Commercial boats ready to chase sockeye in Fraser

This year will be the best since the healthy sockeye run of 2010.

A commercial fishery for sockeye salmon is expected to open Monday on the Fraser River.

The sports fishermen have savoured this year’s sockeye run on the Fraser River.

Now it’s almost time for the commercial fishermen.

But they’ll have to wait one more weekend.

“Every thing points to a fishery on Monday, and we don’t know if that will be for 24 or 12 hours,” said Bob McKamey, with the Area E Gillnetters Association.

He’s been told by Fisheries and Oceans Canada to be ready at a moment’s notice for the word to get out on the river between Steveston and Mission and get their nets in the water.

This year will be the best since the healthy sockeye run of 2010, McKamey said. The last two years have been bleak, with only one chum opening each of the past two years and no sockeye fisheries.

“They have waited a long time for a sockeye fishery. A lot us are just looking forward to getting a fresh one to the table.”

“We’re hoping, and we have reason to believe that’s not going to be the case in the next four years.”

Despite the optimism over this year’s sockeye fishery, he doesn’t believe the prediction of 70 million sockeye coming up the Fraser River this year.

“That’s unrealistic, from our point of view.”

But he does expect the 300 or so commercial gillnetting boats to be on the river from Steveston to Mission for several weeks.

“We’re expecting regular week-day openings from now until September.”

And he expects no changes as a result of the collapse of the mining tailing ponds at Mount Polley Mine.

“At this point in time, it hasn’t affected the scheduled sockeye opening. It’s questionable whether that will actually affect the Fraser system.”

Area director for Fisheries and Oceans Canada Jennifer Nener wouldn’t confirm if a commercial opening was coming Monday.

“We won’t be making a decision on next week before our Fraser River panel meeting tomorrow [Friday].”

The panel said in an Aug. 5 notice that Fraser River temperatures of 20 C are two degrees warmer than average. The river flow is also 16 per cent below average.

But that should improve as the days grow shorter and cooler.

“To date, we haven’t seen signs of fish being really stressed in the river,” she said. “Things seem to be shaping up fairly well.”

Limited recreational fisheries for sockeye opened on the Fraser River last week, with catch limits of four per day below the Mission Bridge, while aboriginal ceremonial and food sockeye fishing started two weeks ago.

A limit of two sockeye per day has been set Wednesday for the Fraser RIver upstream of Mission.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Cars on Campus in Chilliwack

Photos of this year’s Fraser Valley British Motor Club’s annual vintage car show in Chilliwack

PHOTOS: Pikeminnow derby brings families together at Cultus Lake

The annual Lions Pikeminnow Derby takes place on Father’s Day weekend in Chilliwack

UPDATE: Incident along train tracks shuts down Eagle Landing Parkway for several hours

The Chilliwack Progress has reached out to RCMP for further details

VIDEO: Fire destroys Chilliwack home on Bearstone Place

RCMP comfirm everyone got out of the house safely during Saturday morning fire

PHOTOS: Sasquatch Days about ‘being proud of being Sts’ailes’

The joint event between Harrison and Sts’ailes returned to the village for its eighth year

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Parents of BC murder victim want personal belongings returned

Lisa Dudley’s parents, Rosemarie and Mark Surakka, were at the Mission RCMP detachment Sunday

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read