Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Latest Nass Update to Aug.12

Nass Update to Aug.12th
Here is the latest Nass Update.
I'll just include the whole update and folks can scroll to their areas of interest. Nass steelhead info is near the bottom of the page.
Again, the Alaskan catches are of note being so low.( 92,063 versus avg.99-07 of 617,260). Begs the question; is this why our sockeye run showed so strong this year...unexpectedly??? Is this why our steelhead run is somewhat stronger than the last few years also??
Information courtesy of Nisga'a Fisheries.

2008 NASS STOCK ASSESSMENT UPDATE

ATTACHED IS A STOCK ASSESSMENT SUMMARY UPDATE FOR THE NASS RIVER (PDF FORMAT) FROM THE NISGA'A FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT OF NISGA'A LISIMS GOVERNMENT. SAYT-K'IL'IM-GOOT.

ALL DATA PRESENTED IN THIS UPDATE ARE PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITH FURTHER ASSESSMENT INFORMATION THAT BECOMES AVAILABLE AND SHOULD BE INTERPRETATED CAUTIOUSLY FOR IN-SEASON ASSESSMENT PURPOSES ONLY.

ARCHIVED UPDATES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM NISGA'A FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT ARE AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING LINK:

FTP://ftp.lgl.com/pub//NASS_STOCK_ASSESSMENT_UPDATES

(NOTE: IT IS RECOMMENDED TO COPY FILES TO YOUR MACHINE BEFORE OPENING)

NASS FISHWHEEL OPERATIONAL NOTES:

FISHWHEEL ASSESSMENT DATA UP TO MONDAY 11 AUGUST 2008.

GW FISHWHEELS (TEST FISHERY - 15TH YEAR): FISHWHEELS 1 AND 2 WERE STARTED ON 5 JUNE FOR TAGGING AND HISTORICAL CATCH INDEX ASSESSMENTS FOR SALMON AND STEELHEAD. FISHWHEELS 1 AND 2 ARE OPERATING WELL AT AN AVERAGE WATER LEVEL FOR DATE. AVERAGE WATER LEVEL FROM 1992 TO 2007 WAS 1.9 M FOR DATE. ALL FISH THAT HAVE BEEN CAUGHT IN THE GITWINKSIHLKW FISHWHEELS WERE RELEASED.

GREASE HARBOUR FISHWHEELS: THREE FISHWHEELS WILL OPERATE AT GREASE HARBOUR IN 2008 FOR IN-SEASON MARK RECAPTURE TAG RECOVERIES. THE FISHWHEEL STARTUP DATES WERE: 11 JUNE (FW5), 12 JUNE (FW6) AND 13 JUNE (FW3). ALL THREE FISHWHEELS ARE OPERATIONAL. ALL FISH CAUGHT IN THE GREASE HARBOUR FISHWHEELS WERE RELEASED.

SINCE ONLY THREE FISHWHEELS ARE FISHING AT GREASE HARBOUR COMPARED TO FOUR SINCE 2000, TOTAL FISHWHEEL CATCHES IN 2008 AS REPORTED BELOW WILL NOT BE DIRECTLY COMPARABLE WITH FISHWHEEL CATCH AVERAGES FROM 2000 TO 2007. CATCH AVERAGE COMPARISONS AT THE GW FISHWHEELS WILL BE COMPARABLE AND ARE PROVIDED ONCE A WEEK AS WEEK ENDING COMPARISONS.

NASS SOCKEYE SALMON:

THE NASS SOCKEYE RUN SIZE ESTIMATE TO GITWINKSIHLKW TO DATE (185,298) IS CURRENTLY TRACKING BELOW AVERAGE (243,000) BASED ON A MEAN RUN SIZE TO GITWINKSIHLKW OF 281,000 FROM 1994 TO 2007. THE RUN SIZE HAS CONTINUED TO RISE MODESTLY IN THE PAST WEEK.

