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Low Skeena sockeye returns could mean catch restrictions

Weaker than expected sockeye salmon returns on the Skeena may mean restrictions to limit the catch for First Nation food, social, and ceremonial purposes.
The Skeena Fisheries Commission says the total estimated sockeye return is 855,000 which it says is drastically lower than the pre-season estimate of over 3 million.
The commission has notified the Gitxsan, Gitanyow, Wet’suwet’en, Lake Babine and Lax Kw’alaams members fishing Skeena sockeye that restrictions may be put in place for conservation.
It says a closure of the of the food, social, and ceremonial fishery is unlikely at this point, but if the overall run projections are below 550,000 it will trigger consultation between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Skeena First Nations.
Under Canadian law, Skeena First Nations maintain priority access over all other Skeena sockeye fishery.
Currently, recreational fishers can only take one Skeena sockeye per day and no commercial fishery is expected this season.

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