FILE – Terry Beech, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport in Prince Rupert. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Ottawa announces ‘unprecedented action’ to protect Fraser River chinook

The measures were also taken to protect the southern resident orcas, whose numbers are now at 72

Expanded fishing closures and size restrictions were announced Friday as part of new actions by the federal government to protect threatened Fraser River chinook salmon populations.

Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the fisheries minister, said much of the waters near the mouth of the Fraser River will be closed to chinook fishing and any chinook longer than 80 centimetres must be released. The measures are aimed at rebuilding stocks facing steep declines, Beech said.

Chinook salmon, a traditional food source and ceremonial fish for Indigenous Peoples, are prized by anglers for their size and strength and are a lucrative catch for the commercial fishery. They are also the favoured food of endangered southern resident killer whales.

“The stocks are facing major stresses and historic lows in their populations and that causes us to take unprecedented action,” Beech said in an interview on Friday. “In the short-term, these decisions get harder the longer we put these tough decisions off.”

Fisheries and Oceans Canada acted last year to protect Fraser River chinook stocks, that included efforts to clear a massive landslide in the river, which further threatened the species.

The measures were also taken to protect the southern resident orcas, whose numbers are now at 72.

Beech said of the 13 Fraser River chinook populations, 12 are considered to be at risk. The protection measures are aimed to ensure as many chinook get to their spawning areas as possible, he said.

Beech said limiting catch size to 80 centimetres will protect populations because the majority of the larger chinook are females.

He said the latest chinook protection measures were developed following consultation with Indigenous communities, recreational and commercial fishing organizations and environmental groups.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

chinook

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Quesnel Salvation Army receives boost from Save-On-Foods

The food bank and soup kitchen received $1,660 through the store’s Share It Forward program

International Safe Travels designation program approved for Gold Rush Trail, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast

World Travel and Tourism Council approves, businesses and communities can apply

Quesnel to resume in-person council meetings July 7

Meeting rooms and council chamber occupancy limits have been established

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Cariboo, North Thompson region

Prince George, Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House all under watch

North Fraser Drive loop in west Quesnel closed due to flooding

A detour for southbound and eastbound drivers is in place

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Greater Victoria nanny pleads guilty to child porn, sexual interference charges

Johnathon Lee Robichaud pleaded guilty to slew of sex crimes

Most Read