Fish Radio
Fraser River sockeye update, treaty and BC mines
August 22, 2014

Mt. Polley Mine Breach 5 more mines planned near Southeast AK Credit: Vancouver Sun

Mt. Polley Mine Breach
5 more mines planned near Southeast AK
Credit: Vancouver Sun

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Updates on Fraser River sockeye and a treaty to stop threats from Canadian mines. More after this —

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Prices for Fraser River sockeye salmon are on a downward slope as managers continue to call for a strong run. For the first fish a few weeks ago, prices started at between $1.75-$1.85 Canadian, then dipped this week to $1.65. That’s $1.50 a pound in US dollars. British Columbia’s Fraser River panel says the early summer run was over two million sockeye, and they estimate the so called summer run at 6.3 million fish through August 20th. The bulk of the Fraser run usually occurs at the end of August and no one is making any calls on that yet. Some are calling for a total catch of 10 million sockeyes, but that remains to be seen. A red flag is water temperatures that this week five degrees above average and could lead to changes in sockeye escapement goals and fish survival.

 Meanwhile, still no word on how the Mount Polley mining accident might affect the Fraser fish.   This week a coalition of Alaskans and some of the largest fishing groups have joined with the Congressional delegation to urge Secretary of State John Kerry to intervene with Canada as five large scale mines prepare to go on line in watersheds that feed into Southeast Alaska’s most productive salmon rivers. Many are citing the Boundary Waters Treaty between the US and Canada which states that trans boundary waters “shall not be polluted on either side to the injury of health or property on the other side.”

 The state of Alaska has made no statement on the mining threats so far. DNR’s Kyle Mosselle said he was filing state comments on the proposed KSM Mine by the August 20th deadline but no records appear available.

Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America.   In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.