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

Mainly clear and sunny skies are expected for the Okanagan-Shuswap region this week. (Maxpixels photo)
Warm, sunny week ahead in Okanagan-Shuswap

Daytime highs will reach the low 20s with mainly clear skies this week

The City of Penticton will offer large item garbage collection later this month. (Black Press file photo)
Penticton to offer large item garbage collection

Items will be collected April 19 to 23

These nails were collected off the Campbell Mountain bike trails in Penticton this weekend. Someone placed them all over the trail. (Facebook)
Hundreds of nails placed on popular Penticton bike trail

A mountain biker took to Facebook to warn others about the nails

Chrystina Barnard, owner of Lucky’s Pet Supply, has made it her mission to visit as many patios in Penticton as a way to promote restaurants. Here she is enjoying an eggs benny with her best fur friend at Loki’s Garage in Penticton. (Facebook)
Penticton foodie commits to 19-day patio crawl to promote local restaurants

The small business owner wanted to help out eateries hurt by the new restrictions

Flight with COVID
Another Kelowna flight with COVID-19 exposure

Westjet flight on April 5 from Kelowna to Edmonton

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

A car sheared a Hydro pole and the driver was pinned by a fence pole on 43rd Avenue Saturday, April 10. (Carmen Jaster photo)
Suspected impaired driver ‘lucky to be alive’ after crash in Vernon yard

Impaired driving investigation underway after driver shears Hydro pole and narrowly misses being impaled

A crane stands in the middle of a fire-ravaged Glenmore Road construction site on Thursday, April 8. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Evacuation order remains in effect around burned Kelowna construction site

Assessment of potentially risky crane to take place this afternoon

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to register people ages 40+ for COVID-19 vaccines in April

Appointments are currently being booked for people ages 66 and up

Interior Health improves access to mental health supports amid COVID-19 pandemic. (Stock)
Interior Health connects people to mental health resources amid COVID

310-MHSU line receives positive feedback in early months of rollout

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
North Okanagan landlord’s home trashed by tenants

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Kelowna-based company GTEC Cannabis Co. has paid off $6 million in debts. (GTEC Cannabis Co. - Facebook)
Kelowna cannabis company pays off $6M debt

GTEC Cannabis Co. is now one of the few debt-free companies in the sector

Construction has begun on Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project, with lengthy closures on the way. (Claire Palmer photo)
Construction has begun on Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project, with lengthy closures planned for the next four weeks. (Claire Palmer photo)
24-hour Trans-Canada closures begin east of Golden

It’s the final phase of the Kicking Horse Canyon construction project, which is realigning and widening the highway

A volunteer disinfects a historical Mohabat Khan mosque ahead of the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
For Canadian Muslims, second pandemic Ramadan is a time of hope and sadness

Many members of the association are trying to find ways ‘to help people stay connected to one another’

Most Read