Squabbling Over the Last Fish

On Aug. 15, the Forest Ministry informed operators in the Skeena watershed that while steelhead returns are low, the season will go ahead. The province didn’t rule out an abrupt mid-season closure, but current projections suggest that’s unlikely.

LINK (via The Tyee)

The incredible indifference on the part of Fisheries and Oceans Canada when it comes to wild steelhead is a disgrace. We’ve seen this scenario with Interior Fraser steelhead and watersheds in the lower 48.

The 8,000 escapement number referenced in this article is also misleading.


One thought on “Squabbling Over the Last Fish

  1. That article has attracted a surprising amount of attention. Unfortunately it doesn’t tell the full story. What a surprise! I have a long history of criticizing the commercial fishing industry for its impact on Skeena steelhead but that impact in recent years has been nowhere near what it was when the guide operations such as the one now owned by Mr. Labonte were thriving on the strength of multiple hook-ups per client per day. What has changed significantly is the footprint of the guiding industry that bears no resemblance to the supply of fish safely available. Mr. Labonte’s allegations about the impact of the net fisheries this year are overstated. The reporter should have done a lot more homework before fast forwarding to the conclusion the hard working guide community is beyond criticism or accountability. Sadly, the provincial government heavyweights responsible for managing the once treasured Skeena steelhead resource have been victimized by the continuing campaign from the guide community and its supporters to accuse everyone and everything else for being part of the problem they exempt themselves from. And, yes, the 8,000 figure (a third of what it was up until 2021) is without any detectable foundation. The province has consistently ignored repeated requests for the report that documents how this figure arrived.

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