Blue Fish News – August 3rd, 2021

In this August 3rd, 2021 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News, we begin with an invitation to have your say about how you like the News. As always, we include a specially curated list of summaries and Links to timely fishing, fish health, water quality and other news, and close with a spotlight guest resource selected to inform and inspire our readers.

Have your Say – Please answer our short 5 minute BFN feedback survey

Photo of Editor Lawrence Gunther aboard his Ranger 1880 Angler with a nice largemouth bass

This Week’s Feature – Tell Us What You Think!

Editor Lawrence Gunther has gone fishing, so we want to take this opportunity to find out what you think about the Blue Fish News. What you like, what you don’t, what you want to see more of, or less, and your general impressions.

Click the link and check-off some boxes on how we can improve the Blue Fish News: Have your Say – Tell us what you think by spending a few minutes answering our newsletter feedback survey

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Water Quality News


Anglers beyond frustrated with another season of chinook closures / Pique Newsmagazine
On July 6, the Public Fishery Alliance held a rally in protest of the closures in front of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Downtown Vancouver office. It followed an announcement by the Department of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard that the closure in place last year on Howe Sound would continue, meaning recreational anglers can’t catch either a wild or hatchery chinook, nor catch and release one. Public Fishery Alliance co-founder Dave Brown said, “Minister [of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Bernadette Jordan] and the Liberal government have demonstrated that they are not interested in working cooperatively with the public fishery.” Brown went on to say, “We are not a priority. Jordan has turned fisheries management into a political exercise to benefit the current government. She has shown no respect for the advisory process. She is not guided by data, has rejected the low-risk assessment of her own pacific region staff.”

The office of fisheries minister Jordan issued the following statements: “Pacific wild salmon are disappearing, and our government is taking strong, consistent action to reverse that.” The minister said she approved a new mark-selective fishery opening in area 16—portions of Sechelt Inlet and Jervis Inlet—” based on low risk of impacts on wild chinook stocks of concern. Areas 12, 13, 15, and 20 to 25, which were opened last year based on their low risk to Fraser stocks, will open again this year.” “The public fishery is a significant economic driver, and we want to ensure that there are opportunities for them where stocks will allow. This decision was not made lightly, but with the best available science and after consultation, and careful consideration of all mark selective fishery requests. We will continue to take a precautionary approach to all fisheries management decisions, but we know that is not enough,” the statement read, adding that $647 million from budget 2021 is earmarked for projects that will conserve and revive pacific wild salmon populations. “While we are proud to make this historic investment, the need to do so reflects how serious the decline of pacific salmon is right now,” the statement continued. “We will continue to work with First Nations, the public fishery, conservationists and other partners to protect this iconic species, and the communities and livelihoods that depend on it.”

‘Virgin’ sturgeon caught in Fraser River more than 11 feet long / Saanich News
The (never before caught) 11’5” length and 56” girth white sturgeon was caught in the Fraser River. Catches like this are extremely rare, according to folks at the Fraser River Lodge that guided the anglers responsible for the catch-and-release sturgeon.

Young anglers time to get trout heads in the KLAIP game / Nelson Daily
The first Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program for younger anglers wrapped up at the end of July. Kids had to submit their rainbow or bull trout heads to one of four local depots to participate in the draw. By fishing for rainbow and bull trout in the main body of Kootenay Lake, kids 15 and under are actively contributing to local conservation efforts to protect the iconic kokanee.

Cape Breton guide breaking barriers for women learning to fish / CBC News
A Cape Breton woman became a fishing guide on the Margaree River after receiving many messages asking her to show other women how to fly-fish. “Women were approaching me to [teach] them how to get into the sport,” said Gioia Stanley. “It can be intimidating. I think being a woman helps break down that barrier of someone who’s new and not sure how to enter an industry such as fishing, where it can be typically very male-dominated.”

The IGFA Expands Release-Based Record Category / IGFA
The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) All-Tackle Length program now offers a specific fly-fishing category. The All-Tackle Length record program requires the potential record catch to be released alive. Due to the growing popularity of this program and the request from numerous IGFA constituents, the IGFA is expanding this popular program by adding a fly-fishing category, therefore creating both conventional and fly-fishing categories within the IGFA All-Tackle Length record program.

Have Fun, Win Big with North American Bass Challenge / NPAA
The new format and concept on bass fishing, the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s North American Bass Challenge (NABC) bring together some of the best premier events for anglers everywhere. Competitions provide the opportunity to fish with family and friends and are open to anglers from all walks of life, regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Along with an overall annual payback to anglers well in excess of 100 percent, a portion of each entry fee is donated to fisheries conservation and matched by the NABC and other conservation organizations up to 3-to-1 in support of bass conservation projects anywhere the North American Bass Challenge does business.

