Fishery Notice

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FN0879-Salmon - Fraser River Sockeye Update - Areas 11 to 29 - August 19, 2016

The Fraser River Panel met Friday, August 19th, to receive an update on the 
migration of the Fraser sockeye runs to date and to review the status of 
migration conditions in the Fraser River watershed.	

Fraser River gillnet test fishery catches have continued to fluctuate lately 
with daily Mission passage estimates ranging from 11,800 to 17,600 over the 
last 5 days. 

In-river DNA samples from the Cottonwood test fishery on August 16-17  had 3% 
Early Summer,  78% Summer and 19% Late run stocks while the Whonnock test 
fishery had stock proportions of 7% Early Summer, 78% Summer and 15% Late run 
stocks on August 15-17. Age proportions continue to contain a higher proportion 
of 5 year olds than expected.

During the Panel meeting today the run size for Early Summers was reduced from 
the current run size of 250,000 to 240,000 with a 50% run timing in Area 20 of 
July 20th which is one day earlier than the previously adopted timing. For 
Summer runs the run size was reduced from 600,000 to 520,000 with a 50% Area 20 
date of July 30th which is also one day earlier than the previously adopted run 
timing. In addition the late run return was reduced from the 50% probability 
run size of 111,000 to 75,000 with a 50% Area 20 run timing of August 8th which 
is 6 days earlier than the pre-season forecast timing of August 14th. This 
brings the total return of Fraser sockeye in 2016 to 853,000 which is the 
smallest return in the last 100 years. The estimated escapement of Early 
Summer, Summer and Late run sockeye past Mission through August 18th is 
221,900, 382,400 and 36,600 fish respectively. 

On August 18th the Fraser River water discharge at Hope was 2,706 cms, which is 
approximately 15% lower than average for this date. The temperature of the 
Fraser River at Qualark Creek on August 18th was 20.6°C, which is 2.5°C higher 
than average for this date. The water temperature is forecast to decrease to 
19.9°C by August 24th. During the Panel call today there were no changes made 
to the management adjustments for Early Summer sockeye. While there is no need 
for an in-season management adjustment for Summer sockeye due to the escapement 
goal being equal to the run  size, the Panel was informed that  the in-river 
environmental conditions could result in a larger than typical difference 
between estimates of fish passage at Mission and fish arriving on the spawning 

FSC fisheries in the marine area are currently closed to the retention of 
sockeye in areas where Fraser sockeye are present. FSC fisheries in the lower 
and mid-Fraser River are currently closed and terminal fisheries in the upper 
Fraser and tributaries are closing in an orderly fashion. Fishers in marine 
approach areas as well as the Fraser River are requested to check for any 
restrictions in their local area. There will be no commercial or recreational 
sockeye fisheries in 2016 directed on Fraser sockeye.

The fourth in-season update on the escapement of Fraser sockeye was released on 
August 18th.  Early Stuart sockeye are past the peak of spawning in several 
creeks with lower than expected spawning success at this time. At Scotch Creek 
the counting fence has been installed but no fish have entered the system yet. 
Water levels are low and some fish have been observed off the mouth of Scotch 
Creek in Shuswap Lake. The Didson program in the Chilliwack system began on 
July 20th with an estimated 48,801 sockeye past the sonar site as of August 
16th. Gates Creek spawning channel began operations on August 6th with no fish 
in the channel to date however 180 have been counted into the creek above the 
channel. The Nadina River spawning channel was operational on August 15th with 
1,777 sockeye in the channel at this time. Sockeye appear to be in condition. 
The Chilko River Didson program began on August 5th with 4,000 sockeye 
estimated to have past the sonar site as of August 16th. The Sweltzer Creek 
counting fence in the Cultus Lake system began operations on July 11th and to 
date 377 sockeye have passed through the fence. The water temperature in 
Sweltzer Creek is 23°C. The next escapement update will be on Thursday, August 

The next in-season meeting of the Fraser River Panel is scheduled to occur on 
Friday, August 26th, 2016.


Jennifer Nener 604-666-0789

Fisheries & Oceans Operations Center - FN0879
Sent August 19, 2016 at 1445