Saturday, July 30, 2011

Latest Nass Update to July 29th

Here is the latest Nass Update courtesy/copyright of Nisga'a Fisheries.

All data presented in this update are preliminary and subject to change with further assessment information that becomes available and should be interpreted cautiously for in-season assessment purposes only

Attached are the current data pertaining to the Nass fishwheel catches, counts and run size estimates for Nass salmon and steelhead, associated water levels, Nisga'a harvests and TRTC/entitlement estimates toTHURSDAY, 28 JULY.

Water levels continue to be stable over the last couple of days; but are below average (1.9 m vs. 2.4 m) for this time of year. Gitwinksihlkw fishwheel catches of sockeye have dropped slightly this week (range between 200 and 350 sockeye caught per day) and we are estimating between 4,500 and 8,000 sockeye are passing on a daily basis. Mark recapture data collected at the Grease Harbour fishwheels over the next week will more accurately confirm what proportion we are catching this past week. We expect catches and escapement to drop over the next week with Area 3 fisheries occurring on 28, 29 July and 1 August for seines and 1 August for gillnets. Retention of sockeye and pink were permitted in all commercial fisheries and coho is permitted as well in the 1 August fisheries. Approximately 40 seines have participated in the Area 3 fisheries in the past two openings. We anticipate fewer to participate in Monday's Area 3 fishery with Area 6 also open.

Current projections of adult sockeye to Gitwinksihlkw and Meziadin suggest that we are on track to reach our escapement goals, and escapement numbers passing the test fishery to date are not excessive (currently at ~182,000 after adjustments with mark rate data at Grease Harbour). We are still projecting a small Nass sockeye run with a TRTC estimate of 383,000 (range: 328,000, 498,000) based on a mean run timing estimate of 72% (Area 3-7) and current assessment data. Below (and attached) provides a summary of the current assessment data.

The Nisga'a individual sale fisheries have been closed since 8 July by the Director of Fisheries and Wildlife and will be assessed for future opportunities depending on TRTC and entitlement forecasts over the coming weeks. The domestic fishery remains open. The Nisga'a communal, selective sale fishery by the Grease Harbour fishwheels operated from 6-11 July for Nass sockeye where 1603 sockeye were harvested. A Nisga'a communal, selective sale fishery in Area 3 was opened to seine contract for pink and coho salmon on 22 July and has caught an estimated 34,580 pinks and 23 coho to date with two Nisga'a seine boats fishing.

Kwinageese counts to date are 24 adult Chinook (no tags) and 1 adult sockeye (one tag). Assessment of the blockage to salmon migration in the lower Kwinageese River continues by Nisga'a Fisheries and DFO. See charts below comparing water level and counts to date and in the past.

If you have any questions regarding the run size estimates or other assessment data, please contact Nisga'a Fisheries.


Richard Alexander
Nisga'a Fisheries Stock Assessment Management Biologist

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