CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C. – The City of Campbell River is urging the federal government to ease off its restrictions concerning sport fishing.

A letter from city council urges the federal government to allow sport fishers to retain some of their Chinook catch when conservation measures are introduced this April.

“As the Salmon Capital of the World, recreational fishing plays a vital role in in the local economy, and fishing is a key tourist attraction,” said mayor Andy Adams. “On behalf of the members of the third largest city on Vancouver Island, this council strongly supports a fisheries management regime that sustains both a healthy salmon population and the important socio-economic benefits of a recreational fishery in coastal communities.”

The Feb. 28 letter responds to a notice from the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard about Chinook conservation measures coming this spring, one scenario with zero retention permitted, and another with limited retention.

Council’s response urges the federal government to implement Chinook conservation measures that allow limited retention of fish caught for recreation, at a minimum.

“In the letter, Council also urges DFO to begin fin-clipping of all chinook produced at Pacific hatcheries,” the Mayor added. “This will help gather data to about the effectiveness of wild chinook conservation measures and to further support fish retention as the foundation of the recreational fishery in southern British Columbia.”

Council opposes the zero-retention strategy in scenario A, which would “have devastating impacts on the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of individuals and families in our community,” the letter states.