WCFGA News letters

Discussion in 'Important Meetings, Derbys and SFBC Get Togethers' started by Derby, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    2018 Halibut & Yellow Eye Regulations

    The SFAB Main Board meeting took place this weekend, and among the very important agenda items was Halibut and Yellow Eye.


    In preparation for the meeting, we canvassed members in our last meeting for preferences on what halibut regulations choices they would like to see. We had to take into account that there was an 18% reduction in our TAC. Our official TAC is 927,990 pounds, While this is a 18% reduction, it is actually a 34% decrease when you take into account where we ended up last season under 133/83 and 2 fish.

    This is a significant challenge because the 2018 TAC reduction means some of the less painful choices are off the table as we simply do not have enough to get in a full season.

    The WCFGA members expressed preference for:

    • 1 fish - 133 cm
    • Season start at least in April, but hopefully March
    • Realistic end date - at least to October 30
    • OK to shorten season on both ends - protect core months of May to Sept
    • Drop to 4 fish annual limit
    In reviewing the available options that led to a full season, the SFAB debated all options including 1/1. There were very divergent opinions. After considerable spirited debate over 2/1 or 1/1 options, a split vote we reached a decision of:

    1 Fish per day; 2 possession - 115/83 cm fish The season will start March 1 and there is no end date - meaning if we do not run out of TAC it will end Dec 31.

    That is a 43 and 15 pound fish respectively.

    Aside from this, the SFAB will enter into discussions with DFO regarding a flexibility arrangement to allow either overage/underage carry over from season to season. This is exploratory - there is not agreement yet, just discussions aimed at a hopeful agreement for next season.

    In addition, there was a motion passed to get Halibut Management Options Tables that model out both increased TAC and decreased TAC out to the local SFAC groups in September of each year to allow for input on preferences. This motion was in response to trying to proactively address the very tight timeline between when we learn of the IHPC TAC decision in late January, to when DFO needs to put the new licenses in place (2 weeks). That is not enough time to get models developed, sent out to SFAC's for input, and for the SFAB to meet to reach a decision on Management Options.

    We are hoping this new approach will allow SFAC's to at least make their preferences known based on our best guesses as to the likely TAC announcement from the IPHC.

    XRQ Experimental Halibut TAC Purchases:

    The SFAB and WCFGA are strongly opposed to XRQ - to address the issue of people buying XRQ TAC and not claiming their catch against the purchased TAC, they will now have to hail into DFO and hail out on each fishing trip and will have to report their catch at the end of each day.

    Yellow Eye:

    The recreational YE catch was 54 metric tons against a target reduction down to 13 metric tons. The target represents around 190 individual fish in each Management Area coast wide....so not a lot of wiggle room.

    Motions were passed making descending devices mandatory carry and use on all vessels fishing tidal waters. Additionally, the outside Yellow Eye catch limit will go to zero.

    At risk if we did not go to zero and descending devices was area closures which would dramatically impact halibut and ling cod opportunities.


    Treaty Negotiations with the US are challenging. They are looking for 25% reductions in WCVI AABM and 25% reductions in Southern (SOG) AABM, and 15% on Northern AABM. Interesting times.

    SRKW & Chinook - DFO is finishing their recommended plan - will be out in few weeks for SFAB input. The WCFGA has provided our Action Plan recommendations. The key issue is going to be reducing the rec catch of Chinook to boost prey availability, and to ensure whales can successfully acquire prey (disturbance/avoidance of vessel traffic). The SFAB will put together a Committee to work directly with DFO on planning - members are Martin Paish, Pat Ahern, Chris Bos.

    Fraser Chinook:

    Bit early to know how this will turn out in terms of measures to protect them, but strong concerns about Harrison River and South Thompson fish. We can expect to hear more about the future management options in the spring.

    Renewing Your Membership - the 2018 Dues are now Due!

    Made Easy - 2 choices:

    1. You can e-transfer by e-mailing our Membership & Treasurer Chair, or

    2. You can renew in person at the meeting or at Gone Fishin store in Port Alberni

    Dues are $50/year, and for CTAG members we have a discounted joint membership of $70/year - saves WCFGA members $30/year.

    Advantages of your membership, aside from helping fund things like sending a delegate to the IPHC meetings are you can get WCFGA discounts at participating retail stores like Pacific Net & Twine, Harbour Chandler, a fuel discount at Port Alberni Fuels

    E-Transfers - email address = shannondowa@shaw.ca

    First Aid Course for WCFGA Members - Nanaimo St. John's Ambulance

    St.John's Ambulance is offering 2 weekend Marine First Aid Courses. Dates are Thursday/Friday Jan 25/26, and Sat/Sun Feb 24/25 - $195. Call 250-729-8889

    Click for Membership Form
    wildmanyeah likes this.
  2. ILHG

    ILHG Crew Member

    Thanks Derby.!

