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article imageB.C. announces recreational salmon fishing ban on North Coast

By Karen Graham     May 10, 2018 in Environment
Vancouver - Low numbers of returning salmon have forced Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to announce a ban on recreational salmon fishing on the Skeena and Nass Rivers on the North Coast of British Columbia, effective immediately.
The DFO announcement covers recreational salmon fishing in the entire Skeena River watershed and recreational chinook fishing in the entire Nass River Watershed until further notice.
Additionally, chinook fishing has been limited to catch-and-release only in all rivers draining into Pacific Fishery Management Areas 1 to 6 until further notice.
Adult sockeye salmon make bright orange splashes in the waters of a spring-fed channel to the Adams ...
Adult sockeye salmon make bright orange splashes in the waters of a spring-fed channel to the Adams River, British Columbia.
Roger Tabor/USFWS Pacific/Flickr.com
According to CBC Canada, the DFO indicated in an announcement two months ago that a closure could be coming soon - expressing concerns over low returning numbers this spring. The Pacific director of salmon management, Jennifer Nener, said the two species of most concern are chinook and sockeye salmon.
Nener said that not only are fewer salmon returning to spawn, but they are smaller in size. This means fewer eggs and less fish in the next generation is very possible.
Chinook salmon
Chinook salmon
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
At one time, it was common to see chinook salmon being caught that exceeded 35 or 40 inches in length. But a study published in February 2018 examined data going back over 40 years that showed a clear reduction in the average size of the returning fish.
According to the study, "The reductions in size could have a long-term impact on the abundance of Chinook salmon because smaller females carry fewer eggs, so over time the number of fish that hatch and survive to adulthood may decrease."
More about British columbia, Skeena river watershed, Nass river watershed, ban on salmon fishing, low numbers
 
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