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Comprehensive Management Plan for Puget Sound Chinook: Harvest Management Component - Annual Postseason Report 2012-13 Fishing Season

Category: Fish/Shellfish Research and Management - Management and Conservation

Date Published: August 13, 2013

Number of Pages: 114

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

This annual report on the Puget Sound Chinook Comprehensive Harvest Management Plan summarizes results of salmon fisheries occurring between May 1, 2012 and April 30, 2013. This includes comparisons of pre-season projections with actual catch in all commercial and some recreational fisheries. 2011 Recreational catch estimates are presented for those areas where data were not available in time for the 2011-2012 report. Chinook spawning escapement estimates for 2012 are reported for all Puget Sound populations, with details on escapement surveys and estimation methods. Comparisons are also made between pre-season projections of escapement, and actual results.

Commercial Chinook catch in Puget Sound pre-terminal fisheries was lower than projected in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the San Juan Islands, largely due to limited fishing opportunity for Fraser sockeye salmon. Commercial catches in the Nooksack, Stillaguamish/Snohomish, and South Puget Sound terminareas were all below expectation. Catches in the Hood Canal and Skagit areas were above expectation.

Marine and freshwater landed recreational Chinook catch in the 2011-2012 season was estimated, from a combination of creel and preliminary Catch Record Card data, to be 44,800, below the pre-season projection of 54,100. Creel survey-based estimates of catch in 2012-2013 mark-selective recreational fisheries in Areas 5, 9-10, and 11 are included in this report. Total encounter estimates for the 2012-13 marine area selective fisheries are presented and compared to pre-season projections for these areas.

Spring Chinook escapement was above predictions for the White, Nooksack and Skagit, and slightly below for the Dungeness. White River and Skagit escapement exceeded their Upper Management Thresholds. Dungeness was above its LAT but below its UMT, and Nooksack was below its LAT.

For summer/fall populations, escapement was higher than predicted for most management units. Only the Puyallup, Skokomish, and Hoko were below projection. The Nooksack unit and the South Fork Stillaguamish population were below their LAT’s. The Mid Hood Canal total escapement was slightly above LAT, natural spawning escapement was slightly below LAT after accounting for 22 fish collected for broodstock. All other populations were above their LATs.

Coded-wire tag sampling of 2011 commercial fisheries achieved sampling rate above 20% in most areas. Area 12H (19%) and the Skokomish River (15%) were the only areas with significant catch and rates less than 20%. Sampling rates for marine recreational fisheries ranged from 11% to 33%, with all areas sampled at rates above the goal of 10%.