The reds are coming.
August 25, 2010 9:45 PM Subscribe
posted by Mitheral (37 comments total)
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Four years after being spawned Fraser River Sockeye salmon return to the same creeks in which they were born to mate, spawn and die. Salmon have a strong preference for heavier returns every four years. Prior to 1913 this cycle peaked every second odd year (IE: 1905 - 1909 - 1913). However in 1913 (a year that had a record high 31 million fish harvested) construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway along side the Frasier river resulted in massive rock slides that prevented most of the returning fish from making it to their ancestral streams
. Clean up efforts in subsequent years and the construction of fish ladders at Hell's Gate saved the Salmon from extinction and switched peaked returns to every second even year (IE: 2010 - 2014 - 2018) but numbers of fish returning were way down. Until now
. This year's projected returns are the highest since 1913's record year and not far short of it. This is bound to make the organizers of Salute to the Sockeye
Interestingly last year's returns were some of the worst ever
and there was plenty of finger pointing
and reports of a complete collapse of fishery. So many of the canneries have reduced operations or gone out of business that there is now a massive shortage of pretty well everything from ice to totes to cans
need to process the massive catch the high returns this year are allowing.
UBC fisheries Prof. Carl Walters: "We think there's some complicated kind of delayed ecological interaction effects that a big run can cause poor survival down the road and maybe low runs can cause good survival down the road, but we don't understand the mechanisms at all
“We’re thrilled the numbers are so great, but the reality is 2009 was a problematic year,”
Carla Shore, a spokesperson for the Cohen Commission
said. “We’ll take into account the great numbers this year, but there are still a lot of questions around the long-term sustainability of Fraser River sockeye.”