Stellat'en Fisheries Program
Stellat’en First Nation Fisheries Program is Coordinated by Carrier Sekani Tribal Council.
SFN Fisheries goals for the program are:
- Increase community responsibility for watershed management;
- Increase local watershed surveillance and monitoring;
- Increase the number of qualified fisheries technicians within the delivery area;
- Increase stakeholder and public awareness of fish and fish habitat requirements;
- Increase fisheries projects within the core territory of Stellat’en First Nation
- Encourage youth to seek further education and training that will increase their employability in the natural resource sector.
- Identify individual needs of participants such as education level, training, work experience and career planning.
The Stellat’en First Nation Fisheries Program carries out two projects the Stellat’en Fish Fence Operation and Catch Monitoring on the west end of Fraser Lake. The fish fence operations consisted of construction, maintenance, and enumeration of Adult Stellat’en Sockeye Salmon.
Stellako Adult Sockeye Enumeration Program
Stellat’en Fisheries senior staff, Stellat’en Fisheries Field Technician Trainees and DFO staff worked together to enumerate sockeye salmon spawners returning to the Stellako River. We worked together to construct the fish fence, the fish fence was maintained 24hrs a day and had 2-3 people per shift.
The fish were also enumerated by visual counts by doing floats. The Bio sampling, mark/recapture and dead pitches were carried out by DFO stock assessment staff and Stellat’en Fisheries Field staff. Visual sockeye counts on Nithi River and Ormand Creek also took place by Stellat’en Fisheries Field Technician and DFO Stock Assessment staff.
Daily data collected by Fisheries Field Technicians were on DFO data forms and SFN fish fence journal; they included data such as;
- Date, time, weather, water gauge and water temperature (each shift had the responsibility of recording this data).
- Numbers of fish through a fence on an hourly basis (Sockeye Chinook).
- Record of other fish species (trout, Kokanee and suckers etc)
- Food fish numbers (male/female sockeye numbers).
- The number of visitors at the fish fence was recorded on a per shift basis (DFO, school groups, community members.)
- Notes on fish fence maintenance (cleaning, sandbagging or a record of any breaches).
- Record of any tagged sockeye observed moving through the fence.
SFN Catch Monitoring
The sockeye food fishery activities carried out by the Stellat’en Field Technicians. The sockeye was dip netted off of the fish fence. This is how traditionally how Carrier First Nations fished for their salmon. The Stellat’en Field Technicians caught and recorded the number of fish, sex of the fish, and kept a list of community members who received fish on a daily basis. As well, there was a record kept on who was setting a net on the west end of Fraser Lake.
- Ecotourism (rafting and hiking tours)
- Environmental monitoring
- Referral tracking and monitoring
- Creel surveys