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Broughton Pink Salmon Return In Large Numbers

Salmonids Breeding & genetics +1 more

CANADA - Almost three times as many fish returned to spawn last fall compared with the brood year in 2007.

According to FishfarmingXpert, despite warnings of an imminent collapse of pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago- made famous by environmental activists over the years- salmon returns last year were up considerably from two years ago, when this season’s fish were born. Pink salmon has a distinct two year life cycle, so the fish that returned in 2009 were the off-spring of salmon that returned and spawned in 2007.

While counting methods are not necessarily one hundred per cent accurate, they are considered consistent over the years. Just like other pink salmon watersheds- including Alaska- returns have a tendency to fluctuate wildly. A low return following an unusually high return is typical. In the Broughton area, pink salmon returns to rivers being monitored by the Fisheries Department in even years have shown huge ups and downs, ranging between some 75,ooo and almost 3.5 million in recent memory.

The odd year returns have shown a steady increase during the past three brood years following a drop from a large 2001 return, with the 2005 run being 37 per cent higher than the 2003 year, and the 2007 year saw a further 21 per cent increase. This past year, pink salmon returns to these monitored watersheds totaled 906,284 fish, a 186 per cent increase from the 2007 brood year. Hardly a collapse- especially when one considers that a good year for Atlantic salmon returning to rivers up and down the coast of Norway would total some ~600,000 fish. Over 900,000 pink salmon also swam up the Campbell River to spawn last fall, following the removal of a barrier to kilometers of good spawning habitat.