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Comprehensive Management Plan for Puget Sound Chinook: Harvest Management Component - Annual Postseason Report 2008-09 Fishing Season

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

Date Published: May 11, 2009

Number of Pages: 136

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, 2008 and April 30, 2009. This includes comparisons of pre-season projections with actual catch in all commercial and some recreational fisheries. 2007 Recreational catch estimates are presented for those areas where data were not available in time for the 2007-2008 report. Chinook spawning escapement estimates for 2008 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 primarily a result of limited opportunity for sockeye, due to weak Fraser River sockeye returns. Commercial catches in South Puget Sound and Hood Canal were reasonably close to expectations. Catch exceeded preseason projections in the Nooksack/Samish, and Stillaguamish/Snohomish terminal areas, due to better than expected returns to hatchery facilities in those areas. Catch in the Skagit terminal area was less than predicted, due to a weaker than expected summer/fall Chinook return.

Marine and freshwater landed recreational Chinook catch in the 2007-2008 season was estimated, from a combination of Catch Record Card and creel data, to be 64,300, higher than the pre-season projection of 52,100. Creel survey-based estimates of catch in 2008-2009 mark-selective recreational fisheries in Areas 5, 7, 8.1-8.2, 9-10, and 11, 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 with seasons completed in time for this report were generally lower than pre-season expectations.

Escapement was close to prediction for Nooksack and Skagit spring Chinook, but below expectation for the Dungeness and White River spring Chinook. Nooksack and Dungeness were both below lower thresholds. White River spring Chinook was above its upper threshold.

For summer/fall stocks, escapement was below expectation for the Skagit, Green, Elwha, and Hoko, and above expectation for the Stillaguamish, Snohomish, Puyallup, Nisqually, and Mid-Hood Canal. The Mid-Hood Canal and Hoko units were below their lower thresholds. Escapement projections were fairly accurate for Lake Washington and Skokomish Chinook.

Coded-wire tag sampling of 2007 commercial fisheries achieved sampling rate above 20% in most, but not all marine and freshwater areas. Areas with substantial catches falling below a 20% rate were areas 12C/H (Hood Canal), the Skokomish River, and area 13F (Budd Inlet). All but two recreational fisheries (Hood Canal and South Sound) were sampled at rates higher than 20%.