VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C. – The provincial government is in the process of putting together a made-in-BC wild salmon strategy.

The goal is to support the restoration of healthy and abundant wild salmon stocks across British Columbia.

Members of the Wild Salmon Advisory Council will be in communities across BC to gather feedback from residents and local fishermen.

Melissa Collier with the BC Young Fishermen’s Network (BCYFN) said it’s very important for everyone to get involved.

“The paper discusses a variety of important issues and opportunities around habitat enhancements, processing, licensing, and fishing,” she said.

“It’s important to note that this paper doesn’t just address issues and opportunities for current, active fishermen, but it also addresses things that will impact future generations of fishermen.”

Although Collier said she was happy with the opportunity to provide feedback, she was disappointed with the “last-minute notice” regarding the public meetings.

“With the last-minute notice and the tight timeline, it would still be great if we could get as many voices to these meetings as possible to really reflect the diversity, needs and interests among fishermen,” she said.

Collier said representatives from the Wild Salmon Advisory Council would be hosting the meetings.

In Campbell River, a discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, December 5th at 6:00 p.m. at the Coast Discovery Inn. A second meeting planned for Vancouver Island is on Thursday, December 6th in Port Alberni.

Anyone who cannot attend the meetings can share their thoughts online through the provincial government’s website.

Online feedback forms are accepted until December 28th. In January and February, the province said the paper and report from public feedback would be put together for a strategic framework. By March 2019, the plans will be put in motion.

FRESHWATER FISHING REGULATIONS

People can also voice their opinion on proposed changes for the 2019-2021 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis.

A full list of the regulations can be viewed through this link.

Some of the changes that have been suggested would affect fishing methods, gear, bait, quotas, boundaries and fishery opening and closing dates.

Comments have to be in by Friday, January 11th. Once the final decisions are made, the synopsis will be posted online in mid-March.

Approved changes will come into effect on April 1st, 2019.