Huskey Makes History as First Woman to Win a Major Walleye Tournament / Mercury Dockline
Marianne Huskey has been blazing trails in the competitive walleye world for a dozen years. While the old adage that the fish don’t know who’s angling for them is true, it’s been historically rare for women to compete at the highest levels of tournament fishing. But overcoming adversity and long odds is nothing new for Huskey. However, her latest achievement at the Head2Head Fishing® Pro Walleye Series may be her most remarkable.

Although drought conditions persist on some rivers, overall Atlantic salmon returns are creating a sense of optimism across eastern Canada. In Quebec, the government has released details of rivers that will allow harvest of large salmon.

Draft Report on Recreational Fishing Data and Strategies to Support In-season Management / NOAA
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has completed its draft report, “Data and Management Strategies for Recreational Fisheries with Annual Catch Limits.” NOAA Fisheries appreciates the hard work of the National Academies in conducting a comprehensive study and providing recommendations on a challenging and important topic.

IGFA Releases 2021 Program Report / IGFA
The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) announced today the release of the 2021 IGFA Program Report; a comprehensive outline of the various programs and initiatives that the organization is executing around the world to ensure the future of sport fishing.

Subsistence Salmon Fishing Opens On Yukon River For First Time This Season / KYUK
Alaskan state managers opened subsistence salmon fishing at 1 p.m. on July 22 in the lower Yukon Coastal District until further notice. Fishermen can use dip nets and hook and line to target salmon species including pink, sockeye, and coho salmon. Chinook and chum salmon cannot be targeted.


Anglers and researchers delve into fish guts to save salmon / Toronto Star
Squeezing out stomachs and poking through intestines seems like distasteful work, but it’s part of a wider collaborative effort by researchers and recreational fishermen to save endangered B.C. salmon. Analysis of the chinook and coho stomachs reveal three forage fish are the foundation of their diet: Pacific herring, northern anchovy and the Pacific sand lance, commonly known as needlefish.

Salmon are getting cooked by climate change. Here’s how they could be saved / CBC News
In 2016, warm temperatures were blamed for the lowest number of returning sockeye in B.C.’s Fraser River on record, and two years later, officials warned that the river was so warm that migrating sockeye salmon might die on their journey. In 2019, there were heat-related salmon die-offs blamed in Alaska and at a fish farm in Newfoundland. “The heat makes it harder for them to swim and can stress salmon migrating to their spawning grounds, said Sue Grant, head of the state of salmon program at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. As a result, some don’t survive to spawn, and those that do may produce less healthy offspring”.

Dalhousie University professor co-authors ‘good news, bad news’ study on global fish stock health / Global News
A new study co-authored by a Dalhousie University professor finds nearly half of global fish stock recovery targets are trending in the wrong direction. The database contained information for some 800 species harvested by humans around the world. Researchers used two metrics to come up with their findings: the number of fish that exist in the water, and how intensely the species is being fished relative to what’s considered sustainable.

Wildfires, floods and rockslides force pause on permanent fishway project at Big Bar landslide site / CBC News
Originally, the federal government estimated a $176 million permanent fishway would be completed by May 2022, but now, officials say that timeline is “no longer possible” and further costs are unknown.

DFO’s closures of Pacific coast salmon fisheries leave workers reeling / The Narwhal
The scale of the B.C commercial Salmon fishery closures, which include five species of salmon and multiple fishing methods, such as seine, gillnet and troll, is unprecedented; previous closures were either shorter or targeted a single species such as coho. The DFO minister said the department would implement a compensation program for commercial operators who decide to get out of the industry for good. The department estimates that there are around 2,100 licence holders in B.C. and Yukon although not all licence holders are considered to be active. The voluntary salmon licence retirement program will provide harvesters with the option to retire their licences for fair market value and will facilitate the transition to a smaller commercial harvesting sector. DFO will determine details of the program after consulting First Nations and the commercial sector in the fall.

2021 B.C. salmon forecast amongst widespread closures / Watershed Watch Salmon Society
This 2021 salmon forecast may be my last one after some 35 years, for who needs forecasts if there are no fisheries? Although it captures why this bold action was necessary, please read closely. Our salmon are still out there, in streams throughout our province. Their numbers and diversity are a shadow of what they once were, but salmon are highly adaptable and given half a chance, they will recover. We owe it to our fishermen to see that they do.

