Sunday, 27 April 2014

Q and As – April 27

Stew Lang: I'm helping my wife Barbara catalogue pictures from her father, Alec Merriman's scrapbooks, and recall from your columns you borrowed one at some point. If you know anybody else who might have any, please pass the word.

I found most in the attic, from 1951 to 1985 when he retired. As per Alec's instructions, the scrapbooks will go to Terry Venables for his fishing museum.

I have photographed more than 2,000 photos that appeared with Alec's columns, stories and King Fisherman articles. It’s been an interesting romp down memory lane. with a few of my own outdoors columns from the late ‘60s, ‘70s and early ‘80s.

I followed Alec's battles to protect Buttle Lake and efforts for recreational access into logging areas. Many rights have been extinguished within the E and N Land Grant on southern Vancouver Island. Hundreds of exquisite lakes, stocked at public expense, are now behind locked gates.

A: When I came to town in the mid-‘70s I was completely taken with the yards of 30-pound tyee chinook taken in Victoria waters, in Alec’s King Fisherman results. As an Albertan, I was used to ‘chunky’ one-pounders, and simply had to get out and catch my share of big fish.

Yes, I found several of Alec’s scrapbooks under heaps of stuff in my ‘fishing tackle office’ and will return them. If anyone has memorabilia, get in touch with Stew: One of the rivers on my list to investigate is Wolf in Buttle Lake. You need a boat to get to it, so, there will be no one other than fish and fisher.

Eric Hobson, SOS Marine Conservation Foundation, and KUTERRA: It is our great pleasure to announce Canada's first land-raised closed-containment salmon is now available at Safeway stores throughout BC and Alberta.

The launch of the 'Namgis First Nation's KUTERRA brand salmon* took place on Earth Day. Unified in our concern about BC's wild salmon, together we have succeeded in providing consumers a sustainable alternative to salmon farmed in direct contact with the marine environment.

A: This is really great news as it is a game-changer for getting in-ocean fish farms out of our ocean and away from our wild salmon. Terrific timing, too. Just as DFO, inexplicably, is throwing open our pristine ocean for in-ocean fish farms and their huge environmental damage. Right now, land-based, Kuterra Atlantics are selling for a premium as an environmentally safe product.

Our aboriginal friends are standing up for wild salmon and our environment. This is one fish farm system that I, Nancy Greene Raine and the citizens of BC can support… oh, in case you didn’t know, Nancy Greene (and her fellow senators) is on the side of tripling in-ocean fish farms in BC. She does not seem to realize she is on the wrong side of the issue, standing against wild salmon, in BC. See this article I wrote:

The issue that has not received enough attention is the high sewage damage to our ocean. I calculate the asked-for expansion of 19,140 metric tonnes has an attached sewage cost that you and I absorb, and thus pay for, that is really high: $924 million. The industry, as it stands now, without expansion, puts out the sewage of the entire human population of BC and its cost to us is a whopping $10.4 billion. I was so staggered by this that, after I calculated the figure, I went around the world looking at the sewage load, finding the same high levels in Scotland, Norway and Chile fish farms. More sewage than the entire human populations.

Steve Housser: I am working with the Nature Trust of BC - - and we have a great project: buying up the Salmon River Estuary for preservation. Please mention this to fishers who might want to contribute. Here is the link:

The project is in the ‘quiet phase’ without much literature yet as all sections have not been secured. It is an almost $500-thousand project of which we have more than $400-thousand in the bank. We are working on completion, trying to get the final $64,000. Our land manager is Tom Reid who can fill you in.

A: Everyone please note this is not the Land Conservatory that has had money and board issues. I have fished the Salmon dozens of times and caught winter, and summer steelhead, Dolly Varden char, sea-run cutthroat, pink and coho salmon. It is definitely part of the annual freshwater fly calendar.

One time I made my entire trip by catching a 9-lb summer doe in the first five minutes of a week-long sojourn in the area. The simple fly: a bunny concoction of red over chartreuse over black on a #2 black salmon hook with bead-chain eyes. Chartreuse thread. This admittedly ugly fly has the advantage of offering contrast. The purpose is to make it easier to see. And it works very well.

You can start your acquaintance with the Salmon, fishing right under the highway bridge where the White River joins just above. The Salmon has the largest winter steelhead on the Island with regularly producing fish in Haig-Brown’s time of 25 pounds, and some almost at 30. Also walk down from Big Tree hatchery. Do check the regs.

Please consider making a donation. I told Steve the salt marsh of the Eve River should be protected, too, and will make a donation toward that in the future.

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