2020 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 concrete actions to ensure that at-risk chinook salmon are protected for future generations.
Fisheries management measures for 2020 support the conservation of at risk Fraser River chinook populations with measures similar to 2019 with additional restrictions to strengthen conservation and some flexibility for additional fisheries for all harvesters in areas where impacts to stocks of concern will be very low. These measures were developed following consultation with Indigenous communities, recreational and commercial fishing organizations and environmental organizations. These measures are one component of broad efforts intended to place at risk Pacific salmon populations on a path towards sustainability.
Fisheries management measures for the 2020 fishing season include:
- Commercial fishing: Commercial troll fisheries will require chinook non-retention until August 15th in Northern BC, and the start of the West Coast of Vancouver Island troll fishery will be delayed to August 1st to avoid impacting Fraser chinook stocks and to support salmon allocation priorities.
- Recreational fishing: The 2020 management measures for recreational fisheries where at-risk chinook stocks may be encountered are designed to support very low fishery impacts on at-risk Fraser chinook. The 2020 measures are outlined in the chinook management measure maps below.
- First Nations food, social and ceremonial fisheries: Priority access will be provided for First Nations Treaty and FSC harvests in South Coast marine waters and the Fraser River. South Coast FSC fisheries opportunities on mixed stocks will be permitted in marine areas with the exception of the approaches to the Fraser River (Subareas 29-6, 29-7, 29-9 and 29-10). Very limited Fraser River FSC fisheries will be permitted into July to reduce encounters of at-risk Fraser chinook, with opportunities to target healthy Summer 4(1) chinook in August. We will be working with Fraser River First Nations on specific fishing opportunities. 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 recreational fisheries 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
- Pacific salmon
- Big Bar landslide response
- BC sport fishing guide
- Government of Canada takes action to address threats to struggling Fraser River Chinook
- Additional information about 2020 Fraser River chinook fisheries management measures
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