Commercial Salmon Fisheries
Taku River Fishwheels - Coho Counts
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Fish wheels on the Taku River are an essential platform for the coho salmon mark-recapture program, which provides inseason and postseason escapement estimates. Because fish wheel catchability can be affected by factors such as water level, fish size, abundance, daily spin time, etc., daily fish wheel catches do not necessarily have a meaningful relationship with upriver abundance. In 2018 fishwheel operation protocols were revised and now spin 18 hours a day instead of 24 hours.
September 20 (Day 4, SW38) was the final day of the 2023 Canadian commercial fishing season on the Taku River. There was no commercial effort on Day 3 and 4 of SW38. There will be no further Canadian commercial fishery openings or assessment fisheries in 2023. The Canadian commercial and assessment fisheries are the second (recovery) event for the mark-recapture project. The final 2023 inseason estimates below are germane to data through September 18 (Day 2, SW38). Inriver, terminal, and harvest estimates are preliminary at this point and will be finalized postseason once all the mark-recapture and harvest data are verified.
Using the available stock assessment data for Taku River coho salmon, a bilateral estimate of inriver run size has been developed through SW38-2. Through Monday, September 18 (Day 2, SW38), 11,043 fish have been examined for marks. Assuming a sulk rate of 3 days between the release and recapture locations, a total of 620 marks were released and 110 marks have been recovered through September 15 (Day 6, SW37). Applying these values to a Pooled Petersen yields an inriver run estimate of 61,786 (SE = 5,264) fish. Complete mixing (P=0.05) of tagged and untagged fish did not differ significantly while equal probability of capture (P=0.01) between release and recapture locations did differ significantly. Projecting by the average run timing (84% through September 18) yields an inriver run estimate of 73,294 fish. An estimate of 12,800 Canadian-origin Taku River coho salmon have been harvested in terminal marine fisheries through SW38. Combining the projected inriver run estimate of 73,294 fish with the projected D11 US terminal harvest of Canadian-origin Taku River coho salmon, generates a terminal run estimate of 87,985 coho salmon.
The current projected terminal run estimate is below the preseason forecast of 102,000 fish. The Canadian-Origin Taku River coho salmon biological escapement goal range is 50,000 to 90,000 fish with a management objective of 70,000 fish.
Chilkoot Lake Weir |
Chilkat Lake Weir |
Chilkat River Fishwheels |
Hugh Smith Weir
Redoubt Lake Weir (Sockeye) | Situk (Lower) Weir (Chinook) | Situk (Lower) Weir (Sockeye) | Taku River Fishwheels (Sockeye)
Taku River Fishwheels (Coho)