Angling Guide Data Summary for the 1990/1991 to 2010/2011 licence years in the Skeena River Watershed


Executive Summary

The Angling Guide Management System (AGMS) database for the British Columbia Skeena Region has been updated to contain the angling guide activity and catch information submitted for the 1990/91 to 2010/11 licence years. This data summary report provides a review of where and how guided angling activities in the Skeena watershed may have changed over these licence years and where it may be useful for fisheries managers to focus future efforts toward investigating potential trends identified based on the data that angling guides are required to submit for their annual guiding permits. A number of data summary queries and crosstab queries have been created and saved in the AGMS database to provide easy replication and the ability to target the results for more specific questions that may arise. Some of the trends and permit compliance issues are noted and discussed in the various sections regarding angling guide report submissions, angling guide activities and species reported at various locations in the Skeena watershed. A more detailed summary of the guided angling success for steelhead in the Skeena watershed is also presented and appears to provide a reasonable measure of inter-annual and spatial variations in steelhead abundance when compared to the Steelhead Abundance Index for the Skeena watershed that is calculated annually based on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Tyee Test Fishery results. Based on linear correlation analysis, the guided angling success for steelhead at all classified waters (i.e., combined total) correlates well with the Tyee Steelhead Abundance Index indicating that these two indices have similar positive correlations with steelhead abundance. Interestingly, the number of guided angling days reported at classified waters from July 1st to October 31st has no correlation with the Tyee Steelhead Abundance Index indicating that summer-run steelhead abundance levels from 1990 to 2010 have not notably influenced the amount of guided angling days reported for the same year or the following year. This plateau in guided angling efforts appears to be related to the consistent permit allocations over the years and consequently it is presently not detectable if annual steelhead returns may affect economic benefits to angling guides using this simple linear correlation method. Overall, the methods derived for summarizing the AGMS data appear to provide a useful tool to annually monitor guided angling activities and success, as well as present a start to a more accurate assessment of the spatial distribution of fish abundances than just the overall Skeena watershed abundances estimates that are acquired from the Tyee Steelhead Abundance Index.

Note: in addition to salmon and steelhead, this report also contains data on bull trout, cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, and whitefish.