Peter Tomlinson of Coquitlam (left) is shown holding a freshly-caught chinook salmon at Discovery Harbour Marina in Campbell River following an expedition with fishing guide Brant Peniuk (right) on July 16, 2019. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

Peter Tomlinson of Coquitlam (left) is shown holding a freshly-caught chinook salmon at Discovery Harbour Marina in Campbell River following an expedition with fishing guide Brant Peniuk (right) on July 16, 2019. Photo by David Gordon Koch/Campbell River Mirror

Fisheries and Oceans Canada to reinstate 2019 Fraser River Chinook sports fishing restrictions on interim basis

North Island-Powell River MP calls for measures to support sport fishery

Chinook fishing restrictions implemented in 2019 will be repeated in 2020 on an interim basis beginning April 1, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (FOC) says.

This interim rollover will provide time for the technical review of the 2019 fishery management measures and completion of consultations on possible adjustments to those management measures, a letter dated March 2 to stakeholders about Fraser River Chinook conservation measures says.

But North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says restrictions on fishing and retention are not enough to save wild Pacific salmon and is calling on FOC Minister Bernadette Jordan to implement more measures to support the sports fishery and related tourism industry “that is critical to many coastal communities, and for a comprehensive.” She is also calling for a science-based plan to protect endangered Fraser River Chinook.

“The restrictions last year were devastating to many guides, lodges and tackle shops up and down the coast,” Blaney says in a press release issued Tuesday. “Especially in our smaller communities, we need a sustainable salmon fishery to support our economy, our food security, and our way of life. These restrictions alone will not get us there. We need a real plan and investment in habitat restoration now.”

RELATED: Limits on chinook sport fishing to cause economic ripple effect in Campbell River

Blaney included a copy of a letter she sent to Jordan that includes Blaney’s call for a “mark-selective fishery of chinook salmon where public fishers would be able to catch and retain hatchery Chinook.”

“Allowing fishers to keep hatchery Chinook would help our local public fishing businesses survive through this process and the benefits outweigh the costs,” Blaney said

Blaney has also launched a petition to support the mark-selective fishery which is available by contacting her office at rachel.blaney@parl.gc.ca or 250-287-9388.

In her letter to Minister Jordan, Blaney said she was pleased the letter from FOC advising stakeholders of the Chinook fishery restrictions was sent out earlier than it was last year. This will give people in the affected industries in North Island-Powell River some time to plan. But Blaney says you only have to look at the moratorium on wild Atlantic salmon in place since 2000 to know that fishing and retention restrictions alone will not guarantee the recovery of wild Pacific salmon.

Blaney would like to see hatchery Chinook marked by clipping of the adipose fin and then the implementation of a mark-selective fishery once these fish reach the minimum legal size for retention. The costs associated are minimal compared to the economic impact that guides, lodges, and tackle shops have in Blaney’s riding, she says.

Blaney wants a decision on a mark-selective fishery made by mid-April in order to have the hatcheries ready for marking in the next salmon cycle.

Time is of the essence, she says.

“Reviewing this over the long-term with the Southern BC Chinook Committee leaves coastal communities reliant on Chinook fishing for their economies waiting too long for action,” Blaney says in her letter to the minister. “I recommend this be made the immediate priority in your ministry.

“The British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund is a good model of how the Federal and B.C. governments can work together to support wild salmon, but far more needs to be done. The funding earmarked for these five years needs to be made available immediately and added to so that spawning streams, kelp forests and eelgrass beds where chinook salmon spend their early lives can be revitalized as soon as possible. Again, pushing this to the long-term with the Southern BC Chinook Committee is a dangerous approach. We’ve known for years that Pacific salmon are in decline and we need to take immediate action.

“And I must admit my concern that the department will refuse to hear from any stakeholders not already part of the advisory boards. Do people in my riding who depend on these fisheries not have a right to be heard? I recommend this be amended and that you take the time to visit affected communities in my riding and hear directly from them.