THE RUN SIZE ESTIMATE IS A COMBINATION OF MARK-RECAPTURE AND HISTORICAL CATCH INDICES METHODS. NOTE THAT MARK RECAPTURE ESTIMATES WILL CHANGE OVER A 5-DAY PERIOD DUE TO MARK RATES STABILIZING AT GREASE HARBOUR AS FISH TAGGED AT GITWINKSIHLKW PASS THE UPSTREAM GREASE HARBOUR FISHWHEEL SITES OVER A 5-DAY PERIOD. AFTER THE MARK RATE STABILIZES, THE DAILY ESTIMATE IS BETTER AT PREDICTING ACTUAL CATCH EFFICIENCIES AT THE GW FISHWHEELS THAN THE HISTORICAL INDICES. AS SUCH WE WILL USE HISTORICAL CATCH EFFICIENCIES DURING THE 5 D FLUCTUATING PERIOD WHILE MARK RECAPTURE ESTIMATES ARE STABILIZING FOR LESS FLUCTUATING ESTIMATES THAT ARE REPORTED. CURRENTLY, MARK RECAPTURE ESTIMATES ARE FINAL TO 6 AUGUST AND LATER DATES WILL FLUCTUATE FROM 7 AUGUST TO 16 AUGUST AS ADDITIONAL CATCH AND TAG RECOVERY DATA BECOME AVAILABLE FROM THE GH FISHWHEELS. A SPREADSHEET OF THE CALCULATIONS AND RANGE OF ESTIMATES IS PROVIDED IN THE ATTACHMENT.

THE RUN SIZE TARGET FOR NASS SOCKEYE TO GITWINKSIHLKW IS 225,000 TO 250,000 DEPENDING ON HARVESTS PROJECTED ABOVE GITWINKSIHLKW. NISGA'A FISHERIES IS ESTIMATING THAT APPROXIMATELY 91% (93-07 MEDIAN) OF THE SOCKEYE RUN HAS PASSED GITWINKSIHLKW TO DATE. USING FINAL MARK-RECAPTURE ESTIMATES TO 6 AUGUST, CURRENT FORECAST METHODS ARE PREDICTING A REASONABLE PROBABILITY OF REACHING THE RUN SIZE TARGET TO GW (225,000) WITH ESTIMATES RANGING FROM 216,000 (MEAN RUN TIMING METHOD - RANGE 203,000-230,000) TO 227,000 (IN-SEASON TO FINAL METHOD).

PRELIMINARY MARK RECAPTURE DATA AT MEZIADIN FISHWAY SUGGEST THAT IN-SEASON RUN SIZE ESTIMATES AT GITWINKSIHLKW MAY BE 5-10% HIGHER ASSUMING A 18-D LAG AND 20% MARK LOSS RATE. AS A RESULT, THE FISHWHEEL FORECAST ESTIMATES FOR NASS SOCKEYE WOULD BE 5-10% HIGHER SUGGESTING A HIGHER PROBABILITY IN REACHING THE AGGREGATE AND MEZIADIN ESCAPEMENT TARGETS.

THE NET ESCAPEMENT ESTIMATE FOR NASS SOCKEYE TO DATE IS 171,685. THE NET ESCAPEMENT TARGET IS 200,000 (160,000 TO MEZIADIN RIVER AND 40,000 TO NON-MEZIADIN SYSTEMS).

MEZIADIN FISHWAY OPENED ON 1 JULY FOR ESCAPEMENT COUNTS TO RIVER. TOTAL COUNTS OF SOCKEYE AT MEZIADIN TO 11 AUGUST ARE: 113,826 ADULTS (3965 TAGS) AND 1010 JACKS. THE 2008 CUMULATIVE ADULT COUNT (113,826) TO DATE IS ABOVE AVERAGE (95,800) BASED ON MEAN COUNTS AT THE MEZIADIN FISHWAY FROM 1994 TO 2007. THE AVERAGE COUNT OF ADULT SOCKEYE FROM 1994 TO 2007 WAS 170,000. CURRENT FORECAST METHODS ARE PREDICTING A REASONABLE PROBABILITY OF REACHING THE ESCAPEMENT TARGET (160,000) WITH RANGES FROM 133,000 (UNADJUSTED FISHWHEEL MEAN RUN TIMING AND STOCK PROPORTION METHOD; RANGE 107,000-163,000) TO 195,000 (MEAN MEZIADIN RUN TIMING). NISGA'A FISHERIES IS ESTIMATING THAT ~58% OF THE MEZIADIN SOCKEYE RUN HAS REACHED THE FISHWAY TO DATE BASED ON MEAN COUNTS FROM 1990 TO 2007.

