There will be no more salmon fishing this season on the Clearwater and North Thompson rivers – or anywhere else in the Thompson River drainage for that matter.
“It’s to protect the stock so there can be fishing in future years,” explained fishery officer Ron Hudema.
“The water temperatures in the Fraser River are close to lethal for salmon,” he said. “The Thompson River is warm too, about 19 or 20 degrees C. The North Thompson and the Clearwater are not as warm as the Fraser and the Thompson, but we don’t know how that warm water has affected the fish. It’s a long way to come.”
Hudema noted that this is a poor stock year and officials do not know how many fish to expect.
As of Thursday, July 23, the federal fisheries agency specifically closed the Clearwater and North Thompson rivers to salmon fishing.
This was in addition to a blanket ban on salmon fishing for the Thompson and Shuswap river systems imposed the same day.
Reasons given for the bans were the extremely low water levels in the Thompson and Shuswap systems, plus temperatures that are reaching the lethal limits for migrating salmon.
With average summer air temperatures and reduced precipitation predicted, elevated stream temperatures are expected to continue.
Because of the ban, a catch-and-release fishery for salmon from local waters that began July 15 is now ended.
The annual chinook fishery on the Clearwater and North Thompson rivers that usually takes place each August will not happen this year.