Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has announced widespread closures to recreational salmon fishing affecting all fresh water areas of the North Coast.

The notice, effective May 27, includes a ban on chinook in all lakes and rivers flowing into management areas 3 to 6. The announcement expands on a May 19 notice prohibiting chinook angling throughout the Skeena Watershed.

In an email to Black Press Media a DFO spokesperson said the restrictions are in response to a Skeena Chinook return estimate of just 38,754. It was noted there will be no targeted commercial fisheries on Skeena Chinook this year, and that the final Area F Commercial troll fishery will be timed to avoid the species.

READ MORE: COVID-19 guidelines for recreational fishing expected this week

“Overall, expectations for salmon returns are generally low and similar to last year,” the spokesperson wrote. “A key factor is the relatively poor conditions for ocean survival for the sea entry and freshwater rearing years for salmon returning in 2020.”

Today’s notice also reduces the allowable catch of North Coast coho to two, excluding the Kitimat River.

Bans on all salmon species are also now in effect until further notice for sections of the Skeena mainstem near the Kitwanga and Kispiox Rivers. Future prohibitions are planned for July 1 to Aug. 31 near and within the Kitsumkalum River.

Recreational fishing for chum salmon remains closed throughout the Skeena and Nass River watersheds.

A draft of the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan forewarned low Chinook returns will call for conservation measures similar to 2018, which saw widespread closures on all species.

READ MORE: Eight Northwest salmon conservation projects receive funding for grassroots work

The DFO spokesperson blamed the low numbers primarily on environmental factors, adding that while fisheries plans will be adjusted throughout the season to account for actual returns, further closures are a possibility.

“Given the anticipated ongoing impacts of the extremely warm water temperatures in the central North East Pacific ocean starting in late 2013 and the resulting changes in the marine food web – zooplankton composition, density, and distribution, as well as the potential for drought conditions through the summer and fall (leading to lower than normal flows and higher than normal water temperatures), there will likely be requirements for additional management actions to ensure adequate numbers of certain stocks have the opportunity to migrate up-river and spawn.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

UPDATE: missing 12-year-old Terrace boy found safe

Was reported missing on Southside around 10 p.m. July 9

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Haida matriarchs occupy ancient villages as fishing lodges reopen to visitors

‘Daughters of the rivers’ say occupation follows two fishing lodges reopening without Haida consent

RCMP confirm homicide investigation underway near Quesnel

Police releasing few details four days after homicide occurred Monday, July 6

Most Read