Upper Morice River

Regulation Number: 
2023-06-02
Status: 
Proposed
Region: 
Region 6 - Skeena
MU: 
6-9
Regulation Type: 
Season
Species: 
All freshwater fish species in upper 2 km of Morice River
Closing Date: 
January 6, 2023 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

Pending

Current Regulations: 

Jan 1-Sept 30: No fishing from the fishing boundary signs posted near the outlet of Morice Lake to Gosnell Creek.

Proposed Regulations: 

Replace the first 2km downstream Jan 1-Sept 30 angling closure with a year-round closure.

Jan 1 – Sept 30: No fishing from the fishing boundary signs posted approximately 2km downstream of Morice Lake to Gosnell Creek.

Year round: No Fishing from the signs posted at the outlet of Morice Lake to the signs posted downstream of the “dunes” (approximately 2km). 

(Regulation boundary signs will be posted if approved)

Rationale: 

The dunes have been identified as a critically important area for salmon spawning.  In response, the province has an angling closure in place from the outlet of Morice Lake to Gosnell Creek, Jan 1 – Sept 30. The Morice River chinook populations makes up between 30-40% of the chinook in the entire Skeena watershed and the dunes have been identified as the primary spawning location for these chinook (Gottesfeld and Rabnett, 2008).  Recent reductions in chinook productivity throughout the Skeena watershed makes protecting known aggregation and spawning locations even more important. The extension of the closure will protect chinook spawning habitat as well as provincially managed fish species and any remaining spawning salmon (coho), which have also experienced declines in the past five years.  The dunes were also identified as an important area for post spawn bull trout.  Morice watershed bull trout were radio tagged and tracked in the 2000’s and results found that most post spawn bull trout immediately out-migrated from small spawning tributaries to the dunes, in order to recondition and feed before the winter.