Preliminary 2018 salmon outlook/Forecast/Management Measures

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by wildmanyeah, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Anyone get their hands on the 28 page report yet?

    There are ninety-one (91) Outlook Units considered, meaning 91 different groupings of salmon that each return to a different place to lay eggs and reproduce. They are put into groupings so they can be properly categorized. Nine of these units didn’t have enough data to indicate how many salmon might return, so eighty-two (82) units were assigned a category. Of those units:

    • twenty-eight (28) are expected to be at, or above the amount necessary for a healthy population
    • thirty (30) are expected to be near, or below what is considered necessary for a healthy population
    • the remaining twenty-four (24) have a mixed outlook
    • overall, the outlook for salmon in 2018 has decreased slightly from last year
    • thirteen (13) Outlook Units improved in category:
      • sockeye: Early Summer – North Thompson, South Thompson, Lower Fraser; Summer – Quesnel; Fall – South Thompson, Lower Fraser; WCVI – Somass; Haida Gwaii;
      • chinook: Johnstone Strait (mainland inlets); Georgia Strait Fall (large hatchery ops);
      • coho: no change
      • pink: Areas 7 – 10 (odd & even);
      • chum: Fraser River; Yukon River
    • fifteen (15) Outlook Units declined in category:
      • sockeye: Summer – Harrison; Babine Lake – Enhanced; Skeena – Wild; Nass;
      • chinook: Nass; Skeena; Alsek;
      • coho: Mid and Upper Fraser; Thompson; Area 3;
      • pink: Georgia Strait – West (odd & even), East (odd & even); North Coast Areas 3 – 6 (odd & even); Haida Gwaii (even);
      • chum: Coastal Areas 5 & 6

    Sockeye 2018 Outlook
    • 31 Outlook Units (29 OUs shown here)
    • 215 CUs
    • Fraser: below average returns for many OUs; summer run dominant year
    • Somass: average returns
    • Skeena: poor brood year returns
    • Nass: below average to average returns expected
    Chinook 2018 Outlook
    • 21 Outlook Units (18 shown here)
    • 74 CUs
    • Northern BC: average to variable status; some declines over prior status
    • Southern BC: returns expected to remain low in the Fraser; mixed elsewhere

    Coho 2018 Outlook
    • 19 Outlook Units (16 OUs shown here)
    • 43 CUs
    • Northern BC: uncertain but directed harvest expected
    • Southern BC: remain low; restrictions for all fisheries
    Pink 2018 Outlook
    • 9 Outlook Units (7 OUs shown here)
    • 31 CUs
    • Northern BC: good returns in some areas; directed harvests expected
    • Southern BC: minimal Fraser return expected, some others abundant

    Chum 2018 Outlook
    • 11 Outlook Units (8 OUs shown here)
    • 37 CUs
    • Northern BC: uncertainty and continued poor returns expected
    • Southern BC: some fisheries expected; many groups abundant
  2. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Attached is the Full Plan, DFO was nice enough to share it with us when I emailed them!

    · Nass River: Average to below average returns with opportunities for directed harvest expected.

    · Skeena River: The 2018 return is expected to be poor based on poor contributions of age-5 Sockeye from the lowest return on record in 2013; weak returns of age-4 Sockeye from the 2014 brood year; and only modest age-3 jack returns in 2017 from the 2015 brood year. Return rates have become more uncertain in recent years, with greater variability among the Skeena stock components and brood year survival rates. Projected returns are expected to limit harvest opportunities.

    · Central Coast: Below average returns are expected in Areas 7 and 8. Areas 9 and 10 have shown some rebuilding trend over the past decade; however, returns in Area 9 are not expected to reach levels that would allow harvest opportunity.

    · Fraser River: Despite a strong brood year in 2014, below average returns are expected for many Fraser Sockeye populations due to a sustained period of low recruitment and an observed trend of decreasing fecundity that is suspected to be contributing to reduced productivity. Late run South Thompson (Shuswap) Sockeye populations are expected to comprise the majority of the total Fraser Sockeye returns in 2018. Below average returns are expected for Early Stuart Sockeye and very poor returns for Cultus Sockeye. Harvest opportunities are determined based on in-season assessments.

