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I found this in the province this morning. Story on the sockeye. Interesting read.

Where have all the sockeye gone -- and why?
Brian Lewis, The Province
Published: Thursday, July 26, 2007
One of Mother Nature's annual summer miracles in B.C. is the return of sockeye salmon to spawn in fresh water after spending most of their four-year life-cycle in the ocean.

But modern development along major sockeye rivers such as the Fraser, together with years of overfishing, are putting B.C. sockeye stocks in danger -- and updated test-catch statistics released recently show that this disturbing downward trend may be accelerating.

Following the regular monthly meeting of its Fraser River Panel, the Pacific Salmon Commission issued the following, terse statement on Tuesday:



Conservationist Craig Orr of the Watershed Watch Salmon Society says Fraser River sockeye are suffering from too much stress.





****"Test-fishing catches of sockeye have remained at low levels. The return of four-year-old Fraser sockeye thus far this season continues to track far below pre-season expectations."

I asked the chief biologist, Michael Lapointe, to expand on the salmon commission's announcement.

"We've been test-catching for about 10 days now with very, very low catches relative to expectations," he responded.

In the first of the four components that make up the annual sockeye return -- the early Stuart run -- Lapointe said the expectation was for a "very small" return of about 45,000 fish. "It now looks like less than half of that number will return -- perhaps only 10,000 to 15,000 fish," he added.

Similar preliminary numbers are showing up for the second component, the early summer run, which is just beginning.

That forecast was for 690,000 fish to return and by now about 50,000 of these fish should have arrived. "So far we've only seen about 5,500," he said.

Not surprisingly, the entire Fraser Panel area, which covers all of Juan de Fuca Strait, the Strait of Georgia and the Fraser River, is closed to commercial and recreational fishing for sockeye. Only very limited native fishing is allowed.

However, the big question is whether or not the much larger remaining two components, the summer run and late summer run, will show equally low returns.

"Sometimes the early and late sockeye runs correspond fairly well, but sometimes they don't," Lapointe said.

"We're also seeing low returns in Barclay Sound and the Lake Washington run in the U.S.," he added.

With the two early runs well below expectations, the 2007 forecast for a total of 6.3 million returning sockeye may be well beyond reach already.

Lapointe also said water temperatures and flows in the Fraser are good for migrating salmon but that warmer than usual ocean temperatures are thought to be one of the major culprits here.

However, conservationists such as Craig Orr, executive director of the Coquitlam-based Watershed Watch Salmon Society, says sockeye stocks are declining due to environmental pressures and overfishing.

"These fish are encountering increased stress and we have to account for that in terms of our sockeye-management regimes," he says. "And the first thing we must do is reduce fishing capacity."

If total catch numbers are not reduced, Orr says, sockeye declines will accelerate to the point where the fishery will have to close permanently, like the Maritime cod fishery several years ago.

"The cod closure should be a lesson for everyone here on the West Coast," he warns.
 

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Doesn't really seem like it matters... I mean, according to some, there will be no sockeye opening this year, except for FN fisheries. Also, from what this group are hoping and thinking, there will no longer be a sockeye fishery....ever. ???

Don't mean to start anything really, just stating what has already been put on line in another location.
 

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Its simple, the commercial guys have caught most of them in the chuck! That's why there are so many for sale in the super market! :wallbash: I was in PriceMart today in Chilliwack and they had whole, filleted and peices fresh and whole frozen. I cant remember seeing so much sockeye for sale before, maybe its just me but............................................
 

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I also agree with Bergler ........ those commercial guys in the ocean are vacumns.

I wouldn't support a hatchery for Sockeye ........ simple fact is it would just be another money grab and who would we be supporting ........... the commercial guys(???) Certainly not the sports fisherman. There would be none left by the time they got here. If it was something that was going to provide a return on our investment then I'd support it ..... in this case ..... NO.


GOFISH 8)
 

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no matter what we talk about and what we argue abou\t sometimes, it is not bring the nunbers up. we need to take more action, i remember last year around this time in the vedder float drifting for springs i couldn't get the socks of the end of my line. which i hated considering that i was targetting springs, nonetheless fun, this time around i've been out to the vedder 5 times hooked into more than a dozen springs, non landed..... and only one socks(clean i might add) what we have to do is do the little things, like clean the environment that the fish at, i have noticed time and time again that most people come to popular pools and bring booz , which is fine but come on,pick up the empties and cardboard boxes, otherwise all that garbage will end in the rivers, we have to start somewhere to protect our fish and no one else is willing to who will, starting tomorrow i will bring a garbage bag to certain pools to collect some of the garbage at least we'll be trying to do something about the system. Our rivers and lakes today and the rest soon enough. One more thing please practice safe catch and release,(kicking the fish half dead back into the water,ain't right)pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee....thanks guys.
 

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roscoe-pco said:
one might think that such a valuable fish would have hatchery assistance, I don't believe hatcheries take sockeye do they??
Unfortunately, Sockeye do not respond well to hatchery enhancement. They respond VERY well to spawning channels, top quality stream clean up and lake fertilization. Although there have been a few hatchery augmentations of sockeye over the years, the use of heath tray incubation towers has never been very successful. I am not sure but I believe that sockeye eggs are more susceptible to fungal infection. If I remember my salmonid biology (too many years ago) they are also very susceptible to IHN (Infectious Hemaetopic Necrosis) a disease that can be passed from adults to progeny and spread throughout the incubation.

Any present salmon biologists that can confirm or correct this old memory? I could use a refresher course. ;)
 

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Wonder what would happen if they shut the commercial fishery down for 5 years? Allowed a sport fishery with a daily retention of 1 and a yearly limit of 10 fish. The sockeye are a very sought after fish and if they totally disapear it will be a lose of a great fishery.
 

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finaddict said:
roscoe-pco said:
one might think that such a valuable fish would have hatchery assistance, I don't believe hatcheries take sockeye do they??
Unfortunately, Sockeye do not respond well to hatchery enhancement. They respond VERY well to spawning channels, top quality stream clean up and lake fertilization. Although there have been a few hatchery augmentations of sockeye over the years, the use of heath tray incubation towers has never been very successful. I am not sure but I believe that sockeye eggs are more susceptible to fungal infection. If I remember my salmonid biology (too many years ago) they are also very susceptible to IHN (Infectious Hemaetopic Necrosis) a disease that can be passed from adults to progeny and spread throughout the incubation.

Any present salmon biologists that can confirm or correct this old memory? I could use a refresher course. ;)
We have some hatchery runs down here that have gotten better each year and worse. The hatchery on the Skagit for Sockeye seems to be good.
 
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