Saturday, 10 October 2015

Q and As – October

Herring fishery: DFO is going to open a fishery for herring on November 7 and is looking for comments regarding: FN1111-Notice of 2015/2016 Draft Pacific Herring Food and Bait and Special Use Commercial Fishing Plans Available for Public Comment. Get in touch with: Roger Kanno, (604) 666-7851; email: 
This is not a roe fishery, but a ‘bait and special use’ on Juan de Fuca stocks that, later, turn the corner into Georgia. The winter roe fishery is a distinct and different fishery – but the same fish.
David Ellis, a concerned observer, sent along some comments: “Correspondence I have from the David Suzuki Foundation, [says] industry lobbying is the only reason that this fishery will be opened, as no stock assessment exists.
Information on DFO's… site… indicates that the winter "Food and Bait" fishery will open before the "migratory herring" (which are targeted every year in the Strait of Georgia Roe Herring fishery) even enter the Strait of Georgia. This DFO website notes that the "migratory" herring targeted by the Strait of Georgia Roe Herring fishery spend most of the year in Juan De Fuca Strait, only quickly entering the Strait close to spawning time. Therefore, the herring to be targeted once again in the winter "Food and Bait" fishery, will again not be covered by a qualified and peer reviewed DFO stock assessment, required by DFO policy, and I believe by law.
In short, the "winter fishery" is to open very soon, long before the "migratory" herring stock, for which a stock assessment exists, even enter the Strait of Georgia.
It is my understanding that all fisheries in Canada must by law now have an accompanying peer-reviewed stock assessment, and if not they can now be stopped by interlocutory injunction. Please correct me if I am wrong in this assessment.”
In other words, two fisheries on the same herring stock, one fishery without a stock assessment.
Cowichan River salmon fishing: The low-water restrictions ended on Oct 1. From the weir in Lake Cowichan to the 66 Mile trestle it is fly fishing only. You will find the freshwater retention rules in the freshwater section of the DFO Sport Fishing Guide.
From the Trestle to Tidal Boundary: no fishing for salmon, Aug 1 to Nov 15; however, in-season regs for coho and chum may offer some retention opportunities. 
Nitinat River: Closed Oct 1 – 15 for salmon fishing – meaning trout fishing is okay – with chum and coho retention of four fish, two of each species, from Oct 16 – Dec 31. There are several specific no fishing zones, such as the bridge pool, Red Rock pool, hatchery pool and above Parker Creek. 
Suspicious fishing: If you witness suspicious fishing activity or a violation, please call 
the Fisheries and Ocean Canada 24-hour toll free Observe, Record, Report line 
at (800) 465-4336 or the British Columbia’s toll-free RAPP line (Report All 
Poachers and Polluters) at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).
The one time I phoned to tell them of a rough shack and freezer (meaning a very long line to a power pole) in salmon season, they told me that they knew who it was, gave me his name, which I have forgotten, but gave no indication of going after the guy.  So I have never phoned back.
Salmon Behaviour in Salt- and Fresh-water: And, of course, after I wrote this article, I remembered a few other things.
Chum in saltwater have a phase, and very typical in Saanich Inlet, where as a school they motor along right under the surface. You will find it by a fish or two doing the chum jump thing of six to eight jumps in a row, describing a gentle curve, and the fish falls on its flank each jump. In this phase, they resolutely go after nothing and it is a waste of time to try and get some trolling gear in front of their faces, particularly as they keep changing directions.
Wait for the school to become more terminal. They will slow down markedly, and aimlessly drift here and there, the school looking like a disturbance on the surface that moves in an opposite direction to the prevailing wave pattern (this is quite common for pinks as well). Keep your boat off to the side and mosey with them. You cast your drift fishing lures in front of the school and allow them to swim into it. The same for flies. Landing a fly among them, while still in deeper water, tends not to spook them as it does in water less than waist deep. 
If you can’t tell which species you have in front of you while beach or estuary fishing, if they bolt as a whole school of several hundred fish, they are chum. Pink salmon simply sidle away, and if you stand still, upstream of them, or in the direction you know from experience they are heading, they will come back to you.
And one unusual behavior of chinook. If you are fishing spoons in rivers – these work much better than spinners for chinook, Gibbs being a good line – let the lure drop right to the bottom and let it sit there for a bit. Sometimes, a chinook will go down to the bottom and pick it up. Hard to believe, but this is true. I have taken several big fish a day with this corny trick. The key thing to remember is that you only allow your lure to fall and sit on the bottom where you know it is small gravel or sand. If you land on a sticky bottom, well, you have just lost your lure.
One final thing, most anadromous fish will not pass over sand as they sit or move up. They will follow the gravel or stone line – on the edge of sand – on the bottom because it offers more cover. And, of course, shade is very attractive. That black cloud in shade can be thousands of salmon staying safe.
Halibut time: DFO and Sport Fishing Advisory Board Halibut Committee determined that the halibut harvest by the recreational fishery to August 31 was 958,280 pounds of its Total Allowable Catch of 1,063,550 pounds.

Hence, the fishery will remain open to December 31, 2015 under the current management

measures in effect, noted on Fishery Notice FN0134. The Victoria area is the lucky recipient of these fish as we have one of the largest halibut fisheries after summer ends. Next time you see Martin Paish or any of the guys on the committee, buy him/them a beer for their work. 

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