Sunday, 13 November 2016

Sport Fishing Advisory Board Fall Meetings

The SFAB is the information conduit between sport fishers and DFO. There are some 20 coastwide groups and they serve us as the formal mechanism for sport issues to be represented formally to and considered by DFO. An example in our neighbourhood are the chinook slot limit and reduced retention ops that occur in spring months, intending to protect Fraser 4-2 and 5-2 chinook that spawn in the Merritt/Nicola area.

There are meetings all over the province as well as main board meetings that assemble the individual chapters into one group for moving our business forward collectively. If you haven’t been to a meeting, you should go, as it is the forum for expressing concerns and looking for action from our representatives.


The next Victoria and Area Local SFAB Committee meeting will be held at the Esquimalt Anglers Lounge, 1101 Munro Street, Victoria on Thursday November 24th at 7:00 p.m. This is a good, central, good-parking option. Up for discussion are important local fisheries issues from this past season and seeking guidance from the local angling community about their wishes and concerns regarding next year’s fisheries. 

The agenda is as follows:

1. Fraser Chinook salmon management;
2. Halibut fishing and regulations;
3. Dungeness Crab allocation;
4. SARA - Yellow Eye Rockfish Recovery Plan;
5.South Coast and Main Board SFAB Meetings;
6. Recreational Vision Implementation;
7. Wild Salmon Policy;
8.  Pacific Salmon Treaty;
9. Local Salmon Enhancement; and,
10. Transport of Fish, after catching them.

The meeting is open to the public. 1101 Munro Street is the foot of Lampson Street in Esquimalt. Address your queries to Chris Bos, Victoria Chair: Phone - (778) 426-4141; Email -

Useful DFO people to contact for sport related issues are: Devona Adams, who will forward the Salmon Outlook for 2017 when it is available, typically in November:; for Fishery Notices contact: Kelly Binning - 604.666.3935; for Recreational Fisheries Info, contact: John Webb: North Coast, 250.627.3409; Brad Beaith: South Coast, 250.756.7190; Barbara Mueller: Fraser River/VCR, 604.666.2370; and Linda Stevens: BC Interior, 250.305.4004.

Nitinat, Renfrew and Cowichan Areas 

The meeting will be held Nov 17, 7 PM at the Valley Fish and Game Club, 6190 Mayo Rd., Lake Cowichan.

The agenda is as follows: 

1. Introductions and handouts
2. Nitinat and Port Renfrew area 2016 Chinook and Coho fisheries [Low Chinook catches, escapement to Nitinat and San Juan rivers and production targets of San Juan and Nitinat hatcheries for Chinook.]
3. Cowichan area Fishery and Roundtable discussions [Chinook and Coho escapement in Cowichan river]
4. Port Renfrew Salmon Enhancement Society [Chinook net pen project].
5. Shellfish/groundfish [Crab, Prawn, Halibut fisheries and rock fish restrictions].
6. DFO Enforcement report
7. Fish Transport regulations [ report from DFO hired contractor and SFAB response].
8. $30,000 budget cut to recreational fishery consultation process resulting in no in-person meeting this fall for South Coast SFAB. What is the cost of the consultation budget for Native, Commercial and Recreational sectors and did the recreational sector bear the brunt of the budget cut backs from the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans?
9. Motions:
1. Whereas fishing notice regulations in the Port Renfrew area need to become simplified, in order to be clear and understood by fisherman and not contradicting and confusing. Be it resolved: Fishing notification of "fin Fish closure and removal" should correspond with Wild Coho retention in San Juan Bay. e.g. When the fin fish closure comes off San Juan Bay the day after Labour Day the wild Coho retention should then open in the bay and not 7 or 8 days later.
2. Whereas military personnel have always protected our way of life and at sometimes with a very heavy cost to their lives and families. Be it resolved: All Canadian military service personnel and honorably discharged veterans Fishing license fees be reduced to that of a resident senior citizen.
10. Election of Chairman, alternate chair and Roundtable delegates.

Address your queries to Bob Gallaugher, Chair:

Of interest, if you check the Valley Fish and Game Club website - – you will find encouraging news about chinook. As of mid-October, 9,000 chinook had past the counting fence, and DFO authorized an in-river and bay fishery for coho. You will recall lean years when chinook numbers were much lower. I stood at Marie Canyon in October several years ago and the DFO sign said 1,068 chinook. Dismal. So the current number is welcome news. 

You will recall that the long-term number averaged 12,000 to 15,000 chinook, with a high of 25,000.
For the Nitinat, the early estimates are: 10,000 chinook; 10,000 coho (and some monsters among them); and, in commercial, aboriginal, sport, plus escapement a total of 1,000,000 chum. Compare this with the Fraser number that much crowing has been made over the 2,000,000 number. The claim was this was the highest number in some time. Memory tells me that the Fraser average is 1.5-to 2.0-million, although the numbers trended down in the years up to 2010, so it is not as generous as claimed.

From guide, Doug Lindores, at, for the Stamp system: 50,000 chinook (double that were forecast), with a 53 pound fish the winner in the Labour Day Derby (taken on a small Cookies and Cream spoon); 440,000 sockeye to the Sproat and Stamp (1 million in terminal saltwater); and, 30,000 coho.

Both Bamfield and Ucluelet are now good for winter chinook.

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