Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Skeena Sockeye Fishery Closed Due to Low Returns

This summer's sockeye run on the Skeena River is shaping up to be one of the worst in 50 years. The Skeena and its many tributaries are home to the second largest sockeye run in the province behind only the Fraser. Last year the watershed saw a return of about 2.4 million fish, however this summers return is expected to fall short of 500,000, prompting managers to close both the commercial and recreational fishery. This years poor return is almost certainly the product of poor survival at sea for sockeye smolts, however conservation groups in the Skeena are also concerned that ongoing interception of sockeye in Alaskan fisheries may further depress spawner abundance this year.

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