Fishery Notice

Category(s):
ABORIGINAL - General Information
COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Gill Net
COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Seine
COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Troll
RECREATIONAL - Salmon
Subject:
FN0822-Salmon - Fraser River Sockeye Update - Areas 11 to 29 - August 5, 2016


The Fraser River Panel met Friday, August 5th, to receive an update on the 
migration of the Fraser sockeye runs to date and to review the status of 
migration conditions in the Fraser River watershed.	

Gill net and purse seine test fish catches in the marine areas remained at low 
levels for the past several days suggesting a lower than expected flow of fish 
through the marine approach areas.  Fraser River gill net test fishery catches 
have continued to fluctuate lately with daily Mission passages estimates 
ranging from 16,000 to 30,000. The current 5-day diversion rate through 
Johnstone Strait has increased to 46% which remains below the pre-season 
forecast of 75% for the entire season and also lower than the diversion rates 
expected at this time of year from the pre-season planning model.

DNA analysis of samples taken in the most recent marine test fisheries show 
sockeye stock compositions in Area 20 of 14% Early Summer, 68% Summer and 18% 
Late run stocks. In Johnstone Strait the most recent seine test fishery DNA 
samples indicate a stock composition of 17% Early Summer, 71% Summer and 12% 
Late run stocks. In-river DNA samples from the Cottonwood test fishery on 
August 1-2  had 32% Early Summers,  66% Summer and 2% Late run stocks while the 
Whonnock test fishery had stock proportions of 20% Early Summer, 76% Summer and 
4% Late run stocks on August 3rd. Age proportions continue to contain a higher 
proportion of 5 year olds than expected.

During the Panel call today the run size for Early Stuart sockeye was reduced 
to 18,000 from the 25% probability run size of 22,000 with a 50% Area 20 timing 
of July 3rd.  The estimated escapement past Mission of Early Stuart sockeye as 
of August 4th is 17,900 fish. At this time the return of Early Stuart sockeye 
is considered to be complete.

The run size for Early Summer run sockeye remained unchanged at 300,000 with a 
50% run timing of July 22nd in Area 20. The estimated escapement past Mission 
of Early Summer run stocks as of August 4th is 195,800 fish.

Summer run stocks are tracking well below the 50% probability forecast of 
1,677,000. During the Panel call today the run size was formally reduced to the 
25% probability run size of 992,000 fish with no change in the Area 20 timing 
date of August 6th. The estimated escapement of Summer run sockeye past Mission 
through August 4th is 187,600 fish.

Late run sockeye have begun to show up at low levels in DNA samples in both the 
marine and in-river test fishery samples.  The estimated escapement of Late run 
sockeye past Mission through August 4th is 6,000 fish.

On August 4th the Fraser River water discharge at Hope was 3,270 cms, which is 
approximately 20% lower than average for this date. The temperature of the 
Fraser River at Qualark Creek on August 4th was 19.0°C, which is 1.1°C higher 
than average for this date. The water temperature is forecast to decrease to 
18.6°C by August 10th.

For pre-season planning purposes the Fraser Panel has adopted management 
adjustments for Early Summer and Summer sockeye that reflect the forecast 
conditions based on the May to June information. Management adjustments are 
additional fish that are removed from identified harvest levels and allowed to 
escape upstream in an attempt to assist in achievement of identified escapement 
objectives for the different run timing groups. In-season information over the 
coming weeks will help to inform future decisions on management adjustments for 
the Early Summer and Summer management groups while the Early Stuart and Late 
run management groups will be managed based on the respective Low Abundance 
Exploitation Rate (LAER) for each group (10% for Early Stuart and 20% for 
Lates). There will be no in-season estimates of management adjustment for Early 
Stuart and Late run sockeye in 2016 as the forecast returns are very low across 
the entire forecast range and it is anticipated they will be managed to the 
LAER, with the expected outcome of a spawning escapement well below goal. 
During the Panel call today there were no changes made to the management 
adjustments for Early Summer and Summer run sockeye.

Given the most recent abundance information limited FSC fisheries are expected 
to continue in both the marine areas and the Fraser River. Fishers in marine 
approach areas as well as the Fraser River are requested to check for the 
opening times and any restrictions in their local area. There are no planned 
commercial or recreational sockeye fisheries in 2016 at this time.

The second in-season update on the escapement of Fraser sockeye was released on 
August 4th.  Early Stuart sockeye are in the early stages of spawning in 
several tributaries and appear to be in good condition. The Didson program in 
the Chilliwack system began on July 20th with an estimated 16,956 sockeye past 
the sonar as of August 3rd. Water temperatures are favorable at this time. The 
Sweltzer Creek counting fence in the Cultus Lake system began operations on 
July 11th and to date 3 fish have been observed. The water temperature in 
Sweltzer Creek is 21°C. The next escapement update will be on Thursday, August 
11th.

The next in-season meeting of the Fraser River Panel is scheduled to occur on 
Tuesday, August 9th, 2016.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Jennifer Nener 604-666-0789

Fisheries & Oceans Operations Center - FN0822
Sent August 5, 2016 at 1553