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

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey chief constable says ‘comprehensive’ public engagement to be done this year

Norm Lipinski says Surrey Police Service has ‘good momentum’

Burnsview Secondary in a Google Streetview photo.
UPDATE: Knife recovered after schoolyard stabbing in North Delta

One teen now out of hospital, and other has been released to custody of family with conditions

Surrey-raised forward Jujhar Khaira in action with Edmonton Oilers. (Photo: nhl.com)
Q&A: Surrey’s Jujhar Khaira credits parents for their hard work on his path to NHL

Port Kells-raised player talks about his journey to pro hockey with Edmonton Oilers

Dyllan Petrin is charged related to an ongoing investigation in Surrey involving a kidnapping and assault that occurred in July, 2019. (Photo: Surrey RCMP)
Man arrested in connection to kidnapping, murder investigations: Surrey RCMP

Police say Dyllan Petrin was arrested in Vancouver

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Ralliers gather in front of the Cityviews Village apartment building in Maple Ridge to protest attempts to evict low-income tenants by the building owner. (Ronan O’Doherty - The News)
Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Protest held in front of Cityviews Village on 223 St. Tuesday to rally against low-income evictions

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Snow is forecasted to appear in parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend. (Black Press Media files)
Snow forecasted for parts of Lower Mainland this weekend

Environment Canada is predicting flurries and snow from Saturday to Monday evening

Most Read