CBC: Port Renfrew fate in hands of DFO

Our national broadcaster and news organization has recently published an article that looks at how the fate of Port Renfrew seems to lie in the outcome of the decisions yet to be finalized by DFO with respect to chinook salmon fishing closures.

In materials presented to the sport-fishing community Jan. 12, DFO mapped out important foraging areas for the southern resident killer whales. 

…the fishing community rejects the modelling informing the map. Recreational fishers say they almost never see the endangered whales near the shoreline. 

“For DFO to say it will shut an area down when southern residents are rarely there makes no sense, and is negligent,” said Wayne Friesen, chair of the B.C. Recreational Fishing Association. 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/port-renfrew-fishing-closure-dfo-1.7181011?cmp=rss

It seems curious that to explain DFO’s thinking on this subject, the CBC turned to Misty McDuffy, a non-DFO biologist with an NGO. Strange that DFO didn’t speak to its own decision making process; possibly waiting for political direction?

Town Hall follow-up: video re: Recreational Salmon Fisheries Under Threat

After the  Feb 27th town hall meeting in Langford, at the suggestion of Gary Cooper (Gary Cooper Fishing Diary), Tom Davis produced a video using a voice over with the power-point presentation that was shown at the Four Points by Sheraton public fisheries meeting. We thought this would be a great way to get the message, that we delivered to the over 300 attendees, to a much broader audience. 

The linked video, “Recreational Salmon Fisheries Under Threat”, is intended to inform anglers and others of the plight that BC’s valuable rec Chinook fisheries are facing. In addition, it presents solutions that the public fishing community believes are valid and that more than meet the rec fisheries’ share of conservation burdens for Upper Fraser River Chinook and SRKWs. 

Please share this with your organizations, family and friends and ask them for your support so that we can speed the recovery of Upper Fraser Chinook, assist the SRKWs and sustain recreational fisheries in vital southern BC fishing regions.

Thanks to both Gary Cooper and Tom Davis for this video message.

2nd Victoria Herring Symposium: April 5

We received some news from Jim Shortreed, our local advocate for herring conservation:

With the generous support of the Capital Regional District the 2nd Victoria Herring symposium is ON.  The venue is the Gorge Waterway Pavilion, the evening of April 5. This is an evening of local knowledge of herring being shared.  Call me for tickets [Jim Shortreed 250 937 9475].

Setting Branches to attract Spawning Herring

This year everyone is getting organized to set hemlock branches at Fisherman’s Wharf, Causeway, Victoria International Marina, Banfield Marina, and Pearson International School at Pedder Bay. The Songhees First Nation is setting branches near Fisgard Light, that’s where the herring spawned in 2022. Its a fun project and easy to volunteer for.  Call me to volunteer, it’s fun and easy, you collect all sorts of sealife. Call me if you need your hemlock pruned, we’ll take all hemlock.

Feb 27 2024 email from Jim Shortreed

Herring spawn on Douglas Fir branches, Departure Bay

For background, please see our earlier post regarding the establishment of the Herring Conservation and Restoration Society.

Important Recreational Fishing Meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 27, 7 pm

Some important correspondence from Tom Davis:

Hello anglers, charter operators and angling business owners. There is an important recreational fishing meeting scheduled for Tuesday Feb 27th at the Four Points Hotel in Langford from 7-9.30 PM. It is co-sponsored by the South Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition, the Public Fishery Alliance, the Fraser River Sportfishing Alliance and the BC Recreational Fishing Association.

It is an information sharing and public input Town Hall meeting to discuss the pervasive damaging regulations that have been imposed on what was once the largest ocean  recreational salmon fishery in the world.

A panel of speakers has been assembled from the hardest hit regions of the south coast to discuss these issues and take questions from the audience. It is time to stop further erosion of angling opportunities. 

I know that some of you are aware of this meeting as the details have been shared broadly on social media, but I wanted to extend a personal invitation to those who may not yet know about it. 

If you are able to attend please do so, bring a friend and share this email with others in your fishing circles.

There will also be a 9.9 HP outboard motor door prize and a silent auction. 

I suggest you arrive early to register and to avoid delays.

An information poster is attached [see above].

Tight lines,

Tom Davis

Greater Victoria SFAC Spring 2024 Meeting: Feb. 14, 7 pm

You are invited to the Greater Victoria Spring 2024 Sport Fishing Advisory Committee meeting which will be held February 14, 2024, at the Esquimalt Anglers Association (1101 Munro Street, Victoria  British Columbia  V9A 5P1, Canada).

Release of Draft 2024/25 BC Salmon IFMPs for Consultation

With FN0120, DFO has released their draft 2024-2025 Integrated Fisheries Management Plans.

The emailed fishery notice subject is wrong and says “2023-2024”; the body has it right as 2024-2025.

Deadline for submission of comments is April 15th, 2024.

To obtain an electronic copy for review, please click the link below: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/901xbyj9g0ywppuwkcv46/h?rlkey=m2ia50oj7720q10lsz61ba0h2&dl=0

The draft IFMPs set out the policy framework that guides decision making, general objectives relating to management of stocks of concern, enhancement and enforcement, as well as decision guidelines for a range of fisheries.

