This sounds like a great event and one we should all get behind:
Gathering on the Fraser to promote river harmony
CHILLIWACK, BC – With a challenging 2019 summer fishing season underway in the Lower Fraser River region, the Fraser River Peacemakers and the Cheam Fishing Village will host a Gathering at the River on August 26 to promote harmony between recreational anglers and regional First Nation fishing communities.
Special guests and dignitaries from various communities will share a meal and enjoy the day together at the Cheam Fishing Village in Agassiz in a spirit of friendship. The day will feature speakers, cultural ceremonies and good will.
Reflecting its mandate to promote harmony on the Fraser, the Peacemakers’ message to all fishers is to be considerate, practice safety and communicate clearly with other people on the river. The Peacemakers’ mantra is to be respectful and avoid conflict by using good etiquette and sportsmanship. The protocol is demonstrated in the Peacemakers’ video, River Manners, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbyYW...ature=youtu.be
The message of respect and goodwill is particularly relevant this summer. In order to protect the stocks, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans imposed restrictions on commercial, recreational and First Nation fishing of Chinook salmon in the Lower Fraser River tidal waters and non-tidal waters. As of August 15, the province also closed the main stem of the Fraser above the Mission Bridge to trout fishing. The Peacemakers are working to provide guidance where this is fishing to reduce tensions between eager anglers and First Nations fishers.
“Fraser River Peacemakers members encourage aboriginal and non-aboriginal fishers to exercise courtesy to one another in the coming weeks,” said Ernie Crey, Peacemakers co-chair and chief of Cheam First Nation. “Doing so ensures the fishery is well-managed, the resource can be shared and all fishers are respected and remain safe.”
The Chinook closures have impacted all fishing sectors, noted Rod Clapton, a Peacemakers director and B.C. Federation of Drift Fishers president.
“The summer of 2019 has seen total closures of the lower Fraser River recreational salmon and trout fishing resulting in tremendous economic losses to the local economies and loss of a valued Canadian heritage. First Nations food fisheries have been severely curtailed, creating significant hardship among their Fraser River communities. Salmon and steelhead stocks are at point of extreme conservation concern, which demands that all fishers come together seeking solutions to rebuild and protect our fisheries,” Clapton said.
“We would hope that despite these current closures, the August 26 gathering on the river will demonstrate that our communities can come together seeking responsible joint initiatives that will lead to preserving these priceless resources for future generations,” Clapton added.
The Gathering at the River event will build on the good will developed during informal meetings held earlier this year between Lower Fraser First Nations fishing communities and recreational fisher groups.