British Columbia

Widespread recreational salmon fishing ban issued on B.C.'s North Coast

Low numbers of returning salmon has forced the complete shutdown of recreational salmon fishing in Skeena River watershed.

Low numbers of returning salmon have forced the shutdown of recreational salmon fishing in Skeena River

A Chinook salmon swimming upstream. Low numbers of returning salmon has led to a ban on the recreational salmon fishery in the Skeena River estuary. (Associated Press)

Low numbers of returning salmon has forced the complete shutdown of recreational salmon fishing in the Skeena River watershed on B.C.'s North Coast.

A ban has also been placed on recreational chinook fishing in the Nass River watershed. In addition, chinook fishing has been limited to catch-and-release only across the entire North Coast area.  

Fisheries and Oceans Canada issued the advisory on its website Tuesday, saying the bans were effective immediately.

Two months ago, DFO flagged that a closure may be coming while expressing concern over anticipated low returns.

According to the Pacific director of salmon management, Jennifer Nener, the two species of most concern are chinook and sockeye. 

Nener said fewer fish were returning to spawn and that they were smaller in size, which could mean fewer eggs and fewer fish in the next generation.

The advisory states, "recreational harvesting opportunities for Skeena coho and pink salmon may occur at a later date and will be announced by Fishery Notice."