Please refer to the New for 2024/25 for key changes for the IFMP that may be under consideration.

Section 13 of the IFMPs outline the Species Specific Fishing Plans, which describe fisheries plans for each of the salmon species and the management units and major fishery areas for each species. This section includes the relevant information on management approach, decision guidelines and specific management measures, as well as, information related to First Nations, commercial and recreational fishing plans for each fishery.

During March and April, the Department will be meeting with First Nations and recreational, commercial and environmental groups to seek further feedback on the draft IFMPs as part of the IFMP consultation process.

https://notices.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fns-sap/index-eng.cfm?pg=view_notice&DOC_ID=296577&ID=all

You may read the northern and southern IFMPs via the fishery notice, or the links below:

Page 37 of the draft Southern Salmon IFMP has a section that speaks to Mark Selective Fisheries. As per last year, please note that for a significant time period, COVID precautionary measures reduced fin clipping at Canadian salmon hatcheries to near zero; there will be a few years where recreational fishers seeking marked salmon will be dependent upon Washington state origin fish for success.

Mass Marking / Mark-Selective Fisheries

Since 2020 the Department approved a small number of recreational Chinook mark selective fishery (MSF) opportunities, which are planned to continue in 2024/2025, pending the post- season review of the available fisheries information. Details can be found here in Table 13- : Approved MSF Openings – Southern ISBM.

The Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative (PSSI) provides new investments to support potential implementation of Chinook mass marking and mark-selective fisheries as part of an integrated management approach. To advance this work, DFO sought input from First Nations and stakeholders during a series of workshops that began in December 2022, leading to DFOs development of An Implementation Framework for Mark-Selective Fisheries for Southern British Columbia Chinook Salmon (Appendix 12). The purpose of this framework is to outline a risk- based, transparent and collaborative process for the evaluation, decision making, mitigation measures, implementation, review and improvements of MSFs targeting adipose fin-clipped hatchery Chinook Salmon in a manner consistent with the regulatory and policy requirements for Pacific salmon management. Proposals for new MSF opportunities may be submitted by all harvest sectors, or by DFO, and they will evaluated against the key criteria laid out in the framework.

https://acsbc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/2023-24-Southern-Salmon-IFMP-Draft.pdf

DFO seeking Species at Risk designations

DFO has posted several “consultations” with respect to designating certain salmon populations as species at risk, in which you may have an interest. Any one of these that wanders the Strait of Juan de Fuca or the Salish Sea, once designated as a species at risk, is bound to impact our already curtailed salmon fisheries on Vancouver Island

You are encouraged to review the relevant “Open” Pacific aquatic species consultations and provide any remarks to DFO where allowed. Filter by “salmon” to narrow down the choices. The two open consultations most relevant to the Vancouver Island chinook fishery are listed below:

Welcome to the Herring Conservation and Restoration Society

We’ve learned from Jim Shortreed about the establishment of the Herring Conservation and Restoration Society. Please review their press release, below.

Please call at your earliest convenience to arrange an excellent audio visual presentation from the Herring Conservation and Restoration Society. Pacific Herring are well researched but not all the research is readily available. Let the Herring Conservation and Restoration Society present to your group the relevant information from today’s public literature.

HCRS press release

Halibut Rec Fishery Re-opens

From DFO comes this news:

FN0084-Recreational – Fin Fish (Other than Salmon) – Halibut – Fishery Opening February 3, 2024

Category(s): RECREATIONAL - Fin Fish (Other than Salmon)

Fishery Notice - Fisheries and Oceans Canada 

Subject: FN0084-Recreational - Fin Fish (Other than Salmon) - Halibut - Fishery Opening February 3, 2024 Effective at 00:01 hours February 3, 2024 until further notice recreational fishing for halibut will open coast-wide with the following measures in effect as noted below: 

Licensing: 

The 2023/2024 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licences and Conditions of Licence, are in effect until March 31, 2024. The 2024/2025 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licences and Conditions of Licence will be in effect from April 1, 2024 until March 31, 2025. 

A subsequent Fishery Notice will be released prior to the start of the 2024/2025 Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence which will announce the recreational halibut fishing measures from April 1, 2024 onward

... 

Check size and possession limits on the DFO site’s fisheries notice.

BC Recreational Fishing Association moves forward

The BC Recreational Fishing Association, profiled earlier this year here in Island Fisherman Magazine, has stood up a website and produced a commercial video. Both of these support the BCRFA’s fundraising efforts toward a legal challenge of the manner in which DFO resource management decisions appear to be published with inadequate consultation and at short notice, and lack supporting scientific evidence . These resource management practices are said to harm the efforts of recreational anglers and guides and threaten the financial stability of small coastal communities.

We are rallying together to challenge the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and demand fair and science-based regulations. For far too long, the DFO has made decisions driven by politics rather than sound scientific principles. Last-minute rule changes have had a devastating impact on small business owners, particularly those running charter businesses in rural and remote areas. Entire small towns and countless families have been affected by these sudden shifts, particularly here on Vancouver Island.

courtesy of https://www.bcfish.net/about