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Report: Portage Creek Chinook Conservation and Enhancement FWCP - COA-F21-F-3297

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Portage Creek Chinook are classified under the Government of Canadas Wild Salmon Policy as a vulnerable single site Conservation Unit. This stock has had diminishing returns for approximately 20 years. The current adult Chinook returns are likely insufficient to maintain the population.

Author:  Michael Thom

Old Reference Number:  COA-F21-F-3297

Old Reference System:  FWCP - Fish Wildlife Compensation Program Coastal

Date Published:  Feb 2021

Report ID:  59065

Audience:  Government and Public

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) anticipates that this population will become extinct over the next two generations (ten years) without intervention, resulting in the loss of a genetically unique Conservation Unit. With support from BC Hydros Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP), DFO proposed strategic enhancement of this stock for a minimum of one generation (five years) to support preservation and rebuilding of this population and its unique genetics, while further investigating the limiting factors contributing to the population decline. This project is aligned with FWCPs Bridge-Seton Watershed Action Plan priority action BRG.ALL.SB.04.02: Implement high priority habitat and/or species-based actions for fish and/or wildlife. DFO staff from Tenderfoot Creek Hatchery, in collaboration with Statmc Eco-Resources Ltd., conducted broodstock collection activities from October 13th through October 30th, 2020, which resulted in the second consecutive year of successful spawning of Portage Creek Chinook. A total of 6 females and 11 males were spawned, for a total egg take of 27,020 eggs and an average fecundity of 4,503 eggs/female. Disease screening by the DFO Fish Health Diagnostics Lab revealed favourable results, with all females showing negative or low level detection for Renibacterium salmoninarum (the causative agent for Bacterial Kidney Disease). As such, all 2020 brood on hand will be reared to yearling smolt and released in spring 2022. The remaining 47,066 Portage Creek Chinook on hand (as of January 2021) from the 2019 brood year were successfully marked and coded-wire tagged and will be released as yearling smolts on May 5th and 6th, 2021. The smolts will be released into Portage Creek, near the outlet of Anderson Lake.

Report Type
  Fish and Aquatic Habitat Information
  Fish Species - Chinook Salmon - Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
  Region - Vancouver Island
  Fish and Fish Habitat - Conservation Biology
  Fish and Fish Habitat - Enhancement Assessment

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