2020 Southern BC Post Season Review

On Dec 16, 2020, there was a review by DFO of 2020 with respect to all things Pacific salmon related. The presentations used at this review are provided here. Recordings of the presentations are to be available soon; we’ll link them in if possble when that happens.

Preliminary Pacific Salmon Outlook for 2021

A draft of a preliminary outlook for Pacific salmon in 2021 may be reviewed here. The focus is to provide a measure of expected salmon returns by type to the Conservation Units (CUs) and parent Stock Management Units (SMUs).

This Preliminary Outlook provides a categorical abundance expectation based expert opinion.

This document will be updated in early April when ‘categorical outlooks’ will be replaced with expected abundance for those stocks with statistical forecasts.

2021 SALMON OUTOOK – PACIFIC REGION, PRELIMNARY, DECEMBER 2020, DRAFT

Basically, the expert opinion expressed herein is a major input to the development and definition of the Integrated Fishery Management Plans (IFMPs). The IFMPs consider many additional factors, and result in the fishing restrictions, limits, and, yes, fishing closures that you have come to know.

The term “Outlook Units” (OUs) is deprecated as it did not translate in all cases directly to the Integrated Fishery Management Plans (IFMPs). Also, the Fisheries Act changes said to be gazetteered on Dec. 31 appears to require this change, probably for a consistent use of terminology.

Conservation & Protection Stats: Are we all in this together?

While the recreational fishery of SVI sat idle, the gillnets on the Fraser River worked overtime. DFO’s Conservation & Protection staff were kept very busy as these stats from DFO prove:

Violations, by action, FY 2020/2021 to Dec 10, 2020:

BC Interior & YukonLower FraserSouth CoastGrand Total
Charges Laid4523894
Charges Not Approved134
Charges Pending/Under Review9212120341
Diverted (Alternative Measures)11
Fishery Officer’s Direction (AIS)11
Inspector’s Direction (Habitat)235
Native Protocol24153372
Seizure(s) – Persons unknown819252252
Ticket Issued488733511272
Warning Issued78296407781
Grand Total171164310092823
Figures courtesy Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Tire dust killing coho salmon returning to Puget Sound

As reported in the Seattle Times, new research shows that a chemical compound in automobile tires is killing a large percentage of salmon returning to spawn in the rivers and streams around Puget Sound.

The pollutant is particularly problematic for waters near busy roads. Translation: most of central Puget Sound and its sprawl. Ironically, the millions of dollars spent to make these areas more salmon friendly and boost fish populations have created ecological traps for coho coming back to toxic waters.

Seattle Times article

No reason to think it’s not happening here, too.

HAT, CRD to Acquire 4692 Mountain Road

Back in August, we reported on the opportunity to add the property at 4692 Mountain Road to the parks of the CRD. Good news: it looks like a park it shall be! The Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT), Victoria’s local land trust, has just announced that they have joined forces with the Capital Regional District to acquire and create a new regional park at 4692 Mountain Road in Saanich.

Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) has come forward to oversee a fundraising campaign to secure the remainder of the purchase funds.

HAT MRFP Media release

For more information, please visit the project website at: www.mountainroadforest.ca or contact Habitat Acquisition Trust.
• For a short feature video of the property, please view: https://vimeo.com/483883388
• The HAT media release is accompanied by a 2-page project backgrounder, a map and the feature photo (above).
• On site photo opportunities and tours available for the media by contacting michael@hat.bc.ca / 250-880-7816.

Salmon Allocaton Policy review: Terms of Reference

As directed in April 2018 by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, following the B.C. Supreme Court Ahousaht decision, DFO is soon to undertake a review of the Pacific Salmon Allocation Policy. To guide this process, a draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for the participants has been developed.

Every fisherperson in BC – recreational, First Nation, and/or commercial – should have an interest in getting these ToR correct.

To that end, SFAC members are invited by the SFAB to read and review the ToR, as well as the SFAB’s own notes and comments on the ToR; and then provide, in writing, any additional comments, concerns and most importantly suggestions for improvement you may have to your local chair. All before Dec 31st, 2020!

SFAC Area 19/20 – Meeting to Discuss/Pass Motions Wednesday, Dec 02, 2020

Our local SFAC co-chair Ryan Chamberland has called a virtual meeting for Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 1:30 pm. The purpose is to discuss and then vote on whether two motions under consideration at this meeting should be put forward to the SFAB Chinook/Coho Working Group for their consideration.

