Blue Fish News – April 19, 2020

Blue Fish News is brought to you by Blue Fish Canada, and includes timely news items of relevance to water quality, fish health and the future of recreational fishing. Tracking Covid-19 closures to public access fishing locations or changes to seasonal fishing openings are being managed at local and provincial levels, so our coverage on this topic focusses mainly on policy implications raised by Canadian stakeholders and what’s taking place south of the border. Also included is a series of Blue Fish Radio podcasts that concern Atlantic Salmon, Smallmouth and Stripe Bass on the Miramichi River in New Brunswick that, collectively, tell and interesting story about the river’s ecosystem and it’s important connection to the socio-economic stability of the region.

Blue fish Canada’s President Lawrence Gunther on:
What it means to be an Angler

Canada is similar to many other countries in that we are currently divided between those who carry out essential services, and those who  depend on these brave soles in order to isolate safely in place, or if that fales, to receive vital medical services. Regardless to which of these two groups you belong, many millions of us look forward to the day that we can once again cast off from shore and de-tatch from the world we have shaped to meet our needs, but which now seems to have become a source of so much distress. In good times and bad, angling is the way we revive our spirits. To survail the edges where water meets land, and to invisage the hidden underwater worlds that, in our minds,  hold so much promise. To return at the end-of-the-day to our families with or without a fish, either intentionally or in spite of our best efforts. To once again be reminded that we have never been and never will be masters of our environments, but a meer holder of a small amout of space in a much larger and infinitely more powerful network of forces that somehow manage to maintain a sufficient balance  that allows all manner of life to thrive. While the vast majority of us have stopped being fishers many generations back, we now angle as a sport to honour this ancient practice of human survival. Angling is now an activity that connects us with nature no matter what form our angling takes and regardless of our mastery of the art. Like you, I dream of the day that I can once again feel the wind and sun on my face, the motion of my boat beneath my feet, the ssmell of the life that lives in water, and the thrill of finding and grappling with fish at the end of my line.

Fish Health
Fishing Has Stopped. Will Fish Recover? – Smithsonian Magazine
The COVID-19 pandemic has left many boats unable to leave harbor, creating a window for fish populations to rebound.

What if there’s no salmon fishery? How covid-19 could affect salmon populations – National Fisherman
The covid-19 public health crisis spreading across the globe is causing economic turmoil in most industries, including fisheries.

Angler Action:
The COVID-19 closure question – Outdoor Canada
While provinces such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I have delayed the opening of the recreational fishing season, Ontario still plans on the April 25 trout opener going ahead. The editor of Outdoor Canada Magazine Patrick Watson shares his thoughts on what all this could mean and presents a path forward.

Is Fishing Okay During The Pandemic? Fish’n Canada
“The world is a crazy place right now. With the Covid19 virus running rampant across the entire planet, everyone is essentially in panic mode; and for good reason.” And now Angelo Viola, co-host of TV’s Fish’n Canada, says the Ontario fishing season should be delayed and has launched a petition

Covid-19 and Fishing as an Essential Service – Keep Canada Fishing
“I believe we need to support the war against COVID-19 and abide by our governments’ and health officials’ instructions to “Stay Home” in order to flatten the curve.”

B.C. ministry announces new fishing and hunting protocol – Trail Daily Times
“If you cannot fish and hunt safely, do not go fishing or hunting. If you cannot meet all the Covid19 orders, guidance, and remain at least 2 meters (6 feet) apart, please defer your plans to fish or hunt.”

We have to make huge changes in our fishing plans starting now – Campbell River Mirror
“With the coronavirus situation and dealing with self isolation, the idea of planning for the next family fishing trip is on hold.”

Why time outdoors is crucial to your health, even during the coronavirus pandemic – University of Chicago News
“Coronavirus outbreak show why urban cities need to invest in green spaces”, University of Chicago psychologist Marc Berman says.

Canadian Fishing Network:
Scottie Martin continues to keep thousands of isolating and essential anglers entertained and engaged with his daily challenges and Facebook Live sessions each Monday night beginning at 7: EST featuring numerous angling specialists across Canada including Blue Fish Canada’s own Lawrence Gunther.

United States:
Don’t Blow This for the Rest of Us: How We Keep Hunting and Fishing in New York State During the Pandemic – MeatEater Conservation
Raritan Bay is a 70,000-acre water body that’s flanked by North Jersey and Staten Island. The Manhattan skyline at the mouth of the Hudson River paints the bay’s northern backdrop. Every spring, Raritan gives releaf to cabin fever, but what about now?

Mixed Signals on Fishing Possibilities in COVID-19 Crisis
Is fishing still possible under the “stay at home” and “shelter in place” orders issued by local and state governments all across the United States in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

First Nations:
Adapting to coronavirus: how B.C. First Nations balance food security and conservation – The Narwhal
“Indigenous communities, among Canada’s most food-insecure, navigate unique challenges when it comes to traditional harvesting practices during the COVID-19 lockdown — especially in areas affected by climate change, industrial development and declining wildlife populations.”

Water Quality:
Covid-19 and recreational water quality – Swim Guide
“As of March 2020, there is not enough research to say for certain whether or not the virus that causes Covid-19 can be transmitted through water, through contact with feces that contain the virus, or through sewage.”

Canadian Freshwater Alliance
Every Wednesday evening at 7: EST the Canadian Freshwater Alliance hosts a freshwater trivia challenge open to anyone – gather the whole family. Also, follow their work on tracking untreated sewage releases and what it means for the health of Canada’s fish and ecosystems.

Canadian Tire helps medics and communities fight COVID-19
Canada’s biggest supplier of fishing tackle has launched a C$5m funding initiative to help fellow countrymen and communities respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The C$5 Million Canadian Tire COVID-19 Response Fund is comprised of two donations of C$1m each to the country’s Red Cross and United Way Centraide, an organisation that supports the vulnerable, and a $3m donation of products to support frontline medical workers.

Fuji Announces New Sustainability Initiative
Fuji Industrial Co., Ltd., known globally as Fuji Rod Components, has announced its support of a worldwide ecological initiative called The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The plan, adopted by a United Nations Summit in 2015, targets 17 environmental goals and outlines 169 specific efforts to reach those goals.

The Ontario Government suspends environmental oversight rules, saying they could hinder its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The alberta Government has suspended environmental reporting requirements for industry, during the COVID-19 pandemic saying that forcing companies to fully comply would cause hardship.”

Blue Fish Radio on the Miramichi River Watershed:
Atlantic Salmon are in trouble along the New Brunswick coastline. Listen to how the Miramichi Atlantic Salmon Federation wants to reduce the number of native Striped Bass, as well as cull the newly invasive Smallmouth Bass both Striped and Smallmouth Bass are being accused of feeding on Salmon smolz.

And then listen to why anglers are behind one of Canada’s largest fishing tournaments the Striper Cup, and why they are concerned over the Salmon Federation’s proposal to reduce Striped Bass to levels that would put them dangerously close to be considered at risk.

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