    I'm just starting to get educated in this. I have a question regarding the salmon treaty. Is there any pressure for Alaska to cut back in order to protect Canadian Stocks? I know the pressure for American bound fish that are intersected, just not sure if Alaska is part of the discussion?
  3. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    At this point I believe this is still a on going process but I can ask .......
  4. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    Sad to see it has come down to this, Sockeye fisheries have been decimated and same with pink fisheries. We would have a lot more leverage if those stocks were strong and there was a big diversion rate threw JDF.

    Derby is the membership open to all or just guides?
  5. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    we have very clear and defined objectives ... are membership is open to both Guides and the fishing public alike.... :)
    wildmanyeah likes this.
  6. Derby

    Derby Crew Member


    West Coast Fishing Guide Association

    British Columbia


    Chinook Regulations Review

    We want to draw your attention to what is happening with Chinook regulations. As you may have heard, there are conservation concerns with 3 Fraser River Chinook runs and the Skeena & Nass River runs. There is much debate over the root causes of the decline. Over lay on top of the dramatic decline in these stocks the call to reduce overall Chinook exploitation to provide more food for Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW), and we have a real challenge. The Minister is asking for a 25-35% overall reduction in Chinook exploitation.

    The North:

    The Skeena/Nass rivers are in real trouble, and as such DFO is recommending no in-river fishing and dramatic decrease in overall exploitation in the ocean. It is highly likely we are looking at fairly dramatic restrictions (conservation measures). A number of options are being carefully investigated in efforts to design a responsible fishery that allows modest recreational opportunity. Some include looking at 1 fish, 1 possession in some areas and a delay in the Area F troll fishery start until July 15.

    DFO and the SFAB are working through the various options, and must have the regulations choices ironed out no later than April 24/25. Management measures if applied up north, particularly to the Area F troll, could pass a larger number of both Fraser and WCVI chinook safely down to southern waters. This may result in higher numbers of fish making it to their terminal waters than in prior seasons, aiding in conservation.

    The South:

    The Fraser has 3 runs in trouble (2 upper Fraser and Harrison). The upper Fraser fish normally pass down the far outside edge of WCVI, but are intercepted in fisheries along the Charlottes and again when they get into Area 20 at the south end of the Island. They are largely not present in the off shore waters from Port Renfrew north to the top of the Island. Harrison River fish are a fairly significant portion of the Straight of Georgia (SoG) around to some areas of WCVI.

    DFO science is working closely with the SFAB to develop a catch model to predict where and when Fraser Chinook at caught in the recreational fishery. This model will be used in the coming week to develop a set of management recommendations that will be taken forward to the Chinook Working Group and all local Area SFAC Chairs for input. A decision will be made and forwarded to DFO. It is likely there will be some regulations restrictions for inside East Coast VI in the SoG. Being debated is potential restrictions to off shore waters on WCVI, although as stated earlier there would not be much benefit to applying management restrictions to off shore WCVI waters due to the very low recreational catch of Fraser fish. It is unlikely we will see restrictions to inside waters in Area 23 and Area 25 out to the surf line.

    The role of your Guide Log Books and DNA - the Chinook model being developed to guide the decisions around which management options will be applied to the fishery will be based on data from DNA and Coded Wire Tags (CWT). Your data has been very helpful in developing the area timing and stock composition

    As in the north, the SFAB must have a recommendation on management measures forwarded to DFO no later than April 24/25 timeline. Thereafter, the Department will review and forward a recommendation to the Minister for sign off. Measures could be in place for May, but most certainly by June.

    We will most likely know the outcome in early May.

    2018 Log Books & DNA:

    WCFGA will again be working with the SFI and DFO to get log books and DNA sample kits into the hands of WCFGA members. The log books have been redesigned and improved based on feedback from guides. One improvement is the new log books will allow pages to be removed and provided in-season to DFO creel staff and Enforcement Officers. This will allow our data to be used to inform in-season planning. Guides will be asked to participate in the log book program.

    We are working with DFO and the SFI to set up a Conference Call Meeting in late April or early May to provide updates on:

    1. Salmon Measures for 2018

    2. Log Books

    3. DNA program results

    Renewing Your Membership - the 2018 Dues are now Due!

    Made Easy - 2 choices:

    1. You can e-transfer by e-mailing our Membership & Treasurer Chair, or

    2. You can renew in person at the meeting or at Gone Fishin store in Port Alberni

    Dues are $50/year, and for CTAG members we have a discounted joint membership of $70/year - saves WCFGA members $30/year.

