Sean Brady / Kamloops This Week
Dumped salmon not uncommon during dominant run years
Tue Sep 4, 2018 5:18pm

Dumped salmon not uncommon during dominant run years
Sean Brady / Kamloops This Week

September 4, 2018 04:21 PM

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fish pile
This is the pile of fish Vera Swaine discovered at the intersection of Lac Le Jeune Road and Sugarloaf Road.
Photograph By Vera Swaine/Contributed

A fishy looking scene discovered by a Kamloops resident could be the first of many this year.

A large pile of salmon, each of which had been roughly filleted and discarded, was discovered by Vera Swaine just off the Trans-Canada Highway at Sugarloaf Road and Lac Le Jeune Road on the morning of Aug. 26.
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“It looked like it had been dumped that morning. We were out running just after 7 a.m.,” Swaine told KTW.

Swaine said she thought it was wasteful and irresponsible for the pile to be left there and was worried it would attract bears to the area.

She reported the pile of red flesh to City of Kamloops bylaw enforcement and later to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, which is in charge of salmon and other marine fish.

The dumped fish might just be the first of many this year, according to Barry Zunti, a fishery officer with Fisheries and Oceans Canada who oversees the Southern Interior.

“Unfortunately, on years like this, one of the things we do encounter, unfortunately, is that sometimes people go out ... and poach or illegally harvest salmon,” he said.

Millions of sockeye salmon are expected to return to spawn on the Adams River in October as part of the dominant year of a four-year cycle.

Zunti said illegal fish sales, often operating out of the backs of vehicles, are a common occurrence in years when the salmon surge.

Zunti said the practise is illegal without a vendor’s licence, punishable by a maximum fine of $100,000. He said it’s also illegal to buy fish not caught under the authority of a commercial licence.

But another warning Zunti has for the public is about health — some of the fish he has seen destined for sale weren’t up to par, recalling one instance in which fish had been dragged by rope through a pasture before being rinsed off in a creek and put on ice.

“If someone came around with a dead cow in the back of a vehicle and cut off some steaks, would you buy them? Same thing with a fish,” he said.

To avoid buying illegal catches, Zunti said consumers should ask to see a vendor’s licence or ask under which commercial fishery the fish were caught.

He also encouraged people to report any salmon and marine fish-related violations to the department’s Observe, Record, Report line at 1-800-465-4336.

    • Waste during abundance is not just here,Forward Post , Tue Sep 11 2:01pm
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