Preliminary 2018 salmon outlook

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

  1. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Active 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 Active 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 Active 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!!!!

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