IMPORTANT: Southern Resident Killer Whale Town Hall Mtg.

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by SVIAC, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. SVIAC

    SVIAC Member

    Venue: Four Points by Sheraton - Victoria Gateway Hotel
    Address: 829 McCallum Road, Langford, BC,
    Start: January 17, 2018 7:00 pm
    End: January 17, 2018 9:30 pm
    Cost: No Charge - Donations to Sooke Basin Chinook Enhancement Initiative Welcome

    If you are an angler or are interested in the recovery of our endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales mark Wednesday January 17th at 7:00 p.m. in your diary.

    This meeting is to inform the angling community, the public and politicians about the potential implications arising from the soon to be in place Southern Resident Killer Whale recovery action plan. Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc has indicated that immediate and long term solution will be forthcoming.

    The first portion of the meetings agenda will be PowerPoint presentations from SVIAC’s president and a representative from the Pacific Whale Watching Association. The information in these presentations will frame the second part of the meeting where the will be a questions and answers session.
  2. Whole in the Water

    Whole in the Water Well-Known Member

    So who is going? This will be an important meeting, I plan to be there.
  3. Deewar25

    Deewar25 Well-Known Member

    ill be there
  4. Kildonan

    Kildonan Well-Known Member

    I'll be there. For sure.
  5. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    I'll be there and will have the first tickets available for the 2018 Oak Bay Marine Group Juan De Fuca Fishing Tournament on hand too. $150.00 per rod. SVIAC will have annual membership cards on hand as well...$40 and any south Island angler should support those supporting you! I've been told we will be able to accept credit cards on that night for both.
  6. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member


    An hour out actually!

    I am looking forward to hearing just what was presented, and more...

    Wish I could have made it...

  7. Gear'n'beer!

    Gear'n'beer! Well-Known Member

    I'll be there with two junior fisher-persons
  8. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

    Any Reports?

  9. Tsquared

    Tsquared Well-Known Member

    Nog: we had the VP from the whale watching association talk to us about their goals and things they are changing in the way they go about their business. The feds (as you might have heard) increased the viewing distance from 100 to 200 metres for the whale boats following the symposium in the fall. He had lots to say that I didn’t know about whales but his main message was that despite the varied efforts to help the southern pods (slowing down freighters to reduce their acoustical signature,etc.)the most important thing is to increase the number of Chinook salmon. To that end, both he and Chris emphasized that all interested user groups must be speaking with one voice about how to go about this. Chris’ message was that there must be more efforts around the south like the Sooke net pen project, as well as pumping more Chinook out of exsisting hatcheries. He also mentioned a hatchery should be located on one of the upper tributaries of the Fraser (Whisper River? Can’t remember the river name) to increase the 5 2 Chinook.
    He had a personal opinion that the salmon season would look similar to last summer with the caveat that it was not a certainty. I’ve probably missed some info of importance which I can blame on a few wobbly pops.
    Btw—can you send me or publish your recipe for cold smoked tuna?
    saltydawg likes this.
  10. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    Actually the whale guy has it slightly off point on the research findings. Its more about avoiding disturbance from boat traffic to SRKW feeding success. The research clearly indicates that when there are vessels in close proximity to whales, and specifically the habit of jumping ahead of whales so they can wait for them to swim by...this interrupts the feeding success of whales. That has more of an impact than the pure numbers of Chinook. Its availability of Chinook as prey, and vessel traffic disturbance significantly reduces prey acquisition success.

    So what is really necessary is a "bubble zone" restriction on vessel interference of more than 200m, and specific regulations against vessels leap frogging ahead to get a good observation vantage point.

    Getting more Chinook is good, but the scientific research conclusions were clearly that we could stop all recreational and commercial fishing removals of chinook and it would make no difference. The reason being one of the main competitors for chinook prey (pinnipeds) would take up the supply consumption. Pinniped predation on out-migrant chinook smolts is also a major contributor to reductions in abundance.

    Its a highly complicated problem, and what is necessary is a very structured and diversified recovery plan. A great place to start is increased Chinook production (net pens, hatchery, habitat). Even better is figuring out how to reduce predation of juvenile Chinook.
  11. Discus

    Discus Well-Known Member

    What about the sea lion seals / seals?
  12. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    Searun, he spoke to all you pointed out but he rightfully said you have to prioritize your efforts to have the best results in a timely matter as it relates to a lack of food. As he pointed out 7 million dolars given to the hydophone research project and less than a million to actually putting more fish in the water. Which is going to get more food to these whales before it is too late??? He wasn't suggesting the research is a waste of time just that more money should be going to fish production now.
  13. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    yup, pinnipeds
  14. Deewar25

    Deewar25 Well-Known Member

    I appreciated the idea of a larger voice when approaching federal with an argument and I see the value in the JV with the WWA and SVIAC, but I am not too sure about the obvious conflict of interest and 'cull is off the table' immediately and that seals aren't the problem. Obviously seal observation is part of their business when the whale show is slow. I don't see how it can be overlooked. I doubt any of us believe they should be wiped out, but population is obviously out of control and some degree of management is necessary. Case in point, the US study west coast & fact that salmon consumption by marine mammals have gone up 9000 tons annually in last 40 years (well given the whales population, doesn't sound like they are the culprit), and commercial/recreational has gone down 7 tons.