    · Somass River: After abundant returns of 2015 and 2016, 2017 returns of Somass Sockeye return were below average. In 2018, Somass Sockeye are expected to return near or slightly below the long term average. Opportunities for directed harvest may be possible.

    · Okanagan River: Returns in 2018 are expected to be positively influenced by large returns in 2014 and high smolt outmigration in 2016 but tempered by a continued expectation of low marine survival rates. Opportunities for directed harvest may be possible.

    · Quantitative forecasts will be provided in early 2018 for most Sockeye Salmon populations. Fishing opportunities for Sockeye are determined based on in-season assessments of actual Sockeye returns, expected in March.


    · Returns are expected to vary considerably across areas due to on-going fluctuations in freshwater and marine survival rates and variable parental spawner abundance.

    · Northern BC: Below average returns are expected in the Skeena and Nass rivers after record low returns in 2017. Low returns expected in most of the other systems, although average returns are expected in the Bella Coola area.

    · Southern BC: Many populations are stocks of concern or are expected to return at low levels due to combinations of low spawner abundance, persistently low survival rates and other factors contributing to declining productivity. For Fraser stocks, these circumstances affect all seasonal runs. Expect continued discussion of fishery restrictions to limit exploitation rates. WCVI wild populations remain a stock of concern while Chinook populations returning to the east side of Vancouver Island (e.g. Strait of Georgia — Fall) have been rebuilding.

    · Yukon Chinook: Returns to Canada are expected to remain below the long-term average; fisheries opportunities are uncertain.


    · Survival rates of Coho remain variable and are still below historic highs in most areas, particularly Southern BC.

    · Northern BC: Coho Salmon populations generally continue to exhibit higher productivity and returns than southern populations, especially earlier summer Coho in some of the larger river systems. Fall coastal Coho Salmon returns continue to be variable across the north. Overall, returns

    uncertain and will depend on marine survival rates of juveniles that went to sea in 2017. Opportunities for incidental harvest expected.

    · Southern BC: Coho populations, particularly Interior Fraser River Coho, remain in a low productivity period. Conservation measures and harvest restrictions will be required in southern fisheries to limit impacts on these populations.


    · Northern BC: Poor returns are expected for Pink Salmon in Areas 1 and 2 based on weak brood year escapement and declining trends over the past 3 cycles. There is potential for good returns of some stocks in Areas 3 to 6 based on brood year escapements. Poor returns are expected in Area 7 and average returns in Area 8. It appears the even-year run of the Bella Coola/Atnarko stock has recovered from impacts of the 2010 flood event. Opportunities for directed harvest are expected in areas with average or better-than-average returns.

    · Southern BC: There are minimal returns of Pink Salmon to the Fraser River in even years. Local Pink abundances in other areas of Georgia Strait may provide opportunities for harvest.


    · Chum forecasts are highly uncertain.

    · Northern BC: Hai da Gwaii Chum stocks have been consistent over the past decade with poor productivity and returns in Area 2E and moderate productivity in Area 2W; escapements have been estimated at management targets. Improved escapements were observed for Chum stocks in the Skeena River and Nass River in 2016 relative to recent years, followed by poor returns in 2017 following from very poor brood year escapements. Wild brood year escapements for Central Coast stocks are generally good. Returns of enhanced stocks are dependent upon ocean survival, which has been highly variable in recent years.

    · Southern BC: Inside Chum returns are expected to support fisheries. Fisheries are managed using a cautious harvest strategy that provides for harvest opportunities for all groups in mixed stock areas and terminal opportunities subject to meeting escapement targets. Fraser River Chum are expected to be abundant. Local opportunities may be considered for enhanced WCVI Chum.

    · Yukon Chum (mainstem): An above-average run is expected in 2018.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
    BCBill, Chuck, Birdbrain and 6 others like this.
  3. ericl

    ericl Active Member

    Nice job - thanks. Seems interest in this is low; people don't seem to care why there are restrictions & save their energy for complaining about restrictions.
    saltydawg, concfin, Cut Plug and 2 others like this.
  4. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Looking Forward: 2018 Salmon Fisheries (refer to attachment for full report)

    1. Chinook Management
    • Expect discussion on potential adjustments to management approaches for chinook fisheries to address considerations related to:

    – Conservation of stocks of concern and potential for low returns in 2018 due to low spawner abundance and low productivity associated with unfavourable marine conditions; particularly for Fraser chinook populations.

