After a meagre preseason forecast for sockeye salmon fishing on the Somass this year, the river’s First Nations began to take advantage of a brief opening on Tuesday, June 30.
The evening before nets were cast on the river that runs next to Port Alberni DFO staff held a meeting with the Area 23 Harvest Committee to discuss managing sockeye on the Somass this summer. Besides Fisheries and Oceans Canada personnel, representatives were present from the Tseshaht, Hupacasath and Maa-nulth First Nations, as well as the commercial gill net and seigne fleet and the Alberni Valley Sport Fishing Advisory Committee.
The river’s sockeye run is currently confirmed at 250,000, leading the groups to open fishing this week for First Nations, recreational boats and the Area D gill net fleet.
A DFO bulletin notes that recreational boats can head to the water on Canada Day.
“This may lead to further recreational sockeye opportunities if conditions warrant,” states the notice.