A fish wheel is used to catch early run Chinook salmon in the Fraser River that are unable to make it past the Big Bar Slide for use in a conservation enhancement program this summer. (Gord Sterritt photo)

Record-low returns continue for Fraser sockeye despite success of Big Bar passage

Total migration this year estimated at just 279,700

Fraser River sockeye continue to swim past the Big Bar landslide in larger numbers but the overall count for the river sytem still points to the lowest migration in recorded history.

According to DFO’s latest Fraser River Sockeye Update Aug. 25, in the past two weeks extreme water levels have dropped significantly to improve natural passage for about 103,166 chinook and sockeye past the slide area 40 km upstream. Of those, 8,238 salmon used the Whooshh Passage Portal.

READ MORE: Salmon arrive in larger numbers at Big Bar landslide

While catches at test fisheries for mostly summer run stocks have modestly improved in the past few days, the total return of Fraser sockeye this year is estimated to be only 279,700.

“This continues to be a record low return for all cycles of Fraser River Sockeye,” the DFO update reads.

All First Nations fisheries for food, social and ceremonial sockeye are closed for the remainder of the season. Very little opportunity exists for chinook due to the sockeye non-retention regulations. In the few chinook openings available, DFO requires nets to be attended at all times in order to release captured sockeye.

Commercial and recreational fisheries on Fraser River Sockeye will not be authorized in 2020, the update reads.

READ MORE: Interior hatchery resurrected to incubate chinook fry caught at Big Bar Slide

In several spawning tributaries, counts of sockeye range from zero to just 14. The exception is the upper Chilliwack River where it’s estimated 24,233 fish have entered the river as of Aug. 18.

In November 2018 a massive rock landslide upstream of Lillooet blocked passage for migrating salmon. A fish passage network is part of ongoing mitigation efforts since the landslide was discovered in late June of 2019, causing 75,000 cubic metres of rock to fall into the river roughly 100 kilometres north of Lillooet, blocking spawning salmon passage into B.C.’s Interior.

The Whooshh Passage Portal is part of ongoing mitigation efforts since the landslide was discovered in late June of 2019, causing 75,000 cubic metres of rock to fall into the river roughly 100 kilometres north of Lillooet, blocking spawning salmon passage into B.C.’s Interior.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

Fish

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

Just Posted

Barriere RCMP mark weekend blaze as suspicious

There is evidence to show the commerical structure fire in Louis Creek may have been arson.

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Blaze takes commercial building in Louis Creek Industrial Park

Firefighters, paramedics and RCMP from Barriere and Chu Chua were on scene

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm have died of injuries: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

VIDEO: Smithers friendship centre launches canoe to mark Orange Shirt Day

Residential School survivor feels honoured by events held to recognize hardships endured

Long-term care study credits fewer COVID deaths in B.C. than Ont. to funding, policy

The study was published Wednesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal

Most Read