OLYMPIA -- Treaty Indian tribes and the Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife will open four days of fishing for Fraser River sockeye beginning Saturday.
The decision was made by tribal, state and federal fish managers today following
a technical presentation by Pacific Salmon Commission staff indicating that the Early
Stuart component of the Fraser River sockeye run is building as anticipated.
Fish managers expect approximately 1.1 million Early Stuart sockeye will return
through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Canada's Johnstone Strait in the next few days.
Canadian fish managers have announced they want 500,000 of those 1.1 million fish to
return to spawn in the Fraser River. American fish managers expect the U.S.
commercial fleet to harvest no more than 85,000 Early Stuart sockeye in four days of
fishing. Canadians will have the opportunity to harvest approximately 500,000 sockeye.
The American fishing schedule is:
- Non-tribal reef netters: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday
- Tribal fishers: 4 a.m. Monday to 7 a.m. Tuesday
- Non-tribal gillnetters: 7 a.m. Tuesday to midnight Tuesday
The American fishing will occur in the San Juan and Point Roberts areas.
- Non-tribal purse seiners: 5 a.m. Wednesday to 9 p.m. Wednesday
The fish managers emphasized that they want to complete the U.S. harvest of
Early Stuarts before the arrival of the early summer component of the Fraser River
sockeye run. The early summer sockeye run is expected to be in poor condition. The
United States wants to minimize the harvest of early summer sockeye.
Fishing decisions about the rest of the Fraser River sockeye runs summer
and late summer will be made later in the summer following test fishing when the fish
begin appearing in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Johnstone Strait. The summer run is
expected to provide the bulk of this year's sockeye harvest.
Sockeye fishing normally continues through August as the fish return from the