The Fraser River’s sockeye run is being hailed as exceptional by fisheries experts even though there is considerable doubt about how many millions of salmon remain at sea and how many of those fish should be caught.


“I would call it a great run,” Jennifer Nener, area director for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), said Tuesday as seine boats were given a three-day opening to scoop up late-arriving sockeye off the mouth of the Fraser.


The overall run is estimated at 20.7 million fish but a final number can’t be calculated yet because of uncertainty about the number of sockeye holding in salt water just off the river’s mouth.


Ms. Nener said an estimated three million to six million sockeye are milling about where the north, middle and main arms of the Fraser River spill into the Strait of Georgia.


Until those fish move up into the river and pass an acoustic counting fence near Mission, B.C., fisheries managers won’t have a solid read on just how many salmon are in that late-running group.


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