In 2003 the Gitksan Watershed Authorities (GWA) initiated a project to collect genetic (tissue) samples for DNA analysis from chum and pink salmon in selected streams throughout the Gitxsan territories. Chum DNA collection continued in 2004 where the project was expanded to include Chinook from selected streams. In 2005 the tissue sample collection continued but on an
opportunistic level and included stream type sockeye.
DNA analysis will provide a ‘genetic map’ that displays the genetic diversity of the wild stocks throughout the Skeena. In establishing genetic profiles, the commercially valuable species/stock can be identified to the watershed and/or stream, therefore improving harvest management. DNA analysis is used at the Tyee test fishery and harvest programs to provide in-season and post season stock assessment information. Various methods are used for both adult capture and live release and juvenile capture. Two hundred tissue samples from each stream for each species are considered adequate and we are still working on a few stocks. A summary of all the DNA collections from 2002 to 2013 are shown below.