Originally incorporated as the Amalgamated Lower Islands Sportman’s Association on March 26th 1954, the organization became known as the Amalgamated Conservation Society with an official name change on February 5th, 1963. The society serves fresh water and salt water anglers and has eleven member clubs in British Columbia and members from across Canada.
The Amalgamated Conservation Society has operated continuously since 1954 and was largely responsible for the formation of the Sport Fishing Advisory Board in 1964. The ACS served as a member until 1997 when restructuring eliminated this seat. We continue with our member clubs participating as the main component of the Victoria Sport Fishing Advisory Committee formed on September 18, 1996. Chris Bos currently chairs the Committee. Both Chris and Tom Cole represent the local committee at Sport Fishing Advisory Board meetings.
Members became so concerned regarding problems affecting the fisheries resources and the sport fishery, that in February 1963 they drafted and sent a brief to the then Minister of Fisheries, J. Angus MacLean.
The ACS not only talked about the problems plaguing the fish resources and various fisheries, but did, and continues to do, something about it. Members pioneered small stream public involvement projects in aid of salmonid enhancement in the early 1970’s – years before the advent of the Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP) in 1976. Direction from the early years until 1990 came from enhancement pioneer Howard English who served as the ACS Projects Coordinator.
A newly constructed mini-hatchery and fry rearing facility became operational in the late fall of 1982. The ACS and its member clubs have reared Chinook salmon fry in net pens since 1989. Stream enhancement work, spawner and smolt enumeration and fry satelliting to other south Vancouver Island streams continues.
To replace the dedicated effort of long time projects coordinator Howard English, who passed away in June of 1991, the Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Association was formed. The GVSEA operates under the umbrella of the ACS and is one of our member clubs.
In 2015 and 2016 the ACS conducted angler activity assessments in Statistical Areas 19 and 20 from Oak Bay to Sooke. These involved intensive boat trailer counts at local ramps to determine both angler activity profiles through the day and total angler effort. The purpose of this program is to better refine recreational catch estimates as determined by the creel survey program. It is expected that this will be continued in 2017 with the financial assistance of the DFO.
The ACS currently operates with its eleven member organizations within the Capital Regional District of southern Vancouver Island, as follows:
- Clover Point Anglers’ Association
- Colquitz Salmonid Stewardship & Education Society
- Esquimalt Anglers’ Association
- Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Association
- Haig-Brown Flyfishing Association
- James Bay Anglers’ Association
- Royal Canadian Navy Anglers’ Association
- Sidney Anglers’ Association
- Victoria Fish & Game Protective Association
- Victoria Golden Rods & Reels
- Westcoast Flyfishers Association
The executive committee of the Amalgamated Conservation Society consists of a president, vice-president and secretary-treasurer. The Annual General Meeting is held on the first Wednesday in March each year. Regular monthly meetings are held September through June.