Skeena Chums - Historic Runs - Spey Pages
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Skeena Chums - Historic Runs

We used reported commercial catch data and historical information to estimate the abundance of Skeena River Chum Salmon Oncorhynchusketa during the early rise (1916–1919) in the commercial fishery to provide historical perspective for recovery plans. We applied a Bayesian analysis to address the uncertainties associated with the estimation process. Based on the historical catch of 204,000 in 1919 and an estimated harvest rate of 0.32–0.58, the estimated return of Skeena Chum Salmon ranged from 355,000 to 619,000, with the most probable single estimate being 431,000. The estimated return of Chum Salmon based on the 1916–1919 geometric mean catch of 154,000 ranged from 268,000 to 471,000, with the most probable single estimate being 325,000. Our posterior modal historical
estimates are 8–11 times larger than the estimates for the contemporary period 1982–2010 and 39–52 times larger than those for the most recent period of 2007–2010. Intense harvest pressure is the single most probable factor explaining the sustained decline in Chum Salmon abundance, but other interactive factors, notably natural variations in survival, the loss of spawning and rearing habitat, and poor data quality, also are important considerations. Nonetheless, the Skeena catchment is largely pristine today, and our robust estimates of historical abundance should be of value to
contemporary management and conservation agencies for the rebuilding of such severely diminished populations



http://wildfishconservancy.org/about...re-chum-salmon


Would love to see what the old Steely runs were like..
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 04:09 PM
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I think in his book Hooten estimates historical Skeena steelhead runs in the 120,000 range or more.

Sg
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 05:30 PM
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300-600k historic run seems pretty small. In quite a few tributaries of the Kuskokwim River in W and SW Central Alaska, which are approximately size of the Bulkley, a typical Chum run ( est. by sonar in 2003-20012) was between 400,000 to 1,100,000 in each river. Although those rivers are located in the the different region, each of them is significantly smaller then Skeena watershed.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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the significance is not the former size of the run (didn't know it was a contest..), it is that the run is now less than 9000..
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sazan View Post
( est. by sonar in 2003-20012)
yikes, what happened to the last 18,000 years?!

For me, the glass is neither half-empty nor half-full, but rather twice as big as it needs to be.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 08:23 PM
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“Intense harvest pressure over the last century is likely the single largest factor contributing to the sustained decline in Skeena River chum,” said the report’s lead author, Michael Price. “However, other interactive influences such as reduced ocean productivity, habitat degradation, competitive interactions with hatchery fish, and by-catch in mixed-stock fisheries, may now inhibit their recovery.”

The authors believe it may be possible to again see substantially larger wild chum populations, but only if conservation measures are immediately initiated. “The Skeena is still a relatively intact ecosystem with great habitat. If the right measures were put in place, it could become the great chum river our research shows it once was,” said co-author Jack Stanford of the Flathead Lake Biological Station of the University of Montana.


One has to look no further then how DFO runs the fish management regarding Steelhead or Chinook. This year the forecast for Sockeye run in Skeena drainage is very week so the fishery was shut down. To "compensate" for it they open Chinook fishery despite a very weak return and more opening in Nass region to please gillnetters who want to catch the last fish and do not care about sustainability at all.


If you focus on the needs of man – not the needs of the resource – you meet the needs of neither!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-04-2013, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbadbrent View Post
the significance is not the former size of the run (didn't know it was a contest..), it is that the run is now less than 9000..

Isn't this a very high escapement by Thompson steelhead standards? In a few years the DFO can implement a similar sport fishing opening if the numbers are projected to exceed 800 and life will be good again.

Other than that I do not think anyone on this board or beyond can help. I am saying this with a good degree of sorrow.
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