/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/PSF-Logo-2022-min.png 0 0 PSF /wp-content/uploads/2022/04/PSF-Logo-2022-min.png PSF2021-10-20 18:27:542021-10-20 18:27:54Status of Wild Sockeye Stocks of the Babine Watershed
- Several wild Babine sockeye stocks have been identified as a growing conservation concern.
- This report examines the historical trends and current status of wild Babine sockeye returning to the Babine watershed in order to assess the overall health of populations.
- DFO’s Salmon Escapement Database System was used to assess escapement trends for all identified wild sockeye stocks that spawned in the Babine watershed between 1950 and 2010.
- Status classification for each stock was based on a combination of the average number of spawners between 1950 and 1999 (historic), and the average escapement between 2000 and 2010 (recent); escapement trends were calculated as the ratio of the arithmetic mean of all records during 2000-2010 to 1950-1999 records.
- A total of 29 wild sockeye populations show spawning records in the Babine watershed.
- Between 1950-2010, only 1 stock has been consistently monitored; 10 have been enumerated more than 50 years, and 7 were enumerated less than 10 years.
- Monitoring effort for Babine sockeye declined during the 1990s, and has yet to rebound to historic levels.
- Combined spawner numbers for all stocks range from a low of 40,750 (1955) to a high of 740,805 (2001), with a historic average annual return of 270,658 spawners (1950-1999).
- Combined escapement has decreased 18% compared with historic data. Specifically, 9 of the previous 11 years were below the historic average, including the 6 most recent years (2005-2010).
- Escapement trends for individual stocks show 17% are decreasing, 17% are stable, 28% are increasing, and 38% are of an unknown status due to insufficient data.
- The classification of individual stocks show 7 of 29 populations are either threatened with extinction or of concern, 10 stocks are unknown, and 12 are considered not threatened.
- Boucher Creek and Nichyeskwa Creek are at high extinction risk; Pendleton Creek and Wright Creek are at moderate extinction risk.
- The return of wild-origin sockeye to the Babine watershed in 2010 (n = 80,208 spawners) shows a 95-97% decline compared with estimated historic annual returns of 1.7-2.9 million at the height of the commercial fishery.