More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Anglers ticketed during a demonstration fishery on the Fraser River in September are heading to court next month.

A GoFundMe page to pay their legal fees was launched by the Fraser Valley Salmon Society (FVSS) to support the Fraser River Sportfishing Alliance (FVSA), raising $19,220 as of Nov. 23.

A court date for the anglers is set for Dec. 1, and some sportfishing advocates are considering attending the courthouse in support, possibly outside in a truck convoy with COVID protocols in place.

The demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020, saw more than 70 anglers heading out on Fraser River to bar-fish selectively to show they could avoid impacting any migrating stocks of concern. They were warned by fishery officers they could be fined or have rods confiscated.

Six individuals were subsequently ticketed for fishing on the Fraser during a closed time to salmon fishing.

“Those tickets were a catalyst to continuing our efforts to secure allocation and the opportunity to fish with a public fishery,” said Dean Werk, president of the salmon society. “We’re doing this for future generations.”

The demonstration went ahead despite federal officials turning down the groups’ request for approval for a “test” fishery opportunity on the Fraser River.

“We were trying to establish that we could fish selectively using a barbless hook and not impact migrating stocks of concern,” Werk said.

Angling groups have been lobbying for years for restricted leader lengths to permit selective bar fishing but to no avail since DFO has not opted to enact any gear restrictions.

“We carefully considered all options and made the decision to put our time and effort toward a legal challenge,” according to the GoFundMe description. “This decision was not taken lightly.”

It was the consensus of the members that the legal route was the only viable option remaining as all negotiations with DFO had proven futile, they said.

“The lack of consideration to the public fishery is concerning, frustrating and unjustified. It’s time for action.”

READ MORE: Anglers to show ability to avoid stocks of concern with demonstration fishery

READ MORE: Demonstration fishery to go ahead without DFO approval

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

DFOfishing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Telkwa Village Office sign. (Marisca Bakker photo)
Three candidates line up to contest Telkwa byelection

Erik Jacobsen, Klaus Kraft and Dave Livesey have all filed their paperwork for vacant council seat

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Ginger Helkenberg, a Recreational Aide at Bulkley Lodge, receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Jan. 22. (Northern Health photo)
COVID-19 vaccinations get underway in Smithers

First doses are being administered to long-term care residents and priority health care staff

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read