Proposal to close trapping seasons for fishers in the Central Interior

Regulation Number: 
2022-03-01
Status: 
Proposed
Region: 
Region 3 - Thompson
Region 5 - Cariboo
Region 6 - Skeena
Region 7A - Omineca
MU: 
3-27
3-28
3-29
3-30
3-31
3-32
3-33
3-38
3-39
3-40
3-41
5-1
5-2
5-3
5-4
5-5
5-6
5-10
5-11
5-12
5-13
5-14
5-15
6-1
6-2
6-3
6-4
6-5
6-6
6-7
6-8
6-9
6-10
6-11
7-5
7-6
7-7
7-8
7-9
7-10
7-11
7-12
7-13
7-14
7-15
7-16
7-17
7-18
7-23
7-24
7-25
7-26
7-27
7-28
7-29
7-30
7-37
7-38
7-39
7-40
7-41
Regulation Type: 
Trapping
Species: 
Fisher
Closing Date: 
May 7, 2021 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

Pending

Current Regulations: 

Currently fishers are open for commercial trapping in the following regions and MUs:

  • Thompson (3): MUs 3-27 to 3-33, 3-38 to 3-41
  • Cariboo (5): MUs 5-1 to 5-6, 5-10 to 5-15
  • Skeena (6): MUs 6-1 to 6-11, 6-19 to 6-27
  • Omineca (7A) and Peace (7B): MUs 7-5 to 7-58.

Fisher trapping seasons run from November 1 through February 15 in all regions.

Fishers trapped during an open season, in all regions except Region 3, must be compulsory reported; fishers trapped during the open season in Region 3 must be compulsory inspected.  Any fishers that are killed incidentally in areas with no open season must be compulsory inspected.

Proposed Regulations: 

The Province is considering closing all commercial fisher trapping seasons, beginning in the fall of 2021, in open trapping areas where fishers are now red-listed, specifically:

  • Thompson (3): MUs 3-27 to 3-33, 3-38 to 3-41
  • Cariboo (5): MUs 5-1 to 5-6, 5-10 to 5-15
  • Skeena (6): MUs 6-1 to 6-11
  • Omineca (7A): MUs 7-5 to 7-18, 7-23 to 7-30, 7-37 to 7-41

MUs 6-19 to 6-27 in the Skeena region and all MUs in the Peace region currently open to fisher trapping would remain open as these MUs are inhabited by the “Boreal” populations of fisher that are currently “blue-listed”.

Any fishers killed incidentally in areas with no open season would continue to require compulsory inspection.

Rationale: 

In early 2020, the Columbian population of fishers, also known as the Central Interior population, was announced as red-listed [i.e., at risk of being lost (extirpated, endangered or threatened)] by the BC Conservation Data Centre (CDC). Concurrently, the Pennanti, or Boreal, population was re-confirmed as blue-listed [i.e., of special concern].

The main drivers for the red-listing of the Columbia population are: a) the identification of the Columbian fisher population as one that is unique and isolated from the Pennanti population; b) high threats, with habitat loss and degradation being the most significant; c) low population numbers (estimated between 299-517 individuals), with declining trends of 30-50%; and d) compounding threats where habitats are compromised, and extirpation of this population from most of the Shuswap, Okanagan, Columbia, and Kootenay regions.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development supports the principle that red-listed game will not be harvested, unless allowed for a through an accepted recovery strategy or a legal entitlement for First Nation.  This principle is outlined in the Game Harvest Management Policy (see link below).

Additional Information: 

Information on the CDC’s recent updates to conservation status ranks of selected species and ecological communities, including fishers, can be found at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/conservation-data-centre/explore-cdc-data/conservation-data-centre-updates.

To view the BC Conservation Status Report for both the Columbian and the Boreal fisher populations, please use the BC Species & Ecosystem Explorer: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/conservation-data-centre/explore-cdc-data/species-and-ecosystems-explorer.

The Game Harvest Management Policy (# 4-7-01.07) can be viewed at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/laws-policies-standards-guidance/environmental-guidance-and-policy/wildlife-policy.