Craig Orr comments on impact of chum fishery on Dean River steelhead and depleted chum stocks in the Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail article Steelhead stocks on Dean River ‘hammered’ by chum fishery details the affects of the chum fishery near Bella Coola on steelhead in the Dean River. Watershed Watch Executive Director, Craig Orr, states, “the chum fishery should not be taking place because of the impact on Dean steelhead runs, but also because chum stocks in both the Dean and Bella Coola rivers have declined 80 per cent in recent years. These fisheries are hurting chum stocks that are in trouble. They should be letting these stocks recover, not fishing them down.”
The article also quotes Billy Blewett, who runs a fishing lodge on the Dean River, and Jeff Vermillion, who runs Sweetwater Travel Co. and books sport fishing trips to the world’s top fishing lodges, who both express their concern over the impact the chum fishery has had on steelhead stocks.
Joe Saysell, a retired fly fishing guide who has been travelling to the Dean River for 30 years says, “Here were people who were paying $6,000 to $7,000 a week to go fishing, and they were sitting on a log at the side of the river because there were no fish. It’s unbelievable how much tourism money the Dean draws into British Columbia. But all of that has been put in jeopardy by this mismanagement of the resource.”