Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Recreational anglers protested outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) office in Vancouver July 6 demanding a meaningful recovery plan for early Fraser River Chinook stocks.

The Public Fishery Alliance (PFA), who organized the demonstration, said the issues affecting the endangered runs have been known for more than 15 years — habitat degradation, climate change, seal predation, pollution and illegal netting — but DFO has failed to produce a strategic plan to address them.

Instead, the group said blanket closures as seen in the last two years place unfair burdens on the sport fishing sector, and will fail the Chinook as they have failed other species, including early Stuart sockeye, Thompson Coho and Steelhead.

Last month, due to a high prevalence of endangered Chinook, DFO banned retention in most areas of southern B.C. until July 15, and not until Aug. 1 in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Southern Strait of Georgia. Similar measures were in place last year.

READ MORE: More restrictions for Fraser River chinook fishers

PFA argued the current abundance of hatchery Chinook in southern B.C. can provide a sustainable public fishery, without putting undue risk on these wild stocks of concern.

In an open letter to Canada’s fisheries minister, prominent FAR member Dave Brown called on DFO to adopt recommendations put forth by the Sport Fish Advisory Board to open selective fisheries for hatchery Chinook in areas that have less than one-per cent encounter rate with stocks of concern.

“This would have created retention opportunities for the many healthy Chinook salmon stocks that are in the South Coast waters,” he wrote. “It would have protected critical socio and economic opportunities for all Canadians. Now you have decided that one per cent still was not acceptable … I ask you and your department if a proposal that was built on DFO’s own science and data is not acceptable at one-per cent encounter rate, then what is?”

READ MORE: Tsilhqot’in Nation demands meeting with feds on declining Fraser River

Before their release into the wild, 10 per cent of hatchery Chinook are marked by the removal the adipose fin.

FAR wants DFO to start marking 100 per cent of the fish to allow for a sustainable selective fishery of these hatchery Chinook.

At the time of posting, calls to the DFO for comment were not returned.

The department has previously said abundant stocks are known to mix in with threatened populations. Extreme conservation decisions are necessary to keep the stocks of concern numbers as high as possible.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

Just Posted

A cloud of black smoke rose over Campbellton on Sunday as a shed was on fire. Photo courtesy Janet Barrett.
Fire crews attend structure fire in Campbellton area

Black smoke seen in vicinity of fire

The City of Campbell River will purchase an automated external defibrillator (AED) for the Overdose Prevention Site after a letter from a local paramedic pointed out it doesn’t have one. Black Press File Photo
City of Campbell River to buy defibrillator for downtown Overdose Prevention Site

Local paramedic pens letter asking for city’s assistance after trying other avenues to acquire AED

Campbell River RCMP. RCMP photo
Two knife incidents reported on same day in Campbell River

Stabbing and knife fight both occured on May 13

Cash, drugs and weapons were seized by the Street Crimes Unit on May 12. Photo supplied by Campbell River RCMP
Police recover cash, drugs and weapons after arrest

18-year-old arrested in Willow Point Park for drug trafficking

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read