2019 fisheries management measures to protect Fraser River chinook
Chinook salmon populations have been in decline for years as a result of a number of factors including habitat destruction, harvest, and the effects of climate change. Of the 13 wild Fraser River chinook salmon populations assessed, only one is not at risk. The science is clear. The loss of these chinook populations would be disastrous not just for wildlife that depend on them as a food source, but also for the many BC communities whose jobs and ways of life depend on chinook salmon. That’s why the Government of Canada has taken, and is taking, urgent and concrete actions to ensure that at-risk chinook salmon are protected for future generations.
Fisheries management measures for 2019 support the recovery of at risk Fraser River chinook populations and are aimed at protecting the communities and jobs that depend on chinook survival. These measures were developed following consultation with Indigenous communities, recreational and commercial fishing organizations and environmental organizations. These measures are one component of a larger strategy intended to place at risk Pacific salmon populations on a path towards sustainability.
Fisheries management measures for the 2019 fishing season include:
- Commercial fishing: Commercial troll fisheries for chinook will be closed until August 20th in Northern BC, and August 1st on the West Coast of Vancouver Island to avoid impacting Fraser chinook stocks and to support salmon allocation priorities.
- Recreational fishing:The 2019 management measures for recreational fisheries where at-risk chinook stocks
may be encountered are designed to maximize returns of these at-risk chinook to their spawning grounds. Opportunities to harvest
chinook will be provided later in the season. The 2019 measures include:
- Non-retention of chinook in, Queen Charlotte Strait, Johnstone Strait and Northern Strait of Georgia until July 14; a daily limit of one (1) chinook per person per day from July 15 until July 31 with a maximum size of 80 cm, a daily limit of one (1) chinook per person per day from August 1 until August 29.
- Non-retention of chinook in the Juan de Fuca Strait and Southern Strait of Georgia until July 31; retention of one (1) chinook per person per day from August 1 until August 29th, and two (2) per person per day from Aug 30th until December 31.
- West Coast Vancouver Island offshore areas (seaward of 1 nautical mile from the surfline) will have non-retention of chinook until July 14 followed by a limit of two (2) chinook per day with a maximum size limit of 80 cm from July 15 to July 31, a limit of two(2) chinook per day from August 1 t to December 31. West Coast Vancouver Island inshore waters will remain at two (2) chinook per day.
- Fraser River recreational fisheries will remain closed to salmon fishing until at least August 23. After that date, opportunities for species other than chinook will be informed by in-season abundance and other conservation issues (coho, steelhead, etc).
- An overall reduction in the total annual limit for chinook that can be retained per person in tidal waters from 30 to 10.
- Please see our online BC sport fishing guide for up to date regulations for the area you plan to fish.
- First Nations food, social and ceremonial fisheries: These fisheries, which have a constitutionally protected priority, will be permitted only very limited opportunities to harvest small numbers of chinook for ceremonial purposes until July 15. To ensure the maximum possible number of Chinook salmon that have managed to pass through the Big Bar landslide barrier successfully reach their spawning grounds, we will be working with First Nations in these areas to minimize Chinook harvests above the slide site. Details on First Nations fisheries opportunities can be found online.
These new measures are difficult, but they are necessary to address Fraser River chinook declines. A continued decline would irrevocably harm species that depend on the survival of chinook salmon, such as the Southern Resident killer whale. In addition, it would permanently affect the culture, heritage and livelihoods of Indigenous communities and permanently eliminate many jobs in the recreational and commercial fishing industries.
Maps of chinook management measures
WCVI Offshore, Johnstone Strait, Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca
Map of management actions for West Coast Vancouver Island Offshore, Johnstone Strait, Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca
Area 29 Fraser River tidal and non-tidal
Map of management actions for Area 29 Fraser River tidal and non-tidal
Southern BC Food, Social and Ceremonial fisheries
Map for Southern BC Food, Social and Ceremonial fisheries
- Pacific salmon
- BC sport fishing guide
- Government of Canada takes action to address Fraser River chinook decline
- Government of Canada takes further action to address critical rockslide threat to at-risk Fraser River Chinook
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