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Fishery Notice - Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Subject: FN0581-Salmon: Fraser River Sockeye Update - July 30 - Areas 11 to 29

The Fraser River Panel met today to review stock assessment data on the Fraser
River sockeye runs, discuss fishery planning, and receive an update regarding
migration conditions in the Fraser River watershed. Test fishing catches in the
marine assessment areas have been fluctuating recently but have generally been
good for this time of year. The diversion rate of Fraser sockeye through
Johnstone Strait is currently estimated to be approximately 30%. There was a
strong migration of sockeye observed at Hells Gate yesterday and the fish have
been reported to be in good condition over the past week.

The marine migration of Early Stuart sockeye is complete and at the meeting on
July 27 the Panel approved a run size estimate of 105,000 Early Stuart sockeye.
A 50% marine migration timing through Area 20 of July 5 was also approved, this
is 4 days later than forecast. The abundance of Early Summer-run sockeye
currently migrating through the marine approach areas is tracking above
expectations and later than expected. For management purposes, the Panel
adopted a provisional run size estimate of 950,000 Early Summer-run sockeye at
the meeting today. The estimated escapement of Early Summer-run sockeye past
Mission through July 29 is 241,000 fish.

Based on the migration of Summer-run sockeye through the marine approach routes
that has been observed to-date, assessments of their abundance are less than
expected if their arrival timing is similar to pre-season expectations. Higher
marine area test fishing catches of sockeye yesterday may indicate that a
stronger migration of Summer-run sockeye is beginning, although DNA analyses
will be required to verify expected stock contributions. Summer-run sockeye run
size assessments should be available by approximately mid August depending on
the date of their peak migration timing through the marine assessment areas.
The estimated escapement of Summer-run sockeye past Mission through July 29 is
105,000 fish.

The 50% probability level forecast for Late-run sockeye (Late Shuswap, Cultus,
Portage, Harrison, Weaver, and Birkenhead stocks) is 8,003,000 fish. Late-run
sockeye returns are forecast to originate primarily from the Late Shuswap stock
group. The expected 50% migration timing of Late-run sockeye through Area 20 is
approximately mid August. For management purposes, the Panel adopted a
provisional run size estimate of 400,000 Harrison sockeye at the meeting today.
In recent years, Harrison sockeye have exhibited earlier marine timing than
other Late-run sockeye stocks. Assessments of Late-run sockeye timing,
abundance, delay in the lower Strait of Georgia and in-river entry behaviour
will be conducted over the next several weeks. The estimated escapement of Late-
run sockeye past Mission through July 29 is 122,000 fish.

On July 29 the discharge of the Fraser River at Hope was about 3,500 cms, which
is 23% below average for this date. The temperature of the Fraser River at
Qualark Creek on July 29 was 18.6 deg C, which is 1.2 deg C above average for
this date. Fraser River water temperatures at Qualark Creek are projected to
reach approximately 21 deg C by early next week. Sustained water temperatures
in this range can cause severe stress to migrating sockeye and may lead to
significant en route mortality. Migration conditions for Fraser sockeye will be
monitored closely over the next several weeks and appropriate management
actions will be taken. At the Panel meeting on July 27, after reviewing
environmental and stock assessment information, the Panel approved a decrease
in the management adjustment factor for Early Stuart sockeye from 0.12 to 0.08.
There was no change in the management adjustments at the meeting today.
Management adjustments are employed to help achieve spawning escapement targets
for Fraser River sockeye.

There are no directed recreational and commercial fisheries for Fraser River
sockeye at the present time. Fisheries are possible next week and all groups
should monitor next Tuesday's update. Retention of Fraser River sockeye in
marine and lower Fraser areas in First Nations FSC fisheries is now permitted
as the window closure restriction to protect Early Stuart sockeye and the early
component of the Early Summer run stocks in these areas has passed. Window
closure restrictions are still in effect in portions of the BC Interior area at
this time. Refer to the 2010 Southern B.C. Salmon IFMP for details on the
timing dates for these closures.

The next Fraser River Panel meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 3rd. A
further update will be provided on this date.


Barry Rosenberger 250-851-4892

Fisheries and Oceans Canada Operations Center - FN0581
Sent July 30, 2010 at 15:32
Visit us on the Web at http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
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