IPHC Halibut Forecast - further declines

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by searun, Dec 7, 2019.


What is your preference if Canada gets less halibut TAC?

  1. Keep 2 under 90cm or choice of 1 under 126 cm and March start with early close in August?

    24 vote(s)
  2. Keep same regs as 2019, but start season later in June to protect summer season June - Aug?

    35 vote(s)
  3. Move to only 1 fish from 2, but keep larger size (126cm) - March start with possible early close?

    62 vote(s)
  4. Move to only 1 fish, but keep larger size (126cm) - late start (June) - protect summer season?

    11 vote(s)
  5. Keep 2 fish option, but lower size limit - 2 at 90cm with March start and possible early close

    2 vote(s)
  6. Keep 2 fish option, but lower size limit - 2 at 90cm with late start (June) to protect summer season

    2 vote(s)
  1. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    no one wants smaller halibut sizes that's clear from the poll. So if we get less quota a shorter season is the only option.

    June/July/August should be preserved for all

    They are predicting reductions will be necessary for the next 3 years, By the time the actual numbers are released its usually too late to get consensus from what all the fishermen want. Yes it's possible that we could end up with the same as this year but it looks like if you read the stuff available that there will be a cut.

    I think we can all agree if they shut down halibut fishing mid july it would be very serious and people would be livid.
  2. Rockfish

    Rockfish Well-Known Member

    I suggest we wait until we actually have the info needed to make decisions. My understanding is that we actually took less Halibut this year than expected, especially down here, which is the reason we are still open. I suspect this is a consequence of people responding to the massive reductions for salmon. One would think that would increase the pressure on Halibut but it is possible that it may have had the revere effect and that decreased pressure on Halibut in South VI is likely to continue. I know of anglers and some guides who have sold their boats because they have had it with the politicization of the Fisheries in general this past year. So no boat and there is no fishing period .

    Then there is the closures of the lodges the Haida are getting rid of and I would not be surprised if some other Lodges will close as the result of the impact of salmon closures which could also decrease the pressure on Halibut. Even if Canada's TAC drops significantly we may be just fine as a result of the unintended consequences related to salmon reductions.

    In area 19 and 20 I can tell you very few were wasting time fishing for Halibut in Aug. and the first bit of Sept. Why, because we were not allowed to keep Chinook till Aug 1st (unlike much of the province) and could even keep a big one till they were mostly past by about Sept. 8th. When you are spending $10000.00 plus in boat costs etc. for that 5 weeks to finally have a chance at a good Chinook, I suspect most of us will use every opportunity to target Chinook rather than Halibut during that period. I did not even bother putting my boat in the marina till mid July this year. That may be another reason why we may be taking less Halibut, at least down here.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  3. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    That seems how it played out this year no one bothered to go out at all, not for salmon, not for lingcod and not for halibut. Tho my experience is that can change fast, Sturgeon on the Fraser fishery was basically non existent, then salmon kept on closing and now its been promoted and pushed its the go to fishery.

    Also from the sounds of it Halibut fishing was poor for a lot of people and that may have also kept people away.

    Chinook fishing was nothing short of incredible, Most people did not have an issue getting there 10 or close to it. Will this materialise again is yet to be seen. I know people that cancelled their trip to the island to stay in vancouver and fish in august because it was really good.
  4. ziggy

    ziggy Well-Known Member

    Are you telling me that because the early opening has so little impact, no one fishing anyway, it’s closure would solve nothing? I absolutely agree, so let’s shut her down for a period when the major impact is happening right! Let me see that would be the summer according to you, ok thanks for clarifying that .Not great for your business man, but clearly when a closure would save the most fish.
  5. Whitebuck

    Whitebuck Well-Known Member

    Maybe it’s time to cut the non-canadian anglers who come here before the residents who live in this province take another hit!
    Restrict the them to 1 in possession! Enough of the restrictions for the people who live in this country.
    trophywife, terrin and wildmanyeah like this.
  6. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    Just don't allow Tac for non canadian residents and this problem will be solved Or at least make it that they must be guided.

    interesting alaska regs



    What about thoes ones that don't even stay in canada, day trippers? What about canadian catch from the JDF going into the states that's not even accounted for?

