Sent to me from Bob Cole.... meeting Summary -
" 29 people attended "
Alberni Sport Fish Advisory Committee - Area 23/1-23
Kiwanis Hall – Port Alberni – March 26th, 2012
Paul Dore called the meeting to order at 6:02 pm and asked the attendees to identify themselves and where they were from and whether they were guides, rec fishers or general public.
Introductions: DFO Rec Fish co-ordinator – Brad Beaith
DFO Resource manager – Mike Spence
Attendance: total 29 (see Appendix A)
Minutes: the October 26th Fall meeting were reviewed and adopted as distributed.
Old Business: the 3 previous motions were reviewed. Brad responded to each-
- seine free zone(s) passed SFAB main table and was referred to the A-23 Harvest committee.
- in river Sockeye pilot fishery proposal was passed at the SFAB Main board and was included as a proposal in the draft IFMP.
- upper inlet prawn rec zone was referred to the Shellfish WG as none have been recognized as yet.
There was discussion around pre-season spawner index info and start date for the commercial fishery. There was concern expressed about the very poor preliminary rec prawn catches especially in 23-1 where it is all but non-existent.
Pre season report: Mike discussed the handout that showed catch and escapement data and initial pre-season info for all species. There was discussion around the problems with seine interaction with rec boats in the China Creek area in 2011 and the native seine boats that didn’t recognize the area boundaries or times. Mike explained that there may be more Area D gillnetters fishing for the Maa Nulth bands after or outside of the regular gillnet fisheries again this year but they will be flying an identifying flag.
Pre-season U.S. Chinook forecasts indicate possibly the highest abundance to the Klamath and Sacramento rivers in 40 years. These aren’t indicator systems in the AABM but our early season near shore fishery should be excellent. Marked recovery is important for info.
Brad explained that the Spring 4/2 and 5/2 Fraser concerns should have little effect on our area but what may be done won’t be determined until the Albion test results June 15th.
The Sockeye season start date and bag limit was discussed and Mike explained that Sockeye is closed coast wide until variance orders are issued. Our group was unanimous that the season open May 1st at full limits given the predicted relative abundance and proposed early commercial fisheries. Mike Spence explained this will be one of thee issues handled by the Harvest committee with decision rules.
There was discussion regarding the reduced bag limit in the tidal portion of the river and that determination will be left to the Harvest committee. Pat Ahern asked if that catch was included in our expected catch. Mike said yes as would any experimental non-tidal Sockeye fishery. David Murphy explained that catch information was important for the purpose of the trial fishery would need to determine expected catch for future consideration. Mike explained this issue will also be dealt with in the decision rules.
The moderate Chinook forecast should provide similar opportunity as last year. The group was also unanimous in holding off any commercial net fishery until after Labour Day as noted in our last three year’s motions. Mike Spence stated the success in the Chinook fishery more the result of the increased runsize (almost doubled) than anything else.
The declining Coho numbers and the reductions at Robertson Creek were discussed and the group couldn’t understand the rationale for the reduction. Even releasing un-fed fry or distributing eggs to Omega hatchery could help overcome the GCL dewatering issues. Mike Spence explained the 200,000 number are the result of budgets. Two years ago RCH produced extra eggs and never received any extra local funding.
The growing Chum rec fishery was discussed.
Brad explained the basics of the IFMP and everyone was encouraged to visit the draft IFMP and comment on the sections that affect our area before the April date. David noted the 200K Coho and 6.5 M Chinook 2012 egg take and that even if the new Alberni Barkley Salmon Production committee determined to increase production, the hatchery didn’t have enough water supply from the new Saddle Dam for more than 7 million fry.
Robertson Creek Hatchery: there was a report provided with the hatchery production numbers on Chinook and coho as well as lake fertilization report.
AVEA: Jake had to leave early and there was no report available
Area 23 Harvest Committee: Paul and Bob reported on the two recent focus group meetings and how cooperative and productive they have been. The “guiding principals” document and the revised Somass Sockeye Allocation document that should be finalized at the March 29th meeting in Parksville were presented. It was noted that all sectors were working together for the resource and the seine fleet had offered to fish beyond their allocation to fund local enhancement if possible.
Stamp Falls: Bob reported that there was some progress with BC Parks through the Hupacasath and Living Rivers with the need for slope stabilization above the fish ladder before the proposed lighting and camera project can get underway. UFT and other funds are available.
