Fishery Notice

ABORIGINAL - General Information
COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Gill Net
COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Seine
COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Troll
FN0799-Salmon - Fraser River Sockeye Update - Areas 11 to 29 - August 2, 2016

The Fraser River Panel met Tuesday, August 2nd, to receive an update on the 
migration of the Fraser sockeye runs to date and review the status of migration 
conditions in the Fraser River watershed.	

Gill net and purse seine test fish catches declined substantially in the marine 
areas during the past several days and were hampered by bad weather and 
mechanic issues.  Fraser River gill net test fishery catches have been 
fluctuating lately with daily Mission passages estimates ranging from 19,600 to 
26,500. Based on the gill net and seine test catches in the two approach areas 
the current 5-day diversion rate through Johnstone Strait has decreased further 
to 31% which remains below the pre-season forecast of 75% for the entire season 
and also much lower than the diversion rates expected at this time of year from 
the pre-season planning model.

DNA analysis of samples taken in the most recent marine test fisheries show 
sockeye stock compositions in Area 20 of 8% Early Summer, 75% Summer and 17% 
Late run stocks. In Johnstone Strait the most recent seine test fishery DNA 
samples indicate a stock composition of 29% Early Summer, 64% Summer and 7% 
Late run stocks. In-river DNA samples from July 28-30 had 0% Early Stuart, 
Early Summers dropping to approximately 30% and Summers increasing to just 
under 70% and Lates between 0% and 3% for below bridge and above bridge samples 

During the Panel call today, the run size for Early Stuart sockeye remained 
unchanged at the 25% probability run size of 22,000.  The estimated escapement 
past Mission of Early Stuart sockeye as of August 1st is 17,900 fish. At this 
time the return of Early Stuart sockeye is considered to nearly be completed in 
the marine and lower Fraser River areas. A final in-season run size adjustment 
to Early Stuart is expected to occur on Friday.

Early Summer run sockeye have continued to track well below the 50% probability 
forecast of 447,000. During the Panel call today the run size for Early Summer 
run sockeye was reduced to 300,000 with a 50% run timing of July 22nd in Area 
20. The estimated escapement past Mission of Early Summer run stocks as of 
August 1st is 181,400 fish.

Summer run stocks are also tracking below the 50% probability forecast of 
1,677,000 fish however only a small portion of the run has been observed at 
this time. It is anticipated that a run size update will be made in mid-August. 
The estimated escapement of Summer run sockeye past Mission through August 1st 
is 144,600 fish.

Late run sockeye have begun to show up at low levels in DNA samples in both the 
marine and in-river test fishery samples.  The estimated escapement of late run 
sockeye past Mission through August 1st is 2,300 fish.

On August 1st the Fraser River water discharge at Hope was 3,587 cms, which is 
approximately 16% lower than average for this date. The temperature of the 
Fraser River at Qualark Creek on August 1st was 19.3°C, which is 1.3°C higher 
than average for this date. The water temperature is forecast to decrease to 
17.9°C by August 7th.

For pre-season planning purposes, the Fraser Panel has adopted management 
adjustments for Early Summer and Summer sockeye that reflect the forecast 
conditions based on the May to June information. Management adjustments are 
additional fish that are removed from identified harvest levels and allowed to 
escape upstream in an attempt to assist in achievement of identified escapement 
objectives for the different run timing groups. In-season information over the 
coming weeks will help to inform future decisions on management adjustments for 
the Early Summer and Summer management groups while the Early Stuart and Late 
run management groups will be managed based on the respective Low Abundance 
Exploitation Rate (LAER) for each group (10% for Early Stuart and 20% for 
Lates). There will be no in-season estimates of management adjustment for Early 
Stuart and Late run sockeye in 2016 as the forecast returns are very low across 
the entire forecast range and it is anticipated they will be managed to the 
LAER, with the expected outcome of a spawning escapement well below goal. 
During the Panel call today there were no changes made to the management 
adjustment for Early Summer run sockeye.

First Nations food, social and ceremonial (FSC) sockeye fisheries in marine 
areas and the Fraser River have begun in recent days with small scale fisheries 
being planned.  Given the most recent abundance information, limited FSC 
fisheries are expected to continue in both the marine areas and the Fraser 

Fishers in marine approach areas as well as the Fraser River are requested to 
check for the opening times and any restrictions in their local area. There are 
no planned commercial or recreational sockeye fisheries in 2016 at this time.

The first in-season update on the escapement of Fraser sockeye was released on 
July 28th. Only a few spawning systems have assessment programs running at this 
time. Early Stuart sockeye were first observed in the terminal area on July 
23rd at the mouths of Forfar and Gluske Creeks. Water temperatures are good at 
this time. The Didson program in the Chilliwack system began on July 20th with 
an estimated 4,115 sockeye to date past the Upper Chilliwack Didson and several 
thousand fish holding in the lake. Water temperatures are favorable at this 
time. The Sweltzer Creek counting fence in the Cultus Lake system began 
operations on July 11th and to date no fish have been observed. The water 
temperature in Sweltzer Creek is 22 degrees. The next escapement update will be 
on Thursday, August 4th.

The next in-season meeting of the Fraser River Panel is scheduled to occur on 
Friday, August 5th, 2016.


Jennifer Nener 604-666-0789

Fisheries & Oceans Operations Center - FN0799
Sent August 2, 2016 at 1611