Harmony on the Fraser
Fraser River Peacemakers Launch Online
The Fraser River Peacemakers rolled out a new website in July 2015.
In June 2014 the Fraser Basin Council convened a solutions dialogue under the banner of "Harmony on the Fraser" to discuss the upcoming salmon fishing season, and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
2014 was a strong year for Fraser River sockeye. That meant good fishing opportunities opening for all sectors, but also crowded fishing conditions in some areas, particularly in the busy stretch between Chilliwack and Hope.
Many new recreational anglers come to the Fraser each year, but especially when sockeye runs are strong, and some anglers are not familiar with the rules or do not understand that both Aboriginal and recreational fisheries may be active on the river at the same time. In the past, there have been concerns about unsafe parking, unsafe highway or rail crossings, trespassing, garbage dumping, poor sanitation, and lack of courtesy among the people fishing, whether on boat or shore.
These and other issues were discussed in the dialogue, which had a good turnout from First Nations, sport fishing organizations, conservation interests and enforcement agencies. Everyone agreed on the importance of encouraging safe and respectful relations along the river.
Most people on the river are respectful of each other, of course, and simply want to enjoy their fishing experience. It is important that they be supported and that everyone share in keeping harmony on the Fraser. The solutions dialogue was helpful in identifying actions that participants could take to address problems in their own areas of responsibility, now and in future years.
Photo: The Chehalis River angler access trail was a project of the Fraser River Peacemakers
Over the last six years, the Fraser River Fisheries Peacemakers have worked to encourage better relations along the river. The Peacemakers are a group of volunteers from First Nations and recreational fishing organizations who came together to educate about good river manners, to encourage better relationships between First Nations and recreational fishers, and to prevent and resolve conflicts.
This innovative initiative came about in 2009 after a confrontation between two recreational fishers and a First Nations chief on the Fraser River, during which the chief was shot in the face with a pellet gun. In the minds of all responsible fishers, this violent incident brought into sharp focus the need for everyone to share the river in a more peaceful manner.
The work of the Peacemakers was profiled during the June 2014 "Harmony on the Fraser" dialogue. FBC subsequently helped support their educational outreach, leading to a "Harmony on the Fraser" public event in August 2014 at Island 22 in Chilliwack.
ISLAND 22 EVENT
FBC joined the Fraser River Fisheries Peacemakers at Island 22 in Chilliwack in August 2014 under the banner of “Harmony on the Fraser.” Theresa Fresco of FBC presented a certificate of appreciation to Rod Clapton and Ernie Crey of the Peacemakers to recognize the group's work in promoting river etiquette and building better relations between First Nations and recreational fishers over the last five years.
Visit the Peacemakers website to stay current on future events.