07/20/2015 06:26 EDT | Updated 07/20/2016 05:59 EDT

Sport fishing ban in place over parts of South Coast due to drought

The province is suspending sport fishing in streams and rivers throughout most of the South Coast of B.C. due to warming water temperatures and low river and stream levels.

The move follows a similar ban on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands where recreational angling was suspended earlier this month.

The ban on South Coast fishing takes effect July 22 to September 30. Fishing is banned in most rivers and streams in regions south of Toba Inlet in the north to the U.S. border in the south.

Conservationists, First Nations and angling associations had previously called for the restrictions, arguing that a ban was needed to protect trout, steelhead, and salmon.  

Fish stressed by heat

Anglers had reported that fish were so stressed that many didn't survive after they were released.

Province bans sport fishing on Vancouver Island 

Some larger streams with cooler temperatures and higher levels are exempt because recreational fishing there appears sustainable.

Exempt waterways include: The Fraser (non-tidal portion), Chilliwack-Vedder, Harrison, Lillooet, non-tidal Squamish, non-tidal Pitt, Elaho, Cheakamus,Capilano (downstream of Highway 1 bridge) and Mamquam (downstream of CN railway bridge). However, the tributaries of these exempted waterways are closed.

B.C. government fisheries biologists are monitoring approximately 40 other key angling streams across the province, including the exempted streams.

More closures are possible.