Nass FSC Catch Update #4 2021

It has come to our attention again this year that some disgruntled Nisga’a citizens have been posting on social media publically that the Gitanyow Nation Fishery on the Nass is the cause of the recent declines of salmon and that Gitanyow People should not be fishing, especially when the Nisga’a Food Fishery is closed (Nisga’a Fish and Wildlife Department announcement July 12, 2021). Some of these posts are of a very serious nature, malicious, threatening, calling for violence, the destruction of property and blockages against Gitanyow Fishers.

In an effort to clarify the legality of the Gitanyow fishery on the Nass and to be transparent, the Gitanyow Fisheries Authority (GFA) would like to provide the following information.

  • The Gitanyow Nation has been issued DFO Communal fishing licenses on the Nass since 1994.
  • The fishery is conducted on the Nass River mainstem and in several tributaries at traditional fishing sites within the Gitanyow Lax Yip (Traditional Territory).
  • Fishing is only allowed if authorized by the Gitanyow Chiefs and physical paper permits are provided to all Gitanyow permitted fishers so they have proof of permission.
  • GFA Catch Monitors collect catch numbers from fishers through direct interviews on a weekly basis and catch numbers are shared with DFO in- season for salmon management purposes.
  • Since 2020, the Gitanyow have been sharing their catch numbers publically online, and they will do so again this year.

Again this year, GFA will be reporting salmon harvest numbers weekly by the Gitanyow and Nisga’a Nations and posting them publically. These are self-reported numbers gathered through the respective monitoring programs of each nation, and shared weekly with the DFO on the in-season calls and weekly updates.

GFA will be monitoring the Nass salmon returns again in 2021 and advise the Gitanyow Chiefs of any conservation concerns requiring internal Gitanyow Fisheries management actions. Any management actions required in 2021 will be discussed and considered in partnership with DFO.

2021 Weekly Nass Harvest Numbers to date:

Gitanyow (updated August 9)

Sockeye = 8,675
Chinook = 268
Coho = 1
Pink = 0
Chum = 0
Steelhead = 0

*Nisga’a (Updated July 31)
Sockeye = 35,698
Chinook = 5,582
Coho = 202
Pink = 2,947
Chum = 17
Steelhead = 26

*Harvest data provided online by Nisga’a Lisims Government.

Next anticipated update by August 17, 2021.