A popular fishing spot in the Nass Valley has been designated as a recreation site to better regulate its use.
The designation of the Hlginx recreation site takes in just over 3 hectares along the Ishkeenickh River, a tributary to the Nass River.
The river has long been regarded as a prime steelhead river, appealing to both resident and non-resident anglers attracted to the world-class fishing in the northwest.
But now the land and resources section of the Nisga’a Lisims Government has taken action to limit activity at the location, access to which is off of a secondary provincial road branching off of the Nisga’a Highway.
“The site is and has been for some time been heavily used by both recreation and food fishermen,” explained Mansell Griffin, the Lisims government’s lands and resources director.
“Over time, users have without formal authorization developed a road, cleared brush and timber and developed campsites.”
Under a section of the Nisga’a Forest Act, the designation applies to both Nisga’a and non-Nisga’a people by restricting activity to day use only, having campfires in designated fire pits only and not permitting the use of alcohol or marijuana.
Designating the site as a recreation site under the Nisga’a Forest Act gives enforcement staff more tools to properly regulate use and access to the site, said Griffin.
And that will “minimize damage to Nisga’a resources such as wildlife, timber and non-timber forest resources, and of course fish,” he said.
The site is now gated and the Lisims government’s compliance and enforcement has stepped up checks of the location.
“If any of the rules are contravened, perpetrators will be subject to fines,” indicates a notice posted by the Lisims government.
There are three other sites that have been designated as forest recreation sites – Hlgu Isgwit Hot Springs, the Dragon Lake Campground and the Dragon Lake Picnic site.
As it is, recreation and other sites in the Nass Valley are closed to public use due to COVID-19 and will remain so until it is determined safe to re-open.
COVID-19 has also resulted in the Nisga’a Lisims Government asking non-residents not to travel to the Nass Valley.