Preseason Reports: 2016 Preseason Report III

Council Adopted Management Measures and Environmental Assessment Part 3 for 2016 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations

REGULATION IDENTIFIER NUMBER 0648-BF56

Published April 2016

This report summarizes the STT analysis of the 2016 ocean salmon fishery management measures adopted by the Council for submission to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and characterizes their expected impacts on ocean salmon fisheries and the stocks which support them.

The Council’s recommendations for the 2016 ocean salmon fishery regulations meet all objectives of the FMP (Section 3), including Annual Catch Limits set according to the FMP and described in Preseason Report I; the level of protection required by all consultation standards for salmon species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (Section 4), and; the obligations under the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) (Section 5) except as described below.

Under the Council’s recommended salmon fisheries, salmon stocks originating from the Columbia River, Oregon, and California meet all of the applicable conservation objectives in the FMP. For several coho stocks north of these areas, the conservation objectives in the FMP could not be met even with no ocean fisheries, due to unprecedented low abundance forecasts. To address this situation, the Council’s recommendations depart from the letter of the FMP in two ways, and thus require adoption by emergency rule. First, the Council recommends prohibiting the retention of coho north of Leadbetter Point, Washington, while allowing coho retention to the south. Second, the Council recommends limited fisheries north of Leadbetter Point targeting Chinook. These fisheries have minor incidental impacts on coho, and thus will result in very minor impacts on the coho stocks that are predicted to return in numbers below their FMP conservation objectives.