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Snake Basin In-Season Management of Salmon, Steelhead, and Coho Tribal and State Fisheries Utilizing PIT Tags

Jason Vogel, Chris Sullivan, Brian Leth, Chris Noyes, Katie McBaine, Joe DuPont, Beau Gunter (Idaho Department Fish & Game), Bill Young, Bill Arnsberg, Ryan Kinzer, Becky Johnson, MIke Tuell, Mike Bisbee, Tui Moliga, Jack Yearout (Nez Perce Tribe), Jeremy Trump, Michael Herr (Washington Department Fish & Wildlife), Kyle Bratcher, Joseph Feldhaus (Oregon Department Fish & Wildlife), Preston Bronson (Umatilla Tribe), Rebecca Croy, Lytle Denny, Kurt Tardy (Shoshone Bannock Tribe), Rod Engle, Nate Wiese, (Lower Snake River Compensation Plan)

Anadromous fish serve as powerful cultural and social symbols for tribal and non-tribal people of the Pacific Northwest. Despite the significance of these icons, there have been widespread and dramatic declines in their abundance over the last century. These drastic declines have sharply reduced or eliminated, what historically were robust fisheries that sustained the livelihoods of both Tribal and non-Tribal cultures and communities.  In the Snake Basin, current fisheries, are intensely managed to not exceed allowable impacts to natural fish, ensure fair equity to all allowed fishing entities, and to ensure hatchery broodstock are met.  Coordination and cooperation across all parties requires year around weekly coordination to manage all of these complex issues.  This process has been dramatically aided by PIT tag marking programs for hatchery salmon, steelhead, and coho.  PIT tags allow comanagers the ability, in-season, to make estimates of returning hatchery fish (starting at Bonneville Dam and following them up eight dams to Lower Granite Dam) that inform allocation of fish to hatchery broodstock, natural spawners, and harvest. .  Adult hatchery disposition management requires key manipulations of the raw PIT tag data to deal with issues of representation, tag loss, and detectability, are necessary to make estimates that are within the bounds of the true returns.  Additional PIT tag detection locations upstream of Lower Granite Dam, are also utilized, to understand run timing and locations of the harvestable fish, so that managers and fishers are better informed in real time.