    – Assessment of conservation and allocation objectives in the 5yr Review of Fraser River chinook (Fraser Spring 42, Spring 52 and Summer 52).

    – Actions to address chinook prey-accessibility for Southern Resident Killer Whales.

    • Stock-specific / AABM forecasts and coded wire tag (CWT) based total mortality distributions available in late March / early April.

    Pacific Salmon Outlook - 2018

    General conditions
    • Expectation that returns of many Pacific salmon populations may continue to be influenced by effects of large scale variability in ocean conditions (e.g. El Nino, warm blob) in the North Pacific and freshwater environments.

    – Continued uncertainty about salmon returns that have become increasingly variable and more challenging to reliably forecast.

    • Diminished returns for a number key salmon runs in the Pacific region are expected which may require adjustments to management plans to achieve conservation objectives and provide sustainable harvest opportunities.

    • A recording of the DFO presentations on the 2018 Pacific Salmon Outlook and State of the Pacific Ocean presentations from December 13th is available.
    BCRingo and Chuck like this.
  5. concfin

    concfin New Member

    This is a very important document. It is the future of our sport we should all take notice!!!!
  6. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    2018 Pre-season Fraser River Sockeye Run Size Forecast:

    Pre-season forecasts of run size at a range of probability levels are developed for all individual Fraser sockeye stocks, and then aggregated into the four management (run timing) groups Table 13.5-7. Fraser sockeye run size forecasts are highly uncertain, largely due to the wide variability in annual survival rates, and observation error in the stock-recruitment data. Fraser

    sockeye survival for most stocks (notable exceptions include Late Shuswap and Harrison) have been variable with a record low survival observed in the 2009 return year, improvements from 2010 to 2014, and a decline again (2015 to 2017).

    The 2018 run size forecast approach uses a suite of models, which were selected on a stock-specific basis based on their ability to predict true returns over the full stock-recruitment time series. The forecast is highly uncertain as represented by the cumulative probabilities, which largely represent uncertainty in stock survival. If survivals fall outside a stock’s historic stock-recruitment time series, then returns could fall outside the forecast distribution. It is more appropriate to reference individual stock forecast distributions, versus the total Fraser sockeye forecast, since not all stocks will exhibit the same survival in a particular year. Therefore, the total forecast distribution from 5,265,000 to 36,893,000 at the 10% to 90% probability levels will likely under-estimate or over-estimate total returns at the ends of the probability distribution. The median of the total 2018 forecast distribution (50% probability) is 13,981,000 (there exists a one in two chance the return will be at or below this value). Forecast returns are dominated by two stocks: Late Shuswap (50%) and Chilko (16%). These two stocks account for 66% of the total forecast (50% probability).

    The effects of extremely warm water temperatures on survival have been incorporated quantitatively into the forecasts for eight stocks where temperature covariate models historically perform well. Although the effect of the warm coastal temperatures on Fraser Sockeye survival is highly uncertain, forecasts for these stocks using temperature covariate models were consistently smaller than forecasts produced by models that exclude these covariates. However, these stocks account for only 28% of the total forecast at the median forecast level. Given that the warm ocean conditions that developed in late 2013 have until recently persisted, median (50% probability level) forecasts based on models that do not include indices of environmental conditions may overestimate returns. In recent years (2015-2017), total Fraser sockeye returns fell at the low end (~10% probability level) of the forecast range. If total Fraser Sockeye survival also similarly responds between years, then total returns falling at the lower probability levels should occur. In recent years, although total returns have fallen at lower probability levels, the exact response between individual stocks has varied (source:DFO).
  7. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member


    The abundance of Chinook stocks has been decreasing throughout the Pacific region for a number of years due to reductions in survival and fecundity (average eggs per female). Specifically, the average smolt-to-age 2 (3 for yearlings) survival has declined by about 60% from brood years 1980-1990 to 2007-2011 for all nine southern BC Chinook stocks monitored by the Pacific Salmon Commission. Decreases in fecundity observed in multiple populations have been attributed to fish maturing at younger ages and returning at smaller lengths within an age group. For example, the Lower Shuswap River (Fraser Summer 41 stock), exhibited a 20% drop in fecundity in 2017 compared to the average observed during the 1990s, and it has been decreasing since the early 2000s.

