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Comprehensive Management Plan for Puget Sound Chinook: Harvest Management Component - Annual Postseason Report 2007-08 Fishing Season

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

Date Published:  2008

Number of Pages: 58

Author(s): Puget Sound Indian Tribes and WDFW

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

This annual report on the Puget Sound Chinook Comprehensive Harvest Management Plan summarizes results of salmon fisheries occurring between May 1, 2007 and April 30, 2008. This includes comparisons of pre-season projections with actual catch in all commercial and some recreational fisheries. 2006 Recreational catch estimates are presented for those areas where data were not available in time for the 2006-2007 report. Chinook spawning escapement estimates for 2007 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 areas (i.e., the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Rosario / Georgia Straits) was less than projected in all areas. This was a result of weaker than expected catches in troll fisheries, and lack of opportunity for sockeye openings due to weak Fraser River sockeye returns. Catch was substantially lower than projected in the Hood Canal terminal area, primarily due to low catches in the Hoodsport hatchery zone (12H). Catch substantially exceeded preseason projections in the South Puget Sound terminal areas, particularly the Duwamish and Nisqually rivers, and the Deep South Sound Marine areas. Although catch exceeded expectations, conservation objectives appear to have been met in these areas.

Marine and freshwater landed recreational Chinook catch in the 2006-2007 season was estimated, from a combination of Catch Record Card and creel data, to be 48,800, slightly higher than the pre-season projection of 44,400. Creel survey-based estimates of catch in 2007-2008 mark-selective recreational fisheries in Areas 5-6, 7, 8.1-8.2, 9-10,Skagit River, Skykomish River, and Puyallup/Carbon rivers are included in this report. Total mortality estimates (catch + non-landed mortality) for the marine area selective fisheries were generally lower than pre-season expectations.

Escapements to the Skagit (summer/fall), Cedar, Nisqually, Puyallup, White (spring), and Green management units exceeded pre-season projections. Escapement to the Skagit (spring), Stillaguamish, Skokomish, Mid-Hood Canal, Dungeness, Elwha and Hoko units were below their projected levels.

Escapement was below the lower management threshold for the Nooksack, Stillaguamish, Hoko, Dungeness, Skokomish, and Mid-Hood Canal management units. Escapements were above the Upper Management Thresholds in the Green, Cedar, Puyallup, and Nisqually Rivers. Escapements for other Puget Sound units were between their Upper Management Low Abundance thresholds.

Coded-wire tag sampling of 2006 commercial fisheries achieved the sampling rate objectives in most, but not all marine and freshwater areas. All marine area recreational fisheries were sampled at rates higher than 10% for the year.