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
    searun likes this.
  7. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    Aren't all our public fisheries wonderful? Every year you get to enjoy further bad news and predictions that there is no hope of timely recoveries. Oh, wait I think the summer Jelly Fish populations are on the increase.
  8. SerengetiGuide

    SerengetiGuide Well-Known Member

    See what we get. 10% reduction keep
    Same regs. Never ever will you get a calm season like we did. And two big lodges closed means 30,000Lbs savings alone. Nevermind for amazing calm season. I think we can do same regs, April opening and will get full season. Pressure will reduce considering two years of a joke regs and less people travelling here.
    trophywife likes this.
  9. Rockfish

    Rockfish Well-Known Member

    I think you will find a lot of those boats out on Conny for example are not all that successful, I know we have had our share of skunks and the buddy who's boat I fish Halibut in know's what he is doing. Like most sport fishing on south VI, it is usually a small percentage of the anglers that are particularly and consistently successful and they are limited by the very small annual limit. Before I would get worked up about the impact of the sport sector, especially the non guide anglers, I would suggest the impact of Commercial boats running kilometer plus long strings of ground lines strip mining the bottom of all size Halibuts right off Victoria, including the large prime breeding stock Females (commercials don't have slot size restrictions) should be looked at, if it ever comes to that. After all JDF is closed to commercial salmon fishing with the exception of some test fishing. If it were to ever come to a point that localized conservation is a concern despite the migration and transiting nature of Halibut, then in my view there is a case to be made that a good place to start would be to first eliminate commercial Halibut fishing in JDF, the same as it is for Salmon. However, I don't think we are even close to the need to look at that.

    With all the political crap that went on over the last few years and particularly last year and continuing, we need to be advocating for the creation of Sport Fishing Protection Zones.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  10. halimark

    halimark Well-Known Member

    I agree 100%. Every time I here the radio commercial saying that the Vic waterfront fresh hali hit the stores I cringe as my blood boils. I was on Constance once when the big boat pulled up and told us not to move he was laying gear, like right 20 ft of our stern down current. Should be illegal long ago, move out to ocean so not targeting a minor migrating portion.

    I do think the take now far exceeds what it did years ago. I know things have changed in JDF, no more accidental rockfish, no greenling, no grey cod, no huge schools of "black bass" and the list goes on. Same old ratfish and doggies with a splattering of skate. New tech has allowed us to catch better, more and more often. I am unsure of the voodoo science numbers assigned to us when the DFO plane flys over and counts 100s of boats on the good weather and tide days.

    Very soon there will be exclusive single type fishing zones, but I will not qualify.

  11. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    Based on the IPHC's current recommendation, the 2020 Recreational TAC would decrease by 150,763 pounds.

    One hope we have is the IPHC is looking at the impact of US by-catch mortalities. Canada has long disputed what AK is removing in by-catch and lobbied the IPHC to "credit back" (my simple version) to Canada to account for the disputed by-catch impacts to Canada from the US AK fishers. If that is accepted, it could possibly mitigate our situation. That could look like around 400,000 "credited back" to Canada which if that happens our Rec TAC might look a little better with a decrease of 90,000 + pounds. So the range is something like 90,000 to 150,000 less for 2020 should everything work out.

    So the choices we would need to make, with essentially 5 calendar days or 3 work days between the IPHC decision and the SFAB Main Board meeting could very likely require some form of amendment to the regs choices we went with in 2019, or if we simply "rolled over", then that essentially results in an early closure as there would not be enough TAC to run a full March to December season. My personal preference is to "roll over" the 2019 regulation with either a late start (May or June) or an early closure (August or September). What is the fairest approach if we have to chop back the season length? Very difficult indeed, as every area has distinctly unique needs. One possible approach could be to look at picking those months with the highest overall halibut catch historically as a proxy for when people prefer to catch halibut.

    My hope is our Canadian Conference Board and Canadian IHPC Commissioners are able to find a way to mitigate the TAC reductions which appear all but inevitable.

    Here's a description of how the IPHC stock assessment, area apportionments, and ultimately how the Fishery Constant Exploitation Yield (FCEY) is calculated. I have modified a document the IPHC published adding in a few descriptors and our Canadian data to help.

    Each year the IPHC conducts a stock assessment to estimate the abundance and trends of the Pacific halibut stock using commercial fishery data and scientific surveys. In 2012, the Commission began using a decision table to report the results of the annual stock assessment, effectively separating the science from policy. The decision table, prepared by staff, presents the Commissioners with a range of coastwide harvest levels, each with accompanying estimates of potential risk in terms of stock and fishery trend and status metrics. The current stock assessment is performed at a coastwide scale, but IPHC sets catch limits on a regulatory area basis. Regulatory area specific biomass estimates are derived by apportioning the coastwide estimate via the observed survey catch rates and bottom area, and accounting for hook competition from other species as well as the timing of the survey and fishery removals. The Commissioners consider the coastwide decision table and area-specific results of apportionment, as well as the current harvest policy in determining the final catch targets for each year. The current harvest policy utilizes area-specific harvest rate targets (21.5% for Areas 2A-3A, 16.125% for Areas 3B-4CDE).

