NSTC In-Season Salmon Abundance and Health Indicator Program

The NStQ value this project as a component of their involvement in fisheries management through its validity for assessing salmon enroute to the spawning areas, the data collected could prove valuable to the diminishing salmon stocks returning to and/or passing through the traditional territories of the Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw (NStQ). The data being collected could inform future fisheries as well as illustrate and verify theories on run dynamics. The success of this year’s project comes with the collection of necessary biophysical data and completion of the five goals of the project, as follows:

1. Continue testing the fishwheel at the upstream location used in 2009 near the Gang Ranch Bridge.

2. Incorporate improvements to make the wheel more “fish friendly”.

3. Improve upon tagging for sockeye, chinook and coho including renewed efforts in upstream tag recovery.

4. Continue testing the feasibility of the wheel as a live capture and release platform for the collection of biophysical information from all species of fish caught.

5. Increase the capacity of the NSTC Fisheries Program through training, employment, project management and tasks associated with successful completion of this project.

For data collected, this was the most successful season of the operation of this apparatus in the Fraser River at its current location.

In 2010 the NSTC fishwheel successfully live captured 2104 sockeye (916 female, 1181 male and 7 unknown) during the study period. Other species captured were 17 chinook and 9 coho. No sturgeon was captured in 2010. In successfully meeting these goals the NSTC Fisheries program continues to progress in developing tools for which management can be better informed.