Species Profile

Sockeye Salmon Cultus-L population

Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus nerka
Other/Previous Names: Sockeye Salmon (Cultus Lake population),Sockeye Salmon (Cultus population)
Taxonomy Group: Fishes
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia, Pacific Ocean
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2017
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: C2a(ii)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: Cultus Lake is one of the most heavily utilized lakes in BC and it has been developed for recreational, residential and agricultural purposes. The lake’s water quality has been degraded as a result of seepage from septic systems, agricultural runoff and domestic use of fertilizers as well as by an introduced Eurasian water-milfoil (Myriophyllum sp.). The spawning population has declined steadily since 1950 and the current population size remains very small. This small population continues to face high exploitation rates as bycatch in other salmon fisheries.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in an emergency assessment in October 2002. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2003 and November 2017.
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd):

No schedule - No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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Image of Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye Salmon Photo 1

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Protection

Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Conservation Strategy for Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in Canada (Cultus Lake Population)
Status Approvals process initiated

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Recovery Team

Sockeye Salmon (Cultus population) Recovery Team

  • Neil Schubert - Chair/Contact - Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    Phone: 604-666-8452  Fax: 604-666-1995  Send Email

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Documents

PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

8 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Sockeye Salmon Oncorhynchus nerka in Canada (2003-12-04)

    Cultus sockeye are one of the most intensively studied salmon populations in the world. Research on spawner abundance, lake characteristics and juvenile production began with scientists at the Pacific Biological Station in the 1920's (e.g., Foerster 1929a, 1929b, 1929c, 1934, 1936; Ricker 1935, 1937, 1938c) and has continued with the work of the International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission (e.g., Howard 1948; Cooper 1952) and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) (e.g., Ricker 1952). DFO has maintained a field laboratory and research program on the shore of Cultus Lake since 1925. Thus, there are a wealth of data on lake limnology and fish community structure as well as abundance information for the sockeye fry, smolt and adult life stages, upon which this report is based.
  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Sockeye Salmon Oncorhynchus nerka, 24 Designatable Units in the Fraser River Drainage Basin, in Canada (2018-10-22)

    Sockeye salmon is one of seven species of the genus Oncorhynchus native to North America. Adults have a slender, streamlined, silvery body with faint blue-green specking on the back and weigh an average of 3 kg (but in some cases over 6 kg). They undergo a distinctive transformation of external colour and body shape during their migration from the ocean to the freshwater ecosystem where they were born and grew as juveniles (usually a lake). The head becomes pale green in colour, the body can change to a brilliant scarlet, and the males develop large teeth and a sharply hooked jaw. The adults die soon after spawning and the developing embryos and then juveniles typically remain in freshwater for 1-2 years. Sockeye salmon exist as isolated populations and they evolve local adaptations to their freshwater environments. Note: This COSEWIC assessment was received by the Minister on October 15th, 2018.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Sockeye Salmon, Cultus-L population (2019-01-11)

    Cultus Lake is one of the most heavily utilized lakes in BC and it has been developed for recreational, residential and agricultural purposes. The lake’s water quality has been degraded as a result of seepage from septic systems, agricultural runoff and domestic use of fertilizers as well as by an introduced Eurasian water-milfoil (Myriophyllum sp.). The spawning population has declined steadily since 1950 and the current population size remains very small. This small population continues to face high exploitation rates as bycatch in other salmon fisheries.
  • Response Statements - Sockeye Salmon (2004-04-21)

    A response statement is a communications document that identifies how the Minister of the Environment intends to respond to the assessment of a wildlife species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The document provides a start to the listing and recovery process for those species identified as being at risk, and provides timelines for action to the extent possible.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (2004-04-21)

    This Order acknowledges receipt by the Governor in Council of the assessments of the status of wildlife species done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The purpose of SARA is to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct, to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened.
  • Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act (volume 139, number 2, 2005) (2005-01-12)

    Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), is amended by Order of the Governor in Council (GIC), on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, by the addition of 73 species. This Order is based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and follows consultations with provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the public, and analysis of costs and benefits to Canadians.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report 2017 to 2018 (2018-10-15)

    Over the past year COSEWIC assessed a total of 90 wildlife species and 11 of these were assigned a status of Not at Risk. Of these 90, COSEWIC re-examined the status of 38 wildlife species; of these, the majority (87%) were reassessed at the same or lower level of risk. To date and with the submission of this report, COSEWIC’s assessments now include 771 wildlife species in various risk categories including 338 Endangered, 183 Threatened, 228 Special Concern, and 22 Extirpated (i.e. no longer found in the wild in Canada). In addition, 18 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct, and a total of 59 wildlife species have also been designated as Data Deficient and 197 have been assessed and assigned Not at Risk status.

Consultation Documents

  • Species at Risk Act - Legal Listing of Aquatic Species, Pacific Region - Consultation Workbook (2004-03-17)

    Your opinion is being sought to assist the government of Canada in making an informed decision on whether to add any or all of the following 10 aquatic species to the Schedule 1 (the List of Wildlife Species at Risk) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The species include: Blue Whale, Sei Whale, Humpback Whale, Enos Lake Stickleback, Speckled Dace, Salish Sucker, Cultus Lake Sockeye, Interior Fraser Coho, Sakinaw Lake Sockeye, and Bocaccio. Your input on the impacts of adding these species to the List is important. This workbook has been developed to give you an opportunity to provide Fisheries and Oceans Canada with your feedback, advice, and other comments regarding adding the above mentioned 10 species to Schedule 1 of SARA (Schedule 1 identifies which species are legally protected under SARA).
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