Emergency Assessment concludes that BC's Interior Steelhead Trout at risk of extinction

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by wildmanyeah, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

  2. Cuba Libre

    Cuba Libre Well-Known Member

    Sad to say--- but "Toast"
  3. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Attached Files:

  4. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Bycatch of returning mature fish in purse seine and gillnet fisheries directed at Pacific
    salmon is a better-quantified threat compared with marine survival. There are no directed
    commercial fisheries for Steelhead Trout in BC and the sport fishery operates on a catchand-
    release basis with closures if in-season abundance estimates are below predetermined
    limits. The estimated mortality rate from all bycatch in commercial fisheries is in
    the range of 15-25% annually (Bison 2016)
    . This alone could explain a large proportion of
    the observed decline in mature individuals."

    While it is generally considered that the quality of freshwater habitat is declining, the
    severity of the freshwater habitat-based threats in the Thompson and Chilcotin rivers is not
    well understood." @Fishmyster
  5. Cuba Libre

    Cuba Libre Well-Known Member

    The estimated mortality rate from all bycatch in commercial fisheries is in
    the range of 15-25% annually
    and let me ask.. What is the damage from Food and Ceremonial fisheries in river ?????
    Whitebuck likes this.
  6. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    First Nations are very poor at identifying Steelhead and often record them as Coho.

    When it comes to Thompson steelhead the abo fishery is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. Yet I believe it's obvious to everyone that without restricting first nations fisheries the stocks will not recover.

    Its also why I believe DFO is going to ask for a "do not list" recommendation
  7. OldBlackDog

    OldBlackDog Well-Known Member

    And if that happens then they will be no more.

  8. Whitebuck

    Whitebuck Well-Known Member

    Actually wildmanyeah...almost all LM FN can spot a steelhead out like a sore thumb.
    15 to 25% is way too low of a mortallity...
    Take the nets out of the water and watch the interior steelhead stocks rebound!!
    trophywife likes this.
  9. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Regardless of whether its through ignorance or on purpose they get recorded most of the time as Coho. They are also aloud to keep all incidental caught species expect sturgeon.

    You aren't going to get any arguments from me!

    "Area E Fraser River Chum Fishery
    –two openings on October 24 and 27; harvest of 77,139 chum
    –retained bycatch of 1 pink and 68 hatchery coho
    –104 Chinook, 740 unmarked coho, 8 sockeye, 14 pink, 12 steelhead and 264 sturgeon were released
    –1 Atlantic salmon was caught

    FVW have 5 prosecution files related to the Fraser River commercial fishery. The majority are related to participating in a salmon fishery without operational revival tanks"

    Fraser river Abo Fishery

    Closure patrols on the Fraser River were strategically implemented during the day and night to protect historically low number of returning Fraser River salmon. Over 100 illegal gillnets were removed from the River during these closure patrols

    •UCAT patrols were the primary focus to prevent illegal harvest
    •Chum fisheries took place in the Fraser River during October and November (commercial, EO, recreational and FSC) with most fishers found in compliance with regulations

    trophywife and Whitebuck like this.
  10. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    If that is the case things have really changed ... in the early 90's I was a DFO instructor for the newly formed (and soon cancelled) Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy, a program was meant to integrate FN into more meaningful roles regarding Fraser River salmon management.
    Fish ID was part of the course I taught; I was shocked when I found the vast majority of students could not tell the difference between salmon species. It took far more time than was anticipated to be confident they could correctly identify these fish. The only salmon they knew were spawning sockeye and large springs.
  11. Whitebuck

    Whitebuck Well-Known Member

    Dave, think of how many sets those FN have seen between now and the early 90s!!
  12. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    True enough but no doubt different fishers:)
    One example - we were dip netting sockeye near Yale one summer and happened to catch a small steelhead - the FN with us ( I always ensured local band members were hired when we were in their territory) thought it was spring and wanted to kill it. Took a lot of convincing to have that fish released.

