Chinook salmon stocks have dramatically declined in recent years

DFO mulls reduced fishery in Strait of Juan de Fuca

Management plan could see closures on chinook salmon fishing this summer

Commercial and recreational fisheries along the southern Vancouver Island coast could be in rough seas as the Department of Fisheries and Oceans considers more restrictions on chinook salmon fishing this summer.

DFO’s proposal also includes the full closure of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Georgia Strait approach waters to the Fraser River salmon fishery from May to July.

In a letter to stakeholders and First Nations, Jeff Grout, DFO Pacific regional resource manager, wrote the proposal is a “cautious management approach to the assumption that returns of Fraser River spring and summer … chinook will be less than 45,000 to the Fraser River this year.”

When there is a low salmon return, DFO sends a signal to all harvesters – commercial, recreational and First Nations – that there’s an anticipation of little or no fishing, and must get back to the sufficient spawning beds through conservation.

Grout added First Nations have raised concerns about whether DFO’s salmon integrated fisheries management plan is providing sufficient priority for First Nations’ food, social and ceremonial fisheries, given expectations for reduced harvest opportunities for Fraser chinook and sockeye.

While DFO is expected to confirm sometime this week, which direction it will take, the suggestion of more restriction and possible closure has left people like Christopher Bos, president of the South Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition, concerned.

“There is no more room for additional restrictions without seriously damaging the fishery,” he said, adding that the exploitation Juan de Fuca and Haro Strait chinook salmon anglers has dropped by at least 77 per cent of Fraser chinook stocks since restrictions began falling into place in 2008.

“Implementing a closure and introducing more restrictive measures will only further harm businesses that rely on our traditional year-round salmon fishery for their income,” Bos said.

“Lodges, guides, tackle stores, marinas, boat sales and repair businesses will all be negatively affected by these proposed DFO actions.”

In 2012, DFO implemented more restrictive measures and closures of fisheries with the idea to help conserve spring and chinook stocks. In this report, DFO noted the daily limit for the Juan de Fuca recreational fishery was two chinook per day (wild or hatchery marked) from March 1 to June 15.

Under the same report, First Nations fisheries were also limited in their exploitation rates on Fraser spring and summer chinook with a reduction of 45 per cent.

While no numbers or decision have been officially released by DFO, others, such as the Sport Fishing Institute of B.C. hopes federal Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo will work with both sides to find a compromise that could avoid further restrictions or closures of fisheries.

“We sincerely hope that DFO understands the need for a clear and transparent science-based approach to this issue which respects the value and needs of all sectors,” wrote the the Sport Fishing Institute of B.C. in a letter to members.

 

Just Posted

Coun. Fred Haynes to run for mayor against Mayor Atwell

Haynes to go head-to-head with Atwell for Saanich mayoral seat in 2018

Bob Heyes back behind Shamrocks bench for 2018 season

Art Webster, Mike Simpson, John Hamilton will also return

UPDATE: Driver escapes from crash in Sidney

Town truck and another vehicle collide, causing van to roll over

Victoria Women’s March draws hundreds

Pink pussy hats aplenty as demonstrators took to downtown streets

FISHING ADVENTURES: Winter fishing season in full swing

Upcoming fishing events include Local Pub’s Salmon Superbowl Derby and Victoria Boat Show

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Reynolds, Edward Milne capture titles at Esquimalt hoops tournament

Host Dockers take fourth in senior girls draw

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Road conditions wreak havoc for Comox Valley drivers

Icy road conditions early Monday morning kept first responders very busy throughout… Continue reading

Most Read