Category «News»

New information.

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

Aaron Gunn premiere: No Fishing Allowed

Independent journalist Aaron Gunn will premiere the video, “No Fishing Allowed: Trudeau’s Plan to Decimate an Entire Industry” at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo, BC on Tuesday, August 22nd at 6 pm. This subject of this event and video is the BC west coast commercial fishing industry.

With three seasons of his “Politics Explained” videos behind him, this appears to be the first video that focuses on west coast fishing. The topic may be controversial, given the varied interests of first nations, recreational, and commercial fisher peoples who all today have a stake in the future of west coast fish populations; and also given the shares of the salmon and halibut fisheries being managed between Canada and the USA.

For tickets go to eventbrite.

DFO Legal Challenge

Anglers, guides and businesses in Port Renfrew have a ‘go fund me campaign’ underway to raise money to take the Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) to court over business losses as a consequence of this year’s additional Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) and Chinook restrictions.  They have set up a Go-Fund-Me site to raise $100,000. 

This Island Fisherman magazine article provides the context, including the history, around this important topic.

Latest FN re: Chinook and Areas 18, 19, 20; Subareas 29-3 to 29-5, and Subareas 20-1, 20-2, 29-1, and 29-2

Edit 20230629: DFO followed up FN0612 with FN0617 to say, “Oops!” FN0612 is NOT VALID and was released in error.

Until further notice, the daily limit of Chinook Salmon is zero (0) per day, except for the pilot mark-selective fisheries announced in Fishery Notice FN0488; and the Chinook management measures previously announced for East Coast Vancouver Island (Fishery Notice FN0330) and West Coast Vancouver Island (Fishery Notice FN0332).

DFO Opens Limited MSF Pilots for 2023

With fishery notice FN0426-RECREATIONAL – Salmon – Chinook – Portions of Areas 17 to 19 – Management Measures – Effective May 3, 2023, DFO is opening up some of the pilot mark selective fishery opportunities that have been identified in work done in prior years

These openings are located away from primary migratory routes or during times when there is a low prevalence of Fraser River Chinook stocks of concern and increased abundance of other stocks including hatchery-marked Chinook. In addition to creel surveys (dockside interviews and overflight effort counts) and the iREC reporting program that will be conducted, these pilot MSF openings will be subject to enhanced monitoring including biological sampling and independent verification of at-sea releases. These MSFs will also be subject to evaluation of available post-season information and potential adjustments may be made prior to reopening in Spring 2024.

excerpt from DFO fishery notice FN0426-RECREATIONAL

From May 3rd until the end of May 2023, you may fish for and retain one marked chinook per day, subject to the area-specific minimum size and your annual chinook limit in the following areas:

VictoriaSubareas 19-1, 19-3, 19-4, 19-5 and 19-6.
Gulf Islands and Saanich Inlet:Subareas 17-6, 17-9, 18-6, 18-7, 18-10, 19-7, 19-8.

From June 1 until July 14, 2023, you may fish for and retain one marked chinook per day, subject to the area-specific minimum size and your annual chinook limit in the following areas:

Gulf Islands and Saanich InletSubareas 17-6 and 17-9

From June 1 until July 31, 2023, you may fish for and retain one marked chinook per day, subject to the area-specific minimum size and your annual chinook limit in the following areas:

Gulf Islands and Saanich InletSubareas 18-7, 19-7, 19-8, and
That portion of Subarea 18-6 west of a line from Isabella Point on Saltspring Island (48 degrees 44.0239′ N, 123 degrees 25.5622’W) to a point on Piers Island (48 degrees 48.4586’N, 123 degrees 25.3965’W) then to a point on the Saanich Peninsula near 48 degrees 41.8550’N, 123 degrees 26.1056’W.

In all of the above cases: Unmarked Chinook cannot be retained.

Thanks to DFO, the SFAB and all the people who’ve worked to pilot these MSFs while minimizing risk to the Fraser chinook stock and ensuring plentiful prey for the SRKW population.