DFO Opens Up Fishing For Chinook In The Skeena–With Restrictions

The re-opening comes with some conditions.

Photo caption/credit: Jackie Lieuwen / Black Press

After announcing earlier this year that Chinook angling was prohibited throughout the Skeena watershed, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has now relaxed the ban. But some restrictions remain. 

“Effective at 00:01 hours July 15, 2020, recreational fishing for Chinook salmon will re-open in the Skeena River watershed,” reads a DFO notice. “Chum and Sockeye salmon will remain closed in the entire Skeena River watershed (includes tributaries and lakes).”

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The re-opening comes with some conditions. You’re only allowed to catch two Chinook per day and only one of them can be over 65 cm. Also, the Skeena River mainstem will remain closed, as will all tributaries and lakes of the Skeena River–except for some parts of the Bulkley and Morice Rivers. Check out the DFO notice for more details. 

But the same day the DFO announced the re-opening it also brought in a new ban on Chinook fishing in the Nass watershed.  

The reason for this and other bans is because Chinook numbers have been worryingly low. Part of the explanation is warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures, which have affected the food that salmon rely on. These unusual ocean conditions have been growing more “extreme” in recent years, a DFO spokesperson told the Terrace Standard.

Written by Skeena Strong

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