Friday, August 06, 2010

MOE Tyee Steelhead Update to Aug.5th

Here is the latest Tyee steelhead update provided courtesy of the Ministry of Environment, Smithers.

Please find, attached, the Skeena Update to August 5th, 2010. This file contains the Tyee Test Fishery generated Skeena River summer steelhead index to August 5th, including daily, cumulative and escapement estimate figures, in addition to a summary table showing cumulative index data since 2000, overall and decadal averages, et cetera.

The Tyee Test Fishery began on May 25th this year and is scheduled to continue until September 24th.

Skeena (Tyee Test Fishery) summer steelhead estimate summary info:
The Tyee steelhead index to August 5th is 83 - well above average for this date (average: 44; worst year: 10 ('57); best year: 156 ('98), if direct comparisons between years were valid (please see caveat, below).

Commercial fishery activity is summarized in the attached file Commercial Openings 2010 and below. There have been no further commercial fisheries since the last update on July 29th.

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

No further commercial openings are being considered at this time for either Area 3 or Area 4.

The DFO reports the Skeena sockeye escapement estimate past the Tyee Test Fishery to date is approximately 826 K while the total predicted sockeye escapement past Tyee for 2010 remains at 1.1 million.

Nass sockeye predictions have dropped and no further total allowable catch is available; the total return to Canada for Nass sockeye to August 3rd is estimated to be 370 000.

The upper Sustut River enumeration weir was installed on July 31st and 2 steelhead have been captured to date (comments on run-size would be pre-mature at this point in time). NB: this is a genetically distinct population from the lower Sustut River stock.

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 have captured 154 steelhead to August 3rd (63 in the beach seine and 91 in the dipnet). To date, 4 steelhead have been recaptured (1 in the beach seine and 3 in the dipnet fishery).

NB: The regular caveat applies: The Tyee Test Fishery is a sockeye salmon test fishery; it is only calibrated for sockeye (via Babine River Weir counts). 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.


Anonymous said...

I assume that the current steelhead count of 83.80 comes from a formula. Do you have an idea of how many dead fish in the net that represents? With the better part of a 1/4 mile of gill net in the river a couple of hours a day, it would appear to be a rather agressive way to develop a questionable count, no?

North Coast Steelhead Alliance said...

off the top of my head, I think the 'multiplier' is 245 for steelhead.
And, again off the top of my head, about an average of about 1000 steelhead are caught and killed at Tyee...some are released alive if at all possible.
Apparently, the boat operator is a top notch fisherman who does care about the fish.
I'll try and dig out the info I have on exactly how many steelhead are killed by Tyee.
It does seem like a wasteful counting technique, but as DFO always says "its the only thing we got"

North Coast Steelhead Alliance said...

here's some more info: looks like the range of dead stld is between 200-1000 depending upon the retunr strength