The Waanukv/Owikeeno watershed historically supported one of the largest sockeye populations in BC, currently supports some of the largest Chinook salmon found in the eastern Pacific and has unknown numbers of coho, pink and chum salmon. Prior to implementing the DIDSON and ARIS sonar monitoring systems on the Waanukv River annual estimates of Chinook and sockeye
escapements to the Waanukv/Owikeeno watershed were highly uncertain. The 2012-19 projects have provided the first reliable escapement estimates for Waanukv Chinook since the mark-recapture studies conducted in the 1990’s. The 2014-19 projects have provided the first estimates of the total sockeye escapement to the Owikeeno watershed that were based on quantitative daily counts for the entire sockeye run. Historical escapement estimates for Waanukv Chinook were derived from deadpitch surveys and estimates for Rivers Inlet Sockeye were derived by expanding visual escapement estimates for a few of the tributaries to Owikeeno Lake where spawners could be seen. The results from this project will be used to refine escapement goals and direct restoration and enhancement efforts for each salmon species.