    Fwiw, I totally agree with you that FN fishers are a huge issue regarding interior steelhead.
    BCRingo likes this.
  13. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    The AFS program is still running, Dave...
  14. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    Not in the manner it was trotted out in 1993, A real shame because I believe had it progressed as it was mandated early on in the program we would not have the issues we have now.
  15. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    Not trying to defend fn gill nets or be argumentative but what fishery do we have to remove for the Gold river steelhead population rebound? This population is suffering equal if not more depressed returns. There is also no abundant seal population in the estuary there to blame.
  16. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Fishmyster From the report thought u might be interested in that statement

    While it is generally considered that the quality of freshwater habitat is declining, the
    severity of the freshwater habitat-based threats in the Thompson and Chilcotin rivers is not
    well understood.
  17. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    No the freshwater threats are not well understood and never will be unless effort is conducted to understand them all. I was just pointing out the fact the most commonly thought issues for depressing Interior fish populations is not applicable to Gold river steelhead but that stock is just as depressed as is other coastal stocks.
    My opinion is that stopping gillnets or murdering seals will do nothing to help interior steelhead populations if the water chemistry is not suitable for the ecological structure necessary in steelhead productivity.
    It’s too bad there is not much interest with our fisheries management to research ecology from the bottom up. There are treatment options available if there was scientific effort done to understand the issues and how best to mitigate them.
    To bad PSF isn’t into chemistry. They have the most money available to do the research on this.
    Not that anyone has been noticing but coastal soil alkalinity has been on the rise as well as surface waters. The future may not be as bleak as most think. It will just take a bit of time for things to stabilize and freshwater ecology will return to something more like we had see many decades earlier! Hope we all are allowed to fish when the steelhead populations return.
  18. Whitebuck

    Whitebuck Well-Known Member

    Gold crashed as soon as the watershed got clearcut....look at Upana and above completely axed.
    Prior to this the Gold was one of the most stable flows going after a huge rain...still kept its beauty tea colour.
    Now any small rain and it skyrockets and colours up...and then what happens to the bugs when that happens Kenny?;)

    But this thread is about interior steelhead, feel free to PM me start a new thread for the Gold
  19. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    The gold river watershed has been getting clearcut for a lot longer then the recent steelhead population collapse. The stream bed is still very stable. Invertebrates do not just wash out of a stream. They have evolved to live in such environments.
    Something that matches all depressed fish populations is the fact of rain ph changes the timing of such and the buffering abilities of each watershed. It is much more complex than just logging. As mentioned before there are many unlogged valleys on this coast with collapsed ecology and some heavy logged waterways that have not suffered the same fate. I have been visiting them for many years so have first hand observations. If you ever get curious or wish to dispute my observations then please educate yourself a bit on freshwater ecology and how it is effected from acid rain. Then go to a few of your local streams for invertebrate assessment. Get back to me when you have some of you findings.
    My feelings with fn gillnets: when I put myself in fn shoes I have empathy for them. This an important activity for them. They must wait with excitement and anticipation for the runs to arrive each year just like you do for steelhead. Fighting to stop their activities imo is only going to promote segregation which will hurt us all in the end.
  20. easydoesit

    easydoesit Member

    NEW Development - p A8 Vancouver Sun February 14

    COSEWIC has now recommended listing of these strains of Steelhead under the species at risk act - SARA. This formal recommendation was to Catherine McKenna, the Federal minister responsible for the decision and action of listing these fish under SARA. SARA listings force both levels of government to provide protections for the listed species.

    Political decisions these days seem to reflect populist voices or maybe squeaky wheels , as in the case of the grizzly hunt. The encouraging news in this is that your voice can be heard by the decision makers in Ottawa and Victoria, by contacting them directly or signing relevant e-petitions. As Jesse Zeman has pointed out recently this has much more impact on decisions than participating in web forums. For you it may also be a much better use of your time on a minute by minute basis than communicating with like minded individuals.

    Now is the time to communicate to Minister McKenna your support of this action (SARA listing). You can do this by signing the e-petition E1419 on the House of Commons web site and by sending a letter or e-mail to her office.

    Fair to ask if I've done this myself. Yes, I have sent letters to McKenna and Horgan with copies to Weaver, Heyman, my MP. I have also signed e-petitions E 1416 and E 1419.

    Please feel free to contact me if I can help in any way, as in a draft letter.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.



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