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2013 Annual Review

June, 2013

The audit team conducted the second annual audit site visit on Annette Island in April 29-30, 2013 and concluded that the AIR salmon fisheries were still in general compliance with the MSC standard. At the close of the audit, 10 conditions had been closed (completed), 9 remained open and on schedule, and 3 remained open but behind schedule (with minor and major non-conformances raised).

The MIC wrote an Action Plan outlining timelines and activities that would be taken to address the conditions in the MSC Public Certification Report. The Action Plan was approved by the assessment team prior to the fishery being certified in 2011 and was updated most recently in the Second Surveillance Visit Report published on June 1, 2013.

Condition 2: Demonstrate that management reference points will help maintain the diversity and reproductive output of Chinook salmon stock components.

The objective is to show that management reference points for Chinook salmon are consistent with maintaining the diversity and productivity of stock subcomponents.

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Reference points (such as limit reference points and target reference points) are used to evaluate stock status and help set harvest guidelines. Chinook do not spawn naturally in the AIR, but they are produced at the Tamgas hatchery, and the fishery intercepts non-local wild salmon. Monitoring information for likely source populations in nearby rivers (Chickamin, Unik, and Blossum) will be obtained from ADF&G, and exploitation rates on these stocks will be estimated. Hatchery contributions to the harvest will be estimated by sampling for marked fish of hatchery origin, including those produced at the Tamgas hatchery.

Update:

Information from ADF&G indicated that Chinook salmon escapement goals were being consistently met for the Chickamin, Unik, and Blossum rivers. Sampling showed that most of the marked fish in spawning areas originated from Tamgas Creek Hatchery (> 80%), with the remainder coming from the Whitman Lake and Anita Bay hatcheries. These results confirmed that Tamgas hatchery production accounts for the majority of the AIR Chinook harvest, and this condition was closed.

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Timeline: 
Closed
Priority: 
Low
Status: 
Completed
Relevant Performance Indicator: 

Condition 13: Estimate stray rates for hatchery Chinook.

The objective is to estimate contributions of hatchery-produced Chinook to wild populations in the Southeast Alaska region.

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Existing mark-recovery data from the Tamgas Creek Hatchery and other Chinook hatcheries in Southeast Alaska will be analyzed.

Update:

Straying rates of Tamgas Creek Hatchery Chinook into other systems were determined to be negligible based on at least three years of existing mark-recovery data. Marked fish were recovered in Deer Mountain Hatchery, Whitman Lake Hatchery, and Chickamin River Hatchery areas. Substantial numbers of Tamgas hatchery Chinook were also reported in various fisheries, but most of these fish were likely intercepted as they were returning to AIR waters.

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Timeline: 
Closed
Priority: 
Low
Status: 
Completed
Relevant Performance Indicator: 

Condition 14: Establish a system for monitoring and reporting bycatch.

The objective is to establish a scientifically-defensible system for monitoring and reporting bycatch in the fishery.

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The Annette Island Packing Company will keep records of any bycatch they receive, either by tender or by fishing vessel. The company will produce reports describing the bycatch species, species count, poundage and date delivered. MIC Fish and Wildlife will receive a copy of this report daily along with fish tickets describing catches. Fishers will also record bycatch information in their logbooks.

Update:

Starting in 2011, a mandatory bycatch reporting system was implemented among commercial fishers landing catch at Annette Island Packing. Fishers maintain logbooks daily and submit the information at the close of each week. Fishers are not paid until they turn in their logbooks, which include information on bycatch, ETP species, fish retained for subsistence, and amounts and poundage of salmon caught. Summary data for 2011 and 2012 confirmed that bycatch is negligible. To keep the condition closed through the certification period, data will continue to be collected in order to detect any changes in fishery impacts on bycatch species.

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Timeline: 
Closed
Priority: 
Low
Status: 
Completed
Relevant Performance Indicator: 

Condition 15: Establish a system for monitoring and reporting fishery interactions with ETP (endangered, threatened, or protected) species.

The objective is to establish a scientifically-defensible system for monitoring and reporting fishery interactions with ETP species.

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AIR fishers will keep logs of any interactions they have with ETP species. MIC Fish and Wildlife will continue to conduct year-end surveys for bycatch and ETP species. The Tamgas hatchery will also monitor any interceptions of marked ETP Chinook salmon from Canada and the lower 48 United States.

Update:

Starting in 2011, a mandatory bycatch reporting system was implemented among commercial fishers landing catch at Annette Island Packing. Fishers maintain logbooks daily and submit the information at the close of each week. Fishers are not paid until they turn in their logbooks, which include information on bycatch, ETP species, fish retained for subsistence, and amounts and poundage of salmon caught. Summary data for 2011 and 2012 confirmed that incidental catch of ETP species is negligible. To keep the condition closed through the certification period, data will continue to be collected in order to detect any changes in fishery impacts on ETP species.

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Timeline: 
Closed
Priority: 
Low
Status: 
Completed
Relevant Performance Indicator: 

Condition 16: Reduce negative hatchery impacts on coho salmon habitat.

The objective is to reduce negative hatchery effects on habitat utilized by salmon.

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The Tamgas hatchery weir prevents fish passage to the upstream area, which includes habitat suitable for coho and sockeye salmon. No salmon have been allowed to pass upstream of the weir since the hatchery began operating in 1980, as hatchery management wanted to avoid introducing pathogens (particularly infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus, or IHN) into the hatchery water supply. Because coho are not very prone to IHN, the MIC will pass adult coho salmon above the weir to spawn naturally. In contrast, sockeye salmon are quite susceptible to IHN and will not be passed.

