Sockeye Bulletin #1

Somass Sockeye Stock Assessment Update

Pre-season forecast:

Somass (Great Central and Sproat) – 170,000

Henderson Lake sockeye outlook ~ 10,000 – 15,000


Escapement to June 6: ~ 7,477

Last year catch and escapement to June 9, 2016 was approximately 70,000.

Migration conditions remain good.

Test Fishery:  Seine vessel Nita Maria testing June 12th and 13th

First in-season re-forecast: June 29th

Catch Estimate: Zero (0)

Somass First Nations –  0

Maa-nulth First Nations – 0

Area D Gillnet – 0

Area B Seine – 0

Recreational – 0



All Fishing plans are subject to change depending on weekly meetings.


Due to the low sockeye forecast the First Nations, Recreational and, Commercial sectors have agreed to no sockeye fisheries.


If the runsize increases over 200 K there may be limited opportunities for all sectors.  The details for any openings will be determined at the weekly Harvest Committee meetings.




At the June 8 Harvest committee meeting the following closure was recommended to further protect migrating sockeye.


A finfish closure from June 13th to August 1st in Subarea 23-1 to 23-3 which means the Alberni Inlet is now closed to fishing from the tidal signs above the rapids at Paper Mill Dam in the Somass River downstream and south including Alberni Inlet, to a line from the Chup Point Light to Mutine Point. (This does not include trap fishing for prawn and crab)  This is a temporary measure and may be removed at short notice if the sockeye forecast increases and allows retention.


Please Note: The outer portion of Area 23 from Subarea 23-4 to 23-11 remains open to all fishing (except sockeye).


For more information please contact the DFO office in Port Alberni at 250 720-4440


Fishing Forever – Submitted by John D


          Under a beautiful, blue, cloudless sky this year’s event heralded the ninth year at the Coombs Campground Pond stocked with 50 lovely Rainbow trout raised at the Vancouver Island University rearing station.

Seventy eight residents of the local Care Homes and their Care Givers enjoyed the picnic-like atmosphere whether they fished or not.  The Derby began just after 10 a.m. and it looked like the fish weren’t interested in the juicy worms offered them.  But soon after they decided to cooperate and began their tug-of-war with the fishers.  Although the numbers nabbed fell far short of last year’s numbers the ones landed were of appreciable size weighing anywhere from a pound to a pound and a half.  Nonetheless, judging from the enthusiastic response from some of  the Care Givers it was evident that this event is a worthwhile community affair and hopefully will prevail for many years.

Quality Foods, as usual, provided the bagged lunches.  Spunky’s Motorcycle Shop was generous in letting us use their new tents that didn’t require a Longshoremen’s Crew to erect the tents as we did with the former cumbersome Pavilion.  Coombs Old Time Fiddlers entertained with their toe-tapping music.  The many volunteers who make this event possible have to be given a big thank you, as well as the Care Givers who are constantly assisting their charges as needed.

One huge difference compared to past years is that we beat the annual Cottonwood “snow fall” that fouls the fishing lines but still had a bit of a nuisance with a slimy growth that isn’t quite as bad as cottonwood fluff.

We also initiated a Brian Borrett Memorial Trophy for the Care Home gang who caught the most fish.  Brian was the sole Coordinator of this important event for about 10 years before his passing last year.  Trillium Lodge won the trophy and one would think they won the lotto as they shouted their joy.  They will enjoy it for one year, but also received a keeper trophy that will remain in their possession in perpetuity.

A Parksville Qualicum News reporter/photographer was clearly enthralled with the proceedings as she spent a lot of time interviewing and photographing some of the participants.

It was a time to meet and enjoy some of the old timers that came out for the day to renew long time friendships over a coffee.


Submitted by John Domovich – May 2017