48 sockeye, harbour seal seized from poachers caught on B.C. river

Charges pending after two poachers arrested for salmon fishing at night

The Fraser River’s waters may be bursting with sockeye salmon ready for the catching, but some people aren’t following the rules.

This past weekend, officers from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) caught and arrested two poachers who were fishing at night on the river between Chilliwack and Mission.

“The officers were working regular night patrol and received an anonymous report about potential illegal fishing,” said Leri Davies, media relations advisor for the DFO Pacific region.

“Officers used night vision to detect the illegal fishers and then responeded by vessel to deal with the individuals … (as) there was no open legal Fishery at the time,” continued Davies.

Charges are pending, but 48 sockeye and a harbour seal, as well as the poachers’ boat, motor, and net were all seized at the scene. The seal was likely caught in the net inadvertently.

In the Chilliwack area, recreational salmon fishing is only permitted from an hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. It’s also important to note, if you’re going fishing for salmon in fresh waters, you need a Non-Tidal Angling Licence, which is issued by the Province of British Columbia.

If you witness any suspicious fishing behaviour, call the Fisheries and Ocean Canada 24-hour toll free Observe, Record, Report line at 800-465-4336 or the British Columbia’s toll-free RAPP line (Report All Poachers and Polluters) at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).

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During the current salmon run, anglers are allotted two sockeye catches per day. Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard

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