PFA pleads for public fishery openings

The Public Fishery Alliance (PFA), with the full support of the ACS and several other groups of conservation-minded sport fishers, has asked the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard to allow selected chinook fishery openings this year where evidence has shown little to no risk to stocks of concern.

The [SFAB salmon technical working group] proposals were assessed by DFO review to be very low risk or no risk at all to stocks of concern. They offered an important lifeline to the Public Salmon Fishery to avoid further harm, and importantly did not jeopardize the recovery of Fraser River Chinook stocks of concern, yet they have all been rejected.

…we urge that you direct your department to work together with the SFAB, particularly at the upcoming February 11th SFAB Main Board meeting, to explore ways these desperately needed openings can be approved. We particularly want to focus on the period from April 1st to May 31st this year, where there is a documented unique window of opportunity when stocks of concern are not present, while hatchery marked Chinook are prevalent in high numbers.

letter from PFA to MInister Murray

A copy of the full letter to the Minister may be read here.

Please consider writing a letter to Minister Murray from your own group or yourself as an individual Canadian.

You’re invited: Local SFAB Committee meeting Jan. 19, 7 pm

Chris Bos, Chair of the Victoria and Area Local SFAB Committee, has emailed regarding the next committee meeting.

The meeting is open to all anglers who fish the Canadian waters from Saanich Inlet through the Southern Gulf Islands and Haro Strait, off Oak Bay and Victoria and right out to Jordan River in the western Juan de Fuca Strait.  The meeting is “in camera” as DFO staff will not be present.

It would be excellent if this meeting were well attended, as I would genuinely like to hear the feedback from many of our constituents on important  fisheries issues that we face

email from Chris Bos
Meeting:Victoria and Area Local SFAB Committee
When: Wednesday January 19, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.  Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Where:Online Virtual Zoom Meeting
Link – Sign In Details:Please email Chris Bos at to receive meeting sign in details.

The agenda for the meeting:

  • verify what the SFAB is and can actually do
  • provide a more detailed update on the SFAB modernization process
  • seek feedback from SFAB constituents about what they want from the SFAB process locally
  • discuss important species specific issues and prioritize them
  • develop a comprehensive Victoria Committee mailing list
  • discuss the need for more DNA samples from waters off of Victoria and Sooke 

DFO Halves Commercial Herring Fishery

As widely reported and announced by DFO here, the commercial Pacific herring fishery is to be substantially reduced.

This approach will see most commercial fisheries for Pacific herring closed, and limited to First Nations food, social and ceremonial fisheries. For the Strait of Georgia, harvesting will be reduced to a 10% harvest rate, with a maximum total allowable catch of 7,850 tonnes.

The commercial fishery sector is critical of this change, as shown here and here.

Environmental groups will no doubt support this decision, and point to FNs that practice a spawn-on-kelp fishery as a better alternative that leaves the herring to spawn for years. The commercial fleet harvests and kills herring primarily for their roe.

A Letter from Chris Bos, Local SFAB Chair

As of the election held November 9th this year, Chris Bos is the Victoria Sport Fishing Advisory Committee chair for the coming two-year term. He has written an open letter to anglers in Areas 19 and 20, the fishery management areas that our local committee represents on the Sports Fishery Advisory Board (SFAB).

Chris has also provided the draft minutes from this last local SFAB committee meeting. Worth a read for the topics discussed and motions passed, all of which may impact your future fishing opportunities.

Also worth noting for a fisherperson looking to become more involved in and learn about our fisheries management concerns and processes:

There is a vacant alternate position on our local committee that should be filled and it would be a great opportunity for a younger angler who is interested in our local fishery to take the position.  Although that alternate could not vote at South Coast SFAB meetings, attending is an amazing learning experience.  It is an opportunity to gain a broad perspective on BC’s Public salt water fisheries. Plus, as committee chair, I would be happy to pass on knowledge as well

Letter from Chris Bos

Finally, Chris expresses his and the local committee’s thanks to the outgoing chair Ryan Chamberland for his efforts in what proved to be a difficult two-year period for our south Vancouer Island fisheries. 

