Poll!! Should the Cowichan Sport Restrictions be lifted??

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by wildmanyeah, Mar 11, 2019.

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Should the Cowichan Sport Restrictions be lifted?

Poll closed Apr 8, 2019.
  1. Yes

    17 vote(s)
    43.6%
  2. No

    10 vote(s)
    25.6%
  3. Not enough Data to confirm the recover more time needed.

    12 vote(s)
    30.8%
  1. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    Apparently the Cowichan this year had one of its best returns since 1996. Given the restrictions the Southern SOG is going to see do the current closures still make sense?


    upload_2019-3-12_9-21-51.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  2. littlechucky

    littlechucky Well-Known Member

    Quite obviously!

    I think the SFAB was trying to get them removed last year as consideration for the reduced limits in the SoG....didn’t happen.

    Question: do you have the escapement data for the other south coast rivers?
     
  3. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    I have not seen the whole document just this clip posted online. I did hear puntledge apparently had decent returns but also herd they are talking about rating a nanaimo chinook stock as endangered.

    Also don't no what has been negotiated with the cowichan tribes around this stock.
     
  4. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    Just curious behind the rationale for voting for No or more time?? Right now we have Fraser River stocks that are at 10% of their escapement goals and we are writing letters not to completely shut down fisheries. Yet a run that has been at 200% of its escapement goal for now two year is a no go?
     
  5. Brian Klassen

    Brian Klassen Member

    So in 1995 thru 1997 there were similar escapements followed by 18 years of not reaching the escapement goal. Escapement goal has been met for only 3 consecutive years and now there is interest in relaxing the restrictions so more fish can be harvested from this stock. Three years is not a trend to indicate the population has recovered, two complete spawning cycles ( 8 years) is a better indicator. Way to early to even think about declaring this stock recovered in my opinion.
     
  6. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

  7. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

  8. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

  9. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    Do you think the public fishery restrictions are part of the reason why it recovered?
     
  10. fogged in

    fogged in Well-Known Member

    I am of the opinion that the recovery of the Cowichan River is due to 3 reasons
    1. responsible Native river management
    2. effective commercial and sport fishery restrictions.
    3. no fish farms on the main migratory root.
     
    terrin and fishinforever like this.
  11. Brian Klassen

    Brian Klassen Member

    Not knowing the specifics of the Cowichan River chinook stock marine distribution, but from what I can remember reading about it over the years, I seem to recall that most of the stock spends it's time in the inside waters of Georgia / Johnstone Straights. It would make sense that if fishing pressure ( mortality) was reduced then the stock would improve. But then again if the juveniles that entered the marine environment had a better survival that could account for the improvement as well. You have to remember that survivals have been very poor for quite a few years but if it increases only from 1% to 2% then your population has doubled.
    From looking at the top graph, the Jack returns for the last 2 years have also improved significantly which suggests to me that survival has improved. I say that because Jacks are typically around 50 - 55 cm at maturity and are not subjected to a legal harvest as they have not recruited to a legal retention size in the Inside waters, to the best of my knowledge. That would be my guess but I can be as wrong as the next guy.
    I spent a lot of years working on the Squamish system and the last few years are seeing an improvement there as well though the escapement numbers are now where near what they are on the Cowichan. The chinook there are also a completely different animal ( white vs red, summer vs fall, yearling juveniles vs fry of the year) so comparisons between the two stocks are not entirely valid. It is nice to see the return increasing for a change but I'm not going to count my chickens quit yet.
     
    wildmanyeah likes this.
  12. fogged in

    fogged in Well-Known Member

    I think you need to check up on that statement.
    The Cowichan run of both springs and coho was hit hard years ago in the Swiftsure Commercial Fish War between the USA and Canada. The consensus is they generally exit via Juan de Fuca.
     
  13. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

  14. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    If I am remembering the argument correctly about relaxing the sports regulations for this stock it goes something like this.

    The current Cowichan closures do not cover all the areas that this stock is currently exploited in. The NEW Straight of Georgia regulations of 1 fish per day would cover all the areas this stock is exploited in. With this new regulation because it adds more areas it more then makes up if you remove the current Cowichan specific closures. So removing the Cowichan specfic closures would not necessarily mean increasing the recreational sport exploitation.

    something like that
     
    searun and littlechucky like this.
  15. littlechucky

    littlechucky Well-Known Member

  16. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    I worked on this a few years ago (2015) but I try to keep up.
    The majority of this run stays in the SoG for its life cycle but there has been a small percent that do go out to the west coast and get caught. Something changed around 2004 to 2008 when many were caught out there. The data that I have would suggest that things have gone back to more or less normal, whatever that means. It would be interesting to see a new spreadsheet with up to date CWT data.

    Coded Wire Tag data 1991 - 2013

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  17. california

    california Well-Known Member

    Improved water flow management and habitat improvements have been very important on this river as well. They have also put hard restrictions on the number of hatchery produced smolts vs naturally spawned, and limits on proportion of brood stock to naturally spawning stock. This rebirth has been achieved with a reduction of hatchery production from a peak of close to 3 million, down to about 800,00, and in the presence of a pretty significant pinniped population in the estuary and surrounding area . Naturally spawned smolts are better able to avoid predators, and do not flood the estuary with prey at one time like hatchery releases do.
     
  18. Powerset

    Powerset Active Member

    It might be ok to open a hatchery only fishery but imo one terrific year isn’t nearly enough of a sample size to say the river has recovered in any measure. I’m still trying to get a handle on how we keep sending tens of millions of salmon fry out of our rivers and getting back 0.8% on average over the last 25-30 years. I’m of the opinion that international commercial fishing and seals and sea lions are getting far more of our fish than we ever thought. Look at the charts, over the past 35 years most if not all of BC’s river systems have seriously declined in chinook stocks and even after massive enhancement efforts, we’ve Flatlined or are still declining! How can we send 100’s of millions of salmon fry out the barrel and yet stay at historically low levels of returning fish? 2 possibilities-either someone or something is taking them all, or they’re not surviving in the ocean for some reason. All the rest is just dfo hype media hype fishermen hysteria or just plain ole bs. What’s real is the fish aren’t making it home. Why? I believe we’ve identified one major reason. North America has protected seals and sea lions going back to the early 70’s. Ever since then our salmon stocks have been brutalized by SOMETHING. 40 years later, and after billions of dollars if enhancement efforts what we’ve managed to do is grow seal and sea lion colonies. We started a feeding zoo. The dates match, the numbers make sense. Our protection of these marine mammals has coincided with the collapse of our chinook stocks. I know we’ve played our part we’ve taken lots of fish out of the ocean but our fishery has been closely monitored and managed for 35 years now with tremendous scrutiny there’s an outside agency taking your fish and I think we’re finally talking about the culprit. Do we have the courage to take the appropriate action?
     
    jim morrow, ILHG and IronNoggin like this.
  19. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    It would be especially neat to see the 2018 CWT data for this stock.
     
  20. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

    Your welcome to take a crack at it.... https://www.rmpc.org/
    It's been many, many years since I have pulled data from there but if you have time go for it. Last time I did it took days of reading cryptic directions and trial and error to get results. Perhaps this site has improved over the years.
     

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