With fisheries notice FN0664-Salmon published on July 13, DFO has released the BC Salmon Integrated Fisheries Management Plans (IFMPs) for 2023/2024. They are included below for your convenience.
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).
ACS, DFO and SFAB restructuring plans
Early in February this year, the ACS wrote a letter to DFO in which we expressed serious concerns over the restructuring of the SFAB and the reorganization of at least a few local SFA Committees. DFO responded to our concerns; you may read their response here.
Within DFO’s response is the statement, “Reorganization of the local committees is being considered as recreational fisheries on southern Vancouver Island have evolved and grown over recent decades.“
The ACS has replied to DFO’s response to point out
- How the SFAB is devolving to primarily represent the secondary (commercial) sector, in contradiction to the founding Terms of Reference.
- That despite the changes to the recreational fishery in recent decades, it has in no way “evolved and grown”.
- The reallocation of the recreational fishery has been occurring in a largely behind-the-scenes manner, often without public consultation and generally ignoring information collected and agreed between DFO regional members and recreational fishery advocates.
This latest ACS letter may be read in entirely here.
In your reply of March 02, it is noted that “… recreational fisheries on southern Vancouver Island have evolved and grown over recent decades.” The ACS believes that this is not true. Angler effort and catch have plummeted over the past several decades. Statistics prove this out. One only has to check out local boat launch and angler boat moorage facilities to see the precipitous decline in effort around southern Vancouver Island.
The reallocation of our catch to another user group has been accomplished by the plethora of restrictions on our Chinook fishery over many years. These include, but are not limited to, reduced annual limit from 20 to 10 (without consultation), four month retention closure from April through July, reduced daily limits and maximum size restrictions and closed areas under the guise of protecting Southern Resident Killerletter from ACS to DFO re: SFAB restructuring plans
Whales (SRKW) whose population is stable.
Victoria & Area Sport Fishing Advisory Committee Meeting: Wednesday, Mar 8, 2023
A Victoria & Area SFAB Committee meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 8 at 7:00 PM at the Esquimalt Anglers Association clubhouse, 1100 Munro Street (at the foot of Lampson Street in Esquimalt). This in-person meeting is open to the public. Parking is free and the EAA clubhouse is upstairs in the building by the launch ramp in Fleming Beach Park.
If you cannot attend in-person and are interested to attend the meeting virtually, please contact Chris Bos (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive the log in information.
DRAFT AGENDA TOPICS:
- 2022 Preliminary Southern BC Chinook and Coho Escapement Report
- 2023 MM and MSF and proposed new pilot opportunities – status update
- 2023 SRKW Proposed Measures (Active Pass, 20-1 Juan de Fuca Strait and oversized area 20-5 closures)
- Halibut update – what measures for April 1st 2023
- SFAB Modernization – Terms of Reference status – update
- SFAC Business (realignment – membership – who can vote – code of conduct)
- Discussion – Seeking anglers help getting salmon heads turned in on hatchery fish and SRKW avoidance compliance
- DFO regional update
If you have a topic that you wish added to the agenda please contact Chris Bos (email@example.com) with topic details.
This SFAB meeting is open to the public and we encourage any local anglers interested to learn more about our local fisheries and how they are managed to come out and join us.
Release of Draft 2023/24 BC Salmon IFMPs for Consultation
With FN0199, DFO has released their draft 2023-2024 Integrated Fisheries Management Plans.
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 2023/24 for key changes for the IFMP that may be under consideration.
Section 13 of the IFMPs outline the Species Specific Fishing Plans, …
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=255685&ID=all
You may read the northern and southern IFMPs via the fishery notice, or the links below:
Page 40 of the draft Southern Salmon IFMP speaks to DFO’s latest considerations of Mark Selective Fisheries. Worth noting is 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
The Department approved a small number of mark selective fishery (MSF) opportunities in 2021 that are proposed to continue in 2023/2024, pending the post-season review of the available fisheries information. Details can be found here in Table 13.1-12.
New and modified MSF opportunities are currently being consulted on for possible implementation in Spring 2023. Those MSF that are approved will be included in the final 2023/24 IFMP and may be considered again in Spring 2024 subject to post-season review of the available data (13.1-13: Proposed MSF Openings – Southern ISBM). Also new for 2024 is a proposed modification to the MSF in portions of the Juan de Fuca Strait and Haro Strait that occurs in March to move to marked-only retention .
Further work on a framework to inform decision making on the expanded use of MM and MSF is underway as part of the Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative (PSSI). DFO plans to seek input from First Nations and stakeholders on this work during a series of workshops that began in December 2022 and are anticipated to continue in 2023. Further information will be provided on engagement plans at a later date.https://acsbc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/2023-24-Southern-Salmon-IFMP-Draft.pdf
DFO Regional Update for Regional Sport Fish Advisory Committee
The minutes of the November 8, 2022 Victoria SFA Committee meeting made reference to a DFO update for the Regional Sport Fish Advisory Committee as an information package. DFO’s Mark Frisson has kindly provided a copy of this same package, and you’re encouraged to read it here, especially if you’d like to be involved in the 2023-2024 Salmon IFMP development process.