NISGA'A FISHERIES IS USING A PRELIMINARY TOTAL RETURN TO CANADA (TRTC) ESTIMATE FOR NASS SOCKEYE OF BETWEEN 330,000 (IN-SEASON) AND 350,000 (PRE-SEASON) FOR TRACKING THE NISGA'A ENTITLEMENT OF NASS SOCKEYE THAT IS RANGING BETWEEN 47,000 AND 52,000. TRTC RETURNS ARE ALSO INFLUENCED BY ALASKAN CATCHES WHICH ARE CURRENTLY BELOW AVERAGE TO DATE BUT SEINE FISHERIES ARE CONTINUING TO OCCUR IN DISTRICTS 101 TO 104. THE 2008 TRTC RETURN WAS PROJECTED TO BE BELOW AVERAGE (666,000) BASED ON TRTC RETURNS FROM 1994 TO 2007.

THE TOTAL NISGA'A CATCH ESTIMATE OF NASS SOCKEYE TO DATE IS 42,211. THE TOTAL INCLUDES FSC CATCH (24,483) TO WEEK ENDING 2 AUGUST AND INDIVIDUAL MARINE SALE FISHERY CATCH ESTIMATES TO DATE (17,728). THE TOTAL CUMULATIVE AVERAGE NISGA'A FSC HARVEST FOR THE SAME WEEK ENDING PERIOD OF NASS SOCKEYE FROM 2000 TO 2007 WAS 23,000. THE ANNUAL TOTAL AVERAGE NISGA'A FSC HARVEST FROM 2000 TO 2007 OF NASS SOCKEYE WAS 26,000. THE NEXT NISGA'A CATCH ESTIMATE FOR WEEK ENDING 9 AUGUST WILL BE UPDATED ON WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST.

NISGA'A FOOD FISH (FSC) HARVESTING IS OPEN FOR ALL SPECIES AND IS ANTICIPATED TO REACH BETWEEN 26,000 AND 30,000 SOCKEYE IN 2008. GIVEN THAT TOTAL FSC AMOUNT IS PROJECTED TO NOT EXCEED THE TOTAL NISGA'A ENTITLEMENT ESTIMATE FOR 2008, THE REMAINING ENTITLEMENT (~20,000) WAS AVAILABLE FOR SALE FISHERIES. THE DIRECTOR OF NISGA'A FISHERIES AND WILDLIFE OPENED THE NISGA'A MARINE INDIVIDUAL SALE FISHERY FOR HARVESTING NASS SOCKEYE AS SALE FISHERIES FOR FOUR 48-HR OPENINGS FROM 16 JULY TO 1 AUGUST. AS A RESULT OF THE CURRENT ASSESSMENTS OF RUN SIZE AND NISGA'A ENTITLEMENT OF NASS SOCKEYE, THE MARINE SALE FISHERY IS CLOSED FOR THE REMAINDER OF 2008. IN-RIVER SALE FISHERIES DID NOT OPEN FOR 2008 INCLUDING HARVESTING FROM THE FISHWHEELS. ALL FISH WERE RELEASED FROM THE FISHWHEELS.

FOUR NISGA'A INDIVIDUAL SALE FISHERIES OCCURRED IN 2008 (16-17 JULY [17 BOATS]; 17-18 JULY [17 BOATS]; 23-25 JULY [17 BOATS]; 30 JULY - 1 AUGUST [~21 BOATS]) IN AREA 3-12. TOTAL CATCHES IN THE NISGA'A MARINE SALE FISHERIES WERE: 17,728 SOCKEYE; 3,438 PINK; 793 COHO AND 276 CHUM.

THE NISGA'A NATION PASSED A RESOLUTION AT THE SPECIAL ASSEMBLY IN MAY 2008 RECOMMENDING THE CLOSURE OF THE GENERAL COMMERCIAL FISHERY IN AREA 3-12 DUE TO PRE-SEASON CONSERVATION CONCERNS OF NASS SOCKEYE AND CHINOOK. DFO KEPT AREA 3-12 CLOSED TO 20 JULY DUE TO THE POOR RETURN OF CHINOOK AND ENSURING GOOD ESCAPEMENT OF NASS SOCKEYE INTO THE RIVER. DFO OPENED AREA 3-12 TO THE GENERAL COMMERCIAL FISHERY STARTING ON 21 JULY WITH THE MAJORITY OF NASS CHINOOK THROUGH THE MARINE WATERS AND THE NASS SOCKEYE RUN CURRENTLY ON TRACK TO REACH THE ESCAPEMENT GOAL. AREA 3-12 HAS BEEN CLOSED SINCE 27 JULY AND THE REST OF AREA 3 SINCE 29 JULY. DFO HAVE ANNOUNCED A GENERAL CLOSURE OF AREAS 3 TO 6 PENDING FURTHER ASSESSMENTS.

