Tuesday, August 31, 2010

MOE Tyee Steelhead Update To Aug.30th

Here is the latest Tyee Steelhead Update. Information provided courtsey of Ministry of Environment, Smithers.
Strong return continues.

Please find, attached, the Skeena Update to August 30th, 2010. This file contains the Tyee Test Fishery generated Skeena River summer steelhead index to August 30th, including daily, cumulative and escapement estimate figures, in addition to a summary table showing cumulative index data since 1998, overall and decadal averages, et cetera. Upper Sustut Fence Counts to August 26th are also included in this file.

Moricetown (Bulkley-Morice) steelhead abundance estimates to August 27th are included in the attached Word document: Moricetown Canyon M-R Week 7 August 27 update, courtesy of Wet’suwet’en Fisheries and SKR Consultants.

Skeena (Tyee Test Fishery) summer steelhead estimate summary info:

The Tyee steelhead index to August 25th is 190 - well above average for this date (average: 93; worst year: 31 (’57); best year: 235 (’98), if direct comparisons between years were valid (please see caveat, below). The Tyee Test Fishery began on May 25th this year and is scheduled to continue until ~September 24th.

The upper Sustut River enumeration weir was installed on July 31st and 101 steelhead have been captured to August 26th, below average for this date over the last decade (average: 128; worst year: 23 (2007); best year: 328 (2004).

Wet'suwet'en Fisheries began annual mark-recapture stock assessment activities at Moricetown Canyon (Bulkley River) for salmon and steelhead on the 14th of July and to August 24th have tagged 3496 steelhead to August 24th (1111 in the beach seine and 2385 in the dipnet). To date, 170 steelhead have been recaptured in the dipnet fishery for an estimated 18 800 steelhead past the canyon to date (95% confidence limits: 16 626 – 20 262 – estimate courtesy of SKR Consultants).

Commercial fishery activity is summarized in the attached file Commercial Openings 2010 and below. There have been no further commercial fisheries since July 26th.

Area 4 gillnet fisheries:
-A 30 hour gillnet opening on targetting chinook on June 24
-16 hour gillnet openings on targetting sockeye on; July 12;July 26th

-and the following Area 3 gillnet fisheries targetting sockeye, all 16 hour openings:
June 15;June 21;June 28;June 29;July 5;July 6;July 12;July 13;July 26

The DFO have announced that the commercial fishery is closed for the 2010 season and Skeena sockeye escapement estimate past the Tyee Test Fishery to August 25th is approximately 939 640.

The total Nass River sockeye salmon run size estimate to Gitwinksihlkw to 29 August is 255,000 (estimate courtesy of Nisga’a Fisheries).

Please contact me with questions/comments.
All the best.
Mark Beere
Senior Fisheries Biologist
Fisheries Branch
Environmental Stewardship Division
BC Ministry of Environment
3726 Alfred Ave.
Bag 5000
Smithers, BC
V0J 2N0
250.847.7297 (phone)
250.847.7288 (facsimile)


NB: The regular caveat applies: The Tyee Test Fishery is a sockeye salmon test fishery; it is calibrated for sockeye (via Babine River Weir counts, in-river FN's fisheries). As such, Tyee catches are not standardized and therefore, comparing data between years or even individual days or gillnet sets is not valid in the strictest scientific sense. That said, the DFO use data from all salmon species for management, as we do for steelhead and the Skeena Independent Science Review Panel reported that the Tyee Test Fishery is the critical information gathering point for in-season management and for assessing abundance trends for steelhead. The fishery has operated in the same manner since 1956: a conventional gillnet vessel makes a 60 minute set with 200 fathoms (1200 feet) of net on every slack tide that occurs during daylight from May/early June to late August/early September.

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