As of today, an announcement was made for non-retention of Chinook quietly via press release at 2:00PM.
While it’s unclear how this decision will affect the BC economy overall, there has been tremendous concern about how it would affect local economies and businesses that depend on tourism—namely “recreational” sports fishing. In addition to closures, the annual retention of Chinook has been reduced from 30 to 10.
At this point in time, the industry is in shock. More to follow.
Fisheries management measures for the 2019 fishing season will include:
Commercial fishing: Commercial troll fisheries for Chinook will be closed until August 20 to avoid impacting Fraser Chinook stocks and to support conservation priorities.
Recreational fishing: The 2019 management measures for recreational fisheries where at risk Chinook stocks may be encountered are designed to maximize returns of these at risk Chinook to their spawning grounds. Opportunities to harvest Chinook will be provided later in the season to support the long-term viability of the recreational industry. The 2019 measures include:
Non-retention of Chinook in Southern BC (including West Coast Vancouver Island offshore, Johnstone Strait and Northern Strait of Georgia) until July 14; a daily limit of one (1) Chinook per person per day after July 15 until December 31.
Non-retention of Chinook in the Strait Juan de Fuca and Southern Strait of Georgia until July 31; retention of one (1) Chinook per person per day as of August 1until December 31.
West Coast Vancouver Island offshore areas will have non-retention of Chinook until July 14 followed by a limit of two (2) Chinook per day from July 15 to December 31. West Coast Vancouver Island inshore waters will remain at two (2) Chinook per day for the season once at-risk Chinook stocks have passed through, to support the long term viability of the salmon and of the recreational fishery.
Fraser River recreational fisheries will remain closed to salmon fishing until at least August 23, and opportunities will be informed by any other conservation issues (coho, steelhead, etc).
Retention of two (2) Chinook per day continues to be permitted in Northern BC and inshore areas of the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Other opportunities may be identified and announced in season where abundance permits.
An overall reduction in the total annual limit for Chinook that can be retained per person in a season from 30 fish to 10. Recreational fisheries for other species will continue. Please see the Department’s web-site for local regulations.
First Nations food, social and ceremonial fisheries: these fisheries, which have a constitutionally protected priority, will not commence until July 15 – concurrent with the opening of the recreational retention fishery.
The announcement letters can be downloaded from our site here: