Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by Derby, Feb 7, 2018.
You forgot to add the attachments! don't worry I got your back!
6.9 INTERIOR FRASER RIVER STEELHEAD
The objective for Interior Fraser River steelhead is to minimize the impact of Canadian fisheries managed by DFO, taking into account conservation concerns for these populations. Spawning escapements of Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead have exhibited dramatic declines of approximately 80% over the last 3 generations with recent years’ escapements reaching the lowest on record. Less than 300 spawners were counted in 2017; this is down from escapements of greater than over 10,000 individuals observed pre-2000. On February 13, 2018, COSEWIC informed the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada that COSEWIC’s Emergency Assessment Subcommittee had assessed both the Thompson River and Chilcotin River Steelhead Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) as Endangered and recommended that an Emergency Order be issued placing these wildlife species on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act in accordance with Section 29(1). The Subcommittee concluded that the unprecedented decline of these steelhead populations poses a serious and imminent threat to their existence. Threats to steelhead include poor ocean survival (which includes but is not limited to predation of juveniles by Harbour seals and increased ocean temperatures), reduced freshwater habitat quality, bycatch release mortalities from fisheries targeting Pacific salmon, and release mortalities from recreational catch and release fisheries targeting adult steelhead.
2018 Fisheries Management Measures to Support Recovery of Steelhead Given ongoing declines in Interior Fraser River (IFR) steelhead escapement, a comprehensive, precautionary approach to the management of all fisheries in southern BC that are likely to impact steelhead is required for the 2018 fishing season. The Department will be working with First Nations and other stakeholders to develop management actions that protect the IFR steelhead migration from incidental fisheries impacts as they migrate from marine approach areas, through the Fraser River, and into their spawning tributaries. The intent of additional management measures implemented in 2018 is to support the objective of minimizing the impacts of Canadian fisheries on IFR steelhead, in order to increase their spawning abundance.
To achieve a high degree of protection for IFR steelhead, the Department is proposing implementation of a rolling window closure for those times and areas where IFR steelhead are likely to be present based on our current understanding of the return migration timing of this stock aggregate. Fishery Management Areas affected by the proposed closure include: Area 12, Area 13, Area 29, and those sections of the Fraser River along the migration route for IFR Steelhead. The length of the closure required to protect a high portion of the steelhead migration is approximately three to four weeks, and the closure would be initiated at some point in September, with the exact dates to be determined based on fishery location and the intended degree of protection required. Technical information to support identification of proposed window closure dates for each fishery area will be circulated separately.
In developing detailed plans for specific fisheries, consideration will be given to salmon allocation priorities, and to the extent to which the fishery has previously demonstrated a high degree of selectivity concerning steelhead. Existing IFR steelhead conservation measures currently in place for specific fisheries may already meet the conservation measures being sought in 2018 - these actions will be reviewed in the context of the broader management approach currently under development.
The Province of British Columbia plans to close the catch and release steelhead fishery in 2018, and is actively examining all provincially managed sport fisheries that have by-catch of steelhead, with the objective of having interim or full fishing closures on Interior Fraser and its tributaries by fall of 2018. Most bands and Nations in the Upper Fraser and Chilcotin have already reduced or eliminated any FSC steelhead harvest for conservation reasons. However, consultation with First Nations is planned or underway to collaborate on effective recovery measures for steelhead. The Province of British Columbia is also currently completing updates to the assessments of streams and tributaries that Chilcotin and Thompson steelhead use in the fresh water stage of their life cycle. Inventory information and stream parameters (such as mean annual discharge) are being used to identify potential areas of use and will support land use decisions so that any potentially negative impacts are mitigated.
Consultations will occur with First Nations and key stakeholders to refine the details of additional management actions to be taken in 2018. The outcome of these consultations will be reflected in the final 2018 Southern BC Salmon Integrated Fisheries Management Plan.
Opinion: Respect science and protect our steelhead and salmon
Published on: March 9, 2018
That’s very well written and absolutely true. A damn shame
The fish are endangered and that’s a big deal! The supporting ecology for them that has been missing doesn’t seem to be. That’s the real joke of it all.
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