Recovering Lakelse Lake Sockeye Salmon: Lakelse Lake Sockeye Recovery Plan (LLSRP)


  • Sockeye escapements to Lakelse Lake have been low in recent years and appear to be depressed relative to historic levels.
  • Based on the last 12 years of visual escapement surveys for Lakelse Lake (1992-2003), the Lakelse Lake sockeye stock has experienced a 92% decline over the last three cycles.
  • Exploitation rates for Lakelse Lake sockeye have been low to modest since 1970, primarily because of the early timing of this stock through mixed-stock interception fisheries targeting enhanced Babine Lake sockeye. Fisheries exploitation is not believed to be the major factor affecting escapements and subsequent sockeye production from Lakelse Lake.
  • Recent lake trophic studies indicate that Lakelse Lake provides a favorable rearing environment for juvenile sockeye. Lakelse Lake has the capacity to rear the progeny from approximately 29,000 spawners.
  • In 2003, juvenile sockeye densities in Lakelse Lake were just 9% of estimated lake rearing capacity, representing the progeny from just 750 spawners. In 2004, juvenile sockeye densities were less than 20% of estimated lake rearing capacity.
  • Lakelse Lake is fry recruitment limited and is producing sockeye well below potential production. Degraded or limited tributary spawning habitat, relative to historic levels, is believed to be restricting spawner access and spawning success (recruits per spawner).
  • Increasing fry recruitment by increasing escapements, combined with spawning habitat restoration and/or fry out planting, has been suggested for improving sockeye production from Lakelse Lake.