quote:2008 Somass Salmon BULLETIN #1 (1)
The inseason run size forecast is 150,000 sockeye. The next reforecast is scheduled for Thursday July 10.
Somass sockeye escapement through July 02 is 71,791 (unadjusted, excluding jacks) – Sproat Lake: 41,653 Great Central Lake: 30,138. The Sproat fishway counter was installed May 20 and the Great Central Lake counter was installed on May 14. Escapement conditions have been ideal throughout May and June. Current river levels and water temperatures are favourable for escapement.
Biological sampling for age in both the test fishery and escapement indicate a very high proportion of age 42 fish from the 2004 brood (i.e. about 80% of the adult return). Very few 52 fish from the 2003 brood (2005 sea entry year) have been observed to date (i.e. less than 10% of the adult return). This observation is consistent with pre-season expectations, given the consistently poor performance of WCVI salmonids that smolted in 2005. Typically, age 52 fish would contribute to about 45% of the return.
The test seine vessel Argent #1 began the test fishing program on Monday June 23. The Argent #1 conducts 12 seine sets over a two day period each week (six sets each day) from Alberni Inlet out to Pill Point. The catch in each set is recorded, biological samples are collected and the fish are released. The test fishing program also provides an estimate of sockeye abundance within Alberni Inlet. The sockeye test fishing program is an integral component of the fisheries management program in this area.
The total catch reported for the 12 sets on June 23/24 was 222 sockeye and for June 30/July 01 the total catch reported was 256 sockeye The Alberni Inlet sockeye abundance estimates for the period June 23/24 was 18-20,000 sockeye and for June 30/July 01 period the estimate is 20,000 sockeye.
SOCKEYE FISHING OPPORTUNITIES:
The 2008 Somass sockeye forecasted return is well below the combined minimum escapement targets for both Great Central Lake and Sproat Lake. At this time no First Nations, Recreational or Commercial fisheries are anticipated for sockeye salmon in Area 23 including Barkley Sound and Alberni Inlet. The next Somass sockeye inseason run size reforecast will occur on Thursday July 10.