    Despite significant reductions in historic southern BC chinook fishery impacts, the persistence of reduced productivity and poor ocean conditions in recent years has produced poor spawning escapements for many southern BC Chinook salmon stocks in 2017. All Chinook populations in the Fraser River had declines in escapement in 2017 with the largest decreases for the Spring 52, Summer 52 and Fall 41 (Harrison) stocks. These Fraser chinook populations had escapements of only 48%, 36% and 38%, of the 2004-2013 average, respectively. To address Fraser chinook conservation concerns for the 2018 season, the Department is proposing a precautionary reduction in exploitation rates (in the range of 25% to 35%) for specific chinook stocks of concern to align exploitation rates with current stock

    productivity, support conservation and promote rebuilding. These measures are planned in addition to existing fishery management measures already in place. These additional reductions are planned to address conservation concerns for all Fraser River chinook populations (including Spring 42, Spring 52, Summer 52, Summer 41 and Fall 41) in Southern BC. Vancouver Island chinook populations that are at low abundance but have shown recent signs of rebuilding are also expected to benefit from fishery measures to address stocks of concern. Further discussion is required to shape appropriate management actions in northern and southern BC fisheries to align exploitation rates with current chinook productivity, support conservation and promote rebuilding. The department is seeking input from First Nations and stakeholders on specific measures that could achieve the desired reductions. As a result, fishery measures identified in Section 13 have not yet been updated pending the completion of discussions. Fishery reductions will likely need to be considered in the following fisheries:

    • West Coast of Vancouver Island Offshore (AABM) fisheries – measures could include reductions in overall AABM fishery harvests and/or targeted measures for specific times/areas. In addition, further reductions are also planned for Northern BC fisheries that will benefit far north migrating chinook populations returning to southern BC.
    • Southern (ISBM) fisheries – measures could include additional measures to reduce harvests with time/area restrictions, size limits, changes to retention limits, or other measures.
    • Fraser River – specific measures in terminal areas will include no directed commercial Chinook fisheries and chinook non-retention during fisheries for other species; substantially reduced or closed recreational fisheries; and restrictions for First Nation FSC harvest.
    • Opportunities for directed harvest of surpluses of abundant and/or enhanced chinook populations in terminal fisheries may be considered subject to conservation measures for stocks of conservation concern.
  8. ILHG

    ILHG Well-Known Member

    Oh Boy....
  9. ryanb

    ryanb Active Member

    There is no hope for recovery as long as the in-river pillage continues. What's the point?

    I think we need to be realistic about that, no politician is going to allow dfo to go there.
    ILHG, littlechucky, Whitebuck and 3 others like this.
  10. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Good Morning First Nations and Stakeholders,

    The 2018/19 draft Northern and Southern BC Salmon Integrated Fishery Management Plans (IFMPs) are available for comment via the drop box link below. The deadline for submission of comments is April 6th, 2018.

    The draft IFMPs set out the policy framework that guides decision making, general objectives relating to management of stocks of concern, enhancement and enforcement, as well as decision guidelines for a range of fisheries.

    Section 13 of the IFMPs outline the Species Specific Fishing Plans, which describe fisheries plans for each of the salmon species and the management units and major fishery areas for each species. This section includes the relevant information on management approach, decision guidelines and specific management measures, as well as, information related to First Nations, commercial and recreational fishing plans for each fishery. Please note sections where information is not yet available have been marked with green font and sections that are key planning priorities have a box around them and are filled in grey.

    During March and April, the Department will be meeting with First Nations and recreational, commercial and environmental groups to seek further feedback on the draft IFMPs as part of the IFMP consultation process.