Fraser Chinook Fishery Mortality Index Summary, 2014 – 2020

DFO has released a memorandum that reports on the titled subject.

This memo compiles information to support Southern BC Chinook harvest planning and specifically
fisheries that impact Fraser River Chinook Managment Units (MUs).

There are many measures and estimates of salmon mortality and salmon escapement. Some discussion of how to arrive at useful conclusions with insufficient data. Certainly an important DFO management objective was achieved.

The management objective to shift the harvest distribution of Summer 41 from marine, particularly Area F troll, fisheries to Fraser River FN FSC fisheries appears to have been achieved, as there was a large shift in the proportion of Summer 41 Chinook caught by each fishing group and a greater proportion of the overall Fraser Chinook catch was comprised of Summer 41 Chinook; approximately 60% of the harvest of this MU occurred in First Nations FSC fisheries in the Fraser River in 2020 (compared to 18% in the base period). In addition, the Lower Shuswap escapement objective was met in both 2019 and 2020.

A recreational fisherperson will recognize the commercial Area F troll fishery referenced, and remember that DFO shut down some commercial salmon fisheries this past summer. Presumably in aid of the stated management objective.

Salmon 2022/2023 IFMPs: It has begun

DFO has notified stakeholders of the kick off of the process to create the Salmon 2022/2023 Integrated Fisheries Management Plans (IFMPs) for Northern and Southern British Columbia (BC).

This table shows the important dates for the activities expected to develop the salmon IFMPs.

2022-23 Salmon IFMPs Process Timelines

ActivityProposed Timelines
Release of DFO IFMP Planning Letter and timelines for 2022/23 seasonDecember 3, 2021
Salmon Post Season Review Meetings
All First Nations and stakeholders invited to attend.
Northern – December 2-3, 2021 Southern – December 15, 2021
2022 Salmon Outlook
All First Nations and stakeholders invited to attend. 
December 16, 2021 
Deadline for new CSAF proposals January 27, 2022
Meetings to review and discuss potential changes to IFMPs and opportunity for focussed discussion on key IFMP issues      Fraser Forum – January 18-20 2022  Northern IHPC – February 2, 2022 Southern IHPC – February 8, 2022
Draft IFMPs released for public review & commentFebruary 24, 2022
Meetings to review draft IFMPFraser Forum – March 1-3, 2022 Northern IHPC – March 9, 2022 Southern IHPC – March 10, 2022
2022 Revised Salmon OutlookApril 5, 2022
Deadline to submit comments on draft IFMP April 15, 2022
Final Meetings for discussion on IFMP feedback  Fraser Forum – Apr 12-14, 2022 Full IHPC – May 4-5, 2022
Target for public release of salmon IFMP June 30, 2022
Correspondence from DFO Pacific Salmon Management Team,

The notice includes a lengthy description of the planning considerations for these IFMPs. The table of contents gives you an idea of what’s to come:

It’s almost a year old, but this review and comment on DFO’s last exercise in consulting FNs and stakeholders – their terms to segregate Canadians – toward developing salmon IFMPs is worth a quick read. If nothing else, you may appreciate that the south coast of Vancouver Island isn’t the only fishery trying to understand the logic of DFO fishery management decisions constrained by court decisions and politics, and sometimes the hard data that suggests they’re managing some salmon and steelhead to extinction.

Skeena tragedy, managed by DFO

In contrast to 2,000-year old fishing practices are those managed today by DFO. The Skeena River steelhead are considered to be “at extreme conservation concern”. So why not allow a fishery that takes them? Rod Clapton of the BC Federation of Drift Fishers has asked our Minister of Fisheries & Oceans that specific question, or rather, “Why?”

