WCFGA News letters

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

  1. Derby

    Derby Well-Known 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 Well-Known 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 Well-Known Member

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

    wildmanyeah Well-Known 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 Well-Known 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 Well-Known 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 Well-Known 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 Well-Known 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 Well-Known 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.

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