    Comments may also be provided in writing via email to your local Area Resource Manager(s), or to myself at

    Thank You,

    Ashley Dobko
    Salmon Project Officer

    Fisheries & Oceans Canada
    200 - 401 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C 3S4
    Tel: 604.666.1505
  11. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    And it would appear that when you look closely at some of the strategies in the IFMP that we have an allocation policy being played out to push enough fish into the Fraser to allow for a certain in-river fishery to take place even though other areas (18, 19, 20) pay the price in terms of significant restrictions aimed to pass Fraser Chinook through to the river. Hmmmm
    Kildonan, Whitebuck, ILHG and 2 others like this.
  12. littlechucky

    littlechucky Active Member

    A lot to digest...thanks for posting the link.

    An interesting fact in there:

    $705 million direct and indirect spending for rec sector in 2010...must be close to $1 billion now...I guess the greens figure the BC economy can just survive on endlessly rising housing prices and borrowing on a line of credit.
  13. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Ohh look at that they get to keep ramping up their take based on abundance hmm!!! not sure how that will help the whales! The more chinook that get left in the water the more FN's will take!

    Fraser River Spring 42 and Spring and Summer 52 Chinook For Fraser River First Nations fisheries, fishing plans will be developed collaboratively between First Nations and DFO with the objective of maintaining overall fishing pressure at levels that will permit rebuilding of these populations. This will result in limited or reduced fisheries openings or fishing times; actual plans will be announced in-season.

    January 1 to July 15: Management actions implemented since 2010 to protect Fraser Spring 42 chinook in the Fraser River are planned to continue in 2018. First Nations fisheries occurring during the Spring 42 migration period will be managed taking into account conservation requirements for this stock aggregate, while ensuring that fishery impacts are distributed as evenly as possible across all contributing populations.

    Additionally, fishing plans prior to July 15 will be aligned with the management zone identified for Fraser Spring and Summer 52 chinook. For 2018, the Department has decided to start the season in Zone 1, given the continued poor outlook for the Fraser Spring and Summer 52 chinook aggregates. By mid-June, in-season assessment of these stocks will guide the decision to remain in Zone 1, or to move to a different zone for the remainder of the season. Specific objectives guiding the development of Fraser River First Nations fishing plans are as follows:

    Zone 1: Expected exploitation rates on Spring and Summer 52 chinook reduced by at least 45% compared with the 2000 to 2006 period.

    Zone 2: Expected exploitation rates on Spring and Summer 52 chinook similar to those of the 2000 to 2006 base period.

    Zone 3: Harvests of Spring and Summer 52 chinook may occur during chinook-directed fisheries or as by-catch in sockeye-directed fisheries.

    After July 15: All in-river fisheries will be continue to be managed consistent with the management zone identified for Fraser Spring and Summer 52 chinook, but fisheries will no longer be constrained by management measures directed on Fraser Spring 42 chinook. Fishery impacts will need to take into account harvests in chinook directed fisheries and/or as by-catch in sockeye directed fisheries.

    The Department consults with First Nations on specific fishing plans for FSC fisheries.
  14. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    I shouldn't be so jaded, but seems a little weird that we do all this effort to get fish to the river, and then it seems to break down there. If no one makes it back to successfully spawn, all those efforts are for what purpose?
    Kildonan likes this.
  15. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Reconciliation, Apparently the masses are suppose to sit by and do nothing or be labeled a racist.

    JT, has got to go!
    ILHG, Gramps, fishinforever and 3 others like this.
  16. littlechucky

    littlechucky Active Member

    There are many things about this country that are really starting to bother me.
  17. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    If JT wants to buy out some commercial allocation, and so long as they are fairly compensated, feel free to put it in the hands of FN to create economic opportunity for their communities. All good from my point of view, but not so fast when it comes to recreational opportunities.
    ILHG likes this.
  18. ILHG

    ILHG Well-Known Member

  19. ILHG

    ILHG Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry, but BC was the province that secured the JT majority. Here you go! You hate Harper, well you got what you asked for!

    The rest of western Canada is suffering due to the "reconciliation".

    Thanks BC
    Chuck, Stizzla and Waterwolf2230 like this.
  20. Waterwolf2230

    Waterwolf2230 Well-Known Member

    Well said...

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