California Salmon Council and the GSI project

The California Salmon Council is taking part in a Genetic Stock Identification (GSI) project. Selected fisherman from ports along the california coast collect genetic tissue and scale samples from their catch while they are fishing. The samples are then processed in a lab and keyed to determine which river the salmon originated from. There is a daily, weekly, and monthly limit to how many samples the fisherman can collect, distributing the sampling throughout the period. A count of the overall catch for each day the fisherman samples and how much time spent fishing is also recorded. The data from all of the ports is compiled at the end of each month, allowing analysis of which fish are being caught where. This information is helpful in determining the salmon seasons and regulations, and protecting the sensitive populations of certain river stocks.

In addition to the genetic and scale samples, the fisherman measures the length of the salmon, takes a GPS point (recording their location, date, time) and also records the depth at which the fish was caught within the water column. All of this information is recorded on the envelope containing the samples for each fish. A tag is then applied to the salmon with the corresponding number of the envelope containing it's samples. This allows for cross referencing in the event that the fish is also sampled by CDFW at the dock. A GPS point is taken for every fish caught whether it is sampled or not. The GPS points are then placed on a map allowing for a cumulative visual analysis of where the fish are being caught.

The fisherman are happy to take part in this project because the "real-time" seasonal information collected can be compared with other methods of determining or projecting their effort. The F/V Animal Fair has been sampling for this project for several years.


For more information about the GSI project check out these sites:

Take a look at the Study and some of the maps:

An article about GSI and comparing it to other methods of determining effort:

The California Salmon Council website: