The Fraser River Sport Fishing Alliance (FRSA) held a demonstration fishery Saturday off of Island 22 which was intended to demonstrate the selectivity of the group’s bar fishery.
The methods encouraged by the organization have virtually zero impact on sockeye stocks, according to FRSA co-chair Fred Helmer.
Participating anglers set off from Island 22 launch site Saturday morning to take part in the bar fishery.
“As our attempts to work with DFO to open the river to our selective fishery have been ignored and currently retention fisheries for chinook and pinks are taking place at the mouth of the river, we must take this action to attempt to save any remnants of our summer fishery,” the group told the Progress prior to Saturday’s event.
The day’s fishery demonstrated sockeye avoidance strategies, was completely catch and release, and was strictly bar fishing.
“The angling community has been patient and respective of conservation concerns,” the FRSA had said. “We suggest the number of in-river net fisheries and outside fisheries suggests the conservation concerns have abated and our fishery should commence.”
Representatives of the group point out that the sports fishing industry and its related businesses took a hit from a complete closure of recreational fishing.
But they are also concerned that the local fishery will be lost to future generations of sports anglers.