Following an evaluation of enhancement potential above an anadromous fish barrier on the Salloomt River in 1980 a steelhead fry stocking program was initiated. The program is currently in its third year of operation. Eggs collected from Atnarko River (Camera Channel) fish are incubated at Snootli Hatchery, a federal facility near Bella Coola. In 1981 three groups of fry were released to test the benefits derived from hatchery rearing. Unmarked, unfed fry were released August 20 and September 2. October 14 two groups of marked fry were liberated; fluorescent green (x=0.82g; 42.2mm) and fluorescent red (x=1.4g; 49.0mm). Chi comparisons of 1982 recaptures indicate that no benefits were achieved by hatchery rearing to the fall fry stage. Growth slope comparisons suggest an increasing rate of growth from the upper to lower reaches of the stream as a function of water temperature. Smolt size (50g) will be attained in 2-4 years by most fry. Two methods were used to estimate standing stock in 1982 and potential fry carrying capacity. Both indicate a releatively low, maximum mean density of 0.08-0.10 fry/m2. At this level of production a smolt yield of 4,250+5,300 is expected to result in a potential harvestable surplus of 288 to 590 adults. Stocking at 0.22 fry/m2 in 1983 and a follow-up assessment at 1982 sites is recommended. This will hopefully verify fry carrying capacity in the absence of flooding effects and determine future stocking rates. The end goal will be to maximize benefits from early fry releases.
Russell, J. R. L., Ptolemy, R. A.. 1983. Assessment of Steelhead Fry Stocking in the Salloomt River Near Bella Coola: Progress Report to 1982. Ministry of Environment. Fisheries Assessment and Improvement Unit
Topic: Fish and Fish Habitats
Keywords: steelhead, fry, stocking, salloomt river, near bella coola
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