Monster Seminar Jam: Adrian Tuohy, M.S.
This seminar is part of the NWFSC's Monster Seminar Jam series.
Adrian Tuohy, M.S. is presenting a talk, "Reviving Salmon Traps for Selective Commercial Fishing and Bycatch Mortality Reduction."
Conventional harvest techniques used in mixed-stock commercial salmon fisheries frequently result in bycatch mortality, thereby constraining fishing opportunities and reducing the effectiveness of wild salmonid recovery efforts in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. To better allow for selective harvesting of hatchery-origin salmonids while reducing commercial fishery mortality of Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed salmonids, Wild Fish Conservancy and local fishers collaborated to engineer, construct, and evaluate the utility of the commercial salmon trap as an alternative to the conventional gill net in lower Columbia River salmon fisheries. As Wild Fish Conservancy’s manager of the Columbia River fish trap project, I describe the historical research, engineering, deployment, and operational processes necessary to testing Washington and Oregon’s first commercial salmon traps since 1935 and 1948, respectively. Next, I describe engineering advancements from 2016 through 2021 and bycatch post-release survival results of paired release-recapture and net pen holding studies for Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, and Steelhead at trap sites in Washington and Oregon. Findings of this six-year research investigation suggest that salmon traps have considerable potential to allow for selective harvesting of hatchery-origin fishes while reducing bycatch mortality of several ESA-listed salmonid stocks in the Columbia River and elsewhere throughout the region. Salmon traps are now in the process of being legalized within the lower Columbia River, providing commercial fishers an alternative gear to the conventional gill net and a more effective means to release wild salmonids unharmed.
Adrian Tuohy is a biologist and project manager with the nonprofit Wild Fish Conservancy (Duvall, WA). Adrian has managed Wild Fish Conservancy’s six-year evaluation of commercial fish traps for selective harvest and bycatch mortality reduction in the lower Columbia River.
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