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Comprehensive Management Plan for Puget Sound Chinook: Harvest Management Component - Annual Postseason Report 2005-06 Fishing Season

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

Date Published: March 2006

Number of Pages: 133

Author(s): Puget Sound Indian Tribes and WDFW

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Landed Chinook catch was lower than projected in pre-terminal net and troll fisheries in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Georgia – Rosario Strait, in the Nooksack-Samish and South Puget Sound terminal areas. Net catch was slightly higher than projected in the Skagit and Snohomish terminal areas, and substantially higher than expected in Hood Canal.

Natural spawning escapements in the Stillaguamish, Snohomish, Green, White, Puyallup, Mid-Hood Canal, and Hoko rivers were more than 20% below their projected levels. Escapement for the Skagit summer / fall, Cedar, and Elwha river populations were 10% or less below the projected level. Escapement of Nooksack early Chinook, and to the Mid-Hood Canal rivers, were below their critical abundance thresholds. Nonetheless, spawning escapement exceeded the upper management thresholds for Upper Skagit summer, North Fork Stillaguamish, Snoqualmie, White, Nisqually, Skokomish, and Dungeness populations.

Post-season analysis for management years 2000 – 2003 showed that, for most management units, exploitation rates did not exceed the ceilings established by the Harvest Management Plan.

Commercial and recreational catch sampling programs to recover coded-wire tags achieved their objectives in 2004, and substantially exceeded their target rates in many fishing areas. Sampling effort increased in collecting biological samples (i.e. scales or otoliths) from spawning grounds in 2005, with the express purpose of improving the accuracy of age composition.