AREA 3 FISHERIES CONDUCTED IN 2008 TO DATE HAVE BEEN 7 GILLNET [24 JUNE (170 BOATS), 1 JULY (209 BOATS), 7 JULY (174 BOATS), 14 JULY (179 BOATS), 15 JULY (5 BOATS), 21 JULY (16) AND 27 JULY (33)] AND 4 SEINE (14 JULY (13 BOATS), 15 JULY (5 BOATS), 21 JULY (13 BOATS) AND 29 JULY (? BOATS)) FISHERIES. TOTAL COMMERCIAL HARVEST ESTIMATES IN AREA 3 TO 8 AUGUST ARE: 36,892 SOCKEYE; 13,642 PINK; 14,135 CHUM AND 405 CHINOOK (SOURCE OF DATA IS FROM DFO PRINCE RUPERT FISHERIES MANAGEMENT).

ALASKA GILLNET FISHERIES IN DISTRICTS 101 (TREE POINT) AND 106 (SUMNER AND UPPER CLARENCE) BEGAN ON 15 JUNE AND 8 JUNE, RESPECTIVELY. ALASKAN SEINE FISHERIES OPENING DATES WERE: DISTRICTS 101 (LOWER CLARENCE/REVILLA; OPENED ON 6 JULY), 102 (MIDDLE CLARENCE; OPENED ON 22 JUNE), 103 (CORDOVA; OPENED 24 JULY) AND 104 (NOYES/DALL; OPENED ON 6 JULY).

TOTAL IN-SEASON CATCH ESTIMATE OF SOCKEYE IN SOUTHEAST ALASKAN FISHERIES IS 92,063 BASED ON DATA TO 12 AUGUST ON THE ADFG WEBSITE AND IS INCOMPLETE CATCH REPORTING FOR WEEK 33 (ENDS 16 AUGUST). REPORTED CATCHES ARE WELL BELOW AVERAGE TO DATE. THE AVERAGE CATCH OF SOCKEYE IN SOUTHEAST ALASKAN FISHERIES IS 714,000 SOCKEYE FROM 1999 TO 2007.

OF THE TOTAL ALASKAN CATCH OF SOCKEYE, NISGA'A FISHERIES IS ESTIMATING APPROXIMATELY 32,000 ARE NASS SOCKEYE BASED ON AVERAGE STOCK % DATA (1982-98) AND IS BELOW AVERAGE TO DATE. AVERAGE CATCH OF NASS SOCKEYE IS 165,000 FROM 1999 TO 2007.



NASS CHINOOK SALMON:

THE NASS CHINOOK RUN SIZE ESTIMATE TO GITWINKSIHLKW (13,859) IS TRACKING BELOW AVERAGE TO DATE (22,000) BASED ON A MEAN RUN SIZE TO GITWINKSIHLKW OF 22,000 FROM 1994 TO 2007. THE RUN SIZE TARGET FOR NASS CHINOOK TO GITWINKSIHLKW IS 17,000 DEPENDING ON HARVESTS PROJECTED ABOVE GITWINKSIHLKW. THE IN-SEASON TRACKING OF THE NASS CHINOOK RUN TO GITWINKSIHLKW IS PREDICTING 14,000 [MEAN RUN TIMING METHOD AND IN-SEASON TO FINAL METHOD] AS THE FINAL IN-SEASON RUN SIZE TOTAL TO GITWINKSIHLKW. THE 2008 RETURN TO DATE IS THE THIRD WORST ON RECORD SINCE THE START OF THE NISGA'A FISHERIES PROGRAM IN 1992. NISGA'A FISHERIES IS ESTIMATING THAT 98% (93-07 MEDIAN) OF THE RUN HAS PASSED GITWINKSIHLKW TO DATE. THE NET ESCAPEMENT ESTIMATE FOR NASS CHINOOK IS 12,667. THE NET ESCAPEMENT TARGET FOR NASS CHINOOK ABOVE GREASE HARBOUR IS 15,000. A PRELIMINARY REVIEW OF MARK-RECAPTURE DATA AT MEZIADIN FISHWAY IS INDICATING THAT IN-SEASON ESTIMATES MAY BE HIGHER SUGGESTING A REASONABLE POSSIBILITY THAT THE ESCAPEMENT TARGET WILL BE REACHED IN POST-SEASON FINAL ESTIMATES.

