Recreational anglers will be lining the banks of the Fraser this weekend as this year's sockeye opening runs Saturday to Monday.

Recreational anglers will be lining the banks of the Fraser this weekend as this year's sockeye opening runs Saturday to Monday.

Anglers head out on the Fraser

Recreational anglers were given a three-day fishery for sockeye on the Lower Fraser River.

Anglers were given a three-day fishery for sockeye on the Lower Fraser River this week.

A local tackle shop in Chilliwack started fielding 20 calls an hour by mid-week about the prospect of a sockeye opening this weekend on the Fraser.

Soon after the commercial fleet was given the go-ahead for Fraser sockeye, the speculation about a recreational fishery started spreading.

“They’re having a commercial fishing opening, and that will be a litmus test for a recreational opening,” said Todd Clarke from Fred’s Custom Tackle on Wednesday.

The next day a recreational fishery was announced from Saturday to Monday. Fisheries officials will have to see what the test numbers look like to see if additional fisheries can be justified.

“We’re getting a lot of calls,” Clarke says. “Fishermen see there’s a commercial opening and they get all excited.”

Sockeye buzz is “definitely” in the air, he says.

Even though the run numbers are no where near as strong as last summer, there’s still anticipation about some more opportunities opening up.

First Nations have been in the river fishing for food, social and ceremonial purposes, but sales agreements were not signed between DFO and Sto:lo bands this year.