Tag Archives: chinook

Juvenile Salmon Use of Nearshore Habitats in San Juan County

Tina Wyllie-Echeverria

Collaboration with Eric Beamer and Kurt Fresh (tows), and many students/volunteers

1950-2006, about 50 sites around the San Juans have been sampled and have found juvenile salmon.  Of 656km of SJI shoreline, 430km is rocky beach.  Tow nets (164 tows at 37 sites, monthly from Apr-Sep) caught juveniles of 5 species and 785k fish overall; 657 beach seins at 27 sites caught juveniles of 5 species and~100k fish overall.

% of catch (seine, tow): sculpins (29%,0%); smelt, sand lance, herring (17%, 98%); salmon (16%, 0%?); surf perch (16%, 0%); gadids (7%, <1%); hexagrammids (lingcod, kelp greenling 2%, <1%).

Chinook mostly present apr-sept (mostly august), about 2 months later than in Skagit estuary.  Juvenile salmon  are common Mar-Sept and were present year-round in all environments at all sites.

Along west side, catch was ~10x higher near Eagle Point than near Henry Island, but Rosario side was generally dominant (especially herring).

Juvenile Chinook use pocket estuaries near natal rivers

Eric Beamer, Juvenile Chinook salmon use of small non-natal estuaries  in the Whidbey Basin, eastern Admiralty Inlet, and the San Juan Islands

Most of our juveniles are coming from the Skagit, accumulating early in the year (feb-may, some years as early as december, often associated with floods).  Pocket estuaries are safer places (most fish are too small to eat fry) and maybe better (warmer?) places to grow.  Abundance (e.g. 1000s of fish/hecatre in Skagit Bay) is higher than in adjacent nearshore environments.  On outer (W) Whidbey island pocket estuaries, juveniles are smaller and arrive later (may/june).

San Juan Islands

  • fry-sized Chinook: spencer spit; third lagoon; jackson’s lagoon (only July); False Bay (April, but probably released from within the creek)
  • some other salmon seen, but not much higher use than adjacent environments

There are lots of other fish in these pocket estuaries: juvenile smelt, shiner perch (birthing), sculpins.

Northern resident bounty this year?

This just in from salmonuniversity.com:

Forecasts are great for the Queen Charlotte’s and the Nushagak in 2009

Canadian Fisheries claims the water temperature is the coldest in 11 years and the ocean conditions are perfect for setting up huge runs of returning Chinook and Coho for 2009.  In 2005 the Nushagak had over 300k returning Chinook – this year will be the returning fish from that run, coupled with terrific ocean conditions equates to a banner year in 2009

What does this mean for the southern residents?

$37.5M to help feed southern residents

It will be fascinating to see how this money is actually spent. The article mentions using part of the $30M to retire licenses from commercial troll fishers.

I’m guessing the $15M ($7.5M from Canada and the same from the U.S.) will be helping to replenish the PSC portfolio. This could mean renewed funding in 2010 (or maybe 2009). Perhaps some of the accepted fall 2008 proposals may get funded, despite the hit the portfolio took in the U.S. recession?

clipped from www.cbc.ca

CBC.ca Homepage

U.S. to compensate B.C. fishermen under latest pact to protect salmon
Last Updated:
Tuesday, January 6, 2009 | 11:25 PM ET
The U.S. government will hand over millions of dollars to compensate the B.C. fishing industry for dramatic cuts to salmon fisheries.
The $30-million US salve is one of several changes that took effect in the Pacific Salmon Treaty at the beginning of this year, with the aim of ensuring the sustainability of declining Pacific salmon stocks in Canada and the U.S.
Most of the U.S. funding will be for the loss in the chinook salmon catch off the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The federal and U.S. governments will also each contribute $7.5 million for other programs aimed at helping the recovery of disappearing salmon stocks along the Pacific coast.
As much as 75 per cent of the chinook caught off Vancouver Island are bound for U.S. waters
in the past fishermen on both sides of the border were taking their maximum allowable catch
It’s abundance-based management now.
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Ocean conditions promising future orca food

Some good news re offshore productivity in 2008, though the southern residents may not see the benefits for a couple years…
clipped from www.oregonlive.com


Oregon ocean conditions best for fish in 50 years
After several years of poor ocean conditions that left birds starving and fish dwindling, this year brought a healthy influx of cold, nutrient-rich water along the Oregon Coast that likely represent the best year for fish in decades, scientists say.
Surveys along the coast from Newport north to LaPush, Wash., found more juvenile chinook salmon than they’ve seen in the 11 years the surveys have been done, researchers said.
That suggests that the Northwest could see a salmon boom once those fish mature and migrate back to their home rivers in the next few years.
The key to ocean productivity off the Oregon Coast is upwelling of deep, cold water that is rich in nutrients. The water typically nurtures rich marine ecosystems, but last year and in the few years before the upwelling has happened erratically and hasn’t provided the nutrients essential to fish and other coastal life.
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