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Tidal Waters Fisheries

Tidal Waters Fisheries Committee Co-Chairs:

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Dear Members,

On June 15, 2017, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) arbitrarily closed the Skeena River to recreational salmon fishing, while allowing ocean harvest and First Nations fisheries. Originally DFO had advised that Skeena closures would be due to low salmon abundance.

On June 23 the DFO informed Vancouver Sun reporter Gordon Hoegstra that the fisheries were closed due to potential conflict between First Nations fishing nets and recreational anglers.

Please add your voice using this draft letter to the Minister calling for fair treatment for resident food fisheries. The Federation calls on Minister LeBlanc to reserve this decision and retain fair access to the resource for all Canadians. We will continue to stand up for the rights of resident anglers to fish for food.

Download the letter here.


 Fisheries and Oceans Canada- Fishery Notice

RECREATIONAL- Fin Fish (Other than Salmon):

Rockfish and Lingcod Coast-wide- Areas 1 to 29, 101 to 111, 121, 123 to 127, 130 and 142- Daily Limits and Close Times in Effect.

To read the full Department of Fisheries and Oceans Fishery Notice click here.

To stay current on all Fisheries and Oceans Canada updates, please click here to view all notices or to manage your subscription.


Media Release - BCWF Response to Recreational Fisheries Closure on the Skeena River:

For Immediate Release June 16, 2017

Resident Anglers' Food Fishery Denied For the First Time

In an unprecedented move the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has closed recreational salmon fishing in the entire Skeena River Watershed to July 14, 2017. This is a closure that has never happened before.

The June 15 DFO decision is in reaction to predicted low returns of Skeena River Sockeye salmon and is being implemented to facilitate First Nations harvesting of Skeena Chinook salmon. This regressive DFO closure has impacted only resident anglers who fish the Skeena and continues to allow interception of these runs in the Pacific Ocean as they come back to their natal rivers. Jim Glaicar, president of the B.C. Wildlife Federation, calls the move unreasonable. Glaicar said, “The Minister must manage the interests of all Canadians, based on open, transparent and science-based decision making. It is not appropriate management to suddenly change the percentage of fish that has been historically available to recreational fishers.”

DFO’s role is to balance conservation goals with Aboriginal, recreational and commercial fishing opportunities. With this decision, the DFO has abandoned its responsibility to recreational fisheries on the Skeena system.

Ken Franzen, co-chair of the BCWF’s tidal water fisheries committee, said the Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB) had worked very hard with DFO to develop a fishing plan that would accommodate both First Nations fishers and the recreational fishery. Franzen said, “Through the SFAB process, we agree to reduce our catch of Chinook salmon on the Skeena River by 50 per cent, and to entirely close recreational Chinook fishing on Skeena Tributaries to ensure conservation. This decision betrays the interests of recreational anglers and must be revisited.”

In 2016 a similar situation played out in the Fraser River but all fishers, both instream and in the Pacific, bore the brunt of predicted poor returns. This Skeena decision plays favorites and results in resident anglers being shut out, while everyone else maintains their ability to catch fish.

The BC Wildlife Federation calls on the DFO to manage the fisheries for all Canadians. This decision is an example of a unilateral, inconsistent and regressive approach to fisheries management.

The unilateral approach is a recurring theme; a few weeks ago DFO announced it was terminating Salmonids in the Classroom, the Resource Restoration unit, and steelhead and cutthroat production at federal hatcheries. The announcement came as a total surprise to everyone who cares about anadromous fish, including Province of British Columbia, and DFO staff. While the decision was overturned June 15 after public backlash, it shows DFO is operating in an Ottawa-based bubble and that it is out of touch with people and salmon in Western Canada.

The Federation calls on Minister LeBlanc to reserve this decision and retain fair access to the resource for all Canadians. We will continue to stand up for the rights of resident anglers to fish for food. Read the letter here.

Please visit the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Website as more information becomes available.


