FILE – Terry Beech, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport in Prince Rupert. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

FILE – Terry Beech, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport in Prince Rupert. (Matthew Allen / The Northern View)

Ottawa announces ‘unprecedented action’ to protect Fraser River chinook

The measures were also taken to protect the southern resident orcas, whose numbers are now at 72

Expanded fishing closures and size restrictions were announced Friday as part of new actions by the federal government to protect threatened Fraser River chinook salmon populations.

Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the fisheries minister, said much of the waters near the mouth of the Fraser River will be closed to chinook fishing and any chinook longer than 80 centimetres must be released. The measures are aimed at rebuilding stocks facing steep declines, Beech said.

Chinook salmon, a traditional food source and ceremonial fish for Indigenous Peoples, are prized by anglers for their size and strength and are a lucrative catch for the commercial fishery. They are also the favoured food of endangered southern resident killer whales.

“The stocks are facing major stresses and historic lows in their populations and that causes us to take unprecedented action,” Beech said in an interview on Friday. “In the short-term, these decisions get harder the longer we put these tough decisions off.”

Fisheries and Oceans Canada acted last year to protect Fraser River chinook stocks, that included efforts to clear a massive landslide in the river, which further threatened the species.

The measures were also taken to protect the southern resident orcas, whose numbers are now at 72.

Beech said of the 13 Fraser River chinook populations, 12 are considered to be at risk. The protection measures are aimed to ensure as many chinook get to their spawning areas as possible, he said.

Beech said limiting catch size to 80 centimetres will protect populations because the majority of the larger chinook are females.

He said the latest chinook protection measures were developed following consultation with Indigenous communities, recreational and commercial fishing organizations and environmental groups.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

chinook

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mayor Walt Cobb waves from atop a tractor as he turns onto Oliver Street in the Daybreak Rotary’s annual Stampede Parade. Patrick Davies photo.
Lack of funding, volunteers has Daybreak Rotary bowing out of Williams Lake Stampede parade

Club learned this week it won’t be receiving local government funding, for the second year in a row

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Williams Lake’s Brock Hoyer films a segment of the newly-released The Way Home in the city of Revelstoke. (Ryen Dunford photo)
Brock Hoyer stars in new snowbike film: The Way Home

The film is completely free and was released on YouTube on Jan. 22, 2021

The body of Kenneth Seymour Michell was discovered Jan. 14, 2021, behind a Williams Lake business a day after he was released by a judge on conditions. (Photo submitted)
Family looks for answers after Indigenous man dies by suicide following release from custody

System does not care about Indigenous peoples, says First Nations Leadership Council

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

Most Read