Meeting Abstract

S2.2  Sunday, Jan. 4 08:30  Fishing for effective conservation: context and biotic variation key to understanding post-release survival of Pacific salmon COOKE, S.J.*; DONALDSON, M.R.; RABY, G.D.; PATTERSON, D.A.; FARRELL, A.P.; GALE, M.; ROBINSON, K.; NGUYEN, V.; JEFFRIES, K.; ELIASON, E.; MARTINS, E.; HINCH, S.G.; Carleton Univ, Ottawa; Univ of British Columbia, Vancouver; Carleton Univ, Ottawa; Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Vancouver; Univ of British Columbia, Vancouver; Univ of British Columbia, Vancouver; Univ of British Columbia, Vancouver; Carleton Univ, Ottawa; Univ of British Columbia, Vancouver; Carleton Univ, Ottawa; Carleton Univ, Ottawa; Univ of British Columbia, Vancouver steven_cooke@carleton.ca http://www.FECPL.ca

Resource managers require accurate estimates of mortality while fishers desire guidance on strategies for reducing mortality and maintaining the welfare status of fish that are to be released. In partnership with stakeholders our team has studied as a model fish group adult Pacific salmon intercepted by all three fishing sectors in both marine and freshwater environments while they were en route to natal spawning grounds. What emerged from our field, laboratory and modeling studies across multiple species, gear types, and environmental conditions are a number of themes. First, context, particularly as it relates to environmental conditions (e.g., water temperature, location relative to freshwater-saltwater transition) and the behaviour of fishers, dramatically influence outcomes for fish. Second, there is immense biotic variation among individuals, populations and species. These finding create immense challenges for managers. How does one develop generalized management responses given limited time and resources to study all possible combinations of species, populations, and contexts, particularly for multi-sector mixed-species fisheries? We present a framework to guide research on release mortality to ensure that credible and cost-effective science advice is available to support management and conservation actions.