Skeena Quality Waters Strategy

Skeena Quality Waters Strategy and Angling Management Plans

Quality Waters Strategy Brochure Download the Brochure [PDF 3MB]

For years, resident anglers, non-resident anglers, guides, members of the Ministry of Environment’s Sport Fish Advisory Committee, members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Sport Fish Advisory Board, and local Fish and Game Clubs have told the Ministry of Environment that some waters in the Skeena River system have persistent steelhead angler-use issues — crowding, disproportionate numbers of non-resident anglers or guided anglers, lack of opportunities for resident anglers, illegal guiding, poor angler etiquette — leading to a degraded quality of angling experience.

In response to these concerns, the ministry implemented the Quality Waters Strategy on the Skeena River in 2006. The Quality Waters Strategy is a province-wide process that aims to maintain and improve the angling experiences offered in B.C.’s waters, by managing angler-use. The strategy includes a community engagement process, to help identify waters of concern that require new or revised regulations.

The end-product of the engagement process is are Angling Management Plans (AMPs) that recommend revisions to current sport fishing regulations for steelhead angler-use issues on priority waters in the Skeena River watershed. AMPs does not address steelhead population status and conservation issues; those are addressed through other initiatives.

The Quality Waters Strategy is a stakeholder-driven process with a provincial Quality Waters Committee and a regional Skeena River committee (Regional Quality Waters Management Committee or Regional Committee) that both have representation from resident anglers, the guiding community, and the Ministry of Environment. The Regional Committee plays an important role in overseeing the Skeena Quality Waters Strategy.

Timeline of the Skeena Quality Waters Strategy - 2007 to Present

Ministry of Environment Response to Final Working Group Recommendations

The Ministry of Environment response to Working Group recommendations for Angling Management Plans is now available for downloading:

» Ministry Response to Working Group Recommendations
for Skeena Angling Management Plans

This document presents what the Working Groups recommended, and the response from the Ministry of Environment. In this document, the ministry indicates which recommendations were endorsed, those that were not endorsed, and those which were deferred for consideration in the future. The rationale for these decisions is also presented.

Final Working Group Recommendations Posted

The Recommendations of the Working Groups for Angling Management Plans are posted for downloading:

» Working Group Recommendations [PDF 403KB]

To develop these final recommendations, volunteer members of the three Working Groups met for three weekend-long sessions in May and June 2009 using information from the Phase II Consultation Report to develop their recommendations. For more information, click here.

Revising the Draft Recommendations for Angling Management Plans

Following the Phase II Consultation Process, the stakeholder based Working Groups met to revise the draft recommendations for Angling Management Plans.  This occurred from March 2009 to June 2009. This revision was based on input received from the public, referencing the Phase II Consultation Report. The revised recommendations were also be reviewed by the Regional Committee. Following this, the revised recommendations for Angling Management Plans were forwarded to the Ministry of Environment for consideration.

Phase II Consultation Process

The Phase II consultation process began with the release of the draft Angling Management Plan for the Skeena Quality Waters Strategy on October 17, 2008 and ended on November 30, 2008.

The Phase II consultation process asked public and stakeholders the following questions:

  • What do you like about the draft Angling Management Plan?
  • What don’t you like about the draft plan?
  • How should the plan be changed to better address the issues the community has raised?

The goal of the Phase II consultation process was to gather feedback on the draft Angling Management Plan. This feedback was collected for the stakeholder-based Working Groups to use in revising the draft plan to better reflect all community interests. For more information, click here.

Draft Recommendations for Angling Management Plans

From April to June 2008, three stakeholder-based Working Groups met to help develop draft recommendations for Angling Management Plans on 13 priority waters of the Skeena River watershed. With the guidance of independent facilitators, they used the Phase I Consultation Report, angling use data, and their local knowledge and experience on the rivers, to develop the draft recommendations. The results of their volunteer efforts were published on October 17, 2008 in “Draft Angling Management Plan, Skeena Quality Waters Strategy” by Alan Dolan & Associates.

» Download the Draft Angling Management Plan [PDF 114 pages/1.22MB]
» Download the Executive Summary for the Draft Angling Management Plan [PDF 16 pages/158KB]

Phase I Consultation Process

From January to March 2008, the Phase I consultation process was held in the Skeena River watershed to identify concerns and issues from the public and stakeholders regarding sportfishing for steelhead. Participants in the consultation process were also invited to identify problems on area rivers and suggest potential solutions to address those problems. The results of that process were published in “Consultation Report Phase I (January – March 2008 Skeena Quality Waters Strategy” on March 31, 2008 by Alan Dolan & Associates. For more information on the Phase I Consultation Process, click here.

» Download the Phase I Consultation Report [PDF 182 pages/5.7MB]