Mamquam and Cheakamus Rivers affected
On April 12, the Ministry of Water, land and Air Protection announced a total fishing ban for the Cheakamus and Mamquam Rivers near Squamish, from April 15 to June 30.
The bans were introduced based on the recommendations of local groups that monitor the stocks. Steelhead in particular are endangered, according to a monitoring program, and the population has been weak for the past decade.
The closures apply to the areas that steelhead use before spawning. Spawning fish are more fragile, and multiple catch and release may impact the success of the spawning season.
Conservation officers will enforce to the new fishing regulations, and the public is urged to help protect the wild steelhead stocks by reporting any illegal fishing to their local conservation officer or to the provincial, toll-free Observe, Record, Report line at 1-800-663 WILD (9453).
The Mamquam River will be closed in the area upstream from Mashiter Creek. Angling on a 15 kilometre section of the Cheakamus River will be prohibited, between the Squamish Valley Road bridge crossing upstream to the first B.C. Rail line crossing of the river in the Cheakamus Canyon.
At other times of the year, catch and release of steelhead on these rivers will be allowed with a single barbless hook. The use of bait is prohibited.
The Pemberton Sportsmens Wildlife Association is also recommending that the upper section of the Birkenhead River, above the Bailey Bridge on the DArcy Road, be closed to anglers during the spawning season, from the beginning of August until the end of September to protect the Chinook.