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BACKGROUND: As forecasts for this year’s sockeye and chinook returns worsen, Fisheries and Oceans is advising stakeholders and businesses to plan ahead for a season possibly worse than 2017.
As expected, projections for sockeye look similar to last year, currently at about 520,000, roughly 300,000 short for opening the recreational fishery.
Last year DFO supported a First Nations proposal to redirect some of the demand for food and ceremonial sockeye onto the chinook stock, but it’s also doubtful that will occur for 2018 as the chinook estimates are also among the lowest on record.
“It’s certainly one of the most challenging seasons we’ve faced on the North Coast in recent—or our full history,” said Colin Masson, North Coast director for DFO.