DFO considering salmon fishing closure in Juan de Fuca Strait.
The Sport Fishing Institute of BC says the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is considering a May to July closure of all salmon fishing in the Juan de Fuca Strait.
The move would be in response to a request by First Nations along the Fraser River that are expecting a lower than usual return of sockeye salmon.
They are hoping for a reallocation of Fraser River chinook but sport anglers say the decision would be a departure from a 2012 salmon management strategy based on actual abundance of fish.
“The requests are that the recreational fishery be closed down for salmon fishing in May, June and July. The Department in response to that has floated a proposal that basically suggests that regardless of the abundance of chinook that return to the Fraser River as a result of test fisheries that the recreational and commercial fisheries be held to zone one level of abundance” said Martin Paish in an interview with CHEK News.
Zone one regulations put extreme limitations on what can be caught and where.
Sport anglers are proposing less stringent rules under zone two, which is still part of the 2012 DFO salmon management strategy.
“What the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is proposing isn’t really based on conservation at all. It’s based on a reallocation of fish from the recreational fishery to another group in order to deal with a perceived legal risk” added Paish.
The DFO says a decision is likely within the next two weeks.