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Comprehensive Management Plan for Puget Sound Chinook: Harvest Management Component - Annual Postseason Report 2011-12 Fishing Season

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

Date Published: October 03, 2012

Number of Pages: 125

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

This annual report on the Puget Sound Chinook Comprehensive Harvest Management Plan summarizes results of salmon fisheries occurring between May 1, 2011 and April 30, 2012. This includes comparisons of pre-season projections with actual catch in all commercial and some recreational fisheries. 2010 Recreational catch estimates are presented for those areas where data were not available in time for the 2010-2011 report. Chinook spawning escapement estimates for 2011 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 higher than projected in the San Juan Islands. Commercial catches in the Nooksack, Skagit, and Strait of Juan de Fuca terminal areas were all near expectations. Catch in South Sound in aggregate was below expectation, while catch in Hood Canal was slightly above expectation.

Marine and freshwater landed recreational Chinook catch in the 2010-2011 season was estimated, from a combination of creel and preliminary Catch Record Card data, to be 42,600 below the pre-season projection of 52,300. Creel survey-based estimates of catch in 2011-2012 mark-selective recreational fisheries in Areas 5, 9-10, and 11, Skagit, Skykomish, Nisqually and Skokomish rivers are included in this report. Total encounter estimates for the 2011-12 marine area selective fisheries were higher than expected in Area 5, but much lower than expected in Areas 9, 10 and 11.

Spring Chinook escapement was above pre-season prediction for White, and below prediction for the Skagit and Dungeness. White River exceeded its upper management threshold, while the Skagit and Dungeness were between their lower and upper thresholds. For summer/fall stocks, escapement was above prediction for the Stillaguamish, Nisqually, Mid Hood Canal, Elwha and Hoko. Escapement was slightly lower than predicted for Lake Washington and Skokomish, and much lower than predicted for the Skagit, Snohomish, Green and Puyallup. Escapement of Sauk summer, Lower Skagit Fall, South Fork Stillaguamish, Green, and Mid Hood Canal were below their lower management thresholds.

Coded-wire tag sampling of 2010 commercial fisheries achieved sampling rate above 20% in most, but not all areas. Areas 5 (Strait of Juan de Fuca), 12C (Hood Canal), and 13A (Carr Inlet) were the only areas with substantial catches, but with sampling rates below 20%. All marine area recreational fisheries were sampled at rates between 10% and 50% for the year.