Fisheries & Oceans Canada
200 401 Burrard St
Att: Rebecca Reid, RDG
We the undersigned groups are requesting your immediate attention to our request for a Fraser River Recreational Bar Fishing Test fishery targeting 4/1 Chinook. This opening would commence Sept 1st to Sept 21st for the mainstream Fraser River from the mouth to Hope. We suggest this opening is justified with earlier Chinook stocks of concern having migrated through the river and the target species would be more plentiful late summer chinook. Our request for an opening would also coincide with the announced Sept 1st Tidal opening as well as ongoing net fisheries.
The Public fishery continues to support required conservation measures despite tremendous
economic loss and loss of important family bonding fishing heritage. Our continued support is
contingent on consideration of openings when stocks permit. Our proposal would include a one fish daily limit for anglers with cessation of fishing after retention.
The groups supportive of this proposal and we believe the community at large could provide some of the stewardship and monitoring in conjunction with your C&P staff.
We suggest the following as rational for our request:
1. By Sept 1st 5/2 chinook have passed and more abundant 4/1 chinook in river. Coincides with F/N net fisheries & announced opening in outside waters.
2. Bar fishing only with a restricted leader length and minimum weight size. This method
has demonstrated for years virtually zero impact on other stocks of concern. This evidence is factual not anecdotal.
3. This would be promoted as a Test fishery with a high presence of volunteers to advise anglers of protocol at major launch areas. Signage and handouts would be provided with messaging to be determined in coordination with your staff. The public fishery would also have monitors on site at significant fishing sites.
4. The Fraser River Public fishery has been very supportive recently of collaboration with F/N and your staff toward sharing the resource on the Chehalis and Vedder Rivers. We expect reciprocal consideration of our requested opportunities.
5. The financial loss to the communities from ongoing closures has been tremendous. A Sept 1st
Chinook opening would play a small but significant role in offsetting some of these losses.
6. The social value of this opening cannot be over emphasized particularly during these pandemic restricted times. The public needs more family oriented safe outdoor activities.
7. Granting a restricted public chinook fishery would help to demonstrate that DFO recognizes and values the Public Fishery and wants to work with the community toward opportunities when conservation concerns abated.
8. Documented past creel census on the Fraser River demonstrates that the impact of a Bar fishery has minimum impact on stocks compared to other sectors.
We cannot overemphasize the current frustrations and growing anger within our communities. The groups represented below do our best to provide respectful collaboration on the issues. For us to continue to speak for our many members and hopefully the public at large it must be demonstrated that our input is valued and seriously considered. We ask that you instruct your senior Fraser River staff to immediately arrange a meeting to review our proposal as we are open to suggestions how this fishery could proceed.
Thank you for your consideration of our urgent request for an opening. We remain committed to
conservation tempered with selective fishing opportunities for all sectors.
Fraser River Sport Fishing Alliance
B.C. Federation of Drift Fishers
Fraser Valley Salmon Society
Public Fishery Alliance
Fraser Valley Guides Association
Vancouver Sport Fishing Guides Association