TOTAL COUNTS OF CHINOOK AT MEZIADIN FISHWAY TO 11 AUGUST ARE: 396 ADULTS (9 TAGS) AND 48 JACKS. THE 2008 CUMULATIVE ADULT COUNT (396) TO DATE IS ABOVE AVERAGE (265) BASED ON MEAN COUNTS AT THE MEZIADIN FISHWAY FROM 1994 TO 2007. THE AVERAGE COUNT OF ADULT CHINOOK AT MEZIADIN FISHWAY FROM 1994 TO 2007 WAS 480. THE FISHWHEEL MEAN-RUN TIMING FORECAST IS PREDICTING 590 CHINOOK (RANGE: 580-600) TO REACH THE FISHWAY BASED ON CURRENT ESCAPEMENT PASSED GW AND ESTIMATED STOCK COMPOSITION (4.7%). OTHER FORECASTS RANGE BETWEEN 610 (IN-SEASON TO FINAL MEZIADIN COUNT METHOD) AND 690 (MEZIADIN MEAN RUN TIMING METHOD). NISGA'A FISHERIES IS ESTIMATING THAT ~57% OF THE MEZIADIN CHINOOK RUN HAS PASSED THE FISHWAY TO DATE BASED ON MEAN COUNTS FROM 1990 TO 2007. MARK-RECAPTURE SURVEYS FOR FINAL ESCAPEMENT ESTIMATES ARE ALSO PLANNED AT KWINAGEESE AND DAMDOCHAX RIVERS IN SEPTEMBER 2008.

THE KINCOLITH VIDEO-COUNTING FENCE BEGAN OPERATION ON 11 JUNE FOR COLLECTING ESCAPEMENT DATA FOR THE KINCOLITH RIVER AND PROVIDING AN INDEX OF ESCAPEMENT TO COASTAL STREAMS IN AREA 3. NET UPSTREAM COUNTS AT THE WEIR TO 8 AUGUST ARE: 830 CHINOOK (172 AFC AND 39 BROODSTOCK), 307 PINK, 15 COHO AND 7 CHUM. OTHER WEIR COUNTS TO DATE ARE: 15 STEELHEAD (8 DOWN AND 7 UP) AND 1 CUTTHROAT (1 UP). THE CURRENT COUNT OF CHINOOK PASSING THE WEIR IS NOW BELOW THE AVERAGE COUNT (860) FOR THE DATE FROM PAST OPERATIONS (2001, 2002, 2005-2007). NISGA'A FISHERIES PROJECTED THAT THE ESCAPEMENT GOAL (700) WOULD BE REACHED IN 2008 BASED ON THE RUN SIZE FORECAST METHOD WHICH IS CURRENTLY ESTIMATING ~1,100 (RANGE 900-1200) FROM MEAN RUN TIMING FROM PAST OPERATIONS (2001, 2002, 2005-2007). NISGA'A FISHERIES IS ESTIMATING THAT ~76% OF THE KINCOLITH CHINOOK RUN HAS PASSED THE WEIR TO DATE BASED ON THE RECONSTRUCTED MEAN RUN TIMING.

NISGA'A FISHERIES IS USING A PRELIMINARY TRTC ESTIMATE FOR NASS CHINOOK OF BETWEEN 20,000 (IN-SEASON) AND 21,000 (PRE-SEASON) FOR TRACKING THE NISGA'A ENTITLEMENT OF NASS CHINOOK. THE 2008 TRTC ESTIMATES ARE FORECASTING FOR A BELOW AVERAGE RETURN (36,000) BASED ON TRTC RETURNS FROM 1994 TO 2007. UNCERTAINTY OF MARINE COMMERCIAL AND RECREATIONAL CATCHES OF NASS CHINOOK MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO ACCURATELY ESTIMATE IN-SEASON TRTC ESTIMATES FOR NASS CHINOOK. HOWEVER, BASED ON THE IN-SEASON TRTC ESTIMATES FOR 2008, THE NISGA'A ENTITLEMENT OF NASS CHINOOK IS ~4,000. A CUMULATIVE UNDERAGE OF 3300 FROM PAST YEAR'S MANAGEMENT UNCERTAINTY MAY BE NEEDED TO FULFILL NISGA'A FSC NEEDS IN 2008 WHICH ON AVERAGE TOTAL 6200 NASS CHINOOK. AS A RESULT OF FSC REQUIREMENTS, THE ENTITLEMENT TARGET IS EXPECTED TO RANGE BETWEEN 4000 AND 7300 DEPENDING ON IN-SEASON RUN SIZE ESTIMATES DURING THE SEASON.

