Uu-a-thluk currently supports five Nuu-chah-nulth Nations with developing rights-based, commercial fisheries known as “T’aaq-wiihak” (meaning fishing with permission of the Ha’wiih). The first T’aaq-wiihak fishery for suuhaa (Chinook salmon) took place in 2012. From July-September, 42 fishers caught 6,241 suuhaa during 14 openings and 57 fishing days. This generated approximately $250,000 in gross revenue, about 1/3 from smaller “mosquito” boats. Challenges included restrictions on licensing, fishing locations, and gear. Uu-a-thluk staff continue to work with nations to develop these fisheries for the benefit of coastal communities.
Sentinel Stocks Program
Initiated in 2009, the Sentinel Stocks Program was put in place after Canada renegotiated portions of the Pacific Salmon Treaty with the United States. One of these negotiations included a 15% reduction to the Southeast Alaska Chinook fishery. To help validate the reduction, Nuu-chah-nulth Nations have taken part in improved Chinook assessments to improve understanding of Chinook populations on the west coast. Past Sentinel Stocks projects have included work on the Moyeha, Burman, and Kaouk Rivers.
Uu-a-thluk supports assessment and monitoring of Henderson sockeye in partnership with Uchucklesaht First Nation and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (also known as DFO). From June to September, Uu-a-thluk biological staff assist the Nation’s technicians with in-season assessments of Henderson sockeye using a counting fence. During most years, Uu-a-thluk works with Uchucklesaht and DFO to conduct swim surveys in Clemens Creek for post season assessments. Uu-a-thluk also takes part in pre-season planning for assessment and fishing with DFO and Uchucklesaht.
Southern BC Chinook Strategic Planning Initiative
This project is brings together fisheries representatives from Vancouver Island and southern BC to assess Chinook populations and develop a strategic plan for their recovery. The first stage of the project involves gathering technical information and producing an assessment report.