'Ksan at Skeena/Bulkley confluence
‘Ksan at Skeena/Bulkley confluence by Sam Beebe (Flickr Creative Commons)

British Columbia’s steelhead population is facing an unprecedented crisis. As of Aug. 31st, the official count of adult steelhead in the Skeena River watershed reached the point of “Extreme low abundance”. Please read the press release below regarding the crisis, and join those working to conserve these iconic anadromous fish!

From the BC Federation of Fly Fishers

“Dear member clubs, individual members, friends of the BC Federation of Fly Fishers, members of the media, and the public-at-large:

It is with deep regret that we are sending this URGENT MESSAGE, due to the current extreme conservation crisis facing the Skeena River steelhead.

According to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development, on August 31st, 2021:

“An estimated 5,280 adults have entered the Skeena watershed, 23% of the historical average to date. This is estimated at the Tyee Test Fishery and is below the extreme conservation concern threshold for this species (~8000 spawners). Extreme low abundance is corroborated by in-season observations at the upper Sustut River fish counting fence and captures at the Bulkley River canyon at Witset.”

We, therefore, request that you:

  • refrain from targeting steelhead within the Skeena River watershed
  • please share this message widely;
  • as a recreational angler, strive to do everything in your power to save the last runs of steelhead in British Columbia, including not fishing these majestic fish when other sectors are persisting in targeting them, against the scientific evidence for putting conservation first.

In short, we must each do our part to ensure that every steelhead in this crisis makes it to its spawning ground and that we cause 0% mortality.

Please contact the President of the BC Federation of Fly Fishers, Myles Armstead, with any comments or concerns at MylesArmstead007@GMail.com.