Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl on Dec. 14, 2017. (Black Press file)

Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl on Dec. 14, 2017. (Black Press file)

Chilliwack MP Mark Strahl’s bill C-297 would allow federal government to introduce selective fisheries

Strahl said it’s possible to protect vulnerable salmon without shutting down all recreational fishing

Chilliwack MP Mark Strahl has introduced a Private Members’ Bill that, if adopted, would provide more opportunities for selective fisheries in the Chilliwack/Hope region and across the country.

Strahl said the Selective Fisheries Act (Bill C-297) would provide Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Bernadette Jordan, with new tools to protect vulnerable wild fish stocks on the Fraser River. At the same time, selective fisheries would allow for the targeting of specific species of fish that have strong stocks.

The bill was seconded by Brad Vis, MP for the riding of Mission/Matsqui/Fraser Canyon.

“Everyone agrees that vulnerable salmon stocks need to be protected and that conservation is the number one priority, but it is possible to protect certain species with low numbers and allow selective fisheries for plentiful species at the same time,” Strahl explained. “Every time the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans completely shuts down all recreational fisheries on the Fraser River to protect a specific species of vulnerable salmon, there is a significant negative impact on the local economy and anglers are deprived of the opportunity to put their lines in the water.”

RELATED: Feds asked to OK selective fishing on Fraser River instead of closures

RELATED: Salmon society calls for moratorium on vehicle access to gravel bars near Chilliwack

Advocates for the public fishery have long railed against blanket closures on the Fraser River and argued in favour of many elements of Strahl’s proposal.

“I don’t think closing any fishery is good for any user group,” said Dean Werk, owner of Great River Fishing Adventures and a member of the Fraser Valley Salmon Society, at a recent meeting with Conservative MPs Ed Fast and Bob Zimmer. “Looking for solutions and working together gives us the opportunities.”

Werk and others have previously called for mass marking of hatchery fish. Clipping their adipose fins would help B.C. harmonize its fishing rules with the states of Washington and Oregon. Strahl’s bill would allow fishers to target and retain a certain number of hatchery-raised fish, while practicing catch-and-release with wild salmon.

“Hatchery fish continue to play an important role in maintaining a healthy fishery, and increasing the number of marked fish increases the opportunity for anglers to retain fish for their own use,” Strahl noted. “This is something that recreational fishing groups have been demanding for a long time. The Minister would be able to increase the number of hatchery fish that have their adipose fins clipped using the powers proposed in my bill.”

Strahl added that constitutionally protected Indigenous fisheries for food, social, and ceremonial purposes would maintain their priority and not be impacted by this bill.

“Local anglers are understandably frustrated whenever recreational fishing in the Fraser River is completely shut down, even as healthy stocks of salmon swim by,” he said. “It’s time for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to be given the power to establish selective fisheries, to provide a fair and equitable path forward for recreational fishing. I’m calling on all Members of Parliament to support my Bill and support responsible selective fishing opportunities on the Fraser River and across Canada.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on

canadian politicsFisheries law

Just Posted

Gerry Vowles (left), Michael Cook, and Dave Sinclair were awarded “Dominion Command Presidential Citations” June 17 in Cloverdale. The rare awards were given out for “exemplary service to the Legion.” (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Three B.C. legionnaires awarded ‘Presidential Citations’

Ceremony took place in Cloverdale June 17

A cache of 89 crabs was discovered during a 2018 compliance inspection at South Surrey’s Elgin Park Marina. (Contributed photo)
$7,500 fine for illegal crab harvest discovered in South Surrey

Laird Goddyn found guilty in Surrey Provincial Court following 2018 investigation

City of Surrey photo
Surrey starts Slow Streets pilot project

Speed limits have been reduced in six Surrey neighbourhood zones for one year to monitor impact on residents

Kaushal Parikh raised $2,840 for COVID-19 relief in India during his almost nine-hour run around the new North Delta Secondary School track on Sunday, June 13, 2021. (Submitted photo)
North Delta ultramarathoner raises over $2,800 for COVID relief in India

Kaushal Parikh ran the 90-km virtual Comrades Marathon around the NDSS track in under nine hours

Preliminary site plan for a proposed 50-space childcare facility at Scott Road and 90th Avenue in North Delta. (Bunt & Associates image)
50-space childcare facility proposed for North Delta

Daycare proposed at Scott Road and 90th Avenue now headed to public hearing

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read