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South Vancouver Island Fishing Bans Proposed for This Summer

Originally published by CHEK, December 12, 2018 By: Skye Ryan [British Columbia] is now proposing summer fishing bans for most streams and rivers on southern Vancouver Island including the Cowichan, as drought conditions persist. Biologists say that fishing is adding one more strike against fish stocks that are already struggling in warming waters and low stream flows. “And what we’ve seen is a pattern,” said Brendan Anderson, a fisheries biologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resources. “Where in the southern portion of Vancouver Island most systems will undergo some period of stressful condition,” said Anderson. So instead of responding in emergency closures like in years past, biologists are proposing putting blanket summer closures on angling in South Island rivers and streams to encourage compliance and prevent surprises to the public. To watch the video and learn more about the proposed fishing bans on Vancouver Island, visit cheknews.ca. Keep Canada Fishing is the national voice of Canada’s anglers, and we lead the effort to preserve your right to sustainably fish on our lakes, oceans, rivers and streams. By informing anglers of current and potential issues and threats affecting recreational fishing and access to public waters, our goal is to motivate anglers to take action on matters of importance to the future of fishing and conservation. We’re also your voice on Parliament Hill. If you would like to contribute to our efforts to “Keep Canada Fishing,” you can donate now via PayPal.

B.C. angler ‘overwhelmed’ at winning lake access case against billionaire ranch, Douglas Lake Cattle Company

Originally published by Vancouver Sun, December 8, 2018 By TIFFANY CRAWFORD A B.C. angler who took on an American billionaire ranch owner in a David and Goliath battle for public access to a lake says he’s shocked at winning the case. “We are in disbelief right now but very happy,” Rick McGowan, director of the Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club, said the day after the B.C. Supreme Court ruled in the club’s favour. McGowan’s club took the Douglas Lake Cattle Company to court two years ago after the company in the 1990s blocked access to Stoney and Minnie lakes on the Douglas Lake Ranch near Merritt. McGowan said the court’s decision is precedent-setting and will mean the people of B.C. have a right to access all public places in the province. In a ruling posted Friday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Joel Groves said the provincial government retained rights to the lakes, making the fish in the lakes public property. The ruling means the public has a right to access the lakes. Groves concluded that province breached its obligations to the citizens of B.C. when the cattle company unilaterally closed a public road and “no government official had the wherewithal to insist that the lock on the gate be removed.” “We always knew what evidence we had and the law, but it was just how we were going to get the government and the private land owners to acknowledge that the law is there and they have to abide by it. And the judge now has confirmed that,” said McGowan, on Saturday. “I know a few people were headed up there to go fishing today. So I’m sure that lock has been removed one way or another.” The ranch [...]

Marine Conservation and Fisheries Management From Anglers’ Perspective

The Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association strongly supports scientifically based management of our marine and freshwater resources. Anglers (and hunters) fund conservation and lead all other groups in efforts to benefit fish and wildlife, including species that are not harvested. They have a long history of making sacrifices for the betterment of the resource. These accommodations have sometimes included targeted closures where the science has clearly indicated they are the best solutions to protect fish and sensitive habitat. However, as outlined in an earlier article, very little pertinent research is contributed to recent closures and proposed closures. Zoning of public access to the nation's waters based on arbitrary percentage formulas, purchased ‘science,’ and European ‘values’ is not acceptable, not credible and not in the interest of Canadians. The establishment of any protected area regardless of its level of restrictions should: Be based on the best scientific information available. Include criteria to assess the conservation benefits of the closed area. Establish a timetable for review of the closed area’s performance that is consistent with the initial purpose for creating the closure, and remove closure designation once the management goals are achieved. Allow for recreational fishing to continue whenever possible. Acknowledge and allow for the significant differences between the often severe impacts on habitat and fish populations from some commercial fishing harvest methods compared to the minimal effects from recreational fishing practices. Be based on an assessment of the benefits and impacts of the closure, including its size, in relation to other management measures (either alone or in combination with such measures), including the benefits and impacts of limiting access to: users of the area, overall fishing activity, fishery science, and fishery and marine conservation. Go to Article [...]

Newfoundlanders remember former president George H.W. Bush’s fishing trips to Labrador

Originally published on Tri-City News From The Canadian Press, December 3, 2018 ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Some prominent Newfoundlanders are reflecting on the late George H.W. Bush and his affection for the fishing trips he made to the province. The former U.S. president passed away on Friday at the age of 94 and will be laid to rest in a state funeral Wednesday at Washington's National Cathedral. Bush was an avid angler and often visited Labrador, where he fished at Adlatok River in the 1990s with Newfoundland businessmen Harry Steele and the late Craig Dobbin of Universal Helicopters. John Steele says his father Harry was with Dobbin at Adlatok Camp, which Bush visited after the Atlantic Salmon Federation contacted his father in the early 90s asking if he could host the president. He says Steele asked Dobbin if he could host, and his friend renovated the camp especially for the trip and went on to form a lasting relationship with Bush. To read the rest of this article about George H.W. Bush and his affection fishing in Labrador, visit tricitynews.com. Keep Canada Fishing is the national voice of Canada’s anglers, and we lead the effort to preserve your right to sustainably fish on our lakes, oceans, rivers and streams. By informing anglers of current and potential issues and threats affecting recreational fishing and access to public waters, our goal is to motivate anglers to take action on matters of importance to the future of fishing and conservation. We’re also your voice on Parliament Hill. If you would like to contribute to our efforts to “Keep Canada Fishing,” you can donate now via PayPal.

