Last updated on 9 August 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

SPECIES NAME(s)

Chinook salmon, King Salmon

COMMON NAMES

Chinook salmon, spring salmon, king salmon


ANALYSIS

Strengths

1. The 2009 edition of the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) stipulated an overall reduction in troll fishery exploitation rate by 30% for 2009-2018 to protect weak stocks. 2. Monitoring of troll fishery harvest and stock composition is fairly robust. 3. Troll fishery aggregate escapement and harvest have exhibited increasing trends over the most recent 13-year period (1999-2011).

Weaknesses

1. Overestimation of the pre-season abundance forecast is an important issue for Canadian troll fisheries, and has resulted in high cumulative error (harvest vs. post-season allowable catch) in the West Coast Vancouver Island fishery over the last 13 years. 2. There has been no Coded Wire Tagging (CWT) for the majority of Fraser River Conservation Units (13 of 17 stocks are not represented by CWT indicator stocks). 3. Little is known about the influence of hatchery stocks on the fitness/productivity of wild stocks in Canada as a result of hatchery straying. 4. The release of adipose fin-clipped hatchery fish without coded wire tags by Pacific Northwest hatcheries is compromising the integrity of the CWT stock composition monitoring program. 5. There is geographic clustering of stock status declines within the stock aggregate fished by the troll fisheries.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

< 6 to 7

Managers Compliance:

9

Fishers Compliance:

8

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

7

Future Health:

7 to 9


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

DISTRICT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
North Coast Canada/PSC Canada Trolling lines
West Vancouver Island Canada/PSC Canada Trolling lines

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 1 July 2011

Strengths

1. The 2009 edition of the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) stipulated an overall reduction in troll fishery exploitation rate by 30% for 2009-2018 to protect weak stocks. 2. Monitoring of troll fishery harvest and stock composition is fairly robust. 3. Troll fishery aggregate escapement and harvest have exhibited increasing trends over the most recent 13-year period (1999-2011).

Weaknesses

1. Overestimation of the pre-season abundance forecast is an important issue for Canadian troll fisheries, and has resulted in high cumulative error (harvest vs. post-season allowable catch) in the West Coast Vancouver Island fishery over the last 13 years. 2. There has been no Coded Wire Tagging (CWT) for the majority of Fraser River Conservation Units (13 of 17 stocks are not represented by CWT indicator stocks). 3. Little is known about the influence of hatchery stocks on the fitness/productivity of wild stocks in Canada as a result of hatchery straying. 4. The release of adipose fin-clipped hatchery fish without coded wire tags by Pacific Northwest hatcheries is compromising the integrity of the CWT stock composition monitoring program. 5. There is geographic clustering of stock status declines within the stock aggregate fished by the troll fisheries.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Last updated on 6 August 2016

Improvement Recommendations to Catchers & Regulators

1. Start a fishery improvement project to address sustainability issues in this fishery. For advice on starting a FIP, see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs at http://www.sustainablefish.org/publications/2014/04/30/the-seafood-industry-guide-to-fips.
2. Communicate to fishery managers that there are sustainability issues in this fishery that may be affecting the sale of products, and request that they comprehensively evaluate and address such issues.

Recommendations to Retailers & Supply Chain

1. Encourage your supply chain to start a fishery improvement project. For advice on starting a FIP see SFP’s Seafood Industry Guide to FIPs at http://www.sustainablefish.org/publications/2014/04/30/the-seafood-industry-guide-to-fips.
2. Work with other suppliers and buyers on a pre-competitive basis to start a supplier roundtable to review improvement needs in this and other similar fisheries, catalyze fishery improvement projects, and monitor progress in improvement efforts.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 29 December 2011

Harvest Monitoring

The majority (greater than 70%) of the harvest in this fishery is measured with a catch tracking system or an on-site probability-based survey or census, and very little of the harvest is unmeasured and undocumented on an annual basis. A commercial salmon logbook and catch phone-in system is a manditory condition of the commercial fishing licence. A pilot stage electronic logbook system has beein in place for seven years to increase efficiencies and timeliness in catch reporting (DFO 2011).

Stock Composition Monitoring

An annual coded-wire-tagging (CWT) system is the basis for estimating the stock composition of the catch. CWT data are used to through cohort analysis of CWT release and recovery data, to reconstruct the exploitation and catch history of a given stock and brood year and is used to produce a variety of statistics, including total age and fishery specific exploitation rates, maturation rates, pre-age 2 recruitment survival indices and annual distribution of fishery-related mortalities. The CWT program is applicable to all stocks in the fishery with a corresponding hatchery-release indicator stock that are assumed to be representative of wild escapement indicator stocks. But, not all escapement indicator stocks have a CWT indicator so the catch in the fishery is not known for those stocks. This coast-wide program is augmented by genetic-based methods for some stocks and is used in-season to modify northern BC fisheries that intercept non-target WCVI stocks of concern. Chinook are currently managed in the NBC troll fishery to a harvest rate of 3.2% of the return to Canada based on DNA sampling in-season (PSC 2006-2011).

