Lower-than-hoped returns of Fraser River sockeye and dangerously hot water temperatures upstream have prompted fishery managers to curtail test fishing in a bid to let as many salmon spawn as possible.
About 82,000 sockeye have already been caught through test fisheries and those salmon are sold to help offset the $1.4-million cost of the test program, which is critical to gauging the strength of incoming runs.
Pacific Salmon Commission chief biologist Mike Lapointe said Wednesday about half of test fishing operations have now been cancelled.
And three seine boats that continue to test fish offshore are now ordered to release nearly all sockeye after counting them instead of harvesting them.
"We're trying to be good citizens and minimize our impact," Lapointe said.
Asked why test fishing wasn't adjusted earlier, he said the commission acted quickly once it became apparent continued hot, dry weather would pose a major risk.
"As soon as we knew we had a bad situation we acted as fast as we could," Lapointe said. "Ideally, in perfect hindsight, it would have been nice if we could have stopped sooner but there was no way for us to anticipate that."
Although the test fishing program is $200,000 short of the revenue to cover its expenses, Lapointe said conservation, not budget concerns, guided the timing of the decision.
Read the full story at the Surrey Leader>>
National Fisherman Live: 2/26/15
In this episode, National Fisherman's Online Editor Leslie Taylor speaks with Rick Constantine, vice president of marketing, Acme United Corporation, about Cuda corrosion resistant knives.
National Fisherman Live: 2/24/15
In this episode:
March date set for disaster aid dispersal
Oregon LNG project could disrupt fishing
NOAA tweaks gear marking requirement
N.C. launches first commercial/recreational dock
Spiny lobster traps limits not well received
Today Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced legislation to extend a permanent exemption for incidental runoff from small commercial fishing boats.
The National Working Waterfront Network is now accepting abstracts and session proposals for the next National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium, taking place Nov. 16-19 in Tampa, Fla. The deadline is Tax Day, April 15.Read more...