Skeena Sockeye Returns Strong Enough to Permit Brief Commercial Opening

John Crawford

Sockeye returns on the Skeena River were strong enough to allow for a two-day commercial fishery this week -- and there may be another opening in early August.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada's North Coast area director, Colin Masson, said the current estimate is considerably higher than the pre-season expectation.

He says if the sockeye run is late this year, which is considered likely, then the return estimate may get even higher than the current figure of 1.34 million.
Masson says 60 gillnetters were fishing Tuesday, which was the first day of the opening, with more than 70 on the water Wednesday.
He says a large gillnet fleet on Tuesday might have caused the DFO concerns about opening it up on the second day.
Masson says commercial fishing may open again in the first week of August, with short nets and short sets to reduce bycatch.

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