Recreational sockeye fishing will be allowed until Sept. 15 at Babine Lake, with a daily limit of one sockeye.
Earlier this summer, Colin Masson, Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) north coast area director, said the DFO would not consider reopening recreational sockeye fishing unless the total return estimate reached over 800,000, adding that this was “extremely unlikely.”
The total estimate return past the Tyee Test fishery has now exceeded 800,000 sockeye, considerably higher than July’s estimate of 419,000 and the pre-season estimate of 590,000 sockeye.
The Babine Lake reopening does not include tributaries and excludes those waters within a 400-m radius of the following tributary streams: Morrison Creek, Six Mile Creek, Pierre Creek, Pendleton Creek, Hazelwood Creek, Twain Creek, Tachek Creek, Five Mile Creek, Four Mile Creek, Sockeye Creek, Big Loon Creek, Tsezakwa Creek, Pinkut Creek. Also closed east of a line from Gullwing Creek to the south shore of Babine Lake.
Barbed hooks are allowed in Babine Lake.
Although recreational sockeye fishing along the Babine River opened temporarily last month, it closed Aug. 31. Food, social and ceremonial harvest of sockeye has been allowed in the Skeena watershed since early August.
If you are going fishing for salmon in non-tidal (fresh) waters, you will need a non-tidal angling licence, issued by the Province of British Columbia. Visit the provincial website to buy your licence. Licences are available to B.C. residents and non-residents. Fees may vary and are listed online at www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/licences.
Recreational fishing for chum salmon remains closed in the entire Skeena watershed.