2021 Chum Bulletin

Johnstone Straits

Expectations for 2021 are below average for Inner South Coast Chum based on a below avg. 2017 returns, declines through 2017-2020 and indications of poor marine conditions in 2017-2019 outmigration. Fraser River Chum escapement must be 916,000+ for commercial openings. 

Gillnet: Area D will not open in Johnstone Straits in 2021 due to PSSI closures. 

Troll: Area H 27-day troll rolling window closure for Steelhead conservation is in effect.   

  • Possible harmonized area opening Oct 14-20th and Oct 22-31st for 225 boat days. 
  • Each licence has five days, vessels can transfer/fish additional boat days. 

Seine: Area B 42-day net rolling window closure for Steelhead conservation is in effect.  

  • Possible harmonized area opening Oct 21st (10hrs) and Oct 22nd (3hrs) for 65 vessels. 
  • Opening is effort-based and may be adjusted if affected by weather/vessel numbers. 

NOTE: Fisheries are not permitted in upper A12 and lower A13 outside of harmonized window. 

Strait of Georgia 

There is a very high uncertainty rate with SOG chum forecasts, especially due to decreasing marine survival observed 2017-2020. Forecasts use methodology consistent with previous years, and an adjusted “like last year” forecast model expectation due to decreasing marine survival. 

NOTE: See table for complete escapement, forecast and adjusted forecast numbers. 

Mid-Vancouver Island: Very low probability of fishery. Puntledge, Big Qualicum and Little Qualicum Aggregate escapement target: 230,000; Forecast: 105,000 – 157,400: Adj. Forecast: 23,000. 

Nanaimo River: Possible fishery. Escapement target: 40,000; Forecast: 103,700 – 155,500;  

Adj. Forecast: 43,900. 

Cowichan River: Possible fishery. Escapement target: 160,000; Forecast: 191,400 – 287,000;  

Adj. Forecast: 157,000. 

Goldstream River: Possible fishery. Escapement target: 15,000; Forecast: 20,500 – 30,700;  

Adj. Forecast: 22,300. 

Fraser River 

Pre-season expectations for Fraser River Chum in 2020 are low. Returns will be based largely on the 2017 brood year; 2017 escapement was estimated at 630,055 spawners and there has been a coast-wide trend of low Chum returns from 2017-2020.  

The first in-season prediction of Fraser Chum run size will be released by Oct. 15th, followed by the second (final) in-season prediction release by Oct 22nd. Fraser River Chum escapement must be 916,000+ for commercial openings. DFO has also cautioned they don’t want to put too much pressure on the back-end of the run when fishing is permitted after window closures end. 

Gillnet: Area E will not open in the Fraser River in 2021 due to PSSI closures. 

Seine: Area 29, TBD in-season: Area B has requested a demonstration fishery to occur in Nov after the Steelhead window closure. Use of regular and shallow nets and power skiffs will be permitted, onboard observers will be required. 

Lower Fraser, TBD in-season: Area B has requested a demonstration fishery to occur mid-Oct to Nov subject to Steelhead window closures. Participation is limited to 8-10 vessels per day, with mandatory use of shallow nets and power skiffs. Onboard observers will be required. 

Troll: Area 29, TBD in-season: Area H potential opening following 27-day Steelhead window closure ending Oct 19-24.  

West Coast Vancouver Island 

Nitinat Hatchery chum has been closed to seine and gillnet fisheries due to PSSI closures.  

Esperanza and Kyoquot are the only remaining WCVI areas with forecasted chum returns above the lower fishery reference points. 

NOTE: See table below for WCVI chum escapement and forecast LRP numbers. 

Nitinat: Area E Gillnet and Area B Seine will not open in Nitinat in 2021 due to PSSI closures. 

Conuma: Low probability of fishery. Forecast: 12,000-32,000. Opening depends on hatchery production needs being met. 

Esperanza: Area D limited entry, limited effort fishery.  Vessels have already been selected. 

Kyoguot: Area D limited entry, limited effort fishery.  Vessels have already been selected. 

NOTE: If you would like to be added text and/or email bulletin/fishery updates distribution list please contact our Organizer, Dawn Webb at 778-222-8790 or organizer@ufawu.org