Re: North Coast Post Season Review
Minister of Fisheries & Oceans
Hon. Joyce Murray, Minster

Dear Minister: 

We are writing to express our grave concerns that a reported 1923 wild Skeena steelhead were reported retained in First Nations fisheries in the non tidal portion of the Skeena river, despite the lowest reported returns in history. With 5300 steelhead estimated to return this retention represents 36% of the estimated return, which will be further significantly reduced by other factors such as predation & poaching.  We must question the sincerity of your Ministry regarding past commitments toward protecting steelhead stocks of concern and working collaboratively with the province and the recreational  fishery. Why are [you] continuing to allow fisheries that are non selective and targeting stocks at [the] point of extreme conservation concern

From recent SFAB meetings we had some sense of optimism that DFO was serious about protecting steelhead and working with the province and sectors with joint efforts to protect and enhance steelhead stocks in B.C.  As evidenced with interior Fraser steelhead and now Skeena stocks, these fish are at point of extreme conservation concern.   Allowing this devastating impact on Skeena stocks makes a mockery of potential recovery efforts.  Allowing this impact is a direct slap in the face to the many representatives of the recreational fishery who have worked tirelessly toward protecting steelhead and  supported required actions including closing of any rec fishing opportunities. 

Permitting a fishery on an established stock of concern suggests that your Ministry puts sector allocation on a species at risk above conservation concerns.  If that is policy, it puts at risk our sincere efforts to work collaboratively with F/N’s and others in a very difficult position.    

Your comments in response to this very serious situation are greatly appreciated as we know our concerns are shared by many organizations and anglers at large province wide.  

Rod Clapton, President

2,000-year-old sustainable fishing practices of Tsleil-Waututh Nation

The Science Daily site has published an interesting article. Simon Fraser University archaeology researchers found that thousands of years ago, the Coast Salish people were making fishery management decisions we’d do well to emulate.

Ancient Indigenous fishing practices can be used to inform sustainable management and conservation today, according to a new study. Working with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and using new palaeogenetic analytical techniques, the results of a new study provides strong evidence that prior to European colonization, Coast Salish people were managing chum salmon by selectively harvesting males.

Our present efficiency at catching any and all marine creatures has made fishery management even more challenging. But what a smart way to manage a terminal fishery.

A Message from Chris Bos

Chris Bos, President of the South Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition, has reached out to the southern Vancouver Island recreational fishing community with regard to the upcoming local SFAC meeting and planned elections of chair and sub-chair positions:

The fall post-season Sport Fishing Advisory Board meetings are now taking place.  Important to you, on Tuesday November 9th at 7:00PM the Victoria and area Local SFAB Committee will be held as an online Microsoft TEAMS meeting

The Microsoft TEAMS meeting:  Click here to join the meeting

Providing local knowledge-based advice and advancing viable proposals to DFO to save our very important Chinook fishery from any further harm will again be key.  Beyond the many fisheries issues that need local grassroots input, there will be an election held to fill the positions of Committee Chair and Second Seat for our committee for the next two years.  Ryan Chamberland, our current committee chairman, has shared publicly his intentions of not running as chairman again this time. 

As you know, in the past I have chaired this committee for many years.  I have put my name forward to stand again for the Committee Chair position.  For 20 years I have been involved at most levels of the SFAB (local, regional and Main Board) as well as represented your interests on many of the species-specific sub-committees.  This valuable experience is important and needed, when our fisheries are under such threat as they are today.

In the event this election requires actual votes be cast next Tuesday night, I humbly ask that you vote for me to represent your interests on our local committee as Chairman.  And I would be most grateful if you could recommend me for the position of Chairman to other like-minded anglers in your circle of friends.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support,

Sincerely yours,


The ACS endorses Chris’ candidacy for the role of committee chairman.

Please attend this important meeting to support whichever candidate you feel will best represent our collective interests with the SFAB and DFO in these most interesting times.

SFAC Meeting Nov 9 2021

The fall Sports Fishery Advisory Committee (SFAC) meeting for southern Vancouver Island will be held November 09 at 7pm, on Microsoft Teams.

Elections for the role of Chair and co-chair will take place at the end of the meeting.

You are strongly encouraged to attend this virtual meeting to voice your support for the candidates of your choosing.

Draft Agenda:

  • SRKW
  • Hatchery Updates
  • Conservation and Protection Report
  • Elections

Please email Ryan Chamberland with any other additions to the agenda.

Details to attend the Microsoft Teams meeting:

Join on your computer or mobile app

Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only)

+1 647-484-5913,,360060599#   Canada, Toronto

Phone Conference ID: 360 060 599#

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