Fraser River Salmon Regulation Changes in September
Posted on September 1st 2012, by Rodney Hsu, webmaster
If you plan to fish for salmon in the Fraser River in September and part of October, then here is a reminder of a few seasonal regulation changes which you should be aware of. This period is known as the upstream migration time for Interior steelhead and coho salmon. These runs are stocks of concern due to their low return numbers so in the past decade, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has implemented management measures in the recreational fishery to minimize interceptions and unnecessary mortality.
These management measures include a bait ban when fishing for salmon. A bait ban means the usage of natural bait such as roe, shrimp, worm are prohibited. Anglers are asked to fish selectively by using techniques such as lure fishing, fly fishing, bar fishing with a spin n' glow. When fish caught by using these techniques, they have a much lower mortality once being released.
You should also be aware of what species of salmon are open for retention during this period of management measures. The only species that you are allowed to keep are chinook, chum and pink salmon. Coho salmon, both wild and hatchery-marked fish, are required to be released. Wild steelhead and sockeye salmon also need to be released. If you incidentally catch a coho salmon or steelhead, please be sure to release it with care by not removing the fish out of the water at all time and unhook it as quickly as possible to prevent damages.
Please be familiar with the differences between all salmon species and steelhead. Chinook salmon can look quite similar to coho salmon and steelhead.
Finally, You should also check the regulations prior to each trip so you are sure no additional changes have been made. Each section of the Fraser River has its own period of bait ban, so make sure you check the correct area. This website is only responsible for bringing the available information to you but for all current regulations are issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, so you must use their website as a reference when looking for regulations.
To find out when and where bait ban is in effect and what species you are allowed to retain, please check the following links:
- Tidal Fraser River from Steveston to Mission
- Non-tidal Fraser River from Mission to Alexandra Bridge
With the support from the recreational fishing community, we will hopefully see these vulnerable stocks of salmon and steelhead rebounding one day. Coho salmon fishing in the Fraser River will reopen around mid October (again, please check regulations for the exact dates) and anglers can expect some excellent fishing when that occurs.