600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
July 30, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256
Large early summer Fraser sockeye run creates fishing opportunity
OLYMPIA -- An unexpectedly large run of early summer Fraser River sockeye
has enabled the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to schedule commercial
fisheries for salmon tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.
Preseason forecasts indicated the early summer component of the Fraser River
sockeye run would consist of approximately 351,000 salmon.
But the technical staff of the Pacific Salmon Commission just released an
advisory indicating the run is now estimated to be at least 500,000 sockeye. The
commission staff also reported the Canadian goal of returning 200,000 of the early
summer sockeye to the Fraser River to spawn has just about been achieved.
In addition, the commission staff said more than 50 percent of the Fraser River
sockeye currently in American waters are part of the summer component of the Fraser
run. The summer component is expected to consist of 15.7 million of sockeye. More
than 12 million of those fish can be harvested.
In response, WDFW today advised Canadian managers the following non-Indian
commercial seasons had been opened:
- Reef nets: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow and Thursday
- Gillnets: 7:10 a.m. to midnight Thursday
WDFW expects the fisheries to harvest less than the U.S. target catch of 60,000
early summer sockeye.
- Purse seines: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.