This proposal is a continuation of a project that has provided in-season stock composition estimates of chum salmon to fishery managers within 24 to 48 hours of receiving samples from the Pilot Station sonar test fishery since 2004. The products of the sonar and stock composition estimates provide stock abundance estimates in the lower river, which facilitates management of the fishery and run to meet passage of chum salmon into Canada.
The disparate strength of individual stocks within and among years makes it clear that in-season stock return data assists management to meet escapement. It provides a real-time tool that allows for informed decisions on regulating fisheries to meet escapement, whereas terminal escapement projects provide a post-season report on whether management decisions were successful. In this project, we will provide estimates of stock compositions for chum salmon stock groups to continue to facilitate Yukon River chum salmon management. Deliverables will include in-season stock composition estimates of the component of pulses of chum salmon that originate from Canada, which will be distributed by email fishery biologists and managers in both the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore, the estimates will be reported in the Yukon River Panel United States/Canada Joint Technical Committee’s (JTC) annual report and in a final report to the Yukon River Panel.