Steelhead anglers may have to start looking for another fish to catch. Four groups have released a joint statement sounding the alarm about the decline of steelhead numbers returning to B.C. rivers. The focal point of that concern is the Thompson River, a major tributary of the Fraser River. Where it once supported a thriving recreational steelhead fishery of 4,000 spawners in the mid-1980s, today the Thompson River has about 250 spawners projected for 2018.
The four groups—B.C. Wildlife Federation, Steelhead Society of B.C., B.C. Federation of Fly Fishers and B.C. Federation of Drift Fishers—are calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the provincial government, which is directly responsible for steelhead stocks management, to recognize the crisis and develop an action plan in response. “If we don’t take strong action over the next couple of years, we will lose it forever,” said Brian Braidwood, president of the Steelhead Society of B.C.
Source: Salmon Arm Observer, 9 Nov 2017