UPDATE: Gitxsan food fishery closure imminent

The Gitksan Watershed Authority is urging an immediate closure of food fishing on the Skeena River to ensure future stock returns.

A July 31, 2013 Gitxsan food fishery closure set last Friday has been postponed over concerns from locals about getting enough preserved Sockeye for the coming winter.

The alteration of the closure has yet to be set by the Gitksan Watershed Authority, but the organization is recommending the suspension before a federal government imposed closure is issued.

“The Department of Fisheries and Oceans have told us that they will be closing all food fishing in the Skeena,” Charlie Muldon, GWA technician, said.

“We’ve heard from a lot of people that a decision to voluntarily shut our food fishing down would show leadership in conservation in the north.”

More than 600, 000 Sockeye salmon were expected to return to the Skeena River this year, but so far the count, which is believed to have reached its peak, has just passed the 200, 000 mark at the Tyee fish station, Muldon said.

Although most Gitxsan are in agreement about the closure not all are on board.

“I haven’t been able to deliver anything to Gitxanmaax elders,” Walter Wilson Jr., who is tasked with providing many Gitanmaax elders with salmon every year, said.

“There will be many that go hungry if we shut down too soon.”

Chris Barnes, GWA co-ordinator, warns about future Sockeye stocks in the Skeena if food fishing continues.

“In four years we might not have any Sockeye at all if we carry on as we are,” Barnes said.

It is still unknown why the Sockeye runs are so low this year, but Muldon offered his opinion.

“This is the smallest run in at least 50 years,” Muldon said.

“Ocean survival rates play the biggest role I think.”

A final food fishing closure date has yet to be set by the GWA.

For the continuing story check The Interior News on Wednesday, Aug. 7.

 

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Helping hands: the benefit of hiring people with disabilities

““It’s important for the employer to see the benefit of hiring people with disabilities.”

SD54 trustee candidate’s state their case

Candidates answered questions from the public on SOGI, the no grade system and marijuana legislation

Road to the World Juniors starts in Smithers

Walnut Park first stop for tour promoting next year’s World Junior Championships.

Controlled fire on Hudson Bay Mtn

Fire on the southeast portion of mountain is a controlled burn by Smithers Mountain Bike Association

VIDEO: First legal cannabis purchases as midnight strikes in eastern Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador was the first province to kick off the sale of cannabis, just after midnight local time

Smithers election: Colin Bateman

Council candidate Colin Bateman answers on a wide variety of topics.

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Most Read