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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 [...]

Re: Point Pelee National Park region National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) feasibility study

September 24, 2018 Hon. Catherine McKenna Minister, Environment and Climate Change House of Commons Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6 Dear Minister McKenna, Re: Point Pelee National Park region National Marine Conservation Area (NMCA) feasibility study The Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association (CSIA) represents the manufacturers, distributors, retailers and sales agencies which serve the 8 million Canadians who fish as an outdoor heritage activity. According to federal government figures our industry currently generates an annual national economy of over $8.6 billion dollars. In tandem with hunting our customers support over 100,000 jobs in all regions of the country. More Canadians fish for recreation than play golf and hockey combined. Sportfishing in all of the Great Lakes is some of the best in the world and generates a significant economy in Canada and the U.S. We write in support of the Ontario Commercial Fisheries Association (OCFA) position opposing the concept of a feasibility study by Parks Canada to create a NMCA around Point Pelee National Park, Pelee Island and all of Pigeon Bay. The OCFA Executive Director explained their opposition in their letter to you of September 17, 2018 (attached). Our information is a motion proposing such a feasibility study will soon be tabled in the House of Commons, directed to you and the CEO of Parks Canada. This Lake Erie region is very popular with anglers and the fishery for multiple species is very healthy and sustainable under current policy and regulation. CSIA is also opposed to any initiative by ECCC or Parks Canada to establish a policy or legislative foundation for eventual permanent / severely restrictive access closures for recreational anglers in Lake Erie or any of the Great Lakes without a credible basis in independently peer [...]

Dr. Larry McKinney Testifies Before the Standing Committee on The Oceans Act

If you missed Dr. Larry McKinney's important testimony on January 30th to the House of Commons Standing Committee on The Oceans Act’s Marine Protected Areas, we encourage you to take a few minutes to listen to it below. Dr. McKinney is the Executive Director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies following 23 years with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department where he served as director of Coastal Fisheries and senior director of Aquatic Resources. He is well respected as a marine scientist, fishery manager and conservationist in North America and beyond. Here his thoughts on the Oceans Act. Special thanks to the CSIA Government Affairs Chair, Phil Morlock, and Shimano for facilitating Dr. McKinney's appearance before the Standing Committee.

Lake Winnipeg ice fishers reeling in ‘fish of a lifetime’ thanks to 1997 flood, says veteran angler

Originally published by CBC News, January 28th, 2018 The Flood of the Century may have spawned the largest walleye that Lake Winnipeg ice fishers have seen in recent memory. Veteran ice fisher and nature guide Lee Nolan said this year, fishers are finding giant walleye in Manitoba's largest lake — and he said it all started with excellent spawning seasons. "We've got a good shot at breaking a world record up here this year, I think. There's lots of people catching fish of a lifetime..." "So back in 1997 and 2000, when we had very high water, walleye had a very, very good spawn," said Nolan. "So you've got year classes of fish." The 1997 spring flood that affected large parts of Manitoba is considered the Flood of the Century, meaning the water reached the highest point it's expected to reach in a century. "Those fish are getting very mature now, so that's why you've got a higher percentage of the biomass in the lake [that] is actually very, very, large fish." So how big are the fish? "I believe the current ice-fishing record is about 35, 36 inches [roughly 90 centimetres] and I think there's some fish that size out there," said Nolan, adding so far, the biggest one he's caught was 32 inches (81 centimetres). "They're very healthy, girthy fish.… It's probably the best walleye fishing in the world right now for large walleye," he said. "We've got a good shot at breaking a world record up here this year, I think. There's lots of people catching fish of a lifetime out there right now." Walleye weigh roughly one to two kilograms (two to four pounds) in a normal year, said Nolan. This year, they're seeing seven-kilogram (or 15-pound) fish. TO [...]

Keep Canada Fishing Gift Guide

Cue the Christmas music... It's time to start shopping for the anglers in your life... or passing hints to friends and family about what you want tucked beneath the tree. The Keep Canada Fishing Gift Guide is back! This year we've compiled a list of a few of our manufacturing members' most sought-after items. And at various price-points, there are gifts for every budget! Ugly Stik® GX2™ Treavel Spinning Combo Ugly Stik® GX2™ pack spinning combos provide the ultimate combination of durability and convenience. Enjoy fishing anywhere you go with this portable combo. Comes with a cloth rod and reel travel bag with adjustable straps. Retails at $74.99CAD. More details at uglystik.com. Follow Ugly Stik Lucky Strike Secret Weapon Considered a secret weapon among the Lucky Strike family, this colour pattern has been used for years but only made in small batches and never sold to stores until now. Available at luckystrikebaitworks.com. #luckystrikebaitworks Shimano Sedona Spinning Reel Packed with a number of premiere technologies that are normally reserved for Shimano’s top-tier offerings, the Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Reels provide advanced performance at an angler-friendly price point. Brought to life by Shimano’s flagship HAGANE gearing, the Shimano Sedona FI Spinning Reels provide long-lasting smoothness. Available at fish.shimano.com. Follow Shimano Quantum Drive Spinning Reel A precisely aligned uni-body construction spinning reel has silky smooth retrieve, superior freeness and ultra durability with 9 ball bearings. Available at Quantumfishing.com. Follow Quantum MarCum Lithium Shuttle Add the long-life power of Lithium ION to your MarCum® sonar units. Compact, lightweight and long-lasting, the Lithium Shuttle, powered by a 12-volt 12-amp hour Lithium ION polymer battery, can extend your unit’s continuous run time up to 40 hours. Designed for MarCum® M-Series, LX-Series, [...]

