For the first time in half a century, commercial fishing vessels were scooping salmon out of Howe Sound this week.

Starting on Thursday (Aug. 22),  the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) opened up an exploratory fishery for the area, said Herb Redekopp, DFO’s chief of conservation and protection for the Lower Fraser. The goal of the three-day opening is to assess the strength of the pink salmon run travelling to the Squamish River. “They felt like the runs were quite abundant,” he said. [email protected]  11:00