Nisqually River Fall Chinook Sport Fishery Highly anticipated by Washington sport anglers. One of largest hatchery Chinook returns in PS. Popular due to location (JBLM). Anglers are successful from mid August through late September. Relatively few gear conflicts despite high sport effort. Sport anglers are familiar with Treaty fishing schedule and plan accordingly. Effort is concentrated within a mile of Hwy 99. 2
Nisqually River Sport Fishing Regulations 1976; Two adult salmon per day July 1st – Jan 31st. 2006; Two adult salmon per day July 1st – Jan 31st, release “wild” adult Chinook. 2009; Three adult salmon per day July 1st – Jan 31st, two may be combination of pink, coho, or chum. Release “wild” adult Chinook. 2010; Three adult salmon per day July 1st – Jan 31st, two may be combination of pink, coho, or chum. Release all “wild” Chinook. 3
Nisqually River Fall Chinook Hatchery Release Adipose Fin Clip Rates (1990-2008) 4
Nisqually River Fall Chinook Catch Record Card (CRC) In-River Sport Harvest Estimates (1992-2009). 5
Nisqually River Fall Chinook In-River Sport Fishing Exploitation Rates (1992-2004). 6
Nisqually River Fall Chinook In-River Sport Fishing Exploitation Rates (2005-2009), Fishing Selectively. 7
Treaty HarvestManagement for Recovery of Natural Chinook Conflicting goals: Rebuilding and Harvest Goals Current exploitation trends Nisqually Treaty Impact on naturalChinook Nisqually Harvest Management for Rebuilding of natural Chinook Choices Fish non-selective gear types Achieve recovery goal Not achieve community harvest goal Fish Selective gear types Achieve recovery goal Achieve community harvest goal or exceed Selective Fishing technology Questions?
Conflicting Goals: Harvest and Recovery Long term Nisqually Community harvest goal: 10,000 to 15,000 Chinook: 32-48% treaty harvest rate if run size stays relatively constant. Long term rebuilding exploitation rate goal on natural Chinook is 47%: The Nisqually harvest rate on natural Chinook will be 20%(6,200 Chinook) in order to achieve our part in the total exploitation rate of 47% if fishing non-selective.
Current Trends: Puget Sound Sport mark selective fisheries: Puget Sound sport fisheries impact on unmarked Nisqually Chinook has been cut from roughly 15% to just under 7%(2007 and 2008). This is good news for sport fisheries because it allows for extended seasons and expanded areas.
Unmarked Chinook escaping all fisheries Canada PS Sport Extreme Terminal Catch (Nisqually in River Net)
Nisqually Treaty Impact on Natural Chinook Current interim rebuilding exploitation rate goal on natural Chinook: 65% The Nisqually harvest rate of roughly 40% gets us to this exploitation goal. Actual exploitation rate as of 2010: 72% 2010 Nisqually treaty harvest rate: 52%
Harvest Management into the Future 2011: Interim exploitation rate on natural Chinook: 65% Treaty harvest rate around 40% 2012 and 2013: Interim exploitation rate on natural Chinook: 56% Treaty harvest rate will be around 29% 2014: Rebuilding exploitation rate on natural Chinook: 47% Treaty harvest rate needs to be 20% (6,200 Chinook non-selective). Well below our community tribal harvest goal of 10,000-15,000. Leaving so many hatchery fish uncaught will compound the issue of increased HORs on the spawning grounds.
For the fishermen: Selective vs. Traditional Potential outcome with selective gear: Recover natural fish. Harvest hatchery Chinook at 65% or more (20,000 hatchery Chinook) equating to well above our community harvest goal of 10,000-15,000. Outcome with Current gear: 40% harvest rate equates to similar fishing schedule as last year. The following two years fish an approximate schedule of 29% harvest rate: 6 - 24 hour periods in early August (6 days total). In 2014 fishing an approximate harvest rate of 20% (6,200 Chinook): ~2 day fishery in early August.
Recover the Natural/Harvest the Hatchery 95% of a very large Chinook run is hatchery, thanks to Clear Creek Hatchery. If Nisqually fishermen can master selectively harvesting hatchery fish it is possible to obtain a higher harvest goal than 15,000 if: Reduce release impacts on natural Chinook to 20%; Meet our hatchery rack return; and Provide in river sport opportunity. When the natural run recovers our incidental harvest rate on the natural Chinook can go up.
Hypothetical Catch #s with Different Harvest Rate Scenarios
Technology: Selective fishing is a technology that will allow treaty commercial harvesters the choice to catch a lot more Chinook into the future just as monofilament net and boat motors have done in the past. Selective fishing techniques: Floating trap with live boxes in traditional set net areas in the estuary? Tangle set net? Tangle drift net? Traditional drift gill net? Temporary wooden weirs with dip nets??? Hoop traps?
Yelm Jim and George Leschi Fishing Traditional Technology.
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