Here is the latest North Coast Update: Highlights;
Area 4 (Skeena River)
The pre-season total Skeena sockeye return estimate is below average with a pre-season return forecast point estimate of 1.28 million (50% probability) based on the sibling model. Sockeye migration past Tyee continues to be variable, with a total estimated escapement of 1.43M sockeye. With an estimated 97.6% of the run having passed Tyee by August 21st, based on average run timing, and a total estimated Area 4 harvest of 130,956 sockeye, the current total return to Canada estimate increased to 1.6 million.
Test fishing results from Tyee indicate a continued downward trend in escapement over the past week. Based on average run timing, approximately 97.6% of the total Skeena return should have passed Tyee into the Skeena. The current TRTC estimate (50% prob.) for Skeena sockeye is approximately 1.6M as of Sunday, August 21st. Catches by the North Coast Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society Salmon Allocation Framework fishery over the weekend have been poor. As such, no further opportunities are anticipated at this time. Given the current trend in abundance, DFO will continue to monitor Tyee escapement and make future commercial management decisions accordingly.
Skeena Inland Demonstration Fisheries
Both the Lake Babine Nation (LBN) and the Gitksan Watershed Authority (GWA) are participating in inland demonstration fisheries to fish selectively for Sockeye in the Skeena watershed this year. The GWA will finish their last marine commercial gillnet allocation on Aug 28th. The LBN received an allocation for the week of Aug 15th – 21st and will be issued another one from Aug 29th – Sept 4th. This will be their final commercial gillnet allocation.
The GWA received their marine commercial seine allocation of 4,492 pieces. This allocation will be fished from August 23rd to August 28th. LBN’s allocation will be 4,398 pieces from the marine commercial seine allocation. Their allocation will be fished Sept 5th – 11th. The NCSFNSS’s demonstration fishery is taking place in areas 4-12 and 4-15 from Aug 20th – 27th. Their allocation from the marine commercial seine allocation is 4,729 pieces.