August 28, 2013 - 11:28 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – Record water temperatures and low run size estimates have led the Department of Fisheries to shut down almost all salmon fishing in the region.
The government imposed bans began earlier this month and have resulted in some First Nations groups following suit. The St'at'imc fisheries, for example, have closed down operations at Bridge River, Lillooet and Cayoose Creek.
In the Thompson-Nicola region the only salmon fishing allowed is for chinook in the South Thompson River from the outlet of Little River (including Little Shuswap Lake) to the fishing boundary 100 metres downstream of Campbell Creek.
In the Okanagan fishing for chinook is allowed at Mabel Lake and the Shuswap River (lower) upstream from the fishing boundary sign above Mara Bridge to Mabel Lake. In all instances there is a limit of four per day with only two allowed to be over 50 centimetres.
Fisheries decided there could be 'no allowable impact' at Kamloops Lake and the Thompson River after run size estimates of summer run sockeye came in low and record water temperatures in the Fraser River were high. The department says it wants to ensure there is sufficient sockeye returning to the spawning grounds.
Further south it is estimated 116,000 sockeye passed through Wells Dam on the Columbia River with about 50 per cent currently in Canadian waters. Extremely warm water temperatures in the Okanagan River have created a thermal barrier which in previous years has been known to lead to very high levels of en route mortality.
Fisheries has said bans will be reassessed if conditions change.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013