Last weeks lower Vedder and Sumas River gill net fishery held by the the Sumas First Nations went very well and everyone involved was very pleased. Through collaborative efforts between many Recreational Sportfishing Groups , DFO, RCMP, C&P and Sumas First Nations this gill net fishery was implemented on the lower Vedder and Sumas River to allow for a small first nations Chinook fishery. It is a rare thing to see people who see a resource from so many different perspectives sit down and come to an agreement such as this one. These groups and organizations have come together with a vision for the future and a united understanding about the fisheries that represents all user groups and lights a path for sustainable fisheries in the future. In honor of this, the Sumas First Nation has held the first fish harvested and it will be ceremonially shared and eaten by all those that were involved in creating this opportunity and hope for the future of our fisheries..
This fishery will commence again tomorrow as the Sumas First Nation is looking to continue their Food/Social and Ceremonial Chinook directed fishery this week on the Sumas and Vedder River. Details are as follows:
- Thursday July 23, 2020 – 12:00 pm to Sunday July 26, 2020 – 9:00 pm (81 hours total)
- Max 4 Set nets using 8” mesh or greater with a 3:1 hang ratio and is selective for chinook harvest
- Fisheries to take place in those waters from Kieth Wilson Bridge to the confluence of the Sumas into the Fraser
- Attendance of nets, as the nets are expected to be close proximity so that the vessels can access and check nets regularly.
- Chinook is the only species authorized to be retained all other species to be released.
- Collaborative work is being designed to enhanced data collection (DNA, CWT, time of encounters, etc).Ongoing dialogue between DFO, First Nation and the Recreational community.
- Expectation is to continue to plan similar fisheries moving forward, including presence of RCMP and DFO C & P.
The fisheries will be monitored and reported on daily and all catch reports submitted 24 hours after the fishery is over.