Fishery Notice

Category(s):
ABORIGINAL - General Information
COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Gill Net
COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Seine
COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Troll
RECREATIONAL - Salmon
Subject:
FN0859-Salmon - Fraser River Sockeye Update - Areas 11 to 29 - August 12, 2016


The Fraser River Panel met Friday, August 12th, 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 have fluctuated 
at relatively low levels in recent days indicating a low flow of fish through 
the marine approach areas. The Area 12 gill net test fishery concluded on 
August 9th and the seine test boats in both Areas 12 and 20 will be ending 
operations today. Fraser River gill net test fishery catches have continued to 
fluctuate lately with daily Mission passage estimates ranging from 13,400 to 
22,300. The current 5-day diversion rate through Johnstone Strait has increased 
to 71% which is approaching but still below the pre-season forecast of 75% for 
the season.

DNA analysis of samples taken in the most recent marine test fisheries show 
sockeye stock compositions in Area 20 of 4% Early Summer, 50% Summer and 46% 
Late run stocks. In Johnstone Strait the most recent seine test fishery DNA 
samples indicate a stock composition of 11% Early Summer, 78% Summer and 11% 
Late run stocks. In-river DNA samples from the Cottonwood test fishery on 
August 7-9  had 12% Early Summer,  78% Summer and 10% Late run stocks while the 
Whonnock test fishery had stock proportions of 0% Early Summer, 72% Summer and 
28% Late run stocks on August 8-10. Age proportions continue to contain a 
higher proportion of 5 year olds than expected.

During the Panel meeting today the run size for Early Summer run sockeye was 
unchanged at 250,000 with a 50% run timing of July 21st in Area 20. The 
estimated escapement past Mission of Early Summer run stocks as of August 11th 
is 216,000 fish.

During the Panel call today the Summer run size was further reduced from 
Tuesday's adopted run size of 700,000 sockeye to 600,000 with a 50% run timing 
of July 31st in Area 20. The estimated escapement of Summer run sockeye past 
Mission through August 11th is 295,900 fish.

The Late run sockeye are currently tracking slightly above the 50% probability 
forecast of 111,000 but no changes were made to the run size at the Panel 
meeting today.  The estimated escapement of Late run sockeye past Mission 
through August 11th is 20,600 fish.

On August 11th the Fraser River water discharge at Hope was 3,002 cms, which is 
approximately 17% lower than average for this date. The temperature of the 
Fraser River at Qualark Creek on August 11th was 20.2°C, which is 2.1°C higher 
than average for this date. The water temperature is forecast to increase to 
21.8°C by August 17th.

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.

FSC fisheries in the marine area are currently closed to the retention of 
sockeye in areas where Fraser sockeye are present. FSC fisheries in the lower 
and mid-Fraser River are currently closed and terminal fisheries in the upper 
Fraser tributaries that have only been open for a short period of time will be 
closing in an orderly fashion. Fishers in marine approach areas as well as the 
Fraser River are requested to check for any restrictions in their local area. 
There will be no commercial or recreational sockeye fisheries in 2016 on Fraser 
sockeye.

The third in-season update on the escapement of Fraser sockeye was released on 
August 11th.  Early Stuart sockeye are approaching the peak of spawning in 
several tributaries. Fish condition appears to be relatively good although some 
pre-spawn mortality has been observed. At Scotch Creek the counting fence has 
been installed but no fish have entered the system at this time. Some fish have 
been observed off the mouth of Scotch Creek in Shuswap Lake. The Didson program 
in the Chilliwack system began on July 20th with an estimated 30,520 sockeye 
past the sonar as of August 10th. The Chilko River Didson program began on 
August 5th and fish migration is in the early stages at this time. A total of 
107 sockeye have been estimated past the sonar site as of August 9th. Water 
temperatures in the above systems are favorable at this time. The Sweltzer 
Creek counting fence in the Cultus Lake system began operations on July 11th 
and to date 52 sockeye have been observed. The water temperature in Sweltzer 
Creek is 20°C. The next escapement update will be on Thursday, August 18th.

The next in-season meeting of the Fraser River Panel is scheduled to occur on 
Tuesday, August 16th, 2016.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Jennifer Nener 604-666-0789

Fisheries & Oceans Operations Center - FN0859
Sent August 12, 2016 at 1530