I received the comments below on the QIN proposal and PFMC reduction for the Grays Harbor Chinook escapement goal. I found the comments to be very interesting and well thought out.

There is so much about this issue, and as it pertains across all species.
First, it will be very difficult to directly challenge the analysis. There are established methods and they will be used. Consequently, the answer they get is mathematically defensible. Rather, there is a philosophy that needs to be discussed by WDFW. The following questions need to be dealt with, but ultimately it is a policy choice. And since QIN wants a lower goal.

1. The EDT analysis that CBFTF had done for Grays Harbor identified 12, 692,956 square metres of Fall Chinook spawning area. Giving a pair of Chinook 100 square metres (way more than necessary) gives you 126,930 redds, or 250K+ fish just to use all the habitat. Specifically ask why WDFW does not plan to utilize the available spawning area.

2. If WDFW/QIN choose not to utilize the spawning area (a policy choice) will they identify the non-used areas and direct WDFW-Habitat that HPA's not condition applications for Chinook protection.

3. For Puget Sound chum, WDFW set an escapement goal (purportedly MSY) in the late 1970s. In the 1980s and 90s escapements were significantly higher. In at least one case an order of magnitude. When Ricker curves were run on the wild stocks, in each and every case, the "MSY" goal that was calculated was higher. The goals were left unchanged. The point is that significant increase in escapement can increase MSY.

4. Need to realize that MSY is a somewhat ephemeral concept. Ford Arm coho, in SE AK, is managed at a constant 60% exploitation rate. Because of changes in stream productivity brought about by pink spawners the harvest of fish has ranged from 1,000 to 8,000. At no pinks, the 1,000 catch and approx. 600 spawners was "MSY". At 2 kg per square metre pinks they had 5-8,000 harvest and escapements of 3-5,000 spawners. Again, MSY. So, I would insist that rather than calling whatever they come up with "MSY" that they call it some sort of "sustainable escapement goal".

5. The escapement goal they come up with is only as good as the data. Especially the range of data. If all of the escapements that they look at are (say) under 10,000 then there is no way they will call 250K as MSY. It is terminology and this is a good place to start.

Edited by Rivrguy (08/16/14 10:57 AM)
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in