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Zoom Presentation – Skeena Fish Trap

September 9, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


For those who missed it, here is a link to the presentation – https://drive.google.com/file/d/15DAEXtVkW-GU19Vr0fOFVECseWzmDmQK/view?usp=sharing – For more info you can contact the presenter – katherine_fisheries@laxband.com

Join us for a Zoom Meeting September 9th at 6:00PM. Instructions for joining the presentation will be emailed to those who register.

Whats Old is New Again: Promoting Sustainable Skeena Salmon Fisheries using Centuries Old Technology

Photo courtesy of Wild Fish Conservancy

Project Synopsis:

The Skeena River supports large scale Canadian and U.S. commercial, recreational and First Nation salmon fisheries. However, the salmonid population declines from by-catch mortality and other factors have constrained fisheries and highlighted the need for alternative commercial and test gears to minimize impacts to threatened stocks. Use of selective harvest techniques, such as fish traps, can minimize mortality to threatened and endangered salmonids and increase productivity of non-target populations.

Conventional gill nets and seines commonly used in mixed stock fisheries frequently result in by catch mortality, impeding salmonid recovery and constraining fishing opportunities across the North American West Coast.

In 2019, Lax Kw’alaams Band successfully evaluated a feasibility study for the construction and use of a modified fish trap (a form of fixed gear) in the Lower Skeena River BC Canada.  The trap will be designed with the goal of capturing fish passively and minimizing entanglement, air exposure, by catch mortality, crowding and handling of non-target stocks. Studies by Wild Fish Conservancy in Washington USA demonstrated that a similar modified trap effectively captured salmonids while reducing by catch mortality rates relative to conventional fishing gears. Their studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of a modified trap and suggests that similar modified traps in other fluvial systems where the impacts of mixed stock harvest are of concern. Lax Kw’alaams is in the process of construction of a similar fish trap in the Lower Skeena River BC Canada. Once complete this trap will be utilized for biological monitoring and sustainable harvest of Skeena Salmon.

Meet The Presenters:

Katherine Butts HBSc., MSc. is the Senior Fisheries Biologist at Lax Kw’alaams Fisheries in Prince Rupert BC Canada.

Katherine returned to university in 1999 following 20 years in private business management. She obtained an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Ecology and Evolution specializing in fish behavior and sexual selection. She went on to complete her Master’s Degree in Biology with a focus on Biochemistry and Exercise Physiology focused on the effect of exhaustive exercise fish.

She has over 13 years of experience in fish research relating to fish biology, fish mating practices and displays, sexual selection and the effect of predation on parental care, fish biochemistry as it relates to fishing stress including exhaustive exercise, electrofishing, angling and sport fishing.

In 2017, Katherine moved to Prince Rupert to work with Lax Kw’alaams First Nation as their Senior Fisheries Biologist. She currently manages 30 research projects for the Band involving marine species important to the band including a variety of invertebrates, fish and marine mammals. The Lower Skeena Fish Trap Project is the first of its kind in Canada and will integrate Indigenous harvest technology, research and commercial activities in a sustainable manner.

Adrian Tuohy (M.S., Aquatic and Fishery Sciences) is a biologist and project manager with the non-profit Wild Fish Conservancy (Duvall, WA). Adrian has managed Wild Fish Conservancy’s five-year evaluation of commercial fish traps for selective harvest in the lower Columbia River.


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September 9, 2020
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Zoom Meeting


Mike Radakovich