Blue Fish News – June 27, 2022
In the June 27 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on the importance of honouring the need for youth to connect to nature through fishing. As always, we include links and summaries to the latest fishing, fish health, Habitat and other news you need to know. Our closing Special Guest Feature chosen to inform and inspire our readers concerns the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s reflections on the recent federal announcement to phase out open pen salmon farming on Canada’s west coast.
This Week’s Feature – Connecting Youth to Nature Through Fishing
Within a half-dozen episodes after starting the podcast “The Blue Fish Radio Show” in 2013, I stopped asking my guests what helped stoke their passion for fish and fishing. The answer was always the same, a mentor who introduced them to the sport at a young age. The younger they got their start the more powerful their passion grew over time. In fact, fishing often accounted for some of their earliest memories. Over 350 podcast episodes later and my opinion on the subject hasn’t changed. In my own case it was my father and mother, but mainly my dad. He just loved to catch and eat fish.
Having six kids of my own I’ve made sure to invest time on the water, so they had plenty of positive experiences. And to be sure, this didn’t simply mean taking young “Extra Line” fishing to improve my harvest limit for the day. More often than not it meant not fishing myself to make sure my kids got the instruction and support they needed to master the many technical and skill-based aspects of fishing. Supporting one child new to fishing is doable while fishing yourself, but more than two, it’s all hands-on deck.
There’s plenty of solid research out there now that proves children need access to shorelines at a young age in order to develop certain aspects of their world view. Shorelines are where life happens. The synergy that results when terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems come into contact is quite possibly the origin of the word synergy itself. Life may be small, but there’s so much of it.
Fishing / foraging is the next logical step and has been for millions of years. It’s long-since been hard-wired into our DNA, or at least I like to think so. History aside, fishing is still the number one way people connect with nature directly by searching out and capturing food grown in the wild. Over two-billion people around the world still depend on fish as their primary source of protein. The popularity of fish and fishing even grew over the past several years as the pandemic reminded us of the vulnerability of our social networks and food systems.
Whether you fish for food or to just get outdoors, fishing teaches us to observe nature, and in turn, to become stewards of what we have come to know and love. Unfortunately, for ever-more urban youth, this connection is missing.
Blue Fish Canada has developed programs, tools and partnerships to make sure youth aren’t forgotten. Whether this means equipping and supporting skilled anglers to take time to introduce youth to fishing, or collaborating with youth organizations such as Earth Rangers, Girl Guides, Scouts, community centres, First Nations communities, and disability organizations to name a few, Blue Fish Canada is working hard to empower and inspire youth to connect sustainably with nature through fishing. Personally, my most rewarding youth training experiences happen when introducing deaf and blind children to fishing. It gives a whole new meaning to “feel the bite!”
Many other organizations are also beginning to acknowledge that, in addition to fishing by indigenous groups, fishing is also an acceptable sustainable activity to be undertaken by all manner of people. People from all corners of the world practiced subsistence fishing, and variations of fishing that have since evolved such as commercial, recreational, and now sport.
For sure there are lots of environmentalists that still promote the idea that humans must adopt veganism if the planet is to be saved, such as the message conveyed in films such as “Seaspiracy”. However, restricting humans from engaging in traditional foraging practices like fishing, even when science demonstrates that fishing is often undertaken sustainably, is resulting in the connection between people and nature being weakened and often broken. This is especially the case with people who grow up in urban environments.
By replacing truly formative outdoor experiences like fishing with theoretical concepts like environmentalism opens the door to future adults willing to consider greater exceptions when new economic initiatives are being proposed. Exceptions that necessitate the destruction of nature to one degree or another despite sustainability claims. If you love something you’re far less likely to agree to questionable commercial activities, or what many in the media report as balancing the needs of the environment with economic opportunity.
Can Blue Fish Canada promise that if you teach a kid to fish the level of environmental destruction will decrease – if it were only so simple. And let’s face it, there are plenty of ways to fish that aren’t necessarily sustainable. Teaching kids to fish the way we were taught also needs to be re-examined, which is what Blue Fish Canada has been doing for the past ten years.
With the involvement of our many Blue Fish Canada volunteers made up of local champions, indigenous knowledge keepers, scientists, conservationists, and people who possess both local and traditional knowledge, Blue Fish Canada has been assembling species and regional specific sustainable fishing guides. These are fact-checked guidance documents that reflect the best of what new and old knowledge has to offer. It’s also work that will need to continue as we learn more about nature’s long-hidden underwater ecosystems.
