Sockeye salmon in Adams River.

Sockeye numbers shockingly low

Expectations were high, but the 2015 late South Thompson sockeye run has been disastrous.

Expectations were high, but the 2015 late South Thompson sockeye run has been disastrous.

A daily visual observation of late-run sockeye in the Adams River on Oct. 8 revealed only 2,925 fish in the lower Adams River. No late-run sockeye were observed in upper Adams River two days later on Oct. 10.

Four years ago, late-run salmon were in the millions, sparking hopes of a large return this year. But pre-run estimates of 1.2 million were quickly dropped to 200,000 for the entire Fraser River run – about half of which were expected to enter the South Thompson, with good numbers continuing on to the Little Shuswap, Shuswap Lake and Adams River. Because the numbers turned out to be so low, Fisheries Canada decided to dispense with the intensive tag and re-capture generally used to obtain an accurate count.

Stu Cartwright, acting area director of the federal Fisheries and Oceans Canada for the B.C. Interior, says they believe the less intensive method of visual counting has produced accurate estimates of the number of fish.

“We know there was a lot of pre-spawn mortality in the sockeye and that complicates things four years down the road,” says Cartwright noting that while low water levels and high water temperatures were likely factors, they may not tell the whole story.

“A lot didn’t arrive, that’s the big thing, only 200,000 entered the river… but we won’t have a final number until sometime in the new year.”

Cartwright has happier news about the chinook run that includes the Little Shuswap, Adams, Salmon and Eagle rivers.

“It looks like it will meet or exceed the brood year of 150,000 fish, which we consider to be quite a success,” he says, praising officers and volunteers for their efforts in helping chinook enter the Salmon River. “We would like to see more on the Salmon River; it has a capacity for more.”


Just Posted

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 800 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Shuswap Lake still on the rise, but rate slows

Regional district recommends residents make an evacuation plan.

B.C. Interior flood risk diminishing

Snowmelt receding but rainfall impact remains a concern

Trustee won’t delay Downtown Activity Centre sale

Salmon Arm city council had asked for an extension, bid process will run until July 6

Application proceeds for ALR exclusion

City council opted not to take the advice of its Agricultural Advisory… Continue reading

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

High water forces closure of a boat launch on Shuswap Lake

Boat launch on Eagle Bay Road shut down, two others in Sorrento remain open

Fuel truck crash closes B.C. highway, sends two to hospital

The Trans-Canada Highway on Vancouver Island is expected to be closed until Thursday evening

Column: A tender portrait of school life

By Joanne Sargent, Observer contributor I would venture to say that most… Continue reading

Most Read