The Outdoors Journey – National Fishing, Hunting, Trapping Heritage Day

Originally published by Pye Acres, September 15, 2017 by Robert J. Pye The White Otter Inn was in my rear view mirror and the rising sun was on my windshield.  I was up unreasonably early to drive home from a late-November OFAH membership meeting in northwestern Ontario. Slowly,  the break of dawn unveiled the full view of an empty Trans-Canada Highway… empty except for the OFAH company Jeep I was driving and a half-ton truck up ahead.  That truck was also flying my organization’s emblem. When some people didn’t care about cold water streams and its value to fish and wildlife, it was trout fisherman who volunteered to plant trees, prevent erosion, built spawning beds and fish ladders. Back bumper or top windshield corner, I can spot an OFAH membership decal a mile away. Our bright blue membership sticker is the highly recognizable “I’m proud to fish and hunt” statement affixed to boats, ATV’s, trucks and cars all throughout Ontario, especially in the north. With a full travel mug of coffee and an extra hour on my side, I had no inclination to pass my fellow OFAH members.  After all, a weekend full of fish hatchery tours, club meetings and conservation topics couldn’t replace this anonymous OFAH membership success story being told, from the shoulders up, with backs against a truck cab window. With every mile I paid closer attention to the OFAH members sitting side-by-side in the cab of that truck. Their blaze orange hats and jackets made it easy to tell how they were spending the morning.  A father and his son, I predicted. Going deer hunting, I assumed. I recognized their body language from my own childhood hunting trips, sitting beside my Dad on the bench [...]

Why We Want to “Keep Canada Fishing”

Fishing is a heritage activity in Canada, and there are many reasons we think it's an important -- and fun! -- pastime. But have you ever wondered about the economic benefits of fishing? We produced this video a few years ago when we were launching Keep Canada Fishing, but the information is still valuable today. Take a look and learn more about why it's so important to "Keep Canada Fishing!"

SUP fishing 101

Originally published by Ontario Out of Doors, August 4, 2017 by  Alyssa Lloyd With the popularity of kayak fishing in Ontario, it hasn’t taken anglers long to start using standup paddleboards (SUPs) too. Their advantages are crystal clear: they are simple, portable, low cost, low maintenance, customizable, stealthy on the water, and just plain fun. They come in a variety of materials so anglers can choose from expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam core, wood, or a portable and an easily stored inflatable. SUPs are the perfect craft for a quick fish or a full day excursion. Here are some SUP tips to help you get paddling. Getting comfortable Pablo Bonilla of SUPnorth in Haliburton uses SUPs as simple fishing vessels targeting both fresh and saltwater species. As an instructor, Bonilla recommends first and foremost you become accustomed to paddling a SUP before you attempt fishing from one. “Gaining confidence is the first step, the more comfortable you are on your board, the more enjoyable fishing will be.” says Bonilla. TO FIND MORE TIPS ON SUP FISHING, VISIT OODMAG.COM  

Do Wildfires Negatively Impact Fish and Their Habitats?

Wildfires have been ravaging large parts of British Columbia for several weeks now. An evolving list of fires in the region can be found on the B.C. Government website. A quick glance shows just how widespread and disastrous the situation is. It will take years for communities and wildlife to recover. While the immediate destruction mostly effects ecosystems on land, we thought it would be a good idea to look into if (and how) this destruction could have short and long-term impacts on aquatic wildlife and the ecosystems they're a part of. Do wildfires negatively impact fish? And if so, how? Sediment and Temperature Changes Wildfires are not new phenomena. While many are the result of human error, approximately 60% of B.C.'s fires are the result of lighting. Like lightning, there are many other "pulse disturbances" which impact wildlife. These can be things like droughts, floods, and erosion. The issue with wildfires is that their intensity can instigate and inflate these pulse disturbances. As trees burn and fall, increased sediment erodes into nearby bodies of water. This new waste material fills in spaces where fish would lay eggs and can, in some cases, damage their gills. Migration routes can also be blocked or altered. The immediate response is a reduction in fish populations. Another significant issue is temperature change. Fish which have fairly precise habitat requirements, like trout, are most at risk. When plants which shade cold-water streams are destroyed, the overall water temperature rises. Even just a few degrees can have an impact on metabolic and reproductive rates of the fish living there. Toxicity and Pollution An issue we found less information on is the effect of pollutants and toxins directly related to wildfires. One [...]

Manitoba Commits To Sustainable Fishing

Originally published by MyToba, June 30th 2017 WINNIPEG, MB – In recognition of National Fishing Week, the Manitoba government highlights its commitment to sustainable fishing through changes that will help ensure the sustainability of the province’s valuable fish stocks, Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox announced today. “National Fishing Week is a great time to celebrate the tremendous opportunity that exists in Manitoba because of our valuable fish resources,” Cox said.  “Manitobans derive both economic and recreational benefit from our healthy fish stocks and we need to work together to protect and preserve this important resource.  We are committed to working with all users to ensure the long-term sustainability of fishing in our province.” TO VIEW THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE, VISIT mytoba.ca.