Tag Archives: Skeena River

Chinook Salmon Escapement Estimation to the Skeena River Using Genetic Techniques

The Skeena River is host to the second largest aggregate of Chinook salmon in British Columbia. While the aggregate is a PSC escapement indicator stock, there are no biologically based escapement goals for this population. This project provides an annual escapement estimate for the aggregate as well as for the large component stocks. The estimate produced is comparable with the historic estimates produced using an estimate of variance. The Tyee Test fishery, which has been conducted since 1955, provides data such as age information that is matched to the genetic information. The combination of stock specific escapements with age composition forms the basis for escapement goals and benchmarks.
The Kitsumkalum River hosts one of the major Chinook populations in the Skeena watershed, and is a PSC exploitation rate indicator stock. The mark-recapture estimate produced in in a separate project forms the cornerstone for the expansions of the stock compositions observed at the Tyee Test fishery.
The project consists of genetic analyses of samples from Chinook salmon caught at the Tyee Test fishery, and escapement data from the Kitsumkalum mark-recapture program. Chinook salmon scale samples will be collected from the Tyee Test Fishery and the DNA from the samples will be compared against genetic baselines from Skeena Chinook salmon populations. The proportion identified as Kitsumkalum Chinook will be expanded to generate escapement estimates for the Skeena River aggregate using the mark-recapture estimate of escapement for the Kitsumkalum population.

N19-I34 Chinook Escapement Estimation to the Skeena River Using Genetic Techniques 2019

N18-VHP09 Chinook Escapement Estimation to the Skeena River using Genetic techniques Report 2018

N17-VHP13 Chinook Salmon Escapement Estimation to the Skeena River Using Genetic Techniques Report 2017

N16-I33 Chinook Salmon Escapement Estimation to the Skeena River Using Genetic Techniques 2016. Year 8

N15-I27 Chinook Salmon Escapement Estimation to the Skeena River Using Genetic Techniques 2015. Year 7

SSP14-09 Chinook Salmon Escapement Estimation to the Skeena River Using Genetic Techniques 2014. Year 6

SSP13-06 Chinook Salmon Escapement Estimation to the Skeena River Using Genetic Techniques 2013

SSP12-05 Chinook Salmon Escapement Estimation to the Skeena River using Genetic Techniques 2012. Year 4

SSP11-01 Chinook Salmon Escapement Estimation to the Skeena River Using Genetic Techniques 2011. Year 3

SSP10-01 Chinook Salmon Escapement Estimation to the Skeena River Using Genetic techniques 2010. Year 2

SSP-4 Chinook salmon Escapement Estimation to the Skeena River using Genetic techniques (Year 1)

 

 

Skeena River CWT Equipment Procurement

The Skeena Fisheries Commission (SFC) is made up of five First Nations who do fisheries work within their respective traditional territories in both the Skeena and Nass Watersheds. They include the Gitxsan, Gitanyow, Wet’suwet’en, Lake Babine Nation and Lax Kw’alaams. Currently, both the Gitxsan and Gitanyow conduct annual coho coded-wire tag (CWT) projects in the Skeena Watershed to monitor coho abundance, estimate smolt production, fisheries exploitation and to determine Skeena coho ocean survival. These programs are important because the information collected improves fisheries managers’ abilities to manage coho salmon stocks in the Skeena River by better understanding exploitation rates in U.S. and Canadian fisheries. It also allows managers to determine ocean survival rates for upper and middle Skeena coho stocks because both the Gitxsan and Gitanyow programs accurately enumerate all marked and unmarked returning adult coho annually (fence operations), something that is often not available in many other CWT programs in BC.
SFC is requesting funds from the PSC Northern Fund to purchase CWT equipment. SFC will retain ownership of the equipment in the event that it is decided by SFC commissioners/technical experts that the equipment could be put to better use within one of the other areas where our signatory First Nations conduct works. Any decision to move the equipment for use in another part of the watershed would be done in consultation with the GFA.

 

Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling

Provisions of the 1999 Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) specify abundance-based harvest sharing arrangements of Nass and Skeena River sockeye salmon returns for the U.S. and Canada. The United States is allowed to harvest a fixed percentage of the annual allowable harvest of Nass and Skeena sockeye stocks in Alaska’s District 101 gillnet and District 104 purse seine fisheries. Accurate estimates of the stock-specific catch in commercial fisheries of each nation are required to estimate the total return of these stocks and the percentage of each stock caught in treaty-limited fisheries.
Since 1982, scale pattern analysis (SPA), sometimes in conjunction with other biological markers, has been used to survey the weekly catch of Northern Boundary and Transboundary sockeye salmon stocks in Southeast Alaska fisheries. However, problems in accurately estimating stock-specific catches and total returns of sockeye salmon in the early years of the Pacific Salmon Treaty resulted in an extensive investigation, and it was concluded that improved stock identification techniques, such as genetic stock analysis, were needed to accurately evaluate effectiveness and improve, if possible, existing run reconstruction methods. Two blind tests of scale analysis vs. genetic analysis demonstrated that, while both techniques were accurate, the genetic analysis had higher precision and could also often identify many specific stocks, while scale analysis is limited to identifying a few stock-groups. Neither technique can identify enhanced fish where the brood stock came from wild stocks that are also present in the mixed stock fisheries; thus, otoliths are used in annual stock composition estimates and run reconstructions.
ADF&G proposes to continue collecting weekly otolith, tissue, and scale samples of sockeye from the Southeast Alaska commercial harvest in the District 101 gillnet and District 104 purse seine fisheries, among other districts and fisheries for projects that complement this program. Stock identification analysis using age composition, thermal mark presence, and new, more stock-discrete DNA techniques will be conducted at NOAA’s Auke Bay Laboratory. This project also complements the continuing work by DFO in Areas 3, 4 and 5.

