Here is the 2nd North Coast Salmon Update:
Some quick highlights:
-Nass Area 3:
Nass River sockeye returns are forecasted to be slightly below the 20-year average with an expected total return to Canada of 574,000 (50% probability) based on a composite of 5 different forecast models. A below average return of 24,000 (50% probability) upper Nass chinook was the pre-season forecast.
The Nass River fish wheels have been in operation since May 31st and are currently operating in water levels which are the lowest, for this date, since the fish wheel program began in 1994. In addition, current water temperatures are slightly warmer than the 1994–2015 average (10.0oC vs. 8.7oC). Sockeye and chinook catches at the fish wheels are currently below average, while steelhead catches are average.
Six gillnet openings have occurred in Area 3 in the past 3 weeks, with two more openings announced for this week. Catch estimates for the June 27 and 28 openings are not yet available, though preliminary indications are that sockeye catches are low but improving for the fleet of 134 vessels.
-Area 4 (Skeena River)
The total Skeena sockeye return is expected to be below average with a pre-season return forecast point estimate of 1.28 million (50% probability) based on the sibling model.
One 18 hour gillnet opening occurred on June 17th. Catches and effort were well below average (total catch of 113 chinook for 42 vessels operating). Effort remained low but steady at 36 vessels per day, while the catch was a combined 297 chinook, for the 30 hour opening on June 24th and 25th. Total harvest for the Area 4 chinook-directed fishery was 392 chinook.
Tyee Test Fishery:
The Tyee Test Fishery is currently operating in lower, warmer and less turbid water than is normally seen at this time of year. An estimated 63,521 sockeye have migrated into the Skeena River over the past 5 days, bringing the cumulative total to just over 90,000. With an estimated 3.2% of the run having passed Tyee, based on average run timing, it is too early to provide a total return estimate.
Catches of chinook at the test site remain well below average, while the first fresh steelhead was captured this past Friday. 2016 Tyee test fishery daily and cumulative sockeye escapement estimate data, along with 2016 escapement indices by species, are available here: