Fraser River salmon update - August 18, 2017

Report illegal fishing by telephone

C&P fisheries patrol

Fishery Officers will be patrolling the Fraser River area this weekend. They are on the lookout for illegal fishing activity. You can help us to protect salmon by giving us a call if you see anything suspicious.

Toll‑free number:
1-800-465-4336 for DFO's Observe, Record, Report (ORR) line

In greater Vancouver:
604-607-4186

Prioritizing conservation

Salmon returns to the Fraser River have been very low this year. Fishing opportunities for all user groups have been significantly limited due to conservation concerns. After conservation, Indigenous groups have priority access to salmon for food fisheries.

Prioritizing food, social, ceremonial fisheries

Some Indigenous communities have been impacted by wildfires in the BC interior. In addition to limited access to fish this year due to the low sockeye returns, evacuations have prevented these groups from fishing for other species. They have not been able to gather enough food fish to sustain them through winter months.

Indigenous groups that fish in the marine approach waters to the Fraser River have not been able to access sockeye salmon, while other Indigenous fisheries in-river have been allowed to keep sockeye caught during fishery openings for other species.

We held an 18 hour marine food fishery for pink and chum that allowed for the retention of mortally wounded or injured sockeye. Practices such as brailing seine catches and the use of revival tanks were required and healthy sockeye released. DFO Conservation and Protection monitored fisheries and staff observed offload sites.

Some recreational groups have been concerned about their lack of opportunity to fish for Chinook in the Fraser River. They see Indigenous Groups fishing and are concluding that there is no longer a conservation concern. This is not the case.

We are providing whatever access we can to Indigenous communities on a priority basis, to support their food, social, ceremonial needs.

Enforcing fishing restrictions to protect Fraser River salmon

One of the keys to protecting the future of salmon stocks is effective monitoring and enforcement to detect and deter illegal fishing activity by all user groups. Using a risk-based approach, DFO deploys fishery officers around the Province, where necessary, to respond to priority issues.

Over the summer of 2017, DFO will be actively monitoring and enforcing all fishing activity using a variety of methods, including aerial, ocean, river, on-the-ground, night and undercover patrols.

Learn more about how you can help protect Fraser River salmon: