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Summer Chum Salmon Conservation Initiative: Supplemental Report No. 6 Protocols For Summer Chum Salmon Supplementation Recovery Projects

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

Date Published: July 2004

Number of Pages: 39

Author(s): Steve Schroder and Jim Ames


In April of 2000 the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Point No Point Treaty Tribes published a resource management plan designed to preserve and recover the summer chum salmon stocks of Hood Canal and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. That recovery plan, the Summer Chum Salmon Conservation Initiative (SCSCI - WDFW and PNPTT 2000), identified the status of regional stocks, factors for their decline, and recommended a series of artificial propagation, habitat, and fisheries harvest management measures that were necessary to recover summer chum salmon in the region to healthy self-sustaining levels.

A key element in the recovery plan is the use of hatchery supplementation to assist in the recovery of wild summer chum populations that are at risk of extinction. The objective is to use artificial propagation to preserve and expeditiously recover extant summer chum salmon populations, and to re-establish returns where stocks have been extirpated. The SCSCI provides a rigorous suite of operational and monitoring standards that are designed to minimize the risk of deleterious genetic, ecological, and demographic effects to supplemented and un-supplemented stocks.

The following report presents specific protocols for conducting a science based artificial production and monitoring project for the recovery of a summer chum salmon stock. The SCSCI requires that project sponsors operate within the bounds of various criteria, which guide facility operation and monitoring, however, requirements can vary depending on the status of the stock involved and the degree of monitoring and evaluation needed (see SCSCI Section 3.2). The following individual protocols may not be required of every project, and project sponsors should be guided by the conditions in their specific Hatchery and Genetic Management Plan (HGMP).

This report is presented in two parts. Part I describes the methods used to spawn, incubate, and track various biological parameters from adult collection through fry emergence and ponding. Part II delineates the procedures that are used to culture juvenile chum salmon, track their survival, growth, and document their size at release. These protocols are taken mainly from instructions provided to WDFW biologists and technicians, and citizen volunteer groups, that are participating in summer chum salmon recovery projects currently taking place in Jimmycomelately Creek, Hamma Hamma River, Lilliwaup Creek, Union River, Tahuya River, and Big Beef Creek. Recovery projects implemented for Columbia River fall chum salmon are also utilizing these protocols for the supplementation of Grays River, Chinook River, and Duncan Creek chum salmon. The report can be used for two purposes; to provide detailed background information about how supplementation project data are collected and how various procedures are carried out for individual chum salmon recovery projects, and secondly, it can also serve as a reference for the staff that will be conducting these projects.

A companion report, Monitoring and Evaluation Techniques for Summer Chum Salmon (SCSCI – Supplemental Report No. 7; in press), presents a variety of techniques that can be used to evaluate the contributions of artificial production programs, and to assess the status of wild summer chum populations.