Reply from CA Oceans and Fisheries about Skeena netting
I'm a longtime gearchucking lurker around here. You guys have a great forum and I enjoy checking in on a regular basis. I recently emailed Canada's Oceans and Fisheries folks about netting at the mouth of the Skeena after seeing Sparkey's call to arms. For what it's worth, here's their reply.
"Thank you for your email of July 30, 2002, where you express your concern at
the level of salmon fishing at the mouth of the Skeena River this summer.
Your main concern was regarding the incidental catch of steelhead. I want to
assure you that the Skeena steelhead returns are in excellent shape.
Starting in 1989, the Department moved to a more selective method of harvest
to protect various stocks of concern, including steelhead, coho, and some
wild sockeye stocks. Through a combination of timed openings / closures,
fishing gear restrictions, and selective fishing methods we have managed to
reduce the impact on the steelhead runs to a considerable degree. An example
is the pioneering selective seine fishery conducted at the mouth of the
Skeena, which began in 1989, This was a brail-and-sort fishery, and was a
pre-cursor of how we now do business throughout BC. In 1998, we moved to
daylight fisheries and had a portion of the gillnet fleet use weedlines.
Starting in 2001, we have moved to a selective gillnet fishery. This fishery
uses such methods as short sets and half-length nets, to ensure that the
fish released from the net are still alive.
For 2002, the steelhead are again returning to the Skeena in excellent
numbers. The current indications from the Tyee test fishery put this year's
return at the 11th highest in the 47 years that the test fishery has been
Again, thank you for bringing your concerns to my attention. I am confident
that working together with the Province and all fishing sectors, we can
ensure the continuing health of the Skeena River steelhead runs.
Area Chief, Resource Management, North Coast Area"
Last edited by B. Gray; 08-01-2002 at 02:14 PM.