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

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Langford firefighters raise $1,065 for Burn Camp

B.C. firefighters and burn survivors raise $200,068 this year for Burn Camp

Victoria church to ring bells for 75th anniversary of atomic bombings

Bells expected at 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6 and 11:50 a.m. on Aug. 9

VicPD find used, uncapped needle tied to handrail in Beacon Hill Park

Officers believe the needle was put there with the intent to harm someone

PHOTOS: Kids, parents cool off at Langford splash park

Centennial Park is home to a popular water feature

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

SOOKE HISTORY: A peek into the journal of John George Whiffin

Elida Peers | Contributed One of our most popular walks is on… Continue reading

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Woman arrested near Nanaimo beach after alleged road rage incidents

37-year-old woman facing charges including assault, assaulting a police officer, impaired driving

Most Read