Here is the latest Fishery Notice for Recreational sockeye fishing in Skeena. It reflects DFO going into shutdown mode due to the very low forecast returns for Skeena sockeye this summer. One forecast we saw estimated the return at approximately 650,000 sockeye. The basic escapement and FSC needs alone are just over a million fish…any numbers above this are available for commercial harvest. So this low return estimate puts in jeopardy any commercial opportunity especially in Area 4.
While this is bad news in some ways this is great news for steelhead with no commercial sockeye fishery in Area 4 a very real possibility for 2013. But, fish sometimes don’t pay attention to projections so we will have to wait and see what develops this summer.
Effective immediately and until further notice the daily limit for sockeye salmon is zero (0) per day in the following waters:
- The mainstem waters of the Skeena River from the mouth upstream to a point immediately above the confluence with the Babine River; – Babine and Nilkitkwa Lakes; – The Babine River; – Pinkut Creek downstream of boundary signs located approximately 25 metres downstream of fish counting fence; and, – The Fulton River.
Skeena sockeye are forecast to return in numbers below the threshold to allow for retention in recreational fisheries as per the Skeena Decision guidelines in the Draft 2013 North Coast Salmon Integrated Fisheries Management Plan.
Skeena sockeye will be assessed in-season on a daily basis with the Tyee Test Fishery and opportunities for retention will be determined as per the Skeena Decision Guidelines.
Opportunities on the Babine and Fulton Rivers, Pinkut Creek and Babine and Nilkitkwa Lakes will be determined in mid July prior to the August 01, 2013 opening date.