Roadside stands by local First Nations may be popping up around Chilliwack with fresh fish for sale.
Two economic opportunity fisheries were provided to aboriginal fishers this week by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Recreational fisheries on the Fraser are also underway concurrently during this mega-return of Fraser sockeye, with a limit of two sockeye per day, above the Mission bridge. There is also a recreational limit of four chinook/springs, with one over 50 cm and three under 50 cm long.
Fish boats from signatory First Nation bands on the Lower Fraser headed out on the river for chinook and sockeye using set nets and drifted gill-nets Wednesday and Thursday this week.
The market fisheries stemmed from a 2014 agreement that allows aboriginal fishers to sell their salmon, on the heels of a Supreme Court of Canada ruling last year that upholds First Nations rights to fish and sell their catch.
“The majority will sell to cash buyers, who are usually agents for processors,” said Ernie Crey, fisheries advisor for Sto:lo Tribal Council, and Cheam councillor.
Once the salmon are landed and counted, there is also the option of selling at roadside operations to individuals.
“So people can feel confident when buying fish that these are authorized and legal fisheries now,” Crey said.