The finfish closure in part of Alberni Inlet (portions of Subarea 23-1 and Subarea 23-2 and 23-3) implemented on June 14, 2017 as outlined in FN0536 has been lifted. Effective 00:01 hours Saturday July 1, 2017 until further notice the daily limit for sockeye salmon will be two (2) sockeye per day in Area 23, Barkley Sound and Alberni Inlet except for: The tidal portion of the Somass River (which will remain closed) described as that portion of Subarea 23-1 from the tidal boundary signs at Paper Mill Dam on the Somass River downstream to a line commencing at a boundary sign in upper Alberni Harbour situated at 49°14.19 north latitude and 124°50.23 west longitude thence through the southern most point of Hoik Island then to the flashing green light at the mouth of the Somass River, then due east to a boundary sign on the opposite shore. Variation Order # 2017-339 and 2017-340. On June 29, 2017 Department staff met with the Area 23 Harvest Committee to discuss fishery planning for Area 23 Somass Sockeye. The attendees at this meeting were representatives from the Tseshaht, Hupacasath and Maa-nulth First Nations and stakeholders from the commercial gillnet and seine fishery, and the Alberni Valley Sport Fishing Advisory Committee. The pre-season forecast for Somass sockeye was 172,000. A run reforecast was not provided today due to a high level of uncertainty around run timing and an unexpectedly low proportion of age 4 fish that usually provide a significant contribution to the later part of the run. As a result, fisheries are being planned conservatively based on a total estimated run to date of 210,000 and a 16% harvest rate. At the meeting the Area 23 Harvest Committee recommended opening the tidal recreational sockeye fishery with the exception of the tidal portion of the Somass River. The Area 23 Harvest Committee has agreed to revisit the finfish closure in the Somass River at next week's committee meeting. The Somass Sockeye in-season stock assessment program will be in place in 2017. This program collects escapement, test fishing, catch and environmental information on a weekly basis. This information is collected and a reforecast will be made weekly every Thursday for the duration of the season. This may lead to further recreational sockeye opportunities if conditions warrant. Fishers are reminded that the Uchuklesit Inlet finfish closure as described in FN578 is in effect. Notes: Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon in tidal waters of British Columbia. The term "marked" means a hatchery fish that has a healed scar in place of the adipose fin. Sport anglers are encouraged to participate in the Salmon Sport Head Recovery program by labelling and submitting heads from adipose fin-clipped chinook and coho salmon. Recovery of coded-wire tags provides critical information for coast-wide stock assessment. Contact the Salmon Sport Head Recovery Program toll free at (866) 483-9994 for further information. Anglers are advised to check http://bcsportfishguide.ca for fishing closures and other recreational fishing information. Tidal Water Sport Fishing Licences can be purchased via any computer connected to the internet at https://www-ops2.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/nrls-sndpp/index-eng.cfm or by using Google search key words "Recfish Licence". Did you witness suspicious fishing activity or a violation? If so, please call the Fisheries and Ocean Canada 24-hour toll free Observe, Record, Report line at (800) 465-4336. For the 24 hour recorded opening and closure line, call toll free at 1-(866)431-FISH(3474). FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Port Alberni office at 250-720-4440 or visit our website at http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
Fisheries & Oceans Operations Center – FN0608
Sent June 30, 2017 at 1717