2017 HALIBUT FISHING IN BC

Halibut fishing open February 1, 2017 until further notice.

Please click on the link below for further information.

Halibut Fisheries Information


Sport Fishing Advisory Board Announces 2017 Meeting Dates

Following are the dates for the 2016 / 2017 Sport Fishing Advisory Board's meeting dates for the North Coast, South Coast, Groundfish Sport Fish and Main SFAB process:

 

January 23 - 27 International Halibut Meeting (IPHC)

Main Board SFAB February 3 - 5

South Coast SFAB April 1 - 2

Mainboard SFAB April 7 - 9

 

 

The Tidal Water Fisheries Committee works tirelessly through the SFAB process to try to provide stable and predictable recreational fisheries for our members and the recreational fishing community at large. For more details download the SFAB Mainboard Minutes from April 2016 .

SFAB Mainboard Minutes, April 16-17, 2016


Sports Fishing Institute of BC - Statistics on the Economic Impact of Recreational Fishing in B.C. and Canada

The Sport  Fishing Institute of BC recently published a fact sheet with some statistics about the huge economic contribution provided by sport fishing in BC and the rest of Canada. Some highlights include:

  • In BC in 2012, 400,000 anglers fished 3.8 million days and generated $936 million in direct revenue
  • Recreational fishing in Canada is worth nearly 5 times as much as the commercial fishery - $8.3 billion versus $1.7 billion.

For more information, download the following SFI Fact Sheet: Recreational Fishing Sector Statistics


Tidal Aquisition Sub-Committee

July 15, 2016 Letter to MP Fin Donnelly regarding support for Bill C-228


Recreational Halibut Fisheries 

The recreational Halibut Fisheries opens on February 1st, 2016 until further notice. 

Please click on the link below for further information.

Halibut Fisheries Information


Fisheries Notice: Tidal and Non-Tidal Salmon Fishing on the Fraser River Closing August 14th, 2015

All anglers please be advised of the following closures on the Fraser River:

Salmon fishing on the Tidal Fraser (including the "banana") closes at MIDNIGHT (11:59 PM), FRIDAY, AUGUST 14th, 2015.

Salmon fishing on the Non-Tidal Fraser (above the Mission Bridge) closes ONE HOUR AFTER SUNSET, FRIDAY, AUGUST 14th, 2015.
 
The closures are necessary as the summer run sockeye have not shown up in test fisheries  -  estimates for the summer run have been reduced from 4.7 million fish to 1 million fish.
 
Visit the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Website as more information becomes available. 
 


Fishery Notice: Harvest Shellfish Safely - Reminder to Shellfish Harvesters - Risk of Vibrio Parahaemolyticus (Vp) gastrointestinal sickness

Fisheries and Oceans Canada reminds shellfish harvesters in British Columbia to check whether fishing areas are open and shellfish are safe to consume before harvesting them and to take extra precautions during warm weather.
 
This notice is one of several that consumers must review prior to harvesting bivalve shellfish. DFO posted information on June 19 regarding general biotoxin safety, and updates the coastwide list of openings and  closures throughout the week based on recommendations from Environment Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Detailed information and maps on shellfish closures are updated frequently and are available from the following sources: 
 
A toll free, 24-hour recorded information line: 1-866-431-3474.
 
 
Remember to check both the sanitary and biotoxin updates at the link above, as both types of contamination can be present in an area.
 

Fisheries and Oceans Canada Recognizes Ted Brookman for his Contribution to Recreational Fisheries

Congratulations to BCWF's Ted Brookman, who was recently recognized by Fisheries and Oceans Canada for his lifelong committment to conservation and contribution to British Columbia's recreational fisheries. Ted is heavily involved in the BCWF Tidal Waters Fisheries Committee and volunteers countless hours of his time for conservation of fish and their habitat.

From tje news release issued by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans:

"On behalf of the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Sue Farlinger, Regional Director General, presented Ted Brookman with a 2014 National Recreational Fisheries Award on November 28, 2014.

