FRASER RIVER: STEELHEAD "BY-CATCH" [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum


02-01-2005, 01:45 PM
A response from the DFO, three months after the fact but at least a response:

Dear Sir.

The Minister has asked me to respond to your letter of October 19, 2004, regarding Interior Fraser River steelhead.

In advance of the fishing season, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) worked with the Province of British Columbia (BC) on the management of south coast chum fisheries in an effort to address conservation concerns for steelhead. It was agreed that fisheries management decisions would be based upon a steelhead harvest model developed by the province, rather than results of the Albion test fishery. It was also agreed that fishing mortality of steelhead would be limited to recent levels of 15% or less.

Besides the harvest rate restriction, a number of measures have been put in place in southern BC gillnet fisheries to minimize the impact on Interior Fraser steelhead. These include delayed openings, gear restrictions (half net lengths), daylight-only fishing, and short net sets (30 minutes maximum). As well, all steelhead that are caught live must be returned to the water, and the use of onboard revival tanks is required to improve post-release survival.

The commercial chum fisheries were developed to stay within the agreed exploitation rate ceiling of 15%. The pre-season harvest model allowed for three 10-hour openings of the chum fishery in the lower Fraser River, but there were only two commercial chum openings.

As well, British Columbia allowed recreational fishing to harvest interior steelhead in-river when in-season estimates indicated there was sufficient abundance.

I appreciate and share your concern for the protection of steelhead. I also recognize the importance of the recreational fishery to the economy of British Columbia. The measures that were introduced in the commercial chum fishery were designed to minimize impacts on steelhead. As agreed prior to the season, departmental staff and provincial staff will meet to review the management approach in 2004 in order to identify successes and areas for improvement.

Thank you for providing me your views.


Original signed by:

Kevin Stringer

Director General

Resource Management

Fisheries and Aquaculture Management

Brian Simonseth
02-01-2005, 02:32 PM
“sufficient abundance”

Where have I heard this before?

02-01-2005, 04:09 PM
Don't you just love spin by those in charge of protecting the resource.

North Island
02-03-2005, 10:02 AM
As I recall there were no catch monitors assigned for that fishery. Other than anecdotal evidence, there would be no data on by catch. One would have to put alot of faith in the catch models.