More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)

More than 70 anglers participated in the bar-fishing demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020 on the Fraser River near Chilliwack. DFO officers ticketed six people and seized four rods. A court date is set for Dec. 1, 2020. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Anglers ticketed in Fraser River demonstration fishery heading to court

Sportfishing groups started a GoFundMe with almost $20K so far for legal defence of six anglers

Anglers ticketed during a demonstration fishery on the Fraser River in September are heading to court next month.

A GoFundMe page to pay their legal fees was launched by the Fraser Valley Salmon Society (FVSS) to support the Fraser River Sportfishing Alliance (FVSA), raising $19,220 as of Nov. 23.

A court date for the anglers is set for Dec. 1, and some sportfishing advocates are considering attending the courthouse in support, possibly outside in a truck convoy with COVID protocols in place.

The demonstration fishery on Sept. 9, 2020, saw more than 70 anglers heading out on Fraser River to bar-fish selectively to show they could avoid impacting any migrating stocks of concern. They were warned by fishery officers they could be fined or have rods confiscated.

Six individuals were subsequently ticketed for fishing on the Fraser during a closed time to salmon fishing.

“Those tickets were a catalyst to continuing our efforts to secure allocation and the opportunity to fish with a public fishery,” said Dean Werk, president of the salmon society. “We’re doing this for future generations.”

The demonstration went ahead despite federal officials turning down the groups’ request for approval for a “test” fishery opportunity on the Fraser River.

“We were trying to establish that we could fish selectively using a barbless hook and not impact migrating stocks of concern,” Werk said.

Angling groups have been lobbying for years for restricted leader lengths to permit selective bar fishing but to no avail since DFO has not opted to enact any gear restrictions.

“We carefully considered all options and made the decision to put our time and effort toward a legal challenge,” according to the GoFundMe description. “This decision was not taken lightly.”

It was the consensus of the members that the legal route was the only viable option remaining as all negotiations with DFO had proven futile, they said.

“The lack of consideration to the public fishery is concerning, frustrating and unjustified. It’s time for action.”

READ MORE: Anglers to show ability to avoid stocks of concern with demonstration fishery

READ MORE: Demonstration fishery to go ahead without DFO approval

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

DFOfishing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Port Alice Royal Canadian Legion building. (Port Alice Royal Canadian Legion Facebook photo)
Four local Legions nab federal support money

The Royal Canadian Legion received $14 million for disbursement to branches across Canada

The barge sank again on Jan. 8 and is still resting under water. (Bill McQuarrie photo)
UPDATE: Barge will stay under water in Port McNeill marina until February

The sunken barge was reported to Environment Canada.

Mount Cain
Mount Cain cancels ‘Cain Cup’ due to COVID-19 restrictions

‘It is unfortunate that we had to make this decision’

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. find its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s. (Canadian Press file)
Full parole granted to former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse of boys

Alan Davidson convicted of abusing boys in B.C. and Saskatchewan in late ’70s, early ’90s

The first COVID-19 vaccine arrives in B.C. in temperature-controlled containers, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)
More vaccine arrives as B.C. struggles with remote COVID-19 cases

Long-term care homes remain focus for public health

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring has expressed his frustration with harassment of people who have made racist comments online about Cowichan Tribes in the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak in the First Nation. (Citizen file)
Island mayor calls for de-escalation as social media gets uglier in racism fight

“Racism is wrong. But so is this kind of reaction”:

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said a lack of experienced crew members and the inability to detect navigational errors is what led to a Sooke search and rescue boat running aground in February 2019. (Twitter / @VicJRCC_CCCOS)
TSB: Sooke search and rescue boat crash caused by ‘misinterpretation of navigational information’

Crew members were lacking experience and unable to detect navigational errors

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in 60 B.C. First Nations by next week

B.C. has allocated 25,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to First Nations for distribution by the end of February

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 25, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Todd Stone says he’s not running for B.C. Liberal leadership

Kamloops MLA was widely viewed as a front-runner

Wireless voice and data services are out for those on Telus as of Thursday (Jan. 14) afternoon across Western Canada, Telus Support said in a recent Tweet. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATE: Telus services restored across Western Canada

Telus said they are monitoring the situation to ensure connections remain stable

Most Read