Thursday, June 10, 2010

2010 Commercial Fishing Season

DFO has made the first announcements of commercial fishing activity for 2010 on the north coast.
They include opening the Nass, Area 3, sockeye season on June 15th. This is similar timing to 2009 and will probably follow the 1 day per week pattern until runs strength becomes 'firmed up'.
The forecast for Nass is a slightly below average run of 648,000 sockeye. To achieve escapement targets, plus FSC and Treaty obligations, the Dept's target is to pass 275,000 sockeye past the Nisga'a fishwheels at Gitwinksilkh. This equals 373,000 sockeye available as 'surplus' for commercial harvest.

The first Skeena, Area 4, openings is scheduled for June 24-25th. This is the usual Skeena gillnet chinook fishery which has a ceiling of 4000 fish.
The forecast for Skeena sockeye is not good. The return prediction ranges from 316,000 to 1,400,000 with a point estimate of 663,450. A run size of 1,050,000 is required to enable commercial fisheries.

2010 could see a second consecutive year of no commercial fishing in Skeena which is fantastic news for steelhead and other species and stocks that are negatively impacted by commercial fishing.

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