Anglers and others who frequent the Chilliwack/Vedder rivers should be aware that the Sumas First Nations will be conducting DFO authorized net fisheries in the lower river near the confluence of the Sumas and Vedder rivers in an effort to meet Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) needs. This selective fishery will be targeting chinook salmon while avoiding stocks of concern such as Chilliwack and Cultus Lake sockeye.
This fishery will commence tomorrow (July 9, 2021) and continue into August every Thursday to Sunday from the Keith Wilson Bridge on the Vedder River to the confluence of the Sumas and Fraser Rivers. Anglers and boaters should take required actions to avoid this net presence which will be marked with buoys and avoid them.
The Recreational fishing community has collaborated with the Sumas First Nation to facilitate safe and orderly fisheries for both anglers and the First Nations fishers. This fishery will be monitored and catch results will be provided to DFO weekly. We are hopeful that respect and consideration will evident on the river for all fishers.
- Start Date Friday July 9, 2021 – 12:00 pm to Sunday July 11, 2021 – 9:00 pm
- Going forward the fishery will commence every Thursday at noon until Sunday Evening 9 PM (81 hours total) until allotted salmon are harvested. Most likely the middle of August
- 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 Keith 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. NEXT MEETING July 20th
- RCMP and/or DFO C&P will be present
- The fisheries will be monitored and reported on daily and all catch reports submitted 24 hours after the fishery is over.
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.
Conserve our waters and here’s to great fishing, forever…