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Supplementation Standards for Recovering ESA-listed Threatened Summer-Run Chum Salmon Populations in the Hood Canal and Strait of Juan de Fuca Regions of Washington

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

Date Published:  2003

Number of Pages: 19

Author(s): Tim J. Tynan, Chris Weller and Thom H. Johnson

DESCRIPTION:
This paper was presented at the 21st Annual Northeast Pacific Pink & Chum Salmon workshop in Victoria, B.C. by WDFW staff, and was printed in the proceedings from that conference (Please contact the authors before citing this paper, as proceedings from this workshop are not treated as published material). All three papers WDFW presented during the conference dealt with issues involved with supplementation of summer chum stocks.

ABSTRACT:

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Point No Point Treaty Tribes and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identified standards defining when and how to use artificial propagation for supplementing and reintroducing depleted summer chum salmon populations in the Hood Canal and Strait of Juan de Fuca regions of Washington State. The standards were developed and set forth in the Summer Chum Salmon Conservation Initiative, a joint resource management plan that defined a comprehensive strategy for recovering summer chum salmon to healthy self-sustaining levels. Following objectives guiding when supplementation and reintroduction would be applied, a decision process was assembled and implemented to select candidate summer chum stock projects. Projects were selected based on an assessment of stock extinction risk status, and an evaluation of potential benefits and risks associated with any proposed projects. Rigorous standards were developed to guide how selected supplementation and reintroduction projects are implemented. Cornerstone standards included limitation on the duration of all projects to 12 years, identification of populations not subject to supplementation as reference stocks, and identification of criteria for adjusting a project, or reducing or terminating it sooner than 12 years. Strategies for minimizing the risk of potential deleterious demographic, ecological, and genetic effects on natural and artificially propagated summer chum salmon were also defined to direct how supplementation would be applied. Monitoring, evaluation, and reporting requirements were also included as standards to allow for tracking of project performance and effects, and to guide program adjustments to ensure that the projects conformed with their objectives.