Tag Archives: sockeye

Babine River Sockeye Migration and Predation Assessment

Lake Babine Nation Fisheries (LBNF) plans to work with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to continue the investigation of the behaviour and ecology of Babine River sockeye fry. The proposed project is composed of four relatively discrete components which include:

  1. early life history behaviour and migration;
  2. extent and rate of predation on juvenile sockeye;
  3. egg-to-fry and fry-to-smolt survival, frequency of occurrence of disease and parasites and condition as a function of length and weight; and
  4. presence and behaviour of sockeye fry rearing in downstream slow water habitats to obtain evidence of a riverine juvenile sockeye ecotype.

Other observed adverse effects that may affect sockeye fry survival and overall sockeye production will be documented. These studies are intended to address the diminished abundance of Late Run Upper and Lower Babine River sockeye in their juvenile freshwater environment.

N16-I27 Babine River Sockeye Migration and Predation Report 2016. Year 2 of 3

N15-I55 Babine River Sockeye Migration and Predation Report. Year 1 of 3

 

 

Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Extended Rearing and Smolt Enumeration

A sockeye enhancement program has been ongoing at Tatsamenie Lake since 1990. A review of the program was funded by the Northern Fund in 2005, and in 2008, the Northern Fund began supporting the Extended Sockeye Fry Rearing Project.
The fry were originally reared in lake pens, but because of a devastating disease outbreak, the project shifted to onshore rearing systems beginning in 2009. The egg to smolt survivals of the fed fry have been variable but have ranged from 10% to 70%, or 5 to 15 times compared to wild fry, depending on fry behaviour after outplanting. Assessment of adult production from this project is ongoing. Smolt to adult survivals of the reared fry will be definitively determined with the return of the corresponding adults in the coming years, but to date, the adult production from reared fry has been lower than expected. This project continues to test a technique that has the potential of increasing production for other small scale sockeye salmon enhancement projects as well as rebuilding the Tatsamenie Lake sockeye stock in low brood year cycles.
Also at Tatsamenie Lake, the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans began a smolt enumeration program in 1996, and this ran continuously from 1998 through to 2011. The Northern Fund began supporting this program in 2012, and the two programs were combined in 2015. The combination allowed the Tatsamenie Lake sockeye smolt mark-recapture project to extend beyond its previous end date of June 30, through to the second week of September. This provides a more accurate smolt population estimate as well as increased precision of the estimated enhanced sockeye survival and production. This also allows for monitoring of potential early out-migration of the reared fry.

N19-E02 Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Rearing and Smolt Projects 2019 Report

N18-E07 Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Rearing and Smolt Report

N17-E01 Tatsamenie Lake Rearing Final Report

N16-E01 Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Rearing and Smolt Projects 2016

N15-E01 2015 Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Extended Rearing and Smolt. Year 11

N14-E01 2014 Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Extended Rearing. Year 10; N14-E06 2014 Tatsamenie Lake Smolt Project. Year 3

N13-E02 2013 Tatsamenie Lake Sockeye Fry Extended Rearing. Year 9

N13-E07 2013 Tatsamenie Lake Smolt Project. Year 2

Analysis of existing CPUE data from Canadian Commercial ITQ fisheries for the possible integration into run-size models for Fraser River sockeye and pink salmon

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

 

Babine Lake Sockeye Salmon Nursery Ecosystem Structure, Functioning and Productive Capacity

Babine Lake sockeye salmon comprise the bulk (90%) of Skeena River sockeye captured in Canadian and U.S. waters, and were historically a major bi-lateral economic driver on the North Coast. Any reductions in returns significantly affect fisheries and subsistence in both countries.

The worrisome trends observed in freshwater survival, and routinely depressed escapements over the past ~20 years, highlight the critical importance of understanding the modern freshwater ecology of Babine Lake sockeye salmon and their nursery habitat. The fundamental ecological changes observed in Babine Lake in 2013 (changes in nutrient availability likely due to climate change, and resultant shifts in the food web) indicate a heightened need for long-term data to assess specific mechanisms of lake change and stock decline, such that informed decisions can be made to guide fisheries resource management, salmon enhancement, and habitat stewardship. As such, the current project consists of lake-wide limnological assessments, surveys of juvenile sockeye abundance, size, feeding ecology, physiological condition and freshwater survival, and an implementation of a spatially-resolved multiple trophic level paleolimnological food web assessment over the last 200 years (or more).

N17-I30 Babine Lake Sockeye nursery ecosystem structure, functioning & productive capacity Report 2017

N16-I38A Babine Lake - Sockeye Nursery Ecosystem Structure, Functioning and Productive Capacity Interim Report 2016

 

Genetic changes associated with in-basin supplementation of a population of Sockeye salmon

This joint project by NOAA and the University of Alaska Fairbanks evaluates the long term fitness of hatchery and wild sockeye salmon within a small watershed in Southeast Alaska. Concern over preserving wild stock fitness in enhancement project watersheds has been expressed in the case of both the Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC) Transboundary River Plans on the Taku and Stikine Rivers, and the PSC Northern Boundary Treaty Area of Southern Southeast Alaska (Hugh Smith and MacDonald Lakes). Measurement of the fitness effects and potential impact of such enhancement projects is needed to avoid long term undesirable effects on wild stocks. Initial genetic sampling and trial fish culture work in 2008, 2009, and 2010 showed potential for utilizing microsatellite and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers to assess the parentage of Auke Lake sockeye and to identify the progeny of wild and enhanced fish, and this allows the evaluation of the survival and introgression, if any, of the enhanced fish into the wild population. Furthermore, we have demonstrated the ability to sample very close to 100% of the adult sockeye entering the system and provided a low impact design for sampling, capturing, maturing and spawning small numbers for use as brood stock in this study. During the summers of 2011, 2012 and 2013, we captured and held adult sockeye in the Auke Creek Research hatchery, and conducted experimental matings in all three years. We have incubated, cultured and released approximately 50,000 juvenile sockeye into Auke Lake in the springs of 2012, 2013, and 2014. Complete sampling of upstream migrating adult sockeye has occurred from 2008 thru 2015 and smolt sub-sampling has occurred in May and June of those years as well.

