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. trophywife

    trophywife Crew Member

    I wonder how many pics of me and guests they have, fingering them as they fly over?
    Whitebuck likes this.
  2. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    To fairly represent the catch, the combined Area 19/20 numbers are 1,064 for March to May; 1,439 from Sept to Dec. So it appears to me based on the numbers BOTH are important, and if we were looking purely at the numbers it seems the fall is a larger fishery. It certainly appears that someone in Areas 19/20 are valuing this fall fishery? If we have a lower TAC, it is fairly clear a full season with a roll over of the 2019 regs isn't going to fit the TAC. So whatever happens we appear to be needing to consider options to make the TAC fit our fishery, and as this is a coast-wide fishery the decision reached needs to reflect a coast-wide valuation of what is important IMO. If that is the majority value a spring fishery over a fall fishery, then that is the right choice if we decide reducing the length of the season is how we want to address slowing down use of TAC. It could be other options such as moving to one larger fish from 2.
  3. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    I guess that also explains the 93,000 pounds for Area 121 in July this year. Sure would have been nice if all the guides actually did a daily log book so we could have their catch deducted from the over-flight average CPUE calculation! Logbooks are the only way you are going to get an accurate estimate until such time as we have electronic licensing and catch recording electronically that downloads in real-time to a data base. Its coming!
    Derby, Aces and G-Auto like this.
  4. ziggy

    ziggy Well-Known Member

    Would a tag system not work? Charge for the tag and make it worthwhile for people to return unused ones ( deposit). That seems like a viable measure to capture how many fish are being taken. Nothings a 100% but this seems to me to be better than what we currently have. Also make the fine for having an untagged fish substantial!
  5. Gong Show

    Gong Show Well-Known Member

    Commies tag all halibut. I believe it works to collect all sorts of data.
  6. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    This sounds like one of the better idea's presented.
  7. UkeeDreamin

    UkeeDreamin Well-Known Member

    Sad that DFO and SFAB/C seem to want to box themselves in with a limited number of fisheries management tools. Our Pacific coastline is HUGE and the fisheries interests, seasons, etc, etc are equally diverse. Committing to a one-size fits all approach is pretty much guaranteeing a compromise that won’t meet area-based fishery needs (an 80’s “Thatcherism”: “commitment to compromise is a commitment to failure”). In addition to that there are a myriad of fisheries management options not being considered, at least not on the surface as communicated in this thread:

    Minimum size limit: the volume of tiny ping-pong paddles that have been harvested in the last decade off the west coast should be concerning to everyone, particularly as recruitment to spawning age/size is one of the key issues affecting halibut biomass. Halibut continue to be one of the few key salt rec species without a minimum size. We no longer slaughter the ridiculous numbers of juvenile winter springs or summer blue-backs that we did in the 70s and 80s, and I don’t think the majority of us feel those were negative changes to our fishery. There’s a minimum size on Lings and now there’s even a minimum size on clams for Pete’s sake! Such a reg would not only be good for conservation (yes, I know the arguments about what other harvest sectors are allowed but multiple wrongs don’t make it right), it would eliminate a significant amount of harvest from the peak rec months in the summer.

    Monthly quota: this could be one of the most effective tools for spreading a smaller TAC over a longer period. It is also a tool that restricts all rec users, whether “local”, a resident travelling “do-it-yourselfer” and/or tourist anglers, whether Cdn resident or not, equitably. Such a tool wouldn’t eliminate harvest in larger periods and thus would eliminate the inherent arguments, such as early vs late seasons or a long season vs just key summer months.

    Better data: iREC, overflights and non-randomized creel surveys are the best we have but it doesn’t change the fact it is very low quality data by any objective evaluation. Mandatory license submission, physical tags for harvested fish, properly funded science-based assessments and audits, etc should all be considered. Funding is the key impediment to good data but without it, we’re stuck w/ DFO’s poor data and worse model. A halibut tag IF 100% of funds were committed to improving data quality for this fishery, would be an excellent solution (I realize that is not an insignificant IF).

    Area-based seasons and regs: while one-size fits all was fine when there was TAC for 2/d, 4 possession, those days are long gone and the only way to truly maximize the access to the available TAC in an equitable manner is to go to area-based regs. Our southern neighbours, who have to manage about 10x the effort (licensed anglers) for a fraction of our quota have come up with creative solutions for well over a decade: inshore/shallow vs offshore/deep fishery openings, rolling openings down the coast, smaller open windows monthly, etc, etc. We aren’t nearly as constrained (yet!) so our solutions wouldn’t have to be as complex or restrictive while still meeting the goals/objectives for our fishery, as defined by the participants of our sector. Again, this already exists for pretty much every other rec species on our coast, whether it is different open seasons, quotas and/or size limits, and includes salmon, rockfish, Lings, shellfish, crabs, prawns, etc, etc, etc.

    Anyway, lots of fisheries management tools out there if folks are willing to use them. I also wouldn’t jump the gun on assuming a massive TAC reduction next year. While it is always good to prepare for the worst and have our eyes open, the halibut biomass trend is not the same in our Canadian waters as it is off Alaska (where the lions share of biomass exists). Given their track record of doing an excellent job of representing our interests, the Canadian contingent attending the IPHC meetings will have the biomass trend data on their side so I wouldn’t be surprised to see only a modest reduction.


