Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 1843
Title: Efforts to reduce Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and rockfish (Sebastes spp.) bycatch in the U.S. west coast Pacific hake (Merluccius productus) fishery
Author: Mark J.M. Lomeli, W. Waldo Wakefield
Publication Year: 2012

This study examined two versions of an open escape window bycatch reduction device (BRD) designed
to reduce bycatch of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and rockfish (Sebastes spp.) in the U.S.
Pacific coast Pacific hake (Merluccius productus) fishery. Tests were conducted off central Oregon during
2009 and 2010 aboard a midwater trawler. Data on fish behavior and gear performance were observed
using autonomous high-resolution low-light color video cameras and artificial lights. During this study,
one of the BRD versions reduced both Chinook salmon and widow rockfish (S. entomelas) bycatch. The use of artificial light was also noted to influence the behavior of Chinook salmon. The mean escape time of
Chinook salmon differed significantly between the two versions examined. Escapement of Pacific hake,
the target species, was rarely observed. Results of this study suggest that there is potential for reducing
Chinook salmon and widow rockfish bycatch in the Pacific hake fishery using open escape window BRDs.