Of no small importance is the ongoing effort to modernize the SFAB. There will be changes!
The SFAB modernization project is progressing to the final phase, completion of the new and modernized OM [operating model] design, scheduled for completion by March 31, 2023. This final phase will identify supporting process standards, a revised Terms of Reference, and definition of administrative and technology support requirements. A small team of SFAB and DFO stakeholders have been participating in workshops to complete a revised Terms of Reference (ToR) and new Species Committee Process Standards (PS) that define how each new Committee will function. This revision and development work is scheduled to be completed by December 2022. The new OM, ToR and PS will be shared at the December Main Board and at information sessions for SFAC participants in early 2023. Feedback received from the SFAB will be incorporated into the final ToR and PS. The updated ToR will require DFO approval.DFO update for the Regional Sport Fish Advisory Committee
There’s much more in this update beyond salmon and the SFAB – please get yourself informed!
Minutes and Notes from Nov. 8 Local SFA Committee Meeting
Here are the minutes of the Victoria Sport Fishing Advisory Committee meeting, held November 8th, 2022 at the Esquimalt Anglers lounge and virtually using MS Teams. Should you read the minutes, the oft seen “M/S/C” stands for “moved, seconded, carried”.
So what’s worth noting? A few items:
- Re: Becher Bay SRKW no fishing (area size change) – An extensive area has been closed without scientific evidence of substantial SRKW presence. Action item – DFO to provide relevant information supporting this extensive area closure prior to the November 25-26 SFAB South Coast meeting.
- Re: Mark Selective Fishery (MSF) for Chinook in Areas 19-20 in 2023. Action item – DFO to engage consultations by early January 2023 with SFAB Chinook/Coho Working Group regarding a MSF for Areas 19-20 in April- June of 2023.
There are several other important topics that were discussed at this meeting. You are encouraged to review the minutes.
One other interesting statement: “Hooks trailing past lure or bait tails an undetermined distance are apparently illegal.” Presumably that distance has been published somewhere in DFO’s many rules, regulations and/or notices, and someone at DFO can shed light on this?
Possibly, this is a judgement call based on these statements: “In tidal waters, it is illegal to angle with a fishing line that has more than one hook, artificial lure or artificial fly attached, with the following exceptions: (1) When bait fishing, you may attach multiple hooks to hold a single piece of bait as long as the hooks are not arranged to catch more than one fish.“, found here for Area 29. So if the trailing hooks have a reasonable potential to catch multiple fish, they may be considered illegal.
Esquimalt Anglers to propose membership, launch price increases for 2023
As DFO pummels the recreational fishery with fishery closures on Southern Vancouver Island, marinas and boat launches are feeling the pain. Esquimalt Anglers Association and their Fleming Beach boat launch is no exception. At the December 8, 2022 AGM for the EAA, a motion will be put forward to increase membership fees and the cost of a day launch.
Membership numbers have been declining rather steadily for many years. In 1989 there were a total of 1004 memberships in all categories (owner, associate, junior and commercial). Owner memberships total 354 this year; down from 409 in 2021. This is a 13% decline over one year. Day launches have also decreased from 609 at September 30 last year to only 487 this year – a decline of 20%.https://esquimaltanglers.ca/2022/11/03/eaa-agm-20221208/
This has very little to do with aging baby boomers, and everything to do with DFO eliminating the opportunity for the SVI recreational fisherperson to target chinook salmon while those fish are passing by SVI. This despite scientific evidence that undermines the very reason the fishery was closed – to protect a dwindling supply of the preferred prey fish of the southern resident killer whale.
Next Victoria & Area Sport Fishing Advisory Committee Meeting: Tuesday, Nov 8, 2022
The next Victoria & Area SFAB Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 8th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Esquimalt Anglers Association clubhouse, 1100 Munro Street (at the foot of Lampson Street in Esquimalt). This in-person meeting is open to the public. Parking is free and the EAA clubhouse is upstairs in the building by the launch ramp in Fleming Beach Park.
We anticipate there will be an opportunity to join this meeting virtually through DFO’s MS Teams, but this option has not yet been confirmed. Those interested to attend this meeting online please contact Chris Bos (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tom Cole (email@example.com) to receive the log in information if and when available.
An agenda will be distributed in the near future. If you have a topic that you wish added to the agenda please let us know.
Feel free to share this meeting notice with your angling friends and encourage them to participate.
2022 Sooke Chinook Sea Pen: Volunteers Needed!
This year the Southern Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition (SVIAC) will release 660,000 smolts from our sea pen tied up to the Sooke Harbour Resort & Marina. On completion of this year’s project, SVIAC will have released over 3.16 million smolts with thousands of large adults returning to the Sooke River, in addition to feeding for the local orcas, while also providing salmon for all user groups. To make this happen we have raised over $375K in the last 6 years by generous support from the community.
The success of this project over the years would not be possible without strong support from the area residents who care about the southern resident killer whales and the local salmon populations. As a community-based volunteer driven project, your help is needed to succeed.
Please see below the times and dates that we need volunteers. To sign up to help out please phone
and we will set you up on a work team. Joining us even once or twice will help us make this effort a success! Many thanks to all who volunteer and show up!