Proposed Fraser salmon allocation swap an issue of law, First Nations spokesperson says

Transfer of chinook from recreational fishermen described as a bid to uphold court ruling on First Nations fishing rights

Ken Malloway

A proposal that would transfer part of the Fraser River chinook salmon allocation from recreational fishermen to First Nations groups is a bid to uphold the law regarding First Nations fishing rights.

That’s according to Ken Malloway, chair of the Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance, which represents 30 bands on the lower Fraser.

“The Supreme Court (in the Sparrow decision) has said if our food needs are not being met, no other fishery is going on,” Malloway said.

“Well, our needs are not being met.”

Last year, Malloway said, the Fraser First Nations didn’t come anywhere near their target allotment of 300,000 sockeye.

“(We collected) only a few thousand,” Malloway said.

“We only fished for two days.”

The proposal was put forward by First Nations representatives during a series of meetings with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in January, March and April to consult on conservation and harvest planning for Fraser River salmon.

It would increase the amount of FSC (Food, Social, Ceremonial) chinook reserved for First Nations, at the expense of sport fishermen in order to make up for an expected drop in the sockeye run this year.

It is opposed by the newly formed Fraser River Sportfishing Alliance (FRSA), a coalition of Fraser River fishing guides, recreational anglers and industry reps.

The FRSA issued a joint statement that said “under no circumstances should our allocation of salmon, determined after conservation concerns, be transferred to another sector.”

Jeff Grout, the DFO regional resource manager of salmon, said no decision has been made about the proposed reallocation of chinook as yet, but he expected it will come some time in June after Hunter Tootoo – the minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard – reviews the Pacific Region integrated fisheries management plan.

Grout said there has been “considerable uncertainty” about the sockeye run this year, with the amount projected to be somewhere around 2.7 million, but possibly as low as 814,000.

That represents a considerable drop from the previous high of 28.3 million recorded in 2010, Grout said.

The decline is believed to be the result of unusually hot weather that has produced higher than normal ocean temperatures along with warmer than usual river temperatures and low stream levels.

Just Posted

‘Gone are the days of leaving your vehicle and your house unlocked’

Agassiz RCMP tell residents to secure cars, homes during high crime season

It’s about to get hot: Special weather statement issued for Lower Mainland

Temperatures expected to rise and stick around till next week, Environment Canada forecasts

Highway crashes double in Fraser Valley, truck traffic also up steeply

Unclear if doubling of Fraser Valley highway crashes is linked to spike in truck traffic

Harrison labour dispute continues after Wednesday meeting

Village taking time to review workers’ offer

UPDATE: Picketing at Harrison festival ends

Negotiations between workers and Village scheduled for Wednesday afternoon

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

SilverStar officially opens Gondola

The brand-new gondola is now offering scenic rides for visitors on SilverStar Mountain Resort.

VIDEO: Man climbs crane in Abbotsford

Police, fire called to deal with climber last night

VIDEO: Langley City legendary water fight was a soaking good time

And perfectly timed for a hot weather warning

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

B.C. Lions claw their way back to score 20-17 victory over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Bombers, who beat the Lions 41-19 last week in Edmonton, fell to 2-3 with the loss

Most Read