    Advantages of your membership, aside from helping fund things like sending a delegate to the IPHC meetings are you can get WCFGA discounts at participating retail stores like Pacific Net & Twine, Harbour Chandler, a fuel discount at Port Alberni Fuels

    E-Transfers - email address = shannondowa@shaw.ca


    Click for Membership Form
  7. ILHG

    ILHG Crew Member

    Derby, I am not familiar with the migration routes of the Skeena/Nass river runs. Do you see the restrictions affecting the Charlottes (Haida Gwaii)?
    Also the report mentions the Fraser run fish being intercepted in the Charlottes. I would think its safe to assume that restrictions for the run will be seen in the Charlottes?
  8. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    I think that's almost impossible to predict, The Final IFMP I believe is do out in end of MAY. When I was in a Fisheries meeting with DFO they stated that areas with the highest pressures on the stock would be impacted first. So in terms of recreational fishing, The recreational guys fishing in river will be cut off first, Then it branches out from their. Then all the politics within the SFAB/SFAC will happen.

    The Fishery's in the Haida Gwaii itself is also quite complicated. There is areas where migrating Fraser river fish will stack up, There are other areas where WCVI stack up, Mix stock areas. I personally doubt much will happen in Haida Gwaii, Very strong sports fishing lobby up there and I believe they take a little bit of every stock.

    On the other side of the Coin Sits South Vancouver Island, (Sooke down to Victoria) JDF, Then on the other side SOG sits everything South of Campbell River down to Victoria. (Vancouver, Sunshine Coast Inc) These are probably the highest pressure sports fishing areas. However, they are also areas that already have additional chinook pressure measures built in. Slot limits, Minimum size limits of 62mm, Max Annual Limit of 15/10/20.

    I have left out WCVI and Johnson Straight even tho they do intercept Fraser Bound Chinook, The recreational fishing pressures in those areas targeting fraser bound chinook aren't the highest areas on the coast.

    I have also left out Washington state stocks.

    I have also left out winter/Spring feeding areas, targeting Chinook before they have matured

    The status quo is to always call for more data and delay DFO from making a decision. I am sure everyone on this forum has a different opinion on how the reductions should be made.
    ILHG likes this.
  9. ILHG

    ILHG Crew Member

    Thanks Wildmanyeah

    Regardless of what decisions are made, I support them in the name of conservation & stock rebuilding. As long as conservation is not a path used for reconciliation.
  10. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

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    West Coast Fishing Guide Association


    Membership Form

    Meeting with Fisheries Minister - BC Chamber Round Table Group

    On Thursday October 11, the WCFGA, SFI, and SFAB teamed up with the BC Chamber of Commerce and key representatives from the Chambers from Sooke, Port Renfrew, Bamfield, Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino.

    Thanks to the BC Chamber, we were able to organize a 1 hour Round Table on the Critical Habitat (CH) proposal under SARA with the Minister.

    Why did we partner with the BC Chamber?

    We strongly believe that building partnerships with community business leaders and political leadership in small coastal communities that could be impacted by the proposed CH extension and eventual management measures that would follow within 180 days of designation is critical to gaining strong Third Party Endorsements (TPE's).

    TPE's are significantly more impactful than even social media in many respects because when one of us as guides stands up in a meeting with a message about SRKW and finding that balance between protecting them and allowing responsible fisheries and their economic benefits, people hearing the message can assume we have something to gain from our message. Whereas, if other third party endorsers (TPE's) stand up with the same message it carries significantly more impact.

    How did the meeting go?

    The Minister was highly engaged. He did however explain the legal and political limits of what we can expect. One of which is the SARA process, once started, is on a legislated timeline that even he as Minister cannot stop. So, the current 60 day public consultation deadline is a hard stop, and there will be a decision on CH expansion by December 3.

    That means everyone needs to get your written submissions into the SARA process no later than November 30. Your future fishing depends on it.

    The Minister was particularly interested in receiving further advice on 2 issues we raised.

    1. Provide specific examples of how the CSAS Science Advice is flawed

    2. Provide ideas on Alternative Management Measures to replace Area Closures that achieve protection for killer whales, while allowing responsible recreational fishing and the economic benefits small coastal communities need to survive

    We are working with key scientists to develop a comprehensive Ministers Advice paper. That will be reviewed October 17 with the Round Table Group. I had the pleasure of being asked to draft the document for the group. It is a comprehensive 14 page document setting out specific examples of science gaps, and alternatives for management measures in existing CH areas.

    The Fisheries Minister provided the Round Table Group with direct access to him - our Advice Paper does have priority access direct to the Minister. We will be asking for a follow-up meeting.

    Mark your calendar - Membership Meeting - Sunday October 28 - we are working on securing a venue - we will send out details next week. Our objective will be to help members prepare your written response to the SARA team on the CH proposed extension. We will bring you up to speed on the current status, and plans to move forward once the CH decision is made.