Mr. Brookman’s tireless commitment to his community and province has spanned many facets of community life; he has willingly shared his knowledge, resourcefulness and outdoor enthusiasm by contributing his time and taking a leading role with numerous organizations throughout the years.
 
Mr. Brookman spent four years as President of the BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) for the Vancouver Island Region, and has worked diligently to transform recreational fisheries through collaborative efforts between the BCWF and like-minded stakeholders. In 2011, Mr. Brookman was presented with the Bill Otway Award as Most Effective Regional President, due in no small part to his heavy involvement with fisheries issues."
 
To read the full text of the news release, visit the DFO website.

Recreational Halibut Limit Increase - Effective September 1st, 2014

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Sport Fishing Advisory Board have announced an increase in the daily limit for halibut from one fish to two:

"Effective September 1 through to December 31, the daily limit will be increased from 1 fish per day to two fish per day.  

All other management measures as noted in Fishery Notice 0076 remain in effect. 
 
In summary, effective September 1 until December 31, 2014:
  • The maximum length for halibut is 133cm.
  • The daily limit for halibut is two (2).
  • The possession limit for halibut is two (2), only one of which may be greater than 90cm in length.
  • There is an annual limit of six (6) halibut (per licence holder) as authorized under the 2014/2015 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence.
  • All halibut retained by the licence holder shall be immediately recorded in ink on the 2014-2015 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence.  The area from which each halibut is caught and its length shall immediately be recorded on license."

For more information, including exceptions / restrictions, read the notice on the DFO website.


Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licences Now Available Online

Click here or on the image above to get your recreational fishing licence online.


Update - January 20th, 2014
International Pacific Halibut Commission Announces 2014 Catch Limits 

The New Year is here and the Canadian team has been busy down in Seattle at the annual meeting of the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).

On Friday the IPHC staff set Canada’s 2014 Total Allowable Catch (TAC) at 6.85 million pounds, down slightly from 7.04 million pounds allocated in 2013. As was the case last year, the recreational sector will have access of up to 15% of the TAC. Despite the smaller allocation, however, we anticipate that by employing similar management measures as used in 2013 (including catch and bag limits), our sector’s harvest rate will allow the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to keep the recreational halibut fishery open and everyone fishing for a full season in 2014.

There are some who believe the 2013 limits were unfair, but on balance, they allowed us to avoid the Labour Day closure that has devastated Recreational fishing for the last few years. This should provide an opportunity to plan so that anglers from the interior of B.C. and Alberta can look forward to fishing in September and October.

The IPHC also noted that halibut stocks in areas 2A (California, Oregon and Washington), 2B (B.C.) and 2C (the Alaskan Panhandle) are stable or rebounding. Stocks in areas 3 and 4 (the Gulf of Alaska, the Bering Sea and west to the Aleutian Islands) are still in decline, likely due to the continuing pressure of US halibut bycatch from other directed fisheries including the massive Pollack fishery. In 2013, the reported bycatch in these latter two areas was nearly 8 million pounds (compared to Canada’s entire directed catch of 7.04 million pounds).

We will be in discussions on how to advise DFO on our halibut season wishes in Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB) meetings taking place over the next couple of weeks. The Tidal Waters Fisheries Committee will look at all the options before choosing a way forward for 2014.


2013 BCWF Tidal Waters Fisheries Committee Year End Report

The BCWF Tidal Waters Fisheries Committee's 2013 Year End Report is available for download here:

BCWF Ridal Waters Fisheries Committee 2013 Year End Report


Update - December 12th, 2013

Malcolm Case (Halibut Allocation)

For those of us lucky enough to live on the West Coast, it is a simple fact of life that we can go fishing. A fundamental fact that sometimes eludes our elected leaders and civil bureaucrats is that the fish in the ocean belong to all Canadians, which begs the question: why do only 436 individuals claim ownership to 85% of the Halibut resource

Our belief is that there has to be a better sharing of our halibut resource; 15% is inadequate to run the recreational fishery on full season and full limits on years of low halibut abundance such as we have witnessed over the last few years.

