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ATA Logbook Program

From 1976-1991 Alaska Trollers Association ran a logbook program, working in partnership with fisheries scientists from Alaska Department of Fish and Game, National Marine Fisheries Service, Sea Grant, and the University of Alaska. National Marine Fisheries recently provided the funding to modernize the data sets and produce a summary report on the program. The work was done by Darcie Neff , working under contract to ATA.

Long-term time series data can be helpful in documenting and understanding large ecosystem changes that have occurred in the past and as a baseline for identifying and monitoring changes in the future. This 15-year dataset provides an
archive of standardized biological and physical data that researchers and managers can utilize in the management of living marine resources in Southeast Alaska.

The following abstract summarizes findings from the ATA Logbook Program. 

ABSTRACT

Alaska's commercial salmon troll fishery operates from Dixon Entrance on the south to Cape Suckling on the north, and primarily targets Chinook and coho salmon, with pink, chum, and sockeye salmon harvested incidentally. In several areas in the region, trollers are now targeting chum.

The Alaska Trollers Association Logbook Program was initiated in 1976 by legislative grant to provide a standardized method for trollers to gather biological and physical data for the information and benefit of Alaska trollers and fishery biologists and managers. Logbooks were mailed annually to those trollers who expressed a willingness to be involved in the program. Participating trollers voluntarily reported data including, but not limited to, fishing effort and location, harvest numbers and species composition, stomach contents (i.e. prey items), sea surface temperature (SST), and marine mammal sightings. This report summarizes 1,457 logbooks representing 863,757 fishing hours and 77,916 fishing days submitted between 1977 and 1991.

An average of 97 trollers participated each year in the logbook program. Participants reported an average annual fishing effort of 586 hours and daily effort averaged 11 hours. Spring, summer, and winter accounted for 29%, 68%, and 3% respectively of reported hours fished. Spatially, outer-coast and inside waters accounted for 72% and 28% of total hours fished.

Participants reported a harvest of 3,411,586 fish: 60% coho salmon, 24% pink salmon, 14% Chinook salmon, 2% chum salmon, and <1% sockeye salmon. Ninety-two percent of the total harvest occurred during three months: June (7%), July (51%), and August (34%). Chinook salmon dominated winter and spring harvests, and coho salmon dominated summer harvests.

Outer-coast and inside waters accounted for 71% and 29% of salmon harvested. The most commonly reported prey items were Pacific sand lance and Pacific herring; sand lance dominated stomach contents of salmon harvested on the outer coast, whereas herring dominated stomachs from inside waters.

Monthly SST averaged 46.2° F with a range of 40.0° F in December to 53.8° F in August; all salmon species were harvested in water of similar temperature.

A total of 33,879 sightings of 15 marine mammal species were recorded. Five species accounted for 79% of sightings: humpback whale (37%), Stellar sea lion (19%), Dallís porpoise (10%), sea otter (7%), and harbor seal (6%).


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Alaska Trollers Association   130 Seward #205 Juneau, Alaska 99801   (907) 586-9400   (907) 586-4473 fax