Government of Canada Takes Action to Address Threats to Struggling Fraser River Chinook

VANCOUVER, BC – Chinook salmon populations have been in decline for years as a result of a number of factors including habitat destruction, harvest, and the effects of climate change. The challenges facing at-risk Fraser River Chinook salmon stocks are multi-faceted. The road to recovery requires a long-term view and the collaboration of all interested parties. 

Today, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is releasing 2020 Fisheries management measures that will support the recovery of at-risk Fraser River Chinook populations, as well as protect the jobs and communities that depend on Chinook.

The 2020 measures include additional restrictions to strengthen conservation as well as the flexibility needed where impacts to stocks of concern will be very low.

These measures were developed following consultation with Indigenous communities, recreational and commercial fishing organizations, and environmental organizations. These measures are one component of a larger strategy intended to place at-risk Pacific salmon populations on a path towards sustainability.

Working with First Nations and stakeholders, we are confident we are taking steps to ensure healthier Chinook stocks while maintaining a high degree of protection for endangered Fraser River Chinook. Of the thirteen wild Fraser River Chinook salmon populations assessed, only one is not at risk. The loss of Chinook salmon would be disastrous not just for wildlife that depend on them as a food source, but also for the many First Nations and communities whose ways of life and jobs depend on Fraser Chinook salmon.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada took unprecedented fisheries management measures in 2019 to protect Fraser River Chinook stocks, including efforts to clear the Big Bar Landslide, which further threatened the species. We will continue to assess fish passage at the Big Bar landslide and consider these circumstances in making fisheries management decisions as the season progresses.

The Government of Canada is taking significant action to ensure that our Chinook salmon survive for future generations. The measures announced today highlight the government’s commitment to working collaboratively to ensure the sustainability of Chinook stocks as a means by which to ensure the health of our ecosystems and the long term prosperity of Indigenous and coastal communities.