visual Assessment Methods for Fraser River Sockeye Report 2016
S15-I01 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2015. Year 7
S14-I02 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2014. Year 6
S13-I01 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2013. Year 5
S12-I02 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2012. Year 4
S11-I04 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2011. Year 3
S10-I05 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2010
S07-I05 Calibration of Assessment Methods for Fraser Sockeye Enumeration 2007
This project proposes to analyse the relationship between sockeye and pink salmon abundance and existing CPUE data from Canadian purse seine ITQ fisheries, years 2010-2014. This will entail: 1) obtaining catch data by set and location from individual purse seiners in Area 12 and comparing with indices of abundance by area. 2) Examining the special case situation in Area 29 where ITQ seiners have fished on delaying Fraser River sockeye (2010, 2014) and pink salmon (2013). 3) Exploring evidence for density dependence catchability in the ITQ fishery dynamics. 4) In consultation with PSC Staff, incorporate the above (if useful) within a Bayesian hierarchical methodology. 5) Review compliance with the requirements identified in the Kowal Letter to the Fraser River Panel (2002) and also with the Run-size estimation workshop (2003). And finally, 6) Develop a plan for additional sampling opportunities for the Panel’s consideration for implementation in future years.
S16-I19 Analysis of existing CPUE data from Canadian Commercial ITQ fisheries for the purpose of the possible integration of this information into run-size models for Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon
We propose to enumerate total Fraser River chum salmon escapement by conducting a high precision enumeration project on Chilliwack River escapement (e.g. mark-recapture or DIDSON) and combining the result with the ratio of Chilliwack chum to the total Fraser chum captured in the Albion test fishery. The proportion of Chilliwack chum at Albion will be determined using GSI on tissue from scale samples already collected during the test fishery.
This project will improve our ability to provide accurate spawning escapement estimates for Fraser River chum salmon. Accurate estimates are important to all aspects of Fraser River chum salmon management including annual stock run reconstruction, production forecasting, in-season terminal abundance estimates, the evaluation of management decisions/actions, and harvest sharing.
S17-I26 Albion-based estimate of total Fraser River Chum Salmon escapement using GSI at Albion and enumeration of Chilliwack River Chum Salmon escapement, PRESENTATION 2017
S16-I23 Albion-based Estimate of Fraser River Chum Escapement Using GSI and Estimate of Chilliwack River Chum Escapement Interim Presentation 2016
While Fraser River sockeye salmon survival has declined over the past decade, it has also exhibited high interannual variability. The processes responsible for this trend and the variability are not understood and require investigation. This project builds on the previous work by adding a fifth year of sampling juvenile migrants immediately prior to their entry into the Strait of Georgia (SoG). The sampling platform will be identical to that employed successfully in 2013-2015, and GSI analysis will help to provide estimates of relative abundance and migration timing past Mission by stock. It is anticipated that sampling intensity in 2016, a juvenile Pink Salmon outmigration year, will be similar to that in 2014. In 2016, we propose to repeat the 2014 & 2015 study design and parameters assessed, including the assessment of the nocturnal migration patterns of Sockeye juveniles for a third year.
As in previous years, samples collected under this project will be compared to samples collected in other ongoing and proposed assessments, such as DFO’s annual SoG trawl survey occurring June-July and a similar trawl survey in Johnstone Strait. In combination, these three studies will add a third year to a comprehensive multi-stock assessment of Fraser River juvenile sockeye salmon relative abundance and condition, from nursery lake exit through early marine near-shore residency.
Sub-yearling ocean-migrant sockeye salmon (e.g. Harrison River stock) can be important contributors to Fraser River Sockeye production. The 2016 survey will continue to incorporate the bio-sampling of captured sub-yearling juveniles to identify their contribution, and migration timing at Mission by Conservation Unit (CU).
Lastly, the 2016 project will explore the feasibility of deploying an acoustic Doppler current profiler in an attempt to measure water current velocities over a depth range. This information may be important in determining absolute juvenile sockeye abundance at Mission.
In the 2015 field season, the Pacific Salmon Commission’s Stock Monitoring Group leased an Adaptive Resolution Imaging Sonar (ARIS) system for counting fish passage and estimating behaviour and size distributions of salmon species at its hydroacoustic site on the Fraser River near Mission, B.C. The Southern Fund Committee (SFC) provided funding for this experiment, which demonstrated that the ARIS sonar was able to capture high-resolution images of fish targets allowing users to enumerate salmon passage and fish size at the site. As a new generation of imaging sonar, ARIS inherits many core technological features of the Dual-frequency identification sonar (DIDSON) while providing users with greatly enhanced and superior utilities for various needs, which will provide PSC with more accurate and precise estimates of near-shore salmon passage than the current split-beam system can ever achieve.
Sound Metrics Corporation (SMC), the parent sonar manufacturer of ARIS and DIDSON, has started to gradually phase out DIDSONs from the market. The imaging sonar systems are a very important component of the Mission hydroacosutics program, which have improved the accuracy of salmon-flux estimation in near-shore waters. Given the success of the 2015 pilot lease project noted above, the successful regional adoptions of ARIS for salmon enumeration in Alaska and Washington State, and PSC DIDSON units being beyond the manufacturer’s projected lifespan, we propose to modernize the Mission site and implement the ARIS imaging sonar into our daily estimation for the 2016 field program.
S16-I15 Assessment of Adaptive Resolution Imaging Sonar (ARIS) for Fish Counting in the Lower Fraser River
The Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) Chum Annex requires biological benchmarks to inform the development of fishery reference points for PST related fisheries, including the lower fishery reference point for the Johnstone Strait fisheries as well as subsequent terminal fisheries. Biological benchmarks for data-limited populations have been proposed and are currently being applied to Conservation Units (CUs), or population units, of chum salmon in southern BC. The first phase of this project evaluated percentile-based benchmarks for data-limited CUs of chum salmon on the Inner South Coast of BC. Our preliminary results suggest that the 25th percentile lower benchmark is more precautionary than the stock-recruitment based lower benchmarks developed under Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy, except when CU productivity is low and historical harvest rates are high.
For 2016, we will expand our evaluation of percentile-based benchmarks to include the west coast of Vancouver Island and Fraser River, and expand our use of assessment models to include hierarchical multi-CU models. Finally, we will provide recommendations on the application of benchmarks to chum management units (through component CUs within management units) and chum salmon Genetic Units, as identified by a project funded by the PSC SEF on genetic stock identification, on the west coast of Vancouver Island and in the Fraser River within the context of the PST Chum Annex.
S16-I05 Adapting benchmarks of biological status for persistent changes in productivity and variability in exploitation history with a focus on data-limited populations of chum salmon in southern BC
S15-I13 Adapting benchmarks of biological status for persistent changes in productivity and variability in exploitation history with a focus on data-limited populations of Chum Salmon in southern BC.