Escapement Monitoring

The escapement is measured for a moderate to large number of component stocks. There are 23 coast-wide escapement indicator stocks that are intercepted in the fishery based on the CWT exploitation rate indicators. Some Chinook spawning systems in Canada and the southern US are not matched to a CWT indicator system. The exploitation rate and catch in the WCVI fishery for those stocks in not known. The time-series of annual escapements and the estimation methods are reported annually in the CTC annual reports and are available publicly and on-line at: http://www.psc.org/publications_tech_techcommitteereport.htm#TCCHINOOK.The time-series for most stocks dates back to the mid-1970s. Starting in 2009 a 5-year “Stentinel Stock Program” (SSP) was funded in the PSC processs to assess the level of accuracy and precision of escapement pragrams.Results of the SSP are published in the CTC annual reports (i.e., PSC 2012a).

As part of the Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy, finer-scale Conservation Units have been delineated for British Columbia Chinook salmon. There are 68 of these units throughout British Columbia (Holtby and Ciruna 2007), but capacity to monitor Chinook salmon at the Conservation Unit scale is currently limited.

Last updated on 25 February 2011

Harvest Monitoring

The majority (greater than 70%) of the harvest in this fishery is measured with a catch tracking system or an on-site probability-based survey or census, and very little of the harvest is unmeasured and undocumented on an annual basis. A commercial salmon logbook and catch phone-in system is a manditory condition of the commercial fishing licence. A pilot stage electronic logbook system has beein in place for seven years to increase efficiencies and timeliness in catch reporting (DFO 2011).

Stock Composition Monitoring

An annual coded-wire-tagging (CWT) system is the basis for estimating the stock composition of the catch. CWT data are used to through cohort analysis of CWT release and recovery data, to reconstruct the exploitation and catch history of a given stock and brood year and is used to produce a variety of statistics, including total age and fishery specific exploitation rates, maturation rates, pre-age 2 recruitment survival indices and annual distribution of fishery-related mortalities. The CWT program is applicable to all stocks in the fishery with a corresponding hatchery-release indicator stock that are assumed to be representative of wild escapement indicator stocks. But, not all escapement indicator stocks have a CWT indicator so the catch in the fishery is not known for those stocks. This coast-wide program is augmented by genetic-based methods for some stocks and is used in-season to modify northern BC fisheries that intercept non-target WCVI stocks of concern (PSC 2006-2011).

Escapement Monitoring

The escapement is measured for a moderate to large number of component stocks. There are 18 coast-wide escapement indicator stocks that are intercepted in the fishery based on the CWT exploitation rate indicators. Some Chinook spawning systems in Canada and the southern US are not matched to a CWT indicator system. The exploitation rate and catch in the WCVI fishery for those stocks in not known. The time-series of annual escapements and the estimation methods are reported annually in the CTC annual reports and are available publicly and on-line at: http://www.psc.org/publications_tech_techcommitteereport.htm#TCCHINOOK.The time-series for most stocks dates back to the mid-1970s. Starting in 2009 a 5-year “Stentinel Stock Program” (SSP) was funded in the PSC processs to assess the level of accuracy and precision of escapement pragrams.Results of the SSP are published in the CTC annual reports (i.e., PSC 2012a).

As part of the Canada’s Wild Salmon Policy, finer-scale Conservation Units have been delineated for British Columbia Chinook salmon. There are 68 of these units throughout British Columbia (Holtby and Ciruna 2007), but capacity to monitor Chinook salmon at the Conservation Unit scale is currently limited.

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 29 December 2011

A transparent, science-based model (the abundance index) is used in establishing management guidelines, and is subject to scientific oversight. The performance of fisheries relative to management objectives are reviewed annually by the CTC for naturally spawning escapement indicator stocks managed within the PSC process. Biologically-based escapement goals have been accepted by the CTC for 25 of the 50 escapement indicator stocks/stock aggregates used in Pacific Salmon Commission management of West Coast troll fisheries. Establishing biologically-based goals for the PST indicator stocks is an ongoing process based on data analyses reviewed by the CTC (PSC 2012a).

Reference Points

Last updated on 29 Dec 2011

Based on a robust regression method of Geiger and Zhang (2002), the rate of annual change in the aggregate escapements for the 23 stocks with CWT-based catch records in the northern B.C. Chinook mixed-stock (Aggregate Abundance Based Management) fishery has increased by 6% over the 13-year period of 1999-2011. The trend in aggregate escapement was highly variable and declined from a peak in 2003 to a record low in 2007. Applying the Geiger and Zhang method to each of the 23 stocks shows some geographic clustering of declines in the Fraser River, Georgia Strait, and Oregon (i.e., the Siletz, Siuslaw, and Nehalem Rivers) (Table 1). Declining trends are visible among 15 stocks in the fishery, while stable or increasing escapement trends exist among the other 8 stocks intercepted in the fishery (PSC 2012a). Severe escapement declines (estimated at >75% over 15 years) were found among two stocks (Fraser Spring 1.2 and Siletz).

