Friday, June 19, 2009

North Coast Update #1

**Update: now posted with permission of Mr Einarson, Area Chief, North Coast

Here is an update direct from the Area Chief of Resource Management, North Coast. This update is sent out to a DFO client list. We did ask permission prior to posting, but did not receive a reply so being a public document we think it is ok to post it here. It is fairly basic but gives some info. Weve highlighted items of interest.

North Coast Salmon Update – Tuesday, June 16, 2008

Please note that in-season updates always deal in preliminary numbers. Usually these change somewhat upon receipt and analysis of all the data.

Area 3 – First Canadian commercial sockeye fishery took place June 16 for 16 hours, with 3-12 closed. Preliminary count 105 gill nets participating. First Alaskan fishery at Tree Point is scheduled for Sunday June 21.

Expected Nass sockeye return to Canada is 515,000. Approximately 230,000 of these should be available for commercial harvest.

Information from the Nisga’a fisheries program:

-The Gitwinksilhkw fishwheels (FW1 and 2) were started on 1 June but were shutdown on 3 June due to high water. A total of 5 sockeye were caught and no other fish. Water levels have been too high up to today's date (peaking at about 7 m on 9 June and is 4.8 m today at GW - startup can start at about 4.1 m). We are anticipating that we may be able to start sometime tomorrow (Monday 15 June) at a fairly high water level but it is dropping; and
-Grease Harbour fishwheels (FW3 and FW6) are ready to fish as soon as the high water drops (in the Canyon probably a few days away). FW5 and FW4 would be able to start a few days later as we are still getting them ready for operation.

Area 4 – Tyee test fishery began operations May 25. However, all cumulative indices will be zeroed starting June 10, to enable comparisons between this year and previous years (June 10 being the usual starting date). The internet web-site is being worked on to accommodate this and prevent confusion when comparing cumulative indices. It is too early in the year for the index to have much meaning right now.
Debris from the high water event has been hampering test fishing high water sets. Since the high water set usually catches less fish than the low water sets, this skews the daily average. This occurred for only a few days after June 10, so the cumulative effect will quickly become negligible.

Skeena Management Actions

First Area 4 commercial gill net fishery for Chinook was conducted for 30 hours starting 0900h Friday June 12 to 1500h Saturday June 13. Fleet size similar to last year (91 gill nets in 2008; 88 this year). Catch was: 1102 Chinook, 49 sockeye, 28 steelhead releases (kelts). Debris coming down the river hampered fishing during this opening, particularly overnight, when most of the nets were removed from the water.

Second Chinook fishery has been announced for 18 hours on Friday, June 19.

Skeena River demonstration fishery

This fishery is linked to the commercial sockeye fishery in Management Area 4, and so will not begin until the tidal water commercial sockeye fishery has started.

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