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2013 Salmon Update

posted Feb 2, 2014, 9:38 AM by Karen Dunmall
Although only 11 salmon were traded in for gift card rewards in 2013, documenting this low number of salmon in the Canadian Arctic is as useful as keeping track of the years with lots of salmon. In this way, we are putting some numbers around the local knowledge of years of higher salmon abundances, followed by years of lower abundances. Here is a summary of what happened in 2013:
  • Ten of the salmon traded in this year were chum salmon and one was a Chinook salmon. 
  • No pink salmon were traded in, and there were no reports of pink salmon being caught in the Canadian Arctic.
  • The salmon started being harvested earlier in the season (end of August) than in other years.
  • Three of the chum salmon were harvested in Great Bear Lake. Although chum salmon have been caught in Great Bear Lake in the past, this is quite rare. Once of these chum salmon were harvested in Great Bear Lake in August, which is extraordinarily early as we assume it swam in from the ocean and all the way up river to Great Bear Lake before it was caught.
  • A photo recently appeared showing what appears to be a sockeye salmon that was harvested in Sachs Harbour in 2013. This salmon was not traded in for reward, so is not included in the tally, but is certainly an interesting catch! Hopefully if more salmon are harvested in Sachs Harbour or other Beaufort Sea coastal communities, we will get a sample to verify species identification and perhaps see where these fish might be coming from!
Chum salmon harvested in Great Bear Lake, NT 2013
Alphonse Takazo harvested this chum salmon from Great Bear Lake, 2013

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