THE NISGA'A CATCH ESTIMATE OF NASS CHINOOK TO WEEK ENDING 2 AUGUST IS 4187 AND BELOW AVERAGE (00-07). THE TOTAL CUMULATIVE AVERAGE NISGA'A FSC HARVEST OF NASS CHINOOK FROM 2000 TO 2007 FOR THE SAME WEEK ENDING PERIOD WAS 6050. THE ANNUAL TOTAL AVERAGE NISGA'A FSC HARVEST OF NASS CHINOOK FROM 2000 TO 2007 WAS 6200. THE NEXT NISGA'A CATCH ESTIMATE FOR WEEK ENDING 9 AUGUST WILL BE UPDATED ON WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST. NO CHINOOK WERE PERMITTED FOR SALE IN ANY OF THE INDIVIDUAL SALE FISHERIES THAT WERE CONDUCTED IN 2008.

NASS COHO SALMON:

THE NASS COHO RUN SIZE ESTIMATE TO GITWINKSIHLKW (31,278) IS TRACKING ABOVE AVERAGE (22,000) TO DATE BASED ON A MEAN RUN SIZE TO GITWINKSIHLKW OF 76,000 FROM 1994 TO 2007. THE RUN SIZE TARGET FOR NASS COHO TO GITWINKSIHLKW IS ~50,000 DEPENDING ON HARVESTS PROJECTED ABOVE GITWINKSIHLKW AND DURING TYPICAL GITWINKSIHLKW FISHWHEEL OPERATION (JUNE TO EARLY-MID SEPTEMBER). NISGA'A FISHERIES IS ESTIMATING THAT ~28% (93-07 MEDIAN) OF THE RUN HAS PASSED GITWINKSIHLKW TO DATE BASED ON TYPICAL OPERATION OF FISHWHEELS FROM JUNE TO EARLY-MID SEPTEMBER.

THE RUN SIZE ESTIMATE IS A COMBINATION OF MARK-RECAPTURE AND HISTORICAL CATCH INDICES METHODS. NOTE THAT MARK RECAPTURE ESTIMATES WILL CHANGE OVER A 7-DAY PERIOD DUE TO MARK RATES STABILIZING AT GREASE HARBOUR AS COHO TAGGED AT GITWINKSIHLKW PASS THE UPSTREAM GREASE HARBOUR FISHWHEEL SITES OVER THE 7-DAY PERIOD. A SPREADSHEET OF THE CALCULATIONS AND RANGE IN ESTIMATES IS PROVIDED IN THE ATTACHMENT.

THE NET ESCAPEMENT ESTIMATE FOR NASS COHO IS 31,257. THE NET ESCAPEMENT TARGET FOR NASS COHO ABOVE GREASE HARBOUR IS ~41,000 DURING TYPICAL OPERATIONS OF THE GITWINKSIHLKW FISHWHEELS FROM JUNE TO FIRST OR SECOND WEEK OF SEPTEMBER. CURRENT FORECAST ESTIMATES ARE PREDICTING A GOOD PROBABILITY OF REACHING THE ESCAPEMENT TARGET WITH RANGES FROM 103,000 (IN-SEASON TO FINAL ESTIMATE METHOD) TO 108,000 (FISHWHEEL MEAN RUN TIMING; RANGE 63,000-153,000) BUT IT IS EARLY INTO THE RUN.

TOTAL COUNTS OF COHO AT MEZIADIN FISHWAY TO 11 AUGUST ARE: 27 ADULTS (0 TAGS) AND 0 JACKS. THE 2008 CUMULATIVE ADULT COUNT (27) TO DATE IS ABOVE THE AVERAGE (9) BASED ON MEAN COUNTS AT THE MEZIADIN FISHWAY FROM 1994 TO 2007. THE AVERAGE COUNT OF ADULT COHO AT MEZIADIN FISHWAY FROM 1994 TO 2007 WAS 3600.

NISGA'A FISHERIES IS USING A PRELIMINARY TRTC ESTIMATE FOR NASS COHO OF BETWEEN 104,000 (PRE-SEASON) AND 188,000 (IN-SEASON - EARLY INTO RUN) FOR TRACKING THE NISGA'A ENTITLEMENT OF NASS COHO THAT IS CURRENTLY RANGING BETWEEN 8,000 AND 15,000. THE 2008 IN-SEASON TRTC ESTIMATE (188,000) IS CURRENTLY PROJECTING FOR AN ABOVE AVERAGE RETURN (162,000) BASED ON TRTC RETURNS FROM 1994 TO 2007.