Virtual reality experience lets viewers ‘swim’ with Pacific salmon / CBC News
Watershed Watch co-hosted a screening of Uninterrupted, which brings the journey of the Pacific salmon to city dwellers through a 24-minute interactive virtual reality experience.

Using “Crispr” Technology to Protect Wild Salmon / ASF
In an attempt to prevent escaped fish from interbreeding with their wild counterparts and threatening the latter’s genetic diversity, molecular biologist Anna Wargelius and her team at the Institute of Marine Research in Norway have spent years working on ways to induce sterility in Atlantic salmon. Farmed salmon that cannot reproduce, after all, pose no threat to the gene pool of wild stocks, and Wargelius has successfully developed a technique that uses the gene-editing technology Crispr to prevent the development of the cells that would otherwise generate functioning sex organs.

Extreme heat waves are putting lakes and rivers in hot water this summer / The Conversation
Coldwater fish, such as trout and salmon, are being squeezed out of their cool, well-oxygenated, deep-water habitat. By the same token, invasive fishes such as smallmouth bass are thriving in warmer temperatures and displacing native Canadian fishes like walleye and lake trout.

Province looking into possible ‘chemical treatment’ of goldfish in Terrace area lake / Terrace Standard
Goldfish are commonly thought of as a harmless household pet, but once they are introduced to B.C. waterways they can grow in size, wreaking havoc on local populations.


How healthy is the Salish Sea? / Pique Newsmagazine
A joint Canada-U.S. report on the health of the Salish Sea has found either an overwhelming decline or stable trend in nine out of 10 environmental indicators tracked by researchers.

Trawlers Are Pushing into the High Arctic / Hakai Magazine
As the extent of sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean shrinks, commercial trawlers are moving in, rapidly expanding fishing operations into areas previously covered by multiyear ice. In the high Arctic, benthic communities have historically been relatively undisturbed. These organisms play an important role in the larger marine food web, supporting huge numbers of whales and other animals. Disturbing them with trawl nets could have far-reaching consequences.

Most Invasive Marine Species Swim Under the Radar / Hakai Magazine
A new study reviewed the existing scientific literature to show that of the 975 species considered to be marine invasive species, 55 percent have only been studied once, and a mere seven percent have been studied more than 10 times. The paper shows that in invasive species research there are some poster children garnering everyone’s attention while most invaders swim in the darkness, untouched by scientific knowledge.

Blue beaches: St. Lawrence River stewards looking to address plastic pollution from floating docks / ABC50
While walking on beaches or shorelines of the Great Lakes or St. Lawrence River, finding pieces or pellets of blue or white polystyrene, or Styrofoam, is not an uncommon sight. However, local advocates are calling for action as they say it is making its way through marine ecosystems and harming animals such as fish, birds and even humans.

California Dog Owners Cautioned About Salmon Poisoning Disease / FishingWire
Salmon Poisoning Disease can be contracted by dogs that come into contact with fish from infested waters throughout the Pacific Northwest. Thousands of dogs are infected every year with Salmon Poisoning Disease after eating raw or cold-smoked fish infected with the parasitic fluke. All fish caught or originating from streams in northern California, Oregon and southern Washington could potentially be infected with disease-carrying flukes harmful to dogs.

A future different from the past, BC needs a ministry that puts watershed security and communities first / The Province
Trouble is mounting in BC’s waters. Communities are trying to protect drinking water sources from the negative impacts of logging, water bottling, contaminated soil dumps, mining, and other activities at odds with good watershed health and security. It’s time to put healthy watersheds ahead of short-term economic gains.

Conservation Ontario Tackling Climate Change with $9M in Federal Funding / Conservation Ontario
Conservation Ontario is receiving $9 million over three years to support conservation authorities to use their watershed management expertise to implement nature-based solutions to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and restore and protect wetlands, riparian areas, grasslands and other lands across Ontario to address climate change impacts. The projects provide a number of co-benefits for the environment, economy and human well-being, such as improved access to natural and semi-natural ecosystems for cultural practices, nature appreciation and recreational activities, including hunting, fishing and other gathering and foraging activities.


Blue Fish Canada donates fishing tackle receptacle / Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority
Blue Fish Canada has donated a receptacle for discarded fishing tackle at Morrison Dam Conservation Area east of Exeter. Acceptable items include fishing line, soft plastic baits, hooks, lead sinkers and jigs. Matt Fryer, of Lucan, is the Vice-President and Conservation Director of the Forest City Bassmasters and installed the Fishing Tackle Recycler on July 26, 2021 near the fishing dock.


