Sockeye salmon return to spawn in the Adams River at the end of a four-year cycle from lake to ocean.

Low water, low returns for Fraser sockeye

Main summer run downgraded, Fraser discharge at hope down 20 per cent from average flow

A low sockeye salmon return year is coming in even lower than forecast, with no commercial or recreational sockeye fisheries on the Fraser and marine areas and only aboriginal fisheries permitted by Canadian and U.S. authorities.

The Pacific Salmon Commission met again Tuesday, and downgraded the main summer run estimate to 700,000 fish.

Test fishing catches have been tracking below forecast for what was expected to be a low-return year on the four-year sockeye cycle, with the Early Stuart and other runs below expectations. The main summer run was calculated at 992,000 on last week’s test fishing data, down from a pre-season forecast of 1.67 million.

As of Aug. 8, the Fraser River water discharge at Hope was 24 per cent lower than the average for that date, with the temperature at 19.0C, up 1.0C from the average. Those conditions are considered satisfactory for salmon migration.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has begun its spawning escapement assessment programs.

“Early Stuart sockeye are in the early stages of spawning and are reported to be in good condition,” the commission says. “There has been steady migration of Chilliwack sockeye into the river and the observed fish are also reported to be in good condition.”

Aboriginal food, social and ceremonial fisheries on the Fraser and Canadian marine areas have taken 40,800 sockeye, with no commercial take for aboriginal fisheries. U.S. aboriginal treaty fisheries have taken 900 fish.

Federal Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Tuesday he is continuing to implement the Cohen Commission, established to study the collapse of the 2009 sockeye run. The 2010 run came in with a record 30 million fish, but the Justice Bruce Cohen’s commission reported a general decline in sockeye runs since 1990 from Washington state up the Central Coast, Skeena, Nass and up to Yukon’s Klukshu and Alaska’s Alsek Rivers.

This year the Pacific Salmon Commission noted the effects of a warm North Pacific area called “the blob,” which affected marine food before it dissipated early this year.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The long road to recovery will have a few bumps

Some things will never be the same after the COVID-19 pandemic, local experts say

Peninsula farm stands open for business with COVID-19 restrictions

Growers hopeful shoppers will support local farms

Income tax deadline looming

2019 individual tax returns are due June 1, June 15 for self-employed individuals

Langford’s City Centre Park cautiously reopens most activities as of Friday

Ice rink, bowling alley and restaurant to follow new regulations

Sooke council approves new funding for chamber of commerce

A $16,000 service agreement to be created

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

COLUMN: Canada needs to remember rural communities as thoughts turn to pandemic recovery

Small towns often rely on tourism, which has been decimated by COVID-19

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

Most Read