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

WATCH: ‘Stubborn’ fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

The building, which lit up in flames around 2 a.m., was an infamous spot to Big White locals

Warriors looking for Teddy, hoping for win

West Kelowna hosts their annual Teddy Bear Toss fundraiser Saturday night

Price for one-bedroom rentals in Kelowna jumped 10.8% from October to November

Out of 34 Canadian cities, report said Kelowna had highest monthly rent increase

Rockets drop second straight, conclude 6-game road trip Saturday in Moose Jaw

Kelowna fell short against the Regina Pats 4-3 Friday night

Province covers medical costs for Kelowna boy with spinal muscular atrophy

Spinal taps for Rumi Green’s spinal muscular atrophy treatment cost $120,000 each

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Old Christmas card has ties to Summerland agriculture

Card was sent by former director of Summerland Research Station

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

Frosty will have to pay rent to stay on Okanagan sidewalk next Christmas

Vernon Teach and Learn allowed to keep Frosty up, but will need a permit come January 1

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Conservation officers on the hunt for North Okanagan moose poachers

Officers execute search warrant Friday morning, investigation continues

UPDATE: Highway 1 reopens after vehicle incident near Boston Bar

Initial reports of a jack-knifed semi truck had closed both directions of the highway

Kootnekoff: Accommodating religious celebrations

Employers must be mindful that not everyone celebrates holidays which are days off

Most Read