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Wild Steelhead Stock S t a t u s BC 2004.... British Columbia in Perspective 1200 km (720 mi) south to north 500-1000 km (300 – 600 mi) wide 950,000 sq.

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Presentation on theme: "Wild Steelhead Stock S t a t u s BC 2004.... British Columbia in Perspective 1200 km (720 mi) south to north 500-1000 km (300 – 600 mi) wide 950,000 sq."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wild Steelhead Stock S t a t u s BC

2 British Columbia in Perspective 1200 km (720 mi) south to north km (300 – 600 mi) wide 950,000 sq km (367,000 sq mi) 75% mountains; 60% forested; 10% farmland and lakes; <2% rivers 10% farmland and lakes; <2% rivers 7000 km (4200 mi) of coastline

3 Population Details ~4.0Million total ~ 60% Vancouver ~16% Vancouver Island ~24 % elsewhere but only 4% in northern half <4% Aboriginal

4 B C (Wild) Steelhead Facts About 580 steelhead “rivers” (3 rd order or larger) About 630 stocks (85% WSH, 12% ISSH, 3% CSSH) About 1/3 of rivers along remote mid & N coast (seldom, if ever, fished) About 1/4 of rivers on Vancouver Island

5 Guesstimates of Abundance Stock Type Number of Stocks < > 1000 WSH CSSH402(1) ISSH All

6 Abundance (cont’d) Stock Type Abundance Winter Steelhead 225,000 Coastal Summer Steelhead 25,000 Interior Summer Steelhead 90,000 All340,000

7 Hatcheries in Perspective

8 Number of Streams Stocked with Steelhead Juveniles Originating From Wild Brood Stock (F=fry, S=smolt) Time Island Mainland Thompson Cariboo Skeena All Period F S F S F S F S F S F S Time Island Mainland Thompson Cariboo Skeena All Period F S F S F S F S F S F S < < – – – – – – ? ?

9 Steelhead Releases Steelhead Releases Period Av # Fry Av # Smolts Period Av # Fry Av # Smolts M.07M M.07M M.60M M.60M M.91M M.91M M.82M M.82M M.63M M.63M M.38M M.38M

10 Stock Assessment Methods  Total Counts Weirs/resistivity counters (Keogh, Deadman, Sustut, Kitwanga)  Indices of Abundance Gillnet test fisheries (Fraser, Skeena) Fishwheels (Nass) Snorkel observations (some total counts) Aerial Counts (Chilko) Juvenile sampling

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12 Nass River Watershed Nass Lake Damdochax Creek Kwinageese River Cranberry River White River Meziadin Lake Bowser Lake Bell-Irving River Kiteen River Grease Harbour Tchitin River New Aiyansh Tseax River Canyon City (Gitwinksihlkw) Greenville (Lakalzap) Ishkeenickh River Kincolith Kincolith River Nass River 50 km N BC

13 Fishwheel Locations Kwinageese River Cranberry River White River Meziadin Lake Kiteen River Grease Harbour Tchitin River New Aiyansh Tseax River Canyon City (Gitwinksihlkw) Greenville (Lakalzap) Ishkeenickh River Kincolith Kincolith River Nass River 50 km N

14 Nass River Fishwheels 6 wheels operated annually Mainly for stock assessment Late May to late September Now operated as the sole in- season salmon indicator for the Nass

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16 Nass Steelhead Escapement ( )

17 Tyee Test Fishery Location N 0 6 km Porcher Island Kennedy Island Smith Island Digby Island Kaien Island Chatham Sound Prince Rupert Port Edward Ecstall River Khyex River Skeena River Tyee Test Fishery BC

18 Tyee Test Fishing Site SKEENA RIVER Khyex River Highway 16 Port Essignton Lookout Tyee Bank Ecstall River Khyex Bank Tyee Test Fishing Site

19 Skeena Test Fishery Index

20 Tyee Test Fishery 2003

21 Upper Sustut River Watershed Skeena River Birdflat Creek Sustut River Bear Lake Bear River Asitka River Red Creek Johanson Creek Johanson Lake Moosevale Creek Two Lake Creek Sustut Lake Study Area N Scale: Approximately 1:340,000 Weir Location

22 Upper Sustut River Weir

23 Sustut Weir Counts Estimated K = ~1100

24 Albion Test Fishery

25 Trends in Chilko

26 Deadman Creek Resistivity Counter

27 Trends in Deadman

28 Trends in Bonaparte

29 Trends in Nicola

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31 Central Coast Index – Bella Coola

32 Lower Fraser CSSH Index

33 WILD STEELHEAD RETURNS TO THE KEOGH RIVER 1976 to 2003

34 The capacity for smolts dropped from 7,000 (>10,000 with nutrient addition) to <2000 recent increases in smolts can be attributed to WRP Keogh River Steelhead Smolt counts, 1977 to 2003

35 Smolt-to-adult survival trends 2001 estimate based on partial returns. SAS has dropped from average of 15% to <4% Like wild coho, SAS increased in ‘97 and ‘98, but recently declined based on returns thus far of 2001 smolts

36 Steelhead smolt yield and adult returns at the Keogh River, B.C.

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42 Englishman River WSH Snorkel Counts

43 West Coast Van Isle WSH Index

44 Mainland Coast WSH Index

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46 In Summary: The “red zone” is not diminishing in size or severity All the king’s horses and all the king’s men are not putting Humpty together again –Mother nature is a b_ _ _ _! –Fish culture in all it’s forms is not reversing anything –We aren’t fixing the broken habitat and diminished productivity on anywhere near a scale that will make a difference –Those who degraded the habitat are not held accountable Fisheries managers are becoming as rare as steelhead

47 (Hopefully not) “The End”


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