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Extremely low return of salmon leads to restrictions on the Shuswap River and Mabel Lake

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June 30, 2016 - 8:30 AM

NORTH OKANAGAN - More restrictions are being placed on salmon fishing in the North Okanagan.

Shortly after the provincial and federal governments banned salmon fishing at Trinity Bridge for part of the year, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has imposed further limits on other sections of the Shuswap River and Mabel Lake.

According to a fishery notice issued this week, the 2012 brood escapements (the number of salmon returning to spawning grounds) on the Lower Shuswap and Middle Shuswap were extremely low, 'necessitating reduced recreational fishing opportunities'.

Fisheries and Oceans has announced there will be no fishing for salmon allowed on the Middle Shuswap River, between Shuswap Falls and Mabel Lake, in 2016. The south and north ends of Mabel Lake are also closed to salmon fishing.

Anglers are allowed to fish in other portions of Mabel Lake, as well as parts of the Lower Shuswap River. Effective Aug. 16, 2016, to Sept. 12, 2016, anglers can catch up to four Chinook per day, only two of which can be more than 50 centimetres.

The specific areas where fishing is allowed are described as:

  • The portion of Mabel Lake that is both northerly of a line drawn from a white triangular fishing boundary sign situated at the northern edge of Mabel Lake Provincial Park to the prominent point of land on the western shore; and southerly of a line drawn between two white triangular fishing boundary signs located on opposite shores approximately one kilometre from Wap Creek.
  • The Lower Shuswap River upstream from the white triangular fishing boundary signs above Mara Bridge to Mabel Lake. (Fishing is banned in a portion of this area; 50 metres upstream and downstream of the Trinity Valley Road Bridge.)

There is a monthly limit of four Chinook over 50 cm in Region 8 and salmon fishing is permitted during daylight hours only.

Fisheries and Oceans also reminds anglers that single, barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon in non-tidal waters of British Columbia. 

“Sport anglers are encouraged to participate in the Salmon Sport Head Recovery program by labelling and submitting heads from adipose fin-clipped chinook and coho salmon.  Recovery of coded-wire tags provides critical information for coast-wide stock assessment,” the department states online. 

Contact the Salmon Sport Head Recovery Program toll free at 1-866-483-9994 for further information.

Anyone who witnesses suspicious fishing activity or a violation is asked to call the Fisheries and Ocean Canada 24-hour toll free Observe, Record, Report line at 1-800-465-4336 or B.C.’s toll-free RAPP line (Report All Poachers and Polluters) at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).

For the 24 hour recorded opening and closure line, call toll free at 1(866-431-FISH (3474).


To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
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