Fisheries Minister Gail Shea is crowing about the opportunities with the 2010 return of sockeye to the Fraser river, calling it a banner year for Fraser River sockeye salmon.
This year's return is currently set at just over 25 million fish, one of the highest returns in the last hundred years.
Several fishery openings for Fraser River sockeye have already occurred in 2010 and more are planned, she said.
“Conservation and the sustainable use of salmon stocks are the Government of Canada's first priorities in the management of this fishery. With this season's abundant numbers, for the first time in four years, all sectors, including commercial, recreational and First Nations have had a chance to harvest Fraser River sockeye. Having been assured that conservation goals have been met and exceeded, we are extremely pleased that there will be even more opportunities.
“Our Government has always recognized the significance and importance of this iconic fish to British Columbians and Canadians. For this reason, Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the Cohen Commission of Inquiry in 2009 to take all feasible steps to improve the long-term sustainability and viability of this fishery for the benefit of all for years to come. The commission is thoroughly and actively engaged in its work to investigate all aspects of this fishery and we eagerly await its recommendations.
“Our Government will continue to work with those involved in the Fraser River sockeye fishery to ensure it is sustainable, and continues to support the economies of communities in British Columbia for generations to come.