    These rates are applied to the biomass estimates to generate the Total Constant Exploitation Yield (TCEY). Canada's TCEY for 2020 has been recommended by the IPHC per the Decision Tables to be 5,800,000. Non-directed removals are then subtracted from the TCEY. Those are 31,000 for Recreational discards, 130,000 for commercial discards, 405,000 for First Nations, non-directed over 26 discards 230,000, and 30,000 for Under 26 bycatch for a total of 826,000 pounds (non-directed removals differ by regulatory area and may include all or some of: recreational removals, personal use or subsistence removals, commercial fishery wastage, and bycatch in non-target fisheries).

    Subtracting the non-directed removals of 826,000 from the TCEY of 5,800,000 results in 4,974,000 for the Fishery CEY (FCEY), which is the amount available for harvest by the directed fisheries. How does that compare to what we had in 2019? Deduct the 2019 FCEY of 6,830,000 from the IHPC recommendation for 2020 of 4,974,00, and the difference is a decrease of 1,856,000 pounds for both Recreational and Commercial.

    What would the Recreational share be? How we get there is we add back our rec and commercial discards to the 4,974,000 (+161,000) = 5,135,000. Then apply 15% = 770,250. DEDUCT the Rec portion of discard mortalities of 30,000, and you arrive at a total of 739,250 as compared to 2019 which was 890,013 for a reduction of 150,763 less pounds for 2020.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  12. Rockfish

    Rockfish Well-Known Member

    Thanks Searun. That puts things in perspective.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  13. Rockfish

    Rockfish Well-Known Member

    I just looked at this chart in detail and it tells a very interesting story even only covering up to the end of June 2019. Wildmanyeah - I understand you have some rather close connections with DFO. I would love to see the 2019 by area breakdown for July Aug and Sept. I think that will confirm what I have suspected and the data till June indicates.

    If you have or can get the same chart for all of 2018 that also would be useful.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  14. SerengetiGuide

    SerengetiGuide Well-Known Member

    There is no way 3,000 lbs taken in March in area 12. Like zero chance.
  15. wolf

    wolf Well-Known Member

    Well you have a well known guide area 12 who stars in april up there So I dont know how you dont think that?? and lets be honest 3000 lbs is a fart in a gale force dust storm just like the take we take of area 19/20 on the 12 days or so a month we can actually fish for halibut.
    It always amazes me that you will throw a user group under the bus to better ones self. it is a well known fact here in vic area that the best time for ALL anglers is march april may as the current are less and no doggies, after may halibut sucks here (i should know)so for you to say oh we should have a later opening , is not looking out for the best interests for all. for once just leave us fucken alone ok
  16. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    I don’t have any special connection, this stuff is all available though your Sfac. Chris bos has way more info then I do so ask your area chair co char what ever process you guys have over there. Chris bos I believe is in the halibut committee so he probably has more upto date info then I got. I just have what ever info is dribbled down to the layman.

    Halibut to be honest is not even really an area of concern the amount of other shit coming down is huge.

    I think there is a general consensus anyways among the south board from the minutes I have read to have the largest possible size with early opening.

    The north board I believe want different and like having two small fish.

    This has all been discussed on here before. Having halibut open in the south while salmon is closed is also probably the better choice from an industry prospective as well as you spread out the season.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  17. SerengetiGuide

    SerengetiGuide Well-Known Member

    I know all the guides up here as well and there’s no way anyone is working 7 days a week catching 4 halibut each day in March. Weather alone would mean you could only fish 2 days a week that month I bet.

    also you’re missing the bigger picture. 3,000 lbs isn’t a lot but the point is that it proves how dfo calculates the numbers is way off. If it is that way for area 12 sure it is for other areas too.
    Calmwaters likes this.
  18. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    The chart I shared is only one thing they take into consideration. I believe they make a lot of other adjustments. This would not even be a discussion of searun did not bring it up and everyone would be going about their business. Ask for public input and it turns into a pissing match.

    The paper says draft over it.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  19. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    Searun, with reference to the later start or early finish option...you failed to mention the 3rd option which would vastly favour the primary or non-commercial recreational fisher who wants to be able to enjoy their passion and their investments for the most days possible in the year. Close the month with the largest halibut catch so that the rest of the year remains open to those anglers. Not that I think the current SFAB board would ever seriously consider that option.
  20. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    I can see the argument for closing August to halibut. Everywhere has lots of salmon options in that month.

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