I went down to the Steveston’s Sales Float on Sunday to find out what they had to offer. For the past two years, I have been able to stock up for the year on sockeye from the boats. We would usually purchase about ten, freeze them, and they would last until the next season’s sockeye opening. I went down to the docks in hopes of finding some for this year. Numerous fishing boats were selling shrimp, a handful had fresh chum for $2.50 a pound, one boat had coho, another had Prince Rupert sockeye, and the rest had frozen tuna and sablefish. I walked away excited to try cooking the sablefish I bought, but sad to learn there were no Fraser River sockeye this year.
The newpapers report that there are not enough sockeye running upstream for there to be an opening for commercial fishing and even sport fishers are feeling the closures.
It looks likely that neither the commercial fleet nor recreational anglers will be getting a crack at the prized red salmon this year.
The run size estimate for the summer run of sockeye remained unchanged Friday at 1.3 million, and about 2.3 million for the total Fraser sockeye returns, according to the Pacific Salmon Commission [Read full article].
The year 2008 showed low numbers of salmon spawning upstream. As sockeye are on a four-year cycle, the numbers returning this year reflect those of 2008.
I will happily turn to other types of fish this year, in consideration for the sustainability of our sockeye. I am excited to try barbecuing sablefish and look forward to eating coldwater shrimp.