Babine River Fence open until Sept. 15

The fence is open for Lake Babine Nation citizens only

Salmon

Lake Babine Nation (LBN) announced last week the opening of their fish fence, located past Fort Babine, near Burns Lake and Granisle for food fish starting Aug. 4.

According to the notice from the Lake Babine Nation, the fence will be open for members to pick up food fish until Sept. 15 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. between Wednesday and Sunday. The food fish limit is set for 100 per status card and a maximum of 200 per vehicles with two LBN members and status card.

The Nation had announced that the fence would not be open for food fish Aug. 1, 2022 and would only be open once the fish came in large numbers and the Nation lets some of the wild stocks through.

More than 75 per cent of LBN’s food fish harvest comes from the Babine counting fence and last year’s fish count was low, at 989,000 from July to September.

“Last year for our members approximately 30,000 food fish were harvested, not including our urban deliveries. For the urban deliveries we had 10,000 food fish, and nation to nation trades about 4,000,” said Tanis Bjarnason, administration assistant to the fisheries director.

This year, Just over half a million fish have come through already and those are the large sockeye, explained Bjarnason.

“Compared to last year it is amazing,” she said, adding that usually they get an estimate on their numbers by seeing how many fish have come through at the Skeena Tyee fishery, and because this year they already are at 2.7 million compared to last year, when they got just over 1 million, things are looking good for the Babine fish fence.

Those LBN members interested in receiving sockeye salmon but living in Smithers, Prince George or Vancouver, are encouraged to call the LBN receptionist and provide details such as name, phone number and status number.

This year, like the past couple of years, has been tough when it comes to finding crew to work the fence, however so far the fisheries department is trying to get more people on its fence crew.

“This year we are definitely trying to get more bodies than last year; but we still have trouble getting staff,” said Bjarnason. “But we are hoping to push forward with the full fish crew.”

At press time, as of Aug 1, recreational salmon fishing in Babine Lake will be open until Sept. 15 with a daily limit of two sockeye per day according to a Fisheries and Oceans Canada report. Possession limits are two times the daily limit.