Pre-season predictions suggest as few as 11,000 Sockeye salmon will return to the lake shores and tributaries of Shuswap and Mara Lakes to spawn in 2019.
According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), sockeye stocks from other runs up the Fraser are trending towards the low end of the forecast, and the late Shuswap run is not expected to be an exception.
The 2018 sockeye return to the Shuswap totalled 1.5 million, but last year was a dominant run which occurs once every four years. The totals seen during the dominant years also seem to be declining as the 2014 dominant run topped out at 2.2 million fish.
None of the Shuswap salmon runs will be affected by the much publicized Big Bar Landslide according to the DFO’s environmental unit. The slide is on a different branch of the river, not on the course used by the Shuswap-bound salmon.