Reaction To DFO Closing Salmon Fishing For The Entire Skeena Watershed

6/16/2017

The BC Wildlife Federation Tidal Waters Fisheries Committee says it's disappointed to see the closure of salmon fishing in the Skeena Watershed by the DFO.

Co-Chair Ken Franzen feels something could've been done differently.

"I would've of, if I was the D-F-O, started out with the fishing season as normal and watch what happens. Then, make in-season adjustments later on in the season if necessary. I think they could've started out with just normal fishing opportunities for both sectors, and they would've been fine."

Franzen is still hoping the DFO forecast on numbers is wrong and that they come in stronger than expected.

Meanwhile, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans says it was a difficult decision to prohibit salmon fishing in the Skeena Watershed.

Area Director Colin Masson says the DFO will be closely monitoring the situation and are prepared to make any in-season changes.

Masson says the goal of this kind of fishing restriction is to ensure another shortage and ban doesn't happen again.

He says they will also closely watch the areas just outside the Skeena Watershed, to ensure they don't receive too much pressure from the closure.

According to the DFO, recreational harvesting opportunities for Skeena Coho, pink and Chinook salmon will re-open on July 15.