THE TOTAL NISGA'A CATCH ESTIMATE OF NASS COHO TO DATE IS 986. THIS TOTAL INCLUDES FSC CATCH (193) TO WEEK ENDING 2 AUGUST AND INDIVIDUAL MARINE SALE FISHERY CATCH ESTIMATE TO DATE (793). THE NEXT NISGA'A FSC CATCH ESTIMATE FOR WEEK ENDING 9 AUGUST WILL BE UPDATED ON WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST.

NASS PINK SALMON:

THE FISHWHEEL CATCH OF PINK SALMON (934) TO DATE IS WELL BELOW THE MEAN CATCH (9800) FOR EVEN-YEAR RETURNS FROM 2000 TO 2007. MOST OF THE CATCH OF PINK SALMON IS AT THE GITWINKSIHLKW FISHWHEELS WITH THE MAJORITY OF STOCKS LOCATED BELOW GREASE HARBOUR.

NISGA'A FISHERIES IS CURRENTLY USING THE PRE-SEASON TRTC ESTIMATE FOR NASS PINKS OF 569,000 FOR TRACKING THE NISGA'A ENTITLEMENT (54,000) OF NASS PINK. THE 2008 TRTC ESTIMATE IS FORECASTING ABOVE AVERAGE (524,000) BASED ON TRTC RETURNS OF EVEN YEAR PINKS FROM 1994 TO 2007. HOWEVER, THE LAST NASS PINK SALMON EVEN RETURN YEAR (2006) WAS EXTREMELY LOW (230,000) AND COMMERCIAL CATCHES OF PINK WERE POOR. THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO IN-SEASON METHODS AVAILABLE TO PREDICT CURRENT TRTC STATUS.

THE TOTAL NISGA'A CATCH ESTIMATE OF NASS PINK TO DATE IS 3676. THIS TOTAL INCLUDES FSC CATCH (238) TO WEEK ENDING 2 AUGUST AND INDIVIDUAL MARINE SALE FISHERY CATCH ESTIMATE TO DATE (3438). THE NEXT NISGA'A CATCH ESTIMATE FOR WEEK ENDING 9 AUGUST WILL BE UPDATED ON WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST.

NASS CHUM SALMON:

THE FISHWHEEL CATCH OF CHUM (22) TO DATE IS BELOW THE MEAN CATCH (50) LEVEL FROM 2000-2007.

NISGA'A FISHERIES IS CURRENTLY USING THE PRE-SEASON TRTC ESTIMATE FOR NASS CHUM OF 90,000 FOR TRACKING THE NISGA'A ENTITLEMENT (7,000) OF NASS CHUM. THE 2008 TRTC ESTIMATE IS FORECASTING AN AVERAGE (91,000) RETURN BASED ON TRTC RETURNS FROM 1994 TO 2007. THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO IN-SEASON METHODS AVAILABLE TO PREDICT CURRENT TRTC STATUS.

THE TOTAL NISGA'A CATCH ESTIMATE OF NASS CHUM TO DATE IS 349. THE TOTAL INCLUDES FSC CATCH (73) TO WEEK ENDING 2 AUGUST AND INDIVIDUAL MARINE SALE FISHERY CATCH ESTIMATE TO DATE (276). THE NEXT NISGA'A CATCH ESTIMATE FOR WEEK ENDING 9 AUGUST WILL BE UPDATED ON WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST.

NASS SUMMER-RUN STEELHEAD:

THE FISHWHEEL CATCH OF STEELHEAD (187) TO DATE IS NOW BELOW AVERAGE (195) FROM 2000-2007 OPERATIONS. HOWEVER, ONLY FIVE FISHWHEELS ARE FISHING IN 2008 VERSUS SIX AND MOST OF THE STEELHEAD CATCH OCCURS AT GREASE HARBOUR WHERE FOUR FISHWHEELS HAVE TYPICALLY OPERATED.

THE NASS SUMMER-RUN STEELHEAD RUN SIZE ESTIMATE TO GITWINKSIHLKW (1529) IS TRACKING ABOVE AVERAGE (1775) TO DATE BASED ON A MEAN RUN SIZE TO GITWINKSIHLKW OF 7,800 DURING FISHWHEEL OPERATIONS FROM 1994 TO 2007 (BASED ON PRELIMINARY HISTORICAL RUN SIZE DATA). DURING TYPICAL GITWINKSIHLKW FISHWHEEL OPERATION (JUNE TO EARLY TO MID SEPTEMBER), THE PRELIMINARY RUN SIZE TARGET FOR NASS SUMMER-RUN STEELHEAD TO GITWINKSIHLKW IS 4,200 DEPENDING ON ANY LOSSES PROJECTED ABOVE GITWINKSIHLKW.

