VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The summer Sockeye salmon run is facing some challenges from the hot weather. The 6.8 million fish projected to return to the Fraser River are battling low water levels and unusually warm temperatures.
It all seems to be connected to the warm blob of water out in the Pacific Ocean.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans Lower Fraser area director Jennifer Nener says the water temperature messes with a fish’s metabolism. “Their body temperatures are the same as the environment around them and they are adapted to a cold water environment so when the water gets too warm it actually increases their metabolism and they use up their energy resources more quickly.”
She says the DFO is also monitoring low river levels. “In the main stem of the Fraser River it’s actually a little bit easier for the fish to swim against the current but the challenge is the water heats up more quickly and then the other challenge is when the fish get to the spawning grounds there is concern about potentially low levels of the water there for the fish to make use of and get into the spawning grounds”
No word on whether this will affect how much fishing will be allowed, as Nener says it’s too early to estimate what the full impact will be.