George Bivol fights a snag at Peg Leg during the recreational opening of the sockeye run on the Fraser River over the weekend.

Sockeye brings anglers to river

Hundreds of anglers staked out a spot on the lower Fraser River over the weekend to take advantage of a recreational opening for sockeye.

Hundreds of anglers staked out a spot on the lower Fraser River over the weekend to take advantage of a recreational opening for sockeye.

Test fishing numbers are being monitored closely to see if additional sockeye fisheries can be justified, said Barry Rosenberger, chair of the Fraser River Panel.

The pre-season estimate for this year’s total sockeye run on the Fraser is three million, and rose to four million Friday.

“Things could change,” Rosenberger told The Progress. “But the decision was made to open it up for the three days ending Monday.”

They’ve since decided the sport fishery will remain open indefinitely, instead of going with weekend-only fisheries, he said.

“We’ve been trying to give some stability to the recreational fishery,” Rosenberger added.

Even though the Fraser sockeye numbers are no where near as strong as last summer, there’s still anticipation about more fishing opportunities opening up.

First Nations have been in the river fishing for food, social and ceremonial purposes, but sales agreements have not been reached by DFO and Sto:lo bands this year. (See story here.)

A local tackle shop employee said last week that staff were answering up to 20 calls an hour about the prospect of the first recreational opening of the summer on the Fraser.

Soon after the commercial fleet got the go-ahead last week, speculation about a sport fishing opening started spreading.

“They’re having a commercial fishing opening, and that will be a litmus test for a recreational opening,” said Todd Clarke from Fred’s Custom Tackle on Wednesday. “Fishermen see there’s a commercial opening and they get all excited.”

Sockeye buzz was “definitely” in the air, he said.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/CHWKjourno

Just Posted

Chilliwack Chiefs erase three goal deficit in overtime win

Down 3-0 to the Cowichan Capitals, the Chiefs came back to win 4-3 in the BCHL Showcase match.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read