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Salmon returns in some B.C. river systems suggest late-season surge of stocks

A pink salmon swims upstream for spawning in the Cheakamus River near Squamish, B.C., on Sept. 20, 2011.

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans is reporting some promising numbers for pink salmon returns in B.C. rivers after a drastically low season for the sockeye fishery.

DFO area manager in Kamloops, B.C., Les Jantz, say an estimated 26 million pinks are flooding into local rivers and streams.

That's nearly three times higher than the early season estimate of about nine million fish.

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Jantz says pink fisheries are now under way in both Canada and the United States and will probably continue for at least another week, or maybe two weeks on the upper reaches of some waterways.

Jantz also had a glimmer of positive news about B.C.'s late-season sockeye returns, including runs on the Shuswap and Adams River systems east of Kamloops.

He says numbers of late-Shuswap sockeye are now expected to reach 380,000, more than triple the pre-season estimate of 123,000 fish.

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