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)

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

(File photo)
RCMP left with many questions after odd report of stabbing in Parksville

Original caller left area because of outstanding arrest warrants; victim not forthcoming with police

PQB News reader Randy Hall set up a camera at the beach in Parksville, in the same spot every day in February, to capture the changing days and weather. (Randy Hall photo)
WATCH: Scenes from 28 days in February in Parksville

PQB News reader Randy Hall set up camera in same location each day

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

(PQB News file photo)
Some frustrated Parksville Qualicum Beach residents now tossing recyclables in garbage

Option is driving to collection centres in Nanaimo and Courtenay

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

A sports car crashed into a lamp standard and rolled down the hill behind Country Club Centre mall on Sunday night. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Sports car crashes into lamp post, rolls down hill behind Nanaimo mall

Driver uninjured in incident Sunday night on Norwell Drive

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Most Read