Advanced Research has developed the online version of the West Coast Genetic Stock Identification (WC-GSI) database, a database containing Oregon and California salmon catch data recorded since 2006. It began as the project Collaborative Research on Oregon Ocean Salmon (Project CROOS), initiated by Oregon State University, the Oregon Salmon Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service, and Oregon Sea Grant. Project CROOS unites state-of-the-art science and salmon fishers in a unique project that aims to save salmon and the Oregonians who depend on them for their livelihood. In this innovative project, the fishers become frontline members of the researcher team, collecting data as they fish that will provide valuable clues about where Chinook salmon travel during their ocean years. Using this data that would not be available otherwise, geneticists can determine the routes salmon travel during their lives, from river to ocean and back inland once again.
Advanced Research joined the program in January 2010, developing the first online database for the Project CROOS fish catch and genetic data. In the summer of 2010, the California salmon fisheries joined the project, adding their 2010 salmon catch data. A portion of the salmon catch information is available to the public on the Pacific Fish Trax website, including where and when a fish was caught and by which vessel and fisher.
Looking at Project CROOS data taken for salmon caught in 2006 (red and blue marks in maps below) one can see the effect upwelling has on the salmon fish locations. The maps below show the fish catch data for the week of September 17-23, 2006 and the week following There is also a figure showing the upwelling occurring in the ocean over the same period. The figures show that the fish caught during the upwelling period are located offshore, and relocate close to shore when the upwelling abates. This kind of information is of immense value to scientists, fishery managers, and fishers alike in managing this valuable sustainable food source.
Advanced Research’s role in the development of the WC-GSI database has been to create the web interface for scientists, fishery managers, and port liaisons. In 2010, over 4,700 fish were entered from Oregon and 5,000 from California. We created a web portal for port liaisons from Oregon and California to enter the catch data as the boats came in. We created a separate portal for scientists to enter genetic data and to view statistics on the seasonal fish catches. Fishery managers have their own portal to verify the catch data and to view statistics and detailed information on the fish population and yield. We are also expanding database access to include a portal for fishers to obtain information on their own catches.