Chum crash worst biologists have ever seen

  • Nov. 28, 2007 7:00 p.m.

By Heather Ramsay–Chum salmon stocks crashed on the east side of Moresby Island this year, with the worst returns islands fisheries biologists have ever seen. Victor Fradette, fisheries manager with Fisheries and Oceans Canada said only 3,000 Chum returned to Pallant Creek this year, when 70,000 to 100,000 are normally expected. Other creeks faired as badly with just under 4,000 fish spotted at the mouth of the Selwyn Creek. Four years ago, 43,000 fish were recorded on that stream. “We weren’t expecting that poor of a return,” says Mr. Fradette. This was the first year in the 28 years Mr. Fradette has been on the islands that no commercial fishing opportunities were opened on the east coast chum stocks. Normally, a terminal harvest is opened at the mouth of the creeks for gillnets or seines. In the good old days, he said this would have affected a huge group of fishermen, but the fleet has diminished over the years. No one knows why the stocks have crashed, says Mr. Fradette, “but we can all speculate.” He says there probably isn’t one set of circumstances to blame, but he does note that the very poor returns were only seen on the east coast of Moresby. He says 2003 was the year of the Christmas storm, which may have affected chum mortality, as well, warm water trends have been occurring. He said species that are not normally seen around the islands are being observed, like sardines and hake. Hake is an aggressive predator and could have had an impact on chum as well. He discounts the idea that illegal drift net boats may be having an impact because the low returns are so specific to the east side of Moresby Island. Other island stocks are not outside of their normal ranges, he says. The stocks were so low at Pallant Creek that Haida Fisheries were unable to collect brood stock for the hatchery, he said. Because chum are cyclical, he says managers will be watching for poor returns in 2011 as well.

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii gets top spot in The World

It was already a nice Christmas present, but Keith Moore was really… Continue reading

McNeill fined again for illegal fishing

A local man with a long history of poaching has been convicted… Continue reading

Painting her way home

Janine Gibbons talks about all she learned illustrating Haida and Tlingit story books

Old Massett taps grassroots for community plan

Over coffee, kitchen tables, and community dinners, Old Massett is taking a… Continue reading

Subsea internet cable to link up Haida Gwaii

Cable to connect Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast with mainland network

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Most Read