Pre-Season 2003 Stock Size Forecasts For Skeena River and Nass River Sockeye Salmon

Abstract

This working paper presents pre-season forecasts for Skeena River and Nass River sockeye returning in 2003. The basic forecasts developed in this working paper are all based on procedures that performed best in past assessments (Wood et al 1995, 1996). Three forecasting models are used to forecast Skeena sockeye returns in 2003, and two forecasting models are used to forecast Nass sockeye returns in 2003. The pre-season forecasts indicate a low return of Skeena River sockeye and an average return of Nass River sockeye can be expected for 2003. For the Skeena River sockeye return in 2003, the recommended median (50%) forecast is the sibling model estimate of 1,205,331. For the Nass River sockeye return in 2003, the recommended median (50%) forecast is the 5yr average model estimate of 764,183 although the potential for a larger median return of 867,000 (to Canada) should be recognized as suggested by the Nisga’a Fisheries analysis. Actual 2003 returns will need to be assessed in-season.