Thursday, 23 June 2016

On Fishing – June 26, 2016

“Further to FN0523, the Department will be managing fisheries based on management zone 1 (i.e. returns to the Fraser below or equal to 45,000 chinook) for Fraser Spring 5-2 and Summer 5-2 chinook.”

In other words, with Fraser chinook in low numbers, and the issue of First Nation request for these fish in play, Victoria area fishery retention for chinook has been lowered. The regs are in effect from June 18, until July 15, 23:59 hours.

Our waters are subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and Subareas 20-4 and 20-5, extending out Juan de Fuca – Cadboro Point to Sheringham Point. The daily limit is two (2) chinook which must be either wild or hatchery-marked if between 45 and 85 cm or hatchery marked if greater than 85 cm. The minimum length is 45 cm.

You can look at the area maps here:

Shawn Kerr, DFO, Steelhead Society meeting: The Vancouver Island chapter of the Steelhead Society based out of Courtenay would like to get some involvement from other areas of VI by holding a couple of one-day information sessions. They would like to start in Port Alberni and Victoria. Do you have any suggestions on who might be interested in your respective area and of a possible location to have a one-day info session/meeting? Shawn Kerr:

A: I suggested the Esquimalt Anglers club house on Fleming: I also suggested getting in touch with the Haig-Brown Fly Fishing Association in town as interested attendees. If you have any suggestions, please direct them to Shawn Kerr.

Aaron Hill ED, Watershed Watch: Getting DFO to do what the Trudeau government has told us they will do.

Trudeau’s mandate letter for then Minister Hunter Tootoo, included restoring habitat protection in the Fisheries Act, an oil tanker ban on BC’s north coast and acting on the Cohen Commission recommendations for wild salmon. 

“But when we met with Minister Tootoo and senior DFO officials in Ottawa in April, it was clear that the same bureaucrats who ran DFO for the previous government were not in a hurry to follow their new orders. According to DFO, “acting on” Justice Cohen’s recommendations did not mean “implementing” them. Habitat provisions were not going to be returned to the Fisheries Act until extensive consultations took place (which could take years), and they were talking about rewriting the Wild Salmon Policy.

We were floored. But not for long. We got to work organizing and lobbying to get Minister Tootoo and DFO back on track. We drafted this letter to Minister Tootoo that was endorsed by aboriginal, conservation, and fishing groups, and two former Fisheries Ministers, making it clear that we expect action on his to-do list.” 

A: Watershed Watch is a BC environmental NGO. You should read the letter and then look at the long list of signees, including former Ministers David Anderson and John Fraser. The habitat provisions are crucial to wild salmon, and just so you know, West Coast Environmental Law is leading a legal challenge to reinstate what was lost under Harper.

I did a formal Environmental Petition with the federal Auditor General regarding Cohen/fish farm recommendations in 2014. You can see it here:

I asked for a disaggregated budget and full time equivalents (number of staff) that DFO has spent and dedicated to achieving the Cohen recommendations. I received no attributed budget, only blanket figures, no staff numbers and only generic pap regarding Cohen. In other words, DFO did not answer the petition. 

I know it is generic pap because when I worked for the BC government I generated such generic pap.
If you wish to get in touch with Watershed Watch, contact Aaron Hill:

Jeff Betts: I continue to dwell on news Canada is hatching chinook (and others as you say) but not clipping that 18 lb or so unclipped powerhouse I released Saturday morning could indeed have been from a Canadian hatchery....and if the Americans clip theirs to create a 'take' fishery, what do they think of us not doing so then regulating the possession of marked fish, i.e. their marked fish?

A: The reason for not clipping all of the more than half billion fry in Canada is cost. Each fry has to be selected, anaesthetized, handled for marking, recover, and put back into the pond before being let go. Do note that Puget Sound is only a part of Washington, and so the marked fish are in a limited area.

The reason Puget Sound chinook fry are marked is for a fishery. The reason we can catch their fish is that the Pacific Salmon Commission that deals with USA/Canada fishery issues has specified that both countries can take some of the other’s fish. In our case, Alaska takes some of our chinook in its commercial fishery. The quid pro quo is that Canadians can catch some American fish. We are the lucky recipients.

The other thing is that by taking marked fish, fish in a slot limit, in Haro/Juan de Fuca straits, we are actually protecting mature, spawning wild chinook in both BC and Washington State, Puget Sound. In BC, we are protecting Fraser 4-2s and 5-2s, among others, for example, wild Cowichans, and also Washington wild chinook runs that are rebuilding like the Nooksack and Samish rivers in Puget Sound. The Americans like this.

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