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Intriguing Fraser River Aboriginal Fishery

I am having a hard time finding print or internet media sources on this story … but BCTV News has been running a television piece on a native fishery on the Fraser River just east of Vancouver. Each summer in British Columbia, we hear about various ‘openings’ for salmon fishing for commercial fleets or aboriginal fishing (or both) and they are usually measured in hours. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans sets the openings and their lengths.

What makes this 12 hour opening for Sto:lo Nation fishers intriguing is that it is the Sto:lo themselves who opened the fishery. By doing so, they are asserting their right to fish and, by extension, to administer their own affairs including when they should conduct fishing activities.

This decision by the Sto:lo leadership appears to push the bounds of the Sparrow Decision which determined that aboriginal people in Canada had the right to fish due to their aboriginal heritage — but that right was subject to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans determinations about the conservation of fish stocks. If the DFO determined stocks were low, fishing on the Fraser River could be closed (and it usually is).

I’ll keep an eye out for more about this …

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  1. Jamie wrote:

    The papers here in Chilliwack have run some stories on the issue.

    Here’s the link to the Chilliwack Times article

    The Chilliwack Progress covered the story in their Tuesday edition, but it seems that they haven’t updated their site yet. I’ll post a link as soon as it is up.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at 12:59 pm | Permalink
  2. Thanks for that link Jamie. It’s great having correspondents watching other papers around the province!

    Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at 6:42 pm | Permalink
  3. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for reading my blog … your interest is appreciated. My apologies for deleting the trackback link to your post … it arrived with five casino spam-posts and I got carried away not recognizing your name or site.

    Now that I have found you, I will watch your posts with interest.

    Thanks again,


    PS … Brian’s post is here.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2005 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  4. DragonSpeed wrote:

    Tad, for some excellent fishing info, and discussions, check out the discussion forums (fora?) on I am one of the moderators, and Rodney, the guy who runs it, is on the group that is trying to find a happy medium with the FN regaring FN/Commercial/Rec fishing.


    Wednesday, July 27, 2005 at 11:08 pm | Permalink
  5. Thanks Brian … fishingwithrod looks great and I’ll keep an eye on it.

    Thursday, July 28, 2005 at 5:32 am | Permalink

2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Brian Hampson - My Life and Things I Find Interesting on Wednesday, July 27, 2005 at 11:08 pm

    Interesting points regarding the Sto:Lo fishery this week.

  2. […] points regarding the Sto:Lo fishery this week. Tad MacIlwraith has an interesting comment on the recent Sto:Lo fishery…. They decided when to have it, and […]