A commercial gillnet fishery is scheduled for next week, despite low returns of Somass River sockeye salmon this year.
Of particular concern is the sockeye returning to Great Central Lake, as less than 600 fish have swum through the counter so far, compared to 16,000 already in the Sproat Lake system.
Courtenay – Alberni MP Gord Johns stood in the House of Commons earlier this week to demand federal resources to rescue Somass sockeye populations before it’s too late.
“The Somass River got nothing despite steep declines in our salmon,” he said.
Commercial gillnetters have landed 3000 sockeye, and First Nations 4000 for food and ceremonial purposes, and are awaiting an economic fisheries agreement with DFO
Approximately 450,000 sockeye are forecast to be returning to the Somass system this year.