If you can attend Wednesday @ 1:30 pm to discuss and vote on the following two motions it would be greatly appreciated by your local chairs Ryan and Chris. To attend, please contact Ryan by email for the Microsoft Teams meeting link or the (audio only) phone conference information.

The motions:

Motion 1 –  Selective marked fishery for Areas 18-19 and 20-1 to 20-6 (April 1st – June 10th)

Whereas the recreational fishery is dependent upon expectation and opportunity and;

Whereas Washington State releases over 70 million marked Chinook per year and;

Whereas for the last 12 years the Sidney anglers derby held in May each year has only shown 2  (two) Fraser Chinook intercepted in that time frame and;

Whereas DFO records indicate that the catch of Fraser Chinook is virtually non-existent in areas 18, 19 and 20-1-to 20-6 until June 10 and;

Whereas it has been shown that the Southern Resident Orcas have changed their foraging areas north of the entrance to Juan de Fuca in 2019 and 2020,

Therefore the regulations for the Juan de Fuca 2021 fishery should be changed to read “Chinook retention shall be limited to two hatchery marked Chinook in areas 18 and 19 and areas 20-1 to 20-6 from April 1 to June 10, 2021”

Motion 2 – Selective marked fishery for Areas 18-19 and 20-1 to 20-6 (June 11th – July 31st)

Whereas Washington state continues to release over 70 million hatchery marked Chinook and has stated that there is enough Chinook for all and;

Whereas these hatchery Chinook are for retention of all fisheries and;

Whereas the Southern Resident Orcas in the past 2 (two) years have been late in returning to BC waters and according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans have changed their foraging areas further north of the entrance to Juan De Fuca Strait,

Therefore there should be a retention of one hatchery marked Chinook in areas 18 and 19 and 20-1 to 20-6 from June 11 to July 31, 2021. Possession limits to remain unchanged.

The Benefit of Catch & Release Fisheries

Rod Clapton, President of the B.C. Federation of Drift Fishers has sent us his well thought out consideration of catch and release fisheries as an alternative to DFO’s current practice of complete public fisheries closures to protect wild salmon stock.

The tremendous social and economic loss of Public fisheries demands that consideration of all options for retaining some opportunity must be a priority. We cannot accept total closures when other viable alternatives such as C&R are available. The documented closures of fishery dependent businesses is a sad reality. The Public Fishery generates 1.1 billion dollars a year in revenues & provides 9,000 jobs province wide. The social value is priceless, highlighted this year by the recognition of the safe healthy benefit of fishing in these current Covid-19 restrictions.

The Public Fishery remains committed to Conservation as the #1 priority. We will continue to support all science based efforts to rebuild stocks but demand that total closures be a last resort after all other options such as “Catch & Release” are carefully considered.

Rod Clapton, president BCFDF

Final Session of 2020 SFI Conference Series: Friday, Nov. 27, 9:30 am

In the final session, Parliamentary Secretary to the Fisheries Minister, North Vancouver- Burnaby MP, Terry Beech, Fisheries and Oceans Canada will speak about collaboration and reconciliation, a communities perspective from the BC Chamber of Commerce, and a tourism perspective from the Tourism Industry Association of BC.

Attendance to each sessions is free but you must register. Tomorrow’s session will be approximately 120 minutes long.

Friday, Nov 13th, 9:30 am: 2nd webinar of 2020 SFI Conference Series

The second webinar presented by the SFI takes place Friday, Nov. 13 at 9:30 am. The session will be approximately 90 minutes long, with an audience question and answer period following the speakers. The theme for the series is Charting a Predictable Path for Salmon and BC’s Public Fishery.

In this webinar, the discussion turns to Mark Selective Fishing (MSF) and Mass Marking (MM). To aid both recovery of salmon and provide reliable and predictable opportunity for BC’s public fishery, action must be taken.  A solution that has been successfully implemented, mark selective fishing and mass marking, will be discussed by representatives from Washington State and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Attendance to these sessions is free but you must register

Ask Questions
Written questions can be asked following each speaker using a free, simple tool called sli.do or slido.com.  Once the session begins, use a separate browser tab to access another web page, or use your phone, to go to slido.com, and enter the session code in the participant area.

On November 13th the code is: #MARKSELECTIVE. See samples of PC / mobile of the sli.do participant page. The chat function in the Zoom webinar will be disabled, so please ask and vote on questions posed through sli.do