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Project Information

Title: Herring Program – Adult Pacific Herring Acoustic Surveys in PWS

Project Year and Number: 2017: 17120111-G

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: None

Principal Investigator (PI): Pete Rand

Assisting Personnel: None

Research Location:

Restoration Category:

Injured Resources Addressed: Not Specified

Abstract: We propose to continue a long term data set of biomass estimates of the spawning population of Pacific herring in Prince William Sound. This proposal primarily addresses Objectives 1 (expanding and testing the herring ASA model) and 2 (providing input to the ASA model). Since 1993, the Prince William Sound Science Center (PWSSC) has been carrying out acoustic surveys as a cost-effective approach to estimate the biomass of adult Pacific herring just prior to the spawning period. Here we propose to continue this sampling for the next 5 years. Our main goal for this proposed project is to produce a reliable estimate of adult biomass of the spawning population of Pacific herring for each year during 2017-2021 in support of the age-structured assessment (ASA) model.

Prince William Sound herring stock biomass estimates from hydroacoustic surveys provide a measure of the stock abundance for use in the ASA model that is the forecasting tool used for management. Prior to 2001, the hydroacoustic surveys were conducted exclusively by the Prince William Sound Science Center (PWSSC). Since 2001, the effort has been shared between PWSSC and the Cordova office of Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G). While the ADF&G considers the hydroacoustic surveys to be critical (Steve Moffitt, pers. comm.) the lack of a commercial herring fishery in PWS since 1998 has reduced management priorities for herring. Thus the PWSSC contribution has become critically important for the long-term, especially if a future fishery appears only a remote possibility. With the level of effort available over the past several years, PWSSC and ADF&G individually have 7achieved herring biomass estimates with a precision of about ±30%. As in recent years, we intend to continue to survey the two main spawning aggregation regions (Port Gravina and Fidalgo, and along the northeast coast of Montague Island). This will allow us to continue generating accurate estimates of the total herring spawning biomass in PWS and provide an alert to changes in biomass in these two different regions. Beginning in FY2017 and continuing through 2021, hydroacoustic surveys will be conducted in spring (March-April) to assess adult spawning biomass. This project will use the ADF&G data from direct sampling for age, sex and length in the estimates of biomass. The estimate will then be provided to the modeling project.


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Proposal: View PDF (512 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 2017

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 2017

Annual Report: 2017: Due 09/01/2017

Final Report: Draft Final Report Due 4/15/18

Publications from this Project: None Available