A low forecast for this summer’s return of sockeye salmon to the Fraser River means a commercial fishery looks unlikely, or very small at best.
Just under 2.3 million sockeye are projected to return this year, according to the median forecast released by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
That number is no surprise to sockeye experts.
“It’s pretty small but it’s also the cycle year that typically has the smallest return,” said Mike Lapointe, chief biologist for the Pacific Salmon Commission.
The fish now heading for the Fraser were spawned by a run of 2.05 million sockeye in 2012. (In contrast, the strong phase of the cycle includes the abundant Adams River run and saw a return of 30 million in 2013.)