Hundreds lined the shores of Adams River on Saturday Oct. 13 (Carmen Weld/Black Press Media)

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

With the sockeye run nearing its end, fisheries officials say the numbers returning to spawn on the Adams River will likely match the 2014 dominant run.

In the third week of August, the late-run sockeye salmon run was estimated to be nearly seven million returning to various spawning grounds in the Shuswap, with an estimated 750,000 expected at the Adams River.

By mid-September and based on several test fisheries in the Strait of Georgia where the salmon gather every year before starting their journey up the Fraser River, the forecast had dropped to 4.7 million fish, with about 2.5 million of that number already caught in commercial, recreational and Indigenous fisheries.

“The pre-season forecast was more than 7 million, then dropped down to six then five; there is a recognition that those forecasts are so variable,” says Mike Lapointe, chief biologist with the Pacific Salmon Commission, noting decisions on how many sockeye will be made available for fishing are not made on the original return forecast. “We meet every week with the (Fraser River) panel and the tech guys (to determine the number available of fish).”

Related: Many visitors make their way to Shuswap’s Salute to the Sockeye

The forecast of the expected return rises and falls over the summer as trollers complete three-day tests and is the reason why fisheries are limited at the beginning of the run in case the numbers go down.

On Oct. 12, Lapointe said there were three things of significance in this year’s dominant run, an event that takes place every four years.

Catches in the lower Fraser River and fish passing a monitoring station at Mission both dropped dramatically between Oct. 9 and 12. An ocean survey completed from Oct. 3 to 6 estimated only 40,000 to 70,000 sockeye remained in the Strait of Georgia, confirming there were not many left in the strait to migrate. Thirdly was the reduction in the estimated return from 5 million to 4.7 million based on surveys taken in August, September and October.

Related: Race is on for Shuswap late-run sockeye

Lapointe said reducing the estimate would mean about a 10 per cent hit to the 750,000 late-run sockeye expected to reach the Adams River spawning grounds, bringing it to about 675,000.

The dominant run in 2010, with eight million sockeye returning to the Adams River, was considered a one-in-100-year event.

As it takes the salmon anywhere from 10 days to two weeks to make the return trip to their spawning grounds, there are expected to be good numbers of fish to see this week in the Salute to the Sockeye Festival at Tsútswecw Provincial Park, which continues to Sunday, Oct. 21.

“I think it’s a good run just based on the number of sockeye fisheries official have tagged on the Lower Adams,” Lapointe says.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Hundreds lined the shores of Adams River on Saturday Oct. 13 (Carmen Weld/Black Press Media)

Hundreds lined the shores of Adams River on Saturday Oct. 13 (Carmen Weld/Black Press Media)

Thousands of people have attended the Salute to the Sockeye at the Adams River this year, which continues until Sunday, Oct. 21. (Barb Brouwer/Salmon Arm Observer)

Just Posted

Being Young: ‘Golden period,’ after exams

I should be plenty entertained over the summer.

Easter egg hunts and fun for families

More events scheduled for Sunday in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Bobcats, bears, and otters, oh my!

Critter Care Wildlife Society’s 20th anniversary gala set for next Saturday in Langley

Victoria ‘reviewing options’ for removing convicted councillors

Pitt Meadows lobbied for change after David Murray’s sex assault conviction

Cubetto teaches kids the building blocks of coding

Fraser Valley Regional Library’s wooden robot coming to Maple Ridge in May

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Most Read