    Also, the numbers do clearly say it is well above historic values - harbour seals over 100000 when they were 10000 in the 70's, stellar sea lions from 3400 in 1970's to 19000 now, and california sea lions 500 in the 70's to 3000 in the mid 80s (only info i can find on them, yet up and down coast alaska to Cali, they are at 300000 6x the amount of the 70s). Don't think salmon have much a chance here - even their small % of intake that is chinook, still amounts to 0.5-5lb/day depending on species. Add it up! Especially significant when you factor in the smolt they dine on - 100 smolt may only be 50 lbs of fish then, but that's 3000 lbs grown up.

    Obviously the issues are multi-dimensional though - it was discussed the significance of the reduction of returning salmon in key spawning rivers in US - through dams, or destruction from farming - being part of the south pods main supply of fish, this is key too.

    I don't see this problem going away - what SVIAC is doing with netpen hopefully will be a temporary fix and not just more food for the seals. He did make the point that we as fisherman should consider being pro-active and I can't really argue. I don't think I have ever caught a salmon when the whales come through, so the message was if we see them, turn off our sounders, reel up, move on, let them do their thing, fish elsewhere and come back a few hours later after they have moved on.

    Interesting meeting for sure, not specifically about what we can fish for this year, but what the problem is and ways to deal with it.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
    IronNoggin, tincan and wildmanyeah like this.
  15. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    Very glad he presented a balanced view. Not trying to be a contrarian, just looking at the pure science.

    Number one, easy (no cost) solution, is to look at vessel interference. A simple "bubble zone" which acts as a mobile protection area is the single most effective method of increasing "prey acquisition". Reducing vessel interference could boost prey acquisition (chinook availability) by 18 to 25% is the science. After that, we can try to get more chinook in the water, but as we all know getting there is highly cost prohibitive and takes a long time. So as mentioned, we need a robust, "diverse action plan" that is aimed at both short, medium and long term solutions - its a complicated root cause, and even more complicated solution.

    That said, spending $7 million on listening was nothing more than a swank PR move and did absolutely zip zero to put one fish into the mouth of SRKW's....flushed cash down the toilet needlessly.
  16. terrin

    terrin Well-Known Member

    It seems to me getting Fish Farms off the Ocean is a big step that will provide results in a timely matter. The NDP Government has taken the path of least resistance on most issues facing them so far. It is time to step up to the plate and make the right decision for the entire coastal eco system and refuse to renew the farm tenures killing the Wild Salmon smolts on their migratory journey past the sea lice infested, virus and disease laden fish pens on the way out to the open ocean before returning as plump food for the SRKW's. As far as the whale watch boats go they need to keep a much wider legislated berth and the DFO must outlaw the jumping of whales projected path with heavy fines and or revocation of their permit.
  17. Newf

    Newf Active Member

    Not sure if this will open for you or not as I've never added a link in a post before. You may have to copy and paste in your browser to open it. This was from last years (2017) herring season and gives you an idea of what the commercial guys were dealing with in some areas. Thought it interesting given that some continue to say there is no seal/sea lion issue.
  18. pelican

    pelican Member

    I was left wondering if there would be enough bait offshore to feed the net pen fish to a 20# plus size for the SRKWs.
  19. california

    california Well-Known Member

    I guess I see this as ironic that an individual participating in a damaging fishery like herring roe where the building block of the food chain for all the predators in the Salish Sea, including Salmon is scooped up in huge numbers just BEFORE they reproduce, preventing billions of herring larvae from hatching and providing food for the entire ecosystem, is complaining about pinnipeds. That industry fished the herring to commercial extinction in most parts of the Salish Sea, in Howe sound, the Indian arm, and they wiped out the the pilchard before that. Only now are those baitfish stocks beginning to recover. You want more salmon and other fin fish, alternative food sources for the seals to eat, and ultimately sustainable populations for SRKW to feed on? One place to start is with protecting and enhancing the the building blocks of the coastal food web, and stop trying to scapegoat seals as the only reason for chinook declines. The reasons for the decline of the SRKW are multifaceted, shipping traffic, human competition for chinook, they swim in waters full of sewage effluent of various degrees of treatment, pinniped competion etc. This fisherman claims the seal lions keep the herring too far down, and they didn't catch their quota as a result. If true it seems the sea lions in this case are doing some good. How many millions of herring did they save that were able to deposit their eggs?

    I guess while am at it on self serving hypocrites, the president of the whale watching association certainly fits the bill. His industry harasses the whales relentlessly, if they stay in any area to feed for any significant period of time the watching network finds them and converges on them forcing them to move on. Of course his solution for Chinook numbers is more hatcheries (how has that been working out for the last 45 years) and pumping out more fat ,naive, disease susceptable smolts that we know survive in miniscule numbers. From the recent seal predation study by Chasco et al, seals eat about 6.5% of salmon smolts. So 93.5% are not eaten by them, but still the numbers of returning fish continue to decline.
    trophywife, terrin and Tugcapitan like this.
  20. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    If you have been fishing at all over the last 20 years you would see that hatchery fish are in fact quite plentiful
    and do survive.
    evident by the number of clipped fish taken, which puts less pressure on the wild stock.

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