2017 Common Property Update

18 July 2017, SSRAA Chum Common Property Update:
Generally the more “outside” returns to Kendrick and Nakat should just be on the back side of the peak, and continue at some level into early August. The more “inside” runs, Neets and Anita, should peak at about the 25th of July and remain strong into early August. There may also be some 3-year-olds coming back to Burnett Inlet this year, but this will not be a lot of fish. Our intent is to use what returns to Burnett as broodstock.
The drift harvest has been approximately what we would have expected at Nakat and in D101; at this date harvest in D106/108 continues to be better than anticipated. Years ago a large portion of the Neets chum return came down Clarence, through D106. This has not happened for the past 7 or 8 years. But, it seems to be going on this year. Though there are some Anita Bay fish in this harvest, Neets Bay chums still make up the biggest portion of the fish being caught in D106 at the moment. This does not reflect the run size at Anita as we wouldn’t expect large numbers of those fish in D106 for another week.
At this point the seine harvest in D102 less than expect considering the forecast return. As always, the D102 harvest is not just Kendrick fish, a large number of Neets fish are also caught in that fishery. The harvest in D101 has been primarily of Neets Bay origin, but it has been much less than what was seen the past several years. This reflects, at least in part, a bigger portion of the Neets return traveling south through Clarence Strait as opposed to coming inside through D101 and 102.
Observations: the fish continue to be their historic normal size at about 10 pounds, most of the fish have been 4’s as we would expect at this point, though the 3’s are getting more numerous over time and look fairly strong, and as best we can tell males still predominate in the fishery.

Harvest of SSRAA releases (through stat week 28):

2017 Harvest  2017 Forecase % of Forecast Harvested
Kendrick Bay 485,067 842,000 57.6%
Neets Bay (w/ cost recovery) 545,287 1,320,000 41.3%
Nakat Inlet 159,966 226,000 70.8%
Anita Bay 110,939 481,000 23.1%
Total Summer Chum 1,301,259 2,869,000 45.4%

Note: Anita and Neets returns are generally at least a week later than Nakat and Kendrick.
Many of you reading this may not know that the Department stopped sampling chum salmon catches some years ago. SSRAA currently samples Ketchikan and Wrangell processors daily, seven days a week, and collects thermal tags (otoliths) as well as size and male/female ratio information. SSRAA also processes the otoliths and reads the tags. The information is provided to ADF&G managers in real time…within the week harvest occurs.

8 July 2017, SSRAA Chum Common Property Update:
This is the first 2017 harvest update…data does not always come together as quickly as we would like. Some of you may not be aware that most SSRAA chums are caught in traditional common property fisheries, not in Special Harvest Areas. Harvest information by district and gear type first comes from the department and then is sorted using SSRAA weekly port harvest sampling and thermal tag information. At this point we have exercised most of the annual gremlins found in the process and are confidence in the information through Stat week 27, ending last Saturday, 8 July.
It is early to say much about the run with a lot of confidence, but at this point it looks as if it will meet or exceed the forecast. In general terms the more “outside” returns to Kendrick and Nakat should peak in the next 10 days, plus or minus a few, and continue into early August. The more “inside” runs, Neets and Anita, should peak at about the 25th of July and remain strong into early August. There may also be some 3-year-olds coming back to Burnett Inlet this year, but this will not be a lot of fish. Our hope is that enough fish come back to supply a little broodstock for the summer (and fall) chum program. Most of the broodstock will be taken in the usual way at Neets Bay.
The drift harvest has been what we would have expected and perhaps a little better at Nakat and in D101; at this date harvest in D106/108 is also better than we would have anticipated. Years ago a large portion of the Neets chum return came down Clarence, through D106. This has not happened for the past 7 or 8 years. But, it seems to be going on this year. Though there are some Anita Bay fish in this harvest, Neets Bay chums make up the biggest portion of the fish being caught in D106 at the moment. This does not reflect the run size at Anita as we wouldn’t expect large numbers of those fish in D106 for another several weeks.
The seine harvest in D102 is also about what we would expect from the forecast return. As always, the D102 harvest is not just Kendrick fish, a large number of Neets fish are also caught in that fishery. The harvest in D101 has been primarily of Neets Bay origin, though Kendrick and some unmarked fish are also present, which is usual. Similar to the past several years, the fishery in D102 was crowded during the first several openings. With successful catching north, the crowding has lessened the past two openings.
Cost recovery harvest has only just started with few fish harvested to date (22,000 chums). The peak of the terminal return normally occurs on about 27 July. We won’t start broodstock collection until about the 20th, though there may be a few brood sets before that.
Early observations: the fish are normal sized to date at 10 pounds plus, most of the fish have been 4’s as we would expect at this point, though the 3’s look fairly strong, most fish are still bright, and as best we can tell males still predominate in the fishery.

Harvest of SSRAA releases (through stat week 27, does not include Sunday, July 9, harvest):

2015 2016 2017
Kendrick Bay 291,914 282,579 310,727
Neets Bay 159,634 242,547 282,388
Nakat Inlet 116,341 87,705 118,888
Anita Bay 36,116 44,118 57,111
Total SSRAA chum harvest to date 604,005 656,949 769,114

 

2017 Forecast  % of Forecast Harvested
Kendrick Bay 842,000 36.9%
Neets Bay 1,320,000 24.4%
Nakat Inlet 226,000 52.6%
Anita Bay 481,000 11.9%
Total Summer Chum 2,869,000 26.8%

Note: Anita and Neets returns are generally at least a week later than Nakat and Kendrick.
Many of you reading this may not know that the Department stopped sampling chum salmon catches some years ago. SSRAA currently samples Ketchikan and Wrangell processors daily, seven days a week, and collects thermal tags (otoliths) as well as size and male/female ratio information. SSRAA also processes the otoliths and reads the tags. The information is provided to ADF&G managers in real time…within the week harvest occurs.