Fraser Pink run, half of projection.Dont know why.

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by OldBlackDog, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. OldBlackDog

    OldBlackDog Well-Known Member


    Thousands of pink salmon smolts being released into the Cheakamus River in 2006. 2017 is shaping up as a disastrous year for pink returns to the Fraser River. Ian Smith / PNG

    Salmon returns just keep getting worse on the Fraser River.

    End-of-season estimates show that fewer than 3.6 million pink salmon have returned to the Fraser, less than half the median pre-season forecast of 8.7 million fish and not enough for a commercial or sport fishery.

    There was a one-in-10 chance that the pink returns would be as low as 4.4 million, but the results were even worse.

    “It was much less, obviously much poorer than expected,” Mike Lapointe, chief biologist with the Pacific Salmon Commission, said in an interview Thursday. The average pink run on the Fraser is closer to 12 million.

    The estimated fry-to-adult survival rate of 1.6 per cent this year is half the average of 3.2 per cent.

    The total catch of Fraser-bound pinks by Canada and the U.S. was just 159,000 fish this season, mainly Aboriginal fisheries but some test fisheries.

    The dismal pink returns are in line with previously reported poor sockeye returns on the Fraser this season — about 1.5 million fish compared with a median pre-season forecast of 4.4 million.

    Pink salmon have a two-year cycle (compared with four years for sockeye), meaning the fish that returned this year were spawned in 2015. This year’s return forecasts were based largely on counts of small fry migrating down the Fraser in 2016. The pinks travelled as far north as the Gulf of Alaska before returning to the Fraser this year as adults.

    The bulk of pinks spawn downstream of the Fraser Canyon, but some have been reported as far upstream as Prince George, evidence that they may be expanding their range, Lapointe said.

    He said no one really knows why ocean survival has been so poor. Food, predators, and especially ocean warming could be factors. “It’s smart to be humble and admit we don’t know,” he said. “All we know is they didn’t come back.”

    Ocean conditions may have weakened fish to the point they were easy pickings for predators.

    Lapointe said most ocean temperature readings are taken at the surface and may not fully reflect temperatures experienced by salmon deeper in the water. “We don’t really have the systematic sampling out there … don’t have the data to really answer the question you might want answered.”

    A so-called “blob” of warm water identified in the North Pacific in the winter of 2013 and lasting into 2015 resulted in ocean temperatures in some areas of three degrees C above normal.

    Fisheries and Oceans Canada said that warm ocean conditions can cause a change in species of plankton, from high-nutrition northern types to low-nutrition southern types, while increasing the presence of warmer water predators.

    Warm rivers can also reduce spawning success.

    Lapointe said “everyone is hopeful” that sockeye returns will be strong in 2018 — the famous Adams River cycle. About 29 million sockeye returned to the Fraser in 2010 and about 20 million in 2014, he noted.

    Nate Mantua, a research scientist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will speak on climate change and salmon at the 13th Larkin Lecture at the University of B.C. on Nov. 14 at 5 p.m.
  2. OldBlackDog

    OldBlackDog Well-Known Member

    He said no one really knows why ocean survival has been so poor. Food, predators, and especially ocean warming could be factors. “It’s smart to be humble and admit we don’t know,” he said. “All we know is they didn’t come back.”
    I Love Haida Gwaii likes this.
  3. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

  4. triplenickel

    triplenickel Well-Known Member

    I find this pretty disturbing, with all the various government and NGO entities studying marine life, climate change, etc. are we really saying we don't have water temp data available? We know the technology has existed for decades. This is an incredibly basic parameter and we don't have measurements, something is wrong where is the money being spent? Where is all the data we're basing our science and policy decisions on? This doesn't add up.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  5. Whitebuck

    Whitebuck Active Member

    Howe Sound gets opened up for FN commercial fishing for over a month the last cycle of pinks for the first time in decades...absolutely wiping out the staging fish. Weird I wonder what happened to all the fish?
    bones likes this.
  6. terrin

    terrin Well-Known Member

    The FN must have gotten them all and sold them. A better bet would be to look at Fish Farms and their Sea Lice and Disease transfers to the passing smolts. "He said no one really knows why ocean survival has been so poor. Food, predators, and especially ocean warming could be factors." Funny how they refuse to even consider Fish Farms.
  7. Fishtofino

