NSTC In-Season Salmon Abundance and Health Indicator Program – A Feasibility Study
The purpose of the project is to measure the in-season abundance of sockeye in the Upper Fraser River. This will be accomplished by way of a controlled sampling platform (fishwheel) in the southern area of the NStQ territories to collect data that will be utilized to estimate sockeye abundance below the confluence of the Chilcotin River with the Fraser River. This project was also an evaluation of the feasibility of utilizing the traditional fishing methods for estimating sockeye abundance above the confluence of the Chilcotin River with the Fraser at the traditional fishing site of Xat’súll (Soda Creek), which is located in the Northern area of the NStQ fishing area. Both fisheries under this project will collaborate with other projects on the Fraser River to accumulate as much data as possible on the in-season dynamics of migrating sockeye.
The issue that is being addressed by this project is the lack of in-season/in-river information that has been collected to date to monitor fish stocks as they migrate to the natal streams and a comparison of in-river migration against lower river run estimator’s in-season. This also addresses the issue of the recent shifts in strategies and fisheries reform (eg. PICFI) by establishing an indicator of abundance that can be utilized to manage in-river commercial fishing opportunities in the future and verify FSC Fisheries prior to any economic ventures commencing.