Diversified management to improve social value and angler satisfaction

Anglers are diverse – each angler is looking for different fishing opportunities (balancing, fish size, harvest opportunities, catch rates, amenities) and have different impacts on the resource (harvest rates, size sampling). Providing fishing opportunities that satisfy the ‘average angler’ are likely to leave many anglers unsatisfied and may cause declines in fishing effort or participation. However, if we caonsider the diversity of fishing opportunities across landscapes (such as lake-rich landscapes) it is possible to vary regulations in a way that will provide something for everyone. But how do we set those regulations to maximize value?

We use a landscape social-ecological simulation model to evaluate various strategies for setting regulations across landscapes of fisheries. Regulations could be set based on the one-size-fits-all strategy, based on expected fisheries sought by each angler typology, based on the fisheries one can create based on the biology of each population, or using a diversified approach. The diversified approach means each population gets a unique regulation, but the outcome of that population is viewed in context of the entire landscape of fisheries. In this complex landscape, there are no simple solutions – only through active manipulation of regulations and adaptive management and monitoring can value be maximized.

Collaborators: Ed Camp (University of Florida)

Management objectives of recreational fisheries

Commercial fisheries are most often managed with objectives based roughly on harvest. Commercial fleets are operating to maximize harvest-based profits; management agencies set harvest limits based by considering reference points such as F/Fmsy and B/Bmsy. What are we trying to achieve with recreational fisheries? Fishing license sales (fishing participation) are an index of satisfaction, but not tightly linked to management actions. Fishing effort can be made up of a small sub-set of all anglers who just fish a lot. Recreational fisheries management should really consider ecological (conservation-based), social (angler utility or satisfaction) and economic (including guiding, tackle sales, fuel and accommodation costs) measures of utility. We will evaluate various recreational fisheries management objectives in the coming months and demonstrate that although it may be difficult, it is an important step in keeping anglers happy and getting where we want to be.

Collaborators: TBD

Balancing kokanee and sockeye in a mixed resident-anadromous population

Many rivers have been historically dammed to store water and/or generate power. In coastal systems, this often results in the extirpation of anadromous species. Many of the resultant reservoirs are now home to kokanee populations (the resident form of sockeye salmon) and when given the opportunity to migrate past the dam, a proportion of these fish do leave and return as anadromous sockeye. As pressure to allow salmon unassisted passage past dams, it is important to evaluate the impact on the resident kokanee (many of which now provide important recreational fishery opportunities) and predict the expected return size of sockeye. Not all kokanee choose to smolt to the ocean, so what is the genetic heritability of smolting? How does uncertainty in smolting affect the decision on whether to invest in, and build fish passage infrastructure? We are examining data from Alouette Reservoir to answer these questions and provide information that can be used in decisions on how to invest in the system and other similar systems along the coast.

Collaborators: Shannon Harris; Allison Hebert