Abstract Title

Session S-03D: Forage Fish Research and Protection in the Salish Sea

Keywords

Species and Food Webs

Start Date

30-4-2014 3:30 PM

End Date

30-4-2014 5:00 PM

Description

Fisheries for surf smelt Hypomesus pretiosus in Washington State are currently managed under the assumption that recreational harvest is roughly comparable to commercial harvest on a Puget Sound-wide basis. This assumption may underestimate total fishing pressure and harvest, leading to localized or Sound-wide depletion and negative ecosystem impacts. Assessing recreational effort and harvest is complicated by the lack of a licensing requirement for fishers, the fact that fishing occurs throughout the year but tends to peak during locally specific time windows, and the ability of anglers to engage in the fishery from private shorelines in addition to public access points (e.g., boat ramps). In order to adequately estimate total recreational harvest a survey method must be developed that accounts for spatiotemporally diverse harvest patterns over the entirety of Puget Sound. This presentation will report the results of a pilot study that combines access point and roving, boat-based creel survey techniques to sample a known region of high recreational fishing pressure along the northern shore of Camano island, Puget Sound, WA during the traditional fishing ‘season.’ In addition to providing an estimate of harvest during this period in this location (4419 lbs), patterns of both fishing effort and catch are described through time, in association with tidal and other environmental variables, and compared between public access points and private beaches. We find that, based on the site-specific estimate generated here, the capacity for Sound-wide recreational harvest to exceed the assumed 100,000 lbs exists and that additional monitoring is warranted. We conclude that by further optimizing sample size in both time and space a logistically feasible design can be developed that will allow estimation of recreational smelt harvest for the entirety of Puget Sound.

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Apr 30th, 3:30 PM Apr 30th, 5:00 PM

Estimating recreational harvest of surf smelt Hypomesus pretiosus via a combined access point and roving creel count design

Room 611-612

Fisheries for surf smelt Hypomesus pretiosus in Washington State are currently managed under the assumption that recreational harvest is roughly comparable to commercial harvest on a Puget Sound-wide basis. This assumption may underestimate total fishing pressure and harvest, leading to localized or Sound-wide depletion and negative ecosystem impacts. Assessing recreational effort and harvest is complicated by the lack of a licensing requirement for fishers, the fact that fishing occurs throughout the year but tends to peak during locally specific time windows, and the ability of anglers to engage in the fishery from private shorelines in addition to public access points (e.g., boat ramps). In order to adequately estimate total recreational harvest a survey method must be developed that accounts for spatiotemporally diverse harvest patterns over the entirety of Puget Sound. This presentation will report the results of a pilot study that combines access point and roving, boat-based creel survey techniques to sample a known region of high recreational fishing pressure along the northern shore of Camano island, Puget Sound, WA during the traditional fishing ‘season.’ In addition to providing an estimate of harvest during this period in this location (4419 lbs), patterns of both fishing effort and catch are described through time, in association with tidal and other environmental variables, and compared between public access points and private beaches. We find that, based on the site-specific estimate generated here, the capacity for Sound-wide recreational harvest to exceed the assumed 100,000 lbs exists and that additional monitoring is warranted. We conclude that by further optimizing sample size in both time and space a logistically feasible design can be developed that will allow estimation of recreational smelt harvest for the entirety of Puget Sound.