Public asked to track salmon

Interested in tracking sockeye salmon movement through Quesnel Lake?

Interested in tracking sockeye salmon movement through Quesnel Lake?

The University of Northern BC is inviting the public to help monitor sockeye salmon in Quesnel Lake.

“Anyone with a boat, a sounder or fish finder and a little spare time can help track sockeye salmon movement through Quesnel Lake and into Horsefly Bay,” the Quesnel River Research Centre noted in a statement. “We are specifically interested at which depth sockeye are migrating through Quesnel Lake to determine if they are migrating through the plume associated with the Mt. Polley tailings pond breach. Heavy metals in the water column can impact a salmon’s ability to navigate to their spawning streams.”

People interested in this effort are asked to collect the following information.

The location where you are tracking the fish, with the latitude and longitude coordinates.

The maximum and minimum depth at which you do or don’t see fish, the time of day you are collecting this information, the name of the person collecting the information and a photograph of the fish finder if possible.

“Remember that to accurately see fish, boats must be drifting or trolling at slow speeds,” the notice said. “Sockeye will be scared off if you approach them too quickly.”

As the sockeye are migrating right  now, this is critical information to collect.

Fish migrating up the lake are likely to hug the shoreline (within a hundred meters or so), most likely the south shore, as they move up the west basin,

so that is the first place to look for them.

Anyone who is able to help or who has any questions is encouraged to contact Sam Alberts either by e-mail Samuel.Albers@unbc.ca or phone 250-790-2013.