Fishery protest at Island 22 in Chilliwack on BC Day

A new alliance of Fraser Valley anglers, fishing guides and retailers is staging an early morning fishery protest in Chilliwack Aug. 1 at the Island 22 boat launch. 'Salmon for All: Fighting for our Heritage and Recreational Anglers' is the rallying cry, or tagline being used by the Fraser River SportFishing Alliance, the organizers of the demonstration set for a holiday Monday. They'll be targeting chinook salmon during a closed period. "This action was deemed necessary in reaction to Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s refusal to recognize our rights as anglers and Canadian citizens," according to the press release. "We have been denied access to our negotiated allocation of chinook stocks deter

Low-oxygen plume likely the cause of Chilliwack fish kill

Something occurred in the Hope Slough over the weekend that caused a sudden fish kill. Floating fish were visible by Sunday on the water from Kinsman Park to Camp Slough, and from Menzies bridge to the Young Road bridge. City of Chilliwack staff attended quickly on Sunday morning to the site on Hope River Road. A crew was dispatched, to clean up and investigate, as reports popped up early Sunday on social media with local residents expressing concern about the historic slough. City staff now say they believe a large volume of slough water "that was poorly saturated with dissolved oxygen, passed through the area for a sustained period." It could have been an upstream algae bloom. Low dissolve

First Nations ask Ottawa to overturn Fraser River fishing restrictions

Three First Nations are taking the federal government to court because they say fishing restrictions on the Fraser River are causing cultural harm by making it difficult for them to harvest salmon for funeral feasts and other ceremonies. The Katzie, Kwantlen and Seabird Island bands, which are all located on the lower Fraser River, are asking the Federal Court to quash management decisions made by the department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), which restrict aboriginal fishing for early runs of chinook salmon. If the application is granted, it could lead to a closure of a popular sport fishery at the south end of Vancouver Island in Juan de Fuca Strait. “The [sport] fishery generates millions

Fraser River sockeye returns predicted to be dismal — again — this summer

Sockeye returns are predicted to be so low this summer on the Fraser River that they won’t support a commercial or recreational fishery. The Pacific Salmon Commission said Friday that the four-year cycle for this year’s sockeye runs has generated an average 3.9 million fish over the past half century, well above the 2.27 million fish anticipated to return this season. It is a median prediction, meaning that half the time the run could be higher and half the time lower. “We don’t want to hide the uncertainty,” commission chief biologist Mike Lapointe said. “These forecasts are based on the number of fish that spawned four years ago. There’s a lot of stuff that happens in four years.” This mar

Salmon runs with more diversity provide best catches, study finds

Given a choice between setting their nets for a large run of salmon, or a smaller run with greater population and species diversity, most fishers would likely choose the former. More fish should mean better catches. But a new study by researchers at Simon Fraser University, who examined decades of data from First Nations fisheries on British Columbia’s Fraser River, has found that salmon runs offering the most diversity also provide the best catches over time. “The fisheries that had more diverse salmon portfolios were more consistent from year to year – three times more consistent, roughly – and they also had way longer fishing seasons, three to four times more weeks where there was fresh f

A happy past, but a worrisome future for long-time Fraser River angler

Walter Beutler says fishing for sockeye salmon in the Fraser River with a rod and reel is tricky. It’s because the fish aren’t inclined to take the bait from a hook, the veteran fisherman explains. “They don’t bite,” Beutler says. “With them, it’s a snagging situation.” That means getting the hook low in the water and waiting for an open-mouthed sockeye to blunder into a hook. On some days, in a good season, as many as 1,500 anglers like Beutler have tried their luck snagging sockeye on the Fraser, a river that produces more salmon than any other single river system in the world. Sport fishing is an industry worth an estimated $100 million a year for Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley and other

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