Beach seining on Babine Lake

People on Babine Lake got a rare sight last week—beach seines at the mouth of Fulton River.

People on Babine Lake got a rare sight last week—beach seines at the mouth of Fulton River.

The Lake Babine Nation fishery has harvested salmon with beach seines and a seiner boat periodically over the last 20 years.

But the enhanced sockeye run from Fulton River hasn’t been high enough to support seine fishing there since 2008, said Jim Sinclar, a resource manager with DFO.

Beach seines are nets are rigged to form a large circle around a school of fish. They are launched from the beach and close like a purse when the fisherman tugs a lead-weighted line.

“Essentially, you capture a bag of fish,” Sinclair said.

Some of the larger catches he saw on Aug. 22 and 23 numbered about 1200 fish, he said. The fishery is licensed to harvest 80,000 sockeye.

The sockeye run was forecast to come in between 1.5 and 1.6 million by the end of the season, he said, but already the Fulton River has had an estimated 1.475 million fish.

The catches from seine fishing will be sold to various companies for canned salmon and other fish products. The Lake Babine Nation has run its commercial fishery since 1993.