Spring Chinook Salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Fisheries Department announces chinook fishing restrictions in B.C.

Urgent protection measures include the closure of a commercial fishery involving seven endangered stock

The federal government has announced commercial and recreational fishing restrictions in British Columbia as a way to conserve chinook salmon returning to the Fraser River this season.

The Fisheries Department’s regional director general Rebecca Reid says urgent protection measures include the closure of a commercial fishery involving seven endangered stocks.

Reid says an independent committee of wildlife experts and scientists conducted an assessment last November and determined seven chinook populations on the Fraser River are endangered, four are threatened and one is of special concern.

One area salmon was considered not at risk while three others were not assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Reid says harvest management measures alone won’t deal with declining numbers of chinook in recent years due to multiple factors including warming waters because of climate change and destruction of habitat that must be rebuilt.

She says last year’s catch reduction by one-third to limit pressure on the stocks was not enough and the decrease in chinook also affects southern resident killer whales that depend on the salmon as their preferred prey.

Reid told reporters during a conference call on Tuesday that Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a five-year plan to manage chinook and is committed to working with the B.C. government.

READ MORE: Chilliwack stream’s salmon habitat to recover from Trans Mountain pipeline work within 2 years

“Collaboration with the B.C. government, Indigenous groups and stakeholders is a cornerstone of the implementation plan,” she says, adding the department will also consult with the province on land and water-use policies that impact critical habitat.

“Community advisers and DFO work alongside the stewardship community, building partnerships with the community to support salmon and salmon protection and education activities at the local level across British Columbia.”

Regional resource manager Jeff Grout says protection measures for the commercial sector in the northern community of Haida Gwaii mean no retention of chinook until August 20, a delay of about two months from the normal start of that fishery.

Nicole Gallant, chief of enforcement operations for the department’s Pacific region, says 140 fisheries officers will be conducting patrols by land, air and water in order to monitor compliance.

She urges the public to report poachers.

The department says it will work with recreational and fish harvesters to look for additional fishing opportunities for stocks such as coho and halibut.

Other limitations include:

  • On the west coast of Vancouver Island, the troll fishery that typically starts in May has been closed until August 1 to allow stocks of high concern to migrate there.
  • A small fishery that harvests chinook for sale in Kamloops Lake has been closed for the season.
  • A mix of management measures in the recreational sector on the west coast of Vancouver Island mean chinook can be retained starting this week and until July 14, after which there will be a return to the normal limit of two chinook a day.
  • In the southern Strait of Georgia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, measures to protect chinook stocks of concern will include no retention of the salmon until July 31 before one chinook a day will be allowed in August, followed by an increase to two chinook daily.
  • For the recreational fishery in the Fraser River, no fishing for chinook will be allowed until late August and then no chinook can be retained for the season.
  • No new measures have been announced for the northern B.C. recreational sector, where the normal limit is two chinook per day.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Penticton resident’s dog found safe

Nicholas Bozak thanks the public for finding his 17 month old mastiff chow

Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Team takes top spot in A division at festival

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

Great horned owls returned to the wild in the South Okanagan

Great horned owls plucked by crows from their nest last April have been released back into the wild

Youth Wellness Gathering aims to empower, educate South Okanagan youth

The event is hosted by a non-profit located on the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) reserve July 22 & 23

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry supply

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Kelowna car thief’s sentencing delayed

Stanley Nickason pled guilty car theft charges in B.C. Supreme Court

Development gives Kelowna community garden the boot

Glen Valley residents given a few days to break it down before land development

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

World-famous sopranos to hold concert in Okanagan

Two Canadian sopranos are bringing their world-famous voices to the Okanagan for one night only

Kelowna RCMP release video of reckless theft out of Southwest Mission

“Their tactics were anything but subtle,” states Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Most Read