December 3rd, 2018|Categories: Maritimes, News|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

50% drop in rainbow trout puts Bow River’s ‘world-renowned’ sport fishery at risk

Originally published by CBC News, Nov 26, 2018 By Sarah Rieger The Bow River likely won't be able to support its "world-renowned" recreational fishery in future as the river's rainbow trout population is in drastic decline, according to a new study. From 2003 to 2013, the population of rainbow trout in the river dropped between 43 and 50 per cent, biologists from the University of Calgary and the provincial government found in the study published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. Rainbow trout were first stocked in the Bow River nearly 100 years ago. Thousands of anglers flock to Calgary each year — some from around the globe — bringing in an estimated $24.5 million to the local economy, said PhD student Chris Cahill, the lead author on the study. "There were some pretty large declines in the numbers of adult rainbow trout in the lower Bow River, and we believe if those trends continue, it's probably unlikely the river will be able to support the world-renowned rainbow trout fishery in the future," said Cahill. "It's a blue-ribbon rainbow trout fishery and that was how the Bow River actually became famous originally. So it's certainly concerning." To read the rest of this article about rainbow trout number dropping in the Bow River, visit cbc.ca. Keep Canada Fishing is the national voice of Canada’s anglers, and we lead the effort to preserve your right to sustainably fish on our lakes, oceans, rivers and streams. By informing anglers of current and potential issues and threats affecting recreational fishing and access to public waters, our goal is to motivate anglers to take action on matters of importance to the future of fishing and conservation. We’re also your voice on Parliament Hill. If you [...]

8 Million Anglers Left in the Dark: Why Don’t We Get a Say in Fishing Closures?

Why are US environmental groups invited to the table while Canadian stakeholders are not? Canada boasts 8 million anglers. These 8 million anglers generate an annual economy of $9 billion in support of their passion. Recreational fishing supports jobs in tourism, transportation, retail goods, boating, vehicle sales, ATV’s and snowmobiles. The taxes generated on multiple levels as a result of people fishing are substantial. Even so, the federal government has not always viewed sustainable recreational fishing as an important part of the Canadian economy. The Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association (CSIA) is the only national recreational fishing industry organization in Canada. Representing retailers, manufacturers and sales agencies, the CSIA works closely with sister trade organization, The American Sportfishing Association, on issues of mutual interest. Many of the U.S. Environmental Non-Government Organizations (ENGOs) and benefactors which threaten the future of fishing access in Canada are engaged in identical campaigns back home. The contrast, however, is in transparency. Even after asking to be included in discussions concerning major policy or legislative initiatives which directly impact fishing, CSIA is never invited to the table. U.S. ENGOs, on the other hand, are welcomed as "stakeholders" by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). Before an accountable, transparent and fairly balanced stakeholder policy process can be established at DFO and ECCC, there must be full disclosure by these agencies of the existing funding, partners, maps and plans involved in ongoing policies and plans concerning MPAs. Go to Article 1: Funds from U.S. ENGOs Threaten Your Right to Fish Go to Article 2: The North American Model of Conservation Go to Article 3: Protection Zones: One Size Does Not Fit All Go to Article 4: Canadians’ Access to Fishing [...]

‘I am superbly worried’: West Coast fishermen await decision on restrictions meant to protect orcas

Originally Published by CBC, Nov 25, 2018 By Maryse Zeidler  A year after the Department of Fisheries and Oceans closed off several West Coast sports fishing area to protect orcas, fishermen say they're worried more closures are on the way along southern Vancouver Island. In 2017, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans closed several areas in the Juan de Fuca Strait to commercial and sport fishing between June and October. The closure was part of the DFO's efforts to protect a dwindling population of about 74 southern resident killer whales that feed on chinook salmon, which inhabit those waters in that time period. Ryan Chamberland, president of the Sooke Region Tourism Association and owner of the Vancouver Island Lodge, says more closures would devastate the small fishing villages along the coast. "Closing us down — ruining towns, everyone losing equity in their assets and properties, is not going to solve an issue, it's going to create a crisis," Chamberland said. "No one wants to lose their houses and jobs and and their way of lifestyle and opportunities to be on the water." The concerns of sports fishermen come at a time when some marine mammal experts say the closures might not even help the endangered southern resident killer whale. In November, Ottawa announced it wants to establish new areas of critical habitat off the west coast of Vancouver Island for southern resident killer whales — the Swiftsure Bank in the Juan de Fuca Strait between Vancouver Island and Washington state, and La Perouse Bank off Tofino, B.C. The DFO says it has consulted on the the critical habitat areas and it's still planning what fishing restrictions, if any, may be applied next year. Ottawa says designating the area as a critical habitat would also enable it to restrict other activities like whale watching and marine traffic, which [...]

