Sumas River, including tributaries

Regulation Number: 
Region 2 - Lower Mainland
Regulation Type: 
Hatchery Steelhead
Closing Date: 
January 6, 2023 at midnight
Decision Statement: 


Current Regulations: 

Hatchery steelhead daily quota = 1

Proposed Regulations: 

Remove “hatchery steelhead daily quota = 1”

Default to regional daily quota (i.e., 2 hatchery steelhead allowed)


This change was missed the previous year when the same change was implemented for the Chilliwack River in 2021/22. Recent angler surveys on the Chilliwack River indicated that many anglers released hatchery fish because they did not want to have to quit fishing for the day. Given current depressed numbers of wild fish and a greater understanding of potential adverse effects of hatchery fish on wild populations, the increased hatchery quota is intended to increase harvest on hatchery origin fish, increase angling opportunity and benefit wild populations. Since any hatchery fish present in the Sumas River are stocked in the Chilliwack River, the same regulation should apply.

Additional Information: 

No specific surveys were conducted for the Sumas; however, changes to the Chilliwack were based on the results from annual creel surveys that were conducted on the Chilliwack River through the River Guardians program 2018-2020. Changes to fishing regulations (specifically increasing the daily quota of hatchery fish) was one of the top 3 most common comments shared by anglers. Analysis of 2018-19 creel survey revealed that approximately 58% of hatchery steelhead landed were released, 50% of which were released specifically because the angler wanted to continue angling that day. In addition, 25% of respondents who claim to routinely release hatchery steelhead, do so to continue fishing.