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Project Information

Title: HRM Adult Pacific Herring Acoustic Surveys in Prince William Sound

Project Year and Number: 2019: 19120111-G

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: None

Principal Investigator (PI): Pete Rand, Prince William Sound Science Center

Assisting Personnel: None

Research Location:

Restoration Category: Monitoring

Injured Resources Addressed: Commercial Fishing , Pacific Herring , Recreation & Tourism , Subsistence

Abstract: We are continuing a long-term data set of biomass estimates of the spawning population of Pacific herring in Prince William Sound. This work 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 during 2019. Our main goal for this proposed project is to produce an estimate of adult biomass of the spawning population of Pacific herring during 2019 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 the lack of a commercial herring fishery in PWS since 1998 resulted in reduced management priorities for herring. Thus, the PWSSC contribution has become critically important for the long-term, especially if a future fishery appears a remote possibility. 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 estimates of the total herring spawning biomass in PWS and provide an alert to changes in biomass in these two different regions. We propose to carry out this assessment in spring (March-April) to assess adult spawning biomass. Some adjustments are made each year based on aerial observations carried out by ADF&G. 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 (597 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 2019

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 2019

Annual Report: 2019: Due 03/01/2020

Final Report: Draft Final Report Due 4/15/20

Publications from this Project: None Available