Update:

The MIC plans to pass coho salmon upstream from the Tamgas hatchery weir to spawn naturally. Current estimates of suitable spawning and rearing habitat suggest that 160-180 coho should be released above the weir. The timing of release will match the normal run timing of coho.

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Timeline: 
Spring 2014 (due at 3rd annual surveillance)
Priority: 
High
Status: 
On track
Relevant Performance Indicator: 

Condition 17: Demonstrate that there is a strategy for managing fishery and hatchery impacts on habitat.

The objective is to show there is a strategy for mitigating negative hatchery effects on salmon habitat.

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The Tamgas hatchery weir prevents fish passage to the upstream area, which includes habitat suitable for coho and sockeye salmon. Salmon have not been allowed to pass the weir since the hatchery started operating in 1980 to avoid introducing pathogens into the hatchery water supply.

Update:

The MIC plans to pass coho salmon upstream from the Tamgas hatchery weir to spawn naturally. Current estimates of suitable spawning and rearing habitat suggest that 160-180 coho should be released above the weir. The timing of release will match the normal run timing of coho. MIC has not provided a plan to pass sockeye salmon upstream of the weir, but Condition 3 requires that they develop a restoration plan for Trout Lake and Tamgas sockeye salmon.

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Timeline: 
Spring 2014 (due at 3rd annual surveillance)
Priority: 
High
Status: 
On track
Relevant Performance Indicator: 

Condition 18: Provide information on fishery impacts on ecosystem components.

The objective is to provide information on the impact of the fishery on ecosystem components.

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AIR fishers will log information on bycatch and any interactions they have with ETP species. In addition, MIC Fish and Wildlife will continue to conduct year-end surveys for bycatch and ETP species.

Update:

Starting in 2011, a mandatory bycatch reporting system was implemented among commercial fishers landing catch at Annette Island Packing. Fishers maintain logbooks daily and submit the information at the close of each week. These logbooks include information on bycatch, ETP species, fish retained for subsistence, and amounts and poundage of salmon caught. Summary data were provided for 2011. This system has replaced post-season surveys by MIC Fish and Wildlife.

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Timeline: 
Spring 2014 (due at 3rd annual surveillance)
Priority: 
Medium
Status: 
On track
Relevant Performance Indicator: 

Condition 19: Provide formal consultation opportunities for all parties interested in the fishery, including those outside the local management system.

The objective is to provide formal opportunities for interested parties, including those outside of the local management system, to participate in fishery consultations.

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The MIC will supply documentation of local and non-local agencies and committees and describe their levels of involvement in the fishery.

Update:

Plans are in place to complete a report on the agencies and committees that interact with the MIC, which will facilitate efforts to provide formal consultation opportunities. The report will include a summary of formal and informal consultations between the MIC and the state of Alaska regarding salmon fishery and hatchery management, such as in-season sharing of harvest information and sharing of data on tag recoveries.

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Timeline: 
Spring 2014 (due at 3rd annual surveillance)
Priority: 
Medium
Status: 
On track
Relevant Performance Indicator: 

Condition 20: Develop a formal policy establishing a priority for conservation of wild salmon populations.

The objective is to write a formal policy establishing a priority for conservation of wild salmon populations relative to hatchery enhanced fish within the AIR.

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Update:

Plans are in place to develop a formal policy establishing the priority for conserving wild salmon over enhanced salmon in the AIR. A draft policy will be developed and submitted to the MIC Tribal Council for consideration. Progress is on track to address this condition by the third annual surveillance audit.

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Timeline: 
Spring 2014 (due at 3rd annual surveillance)
Priority: 
Medium
Status: 
On track
Relevant Performance Indicator: 

Condition 21: Develop a research plan for collecting information relevant for sustainable fishery management.

The objective is to develop a comprehensive research plan that will provide reliable and timely information for managing the fishery in a sustainable manner.

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The plan will include a process for disseminating research results and a description of how research will be implemented. Tamgas Hatchery and MIC Fish and Wildlife will collaborate to write this plan, which will detail goals and objectives for each five year period.

Update:

A comprehensive research and monitoring plan has been prepared. The plan summarizes management goals, objectives and criteria used as guidance for identifying research needs. Topics requiring research include: 1) interactions between fishermen and marine mammals, 2) interactions between hatchery and wild stocks, 3) sockeye restoration methods, 4) an updated salmon habitat assessment, and 5) evaluations of shellfish production alternatives. The research plan identifies current activities, priority projects and long term needs for future development. Methods for current and planned projects are described. Research results (including summaries of ongoing projects in the annual management report) will be published on the MIC website.

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Timeline: 
Closed
Priority: 
Low
Status: 
Completed
Relevant Performance Indicator: 

Condition 22: Distribute annual post-season monitoring reports.

The objective is to establish a system for distributing post-season monitoring reports each year.

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Annual monitoring and evaluation reports will be written and posted on the MIC website. Reports will include numbers of fish harvested by species, gear type, season length, and catch area. They will also include estimated proportions of hatchery-origin fish in the harvest and escapement, and hatchery broodstock and juvenile production numbers by species. The reports will list research activities conducted during the year and descriptions of any unique environmental conditions.

Update:

An annual report was completed for the 2011 AIR salmon fishery, with the requested information detailed above.  A website has been constructed to disseminate annual reports, and the catch and escapement report for the 2011 fishing year may be found there at: http://www.metlakatla.com/wp/dfw/2012/06/06/2011-salmon-catch-escapement-report/

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Timeline: 
Closed
Priority: 
Low
Status: 
Completed
Relevant Performance Indicator: 
2013 Annual Review - Log in or register to access this file.
2013 Action Plan - Log in or register to access this file.