Table 1: Exploitation rate, escapement performance vs. goals, and escapement trend data for the 23 stocks intercepted by the North Coast troll fishery, 1999-2011. *Note: Percent annual change was calculated using the robust regression method of Geiger and Zhang (2002). The annual change was multiplied by 15 to yield an estimate of the total percent change over 15 years (for scoring purposes).

Last updated on 21 May 2013

A transparent, science-based model (the abundance index) is used in establishing management guidelines, and is subject to scientific oversight. The performance of fisheries relative to management objectives are reviewed annually by the CTC for naturally spawning escapement indicator stocks managed within the PSC process.Biologically-based escapement goals have been accepted by the CTC for 25 of the 50 escapement indicator stocks/stock aggregates. Establishing biologically-based goals for the PST indicator stocks is an ongoing process based on data analyses reviewed by the CTC (PSC 2012a).

Reference Points

Last updated on 21 May 2013

Based on a robust regression method of Geiger and Zhang (2002), the rate of annual change in the aggregate escapements for the 18 stocks with CWT-based catch records in the WCVI mixed-stock (Aggregate Abundance Based Management) fishery has increased by 2% over the 13-year period of 1999-2011. The trend in aggregate escapement was highly variable and declined from a peak in 2003 to a record low in 2007. Applying the Geiger and Zhang method to each of the 18 stocks shows some geographic clustering of declines in the Fraser River, Georgia Strait, and Oregon (i.e., the Siletz, Siuslaw, and Nehalem Rivers) (Table 1). Declining trends are visible among 11 stocks in the fishery, while stable or increasing escapement trends exist among the other 7 stocks intercepted in the fishery (PSC 2012a). Table 1: Exploitation rate, escapement performance vs. goals (CTC-approved goals only), and escapement trend data for the 18 stocks intercepted by the WCVI fishery, 1999-2011. *Note: Percent annual change was calculated using the robust regression method of Geiger and Zhang (2002). The annual change was multiplied by 15 to yield an estimate of the total percent change over 15 years (for scoring purposes).

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 29 December 2011

Stock status is assessed based on multi-year escapement trends and performance against escapement goals (see synopsis under reference point section). 

In Canada, several stocks encountered in the fishery are identified in the Integrated FIsheries Management Plan as “stocks of concern” as a result of poor biological status. These are Chinook that spawn in the Lower Georgia Strait, the west coast of Vancouver Island and the Fraser River. In Puget Sound, 4 stocks wih CWT-based catch estimates in the fishery (Skagit Spring, Skagit Summer, Nooksack Spring, Stillaguamish) are listed under the Endangered Species Act (DFO 2011).

Trends

Last updated on 29 Dec 2011

Based on the robust regression method of Geiger and Zhang (2002), the rate of annual change in the wild catch trend for the 1999-2011 period was positive and the trend line increased by 11% annually (Figure 3). Following a peak in 2005, annual catches declined steadily until 2008. Catches have since increased modestly. The PST (PST 2009) specifies a 30% reduction in catch limits below the 1999 catch ceiling in 2009 to 2018 (PST (2009), Annex IV, Chapter 3 Table 1) to address conservation conserns in Canada and the US. Another objective of the North Coast fishery is to limit the exploitation rate on WCVI Chinook to within 10%. As specified in the Treaty, the impact of the 30% reduction will be evaluated after 5 years from implementation.


Figure 3: Wild yield in the North Coast British Columbia Chinook troll fishery increased 11% annually over the 13-year period of 1999-2011 (PSC 2006-2011; PSC 2012a).

For the sake of comparison, wild yield in the neighboring Southeast Alaska troll fishery was also analyzed using the Geiger and Zhang method, and a similar increase was detected, although of a lesser magnitude (4%) (Figure 4).


Figure 4: Wild yield in the Southeast Alaska Chinook troll fishery increased 4% annually over the 13-year period of 1999-2011. Estimates of wild harvest were made by expanding Coded Wire Tag recoveries with tagged-untagged and catch sampling ratios in order to account for the Pacific Northwest U.S.A. releases of untagged, clipped hatchery fish. See the FishSource profile for Southeast Alaska Chinook salmon (troll) for more information on this analysis.

Last updated on 25 February 2011

In Canada, several stocks encountered in the fishery are identified in the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan as “stocks of concern” as a result of poor biological status. These are Chinook that spawn in the Lower Georgia Strait, the west coast of Vancouver Island and the Fraser River. In Puget Sound, 4 stocks wih CWT-based catch estimates in the fishery (Skagit Spring, Skagit Summer, Nooksack Spring, Stillaguamish) are listed under the Endangered Species Act (DFO 2011).

