Fresh Fraser River sockeye salmon is sold at Fisherman's Wharf in Steveston for a price of $ 5 per pound, as estimates of a large, dominant spawning run cease.
"The observer at Hells Gate reported very good sockey migration last week," the Pacific Salmon Commission said on Friday in its weekly report.
Jaime Da Costa, manager of the Steveston Harbor Authority, says the quay is buzzing with fishermen and consumers.
"After the first opening there is a ton of activity, the fishermen are very happy to fish, the stocks are high and they catch a lot of fish, it's very busy in our ice-cream factory," said Da Costa, who said that the prices would can drop if more fish is caught.
The commission maintains its forecast for the season of about 14 million fish this year. The river is in the midst of welcoming the summer "management group" of sockeye, estimated at 4.3 million fish. The group & # 39; late summer & # 39; is estimated at 7.4 million.
Only one of the four groups – the early Stuart – has been completed. Prior to the migration, the commission estimated 84,000 sockey fish from this group, the smallest of the four. In fact, they found 125,000 through Hells Gate, north of Hope.
Reviews for the summer group are underway, the commission said, and the data collected so far indicate that the 4.3 million estimate is stable.
Meanwhile, "late-run sockeye abundance increases in sea areas and some late-run sockeye have migrated beyond Mission."
The Fisheries and Oceans Department notes: "Early summer, summer and late term timing groups all follow their respective [median] predicted the abundances at this time. "
In total, all four groups account for 4.78 million fish that are either caught (2.6 million) or pass the count station to spawn. Of the Fockeyer River sockeye caught so far, Canadian commercial fishermen have taken about 1.4 million, while First Nations have caught about 426,000. Meanwhile, American fishermen have captured about 725,000.
Da Costa said that fishermen are generally satisfied with the past two commercial openings since August 6. A third opening will take place on Tuesday and a second will be gossiped later in the week when the summer ride gets under way.
"First Nations Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) Sockeye fisheries are currently under way in marine areas and the Fraser River, and several First Nation Economic Opportunity fisheries are being planned in the Fraser River," a Friday statement at DFO .
Despite the healthy run size so far, the committee remains concerned about water deterioration. The discharge of the river at Hope is about 17 percent below the average and the temperature at Qualark last Thursday was 19.2 degrees Celsius, or 1.2 degrees higher than normal.
"Persistent water temperatures in this range can cause severe stress in migrating sockeye and can lead to significant en-route mortality," the commission noted, which increased the escapement targets by 20 percent for early summer runs to compensate for pre-season expectations and route loss. "
The committee adds: "If the current river temperature of the pattern persists, an increased fraction of the run may be needed to compensate for … and route loss Migration conditions for Fraser sockeye will be closely monitored in the coming weeks and if additional management actions will be needed, and the fishing conditions in the Fraser River have been good to date. "