Chinook salmon stocks have dramatically declined in recent years

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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

Saskatoon resident liajah Pidskalny poses with his bike near the University of Victoria after putting on thousands of kilometres to raise awareness of the overdose and mental health crisis. (Courtesy Iliajah Pidskalny)
Saskatoon cyclist winds up mental health and overdose awareness ride in Victoria

Iliajah Pidskalny braves prairie winter conditions to get word out to communities

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich police seek suspect after woman nearly robbed while getting out of vehicle

Incident occurred before 7 a.m. Feb. 17 in parking lot off Cordova Bay Road

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after cancellations on Friday due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Goldstream Food Bank president Gayle Ireland is the Goldstream Gazette’s 2021 Local Hero as Community Volunteer of the Year. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Two-week stint at Goldstream Food Bank turns into 35 years of volunteer service

Goldstream Food Bank’s Gayle Ireland is the 2021 Community Volunteer of the Year

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Most Read