Sunday, September 12, 2010

Big Numbers of Steelhead Returning to Skeena

Steelhead populations on the Skeena River are seeing what appears to be an excellent return this summer and fall. The Tyee test fishery which runs at the mouth of the river during the summer and fall run season has seen exceptionally high numbers of steelhead and to date the run appears to be about 185% of the long term average. While the test fishery is a good indication of the overall runsize, year to year variation in flow conditions can lead to changes in the catch efficiency and low water this year is probably increasing the catch. There is also some evidence that the Tyee test fishery has become more efficient at catching steelhead overtime, leading to overestimations of the run size. Scientists have speculated that this may be due to lower flows on the Skeena, causing steelhead to spend more time staging in the lower river. More information at the Skeena Fisheries Blog:

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