This was supposed to be the year of a rebound, a great return for B.C. sockeye salmon. A turnaround. Now, at least for sockeye in the Quesnel waterways, that great return is in doubt.
“The timing of this spill couldn’t be worse in terms of the return of the sockeye,” said Craig Orr, executive director of Watershed Watch Salmon Society.
The peak migration of sockeye in the Quesnel system — which includes the Horsefly River, Quesnel River and Mitchell River, all waterways potentially affected by the Polley Lake tailings pond spill — is expected in about two weeks.
The pre-season forecast for the return of the sockeye salmon in the Quesnel system is 845,000 to 2.95 million, according to Dan Bate, communications officer for Fisheries and Oceans Canada Pacific Region, a good chunk of the 23 million Fraser sockeye forecast for this year.
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