British Columbia Prepares to Kick "Alien" Fly Fishers Off Of Steelhead Rivers

December 12, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

“A small and self-serving group with guidance from the BC Ministry of the Environment is trying to drive a wedge in the long, happy and mutually advantageous alliance between the good people of the Skeena Valley and the traveling anglers from around the world who have treasured this resource and taken its side when it has been threatened.”
That’s what Thomas McGuane told Seth Norman recently during Norman’s investigation into a new movement to limit or ban non-resident steelheaders on the Skeena River and its tributaries.
It seems that the British Columbia Ministry of Environment (MoE) is bent on killing the B.C. steelhead guiding business — or at least putting interests of locals who depend on the fishing economy ($35 and $50 million per year) second to those who might benefit from less fishing in the area. The most curious thing Norman turned up is that there were so few stakeholders involved in the process of re-examining river regulation in the first place.
Rather than repeat what Norman says in his excellent article on the subject, we encourage you to go read it in its entirety on the Fly Rod & Reel Web site. As Norman points out, there are all sorts of intriguing clues as to what might be motivating the MoE — possibly involving competition for headwaters lands among developers and even giant companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Enbridge, Inc.