Fraser salmon fishing resumes but not for sockeye

Run size boosted to four million, 16 million pinks expected

  • Aug. 29, 2013 10:00 a.m.
Sports anglers may be dancing on the shores come the weekend as salmon fishing reopens for stocks other than sockeye.

Sports anglers may be dancing on the shores come the weekend as salmon fishing reopens for stocks other than sockeye.

An improving run of sockeye salmon returning to the Fraser River has prompted fishery managers to reopen fishing for other salmon species that had been closed to guard against any accidental bycatch of sockeye.

Pacific Salmon Commission officials now estimate around four million sockeye are on track to return due to more fish arriving later than anticipated.

That’s still below a pre-season forecast of 4.7 million but it’s much better than a few weeks ago when salmon watchers feared just two million would return.

Recreational angling for chinook, pink and chum salmon opens Friday morning below Mission and for pink and chum above Mission starting Saturday morning.

First Nations also have the go-ahead to fish for chinook, chum and pink on the lower Fraser for food, social and ceremonial purposes.

A limited commercial fishery for pinks is also expected.

Water temperatures have cooled somewhat from dangerously high levels earlier in the summer but fishery managers still expect 70 per cent of returning sockeye will die on their journey upriver to the spawning grounds.

As a result, all of the fisheries are directed to release any sockeye that are caught.

“We are getting early reports of fish arriving at the spawning grounds in good condition,” said Jeff Grout, DFO regional resource manager.

Sockeye run on a four-year cycle, so the fish now migrating are the offspring of the disastrous 2009 run, when just 1.6 million sockeye returned, prompting the appointment of the Cohen Inquiry.

There had been high hopes that this would be the year that stock begins to rebuild.

While DFO officials say there are now signs that will happen, they say the return and the river conditions are still far from what they had hoped.

The pink run has also been upgraded, from 14 million to an estimated 16 million fish, and that number is expected to climb further.

Fishery officers have been sweeping the river for sockeye poachers.

So far 10 boats and 66 nets have been seized with 29 investigations underway that are expected to lead to charges.

Tom Hlavac, from DFO’s conservation and protection branch, said the majority of suspected poachers caught are First Nations, but added others are non-aboriginal.

– Jeff Nagel

Just Posted

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

The Great Gordini puts on a magic show for an avid audience during the first Storytime in the Park in this 2019 photo. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)
Storytime in the Park returns this summer

Day 1 registration is on June 30

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Most Read