The BCWF Fisheries Committee strongly believes that this one issue - Halibut Allocation and “how the pie is split up” – has the potential to spread across other species, and we as Canadians are in danger of losing our right to harvest our fair share of our country's common property resources.  The opportunity to harvest food for our families is at risk – imagine if similar allocation policy was applied to Prawns, Crab, Clams, Oysters, Rock Fish, Ling Cod, Herring, Sable Fish, Mussels – the list goes on.

You may remember positive news from this past April’s decision in the Malcolm case. The judge ruled that the Minister had the necessary discretion to re allocate an additional 3% of the total allowable domestic catch to the recreational fishery, and to not be bound by previous decisions.  That decision has now been appealed, and the court case continues.  Following is a summary of what has transpired since April and the next steps in the case:

Recent Developments

  • The ruling from April was appealed by Malcolm. While the Minister’s authority is no longer in question, the appeal has been brought forth based on the argument that compensation should have been factored into the previous decision.
     
  • As part of the appeal process, DFO / BCWF – SFI submitted Memorandum of Fact and Law in response to the Malcolm Appeal submission.
     
  • The B.C. Seafood Alliance (BCSFA) has also joined the case on behalf of Malcolm and was granted “intervener” status on November 1st, 2013. BCSFA followed up by submitting an Intervener Memorandum of Fact and Law on November 15th.

Remaining Steps

  • DFO / BCWF – SFI will be submitting a Memorandum of Fact and Law in early December to counter the arguments made by the BCSFA submission in mid-November.
     
  • Two days of hearings will take place in the Spring of 2014 (dates and yet to be determined) at which interveners will be given 15 minutes to address the Memo of Fact and Law in front of the Judge.
     
  • BCWF and SFI will be collaborating with DFO counsel in order to address points of fact and law that the Crown is either incapable of – or not in a position to – address.  The value of BCWF / SFI involvement in the case is considerable and important in that we are able to address and argue many of the assertions made by Malcolm and BCSFA counsel in a manner that DFO is not.
  • After the hearings in the Spring, we expect a ruling to come down in the Fall of 2014.

We fight now for the future ability to harvest our fair portion of Canada fisheries stocks. As mentioned, the legal fees associated with this fight are substantial, and the Federation is a non-profit organization with limited funds. If you believe strongly about this issue, please consider making a donation to the BCWF Action Fund – every bit of support counts and is greatly appreciated.

Click here to make a donation (choose "Halibut" in the Designation drop-down menu)


Update - April 30th, 2013
Changes to the Water Act and Fisheries Act: UVIC Environmental Law Clinic 

BCWF recently received a memo from the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Victoria, who had been asked to provide a "review of potential law reform options that the province of British Columbia could utilize to offset the loss of protection afforded to fish and fish habitat as a result of amendments to the federal Fisheries Act." The following memo "provides a more comprehensive review of section 9 of the Water Act and law reform opportunities. Included is a discussion of the current role of the Water Act in British Columbia, its limitations, and recommendations for how it might be reformed to enable improved protection for fish and fish habitat. The information and recommendations contained herein are based upon legal analysis and interviews with front line staff of the provincial Ministry of Environment."

Changes to the Water Act - UVIC Environmental Law Clinic Memo


Update - April 17th, 2013
Malcolm Case / Halibut Allocation

BCWF and the Sportfishing Institute of B.C. (SFI) are pleased to announce a positive decision in the “Malcolm Case” concerning the allocation of halbut between B.C.’s commercial and recreational fisheries.

The judgement by Justice Donald Rennie upholds Federal Fisheries Minister Ashfield’s 2012 decision to increase the recreational halibut allocation and affirms that the Fisheries Act grants the Minister the necessary discretion to allocate halibut as he wishes provided that his duty to preserve the fisheries resource is upheld.