Beginning in 2016, additional objectives were added to cover the sampling, marking and recovery of coho salmon at Auke Creek. Because of the operational efficiencies and base support this was accomplished with a small budget increment. Auke Creek is the longest and most complete coho salmon time series in Southeast Alaska, and is used as an indicator of marine survival, harvest and productivity for coho in the region.

N17-I11 Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of Sockeye Report 2017

N16-I04 Genetic changes associated with in-basin supplementation of a population of sockeye (NOAA Component) 2016. Year 8

N15-I06 Genetic changes associated with in-basin supplementation of a population of sockeye salmon; Phase 3 (NOAA Component of Joint Proposal with UAF/ADFG McPhee/Gilk-Baumer). Year 7

N14-I05 Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of a Population of Sockeye Salmon; Phase 6 (NOAA Component of Joint Proposal). Year 6

N13-I05 Genetic changes associated with in-basin supplementation of a population of sockeye salmon; Phase 5, NOAA Component of Joint Proposal, Joyce (AFSC)

N12-I04 Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of Sockeye Salmon (NOAA Component). Year 4

N11-I10A Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of a Population of Sockeye Salmon; Phase 3 (UAF Component)

N10-I12 Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of a Population of Sockeye Salmon; Phase 2

N08-I26A Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of a Population of Sockeye Salmon; Feasibility (UA Fairbanks Component)

N08-I26B Genetic Changes Associated with In-basin Supplementation of a Population of Sockeye (NOAA Component)

 

Continuing the evaluation of abundance and stock composition of downstream migrating juvenile Sockeye Salmon in the lower Fraser River

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.

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

 

Genetic Stock Identification of Districts 106, 108 and 111 Sockeye

Sockeye runs from the Stikine and Taku rivers in Southeast Alaska are harvested in Canadian aboriginal, recreational, and commercial gillnet fisheries, and in US subsistence, personal use, and commercial gillnet fisheries. In the US, commercial gillnet fisheries in Districts 106 and 108 harvest wild stocks of sockeye salmon bound for Southeast Alaska island and mainland lakes, and for lakes and tributaries in the Stikine, Nass, and Skeena River drainages, while fisheries in District 111 harvest wild stocks of sockeye primarily bound for systems in the Taku River or to Crescent and Speel lakes in Alaska. Significant numbers of enhanced sockeye salmon bound for release sites in the Stikine and Taku rivers or to Snettisham Hatchery are also caught in these fisheries. Catches of Stikine and Taku river sockeye salmon stocks in Districts 106, 108 and 111 gillnet fisheries and the U.S. Stikine subsistence fishery are subject to a harvest sharing agreement outlined in Annex IV of the Pacific Salmon Treaty, in which the US is allowed 50% of the Total Allowable Catch of Stikine River and a variable proportion of Taku River sockeye salmon depending on the return of enhanced fish. Stock contribution estimates are critical to document compliance with the harvest sharing agreements, reconstruct runs of wild stocks, estimate the return of enhanced fish, forecast upcoming returns, and support sustainable management.
Genetic stock identification (GSI) is the preferred method for estimating stock contributions in fisheries in and near the Stikine and Taku rivers, and has been in use for transboundary management since 2011. GSI has improved estimates compared to past methods (scale pattern analysis), and is less logistically complex, less labor intensive, less expensive, more accurate, and delivers more timely results at a finer resolution.
This project has been conducting GSI analysis on sockeye salmon tissue samples collected from commercial gillnet fisheries in areas in and near the Stikine and Taku rivers in Southeast Alaska since 2012. The analysis will be focused on tissue samples collected in Districts 106, 108, and 111.

N17-I06 Mixed stock analysis of U.S. Districts 106, 108, and 111 sockeye salmon gillnet fisheries Report

N16-I06 Genetic Stock Identification of Districts 106, 108 and 111 Sockeye Report 2016

Transboundary Sockeye Thermal Mark Recovery (ADFG Mark, Tag & Age Lab Support)

The Thermal Mark Laboratory at the ADF&G Mark, Tag and Age (MTA) Laboratory is responsible for examining sockeye salmon otoliths recovered from commercial fisheries in southeast Alaska for thermal marks indicating hatchery origin, and for making the associated data available to biologists for management of sockeye from the transboundary Taku and Stikine Rivers.

N18-I02 Alaska Department of Fish & Game Mark, Tag, and Age Laboratory Support Report

N17-I03 Alaska Department of Fish & Game Mark, Tag, and Age Laboratory Support Report

N16-I16 Alaska Department of Fish & Game Mark, Tag, and Age Laboratory Support Report 2015-2016

N15-I23 Alaska Department of Fish & Game Mark, Tag and Age Laboratory Support. Year 2 of 3

N14-I37 Alaska Department of Fish & Game Mark, Tag and Age Laboratory Support. Year 1

 

 

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