VIDEO: Millions of sockeye to spawn on B.C. rivers

Early estimates are that 2.2 million of those fish will make their way to the Adams River

So far, so good!

That’s the somewhat optimistic estimation that Mike Lapointe, senior biologist with the Pacific Salmon Commission, is providing on late-run sockeye salmon.

Based on test fisheries, officials have recalculated the run size for the 2018 dominant year of late-run sockeye returning to the Shuswap, from a median forecast of 6.9 million to 5.7 million. Of those, 2.2 million are expected to spawn on the Adams River.

An estimated 2.1 million are heading to Horesfly in northern B.C.

READ MORE: Salmon run returns in droves to Quesnel Lake watershed

READ MORE: Nearly 7 million late-run sockeye due to return to Shuswap

Commercial, First Nations and recreational fisheries, have already accounted for 1.66 million of an allowable late-run sockeye catch of 2.29 million, says Lapointe.

Some Canadian fishers are angling for another fishery, but Lapointe says the problem for Fisheries Canada is whether to permit the total allowable catch or try to ensure the expected numbers arrive to spawn on the Adams River.

Complicating the matter is that there is no way of knowing exactly how many fish are holding in the Strait of Georgia, he says. That is why another run survey will be undertaken on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

“You’re trying to make estimates using two trawlers over a three-day period, and based on the troll survey from Thursday, (Sept. 6), the best estimate is 3.5 million (are holding in Georgia Strait).”

Lapointe says there is a one-in-10 chance that as few as 1.9 million more late-run sockeye are yet to arrive in the strait or as many as 6.6 million.

READ MORE: Shuswap symposium unites science, First Nations perspective on salmon

For most of the season about 70 per cent of the late-run sockeye travelled down the west side of Vancouver Island and took the southern approach through Juan de Fuca Strait.

However, in the last week, over 90 per cent of returning fish, a number estimated to be about 160,000, are enroute to the Strait of Georgia primarily through Johnstone Strait.

Lapointe says the safest place for the sockeye right now is the Strait of Georgia. The peak run on the Adams River is six weeks away and once salmon enter fresh water to begin their 600-plus kilometre trip to the Shuswap, their chances for survival drop.

Related: Shuswap artists explore impact of climate change on salmon

He is somewhat concerned the rain and cooler temperatures in the forecast might start drawing the salmon into the river this weekend.

“The temperature this morning in the Lower Fraser was 15.7 C, which is half-a-degree below normal, and it is predicted to remain near or below average temperatures,” he says.

This is the dominant year of a four-year cycle, an event that spawns the world-famous Salute to the Sockeye at Tsútswecw Provincial Park (formerly Roderick Haig Brown) from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2.

Information on the event is available at www.salmonsociety.com.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

Sockeye salmon swim up Yard Creek near Malakwa on Sunday, Sept. 2. (Jim Elliot/Eagle Valley News)

The Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band manages a fish fence on Scotch Creek where early sockeye salmon are counted. The early sockeye run is giving way as the late-run Shuswap run begins, including the dominant run on the Adams River. (Rick Koch photo)

Just Posted

Port Hardy RCMP discuss reconciliation with First Nations

The RCMP “want to be emotionally respectful of the past while still trying to uphold the laws.”

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

Claims already being staked after GeoScience BC report released

In the first 15 days following the report, a total of 34 new claims were staked.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Waulkwass River

A kingfisher and some trumpeter swans came by close enough to get a few shots.

Port Hardy RCMP investigating drug offences

Both vehicle occupants may face future charges related to the suspected drugs and cash.

Rail disruptions expected to continue after new protest sites emerge

Nationwide rail and road blockades have been popping up for weeks

51 health professionals send letter to Trudeau, Horgan panning northern B.C. pipeline

They point to studies about the health and climate change risks from pipeline

Fake meat and a latte? Starbucks adds Beyond Meat in Canada

The Seattle roaster has talked about introducing plant-based patties in the U.S., but has yet to do so

Groundhogs got it wrong: spring isn’t coming soon, Weather Network says

The only part of B.C. to warm up early will be Victoria

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Pink Shirt Day campaign urges Canadians to ‘Lift Each Other Up’

Annual anti-bullying effort returns Wednesday, Feb. 26

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

Most Read