Friday, May 17, 2013

The PITs

PIT tags are a hot topic as chinook salmon begin to swim from the sea to spawn.

PIT tag data essentially holds the key to determining when and where there might be a chinook salmon fishing season on one or more sections of The Upper Salmon River.

Fisheries biologists closely watch daily data of PIT-tagged fish passing Bonneville and the various other dams on The Columbia and Snake Rivers.  Of keen interest to IDFG Staff at this time are the numbers of PIT-tagged fish from the Sawtooth and Pahsimeroi Hatcheries.

If sufficient numbers of these PIT-tagged fish are recorded passing through the dams, Staff may possibly recommend a chinook salmon fishing season of some duration on one or more sections of The Upper Salmon River.  As of the May 16th IDFG Commission meeting Staff asked that more data be collected before making any recommendation.  At this time it is too early to predict whether enough fish are returning to make a recommendation.

As of mid-May, very few Sawtooth and Pasimeroi PIT-tagged fished have been recorded at Bonneville Dam and almost none at Lower Granite Dam.  Our sources indicate this is not a cause for concern at this time.  PIT tag numbers in the next couple of weeks will be a key factor in the variables that go into whether a recommendation might be made to open a chinook fishing season.

We put together a short PIT tag primer using online slides from the Columbia Basin PIT Tag Information System (PTAGIS)

Click here for the short introduction to the components of a PIT tag.

Click here to visit the PTAGIS Learning page: http://www.ptagis.org/learn

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