Time to pick up your Kiss My… Chinook Derby ticket to help the South Vancouver Island Angler’s Coalition (SVIAC) bring back chinook salmon to the Sooke Basin.
Here is what the SVIAC has to say: “Father’s Day is just around the corner, so it’s time to plan that weekend. Here’s a great suggestion, with the nice weather here again and lots of Chinook salmon present in the Juan de Fuca Strait, there isn’t much better than a great day of salmon fishing. You’ll get to share quality time with family and friends, while connecting with nature. Now kick that up another notch by entering the 2017 Kiss My … Chinook Fishing Derby, adding a chance to win one of two great cash prizes and support a great cause at the same time.
SVIAC, the group organizing this derby, invites you to participate in our fun no-frills one day event and help us raise money for the really successful Chinook sea pen project in Sooke. As this is a one day event on Saturday 17th June, you can still spend Sunday on land with the family too!”
Details: Daybreak to 5:00 pm. Derby HQ is Pedder Bay Marina in Metchosin. Tickets are $80 per rod, which includes a one-year SVIAC membership, a $40 value. You can pick up tickets at Trotac, Island Outfitters, from Eagle Eye Outfitters, or online at: http://anglerscoalition.com/?page_id=4254. You can also buy a ticket with cash or credit card from Chris Bos: 778- 426-4141. Derby boundaries are Cadboro Point to Jordan River.
Cash prizes are for the largest chinook and a draw among ticket holders for another prize. The size of the prizes will be determined by how many tickets have been sold, 33% to each prize, and 33% to the chinook net pen project.
If you can’t be on the water that day, please donate to the cause: http://anglerscoalition.com/?page_id=1020. The SVIAC has this to say: “As a group of concerned anglers from South Vancouver Island, who care deeply about fish, we have launched a massive campaign to rebuild and sustain our important iconic Pacific Chinook salmon, to protect Canadians access to our common property fish resources as well as protect the important fisheries of South Vancouver Island for generations to come. For this undertaking to be successful, a great deal of effort and funding are required.
Our experienced and knowledgeable team can provide the man power, organize volunteers, form robust alliance with other like-minded groups and build the campaign, but we cannot afford this solely from our own pockets. We desperately need your help. Please seriously consider giving to our cause today and being part of our movement for positive change.”
So, let’s get out there and support the project. The Sooke chinook net pen aims to put feeder chinook into our waters, and, on their return, much larger local fish in years to come. When you consider that climate change is resulting in warmer dryer summers, this impacts primarily chinook, the largest Pacific salmon species, that needs the deepest water to enter spawning rivers in August and September, typically lower rain months. Enhancement, and catching and penning, and taking of milt and eggs, prior to there being enough water, will become more predominant in years to come.
Regarding the comment that DFO hasn’t done enough freshwater habitat restoration, that’s pretty obvious over the past four decades. The kind of catch results in the historical Saanich Inlet fisheries at that time and preceding it, show far larger returns from all rivers, of coho and chinook. See: http://saanichinletangling.blogspot.ca/.
You will have read that DFO Minister Dominic LeBlanc recently announced $75 million for saltwater habitat restoration for the next five years, totally missing the point that salmon spawn in freshwater, and further substantiating the BC view that DFO in Ottawa just doesn’t get BC and our salmon. The Watershed Watch Society sends out a weekly email (you can sign up to receive it) on press clippings in the preceding week: https://www.watershed-watch.org/resource_type/salmon-news/. Or email: email@example.com.
LeBlanc got so much bad press, and so many letters about cancelling the Salmonids in the Classroom project (http://www.salmonidsintheclassroom.ca/) that annually introduces 35,000 school kids to salmon raising, letting go, and understanding freshwater habitat, that he had to make an about face, and say funding is still in place - for one year. Send him a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other words, the actions taken by groups like the SVIAC are very important. They represent BC residents actively filling the void in habitat work, so we need to support them, whether by donating time, and volunteer effort, donations, or entering fishing derbies. And who could miss a day on the water angling for the big one to bring home?
The Sooke net pen project will also put chinook in the water for local orca populations that have been shown to prefer chinook, when they can get them. So, your time, effort and dollars are going to several worthwhile and supportable purposes.