(a) Conservation objectives. Annual management measures will be consistent with conservation objectives described in Table 3-1 of the Salmon FMP or as modified through the processes described below, except where the ACL escapement level for a stock is higher than the conservation objective, in which case annual management measures will be designed to ensure that the ACL for that stock is met, or where the de minimis control rules described in paragraph (c) of this section apply.

Terms Used In 50 CFR 660.410

  • Council: means the Pacific Fishery Management Council. See 50 CFR 660.402
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Salmon: means any anadromous species of the family Salmonidae and genus Oncorhynchus, commonly known as Pacific salmon, including, but not limited to:

    Chinook (king) salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

    Coho (silver) salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch

    Pink (humpback) salmon, Oncorhynchus gorbuscha

    Chum (dog) salmon, Oncorhynchus keta

    Sockeye (red) salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka

    Steelhead (rainbow trout), Oncorhynchus mykiss

    Total length of salmon means the shortest distance between the tip of the snout or jaw (whichever extends furthest while the mouth is closed) and the tip of the longest lobe of the tail, without resort to any force or mutilation of the salmon other than fanning or swinging the tail. See 50 CFR 660.402

(1) Modification of conservation objectives. NMFS is authorized, through an action issued under §660.411, to modify a conservation objective if–

(i) A comprehensive technical review of the best scientific information available provides conclusive evidence that, in the view of the Council, the Scientific and Statistical Committee, and the Salmon Technical Team, justifies modification of a conservation objective or

(ii) Action by a Federal court indicates that modification of a conservation objective is appropriate.

(2) ESA-listed species. The annual specifications and management measures will be consistent with NMFS consultation standards or NMFS recovery plans for species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Where these standards differ from those described in FMP Table 3-1, NMFS will describe the ESA-related standards for the upcoming annual specifications and management measures in a letter to the Council prior to the first Council meeting at which the development of those annual management measures occurs.

(b) Annual Catch Limits. Annual management measures will be designed to ensure escapement levels at or higher than ACLs determined through the procedures set forth in the FMP.

(c) De minimis control rules. Klamath River fall Chinook and Sacramento River fall Chinook salmon have the same form of de minimis control rule described in the FMP, which allows for limited fishing impacts when abundance falls below SMSY. The control rule describes maximum allowable exploitation rates at any given level of abundance. The annual management measures may provide for lower exploitation rates as needed to address uncertainties or other year-specific circumstances. The de minimis exploitation rate in a given year must also be determined in consideration of the following factors:

(1) The potential for critically low natural spawner abundance, including considerations for substocks that may fall below crucial genetic thresholds;

(2) Spawner abundance levels in recent years;

(3) The status of co-mingled stocks;

(4) Indicators of marine and freshwater environmental conditions;

(5) Minimal needs for tribal fisheries;

(6) Whether the stock is currently in an approaching overfished condition;

(7) Whether the stock is currently overfished;

(8) Other considerations as appropriate.

(9) Exploitation rates, including de minimis exploitation rates, must not jeopardize the long-term capacity of the stock to produce maximum sustained yield on a continuing basis. NMFS expects that the control rule and associated criteria will result in decreasing harvest opportunity as abundance declines and little or no opportunity for harvest at abundance levels less than half of MSST.

[76 FR 81860, Dec. 29, 2011]