The BCWF will further review this important decision in order to understand potential future implications for halibut allocation in B.C. We will continue to work with the SFI to engage recreational anglers in our quest for a “fair share” of our common property resource.

Click here to read the full BCWF News Release


Joint Policy Statement on the Amendments to the Fisheries Act - April 12th, 2013

Dear Minister Ashfield:

Please find attached a Joint Policy Statement on the Amendments to the Fisheries Act submitted on behalf of thirteen conservation organizations from across Canada. The policy advice presented in the document is the result of two national workshops held in Ottawa in August and October last year and considerable input from all organizations involved over the past several months.

The Joint Policy Statement sets out specific recommendations on key policy issues in the amended Act.  We respectfully request that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans provide a response to the recommendations.  Furthermore, we ask that the Department consider using the recommendations as the basis for consultations on the Fisheries Protection Policy.

In the interest of helping make an effective transition from the past to a new approach to conserving fisheries and fish habitat in Canada, we also respectfully request that the CSAS science review of key concepts in the amended Fisheries Act be made available as we expect it will help inform further feedback from conservation groups that will help the Department move forward on implementation.

We look forward to discussing any of the points in the Joint Policy Statement with you or your staff and look forward to working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on the conservation of Canada’s recreational fisheries.

Sincerely,

David Browne, Ph.D.

Director of Conservation | Directeur de la conservation
Canadian Wildlife Federation

Click to Download the Joint Policy Statement on the Amendments to the Fisheries Act


Bill C-38 meeting with MPs Randy Kamp and John Weston – Squamish, BC

Otto Langer, Fisheries Biologist and Aquatic Ecologist, recently attended a public meeting between MPs Randy Kamp (Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans) and John Weston and DFO RDG Sue Farlinger on the recent amendments to the Fisheries Act Bill C-38. Langer provides a brief on the meeting and also includes his own comments.

Otto Langer's Brief on Bill C-38 Meeting (July 2012)

Weston and Kamp handed out the Understanding the Amended Fisheries Act: Questions for Considerationwhich is referred to several times in Langer's brief:

Understanding the Amended Fisheries Act: Questions for Consideration (July 2012)


Steelhead Stream Classification Policy (SSCP) Review

The Steelhead Stream Classification Policy (SSCP) is now under review, and have until July 31st, 2012 to provide comments.

Mike Langegger,  BCWF Region 6 President, asks all club presidents to provide a written response to Government, with club members providing comments on the new on-line Angler Hunter Trapper Engagement site (AHTE) regarding the SSCP review proposal #728. The SSCP is responsible for non-retention of wild steelhead province wide regardless of abundance, and overwhelming restricts consideration for hatchery augmentation of steelhead and adipose fin clipped opportunities.

Below are some general points of information to consider.

1. Steelhead are within a "routine management zone" meaning they are not of conservation concern.

2. The Tyee Test Fishery has been active on the lower Skeena since 1956, is a science based program, and designed to assess salmon and steelhead return numbers. It has shown that Skeena steelhead stocks have steadily increase since 1956, with the last decade being the best ever recorded. Current  indications are that this will be surpassed. Skeena steelhead stocks are abundant and growing!

3. Nisga'a Nation assessment work on the Nass River system supports abundant steelhead stocks.

4.    First Nations have continued to sustainably harvest summer run steelhead for food social and ceremonial purposes  on the Taku, Stikine, Nass, and Skeena River watersheds.

5. Much has been learned over the decades regarding hatchery augmentation resulting in positive results. Area residents, local businesses and town councils recognize increased angler participation, harvest opportunities and economic benefits supported by hatchery augmentation where they exist. For example the Kitimat River hatchery is overwhelmingly supported by the community, and has been aggressively defended by citizens. Other communities should have the opportunity to assess the benefits of hatchery augmentation, particularly on systems that have been impacted by urbanization, commercial and industrial development. Currently the SSCP denies consideration of such augmentation opportunities, and resulting economic, social, and conservation benefits.