Trends

Last updated on 25 Feb 2011

Based on the robust regression method of Geiger and Zhang (2002), the rate of annual change in overall catch trend for the 1999-2011 period was positive (+2%) but following a peak in 2004, annual catches declined steadily until 2009 (PSC 2012a). The PST (PSC 2009) specifies a 30% reduction in catch limits below the 1999 catch ceiling in 2009 to 2018 (PSC 2009 – Annex IV, Chapter 3 Table 1) to address conservation conserns in Canada and the US. Another objective of the West Coast Vancouver Island fishery is to limit the exploitation rate to within 10%. As specified in the Treaty, the impact of the 30% reduction will be evaluated after 5 years from implementation.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 29 December 2011

In-Season Responsiveness

The management approach relies on pre-season regulations only (not in-season). The fishery is managed within the auspices of the Canada-US Pacific Salmon Treaty (Chapter 3) in an abundance-based framework for the period 2009-2018. The abundance-based framework has been applied annually starting in 1999. Pre-season allowable catch limits are determined from a modelled annual pre-season forecasted Abundance Index (AI).The relationship between the AIs and the pre-season catch limits are specified in in the PST (2009) Chapter 3 Table 1 (PST 2009).

Over the past 13 years (1999-2011) since the abundance-based framework has been in place, the annual catch was above the post-season allowable catch limit in 3 of 13 years and the cumulative over and under amounted to less than 15% of the average catch limit, resulting in a score of “10” on sub-criterion 1.2 (to be precise, there was cumulative underage of approximately 500,000 fish over those years) (Figure 1). Post-season fishery performance (commercial troll + outside sport) is reviewed annually based on a comparison of post-season allowable catch and the observed catch within the PST process (PSC 2012a).


Figure 1: The post-season observed harvest (Treaty-governed troll harvest and sport harvest) has exceeded the post-season Total Allowable Harvest in 3 of the past 13 years, with a cumulative underage of over 500,000 fish during those 13 years (PSC 2012a). The largest single instance of overage occurred in 2006, when harvest exceeded the post-season allowable catch by 8%.

Multi-Season Responsiveness

The fishery is shaped to maintain exploitation rates of WCVI Chinook returns to Canada within a 10% ceiling in an attempt to meet management objectives to reduce impacts of that stock of regulatory concern. Other stocks of concern from southern BC and Washington coastal systems have not met escapement objects in some cases. The PSC process has a well defined process to address failures to meet escapement goals for stocks of concern. In response to the low biological status of stocks of concern harvested in the fishery, an overall reduction in exploitation rate by 30% is specified in the Treaty for the 2009-2018 period with an evaluation of performance after 5 years from implementation (PSC 2009; DFO 2011).

Responsiveness to Habitat Issues

The 1999 Pacific Salmon Treaty (Attachment E) specifies that habitat and its restoration are important for sustainability of Pacific salmon (PST 2009). The Pacific Salmon Commission Habitat and Restoration Technical Committee (HRTC) was formed in 2006 to assess habitat status and trends and restoration project effectiveness. The PSC Report HRTC (12)-1 2012, provides the 2011-2012 work plan for 1) fostering effective sharing of information on habitat restoration, activities and practices, and a network of individuals to facilitate the exchange on information and knowledge; and 2) providing strategic advice on habitat and restoration funding proposal processes (PSC 2012b). Forestry practices in B.C. Chinook-bearing watersheds are indicated as an impact to Chinook populations in this report.

Last updated on 25 February 2011

In-Season Responsiveness

The management approach relies on pre-season regulations only (not in-season). The fishery is managed within the auspices of the Canada-US Pacific Salmon Treaty (Chapter 3) in an abundance-based framework for the period 2009-2018. The abundance-based framework has been applied annually starting in 1999. Pre-season allowable catch limits are determined from a modelled annual pre-season forecasted Abundance Index (AI).The relationship between the AIs and the pre-season catch limits are specified in in the PST (2009) Chapter 3 Table 1 (PSC 2009).

Over the past 13 years (1999-2011) since the abundance-based framework has been in place, the annual catch was above the post-season allowable catch limit in 8 years and the cumulative over and under exceeded 20% of the average catch limit (Figure 1).Post-season fishery performance (commercial troll + outside sport) is reviewed annually based on a comparison of post-season allowable catch and the observed catch within the PST process (PSC 2012a).


Figure 1: The post-season observed harvest (Treaty-governed troll harvest and sport harvest) has exceeded the post-season Total Allowable Harvest in 8 of the past 13 years, with a cumulative overage and underage that exceeds 20% of the average annual catch limit (PSC 2012a). The largest single instance of overage occurred in 2011.

Exceeding of the post-season allowable catch limit in multiple seasons is attributable to overestimation of abundance in pre-season forecasting. There is no framework currently in place for correcting for overage in the following season.