    What are some of the next steps?

    1) Work with the BC Chamber to start our community outreach program - go out to impacted communities and meet directly with business and community leaders at Chamber meetings and present the facts about SRKW, and promote the value of the recreational and commercial fisheries to their economies. We need third party endorsements.

    2) Reach out to the Commercial fishing interests to partner up with them on community outreach efforts.

    3) Continue to meet community leaders (good meeting with Port Alberni Port Authority and City to gain endorsements already.

    4) Work with SFI to refine our Social Media campaign and provide funding to assist - please visit our website at SRKW.org and download images and send them out to your social media contacts

    5) Reach out to our membership asking for donations to our SRKW Outreach Fund to help us continue our work & secure a tax deductible source for donations (we are working on it)

    6) Continue to build more WCFGA Chapters to increase out ability to connect independent guides and speak with one voice

    West Coast Fishing Guide

    West Coast Fishing Guide Association, 2617 - 10th Ave

    Port Alberni, V9Y2P2

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  11. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    April 17, 2019

    Rebecca Reid

    Regional Director General

    Department of Fisheries and Oceans

    West Coast Fishing Guides Association

    1530 Stone Lake Drive,

    Nanoose Bay, B.C.

    V9P 9M6

    Re: WCVI Surfline Exemption Option

    Dear Rebecca,

    The membership of the WCFGA has reflected upon measures the Department is implementing to reduce mortality of returning Fraser River Chinook. These measures will result in communities on the West Coast of Vancouver Island suffering significant declines in tourism related to participation in the public fishery. The impact of these measures was immediate – operators are fielding cancellation requests. While many guests have already committed to travelling here for this season, we foresee significant reputational harm to guest interest in our fisheries in the 2020 season and beyond.

    While these measures are a substantial hardship to our communities, we are committed to working towards measures that help our fishery transition as quickly as possible to Marked Select Fisheries (MSF). Recovery of these wonderful Chinook isn’t possible within any reasonable timeframe in the absence of substantive commitment and investment in 1) Habitat Restoration; 2) Hatchery augmentation; 3) Infrastructure and policy support for a swift transition towards more MSF fisheries.

    This is a significant blow to our economies, and we wish to point out that modeling indicated WCVI impacts on early timed Fraser Chinook were zero, and it appears Shuswap conservation objectives are exceeded with the area F troll delay.

    We met with our membership this evening, and following review of the information forwarded by the Department on April 16th, membership has directed me to formally request the Department implements the line 1nm seaward of the surfline as the non-retention boundary. We were advised that DFO has previously defined the Offshore Chinook fishery as extending offshore of the line 1nm outside of the surfline. Utilizing this line would offer access to a limited retention fishery along a small corridor, which would offer some fishing opportunity nearby many coastal communities whom are greatly dependent on the public fishery.

    Moreover, our members advised the WCFGA that Implementing a 1nm seaward boundary would lessen the blow for communities on WCVI (Area 20-27) with zero impact to early timed Fraser Chinook. In the Department’s outline of the new management measures, you indicated a desire to work with the recreational community to identify potential strategies to improve recreational opportunity. We are offering up the 1 nm surfline exemption option from Areas 20-1 to 20-2, and from 121 to 127 as a no impact alternative that helps provide some level of fishing opportunity.

    Thank you for your consideration, and we would offer to meet with your team at any time to discuss ways to achieve conservation objectives, while creating viable public fishery opportunities.


    Pat Ahern

    President, WCFGA


    Andrew Thompson, DFO

    Jason Knight, DFO

    Martin Paish, SFAB

    BC Chamber of Commerce

    Thriving Orcas, Thriving Communities Coalition

    Jason Toneilli, VSFGA

    WCFGA membership
  12. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    The WCFGA and VSFGA held a joint membership meeting last night to discuss the Chinook Management Measures. These will be extremely challenging times for the public fishery, and those businesses that depend upon it for their economic well being. Several action items were discussed to address the future of our Public Fishery. The membership voted to endorse a SFAB proposal to seek DFO support to move the boundary for the non-retention in Areas 20-1, 20-2, 121 to 127 off shore 1 nautical mile in areas where the data demonstrates there are no Fraser stocks of concern being encountered in the Public Fishery. Fraser stocks are not observed in these areas typically, so members felt this was a no impact alternative that could be offered to DFO in response to their request to work with the Recreational Community to identify alternative opportunities.

    We also discussed the importance of working were we can to make a positive difference by supporting actions to improve Chinook abundance to benefit all stakeholders and SRKW. The group voted to support Marked Selective Fisheries (MSF) and to help DFO move in this direction by implementing policy changes, and funding habitat and hatchery enhancement to recover stocks as swiftly as possible.
    SpringVelocity and Jon like this.

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