Boat owners scramble to get the heavy snow load off their vessels and expensive tarps.

Boat owners scramble to get the heavy snow load off their vessels and expensive tarps.

Big changes for fishermen if fisheries act ammendments go through

Let’s face it people like to fish - catch or release, it’s nice to have the option

By Tracey Hittel

We take a short trip across the bay and spot two ships in the berths at Rio Tinto, another on anchor waiting its turn to offload.

A pod of sea lions frolic in the frigid waters, in a feeding frenzy, after the large balls of bait we see on the depth sounder.

Watching the spectacle, I’m suddenly reminded about what I read this week with regards the proposed changes to the fisheries act that were announced.

The proposed changes include restoring fish habitats and increasing fisheries officer presence. Last year fishing along rivers like the Skeena was closed for up to a month in the peak June and July fishing periods – and boy for us in the business it’s hard to swallow a 30-day loss in revenue.

The closures inevitably put more pressure on smaller rivers like the Kitimat as well the saltwater of Prince Rupert and perhaps the Douglas Channel.

Let’s face it people like to fish – catch or release, it’s nice to have the option.

The reduction in fish biomass could include restrictions and lower limits for recreational anglers.

Freshwater fishers who are non-resident Canadians may be restricted from low-fee unguided fishing to full-on guided fishing only. This is part of the act’s freshwater framework, which seeks to address the declining stocks as fish habitats are destroyed by mother nature’s flooding of spawning grounds.

Our local hatchery has dust-covered books filled with juicy historic data. Perhaps the salmon stocks are in decline and cannot sustain the many cases of low returns.

We must prepare to have these discussions with our local Rod and Gun Club, environmental groups and the Federal Sport Fishing Advisory Committee.

I chaired the local committee for many years as well was part of the northern group to grind out the many motions put forward to DFO in Vancouver on a federal level in order for the recreational voice to be heard.

It was a gruelling process and after most two full days of meetings I needed a shower from all the debating.

I eventually had to give up my position as the big wheel, for change was a slow process and consuming a lot of my time.

We expect the opening dates for halibut in the next few weeks and wait in anticipation to see what changes may occur to the act.

Until next time fish on and stay warm.

Fishkitamaat villagekitimat

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

Just Posted

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

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

Chris Paulson of Burns Lake took a quick selfie with a lynx over the weekend of Feb. 20-22, 2021, after the wild cat was found eating some of his chickens. (Chris Paulson/Facebook)
VIDEO: Burns Lake man grabs lynx by scruff after chickens attacked

‘Let’s see the damage you did, buddy,’ Chris Paulson says to the wild cat

Design work continues for planned new hospital

Construction contract still in the works

Fisheries and Oceans Canada released it's 2021 Pacific Herring Integrated Fisheries Management Plan Feb. 19. (File photo)
Northern herring opportunities kept to a minimum

2021 management plan caps Prince Rupert fishery at 5 per cent

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 vaccination set to start for B.C. seniors aged 80-plus

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Compensation fund opens for B.C. students negatively affected by incorrect exam marks

Marks for 2019 provincial exams were incorrectly tabulated

Time to check the mail: Every household to receive a Canada Post postcard this spring

Postcard can be mailed for free to any address in Canada

The humanoid sensing robot has a 3D printed finger cap that measures oxygen levels. (Dr. Woo Soo Kim)
Medical care robots being made with 3D origami in B.C. lab

Would you let a robot take your temperature?

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent must come first and last for B.C. industrial projects

UN declaration seen as end to a history of horror stories

Most Read