6. Harvesting from our natural environment for food is an important generations old value of resident anglers. Resident harvest for food values needs to be recognized and managed for. Currently the SSCP denies any retention of wild steelhead regardless of abundance.

7. The provincially applied SSCP does not recognize or identify the size of our province and vast differences in steelhead populations and habitat, and needs to identify and manage for the four distinct areas of the province. The Southern mainland, northern mainland (Skeena), Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. The one size fits all approach is a flaw of the existing SSCP.

8. Government steelhead angling statistics 1992-2008 show a dramatic decrease in resident angler participation. In 1992, 22,332 resident steelhead stamps were purchase, and in 2008 only 14,210. The downward spiral of 8,122 resident steelhead anglers does not support the ministry's mandate of hunter, angler retention and recruitment. Further, over the same period non-resident and non-resident alien steelhead angling participation increased. This reflects that applying blanket regulation do not impact users equally and it's the resident angler, their values and priority that are eroded, and suffer the most.

Responses sent to:

Andrew Wilson                                                             
Director Fish, Wildlife & Habitat Mngt. Branch

PO Box 9391
STN PROV GOV'T
Victoria B.C.
V8W 9M8
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Steve Thomson
Minister of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Skeena MLA's

Robin Austin (Skeena) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Garry Coons (North Coast) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Doug Donaldson (Stikine) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Electronic response to:  Angler Hunter Trapper Engagement (AHTE) website. Proposal #728

http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/ahte/angling/steelhead-stream-classification-policy-5-year-review


BCWF Supports Recommendations by Halibut Working Group

The BC Wildife Federation's Fisheries Committee supports the regulation recommendations the Halibut Working Group made to the Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB) in order to extend the season with the available share of the Total Allowable Catch. The BC Wildlife Federation supports the Halibut Working Group’s primary objectives: 1. to maintain reasonable opportunity and expectation for as close to a full season as possible and 2. to avoid measures which seemed to favour one class of anglers, one part of the coast, or one group of service providers, against another.

The long term goal of the recreational anglers is to increase our percentage allocation to level that will allow a return to traditional limits.

"The energy of our organization will be focused on engaging both the federal and provincial governments to this objective" stated Rodney Wiebe, President of the BC Wildlife Federation.

"The BC Wildlife Federation will cooperate with the Sport Fish Institute, the SFAB and other organizations with interest in recreational fishing  to achieve this."

BCWF (Al Martin, Director of Strategic Initiatives), Sport Fish Institute (Owen Bird) and Sport Fish Advisory Board (Chris Bos) representatives met with the Deputy Minster Wes Shoemaker of the Ministry of Agriculture on March 1, 2012. They stated that they want to work with the provincial government develop and advocate the kind of allocation policy of which we can all be proud in order to avoid future economic and social impacts on the fisheries and the increasing frustration and concerns related to halibut.

The Minister and the Ministry of Agriculture is the provincial lead on the file and they requested their support in dealing with the federal government on behalf of our constituents.

There needs to be change to increase the recreational share due to the social and economic benefits to British Columbia. We asked for support ( in collaboration with the Ministry of Jobs Innovation and Tourism) in collecting the economic data so that the benefits of both sectors could be compared. This should be used to drive the allocation splits between recreational fishers and the commercial sectors . They also asked the province to request current federal recreational licence revenues to be directed to the conservation and management of halibut and other important species through dedicated trusts managed by the recreational sector.

They intend to follow up with a meeting with Minister McCrae and with Mr. Randy Kamp Parliamentary Secretary to Minister Ashfield federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to underline the flaws in Halibut Allocation and the need for change.

The rational for the Halibut regulations is provided in the following files.

