Volume (Issue #):
The Pacific hake (Merluccius productus) midwater trawl fishery is the largest groundfish fishery off the U.S. West Coast by volume. However, bycatch of Chinook salmon can be an issue as Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed Evolutionarily Significant Units represent a portion of the total Chinook salmon bycatch. This study investigated the influence of artificial illumination on Chinook salmon behavior and their escapement out of a bycatch reduction device (BRD) in a Pacific hake midwater trawl. Artificial illumination can influence where Chinook salmon exit out of the BRD and can also enhance their escapement overall. As conservation of ESA listed Chinook salmon is an ongoing management priority, this research contributes new information on how artificial illumination can minimize adverse interactions between the Pacific hake fishery and Chinook salmon.