Multi-Season Responsiveness

Fishery openings are shaped by conservation concerns for several Canadian Chinook stocks of concern (Fraser River Spring run Age 1.2, Fraser River Spring run Age 1.3, West Coast Vancouver Island (WCVI), Lower Strait of Georgia Chinook salmon). Other stocks of concern from Washington State have not met escapement objects. The PSC process has a well defined process to address failures to meet escapement goals for stocks of concern. In response to the low biological status of stocks of concern harvested in the fishery, an overall reduction in exploitation rate by 30% is specified in the Treaty for the 2009-2018 period with an evaluation of performance after 5 years from implementation (PSC 2009; DFO 2011).

Responsiveness to Habitat Issues

The 1999 Pacific Salmon Treaty (Attachment E) specifies that habitat and its restoration are important for sustainability of Pacific salmon (PST 2009). The Pacific Salmon Commission Habitat and Restoration Technical Committee (HRTC) was formed in 2006 to assess habitat status and trends and restoration project effectiveness. The PSC Report HRTC (12)-1 2012, provides the 2011-2012 work plan for 1) fostering effective sharing of information on habitat restoration, activities and practices, and a network of individuals to facilitate the exchange on information and knowledge; and 2) providing strategic advice on habitat and restoration funding proposal processes (PSC 2012b). Forestry practices in B.C. Chinook-bearing watersheds are indicated as an impact to Chinook populations in this report.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 29 December 2011

There is some illegal, unreported, or unregulated harvest resulting in total harvest that exceeds the catch limit by 12.5% or less. Post-season reviews of enforcement activities are compiled on the numbers of checks and violations to evaluate whether compliance management objectives for IUU Canadian fisheries are of met. This is an annual process designed to inform on enforcement priorities in subsequent years. These post-season assessments are reported in the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan starting in 2007 (e.g. IFMP (DFO 2011) Table 4-1). IUU compliance rates were nearly 100% for the years reported.

Last updated on 25 February 2011

There is some illegal, unreported, or unregulated harvest resulting in total harvest that exceeds the catch limit by 12.5% or less. Post-season reviews of enforcement activities are compiled on the numbers of checks and violations to evaluate whether compliance management objectives for IUU Canadian fisheries are of met. This is an annual process designed to inform on enforcement priorities in subsequent years. These post-season assessments are reported in the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan starting in 2007 (e.g. IFMP (DFO 2011) Table 4-1). IUU compliance rates were nearly 100% for the years reported.

HATCHERY IMPACTS

Releases of juvenile Chinook salmon from British Columbia hatcheries have decreased over the past 15 years (Figure 2) (NPAFC 2010). Hatchery production based on Coded Wire Tag (CWT) analysis has accounted for a 1999-2011 average of approximately 18% of the total catch in the fishery, but in the last two years for which data was located (2009 and 2011), hatcheries accounted for only 8% of the harvest (PSC 2006-2011; PSC 2012a).


Figure 2: British Columbia hatchery releases of Chinook salmon juveniles, 1997-2011 (NPAFC 2010; Sandher et al. 2012).

Prior to 2002, most hatchery releases were identified with CWTs in a portion of the release and the removal of the adipose fin to allow samplers to visually identify these fish. Estimates of total contribution to each fishery by time and area were possible. However, after 2002, Pacific Northwest hatcheries began releasing millions of Chinook salmon with an adipose clip but no CWT or with a CWT but no adipose clip, and the selective removal of clipped fish in interceptive fisheries impacts both the precision of hatchery contributions to Alaska fisheries and the exploitation rate analysis of the CTC. The magnitude of this increase in clipped fish with no CWT is dramatic. Alaska Department of Fish and Game has already expressed concerns over the cost to process thousands of Chinook salmon heads without CWTs as part of the management effort for their troll fishery (SFEC 2013). The difficulty of analyzing CWT data where some fish are tagged and clipped (and will be harvested in selective fisheries at a greater rate than their unclipped cohorts), some fish are just clipped and removed selectively in some fisheries and not others, some fish are not clipped but contain a CWT which is detected in some fisheries but not others, and yet other fish are untagged and unclipped is daunting and may affect abundance index modeling results. When one further takes into account the complexity of multiple age groups returning and possibly being vulnerable to different fisheries, the potential impact on modeling results is evident.

As a result of this issue, hatcheries may currently account for more than the 8% of fishery harvest reported by the Chinook Technical Committee.

Wild stock run strength predominantly determines the fishery’s catch limit. The fishery is managed to achieve MSY or other CTC approved biological goals for naturally spawning stocks. Escapements to naturally spawning stocks are monitored and reviewed annually relative to the goals (PSC 2012a).

