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. ziggy

    ziggy Well-Known Member

    I doubt the locals on the North Coast account for the TAC taken in the summer.
  2. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    The NC vs SC split shifted south in recent seasons. We are now about even. Haven't seen the full data set for the entire 2019 season, so can't comment there. But we are seeing what used to be a 60/40ish split in favour of the North slowly shift south. We are also seeing the South catches larger halibut on average. I suspect with closure of a few NC lodges that shift will continue, and it won't be long before SC exceeds NC by an increasing margin. Using July comparables:

    2018 (to July)

    NC = 264,936
    SC = 277,658

    2017 (to July)

    NC = 390,677
    SC = 392,529
  3. wolf

    wolf Well-Known Member

    I call BULL on alot of guys coming here ... remember im out there alot and sometimes only see a hand full of boats boats on a great halibut tide . I could use the same argument about "what I heard" in spring/summer with alberni getting swamped with fisherman for salmon when ....oh right area 19/20 was closed but the west side was allowed to keep salmon .... .is it true? I dont know I wasnt there . I only said Feb as thats how it was before and still should be as we already know we are getting TAC so let us fish ...

    But who cares really as its not gonna matter we will get thrown under the bus like we usually do to appease the lodges and the west side as thats where the interest lies and could care less about certain areas .... thats the facts and the truths.....
    terrin and Whitebuck like this.
  4. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    Here you go. Notice the effort shift. Area 23 decrease in the Alberni Canal is result of closing sockeye. Area 23 Barkley Sound shows highest effort since 2014. Area 121 shows significant shift in effort and catch of Halibut...93,000 pounds in month of July.

    Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 9.04.10 AM.png Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 9.03.26 AM.png Screen Shot 2019-12-10 at 9.02.49 AM.png
  5. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    If we define locals as Those living within 50-100km of the resource. The locals catch is probably less then 5% of the tac coast wide. The area the probably has the most local fishermen is Victoria to sooke. For the little amount of tac they take it does not make a whole lot of sense to screw then out of a season.

    Most people have to travel further then that and that is why we are so mobile. If your making a trip to the island it almost does not matter where u book it’s just cost and opportunity. Most people will try to go where they can get the most bang for buck.

    I personally think having halibut closed in August is a decent compromise. If someone brings up a counterpoint to it I’d listen:
    fishinforever and G-Auto like this.
  6. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    Are you on the email list for what area you fish right now?
  7. Scorpiofisher

    Scorpiofisher Member

    Is there any long term strategy being looked at help solve this issue? It seems there's a fair bit of effort being put forward to solve "next years" TAC issue, but what about a long term strategy where rec anglers get more quota. I know it's not a popular option, but what about a Halibut Stamp where proceeds go to buying long term quota? I for one would gladly pay $20 a year for a halibut stamp....if it meant that I could catch 2 day/3 possession with a limit of 6 per year.....10 years from now. Think about how much more time we'd all have to go fishing rather then sitting here typing away if we didn't have to debate this!!! 140,000 halibut anglers a year x $20 is not chump change.
  8. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    It’s hard to ask for more tac in a shrinking tac environment. I agree buying it is the best option and I like the halibut stamp idea. Problem is dfo is just a ******* stone wall on all these issues. So many stupid federal laws about collecting money. The easiest way would probably to do it outside the DFO licence system but then we have zero ways of requiring our members to do it. We really lack the ability to leverage our user group.

    Then we would also need volunteers to champion this idea to dfo, push for it year after year. Ideas, proposals ect...may actually need to be put into federal law along with amending the fisheries act to account for enforcement and fines if people don’t have the stamp.
  9. CBsqrd

    CBsqrd Well-Known Member

    I'd like to see it open through August (and Labour Day weekend) as summer holidays is when people are on able to make trips to fish for halibut (and other bottom fish). I'd say most marina's/guides that are in "prime" fishing areas (WCVI, Northern VI, Central Coast, etc.) are booked solid throughout the summer and not everyone is interested in salmon. Even those that are targeting salmon on their trip are going to think twice if halibut is not an option. Unfortunately there would not be enough room for everyone who would have liked the option of halibut fishing in August to move to other months - most places are already booked and not everyone can adjust their holidays.

    Also, the high pressure system that gives us consistent weather over the summer typically doesn't set in until July, so unlikely that those travelling would choose to book earlier or later in the year knowing that there is a good chance they won't be able to make it to the halibut grounds.

    While it would be disappointing to those that would lose their opportunity to catch halibut in August, it could be devastating to businesses and livelihoods along the coast that rely on being fully booked through July and August in order to get them through the rest of the year. Some lodges don't even open until the second half of July.
    SerengetiGuide, ILHG and wildmanyeah like this.
  10. ziggy

    ziggy Well-Known Member

    I agree.
  11. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    You bring up some great points but something is gonna have to give and having salmon and halibut closed at the same time is devastating as well.

    I’m hearing June and July is importing for the northern lodges. July and August is important for wcvi. Feb, March April is important for south van. Even a few years ago I saw on fwr Facebook page book in September and pay for your trip in halibut meat. So clearly the fall is also important for some ares.

