08/12/2014 12:26 EDT | Updated 10/12/2014 05:59 EDT

Sockeye salmon promises fulfilled, so far, at mouth of Fraser

If you've been saving space in the freezer for local salmon, you might just be in luck after this week's first brief commercial sockeye fishery opening on the Fraser River.

Around 300 fishing boats cast off from the mouth of the Fraser yesterday and, today, some fishermen will be selling the prized sockeye catch at local docks.

John Milobar is president of Albion Fisheries, the largest fish wholesaler in western Canada, and says the catch was encouraging.

"All reports are that the fish are coming," he said.

"From what we're hearing, the average boat was catching about 150 to 200 pieces, some of them caught as much as 400," Milobar said. "For a three-hour opening, that's not bad. It's not great, but it's not bad."

Luck plays a big role this early in the summer run, but there's hope yet for a massive return.

"Everybody understands there's a lot of fish coming down the straights, so there's another opening on Thursday," Milobar said.

He couldn't say what prices would be offered to customers, but if this season's bounty is anywhere close to 2010 levels, Metro Vancouver buyers may be able to bag a good sized fish for $20 at the docks.

The 2010 run saw a historic return of 30 million sockeye, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada has estimated this year's run could see as many as 23 million sockeye salmon return to the Fraser River.