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2010 Salmon Season – Best in 97 years

December 27, 2010

In 2010, the Frasier River watershed in Canada had its biggest sockeye salmon run in 97 years.  This mammoth run was in direct contrast to the 2009 run which was disastrously low at the end of a 20 year decline. The 2009 run was so significantly poor that the Canadian government formed a commission to investigate possible causes.

Just prior to the Canadian commission beginning the investigation of  the paltry 2009 run, commercial fishermen “started hauling in more Fraser River sockeye than any of them had ever seen.” reported by Daniel Jack Chasan of Crosscut.com.

There appears to be two significant factors that contributed to the boom run of 2010. First, in 2008 when the sockeyes were juveniles there were favorable water conditions. Second was the ash fall from the eruption of Alaska’s Kasatochi volcano in 2008. Volcanic eruptions result in an increase in iron in the water which in turn resulted in huge algae blooms that dramatically improved the fish’s food supply. A similar significant salmon run was reported in 1958 after Alaska’s Veniaminof eruption in 1956.

Beyond the natural environmental factors, other factors may be credited to man, including; improved logging practices, resurgence in organic (terra) farming, new protections for upstream habitat, restoration of habitat and restrained commercial fishing catch limits has begun to make a difference in salmon survival. Environmentalists are now optimistic that the huge 2010 sockeye run is a sign of better times ahead.

Salmon runs typically peak every 4 years. With this historical run there has been a turn in interest, both commercially and recreationally in salmon fishing in the Pacific Northwest. With the challenges that the boat building and fishing industries have faced in the past several years, this good news is well received; abeit with cautious optimism.

Grunden's Fishing and Rain Gear

 This years extraordinary salmon return has salmon fisheries on the West Coast of the United States ramping back up for a cautious return to commercial and recreational fishing.  According to Go2marine, they have seen upswing in demand for Grundens foul weather gear and Dutch Harbor gear. Refurbishing and upgrading fishing boats requires renewed hydraulic equipment, boat parts and marine supplies.  Go2marine and Go2hydraulics supports ecofriendly, sustainable fishing.



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