DFO implements chinook restrictions

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has announced that as of tomorrow, June 1, the daily catch limit is one chinook per day in Areas 6 and 106.

This move is part of the DFO’s precautionary 25 to 35 per cent reduction in the exploitation rates for chinook stocks of concern to support conservation and promote rebuilding.

These additional reductions are planned to address conservation concerns for the Nass and Skeena rivers and many small wild chinook populations in Northern B.C. The limit will run until July 31 this year.

Responding to the announcement, B.C.’s Sport Fishing Institute (SFI) said in a statement late on Wednesday that the DFO had “dismissed the significant efforts of the recreational community to develop meaningul, measurable plans”.

“The DFO has failed to consider the impacts of the restrictions and closures to small communities and businesses along the B.C. coast,” reads the statement.

“Particularly as it regards to northern chinook fishing opportunities, this is an unfortunate and completely unnecessary distraction.

“The issues on the north coast are to do with Skeena and Nass chinook. These runs do not travel much south of the central coast.”

The SFI said the measures announced don’t provide a fair or balanced approach to the stakeholders involved.

“The damage to business and small communities affected by nearly an entire month of a chinook closure in tidal waters and much longer in river will be very significant and long-lasting.”

The SFI said the recreational fishing industry was hoping to hear additional details from the DFO about providing relief to businesses and communities for the damage caused by measures that didn’t “seem to reflect a balanced approach but bowing to political pressure”.

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