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Meziadin fishway

The Meziadin River flows into the Nass River system approximately 180 km from where the Nass flows into Portland Inlet. The known major sockeye producers in the Nass River system include Meziadin, Bowser, Damdochax, and Fred Wright lakes. The Meziadin fishway was constructed to bypass a series of waterfalls known as Victoria Falls. The purpose of the fishway was to provide access to existing spawning grounds above the falls and to provide a method of determining the spawning escapement of sockeye salmon in the Meziadin system. Previous studies in the late 1950’s indicated high fish mortality was occurring due to the inability of the salmon to move past Victoria Falls.

Prior to the construction of the Meziadin fishway in 1966, it was thought that the Meziadin system produced less than 40% of the total Nass sockeye return. Since the completion of the fishway it has been discovered that 70 to 80% of the Nass River sockeye run returns to the Meziadin system.

The Meziadin fishway was designed either to operate unmanned or to hold enumeration facilities, which are operated by support personnel. Since 1966, the fishway has been manned during each season. Operations usually begin in the first week of July. The exact starting date is determined by water levels, which must be low enough to allow personnel to enter the water and install trap panels at the end of the fishway.

The personnel operating the fishway are responsible for the daily counts of returning salmon, biological sampling, water level measurements and camp maintenance. The enumeration continues until early September. Sockeye are also sampled on a daily basis for biological information. The number of fish sampled each day is determined by calculating one percent of the total count from the previous day up to a total of one hundred fish. The fish are dipped from the holding trap, sampled and returned alive to the river.

Meziadin fishway counts

Count archives

Date Large sockeye Jack sockeye Coho Jack coho Large chinook Jack chinook Steelhead
21/07/01 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/02 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/03 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/04 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/05 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/06 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/07 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/08 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/09 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/14 5 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/15 12 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/16 20 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/17 81 0 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/18 141 4 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/19 215 4 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/20 465 6 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/21 1,026 26 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/22 4,170 105 0 0 1 0 0
21/07/23 7,844 107 0 0 5 1 0
21/07/24 15,788 148 0 0 1 0 0
21/07/25 18,836 324 0 0 0 0 0
21/07/26 22,146 649 0 0 1 0 0
21/07/27 20,602 648 0 0 4 1 0
21/07/28 14,410 620 0 0 2 0 0
21/07/29 10,807 445 0 0 4 0 0
21/07/30 7,603 345 0 0 1 0 0
21/07/31 7,106 279 0 0 1 2 0
21/08/01 4,061 187 0 0 1 2 0
21/08/02 4,556 261 0 0 8 2 0
21/08/03 1,452 71 0 0 0 1 0
21/08/04 1,401 86 1 0 4 2 0
21/08/05 1,237 98 0 0 6 2 0
21/08/06 424 34 0 0 4 2 0
21/08/07 566 31 0 0 1 0 0
21/08/08 1,311 88 0 0 1 0 0
21/08/09 3,186 117 0 0 1 0 0
21/08/10 4,802 144 1 0 2 1 0
21/08/11 3,417 125 0 0 1 2 0
21/08/12 1,983 87 0 0 2 1 0
21/08/13 3,849 140 1 0 8 0 0
21/08/14 2,514 123 0 0 6 1 0
21/08/15 3,017 201 1 0 3 2 0
21/08/16 1,772 100 0 0 0 0 0
21/08/17 1,801 108 0 0 0 0 0
21/08/18 3,898 141 2 0 1 4 0
21/08/19 5,833 190 13 0 0 0 0
21/08/20 7,865 217 17 1 0 1 0
21/08/21 4,379 131 10 1 5 1 0
21/08/22 3,872 72 13 0 3 3 0
21/08/23 2,762 77 7 0 2 1 0
21/08/24 6,942 222 67 0 1 4 0
21/08/25 6,418 263 79 0 0 3 0
21/08/26 3,577 117 56 0 0 0 0
21/08/27 3,045 99 22 0 2 4 0
21/08/28 5,381 258 98 0 2 3 0
21/08/29 3,422 181 55 1 4 0 0
21/08/30 2,513 373 41 1 2 0 0
21/08/31 3,544 265 87 0 1 1 0
21/09/01 987 81 51 2 0 0 0
21/09/02 2,184 200 97 1 1 0 0
21/09/03 2,758 230 117 0 2 0 0
21/09/04 3,750 288 282 0 3 1 0
21/09/05 2,725 277 142 0 14 2 0
21/09/06 487 48 35 2 4 2 0
21/09/07 1,485 277 65 1 4 1 0
21/09/08 1,522 333 194 0 1 0 0
21/09/09 1,502 354 138 0 2 0 0
21/09/10 2,213 377 210 4 2 2 0
21/09/11 1,439 176 243 7 1 0 0
21/09/12 1,832 179 196 2 2 0 0
21/09/13 1,878 261 200 1 3 0 0
21/09/14 1,099 185 185 0 5 0 0
21/09/15 1,018 175 171 2 4 0 0
21/09/16 805 102 158 1 1 1 0
21/09/17 723 61 112 0 1 1 0
21/09/18 1,398 151 115 0 0 0 0
21/09/19 2,700 171 182 1 1 1 0
21/09/20 1,726 227 213 4 0 0 0
21/09/21 1,149 174 147 4 0 0 0
21/09/22 637 68 88 7 2 0 0
21/09/23 262 31 38 2 3 0 0
21/09/24 277 43 62 0 0 0 0
21/09/25 119 9 20 1 0 0 0
21/09/26 89 21 22 0 0 0 1
21/09/27 211 41 44 0 0 0 0
21/09/28 157 41 37 0 0 0 0
21/09/29 125 41 18 0 1 0 0
21/09/30 140 37 22 0 1 0 1
21/10/01 167 28 20 0 0 0 0
21/10/02 137 29 10 1 0 0 1
21/10/03 76 19 10 0 0 0 1
21/10/04 115 20 30 0 0 0 0
21/10/05 111 26 25 0 1 0 0
21/10/06 91 11 9 0 0 0 0
21/10/07 37 5 0 1 0 0 0
Total 273,862 13,114 4,279 48 160 59 6
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