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

 

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

Catch The Real Sarahs as they help open The 39 Days of July

Rising stars in the Americana music scene, The Real Sarahs are making… Continue reading

Drivesmart column: Should I signal?

My stock answer would be along the lines of “Will it hurt?”

Get moving on those tickets or Sunfest might pass you by

If you’re looking to join the huge crowds at Sunfest for Jason… Continue reading

Duncan Tigers strike late, edge Longwood

Gicas brothers score both wins in 2-1 victory

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Coming up in Cowichan: Spend Father’s Day fishing, or head to the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Deadline coming to register for class reunion The Cowichan Secondary Class of… Continue reading

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Most Read