Sunday, 21 February 2016

Q and As - February

Q: To give you an idea of the immensity of BC fish stocks in the 1920s, the following poundages come from one trawler working English Bay in Vancouver – today, you might trawl a pop can or two. From Bluebacks and Silver Brights: A Lifetime in the BC Fisheries from Bounty to Plunder, by Norman and Allan Safarik: 

120 lbs of halibut
2,500 lbs soles (only larger kept, smaller shoveled overboard)
800 lbs flounders (only those LESS than 8 lbs, kept)
500 lbs skates wings (cut off and rest thrown away)
100 lbs silver perch
100 lbs rock cod
40 lbs red squid
60 lbs octopus
50 lbs red snapper
1000 lbs of Pacific (grey) cod were pitched over the side to float away on the surface (this on first of 3 "tows")
150 lbs ling cod
5 sockeye salmon
3 large chinook salmon
All this fish was taken in one 30 minute drag near shore; and, 2 tons crabs (150 dozen kept, rest thrown overboard)

There were four trawlers out that day, and the captain hailed the others, asking: “Have any of you guys caught a grey cod? Any soles out there?”

Q: The South Vancouver Island Angler Coalition has a number of issues on its plate. Get your annual membership to help them help our cause:

Halibut: Martin Paish went to Alaska to the International Pacific Halibut Commission meeting for BC sport fishers and returned with an increased total allowable catch (TAC) for 2016 of 7.3 million pounds an increase from the 2015 sport TAC of 7.03 million pounds. Thank you Martin and our Canadian contingent. What this means in the Victoria area is that we will likely be the last fishers on the water, as was the case last year, and we will probably be fishing halibut to the end of December once again.

Chinook: Our late spring early summer chinook fishery is dependent on those Fraser River 4-2s and 5-2s from the Interior. This is where you find the regs (not yet updated for 2016): Needless to say, the SVIAC is on the ground with suggestions.

Yelloweye, etc.: On the SVIAC plate for 2016 are: how the Species At Risk Act listing of Yelloweye Rockfish will impact our fishery on the north island, as well as on the central and north coast; making sure DFO integrates the new online fishing license catch survey data and that the data is sound; Fraser Chinook in Area 19/20, proposing management changes to improve and stabilize the fishery; angler safety in Areas 19/20 caused by intense commercial crab fishery, contact with lines, pots and floats; and, asking DFO to implement the Recreational Vision Implementation Plan, which would help us immensely by getting designated funds to Pacific DFO to better manage the fishery. 

Chinook Netpen: The Sooke River Chinook Revitalization Initiative is a key project, to place a netpen for chinook on behalf of local Killer Whales with some extra for fishers, too. See:   

The egg take was scuttled by weather, schools and fish movement in 2015, but the SVIAC looks forward to 500,000 later this year. The pen is $20,000 and any donation you wish to make toward it would be appreciated. See the site.

Derby: the Alpine Group Juan de Fuca Fishing Tournament is slated for June 18 and 19, with the weigh station at Pedder Bay RV Resort and Marina. There are only 500 tickets, so get them early, $200 each, or $150 for SVIAC members (in other words your membership of $40 ends up free if you do the derby).  The plan is to have the prize board exceed $100,000. 

Q: Sport Fish Advisory Board: The vision document is a big item for the SFAB, finally getting it attached to DFO and it actually being implemented, now that we have a new government. For the document, see: Gerry Kristianson is the current chair of the SFAB and you can direct queries to him through the board:

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