Fisheries Management always seems like a tough thing to do here in California. But take a trip up north, away from the environmental squabbles to places, like British Columbia, Canada, where they use a technique called “Active Fisheries Management” pioneered by researchers at the University of British Columbia. The basic concept is to break the fishing locations into lots of zones. And to actively make changes in-season short term as well as long-term to retain stocks and enhance fisheries.
The technique has continued to allow a fishery to thrive. Last year was a banner year for sockeye in the Fraser River and overall Lower Mainland BC. This year, the pinks are running in huge numbers. In some places, along the shores of West Vancouver and Howe Sound the fish are thick and caught by folks from shore in water just a few feet deep. It’s been decades since Pacifica, California has such abundant salmon runs, and it’s been a long time since shoreliners caught fresh ocean run salmon in SF Bay in quantity. But BC might hold some keys to enhancing our own fisheries. If we, in California, could just get away from the need by some very vocal and activist few that condemn fishing altogether and would do away with the sport. Their motives aren’t to enhance the fisheries, but to end them. It doesn’t have to be that way.