quinn bender photo Ian Riemenschneider, project manager of the Terrace Salmonid Enhancement Society, releases thousands of chinook salmon into the Kitsumkalum River last week. Each year the society releases roughly 250,000 chinook throughout the watershed.

Salmon fishery top of mind as Cullen returns to Parliament

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP says he’ll push for earliest release of DFO plan

The salmon fishery is at the top of Nathan Cullen’s mind as he returns to Parliament from a spring-break tour of the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding.

In a press release, the MP said conservation and fairness must be the focus of all fishing plans for the season.

READ MORE: Cullen demands better leadership over salmon crisis

“Not surprisingly, fish harvest numbers and management plans are huge issues for all communities,” Cullen said. “Wild salmon are the heart of our Northwest economy, culture and lifestyle; we all have an interest in the health of salmon and how stocks are managed.”

A complete closure of the sockeye and chinook fisheries is a possibility this year as DFO projections show one of the worst returns on record for both species in the Skeena. Sockeye is currently estimated at about 550,000, roughly 300,000 short for opening the recreational fishery. The First Nations fishery has a threshold of 400,000, but in the interest of conservation advisers are recommending that number be pushed to 600,000.

READ MORE: Fishing bans on sockeye, chinook a possibility

Chinook numbers are more difficult to forecast, but concern is high the figure will be on par or worse than last year.

Cullen is asking DFO to release a harvest plan as soon as possible, which the department has previously assured the public it will, and reiterated a plea for cooperation between the recreational and First Nations groups. He underscored the constitutionally-protected right for First Nations to fish for food, saying it is a top priority after stock sustainability.

The MP is also pushing DFO to ensure foreign-owned fishing lodges are not exempt from harvest restrictions.

“In order for sustainability to work, we need all user groups to come together and contribute; for example, if the folks on the ocean are not contributing, our efforts on the river will be less successful,” Cullen said.


 


quinn@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Police patrol for looters in evacuated areas south of Burns Lake

RCMP have brought in extra officers for the task

Pool opening further delayed

A deficiency in the tile works has setback its completion, city says

Terrace fire ban now includes Ferry Island

The ban will be in place until further notice

Four Rivers Co-op collecting donations for wildfire relief

The co-op is matching all donations they receive for the Red Cross

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Northern B.C. residents face more evacuation orders as some smoke clears up

Regional District of BulkleyNechako issued new, expanded evacuation orders for remote areas Saturday

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Most Read