Join Date: Feb 2002
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|Originator: GregGordon||Date: 1/12/2002 10:08 PM|
From Watershed Talk, a weekly aboriginal newsletter by the Fraser River Aboriginal Fisheries Secretariate.
January 14, 2002 Volume VIII
THOMPSON RIVER STEELHEAD BRIEF UPDATE
Inseason run size estimates for Thompson steelhead suggest that survival rates have returned to low levels. Approximately 1400 fish are expected to spawn this upcoming spring. Fortunately, the brood stock that produced this return was modestly strong and therefore the abundance trend in recent years has been relatively stable albeit at a low level. Such returns suggest that conservation efforts should be maintained or improved in order to avoid the risk of further declines in abundance.
Fishing mortality rate continues to be between 10-20%, similar to fishing rates through much of the 1990's. Historically, fishing rates were much higher. For this season's return, fishing mortality has resulted from First Nation Food and Ceremonial Fisheries in the lower Fraser River, the Thompson Sport Fishery and some limited commercial salmon fisheries. Most notably, commercial chum fisheries at Nitinat and Fraser River were delayed allowing the unobstructed passage of the majority of Interior Fraser Steelhead.
Thompson steelhead will reside in both the Thompson and Fraser Rivers during the winter until they resume their upstream spawning migration toward spawning tributaries in the springtime. During this final stage of their migration, their numbers and status will be re-assessed. For more information contact Robert Bison, Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection at (250) 371-6200 or [email protected]
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