    If something does not give then I think the easiest thing to do for Those sitting on the halibut committee will be to lower the max size. As that will allow for a longer season and they can still sell opportunity.

    2018 regs were not popular I remember seeing a lot of reports that people were pissed releasing oversized halibut.

    Like searun says we can’t suck and blow at the same time. Something is gonna have to give
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
    CBsqrd likes this.
  12. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    Keep in mind...as our reps hammer to DFO...those fish are a common property resource. The lodges and charter guys have no special rights to them. It is Canadian citizens first.
  13. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    Statitiscally does it make much difference to lower the annual limit to say 4? Imagine the average is probably one or two but might need to look at all options. I only fish june thru august in the north but can appreciate that in other areas there is substancial effort outside those months. Don't think we can get away from a march to at least September season without causing a lot of pain. So that leaves smaller sizes, possession limits and annual quota as the other tools.
  14. Aces

    Aces Well-Known Member

    Just open it up for a week in May with some upper size restriction like in Washington state. Then everyone will be the same......unhappy!

    Then the crew negotiating on our behalf will be appreciated :rolleyes:
    SpringVelocity and Derby like this.
  15. Scorpiofisher

    Scorpiofisher Member

    I think there is value in trying to push something like the halibut stamp through if possible. I know DFO probably wouldn't want to tackle it, but there has to be some kind of workaround. It's the long term I'm worried about as we continue to go down this road. I totally agree with what profisher said about halibut being a common property resource and we should all have reasonable access to it, but if TAC continues to drop, we are going to get to a point where fishing for halibut just isn't worth it.....if we are not already there. I don't like burning a pile of fuel to go catch one 90 cm fish. I'm sure there are smarter people then myself out there, but what if some kind of Rec Fish Coop were created where you voluntarily pay into a fund that is used for quota....or maybe it's analogous to buying shares. Be interesting to see how many people would voluntarily pay if it meant building a program that allowed us to catch more fish in the long run. Does anyone know what it would roughly cost to buy say 1% of the quota...if it's even possible?
    G-Auto likes this.
  16. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    Here is the data from 2018 season that I converted to percentage. It's pieces so no weight but it does show how many halibut were caught.
    This would be my vote as I'm not prepared to throw area 19/20 under the bus.

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

    terrin likes this.
  17. wolf

    wolf Well-Known Member

    There ya have it out of all the areas area 19/20 takes the lowest amount as we can only fish about 12 days a month with any time of quality fishing... THANK YOU very much GLG ive been saying this for about 15 years now and no one cares.
    As long as "their area" is open comes down to the same thing **** the little guy again kick sand in his face in the sandbox
    GLG, fishinforever and terrin like this.
  18. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    yeah but by the numbers the later part of the season is also important to area 19/20. Also your Most important month seems to shift around a bunch form year to year. In 2017 it was May, June, August and July, In 2018- MAY,July, Aug, Sep,Oct.
    In 2019- so far from the data its March and April.

    Somehow in 2017 June was your highest month but in 2018 and 2019 it was pretty much your lowest. So then you would think the most important part for area 19/20 would be a full season but to do a full season in 2020 the max size would come down and as reported on here also hurt area 20/19 the most as you guy say you have no chicken farms and only big halibut.

    So then GLG option seems to be a good one but as reported on here last year 2 fish seem to be important to the north so that will probably cause a lock. Also if you look what GLG posted by August we seem to have caught 95% of our coast wide quota. So if we need a 10% reduction and want to keep same as last year we will need to cut some of the start of the season out any the fall season.

    so then to me it seems like the most logical solution is to lower the max size to keep the opportunity alive all season but then people are going to be pissed. YIKEs glad i dont have to make the decision

    Here is the data from the 2017 harvest report for area 19&20 as a percent of estimated harvest
    Month Pounds Percent
    Area 19

    Area 20
    Total__16,646__ 1.46%

    These numbers show IMHO why we need to keep the start date at Feb 1. Anything less is like throwing them under the bus for no good reason.

  19. SerengetiGuide

    SerengetiGuide Well-Known Member

    I don’t know how people keep saying this yet don’t take into account so many other factors. If anyone thinks same regs in 2020 would catch same TAC as 2019 then you’re out to lunch. Weather, decrease in fishing pressure (2 years in a row have shown data that shows when people can’t catch salmon halibut catch doesn’t increase in those areas as people don’t go out at all (Rupert in 2018 perfect example).

    there has to be at least a 5% decrease in catch from weather ALONE. When we have bad weather years guys including searun always quote that as a reason to not increase limits, yet the opposite must be true as well !
    G-Auto, searun and trophywife like this.
  20. wolf

    wolf Well-Known Member

    Thats cause they said they did flyovers and say they counted ill use for example 100 boats so they doubled that amount for the "afternoon " shift of fishermen thats why some did a trailer in parking lot program counting AM trailers to afternoon trailers... its DFO voodoo math at its finest...

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