Pacific Northwest
REELING INDUSTRY: Powell River Outdoors owner Sam Sansalone will feel the effects of chinook salmon regulations, which do not allow retention of the species until July 15. Paul Galinski photo

Chinook salmon regulations will impact Powell River businesses, say store owners

New rules dictate non-retention until July 15

Recently introduced fisheries regulations to protect Fraser River chinook species will have an effect on Powell River businesses catering to the fishing industry, according to business managers.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (FOC) announced that chinook salmon populations have been in decline for years, and of the 13 wild Fraser River chinook salmon populations, only one is not at risk. FOC announced measures on April 16 for recreational fishing, commercial fishing and first nations fishing aimed at protecting runs considered endangered.

For the Powell River region, there is non-retention of chinook salmon until July 15, a daily limit of one per person per day from July 15 to August 29, and two chinook per person per day from August 30 until December 31. Annual limit for chinook retention per person drops from 30 fish to 10.

Powell River Outdoors owner Sam Sansalone said the sport fishery has turned into a huge tourism factor for communities such as Powell River. He said over the years he has sold thousands of fishing licences. In Powell River, during the last five years, the fishing has never been better, according to Sansalone.

He said he does not believe the sky is falling, but his concern is whether the endangered chinook, when they return to the Fraser River, are going to be left alone. He said if that’s not the case, there will be conflict.

“What these rules are going to do is divide people,” said Sansalone. “Right now, we need everybody on the same page.”

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