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Commercial and recreational sockeye fishery unlikely this year

Commercial and recreational sockeye fishermen on the Fraser River may not get a single opportunity to cast their nets this season.

The co-chair of the Pacific Salmon Commission's Fraser River panel says total sockeye returns on the river are estimated at 2.1-million fish.

Barry Rosenberger says the peak of the run has now passed and several thousand more fish would have to be counted before any opening could be considered.

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He says sockeye numbers will be monitored for several more weeks but it appears increasingly unlikely that commercial or recreational openings will be permitted.

Following the collapse of sockeye returns in 2009, more than 25-million fish returned in an unexpected bounty in 2010.

Numbers remained above expectations in 2011, but the estimated four-million spawners that returned to the Fraser could not touch the record set one year earlier.

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