Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) put out their preliminary forecast for 2021 salmon returns. Before providing a summary, I invite you to look at the cover page of their presentation. What do you see? What don’t you see?
All the pictures are of harvest. You don’t see pictures of grizzly bears feeding in a stream full of salmon, or of a family marveling at spawning salmon in a creek near their home, or some of the thousands of people volunteering their time to try and recover wild salmon. DFO’s cover page speaks to their priorities.
As you are aware, the 2020 salmon season was the worst on record for many salmon stocks. In their summary, DFO states, ‘expectations for (2021) salmon returns are low and similar to 2020.’
The Fraser River sockeye return is expected to be a bit of a nightmare for First Nations, conservationists and managers alike. Of the 23 sockeye stocks reviewed, five are expected to return near their targets. Managers and harvesters will want to plan fisheries for these five stocks. First Nations and most British Columbians without a direct connection to the fishery will be concerned about the impact these fisheries will have on the other 18 populations expected to have a poor or below average return.
Fraser River spring type chinook are expected to return at very low levels. Conversely, Fraser River ocean type springs (from the 180,000 sq kilometers of Secwepemc territories in south-central British Columbia) are forecast to have an abundant return. Harrison (fall) wild chinook are expected to return below average, again putting Canada offside with their treaty commitments in the Pacific Salmon Treaty. The marine timing of these returns overlaps from mid-summer into the first week of September.
The table below provides a summary of the 2021 summary of returns provided by DFO by area and species. Of the 260 populations (conservation units) captured in the survey, only 7 wild populations are expected to be near, or above their targets.
The chart says 2020 at the top of each column and I dont see any 2021 predictions or either its just too hard to discern?
How about some layman’s language.
Sooo, despite the near absence of salmon sport fishing in coastal waters through 2020 due to COVID, these dismal numbers are the result?
Given the appalling failure of managing the east coast cod fishery by federal and provincial governments over several decades and the utter collapse thereof, I’d be amazed if the same thing isn’t about to occur in BC as well.
Witnessing this corruption and ineptitude while out a once astonishing renewable resource is a sad experience.
The salmon have been poisoned by virus in the salmon farms. The DOF helping kill the wild runs just like Norwegians did. The salmon, bear, and forest will all suffer as a result and the government knows that
DFO is a failure on the East and now West coast. Salmon farm money dictates their work priorities.
Was looking for forecast for upper Fraser sockeye and chinook to accommodate aboriginal fishermen
Never is there mention on the heavy international fishing on our salmon stocks out in the open ocean……. 30yrs ago an average sockeye caught in the Fraser River was 7-9lbs. Now all of them are 5-6lbs and never any 12lbers.
Tell me that is not netting at its finest. Take all the largest fish and leave the tiny weak ones as the breeding stock.
No wonder nothing got past the rock slide.