Sockeye salmon run in Shuswap shaping up to be lower than expected | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Sockeye salmon run in Shuswap shaping up to be lower than expected

Salmon work their way upstream at Adams River.
September 24, 2019 - 6:30 PM

SHUSWAP - It's shaping up to be a bad year for the Shuswap sockeye salmon.

“To date, returns of all Fraser sockeye groups in 2019 are coming in below the lowest range of the preseason forecast,” Lara Sloan with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said. “The low range of the 2019 preseason Fraser Sockeye forecast for late Shuswap Sockeye, which the Adams is a part of, is 11,000.”

The department did not provide information as to why the return is so low. Last year also saw a slow start for salmon in the Adams River.

Late-run Adams sockeye will arrive on the Adams River in late September, Sloan said, with a peak spawn in mid-October.

An Adams River Salmon Society spokesperson said it’s difficult to predict nature, but the Thanksgiving long weekend is often a good time to see the sockeye.

One of the largest sockeye salmon runs in the world, fish are born in the river before spending their first year in Shuswap Lake.

The sockeye then travel to the ocean, where they spend two-to-three years avoiding predators and growing. Their life cycle ends as they make the 500-kilometre trek back to the Adams River to spawn.

As the fish operate on a four-year cycle, 2019 is a considered a sub-dominant year for sockeye returns. The next dominant return is in 2020.

To coincide with the anticipated optimal sockeye run viewing timeframe, the Adams River Salmon Society will host a free interpretive walk Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Interpretive guides will also be available during the long weekend. The non-profit organization is also preparing for fall market Oct. 12 to 14.


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