DFO May Allow Recreational Sockeye Fishery on Skeena Next Week

John Crawford

Recreational anglers along the Skeena may yet be able to go fishing for sockeye salmon in just over a week.

Colin Masson, the North Coast Area Director for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, says sockeye returns continue to be stronger than originally anticipated, and it now appears that recreational sockeye retention may be permitted just after the BC Day long weekend on the Skeena -- and even sooner on Babine Lake.

Colin-Masson-(DFO-North-Coast-Area-Director)-2.jpg"We've had several commercial openings for Skeena sockeye, and we do anticipate opening the Skeena for recreational harvesting but not until Tuesday August 7th, and that's the current plan -- this may be adjusted with additional information; we would hope, actually, to open Babine Lake to recreational sockeye retention earlier and there are some steps being taken to try to achieve that; the exact dates we're not yet sure what's doable," said Masson this afternoon (Monday). 

Earlier this year, the entire Skeena watershed was closed to all recreational fishing due to anticipated low numbers of sockeye and chinook.

And Masson says there are still concerns over the health of  chinook stocks, and the delayed opening of the recreational fishery is to allow the bulk of the chinook run to safely arrive at the spawning grounds.

Masson also anticipates a limited seine opportunity off the mouth of the Skeena for the commercial sector later this week -- but a final decision hasn't been made yet.


[PHOTO:   File Image -- CFTK-TV]

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