N18-I06 Northern & Transboundary Sockeye Salmon Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling Report

N17-I07 Northern & Transboundary Sockeye Salmon Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling Report

N16-I05 Northern & Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 9

N15-I08 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 8

N14-I07 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 7

N13-I07 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 6

N12-I05 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 5

N11-I13 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 4

N10-I10 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 3

N08-I12 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling. Year 2

N07-I25 Northern and Transboundary Sockeye Salmon Matched Scale-Tissue Sampling

 

Mixed Stock Analysis of U.S. Districts 101, 102, and 103 Sockeye Seine Fisheries

Annual stock-specific run reconstructions (catch plus escapements) are required to accurately estimate relative contribution of each stock caught in Northern Boundary Area fisheries. Estimates of national origin of contributing stocks provides the most reliable information currently available to complete these run reconstructions, and are used to evaluate stock-specific productivity and revise pre-season forecasts. While the catch of Nass and Skeena sockeye salmon is only subject to treaty harvest-sharing annexes in the Alaska District 101 gillnet and Alaska District 104 purse seine fisheries, the harvest of these stocks in all fisheries, and their escapements, needs to be estimated in order to calculate the total run and the percentage caught in the annexed fisheries.
This project will complete genetic stock identification (GSI) analysis on sockeye salmon tissue samples collected from the 2016 commercial purse seine fisheries in Districts 101, 102, and 103 in Southeast Alaska. This project is a complement to the ongoing project at the Auke Bay Laboratory for Northern Boundary Area sockeye salmon GSI in Districts 101 and 104, and continuing work by DFO in Areas 3, 4, and 5; and will allow for complete assessment of the catches of Nass and Skeena sockeye salmon in all major Northern Boundary Area fisheries for run reconstructions. Estimates will be provided for up to 3 time strata in District 101, up to 3 time strata in District 102, and over the entire season in District 103, for a total of 1,500 samples analyzed.

N16-I18 Mixed stock analysis of U.S. Districts 101, 102 and 103 sockeye salmon seine fisheries 2016

N15-I28 Mixed Stock Analysis of U.S. Districts 101, 102, and 103 Sockeye Seine Fisheries, 2015

Babine Lake Sockeye Smolt Enumeration – Mark-Recapture

The Lake Babine Nation Fisheries Department (LBNF), in collaboration with the DFO, propose to build on success in the 2013 – 2019 smolt project by continuing to operate the Babine smolt enumeration facilities to provide sockeye smolt emigration estimates and smolt fitness data for the Babine Lake Watershed. Smolt production and fitness are effective indicators of Babine Lake ecosystem health which can be used to initiate and direct resource management initiatives intended to protect the Babine Lake watershed. Continued smolt trap operation would extend the data series analyzed by the DFO from 1959 to 2002, jointly by the LBN and SFC from 2013 to 2015 and independently by LBNF from 2016 to 2019. We believe that continuous data from the Babine smolt enumeration fence would provide important information on Babine sockeye population status that will contribute critical information to the understanding the large inter-annual variations in returns observed in the past two decades. An uninterrupted set of sockeye smolt population data over multiple years will help address one of the most fundamental questions of salmon stocks management — under which conditions are freshwater or marine environments the primary driver determining salmon returns?  We propose to continue the Babine sockeye smolt enumeration program in 2020 to continue monitoring smolt production, which is necessary to determine the effects of annual variation in climactic conditions, habitat conditions and prey availability.

N19-I42 Babine Lake Watershed Sockeye Smolt Enumeration Project – Mark-Recapture 2019 Report

N18-I33 Babine Lake Watershed Sockeye Smolt Enumeration Project – Mark-Recapture Report 2018

N17-I31 Babine Lake Watershed Sockeye Smolt Enumeration Project – Mark-Recapture

N16-I10 Babine Lake Watershed Sockeye Smolt Enumeration Project – Mark-Recapture 2016

N15-I17 2015 Babine Lake Sockeye Smolt Enumeration – Mark-Recapture. Year 3 of 4

N14-I15 Babine Lake Sockeye Smolt Enumeration – Mark-Recapture. Year 2 of 4

N13-I22 Babine Lake Sockeye Smolt Enumeration - Mark-Recapture Year 1 of 4