let the next blown forecast grow… the good news-bad news story

The Globe and Mail ran the article yesterday:

With biggest salmon run in nearly a century, hope returns to the Fraser

Pacific Salmon Commission predicts more than 25 million sockeye, more than double earlier forecast.

Good news is… great to see so many fish predicted to return as a total run size, but not what will hit the spawning grounds.

Bad news is… last year pre-season forecast blown about 9 million on the high side; this year blown about 14 million on the low side (at least the median forecast — 50p… there’s lots of wiggle room on either side)

Whoooopseees.

_ _ _ _

Is it science? or is it guess-timate?

From the website sciencemadesimple.com:

How do we define science? According to Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, the definition of science is “knowledge attained through study or practice,” or “knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, esp. as obtained and tested through scientific method [and] concerned with the physical world.”

What does that really mean? Science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge. This system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena. The term science also refers to the organized body of knowledge people have gained using that system. Less formally, the word science often describes any systematic field of study or the knowledge gained from it.

What is the purpose of science? Perhaps the most general description is that the purpose of science is to produce useful models of reality.

I suppose it’s certainly a systematic field of study, and there is knowledge gained from it… (even if that might be: the more we know, the more we don’t know…)

“Useful models of reality”? Well…

6 thoughts on “let the next blown forecast grow… the good news-bad news story

  1. Priscilla Judd

    Science seems to deal with information that comes out of an event or situation – Science is not preemptive in the job of fish management – in other words – the fish farms pollute – the scientists gather information – It is DFO’s job to assemble scientific info to prove that fish farm pollution is not harmful. However, when DFO and the scientists agree that the fish farm pollution is harmful the damage is already done.

    Why rely on science when we can use common sense?

  2. Priscilla Judd

    Can you please verify this for me?

    I have been told that when salmon are raised in a Hatchery and they try to return to spawn, they return to the hatchery … “I’ve seen them bashing themselves to death trying to get into that hatchery” Is that true?

    If that is true – we may have found out why it’s not in DFO’s interest to maintain a healthy wild salmon population. After all if all the salmon that are raised are all from the Hatchery then all the salmon can be harvested at sea because they won’t spawn and fish that are raised by DFO are man made fish and those fish are not likely owed to the First Nations People under our constitution. Is that why they have the fin missing? To prove ownership?

    This could be continuation of Canadian policy to deprive First Nations access to fish since that has been DFO’s policy since the time of cannery gold.

    If wild fish are extinct – the burden of conservation is removed from DFO and all hatchery fish are strictly raised for the economics of Canadian fishing whether it be sport or commercial.

    It’s a dreadful thought but it would be in keeping with the Government’s continued attempt to block First Nations from access to fish.

    On another point about information that DFO uses to make predictions. I noted on my blog that it takes 200 fish to sustain a first Nations family over a winter. If DFO based they management of salmon up in Osouoos at 60,000 fish for first Nations food and ceremony then there must less than 300 First Nation families in that area. What is the population?

    Is DFO using a policy for starvation? I have it from a reliable source that a large percentage of First Nations are going hungry.

  3. Brian

    Priscilla,

    [edit] Compare how many salmon hatcheries there are now as compared to the 1980’s. There are still hatcheries around, but not like it use to be. Some hatcheries [edit] that rear chinook and coho put coded wire tags (CWTs) on them to help determine survival and exploitation rates. Not an easy thing as you need to put out quite a few CWTs to get results. The adipose fin is clipped on CWT fish to indicate to the ground crews the presence of a CWT. The CWT is extremely small – like a small metal filing from a drill press. It is inserted into the nose area of juvenile fish and has data relating to the fish in a coded sequence. At Cultus Lake, some sockeye juveniles are marked by clipping the adipose fin to help distinguish it from unmarked groups. This is part of a release study to see which time of year is the best release time for hatchery sockeye at Cultus (a stock of concern) to get the best survival. If you want to know more ask the people at Cultus Lake Laboratory. It has nothing to do with ownership.

    “This could be continuation of Canadian policy to deprive First Nations access to fish since that has been DFO’s policy since the time of cannery gold.”

    DFO’s policy since the time of cannery gold? DFO wasn’t around back in the time of cannery gold. Before 1985, the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission was primarily responsible for a great deal of work done at that time. If you have been to Osoyoos (I don’t think you have recently or you would have seen a certain seine boat on the lake), Kamloops Lake and Chilko lately you will see that your contention that it is Canadian policy to deprive First Nations access to fish is kind of humourous to say the least. In fact, DFO through Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (PICFI) is aimed at help First Nations develop their own fisheries and market their catch. First Nations had it right back then long ago. It was governments and canneries back then that moved First Nations away from their traditional means of obtaining fish.

    “It’s a dreadful thought but it would be in keeping with the Government’s continued attempt to block First Nations from access to fish.”

    Show the turth in this rather than coming up with conspirarcy theories. [edit]

    “On another point about information that DFO uses to make predictions. I noted on my blog that it takes 200 fish to sustain a first Nations family over a winter. If DFO based they management of salmon up in Osoyoos at 60,000 fish for first Nations food and ceremony then there must less than 300 First Nation families in that area. What is the population?

  4. Pingback: Sockeye processors working round the clock – Update Sept. 2 | Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society

  5. salmon guy Post author

    thanks for the comments Priscilla,
    It has certainly been my experience at mass production hatchery facilities to see returning adults thrashing themselves at outlets to hatcheries. However, it’s certainly not all of the hatchery salmon — many return and successfully spawn in available habitat. It also depends on the species. For example, coho tend to just keep heading upstream and will sometimes spawn in ditches of logging roads.

    Some hatcheries pump out huge numbers of chum and/or pink simply for “economic opportunities”.

    In Alaska they run huge “salmon ranching” programs whereby fry are raised in net pens near the mouths of streams so that they become imprinted to those streams. When they return they are harvested in mass fisheries at the mouths of those streams. These salmon basically never see a fresh water stream. In places like Prince William Sound up to 95% of the commercial harvest is from salmon ranching efforts.

    All of this despite bans on “finfish aquaculture”. It’s a bit of a slipper discussion…

    As mentioned in other posts, there are currently over 5 billion salmon fry pumped into the North Pacific from around the pacific rim. Canada is responsible for almost 700 million of those.

    There are certainly many questions to be asked about some chinook and coho hatcheries that exist solely to support sport fisheries and some pressure to continue to move in that direction. There are some legitimate questions to be asked of sport fishing lodges and DFO working together to get coho and chinook into areas previously void of salmon…

    Yet, there are also small satellite hatcheries around BC run by incredibly dedicated volunteers that work hard to simply keep dieing runs, hanging by a thread, from going extinct. These hatcheries raise pink, chum or coho and then release them by volunteer bucket brigade.

    so there is good news… bad news involved in the hatchery story..

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