Fraser Valley sports anglers are asked to take part in a “demonstration” event on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River where they will use the bar fishing technique to target chinook salmon despite there not being an opening for the species. (Facebook)

Chilliwack sports fishers plan ‘demonstration’ fishery next week

Anglers frustrated officials will not allow an opening for chinook salmon on Fraser River

Don’t call it a “protest” but sports anglers are set to gather on the Fraser River for a “demonstration bar fishery” next week for chinook salmon amid official closures for the species.

Hosted by the Fraser Valley Salmon Society, a Facebook post invites all anglers to come to Island 22 at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 9 for the demonstration bar fishery, with the intent of proving a point.

“This demonstration bar fishery will take place on several locations in the Chilliwack area,” according to the post on the Chilliwack Dart and Tackle Facebook page. “This event will be monitored and documented to gather more data on this selective method of fishing.”

Some avid sports fishers call it “discrimination” that there are openings for fishing for chinook in the ocean, at the mouth of the Fraser and at interior rives and lakes, but not in the Lower Fraser River where Fisheries and Oceans Canada is hoping to protect endangered sockeye runs.

“Please share to all your friends we need as many people and boats as possible to make this successful, I cannot stress how close we are to losing our rights on the river and we need to take a stand,” according to the Facebook post.

The demonstration element of the event, according to organizers, is to prove that they can selectively target late-summer chinook, also called spring salmon, using bar fishing techniques.

The bar-fishing method they’re advocating for targeting spring salmon uses different gear than bottom-bouncing or flossing to target sockeye. Bar fishers fish from shore using a shorter leader of three feet maximum and heavier weights. They use a single, barbless hook from a fixed fishing rod, and a lure known as a spin-n-glow.

• READ MORE: Fishing groups demand test fishery on the Fraser River for chinook

Those invited to the demonstration fishery are asked to meet to register at Island 22 at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

“This event will be monitored and documented to gather more data on this selective method of fishing.”

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