Releases of juvenile Chinook salmon from British Columbia hatcheries have decreased over the past 15 years (Figure 2) (NPAFC 2010). Hatchery production based on Coded Wire Tag (CWT) analysis has accounted for a 1999-2009 average of almost 50% of the total catch in the fishery (PSC 2006-2011). Prior to 2002, most hatchery releases were identified with CWTs in a portion of the release and the removal of the adipose fin to allow samplers to visually identify these fish. Estimates of total contribution to each fishery by time and area were possible.


Figure 2: British Columbia hatchery releases of Chinook salmon juveniles, 1997-2011 (NPAFC 2010; Sandher et al. 2012).

However, after 2002, Pacific Northwest hatcheries began releasing millions of Chinook salmon with an adipose clip but no CWT or with a CWT but no adipose clip, and the selective removal of clipped fish in interceptive fisheries impacts both the precision of hatchery contributions to Alaska fisheries and the exploitation rate analysis of the CTC. The magnitude of this increase in clipped fish with no CWT is dramatic. Alaska Department of Fish and Game has already expressed concerns over the cost to process thousands of Chinook salmon heads without CWTs as part of the management effort for their troll fishery (SFEC 2013). The difficulty of analyzing CWT data where some fish are tagged and clipped (and will be harvested in selective fisheries at a greater rate than their unclipped cohorts), some fish are just clipped and removed selectively in some fisheries and not others, some fish are not clipped but contain a CWT which is detected in some fisheries but not others, and yet other fish are untagged and unclipped is daunting and may affect abundance index modeling results. When one further takes into account the complexity of multiple age groups returning and possibly being vulnerable to different fisheries, the potential impact on modeling results is evident.

Wild stock run strength predominantly determines the fishery’s catch limit. The fishery is managed to achieve MSY or other CTC approved biological goals for naturally spawning stocks. Escapements to naturally spawning stocks are monitored and reviewed annually relative to the goals (PSC 2012a).

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 29 December 2011

Among bycatch species in this fishery are some salmon stocks of regulatory concern, namely: Northern BC chum, some Fraser sockeye stocks, and some coho and steelhead stocks. The Integrated Fisheries Management Plan specifies non-retention of chum and steelhead salmon in commercial troll fisheries. Steelhead retention throughout Britich Columbia is prohibited in any commercial fisheries.Retention of sockeye salmon in Fraser River sockeye migration areas is also prohibited (DFO 2011).

All NBC Chinook troll fisheries operate under a system of individual transferable quotas and are subject to mandatory dock-side monitoring.

The Integrated Fisheries Management Plan specifies that areas or times where weak coho or chum stocks are known to be abundant will remain closed.Barbless hooks and operating revival boxes are required and a minimum size limit is also enforced to minimize harvest incidental mortality of immature Chinook salmon.

Monitoring in Canadian fisheries and selective fishing practices are required in all commercial and recreational fisheries (DFO 2011).

Last updated on 25 February 2011

There is substantial bycatch of a species of regulatory concern – south coast coho salmon (including the COSEWIC-listed Interior Fraser River stock) are managed conservatively because of long-term low marine survival. They are potentially intercepted in the Chinook troll fishery. The Integrated Fisheries Management Plan specifies non-retention of wild coho. Monitoring of coho encounters during the high risk period in early to mid-June is also required. Furthermore, Interior Fraser River coho salmon are limited to an overall total fishing mortality of 3% in Canadian fisheries. Avoidance of coho is required during periods of high prevalence of Interior Fraser coho. There may, however, be retention of hatchery- marked coho in September fisheries when encounters of coho stocks of concern are low risk (DFO 2011).

FishSource Scores

SELECT SCORES

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

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Different components of this salmon region score differently at the fishery level. Please look at the individual fisheries using the selection drop down above.

As calculated for 2013 data.

The score is 9.0.

The West Coast Vancouver Island and North Coast troll fisheries scored "9" on this criterion. A transparent, science-based model is used in management of the fishery, although some elements of the management system are still a work in progress (namely setting of escapement goals for all indicator stocks).

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STOCK HEALTH:

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DATA NOTES

Scores appearing at the region level reflect the range of scores for the district profiles in the region for each of the five FishSource scoring criteria.  District profiles are scored according to the complete FishSource salmon scoring method, which can be downloaded here. A summary of the method’s scoring criteria for district profiles follows below (for the North Coast and West Coast of Vancouver Island troll fishery components under Canada/PSC management, scroll further to see a slightly modified set of criteria applied to mixture pool fisheries).

