An Awesome primer on the record breaking #sockeye run on the Fraser River – #insearchofthesockeye


Earlier this year when it was ANNOUNCED that the Fraser River sockeye salmon run might be the biggest ever recorded, my heart skipped a beat. Born and raised in BC, visiting the Adams River to view these wonders of nature spawning became a tradition for my family in the 80’s, and it’s one I’ve continued 20 years later (HERE is the piece I wrote about a trip to the 2010 run).

The top photo shows the sockeye as it appears in the ocean, the bottom two are how it changes as it makes its way up the river to spawn and complete its life cycle. Images courtesy DFO
The top photo shows the sockeye as it appears in the ocean, the bottom two are how it changes as it makes its way up the river to spawn. Images courtesy DFO

In 2012, after a $26m investigation by the government into the reasons for the decline of the Fraser River sockeye, a report was released entitled “The Uncertain Future of the Fraser River Sockeye”. It comprised a list of 75 recommendations to help improve what seemed to be a bleak outlook for these fish after alarmingly weak returns and while it was being crafted I spoke with Dr David Suzuki and asked him what he thought was responsible for their decline. His response was essentially that the salmon are magical creatures which we’re barely even beginning to understand, and that they work in mysterious ways. While I don’t believe there’s magic involved (and of course Suzuki doesn’t either) it goes against all reason that their return was so large in 2010, and that it’s incredible again this year.

A report from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans today tells us that as of September 1st 5,273,800 sockeye have passed through Mission BC. That’s amazing. Here are a few recent stories illustrating it:

“It’s Insane” – Gold rush on the water – via the National Post
Fraser Sockeye return in good numbers and in good condition – via the Georgia Straight
Fraser River sockeye catch on pace with 2010 harvest – via Undercurrent News
Sockeye flooding the Fraser – via Maple Ridge News

Over the next couple of weeks I’m bringing you on my journey #insearchofthesockeye and will be sharing stories of where you can buy this fish, where you can catch it, who’s helping ensure its future (spoiler: it’s not magicians) and lastly I’ll be taking you on another road trip up to the Adams River where the lions share of our Fraser salmon end up spawning, then dying as they complete their life cycle. Below is a preview of the sockeye I caught while researching #insearchofthesockeye, check back in a couple days when I’ll be sharing the whole story!

The sockeye salmon that I caught while researching for our series!

pacificangler2 This series is sponsored by Pacific Angler, Vancouver’s store for the fishing enthusiast. If you’re looking for a specific fishing item or planning your next (or first!) fishing trip, their knowledgeable and friendly staff can provide you with the information you need. They also offer a comprehensive and broad range of seminars, courses and fully guided trips for anglers new and old. Visit them at 78 E Broadway and