First Nation declares sovereignty over Saskatchewan River Delta / Star Phoenix
“We see it as a protection of our homeland, and a utilization to benefit our people, to get them out of poverty,” Chief Rene Chaboyer said. The Saskatchewan River Delta stretches over roughly one million hectares along the Saskatchewan and Manitoba border. Its declining vitality is threatening traditional ways of life. The declaration comes roughly a year after he expressed concern over a lack of consultation on a massive provincial irrigation project at Lake Diefenbaker that he says could affect water flows into the delta. He said he remains hopeful for a solution that could satisfy all parties.

Groups call for mutual respect while fishing rivers of Fraser Valley / Mission City Record
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), and your local Fishery Officers would like to remind the public that Indigenous communities and recreational anglers will be fishing and recreating in local rivers this summer and fall, according to a July 25 news release issued jointly by DFO, First Nations, and recreational fishing leadership. “We have seen a lot of negative comments on social media about both the Sumas First Nation and Sts’Ailes First Nation fisheries taking place in the Chilliwack and Chehalis Rivers,” stated DFO fishery officer Mike Fraser, detachment commander, Fraser Valley East. “These fisheries are limited fisheries with restricted gear to help First Nations obtain some food for the communities. Normally there are more opportunities in the Fraser River but limited returns in a mixed-stock fishery are providing very limited harvests. These are the main issues stirring up conflict that we are trying to curtail,” Fraser said.

Canada’s First Nations Do Conservation Their Way / Sierra Club
The Misipawistik Cree wanted to protect their lands, but they wanted to do so on their own terms. “We don’t really have to manage moose, we have to manage people” says Heidi Cook, an elected of the Misipawistik Cree. So last year, the Cree did something that they’d been talking about for a decade: They started an Indigenous guardian program.


Guy Harvey Enters ICAST Product Showcase / FishingWire
Created by renowned artist Guy Harvey, the entire apparel collection is designed for ocean enthusiasts and anglers with a portion of all proceeds going towards scientific research and marine education through the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF).


Be #WakeAware / FOCA
The Federation of Ontario Cottage Associations is very pleased to announce the release of a new video and companion website with information for all water users about the impacts of wakes, and educational resources to use and share.

Boat Safety message from the Ontario Provincial Police / OPP
We are saddened by recent tragic boating accidents on Ontario’s waterways. In the words of Provincial Marine Coordinator Sgt. Dave Moffatt, the 2021 season has been “terrible”. Watch this important video message from Sgt. Moffatt posted to Facebook.


4th Annual Skeena Salmon Art Festival / SkeenaWiold
The Skeena Salmon Art Show is back, with its annual exhibition and sale touring from Terrace Art Gallery to Misty Rivers Arts Centre in Hazleton, and Smithers Art Gallery. The 2021 exhibition is an opportunity for artists from across the Skeena region and beyond to showcase their talent in any medium and celebrate salmon as a life sustaining species that is of critical importance to our cultures, communities, and ecosystems.

Special Feature – Blue Fish Sustainable Bass Fishing Tournament Conservation Tips

  1. Keep boat livewells clean and free of mold. Ensure pumps and aeration systems are operational.
  2. Avoid fishing bass at depths below 25-feet. Make sure you have the training and tools required to fizz Bass showing signs of Barotrauma.
  3. Use knot-free rubber nets to prevent scale and fin damage. Hold bass away from clothing and boat decks to protect fish slime.
  4. Use pliers to quickly remove fish hooks. Cut off deeply set hooks to minimize injury instead of attempting their removal.
  5. Use non-puncturing weighing and culling technologies. Release culled Bass below gunnel height to avoid stressing or stunning bass.
  6. Maintain constant livewell temperatures by adding just enough non-chlorinated ice to ensure stable water temperature. Avoid replacing livewell water when transiting warm shallow bays.
  7. Keep bass in livewells until invited by tournament officials to approach the weigh-in station. Keep bass in weigh-in bags for no longer than 2 minutes.
  8. Dispose used soft plastic baits, fishing line, and lead weights and jigs responsibly.
  9. Empty and clean boat livewells, bilges and boat trailers before departing the launch to prevent transporting invasive species.
  10. Report tagged fish, unethical behaviour and water quality issues to relevant authorities

About us:

Subscribe to receive the Blue Fish Canada news in your inbox.
Read back issues of the Blue Fish Canada News
Please rate The Blue Fish Radio Show on Apple Podcast.
Email us your news or podcast story ideas.
Donate to Blue Fish Canada, a federally incorporated registered Canadian charity.