  8. searun

    searun Well-Known Member

    Absolutely, Area 2B biomass is performing better than our neighbours to the north. We have argued that is due to their uncontrolled bycatch, and that will again be a focus of the IPHC discussion. Canada has and will continue to argue that reductions will need tom come from AK where they are out of control.

    Getting a handle on further ways to improve our recreational creel will help also. Our system is far superior to what takes place in other areas. Having said that we are in the midst of taking a large step towards enabling catch recording to be made electronically on your smart phone, with that data downloaded to a data base. When we get there that will greatly improve our real-time catch data capabilities. We will still need fisher independent tools such as the dockside creel surveys, and iREC to help audit what is going on - catch recording onto a smart phone is still subject to human error.
  9. ChinookExerciser

    ChinookExerciser Active Member

    IT would also increased By catch morts that we would have to set aside more Tac to cover. I would not be against a Min size tho
    Derby and searun like this.
  10. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    There's always the experimental license.
  11. halimark

    halimark Well-Known Member

    Seams the fish Cops are behind. I was just checked by our local Conservation Officer (CO), he showed me his phone after a scan of my licence. Had every day, time and place in BC for the last 3 years where I have been stopped by a CO, every tag I bought this year as well as previous years, also every LEH application, both successful and non for same 3 years. That's not including a long list of personal info, age, gender, address. Yet we cannot get a Tidal Water fishing licence to do the same. Me or something wrong??

    Its the time of year=Frustration, all will soon fight, call names and get upset as we manage to TAC (extinction of rec hali fishermen). Cant believe the number of friends, acquaintances and people who have quit tidal water fishing. More rules, less annual, smaller size, hali fishing only on days/weeks/depths? Where does it end?? Extinction Annually this is craziness. What % of commercial TAC is left in water from last year? I do hope the Alaskan bycatch waste is stopped. I foresee only 1 final outcome.

  12. Slabbedout

    Slabbedout Active Member

    Are you suggesting a tag system similar to hunting tags, where you would buy a license and then a tag that is cancelled for each Hali you would harvest ?

    As much as I don’t like additional cost, seems like a decent idea and would likely account for #s caught more accurately. One would hope the funds would go to Hali research / enforcement
  13. ziggy

    ziggy Well-Known Member

    Yes pretty much. I think a tag system would give you a better way to accurately assess how many fish were caught and by who. Also eliminate any chance of people reprinting their license once filled.
  14. halimark

    halimark Well-Known Member

    BC had a tag system for Chinook many years ago. Exact same as suggested in thread, except no return for unused ones and you had to buy in lots of 4 if I remember. After a chinook was caught and you wanted to retain a plastic one way zip tag was inserted thru gills and out mouth and cinched/locked. Never really worked and may have been around 2 years (?).

    I do not see a reason it would work today, the electronic tracking that the CO had other night was a very good future way ahead. Why do we not just mandate accountability. At end of each season rec license holders/fishers log in to a "portal" enter catch, dates, areas, size for all species retained. What better validated data, buy a license without end year data entry= no new license for you. Step up or be done. BC already does for a randomly selected few annually for hunting. Mandate for all. Quantified data can only help and validate us.

  15. Slabbedout

    Slabbedout Active Member

    I still have a few of the red zip ties from way back. I can’t remember why they tried implementing the tags but it may have been around the time the salmon stamp was introduced ?
    halimark likes this.
  16. ziggy

    ziggy Well-Known Member

    That’s also been a suggestion I’ve made on several occasions on this site, but seems to have gained no traction. I think it all comes down to DFO not wanting an additional workload.
  17. halimark

    halimark Well-Known Member

    Agree or maybe the real verified data would show all (the world) how much BS DFO really is all about?? Maybe uncover incompetence and racism at the highest level. Just think, what huge enterprising company in 2020 does not rely on verified data/historical trends/data for all large future business decisions??? I am sure the system already exists in some world element. US tracks every hunted animal with this type system in many states. They then use data for seasons, allowable limits, age, species. It then becomes defendable in a later court challenge or when questioned. Most of them states have more licence holders than BC tidal licence sales. DFO has an underlying reason they want to use a plane flying over and assign hali by some voodoo magic or place a person randomly on some random ramps to ask pointed questions. Ever told the ramp guy that you went out 10 times now and never caught a hali?? Did they record your response or brush off? I am always truth full with all checks, I believe real data can make a difference and for our benefit. (That's why they will not do)

  18. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    Electronic catch recording is the first step, the second step is to make it mandatory.

    First Nations and commercial think we are way under reporting so I’m sure will be smacked with mandatory recording and reporting eventually.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
  19. ziggy

    ziggy Well-Known Member

    I don’t think we should look at it as being “smacked”, it’s in all of our best interests to have accurate data. It should be mandatory and part of your license renewal whereby you list all the fish that were recorded on your previous license.
    Kildonan and halimark like this.
  20. BearCove

    BearCove Crew Member

    Even if it is mandatory to enter data you are still asking everyone to be 'Honest" There are some people that do not want to give any data to DFO for fear of more angling limitations. Not saying there aren't any honest people out there that wouldn't enter correct data just staying that you would now be relying on all data entered to be honest and correct.

    I for one am not sure I would want the future of my fishery based on this way of management.

    Just my thoughts.

    We do need to find a better way to collect this data for sure, but how that is done I'm not sure. I have filed out log books for over 10 years and happily talk with all the creel surveyors when they come see me but fly overs are still something I think is a waste of time and money
    wolf, Fins -n- Skins and scott craven like this.

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