August 1, 2014 8:28 pm

Fishermen preparing for busy salmon season

The fishing industry in B.C. is preparing for what could be a salmon windfall.

Fish are starting to return to the Fraser River and it could see its largest sockeye run ever.

Boat operators are busy getting ready for what they expect to be a hectic season.

The recreational fishery opened today on coastal waters and it’s expected to open on the lower Fraser River on Sunday.

In 2010, an estimated record 30 million sockeye made their way up the Fraser and all those eggs are returning as fish to complete the cycle.

This afternoon, the Department of Fisheries appeared to temper its earlier lofty predictions, saying the sockeye run in the Stuart River has been lower and later, estimates there have been revised from about 300,000 fish to 240,000.

Environmentalists are concerned that endangered species might be at risk if a lot of commercial fisheries take place.

In addition, the Fraser River is flowing at about 11 per cent below normal.

An extended heatwave can warm those shallower waters, adding more stress to the sockeye as they migrate.

- with files from Ted Chernecki

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