Sockeye returns far below predictions

“We’re now thinking 200,000, which is extremely disappointing and concerning,” said Stu Cartwright

Stu Cartwright

It’s a sad year for Fraser River sockeye.

Although this is a sub-dominant year, scientists had initially estimated 1.2 million late-run sockeye would enter the Fraser River this fall – approximately half of them aiming for spawning grounds along the South Thompson River and into Shuswap Lake and Adams River.

“We’re now thinking 200,000, which is extremely disappointing and concerning,” said Stu Cartwright, acting area director of the federal Fisheries and Oceans Canada for the B.C. Interior, noting Monday that the run is very close to peak. “We don’t know what the reason is; there are lots of theories – warm water, all kinds of things, but at this point we don’t know.”

Cartwright says conservation is the number 1 priority when it comes to setting fisheries, with allocation to First Nations for food, social and ceremonial requirements next in importance.

In terms of complaints from some anglers that First Nations were using nets on Kamloops Lake when they were not allowed to fish, Cartwright said the fishery was chinook-driven and the only sockeye natives were allowed to keep were ones that could not be revived.

Fisheries are determined by scientists from Canada and the U.S. and are based on numbers provided by the Pacific Salmon Commission.

Prior to, and in conjunction with, the First Nations chinook fishery, commercial fisherman were in the approaches to the Fraser River and a recreational fishery was open in the South Thompson.

And therein lies the good news this year.

“There’s a very positive chinook return at this point in time – really good numbers,” Cartwright said of early assessment numbers for South Thompson, Adams River, Little River, Shuswap River and Eagle River. “It is likely going to surpass the brood year (130,000); it could be in the 150,000-plus range.”

The final tally for this year’s sub-dominant sockeye run will likely not be available until early in 2016.

 

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

Just Posted

Sports Shorts

Keep up to date with local sporting events and news segments Curling… Continue reading

Photo reminds Salmon Arm resident of connection to former drama teacher Justin Trudeau

Prime minister remembered as being as a funny, larger-than-life person

Dining moose a welcome distraction at Salmon Arm campus

Pair feast on willows, unperturbed by onlookers at Okanagan College

Woman convicted in Salmon Arm love triangle murder granted escorted temporary absences

Monica Sikorski was 17 when she plotted shooting death of 22-year-old Tyler Myers

Shuswap’s water rescue crew preparing for frigid temperatures

New training follows Dec. 9 mission to help a man suffering health problems at remote cabin

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

B.C. town spends $14.14 per resident for snow removal in one month

Costs of snow removal to the Town of Princeton skyrocketed in December.… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Province says it is monitoring AIM’s road maintenance

The provincial transportation ministry is working closely with new road contractor AIM,… Continue reading

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

‘It’s still early’: Flu rates down so far this year at Interior Health

At Kelowna General Hosptial, there have been about 50 confirmed cases

Most Read