2017 Cost Recovery Update

14
Aug

14 August: Cost Recovery Update

The terminal run at Neets Bay has slowed again. Most of the fish we touched this past week went across the barrier for brood stock.   We are in good condition for brood and with the recent rain the fish are moving into the brood raceways as fast as we can keep up with them.  The % female in the brood is higher than usual this year which helps with egg collection.  The target for Neets Bay is 155 million summer chum eggs.  This is about the maximum we can reach without being a little lucky – or even a lot lucky.  Had the weather not changed this past weekend, despite having the brood behind the barrier, it may not have been possible to reach the goal.

We don’t anticipate much more cost recovery harvest of summer chums as we are running out of fish. But, we will continue to harvest; there are still fish in the outer bay so there will be some sporadic harvest between the summer and fall fish; at best we are filling part of a tender on a day’s fishing.

It is very unlikely the return of summer and fall chum will be large enough to meet the 2017 revenue goal.   This was not unanticipated as the forecast was not sufficient to reach this number and the return will be very close to what was forecast.

Snow Pass Coho: there was one more harvest of Snow Pass Coho this past week.  Regardless, we will not meet the modest 2017 harvest goal.  The market wants these fish; there simply have not been enough of them the past two years, which reflects the general lower-than-usual coho survival on the south end.  In essence these fish faced the same spring conditions as the pink salmon that have failed to return to south end systems in 2017.

The harvest of chinook at Whitman Lake, incidental to brood stock collection, was about what was anticipated.

Summer Chum Egg Take at Neets Bay: by the end of today, Monday 14 August, we will have about 104 million eggs in the hatchery.  With the rain this past weekend, fish are recruiting about as fast as we can take the eggs.  There is sufficient brood behind the barrier and in the creek and raceways such that this should continue through the week.  If that happens, we will be at the egg take goal next weekend.

Burnett Inlet: Some of you may be following events at Burnett.  We have installed a “new concept” egg taking station.  It was tested for the first time with a spawn of about 300 females, 750,000 eggs, at the end of last week.  Currently they have taken at least 3.5 million eggs at Burnett and what fish are there should recruit quickly in the current weather situation.  We don’t anticipate taking a lot of eggs at the site, though we are hoping for from 6 to 8 million.  We’ll keep you informed.

5 August: Cost Recovery Update

Cost recovery harvest slowed again this past week. There are fish in the outer bay, but probably because of the current weather situation they have been slow to move in to the barrier seine.  Harvest is confined to the area near the barrier as we will continue to collect brood stock through the next week or 10 days.  We generally collect brood fish over a three week period and that is going as planned.  During the past week an estimated 37,642 fish were harvested for cost recovery with about 18,500 going across the barrier for brood stock.  The total cost recovery harvest to date is an estimated 478,714 summer chums.  A total of 130,900 fish have been put over the barrier for brood.

Currently we anticipate needing 20,000 to 30,000 additional fish for brood stock. With any luck we will only need about 160,000 fish (as currently estimated) this year as the % female was greater when we started brood collection. Making the egg take goal can take close to 200,000 brood fish if males predominate in collection – something we can’t necessarily control.  But, that has not been the case this summer.

Cost recovery harvest is unlikely to meet the 2017 revenue goal, including the harvest of fall chum and coho.

Snow Pass Coho: though there are still some fish to be harvested at Whale Pass, we will not meet the modest 2017 harvest goal.  The market wants these fish in 2017; there simply have not been enough of them.

The harvest of chinook at Whitman Lake, incidental to brood stock collection, is about what was anticipated.

Summer Chum Egg Take at Neets Bay: Today, Saturday 5 August, we are in the 11th day of egg taking at Neets Bay and will have taken about 34 million eggs.  Normally on the 11th day we would have about 60 million eggs.  For whatever reason, probably a conspiracy of weather and tides, the fish have been reluctant to enter the brood raceways.  Brood stock behind the barrier is sufficient and healthy, simply not ready to spawn.  We anticipate things moving with the next weather event, or when hormones overwhelm reluctance.  At this point we are not overly concerned.

Burnett Inlet: Some of you may be following events at Burnett.  We have installed a “new concept” egg taking station.  It was tested for the first time with a spawn of about 300 females, 750,000 eggs, at the end of last week.  The final step in evaluation will be assessment of the survival to the eyed stage of the eggs taken.  Egg taking will continue at Burnett, but because only 3-year-olds from a modest release are returning this year: we don’t anticipate taking a lot of eggs at the site.  We’ll keep you informed.

 

30 July: Cost Recovery Update

Cost recovery harvest moderated some this past week as brood collection became a priority. An estimated 117,153 fish were harvested for cost recovery with about 76,400 going across the barrier for brood stock.  The total cost recovery harvest to date is an estimated 441,072 fish.  A total of 120,000 fish have been put over the barrier for brood.

Currently we anticipate needing approximately 50,000 additional fish for brood stock. The summer chum return normally continues into mid-August, but we are clearly past the peak at this time.  We were more effective harvesting fish earlier in the return in 2017, which moved the apparent peak to an earlier period…the actual return of fish was likely very similar to the historic pattern.

We will make meeting brood stock needs a priority, and that should be relatively easily accomplished. It is very unlikely we will meet the 2017 revenue goal during the summer chum return.

Snow Pass Coho: though harvest continues at Whale Pass, at this point it does not appear that we will meet the harvest goal.  There should be several additional harvests through the next three weeks.  The market wants these fish in 2017, there simply have not been enough of them.

24 July: Cost Recovery Update

Cost recovery harvest increased substantially again last week as we reach the normal mid-point timing for the terminal harvest. The harvest was 190,100 chums for the week, through Saturday 22 July.  The daily average weight of a chum is still between 9.8 and 10 pounds.  At this point we have harvested slightly less than half of what is needed to meet the revenue goal.  The peak point of the terminal return normally occurs on 25 – 29 July.

Broodstock collection began last week with 37,800 fish put across the barrier, about 20% of what is needed. The fish are put across the barrier seine in a deliberate pattern through a period of about two and a half weeks. This facilitates egg collection which occurs over a period of 3 to 4 weeks.

Please note that the graphics are a little misleading. Stat weeks don’t begin on the same date every year.  Regardless, it looks as if total return and harvest are ahead of projections.  The final question is whether the run is simply early…we won’t know that until it is nearly over, but most of those things we can measure suggest the run timing is normal.

Snow Pass Coho: though harvest continues at Whale Pass, at this point it does not appear that we will meet the harvest goal.  There should be several additional harvests through the next three weeks.  The market wants these fish in 2017, there simply have not been enough of them.