    Fishtofino Well-Known Member

    It’s common knowledge that the food chain starting at the euphosids has been way below average which is going to impact all salmon runs in the future but because Pinks are a 2 year cycle fish this is the first indicator.
    I can’t think the future looks all that bright
    The Jackel likes this.
  8. Rockfish

    Rockfish Well-Known Member

    Our impression was that the numbers of Pinks were down a little in JDF this past summer, however the average size seemed to be larger. Assuming that is correct, what does it mean when you have less Pinks show up but those that do are larger than a typical year?
  9. Whitebuck

    Whitebuck Active Member

    Terrin, Indian river pinks had a very good return this cycle. This stock is the next inlet over from Howe Sound FYI.
    These pinks don’t get the netting pressure as the Squam stocks did. I guess these smolts must have a different migration path than the fry 20 miles away from them..
    bones likes this.
  10. terrin

    terrin Well-Known Member

    Fish Farms are using the euphausiiss in their feed because their fish need it more than the Wild Fish.
  11. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    Jeez terrin, give it a rest. Now your'e suggesting a lack of euphasids is caused by fish farms?
    Have you been following whats happening all along the Pacific coast, things like algae blooms, warm water, ocean acidification, pink salmon collapse in Alaska, etc, etc?
    bones and Whitebuck like this.
  12. terrin

    terrin Well-Known Member

    I'm just pointing out to Fishtofino's comment about the krill being below average that Fish Farms are raping the oceans of other Marine Life to feed their Sick and Flea infested inhabitants with food that is necessary to sustain the surounding ecosystem. Similar to grinding herring into fish meal instead of naturally feeding the Local Salmon populations.
  13. Whitebuck

    Whitebuck Active Member

    Never seen a fish farm net off a rivermouth and upstream for 200km....
    bones likes this.
  14. SpringFever552

    SpringFever552 Well-Known Member

    How would you explain the large increase in humpbacks if what you are saying is true

    Good thing I'm not in a postion of authority as all commercial salmon fishing would be a targeted troll fishery
    Whitebuck and Dave like this.
  15. OldBlackDog

    OldBlackDog Well-Known Member

    So, here are his credentials, what are yours?
    Mike Lapointe
    Chief Biologist
    Mike grew up in a small town in Massachusetts, where he was often found exploring the woods behind his house. His love of the outdoors led him to the University of Maine where he completed a B.Sc. in Fisheries and Wildlife. Following a six month stint at the University of Alaska, the allure of studying population dynamics drew him to UBC where he completed his M.Sc. at the Institute of Animal Resource Ecology. After working with Randall Peterman for four years at Simon Fraser University (SFU), Mike started his PSC career in 1992 as sockeye stock identification biologist and then becoming the Chief Biologist in 2002. Mike’s professional passion is fueled by empowering stakeholders with accurate and objective information needed to make decisions in a format that is accessible to all. When not at work, Mike enjoys all things related to fly fishing, cycling, cooking, guitar, and following his kids’ triathlon careers.

  16. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    I worked with Mike for years, he's a stand up guy. There's a very good reason he didn't mention fish farms, terrin.
    bones and Whitebuck like this.
  17. terrin

    terrin Well-Known Member

    It's all good then Right? Lets just hope next year is better than this year since i'm not a scientist and he is.
  18. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    juvie herring, eulachons, and other small fish are frequently eaten by humpbacks...
  19. OldBlackDog

    OldBlackDog Well-Known Member

    He is a scientist and he said:
    no one really knows why ocean survival has been so poor. Food, predators, and especially ocean warming could be factors. “It’s smart to be humble and admit we don’t know,” he said. “All we know is they didn’t come back.”

  20. OldBlackDog

    OldBlackDog Well-Known Member

    No, they do not.
    Look it up. They have not had it for years. They still do not have all the oceans done yet.


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