Fraser River salmon ban begins tonight
Restriction from CPR bridge at Mission to the Alexandra Bridge north of Hope
Fishing for all salmon species will be banned on a section of the Fraser River after sunset tonight to conserve this year's dwindling salmon numbers.
The restriction stretches from the CPR bridge at Mission, B.C., to the Alexandra Bridge, north of Hope.
This year's prized sockeye are the offspring of those in 2009, the year marked by a collapse of Fraser River fisheries. The sockeye return to spawn in a four-year cycle.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says warm river temperatures are also hurting the fish, increasing their risk of cardiac arrest and disease.
Officials have already scaled back the Fraser's test fishery following earlier closures of the commercial, sport and First Nations fisheries.
- Fraser River sockeye test fishery scaled back
- First Nations Skeena sockeye fishery shut for first time
Anglers fishing in open areas are required to take every measure possible to ensure they do not impact sockeye salmon.
Ernie Crey, fisheries advisor to the Sto:lo Tribal Council, says while it was a wise move to ban all salmon fishing on the Fraser, he worries the ban will create hardship for local bands.
"These closures have left First Nations on the Fraser watershed in a very difficult place because they place a great deal of reliance on migrating sockeye salmon for food, social and ceremonial purposes," he said.