Lower Fall Chum Runsize Yields Escapement for Totten/Eld Inlet and Above Average Chum Catch for Squaxin

Fall chum salmon returned to the Puget Sound in lower abundance than forecast.  The 2008 expected Puget Sound fall chum run size was forecast to be around 635,000 chum.  In the last 5 weeks the in season run size has dropped to 350,000 chum based on WDFW commercial fisheries and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) run Apple Cove Test fishery up in Marine Area 10.

Recent adult chum spawner survey numbers on Kennedy Creek (and Schnieder Prairie) are indicating that Totten Inlet has reached the needed 14,500 chum for escapement.

Totten Inlet Streams Adult Chum Spawn Survey Data

Kennedy Creek
River Mile
Live Count
Dead Count
10/16/2008 0.0-2.3 WDFW 159 6
10/23/2008 0.0-2.3 WDFW 285 8
10/29/2008 0.0-2.3 Squaxin 1922 55
11/5/2008 0.0-2.3 WDFW 6262 264
11/18/2008 0.0-2.4 WDFW 5,833 2083
Schnieder Creek RM Agency Live Dead
11/17/2008 WDFW 1,717 112

Eld Inlet chum appear to be a running a week or two early with Perry and Swift (tributary to McLane) Creek showing  good numbers considering the updated lower run size.

Eld Inlet Streams Adult Chum Spawn Survey Data

Swift River Mile Agency Live Count Dead Count
11/10/2008 0.0-1.0 WDFW 2622 10
11/17/2008 0.0-1.0 WDFW 5262 128
Perkins Creek (Mclane Trib)
11/13/2008 0.0-0.5 WDFW 287 14
11/11/2008 0.0-1.0 WDFW 2622 10
11/17/2008 0.0-1.0 WDFW 5933 42

Eld Inlet escapement goal is 18,500 chum.

Although Fall Chum returns are lower than expected, currently Squaxin Island Tribes 101 licensed fishermen have harvested approximately 43,000 chum so far this season.  A five year average using Squaxin chum catches from ’02-’06  results in an average Squaxin Island chum harvest of 32,452.   2007 catch was excluded from this average due to the unusually large returns and Squaxin catch of 150K chum.

Squaxin Island Tribe Chum Fisheries

Eld Chum Fishery

Totten Chum Fishery

Squaxin Fish Hotline: 360-432-3899

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