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"Forage Fish in Puget Sound," Presentation to WA House Environment Committee 13 March 2014

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Information about "Forage Fish in Puget Sound," Presentation to WA House Environment...
Education

Published on March 16, 2014

Author: tessabfrancis

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Testimony given to the Washington State House Environment Committee on the importance, status and recovery of forage fish species in Puget Sound. Audio accompaniment can be found on WTV
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Tessa Francis, PhD University of Washington Tacoma Puget Sound Institute WA House Environment Committee March 13, 2014 Forage Fish in Puget Sound: Status, Importance, and Recovery

Pacific  herring   Clupea  pallasii   photo  by  Walter  Rung   Surf  smelt   Hypomesus  pre/osus   photo  by  Frank  Varga   Sand  lance   Ammodytes  hexapterus     photo  by  Ground  Truth  Trekking   Meet  the  fish.  

Forage  fish  are  more  valuable  in  the  water  than  out.   Harbor   Seals:  80%   Chinook   salmon:  80%     Lingcod:  95%   Orcas   Rhinoceros   auklet:  70%   Marbled  murrelet:   60%   TuGed  puffin     Photo  by  Peter  Hodum  

Forage  fish  are  30-­‐60  Lmes  more  valuable  in  the  water   Source:  DFW  2008,  TCW  Economics;  LenFest  Forage  Fish  Task  Force  Report   Direct  value   SupporLve  value   $25  million  $0.4  –  0.8   million  

Key  Indicators  of  Ecosystem  Health   Food  web  connec*ons   Forage  fish   Zooplankton   Phytoplankton   Predators  

Key  Indicators  of  Ecosystem  Health   Human  impacts   Shoreline  development   Contaminants/pollutants   Water  quality   Human  AcLviLes  

Pacific  herring   Engraulis  mordax   photo  by  Walter  Rung   What  is  their  status?   0 3,000 6,000 9,000 12,000 15,000 18,000 1973 1978 1983 1988 1993 1998 2003 2008 2013 2018 TONS Adult Herring Spawner Biomass

Pacific  herring   Engraulis  mordax   photo  by  Walter  Rung   ?  photo  by  Frank  Varga   ?   What  is  their  status?   0 3,000 6,000 9,000 12,000 15,000 18,000 1973 1978 1983 1988 1993 1998 2003 2008 2013 2018 TONS Adult Herring Spawner Biomass

Pacific  herring   Engraulis  mordax   photo  by  Frank  Varga   photo  by  Ground  Truth  Trekking   We  have  major  challenges   Herring 1.  We  don’t  know  why  herring  are  declining.   •  Habitat  loss   •  PredaEon   •  PolluEon   •  Prey   •  Disease   •  Disturbance           2.  We  don’t  know  populaEon  status  of  surf   smelt  or  sand  lance.   •  How  many  are  there?   •  How  many  do  we  need?  

We  do  know  habitat  ma]ers   •  Herring  populaEon  is  2x  more   stable  because  of  habitat  diversity.       •  Shoreline  development  degrades   forage  fish  spawning  habitat.   •  Higher  egg  mortality   •  Higher  temperatures   •  Loss  of  fresh  sediment  supply  

What  acLons  are  we  taking?   •  Puget  Sound  Partnership  is  tracking   Pacific  herring  as  an  indicator  of   ecosystem  health.     •  Puget  Sound  InsLtute  has  convened  a   panel  of  forage  fish  experts  to  fill  key   informaEon  gaps  using  exisEng  data.     •  Puget  Sound  Ecosystem  Monitoring   Program  has  prioriEzed  measuring  sand   lance  and  surf  smelt  abundance.     •  Dept  of  Fish  &  Wildlife  is  taking  a   precauEonary  approach  with  fisheries   management.     •  Dept  of  Fish  &  Wildlife  requires  HPA   permit  to  develop  shorelines.  

What  more  should  we  be  doing?   1.  Collect  abundance  data  for  surf  smelt  and   sand  lance       2.  EsEmate  the  abundance  of  surf  smelt  and   sand  lance  using  exisLng  data     3.  Determine  the  limitaEons  to  herring   recovery  using  exisLng  data     4.  Collect  biological  informaEon     5.  Improve  habitat  protecEon  regulaEons     6.  Limit  fisheries  harvest     7.  Monitor  predators  and  prey  

Thank  you.  

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