Fraser River Indigenous fisheries
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Middle and Upper Fraser River
For this week's open and closed times, please call:
- 1-877-256-4854 (toll free) for pre-recorded message
- 1-250-256-2650 to speak to staff
Lower Fraser River
Information on Indigenous salmon fisheries in the Fraser River watershed between its mouth and Sawmill Creek.
Communal licences are issued to communities to fish for Food, Social and Ceremonial purposes.
Communal licences with limited participation
Communal licences with limited participation are issued to one or two communities at a time for a small number of fishers and/or to harvest a limited number of fish. These openings are often for fish used during ceremonies.
Communal licences with allowance for sales
Communal licences with allowance for sales are issued to communities when the fish are intended to be sold; these include Economic Opportunity, Demonstration and Harvest Agreement fisheries.
There are numerous First Nations which are involved in the Lower Fraser salmon fishery. These fisheries can be grouped into the three following areas:
Below Port Mann Bridge
Musqueam, Tsawwassen, Tsleil-Waututh and New Westminster First Nations fish with drift nets downstream of the Port Mann Bridge and into the Strait of Georgia.
Salmon fishery catch monitoring in this area is conducted by Aboriginal Fishery Officers and fishery observers. The Aboriginal Fishery Officers and observers conduct boat and vehicle patrols during the fishery openings to obtain catch and effort data. Participating fishers are interviewed multiple times throughout each fishery. The number of participants is recorded for each day of the fishery and catch is recorded by species and reported to Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
The Kwikwetlem First Nation fishes from Douglas Island to the Patullo Bridge. Fishing effort and species caught are reported to Fisheries and Oceans Canada by the band.
Port Mann Bridge to Mission
Members of the Sto:lo Nation, including Katzie, Kwantlen, and Matsqui First Nations fish this area using both drift and set nets.
During salmon drift and set net fisheries, observers are stationed at the area's 3 main access points at a minimum; Katzie Reserve, Barnston Island, and Kwantlen Reserve. The observers conduct interviews with fishers to obtain effort and catch data. A charter patrolman also conducts boat patrols during fishery openings to obtain catch and effort data on the water. The number of participants is recorded for each day of the fishery and catch is recorded by species.
In addition to regular monitoring duties, the observers also sample any Chinook or coho observed with missing adipose fins (CWT sampling). Sockeye scale samples are collected at the Katzie and Kwantlen landing sites for the Pacific Salmon Commission.
Mission to Sawmill Creek
Members of the Sto:lo Nation and Sto:lo Tribal Council; including Aitchelitz, Chawathil, Cheam, Kwawkwawapilt, Leq'a:mel, Peter's, Popkum, Seabird Island, Skawahlook, Shxw'ow'hamel, Skowkale, Skowlitz, Skwah, Skway, Soowahlie, Squiala, Sumas, Tzeachten, Union Bar, Yakweakwioose and Chehalis First Nations, fish this area using set nets, drift nets and beach seines.
During gillnet salmon fisheries, observers collect catch and effort data by conducting interviews with fishers. Observers are stationed at a minimum of 13 major access points along the river; Sumas (Bowman's Mill), Leg'a:mel, Skway, Island 22, Scowlitz (Harrison/Fraser confluence), Chehalis, Seabird Island, Agassiz Bridge (Cheam), Peters, Hunter Creek, Chawathil, Coquihalla, and Yale Beach. There are also roving surveys conducted from Yale Beach to Sawmill Creek and in the Hope area to increase coverage. Overflights are conducted to capture instantaneous total set net fishing effort a minimum of once per opening. This information, along with the interview data, is used to estimate the overall set net catch and effort in each fishery. The number of drift net fishers is recorded for each day of the fishery and catch is recorded by species. a charter patrol vessel also conducts boat patrols during fishery openings to obtain catch and effort data on the water.
During beach seine salmon fisheries, an observer is present with each crew and records catch and release on a set-by-set basis. Total number of active crews is recorded for each day of the fishery and catch is recorded by species.
Yale First Nation members also fish the portion of the river between Hope and Sawmill Creek with set nets and drift nets.
Yale First Nation has observers stationed at Strawberry Island to collect catch and effort data. After the completion of the fishery, all Yale First Nation fishers in other areas are contacted by Yale First Nation Fisheries staff to obtain catch information.
In addition to regular catch monitoring duties, observers sample any Chinook or coho observed with missing adipose fins (CWT sampling). Sockeye scale samples are collected for the Pacific Salmon Commission.
For additional questions/requests please contact: Matthew Parslow 604-666-6608.
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