Letter to Minister Jonathan Wilkinson Re: Survey of Recreational Fishing in Canada

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6 November 8, 2018 Dear Minister Wilkinson: Every five years, a survey of recreational fishing in Canada is carried out by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The 2010 survey results were a positive testament to the importance of recreational fishing to Canada's economy. Over 8 million Canadians enjoy recreational fishing and support an industry that generates over 9 billion dollars annually, employing thousands of Canadians. The results of the 2015 Survey of Recreational Fishing in Canada have been ‘PENDING’ now for over two years. As the representative organization of the recreational sportfishing industry in Canada, we have been watching your Ministry’s website monthly for the release of the results only to see notices such as ‘coming this Spring’ then, ‘coming this Fall’, and now just ‘Pending’. 2019 will be here in less than two months and the results of the 2015 survey will be four years old. On behalf of the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association, I ask you, what is the hold up? Our member companies, which employ tens of thousands of Canadians in manufacturing, retail and media, deserve to have access to the most recent taxpayer-funded survey results in a more timely fashion. I look forward to your response. Sincerely, Kim Rhodes President Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association cc: Robert Zimmer, MP/Outdoor Caucus Co-Chair Gudie Hutchings, MP/Outdoor Caucus Co-Chair Larry Miller, MP Marc Serré, MP Phil Morlock, GA Chair, CSIA Interested Parties

Canadians’ Access to Fishing Could Close Permanently

Will you be able to take your kids fishing in 5 years? When you look at trends in fishing closures, maybe not. It might sound like the plot of a Mission Impossible film, but there is a quiet, coordinated effort on the part of numerous U.S.-based environmental organizations to close access to fishing for Canadians. This effort can be seen most recently in British Columbia. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has been at the fore of developing a Protected Areas plan since 2008, beginning in North West coastal British Columbia, with access closures now mapped on 102,000 square km of coastal and inland waters. According to DFO, the closures in BC represent their plan for the rest of Canada -- including the Great Lakes. Recent Environmental Non-Government Organization (ENGO) submissions to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans recommend 75% permanent closure zones in all protected area designations. Another concerning fact is that public transparency and stakeholder involvement is limited. Much of what is being planned is taking place behind closed doors. Looking five years down the road, the math around permanent fishing access closures is sobering for people who just want to take their kids fishing. Go to Article 1: Funds from U.S. ENGOs Threaten Your Right to Fish Go to Article 2: The North American Model of Conservation Go to Article 3: Protection Zones: One Size Does Not Fit All Go to Article 5: 8 Million Anglers Left in the Dark: Why Don’t We Get a Say in Fishing Closures? Go to Article 6: Marine Conservation and Fisheries Management From Anglers’ Perspective This is an ongoing issue that we will be reporting on — both in-depth and as the threat of fishing closures arise across [...]

Protection Zones: One Size Does Not Fit All

Where fisheries closures arise, supporting scientific data is curiously absent. Last week we outlined the seven components of the North American Conservation Model. Included in that list are three crucial guidelines: that regulations be based on sound science, that the public have sustainable access to public lands, and that public resources be effectively and sustainably managed. When used as intended, Protection Zones (e.g. MPAs) are one tool among many which professionals can use to manage aquatic resources. They can span a variety of habitats and they can vary in purpose and level of protection. At their core, they are established to protect threatened fish stocks and sensitive habitat within specified boundaries, and can be removed once their goals have been accomplished. WHAT ARE MPAs? Where MPAs are suggested, site specific scientific data is required to first determine what problems exist, before fishery managers can decide what solution fits best. However, U.S. Environmental Non-Government Organizations (ENGOs) have hijacked the intended use to suit an entirely different anti-sustainable use agenda. While these efforts are championed under the guise of ‘protecting habitat,’ documented threats and supporting scientific data is often absent. In many instances Anglers are being falsely portrayed as a threat to habitat, fishery conservation and to healthy fish populations. Instead of science, arbitrary percentages and a ‘one size fits all’ approach for vast networks of ‘Protection Zones’ are now being mandated for Canadian waters. Sadly, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and Prime Minister Trudeau have followed along with these organizations. As we mentioned in our previous article, ENGOs do not pay taxes, and they petition the government for funds to support their cause. In many ways, responsible anglers [...]