Preliminary 2018 salmon outlook

Summary of Pacific salmon outlook units for 2018

This version of the 2018 outlook should be regarded as an early scan of salmon production, as very preliminary information, and as subject to change as more information becomes available. Individual outlooks may be periodically updated as statistical forecasts and assessments are completed and reviewed.

Read the 2018 summary

Since 2002, Pacific Region (BC & Yukon) Stock Assessment staff has provided a categorical outlook for the next year’s salmon returns. The Outlook is intended to provide an objective and consistent context within which to initiate fisheries planning. In particular, it provides a preliminary indication of salmon production and associated fishing opportunities by geographic area and species stock groups called an Outlook Unit. The Conservation Units covered by each Outlook Unit are listed in Appendix 1.

For each Outlook Unit, an Outlook Category is provided on a scale of 1 to 4 (table below). The category reflects the current interpretation of available quantitative and qualitative information, including pre-season forecasts if available, and the opinion of DFO Stock Assessment staff. Where management targets for stocks have not been formally described, interim targets were either based on historical return levels or, if necessary, opinion of local staff. The Department is currently defining methods to determine benchmarks of status under the Wild Salmon Policy.

Outlook Categories may have consequences to fisheries where an Outlook Unit is caught directly or incidentally. In the context of this outlook the probable fishery consequences associated with each of the four Outlook Categories are identified in the table.

Outlook Category Category Definition Criteria Fishery Consequences
1 Stock of Concern Stock is (or is forecast to be) less than 25% of target or is declining rapidly. Directed fisheries are unlikely and there may be a requirement to avoid indirect catch of the stock.
2 Low Stock is (or is forecast to be) well below target or below target and declining. Directed fisheries are uncertain and likely to be small if permitted. Allocation policy will determine harvest opportunities.
3 Near Target Stock is (or is forecast to be) within 25% of target and stable or increasing. Directed fisheries subject to allocation policy.
4 Abundant Stock is (or is forecast to be) well above target. Directed fisheries subject to allocation policy.

It is important to note that the fishery consequences implied by any of the Outlook Categories do not include interactions with stocks in other Outlook Units. Consequently, conservation requirements for stocks in Outlook Units with Outlook Categories 1 and 2 may limit fishing opportunities for Outlook Units for which there are no concerns. A range of Outlook Categories indicates significant geographic variation in outlook within the Outlook Unit and fisheries may be shaped in response to that variation.