Public Fishery Alliance strategies to address impactsof Pinnipeds on Early Fraser Chinook

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by cohochinook, Apr 13, 2020.

  1. cohochinook

    cohochinook Well-Known Member

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  2. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

    Well presented.

    Have an idea where we might be able to mesh some of our efforts.
    Just want to run that by our Board first, then will be getting in touch...

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  3. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    overdue as well - getting another narrative out there....
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  4. Port Eliza Fishing

    Port Eliza Fishing Well-Known Member

    Well written article. First nations are now able to get licenses to hunt and sell pinnipeds as far as I know, but it seems to be slow getting going. In order for their hunt to be large enough to make a difference they will need to be able to make some money from it which seems to be an issue. There isnt much economic incentive to go out and hunt seals or sea lions. There is little market for the meat, and there is already a glut of hides from the east coast seal fishery. I'm not sure how many seal coats @ $3900 on fur Canada will be sold, probably not many. The only way these seals gorging on steam type chinook could maybe be controlled is by DFO actually paying attention to the science rather than politics and stepping in to fund removal of a decent percentage. This doesnt seem too likely.
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  5. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    The COVID crises has affected getting a market up and running....
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  6. chris73

    chris73 Well-Known Member

    Good article. But you should go over your grammar and spelling again.
  7. cohochinook

    cohochinook Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the feedback, @chris73 The grammar is getting updated today, so you should see a difference by later today.
  8. cohochinook

    cohochinook Well-Known Member

  9. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    Can you put some context with that video? Where, when, pretty much anything to make this relevant.
  10. cohochinook

    cohochinook Well-Known Member

    Have you not read the post?
  11. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    Yes I have read the post, and I see no mention of this video. I ask again, please explain where this video was filmed and what species of fish the seals were eating.
  12. cohochinook

    cohochinook Well-Known Member

    I assume you don't have Facebook. Here's what the post said on Facebook:

    Blog Post..

    Pinniped predation on juvenile salmon and steelhead!

    Addressing the most significant impacts to threatened chinook and steelhead needs to be a priority. How can recovery be achieved if some of the biggest threats are not managed and addressed? Smolt predation at choke points by pinnipeds is a massive issue, especially for Early Fraser Chinook and Interior Steelhead.

    Have a look at this video, it demonstrates how man made structures create opportunity for harbour seals, in turn having lethal consequences for juvenile salmon. Turning a continued blind eye to this type of predation is not helping anything or anyone, except the problem pinnipeds in the select areas.

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  13. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    You are not answering my questions. I'm not arguing seals predate on salmon but your message needs much more clarification to sway the minds of the general public.

    Where are Thompson steelhead and upper Fraser chinook smolts being eaten, at what choke point?
  14. cohochinook

    cohochinook Well-Known Member

    Read the Blog post as it clearly explains the concerns @Dave from there you can draw your own conclusions!
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  15. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

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  16. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    Yes, I have drawn my own conclusions.
    I have spent a lot of time on Fraser River gill netters at Albion and Whonnock sampling adult chinooks and sockeye and have witnessed first hand seal predation. I also played a significant role in Northern Pikeminnow removals from Cultus Lake, attempting to save Cultus Lake sockeye. I understand predation/predator removals as management tools when all else fails. But, imo, your group will have to do a better job of convincing the general public upper Fraser chinook and Thompson steelhead smolts are being eaten in the numbers suggested. Most definitely hatchery juveniles are being eaten in large quantities, but the very low numbers of wild chinook and steelhead smolts (really, perhaps a few hundred in total from some stocks, several thousand, at most, from others) from these endangered stocks would make it very difficult for predators to target them. Not worth the energy consumed, again imo.

    Agent, you’re correct in that seals and especially sea lions consume huge amounts of eulachons in the Fraser … seen that also.
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  17. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Ya, it seems that Harbour seals travel up the freshwater the farthest in pretty much every river connected @ the mouth to the ocean - sometimes a couple hundred km in the largest rivers; while the sea lions typically only go as far as the limit of the tide. The harbour seals seem to be more focused on the juvies, trout and smaller fish including Eulachon; while the sea lions seem to be focused on the adult salmon (esp. Chinook) and Eulachon.

    As far as the Eulachon feeding goes...

    Harbour seals seem to be poorer swimmers than the fur seals and are more regulated to the tribs and shallower rivers; while the sea lions are powerful swimmers and seem to be unaffected by currents or deep holes/depth.


    One sees the sea lions in the middle of big rivers diving after the incoming and yet-to-spawn Eulachons holding-up in the deep pools; while the harbour seals are more on the shallow areas and tribs after spawning and spawned-out Eulachons.

    Couple years ago I was in one of the smaller, shallower rivers (6-9ft depths) where ~200-300 Eulachon were trying to spawn being chased by 20-30 harbour seals. The Eulachons never stood a chance, IMHO.

    It's not uncommon to see 20-120 harbour seals in a 5km stretch of river near & upriver the mouth in almost every watershed on the coast. That's a very big number coast-wide and a very big take of fish - that are there year-round. The sea lions seem to come and go more often and stay near the river mouth as fish arrive and have a larger range into the salt chuck during the rest of the year than the harbour seals.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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  18. cohochinook

    cohochinook Well-Known Member

    Thanks for a bit of info on your background and experience. Well I would agree that hatchery steelhead would be a target, I don't believe that's the only thing getting consumed by Seals. The Upper Fraser Sream type chinook smolts are larger smolts along with the Chilcotin and Thompson steelhead smolts making them an attractive meal for a seal. I'm not sure where you're drawing your conclusions that it would be just Hatchery steelhead that would be impacted? What evidence or data do you have to support that?

    The PFA isn't advocating for just removal of problems seals. Rather adressing areas that are pinch points and where there are problem animals. It also goes well beyond this and that we need to take away or use aversion techniques for log booms , haul out areas whete they rest on, rocky outcrops, docks where they hang out on. There is a lot to be done and also euchalons need help as you pointed out.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2020
  19. Birdbrain

    Birdbrain Member

    I don't doubt that seals and sea lions predate on salmonids, young and old, but that "blog" page needs improvement. It leaves me with a lot of questions that need answering, before I would consider supporting the "Public Fishery Alliance."

    Firstly, why is the Public Fishery Alliance withholding the identity of its member(s)? Who are they, what are their credentials on this subject, and what are their goals? I need transparency, especially nowadays.

    Secondly, that article needs to state references to its figures, charts, and quotes, so that readers can understand the various claims and opinions which have been made. A lot of the material in that article is vague and without context or named sources, especially the charts. It also mentions "a workshop 'Pinnipeds & Impacts on Salmon—Workshop Proceedings 2019' ”. What workshop was this? Got a link to it?

    If readers could read the original references, or at least were told the sources of some of this information, they would gain a better understanding of the "Alliance's" message.

    The article also needs to correct at least one apparent gross contradiction: That first chart, titled "Steelhead in Harbour Seal Diet in 2012 & 2013" indicates seals' consumption rates of steelhead smolts of between 0% and about 1.5%, yet just below that chart, it is claimed that 74% of smolts are eaten. The sources of that chart, and that 74% reference, are missing, so I'm left confused.

    The explanation of stream-type and ocean-type chinook is informative.

    But overall, in my opinion, I don't think much public support will be garnered from that article, as it's presently written.
  20. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    Social media does not have to provide any of that.

    From what I’ve learned the one liners with picture gains far more traction then some scientifically read papers of which there are plenty out that have been posted online this site that talk about seal and their consumption of salmon.
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