Fishery Notice

ABORIGINAL - General Information
COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Gill Net
COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Seine
COMMERCIAL - Salmon: Troll
FN0890-Salmon - Fraser River Sockeye and Pink Update - Areas 11 to 29 - August 19, 2015

The Fraser River Panel met Tuesday, August 18th, to receive an update on the 
migration of the Fraser sockeye and pink runs to date and review the status of 
migration conditions within the Fraser River watershed.

The migration of sockeye through the marine approach areas as well as into the 
Fraser River increased in recent days although they continue to be well below 
expected levels for the time of year and forecast run size. The majority of the 
return continues to be Summer run stocks with small contributions from Early 
Summer and Late run stocks. Test fishery catches of sockeye in both marine 
assessment areas and in the Fraser River continue to fluctuate but have 
improved over the previous weeks test catches. Estimates of daily Mission 
passage have increased to 50,000 to 65,000 in the last few days while 
observations at Hells Gate continued to show a steady passage of fish. 

The most recent DNA samples taken in the marine seine test fisheries show 
sockeye stock compositions of 7 to 12% Early Summers, 81 to 86% Summer runs and 
7% Late run stocks depending upon the approach area. At this time, the 5 day 
average diversion rate through Johnstone Strait for sockeye has increased to 

During the Panel call on Tuesday, the run size for Early Summer sockeye 
remained at 350,000 fish with an associated run timing of July 29th in Area 20. 
It is anticipated that the run size will be increased later this week or early 
next week depending upon how late the return actually is. The number of Early 
Summer run sockeye estimated to have passed Mission through August 17th is 
296,800 fish of which 50,000 are estimated to be Early Thompson populations.

Due to an increase in the abundance of Summer run stocks in Johnstone Strait 
and higher than expected abundances passing Mission than projected in recent 
days the Fraser Panel increased the run size of Summer run stocks today to 1.5 
million with a peak run timing in Area 20 of August 11th which is 4 days later 
than the previously adopted timing of August 7th. All Summer run stocks are 
returning well below their respective p50 forecasts suggesting they suffered 
below average survival in marine and/or freshwater environments. The number of 
Summer run sockeye estimated to have passed Mission through August 17th is 
674,600 fish.

The return of Late run sockeye has also been tracking well below expected 
levels for the time of year and forecast run size. At the meeting today the 
Panel made no changes to the run size (419,000 fish) for this aggregate . The 
number of Late run sockeye estimated to have passed Mission through August 17th 
is 11,900.

On August 17th, the Fraser River water discharge at Hope was 2,347 cms, which 
is approximately 27% below average for this date. The temperature of the Fraser 
River at Qualark Creek on August 17th was 19.3°C, which is 1.2°C above average 
for this date. The river discharge level is forecast to drop to 2,154 cms by 
August 23rd while water temperatures are forecast to increase followed by a 
decrease to 19.2°C for the same date. It should be noted that there is 
considerable uncertainty in the temperature forecasts as weather predictions 
are highly uncertain. After reviewing environmental and stock assessment 
information, there were no further changes to the management adjustment factors 
for any of the run timing groups on Tuesdays Fraser Panel meeting. Management 
adjustments are additional fish that are removed from identified harvest levels 
and allowed to escape upstream in an attempt to assist in achievement of 
escapement objectives for the different run timing groups. Observations of fish 
condition in the Fraser River to date have shown low levels of fish showing 
signs of stress or dead fish due to environmental conditions.

At this time it continues to be too early to assess the return of Fraser pink 
salmon. Recent test fishery catches in Johnstone Strait improved this past week 
while Area 20 seine test catches declined. There was no new stock composition 
information available for today's meeting. Run size and timing updates for 
Fraser pinks will likely begin in mid to late August.

First Nations food, social and ceremonial (FSC) fisheries in marine areas and 
the Fraser river mainstem up to French Bar Creek remain closed to sockeye 
retention at this time. FSC fisheries upstream of French Bar Creek remain open 
to sockeye retention as these areas have only been open for sockeye fishing for 
just over one week with minimal catches to date.

Fishers are requested to check for the opening times and any restrictions in 
their local area. There are no planned commercial or recreational fisheries on 
sockeye at this time. 

The third upstream escapement report was released by DFO last week. 
Observations of Early Stuart sockeye in the spawning areas indicate that 
sockeye are present in a number of spawning areas and are in good condition. 
Water levels and temperatures are normal for this time of year. Enumeration 
programs are underway in a number of Early Summer and Summer run systems with 
very few fish observed to date. In addition, the counting fence at Sweltzer 
Creek (Cultus) has been in place since July 20th with 6 fish observed to date.

The next in-season meeting of the Fraser River Panel is scheduled to occur on 
Friday, August 21st, 2015.


Jennifer Nener 604-666-6478

Fisheries & Oceans Operations Center - FN0890
Sent August 19, 2015 at 1029