THE RUN SIZE ESTIMATE IS A COMBINATION OF MARK-RECAPTURE AND HISTORICAL CATCH INDICES METHODS. THE MARK-RECAPTURE ESTIMATE IS USING MARK RATES DERIVED FROM THE COHO ASSESSMENT PROGRAM THAT ASSUMES SIMILAR CATCHABILITY BETWEEN COHO AND STEELHEAD BASED ON SIMILAR RUN TIMING PATTERNS. MARK-RATE SAMPLE SIZES ARE MUCH LARGER AND MORE RELIABLE FOR COHO THAN USING STEELHEAD MARK RATE DATA. STEELHEAD RUN SIZE ESTIMATES WILL CHANGE OVER A 7-DAY PERIOD DUE TO COHO MARK RATES STABILIZING AT GREASE HARBOUR AS TAGGED FISH AT GITWINKSIHLKW PASS THE UPSTREAM GREASE HARBOUR FISHWHEEL SITES OVER A 7-DAY PERIOD. A SPREADSHEET OF THE CALCULATIONS AND RANGE OF ESTIMATES IS PROVIDED IN THE ATTACHMENT.

THE NET RUN SIZE ESTIMATE ABOVE GREASE HARBOUR FOR NASS SUMMER-RUN STEELHEAD IS 1514. THE NET RUN SIZE TARGET FOR NASS SUMMER-RUN STEELHEAD ABOVE GREASE HARBOUR IS ~4,000 DURING TYPICAL OPERATIONS OF THE GITWINKSIHLKW FISHWHEELS FROM JUNE TO FIRST OR SECOND WEEK OF SEPTEMBER. THE CURRENT FORECAST ESTIMATE (5,800) IS PREDICTING A REASONABLE PROBABILITY OF REACHING THE ESCAPEMENT TARGET (~4000) BASED ON THE IN-SEASON TO FINAL ESTIMATE REGRESSION METHOD.

TOTAL COUNTS OF STEELHEAD AT MEZIADIN FISHWAY TO DATE ARE: 0 ADULTS (0 TAGS). THE 2008 CUMULATIVE ADULT COUNT (0) TO DATE IS THE SAME AS THE AVERAGE (0) BASED ON MEAN COUNTS AT THE MEZIADIN FISHWAY FROM 1994 TO 2007. THE AVERAGE COUNT OF STEELHEAD DURING OPERATION OF MEZIADIN FISHWAY FROM 1994 TO 2007 WAS 50. STEELHEAD BEGIN PASSING THE FISHWAY IN LATE AUGUST.

THE NISGA'A CATCH ESTIMATE OF NASS STEELHEAD TO WEEK ENDING 2 AUGUST IS 58. STEELHEAD WERE ALSO RELEASED ALIVE DURING THE MARINE INDIVIDUAL SALE FISHERIES CONDUCTED BETWEEN 16 JULY AND 1 AUGUST. NISGA'A FISHERIES WILL REPORT THE NUMBER OF STEELHEAD THAT WERE RELEASED IN THE NEXT CATCH ESTIMATE UPDATE. THE NEXT NISGA'A CATCH ESTIMATE FOR WEEK ENDING 9 AUGUST WILL BE UPDATED ON WEDNESDAY, 13 AUGUST. THE AVERAGE HARVEST OF NASS SUMMER-RUN STEELHEAD IN NISGA'A FISHERIES IS 400 FROM 1994 TO 2007.

NEXT NASS STOCK ASSESSMENT UPDATE IS PLANNED FOR: FRIDAY 15 AUGUST.

2 comments:

Steve Otto said...

Interesting to see that the entire Nass steelhead run is only about 4,000 to 7,000 fish. The Nass headwaters -- the Bell Irving, Damdochax, Meziadin, Cranberry -- just don't support the numbers of fish that the upper Skeena can produce (by which I mean the Bulkley, Babine, Kispiox, Sustut).

North Coast Steelhead Alliance said...

I wonder what they were historically??? Like at the turn of the century around 1900.....prior to the main impact of commercial exploitation. Probably a few more than 4-7k I'd guess.