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

Arrowsmith Search and Rescue members, before descending into a gorge near Nile Creek to rescue an injured woman on Sunday, May 2, 2021. (ASAR Twitter photo)
Arrowsmith SAR crews help rescue hiker who plunged 10 metres onto rocks near Nile Creek

Helicopter with winch system required for technical operation in remote location

The courthouse in Nanaimo, B.C. (News Bulletin file)
Nanoose Bay man sentenced after causing a dog unnecessary pain and suffering

Kiefer Tyson Giroux, 26, given six-month sentence after beating pet he was supposed to be caring for

The graph provided by the City of Parksville in a release issued on May 4, depicting a balanced financial budget for 2021. (submitted photo)
City of Parksville announces a balanced budget for 2021

Penalty date for property tax payments extended from July 2 to Oct. 1

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

A wild rabbit grazes in Nanaimo, B.C. in this Feb.2, 2018 photo. Rabbit owners in Alberta are being warned about a deadly virus that was identified in a southern Alberta household last month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dirk Meissner
‘Like a flash fire:’ Rabbit owners warned about outbreak of deadly disease in Alberta

The disease is confined to rabbits and cannot spread to humans

A lady wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
Clash between loggers, activists halts forestry operations over Fairy Creek

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Following a one-year pause due to the pandemic, the Snowbirds were back in the skies over the Comox Valley Wednesday (May 5) morning. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Video: Snowbirds hold first training session in Comox Valley in more than 2 years

The team will conduct their training from May 4 to 26 in the area

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

Most Read