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

Coastal GasLink gets interim injunction against Unist’ot’en

The LNG pipeline company can start work Monday with enforcement approved by court.

They’re engaged!

Birthday party turns into engagement party for Doug and Matilda

Hampers a chance to help in the Christmas spirit

SCSA sends around 350-400 hampers to the area from Witset to Telkwa.

Volunteers create Christmas magic at Santa’s Breakfast

PHOTOS: For the past 19 years, a local event helped remind us that Christmas is a time of giving.

Most intervenor requests in crucial natural gas pipeline case rejected

At stake is whether gas pipeline to LNG Canada plant should fall under federal jurisdiction

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Most Read