2012 SFAB Halibut Management Measures (March 2012)
SFAB Executive Committee 2012 Halibut Management Recommendations (March 2012)

Salmon and Nutrients: An SFU Seminar on Science and Policy (June 2009)

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

AGM 2011 Tidal Waters Committee Report (April 2011)
AGM 2010 Tidal Water Committee Report (April 2010)
Halibut Executive Summary (2010)

Federal Government Communications

Letter to Mr. Randy Kamp, MP re: Hailbut allocation issue (October 2011)

Tidal Fisheries Press Releases

 

Steelhead Stream Classification Policy (SSCP) Review

The following are some general points of information to consider and aid in responding to the ministry's new on-line Angler Hunter Trapper Engagement site (AHTE) regarding the SSCP review proposal #728.

The SSCP is responsible for non-retention of wild steelhead province wide regardless of abundance, and overwhelming restricts consideration for hatchery augmentation of steelhead.

1. Steelhead are within a "routine management zone" meaning they are not of conservation concern.

2. The Tyee Test Fishery has been active on the lower Skeena since 1956, is a science based program, and designed to assess salmon and steelhead return numbers. It has shown that Skeena steelhead stocks have steadily increase since 1956, with the last decade being the best ever recorded. Current  indications are that this will be surpassed. Skeena steelhead stocks are abundant and growing!

3. Nisga'a Nation assessment work on the Nass River system supports abundant steelhead stocks.

4. First Nations have continued to sustainably harvest summer run steelhead for food social and ceremonial purposes  on the Taku, Stikine, Nass, and Skeena River watersheds.

5. Much has been learned over the decades regarding hatchery augmentation resulting in positive results. Area residents, local businesses and town councils recognize increased angler participation, harvest opportunities and economic benefits supported by hatchery augmentation where they exist. For example the Kitimat River hatchery is overwhelmingly supported by the community, and has been aggressively defended by citizens. Other communities should have the opportunity to assess the benefits of hatchery augmentation, particularly on systems that have been impacted by urbanization, commercial and industrial development. Currently the SSCP denies consideration of such augmentation opportunities, and resulting economic, social, and conservation benefits.

6. Harvesting from our natural environment for food is an important generations old value of resident anglers. Resident harvest for food values needs to be recognized and managed for. Currently the SSCP denies any retention of wild steelhead regardless of abundance.

7. The provincially applied SSCP does not recognize or identify the size of our province and vast differences in steelhead populations and habitat, and needs to identify and manage for the four distinct areas of the province. The Southern mainland, northern mainland (Skeena), Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. The one size fits all approach is a flaw of the existing SSCP.

8. Government steelhead angling statistics 1992-2008 show a dramatic decrease in resident angler participation. In 1992, 22,332 resident steelhead stamps were purchase, and in 2008 only 14,210. The downward spiral of 8,122 resident steelhead anglers does not support the ministry's mandate of hunter, angler retention and recruitment. Further, over the same period non-resident and non-resident alien steelhead angling participation increased. This reflects that applying blanket regulation do not impact users equally and it's the resident angler, their values and priority that are eroded, and suffer the most.

Responses sent to:

Andrew Wilson                                                             

Director Fish, Wildlife & Habitat Mngt. Branch

PO Box 9391

STN PROV GOV'T

Victoria B.C.

V8W 9M8

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Steve Thomson

Minister of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations

P.O. Box 9049
Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC
V8W9E2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Skeena MLA's

Robin Austin (Skeena) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Garry Coons (North Coast) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Doug Donaldson (Stikine) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Electronic response to:  Angler Hunter Trapper Engagement (AHTE) website.

Proposal #728

http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/ahte/angling/steelhead-stream-classification-policy-5-year-review


2013 BCWF Tidal Waters Fisheries Committee Year End Report

The BCWF Tidal Waters Fisheries Committee's 2013 Year End Report is available for download here:

BCWF Ridal Waters Fisheries Committee 2013 Year End Report


Recreational Halibut Fisheries