West Coast Aquatic: Kevin Head and Sheena Falconer of WCA gave out a handout and a report on what WCA is about and current projects with the WSP, etc. The Alberni Barkley Salmon WG was assembling projects and resources for a future local governance group to proceed with.
Nahmint Enhancement Team: Bob and David reported on the Chinook count and egg take efforts last Fall. Mother nature threw another curve ball and no eggs were taken. Escapement numbers were debatable. Carol reported on the progress with the current S 1s and the lack of DFO approval for coded wire tagging that should be done to measure the returns versus the S 0s from RC. There was discussion on relaxing the Northern boundary at Hocking Point by moving the East shore boundary down to the grassy knoll past the Franklin Wall. The harvest committee will discuss.
Omega: Carol gave an update on her proposals to DFO and the IFMP for several local enhancement projects and the off hand responses from DFO despite such programs in other areas. Shepp asked why China creek and others don’t get enhanced. Carol explained that was in her applications but again dismissed by DFO.
GCL levels: Carol explained that this winter was better than last for de-watering but still 50% of the shore spawn redds were most likely lost. WCA was trying to get Catalyst and DFO to adopt new rule curve timing for the stop logs to have the 3rd week of October match the February hatch levels.
Prawn high Use Area: Bob attended the last WG meeting and explained that there may have been a turn over in the water in 23-1 that may be the reason for such poor Summer, Fall and Winter prawning in the inlet. They are still trying to find a funding method for spawner index testing outside of the commercial season. The portion of upper limit rec only area was suggested again. The rec only crab area in the Ucluelet harbor was questioned. First Nations don’t have to follow those regs for communal crabbing but some may be selling.
Port Authority: Mike Carter Jr. reported that there was substantial staff turnover happening at PAPA. There were three options considered for China Creek moorage increase but won’t happen this season as their focus is on the Fisherman’s Harbour redevelopment which includes future plans for potential fuel supply on the Somass mill side. The new pontoon breakwaters are currently moored at terminal 3.
Clutesi Marina and Sterling Field: Bob reported that the public hearing for rezoning of the overflow parking area at Sterling Field to accommodate 2.5 acres for a new Ford dealership was at City Hall this same evening. (Note approved since the meeting.)
Halibut: Brad explained what had been determined as the best option to ensure the season lasts through the Fall and how much consultation and input was involved. Pat explained the time constraints that had to be dealt with in determining and forwarding them through the SFAB process. Kudos were given to DFO, SFI and the WCFGA, etc. who participated for the transparency in the process. The quota leasing program was questioned and Brad said that 444 lbs were leased. 223 lbs were recorded. Two commercial lodges had reserved 4000 lbs but rescinded later.
SFAB South Coast Spring meeting: March 31st-April 1st Nanaimo. Paul David and Bob will tag team the two days and the March 30th Parksville Harvest focus group meeting.
New Business: Motion - ASFAC does not support the continuance of the “Experimental Halibut quota leasing option for 2012 and beyond. Moved by Matt Stabler, seconded by Shepp. Passed unanimously.
Relaxing the Rainy Bay, San Mateo Bay Chinook fishing restrictions was supported by the group. Mike will look in to the specific rationale for each closure and report to the Harvest committee.
Meeting Adjourned at 8:35 pm
Appendix A: Attendees
DFO – Brad Beaith- rec fish coordinator, Mike Spence- resource manager
Paul Dore (chair) – guide -PA
Bob Cole (vice chair) – rec -PA
Jake Leyenaar – rec PA
David Murphy – lodge/guide -PA/Ucluelet/Kyuquot
Jim Williamson – rec -PV
George Gerard – rec -Nan
Don Butler – rec -Nan
Vic Hiebert – rec -Nan
Dale Holdaway – rec –Nan
Gerald Rupp – guide –Nan
Jim McDonald – rec –PA
Gary Sheheard – rec –PV
Harry Jensen – rec –PA
Rick Crozier – rec –PA
Kevin Head – WCA –PA
Bill Goodwin – rec –PA
Arnold Begg – rec –PA
Jono Smyly – guide –PA
Matt Stabler – guide –PA
Sheena Falconer – WCA –PA
Mike Carter Jr. – PAPA –PA
David Milliken – rec –PA
Pete Milliken – rec=PA
Jay Moore – rec -Nan
Pat Ahern – guide –Nan
Deryk Krefting – Active Tackle – PV
Carol Schmitt – Omega Hatchery