The FishSource sustainability criteria as applied to salmon: Criterion 1. Management Responsiveness (Is the management strategy precautionary?) 1.1 Over the last decade, has fisheries management exhibited in-season responsiveness to stock status? 1.2 Has fisheries management responded appropriately over the last 15 years when/if the stock has failed to meet management objectives and/or maintain yields? 1.3 Has management exhibited responsiveness to concerns regarding the conservation and restoration of the stock’s essential freshwater, estuarine and coastal habitats during the last ten years? Criterion 2. Management Guidelines (Do the managers follow scientific advice?) Have appropriate escapement goals or operational equivalents been developed and implemented for the fishery’s wild stocks? Criterion 3. Adequacy of Data (Do fishers comply?) 3.1 Is a portion of harvest attributable to illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing, resulting in official harvest data that is lower than the actual catch? 3.2 Is the fishery’s harvest adequately and accurately measured and reported? 3.3 Has escapement been adequately and accurately measured and publicly reported? Criterion 4. Stock Status (Is the fish stock healthy?) 4.1 Have escapement measures for the fishery’s wild stocks been maintained above escapement goals or thresholds, or have harvest rates been below the target harvest rates? 4.2 Has the catch trend been level or increasing over a 15-year period? Criterion 5. Are hatcheries or other enhancement activities negatively affecting wild stocks? (Will the fish stock be healthy in the future?) 5.0 Do hatcheries account for 10% or less of the fishery’s total production, or are hatchery-produced fish not in substantial contact with wild salmon? If “no,” then the following sub-criteria are analyzed: 5.1 Are managers able to manage for the (wild) stocks in a fishery that also contains hatchery stocks of salmon? 5.2 Is there a low quantity of hatchery strays in the escapement throughout the freshwater habitat of the wild stock, and is hatchery straying quantified by means of a technically sound data collection and analysis? 5.3 Over the past 10 years, have hatchery strays, hatchery out-plants, or any returning hatchery-produced fish been intentionally allowed to mix with the wild stock during spawning? 5.4 Are there active and effective policies that (1) establish objectives for the conservation of wild salmon, (2) put into place operational systems that limit hatchery impacts on wild stocks, (3) grant sufficient oversight and authority over individual hatchery programs to management agencies, and (4) establish a hatchery evaluation system that monitors the performance of individual hatcheries against wild salmon conservation objectives?

Canada/PSC

A slightly modified set of the FishSource salmon fishery sustainability criteria is being applied to “mixture pool management fisheries” (preseason-managed, occurring in the open ocean), including this fishery: Criterion 1. Management Responsiveness (Is the management strategy precautionary?) 1.1 Over the last decade, has fisheries management exhibited in-season responsiveness to stock status? 1.2 Has fisheries management maintained catch consistently below the catch limit, if there is one, during the last 15 years? 1.3 Has fisheries management responded appropriately over the last 15 years when/if the stock has failed to meet management objectives and/or maintain yields? 1.4 Has management exhibited responsiveness to concerns regarding the conservation and restoration of the stock’s essential freshwater, estuarine and coastal habitats during the last ten years? Criterion 2. Management Guidelines (Do the managers follow scientific advice?) Are the management guidelines (i.e. catch limits) appropriate and subject to scientific oversight? Criterion 3. Adequacy of Data (Do fishers comply?) 3.1 Is a portion of harvest attributable to illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing, resulting in official harvest data that is lower than the actual catch? 3.2 Is the fishery’s harvest adequately and accurately measured and reported? 3.3 Have stock identification efforts been undertaken to determine the fishery’s stock composition? 3.4 Is escapement measured in a substantial and well-distributed quantity of stocks harvested by the fishery? Criterion 4. Stock Status (Is the fish stock healthy?) 4.1 Have escapement trends of the fishery’s stock aggregate been level or increasing over the last 15 years? 4.2 Has the catch trend been level or increasing over a 15-year period? Criterion 5. Are hatcheries or other enhancement activities negatively affecting wild stocks? (Will the fish stock be healthy in the future?) 5.0 Do hatcheries account for 10% or less of the fishery’s total production, or are hatchery-produced fish not in substantial contact with wild salmon? If “no,” then the following sub-criteria are analyzed: 5.1 Are managers able to identify and quantify hatchery fish in the mixed-stock aggregate? 5.2 Does hatchery abundance overly influence the determination of the fishery’s catch limit?

Canada/PSC

A slightly modified set of the FishSource salmon fishery sustainability criteria is being applied to “mixture pool management fisheries” (preseason-managed, occurring in the open ocean), including this fishery: Criterion 1. Management Responsiveness (Is the management strategy precautionary?) 1.1 Over the last decade, has fisheries management exhibited in-season responsiveness to stock status? 1.2 Has fisheries management maintained catch consistently below the catch limit, if there is one, during the last 15 years? 1.3 Has fisheries management responded appropriately over the last 15 years when/if the stock has failed to meet management objectives and/or maintain yields? 1.4 Has management exhibited responsiveness to concerns regarding the conservation and restoration of the stock’s essential freshwater, estuarine and coastal habitats during the last ten years? Criterion 2. Management Guidelines (Do the managers follow scientific advice?) Are the management guidelines (i.e. catch limits) appropriate and subject to scientific oversight? Criterion 3. Adequacy of Data (Do fishers comply?) 3.1 Is a portion of harvest attributable to illegal, unreported, or unregulated fishing, resulting in official harvest data that is lower than the actual catch? 3.2 Is the fishery’s harvest adequately and accurately measured and reported? 3.3 Have stock identification efforts been undertaken to determine the fishery’s stock composition? 3.4 Is escapement measured in a substantial and well-distributed quantity of stocks harvested by the fishery? Criterion 4. Stock Status (Is the fish stock healthy?) 4.1 Have escapement trends of the fishery’s stock aggregate been level or increasing over the last 15 years? 4.2 Has the catch trend been level or increasing over a 15-year period? Criterion 5. Are hatcheries or other enhancement activities negatively affecting wild stocks? (Will the fish stock be healthy in the future?) 5.0 Do hatcheries account for 10% or less of the fishery’s total production, or are hatchery-produced fish not in substantial contact with wild salmon? If “no,” then the following sub-criteria are analyzed: 5.1 Are managers able to identify and quantify hatchery fish in the mixed-stock aggregate? 5.2 Does hatchery abundance overly influence the determination of the fishery’s catch limit?

