126.96.36.199.2 Recreational Fisheries
13 NORTHERN CHINOOK SALMON FISHING PLAN
For 2018, recreational fishing for chinook salmon in the Nass and Skeena River Watersheds will be closed for the season. Recreational fishing for chinook salmon may re-open provided in- season estimates show strong returns.
Should the Nass or Skeena open to retention of chinook, the maximum daily limit will be 2 chinook salmon, only 1 of which can be over 65 cm. The minimum overall length is 30 cm. The Skeena River mainstem upstream of the Sustut River and most of the Skeena River tributaries, with the exception of sections of the Babine, Bulkley, Kitsumkalum, Morice, and Sustut Rivers, will remain closed to chinook fishing all year. Closures will also be in place at the mouth of the Kitwanga and Kispiox Rivers.
In-season updates and fishery regulation changes can be found on the recreational fisheries website:
For direct notification of regulatory changes, individuals may sign up to have recreational fishery notices sent directly to their email at the website above. Refer to the link to subscribe to fishery notices on the right hand side of the page.
Skeena ISBM Chinook Fishing Plan
Area C Gill Net Fisheries
For 2018, it is not anticipated that there will be any directed gill net opportunities for chinook salmon in Area 4.
When abundances permit, this chinook fishery is managed to a maximum catch of 4,000 chinook. In most years, the fishery begins with an initial opening of 18 hours. Subsequent fishing opportunities are dependent upon stock abundance determined from the Tyee test fishery and CPUEs on the first opening. If average or better abundances are indicated, flexibility will be exercised to facilitate the harvest of the 4,000 chinook by the gill net fleet. This may include some flexibility with the timing of openings to provide increased opportunity to harvest chinook.
KEY CHANGES FOR THE 2018/19 NORTHERN BC SALMON IFMP
STATE OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN AND FRESHWATER ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS
( page 24 )
For the 2018 season, the Department has supported the recommendations from the Skeena First Nations Technical Committee to increase the FSC management trigger level for initiating First
Nations Section 35(1) fisheries from a 400,000 to 600,000 sockeye total return to Canada and plans to start the season with a closure for sockeye directed fisheries. See Section 188.8.131.52 for more information.
PDF is to large to post, but the plan should be soon available on DFO website.
Pre-season Skeena River Sockeye Run Size Forecast:
( any chance of commercial fishery for Sockeye is very low and FN will not fish until minimum 600,000 passes Tyee index
The total Skeena sockeye return is expected to be poor with a pre-season return forecast from 0.28 million (90% probability) to 1.47 million (10% probability) and a point estimate of 0.65 million (50% probability)
based on the sibling model.
he FSC management trigger level for First Nations Section 35 (1) sockeye fisheries closures will be increased from 400,000 to 600,000;
The 2018 fishing season will start closed for fisheries targeting Skeena sockeye and measures will be taken to minimize the by-catch of Skeena sockeye in all fisheries targeting other non- sockeye stocks or other species.
Subject to Tier 1 and 2 discussions, opportunities for First Nations FSC sockeye fisheries may take place if the in-season TRTC estimate exceeds 625,000 on or after July 26, 2018. Further discussion will be required to develop and equitable First Nations FSC harvest plan that may provide limited FSC opportunities in marine areas.
Individual Skeena First Nations FSC harvest plans will continue to be developed and refined based on in-season salmon return information.
The Skeena sockeye aggregate escapement target is 900,000 and First Nations food, social and ceremonial fishery requirements are in the range of 150,000.
• If the pre-season forecast or the Skeena sockeye return to Canada is greater than 1.05 million, then commercial fishery openings are planned.
• If the pre-season run size forecast is below 1.05 million, commercial fisheries will not take place until the in-season run size prediction is greater than 1.05 million.
• Any gill net fisheries on or after August 1 will be short-net, short-set.
The allowable Canadian commercial exploitation rate on the Skeena sockeye aggregate increases as the return to Canada increases. The allowable commercial exploitation rate will be 0% for returns to Canada less than 1,050,000. The allowable exploitation rate will increase in a linear fashion from 0% at 1,050,000 to 20% at a run size of 2.0 million, 30% at 3.0 million, and up to a maximum of 40% at a return of 4.0 million or greater. See Figure 13.5-6.
DFO may reserve sockeye allocation for seine vessels to account for sockeye by-catch during a directed pink fishery.
Directed fisheries for Skeena sockeye after August 1 will be constrained by sockeye and chum salmon stocks of concern. While the aggregate harvest rate schedule shown in Figure 13.5-6 guides the overall commercial exploitation rate, other important considerations include protecting and rebuilding identified stocks and species of concern, incorporating concerns expressed by First Nations and stakeholders and impacts of other fisheries in setting weekly harvest rates. These additional considerations will guide weekly harvest rates in late July and early August.