Project 3.3b – Evaluating the impacts of current and alternative harvesting strategies on Skeena River salmon populations and fishing fleets

This project aims to develop computer simulations that can be used by commercial fishers and government managers to create better policies for regulating the complex Skeena River fisheries considering a variety of conflicting objectives (production, biodiversity, allocation among users). Key elements of the models have been defined through meetings and discussions with industry (United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union) and government (biologists and managers) collaborators.


The study involves a unique attempt to link fish population dynamics and management across a range of space-time scales. The models will simulate long-term population dynamics of a large number (100+) of salmon stocks with the day-to-day operation and regulation of the multiple fisheries (offshore, river mouth, upstream First Nations and sport) that impact them.


Three mathematical models will be developed that will provide an improved set of estimates for all species of salmon across all stocks in the Skeena watershed, and will allow stakeholders and managers to experiment with different management tactics (fishing dates, locations, gears, and user groups allowed to fish).


Project Leader Contact Information

Carl Walters

University of British Columbia



Project Team

  • Joy Thorkelson - United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union (UFAWU)
  • Mike Hawkshaw - University of British Columbia graduate student (2011-present)
  • Murdoch McAllister - University of British Columbia
  • Steve Cox-Rogers - Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Prince Rupert
  • Steve Martell - International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC)
  • Villy Christensen - University of British Columbia