By Bob Hooton Here's a bit more evidence of just how much support we can expect from the people we pay to manage our steelhead. Well known friend of wild steelhead, Pete Soverel, sent a letter to the Provincial Minister responsible (Doug Donaldson who hails from Hazelton, right in heartland of Skeena steelhead) shortly after the Gitxsan chiefs first announced the Skeena recreational fishery in their traditional territory would be closed to fishing in 2019. Here we are just short of seven months later and a response from the Minister's delegate finally arrived. Read it and tell me how our interests are being served. June 3, 2019 Pete Soverel firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Pete: Thank you for your email dated December 11, 2018 regarding the Gitxsan Government announcement of a recreational fishing closure on the Skeena River. Minister Donaldson has asked me to reply on his behalf. My apologies for the late reply. The Province of BC and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada have been working with the Gitxsan First Nation to understand their concerns regarding the closure notice for the 2019/2020 fishing season. This includes participation with a crisis management team since January 2019. These discussions are ongoing. For your upcoming travels to the Skeena watershed, angling licences sold by the Province remain valid and any changes or updates will be posted to http://www.fishing.gov.bc.ca/. If you are crossing First Nations reserve lands, please seek permission in advance and respect First Nations rights and perspectives, including representations on the land. If you experience conflict while fishing, please avoid confrontation as public safety is first priority. If safety concerns exist, please call the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, New Hazelton Detachment at 250-842- 5244. You may also follow up with Paddy Hirshfield, A/Resource Manager for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development at email@example.com, 250-847-7655 if you have further questions. Sincerely, Geoff Recknell Regional Executive Director – Skeena Region Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Thanks so much Mr. Recknell. Perhaps you could provide naive recreational anglers with a map indicating just where they need to seek permission to cross "First Nations reserve lands" so the don't find themselves seeking assistance from the RCMP if they are confronted for inadvertently trespassing just to toss a fly between gill nets. A list of the appropriate Gitxsan chiefs (38 we're told) and their contact information would also be helpful.