“It will be several years before the impact of these measures to support wild salmon and coastal communities will be felt. That is exactly why we need to see action now. I hope today’s announcement is just the first in a series meant to revitalize wild salmon and support coastal communities.”

The recreational fishery management measures extended from 2019 into 2020 are:

WCVI Subareas 20-1 and 20-2, and offshore Area 121, as well as Areas 123 to 127 seaward of a 1 nm Boundary Line:

  • January 1 to March 31, 2 Chinook per day
  • April 1 to July 14, Chinook non-retention
  • July 15 to July 31, 1 Chinook per day with a maximum size of 80 cm fork length (additional actions implemented in response to Big Bar rockslide)
  • August 1 to December 31, 2 Chinook per day

West Coast Vancouver Island near shore (Areas 21-27):

  • No measures proposed for Fraser Chinook

Queen Charlotte Strait and Johnstone Strait in Area 12 (excluding Subarea 12-14) and Strait of Georgia – North (Areas 13 to 17, 28, portions of 29 (29-1 and 29-2):

  • January 1 to March 31, 2 Chinook per day
  • April 1 to July 14, Chinook non-retention
  • July 15 to July 31, 1 Chinook per day with a maximum size of 80 cm fork length (additional actions implemented in response to Big Bar rockslide)
  • August 1 to August 29, 1 Chinook per day
  • August 30 to December 31, 2 Chinook per day

Strait of Georgia – South and Juan de Fuca Strait Area 18, Subareas 19-3 to 19-12, Subareas 29-3 to 29-5, 29-8 and Subareas 20-3 to 20-7:

  • January 1 to March 31, 2 Chinook per day
  • April 1 to July 31, Chinook non-retention
  • August 1 to August 29, 1 Chinook per day
  • August 30 to December 31, 2 Chinook per day

Fraser River non-tidal (Region 2), 29-6 to 29-17 (except 29-8), and the non-tidal waters of the Fraser River from the Mission Bridge u/s to the confluence with Sawmill Creek:

  • Jan. 1 to Aug. 23, No fishing for salmon
  • Aug. 23 to Dec. 31, Chinook non-retention
  • Fishing opportunities may be provided in tributary areas where and when at-risk Chinook stocks would not be encountered.

RELATED: Chinook retention begins in Campbell River, but amid new size limit


@AlstrT
editor@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Hunting and Fishing

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

Just Posted

The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)
Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

Statistics show British Columbians anticipate worsening mental health

Jason Soukochoff is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, say Victoria police. (Courtesy VicPD)
Victoria police seek man with violent criminal history against elderly

Jason Soukochoff wanted on Canada-wide warrant for parole violations

Bystanders attend to a cyclist who is knocked to the pavement of Oak Bay Avenue. Witnesses say the cyclist was knocked off their bike in a dooring incident on Oak Bay Avenue at Fell Street at around 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday. 
(Daniel Opden Dries Photo)
UPDATED: VicPD tickets driver for ‘dooring’ cyclist on Oak Bay Avenue

Incident occurred at Oak Bay Avenue and Fell Street

West Shore RCMP pulled over a 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Nov. 23 after noting that it didn’t appear safe for the road. (West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP pull over vehicle held together by tape and cargo strap

RCMP deemed the vehicle unsafe for the road and had it towed away

An Oak Bay municipal crew finishes off a job by laying hot asphalt in place on Dalhousie Street. The District of Oak Bay is in the process of completing a number of underground infrastructure projects, part of its long term asset renewal plan for the municipality. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Oak Bay’s Uplands sewer, storm line separation project awaits funding

Federal/provincial infrastructure grant announcement expected next spring

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 24

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Haven Daley)
POLL: Do you think the current COVID-19 restrictions should continue beyond Dec. 7?

One week into the new restrictions to curtail the spread of the… Continue reading

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

An excavator was stolen from a rural property south of Nanaimo this month, say police. (Photos submitted)
Excavator stolen from property south of Nanaimo

Bobcat Mini believed to have been stolen between Nov. 12-14, say RCMP

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Most Read