Download Source Data

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits
  1. COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada). 2013. Okanagan Chinook salmon status designation.http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/eng/sct1/searchdetail_e.cfm?id=877&StartRow=161&boxStatus=All&boxTaxonomic=All&location=1&change=All&board=All&commonName=&scienceName=&returnFlag=0&Page=17
  2. DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada). 2011. Integrated Fisheries Management Plan: Southern BC. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/343942.pdf
  3. DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada). 2013. Commercial fishing maps: Area F troll.http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/maps-cartes/salmon-saumon/area-zone-F-eng.htm
  4. FishSource. 2013. Chinook salmon profiles: catch statistics.http://www.fishsource.com
  5. Geiger, H. and Zhang, X. 2002. A simple procedure to evaluate escapement trends over time that emphasizes biological meaning over statistical significance. Alaska Fishery Research Bulletin, 9(2): 128-134.http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/
  6. Holtby, L.B., and Ciruna, K.A. Conservation Units for Pacific Salmon under the Wild Salmon Policy. Research Document - 2007/070. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/CSAS/Csas/DocREC/2007/RES2007_070_e.pdf
  7. NBC Chinook ScorecardNBC_Chinook_Scorecard.jpg
  8. Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC) Chinook Technical Committee. 2006-2011. 2005-2010 Annual Reports of the Exploitation Rate Analysis and Model Calibration. Technical Reports Nos. xx-3.http://www.psc.org/pubs/TCCHINOOK11-3.pdf
  9. Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST). 2009. Pacific Salmon Treaty.http://www.psc.org/pubs/Treaty/Treaty.pdf
  10. PSC (Pacific Salmon Commission) Chinook Technical Committee. 2012a. Annual Report of Catch and Escapement for 2011. Pacific Salmon Commission Report TCCHINOOK (12)-3. Vancouver. BC. 158 pp.http://www.psc.org/pubs/TCCHINOOK12-3.pdf
  11. PSC (Pacific Salmon Commission) Habitat and Restoration Technical Committee. 2012b. Assessment of Salmon Habitat Status and Trends and Restoration Project Effectiveness. Technical Report no. xx.ftp://ftp.psc.org/pub/Teri/HRTC%20Technical%20Report_October2012_PSC.pdf
  12. Sandher, J., Lynch, C., Willis, D., Cook, R., and Irvine, J. R. 2012. Canadian enhanced salmonid production during 1977-2011 (1976-2010 brood years). NPAFC Doc. 1420. 10 pp. Fisheries and Oceans Canada.http://www.npafc.org/new/publications/Documents/PDF%202012/1420(Canada).pdf
  13. SFEC (Selective Fishery Evaluation Committee) 2013. Review of 2011 mass marking and mark-selective fishery proposals. Pacific Salmon Commission Report SFEC(13)-1. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.http://www.psc.org/pubs/SFEC13-2.pdf
  1. DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada). 2012. Salmon Catch Statistics and Logbook Reports.http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/species-especes/salmon-saumon/fisheries-peches/stats-donnees-eng.htm
  2. Pacific Salmon Commission. 2009. Pacific Salmon Treaty.http://www.psc.org/pubs/Treaty/Treaty.pdf
  3. PSC (Pacific Salmon Commission) Chinook Technical Committee. 2012a. Annual Report of Catch and Escapement for 2011. Pacific Salmon Commission Report TCCHINOOK (12)-3. Vancouver. BC. 158 pp. http://www.psc.org/pubs/TCCHINOOK12-3.pdf
  4. SFEC (Selective Fishery Evaluation Committee) 2013. Review of 2011 mass marking and mark-selective fishery proposals. Pacific Salmon Commission Report SFEC(13)-1. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.http://www.psc.org/pubs/SFEC13-2.pdf
  5. WCVI Chinook scorecardWCVI_Chinook_Scorecard.jpg
References

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    Chinook salmon - British Columbia

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