Monday, August 25, 2008

Kitwanga Fence Update to Aug.25th

Looks like the recent rainy weather in the northwest is playing havoc with facilities like the Kitwanga counting fence. Right now rivers like the Copper, Kispiox, Bulkley below Telkwa are all high and discoloured from the heavy rains. The latest Kitwanga Fence Update follows:
Information courtesy Gitanyow Fisheries Authority

The Kitwanga River Salmon Enumeration Facility has been in operation since July 11, 2008. In the last 36 hours water levels have increased substantially and presently our counting boxes are completely flooded. We have not been able to count fish since yesterday morning but the fence still remains unbreached (still impeding fish migration) at a water level of 1.30m. The river seems to have stabilized in the last few hours and we are hoping that it will begin to drop later today. This is the highest we have ever successfully kept the fence in without it being breached. The total salmon counts to midday on August 25, 2008 are as follows:
Sockeye = 184
Chinook = 1,401
Pink = 720
Chum = 5
Coho = 7
A total of 184 Sockeye have moved through the fence to date. Based on average run timings seen previously approximately 58% (max. = 80% / min. = 24%) of the run has usually moves through the KSEF by August 25 in any given year. If this years run timing holds true to average run timings observed previously, we predict that the sockeye escapement to the Kitwanga for 2008 will be ~ 300 fish.
Chinook escapement through the KSEF has been slow, the 2nd lowest ever recorded to the date since accurate enumeration started in 2003. Usually by August 25 our chinook escapements >2,250 and ~95% of the run would have moved through the site in any given year.

The pink returns have been poor, the lowest ever recorded to the day since accurate enumeration was initiated in 2003.
Very few chum / coho salmon have been counted to date. We expect that chum returns will significantly pick-up soon while most coho probably won't escape to the system until mid-September.
Information courtesy Gitanyow Fisheries Authority

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