Based on the latest test fisheries, the commission’s Fraser River Panel upgraded its forecast of early summer-run sockeye from 400,000 to 452,000 fish. The following summer run “is either lower than forecast or their migration timing is much later than expected,” the joint Canada-U.S. panel reported this week.
The proportion of late-run sockeye through ocean approach areas has increased in recent days. The late run is expected to be dominated by Birkinhead, Weaver and Late Shuswap sockeye, with some from the Portage and Cultus Lake systems.
Water level and temperature in the Fraser system is another concern, after a dry early summer. As of Aug. 5, Fraser River water discharge at Hope was 26 per cent lower than average for that date. The temperature was 20.5 degrees, 2.8 degrees higher than average, a condition that would risk high pre-spawning death if it continues.
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