Groups like the International Game Fish Association have also been working hard to develop instructional materials being used to teach youth to fish respectfully in over 35 countries. Not only does the IGFA track recreational fishing world records, they ensure the pursuit and capture of these fish is a sustainable activity. It made perfect sense then that Blue Fish Canada would become IGFA’s first Canadian youth fishing program delivery partner. Click the link to listen to my conversation with Lisa Morse, Education Programs Manager, with the International Game Fish Association on the Blue Fish Radio Show: https://bluefishradio.com/igfa-global-partners-deliver-youth-programming/
Whether it’s your own kids or your neighbors’, take time this summer to pass on your love and knowledge of fishing. Let’s face it, anyone who walks into a fishing store can quickly feel overwhelmed by the sheer variety of fishing technologies for sale. The learning curve can be quite intense if not properly managed. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on boats, rods and lures, without knowing how to properly fish, it can become quite frustrating and potentially destructive. But it’s also a passion that is limitless in terms of the opportunities available to discover and grow to love our many lakes, rivers and oceans and the fishes that have made it their homes. To access our free Blue Fish Canada Sustainable Fishing Guidance documents, visit: https://bluefishcanada.ca/resources/blue-fish-sustainable-fishing-tips/
The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News
DFO closes Chinook salmon fishing around Prince Rupert / Terrace Standard
The decreases are in place to “address on-going concerns for Skeena Chinook” DFO stated. In the tidal waters around Haida Gwaii and off the west coast of the archipelago, anglers are allowed to catch one chinook per day from June 15 to July 15 and two per day from Aug. 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.
Hundreds of pounds of fish removed from lake aids in recovery of endangered Cultus Lake sockeye / Chilliwack Progress
A pikeminnow and smallmouth bass fishing derby was held at Cultus Lake’s Main Beach on Father’s Day weekend.
Whether passion or obsession, the benefits of salmon fishing are virtually endless / CBC
Salmon season has arrived, and for those who partake, it can be better than Christmas, writes Gord Follett.
St. Lawrence River Hosts B.A.S.S. Nation Northeast Regional / Fishing Wire
Anglers competed in WADDINGTON, N.Y. for the B.A.S.S. Nation Northeast Regional on the St. Lawrence River beginning June 24, 2022.
What my dad taught me about fishing in Alaska / National Geographic
In the wilds of Tongass, a love of wilderness unites a father and son for the last time.
‘Fishing has provided me with a connection to place’ / Tyee
Fisheries biologist and Emerging Leader Taylor Wale braids science, community and culture together in her work.
Fish Lead-Free in New Hampshire / Fishing Wire
The Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHFG) want to remind anglers about the ban on the sale and freshwater use of lead sinkers and jigs weighing one ounce or less for all freshwater in the state. The Loon Preservation Committee recently recorded its first lead-poisoned loon of the year. In 2021, a total of seven adult loons and one immature loon in New Hampshire were confirmed to have died from lead poisoning after ingesting lead sinkers.
Sustainable Seafood Guide / Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
Our friends and partners at the North American Marine Alliance (NAMA) have put together a “Sustainable Seafood Guide” that aims to provide insight into the seafood landscape. The guide can be utilized to help inform purchasing decisions, raise awareness, and take actionable steps toward policy change. Access the full guide.
Asian Carp – No More – Meet “Copi” / Choose Copi
The dreaded Silver carp, Bighead carp, or Grass carp, are now being rebranded as the next big thing in fine dining. Along with the push to eat these invasive fish comes a brand new name “Copi”. Copi is also recommended for consumption by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.
Alaskan Fishery Managers Call for Deeper Look at Salmon Bycatch / Fishing Wire
Western Alaska villagers have endured the worst chum salmon runs on record. Many of those suffering see one way to provide some quick relief: stop Large vessels trawling for pollock and other groundfish in the industrial-scale fisheries of the Bering Sea from intercepting so many salmon.
Toxic PFAS, the “Everywhere Chemicals,” Are in Organic Foods and Packaging / Sierra Club
A raft of new studies have found that some foods may not be as safe as we think.
B.C.’s doomed Thompson River steelhead offer a stark warning / Outdoor Canada
As with salmon, steelhead are born in freshwater but migrate to saltwater, where they spend several years before returning to their natal rivers to spawn. Unlike Pacific salmon, however, they can live for up to 15 years and spawn several times. So, what is causing this dramatic decline in the population? According to a 2018 federal study, the reasons are numerous, creating a perfect storm that could lead to the ultimate extirpation of the Thompson’s steelhead.
Feds move to ban open net salmon farms in B.C. / Victoria Times Colonist
Canada has temporarily renewed dozens of fish farm licences in B.C. A decision on how the farms will be removed from the Pacific will be released in spring 2023.
Returning home: The Elwha’s genetic legacy / Encyclopedia of Puget Sound
Following dam removal, migratory salmon have been free to swim into the upper Elwha River for the first time in 100 years. Their actual behaviours and reproductive success may well be driven by changes in their genetic makeup.
Good news on Greenland fishery / ASF
North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization members have committed to better management of the Greenland salmon fishery, agreeing to close the fishery when 49% of the catch is registered—a measure that will significantly reduce overharvest of wild Atlantic salmon.
B.C. salmon farm’s sea lice levels were five times limit: docs / Narwhal
Internal government emails show sea lice levels multiple times higher than federal rules detected at two Cermaq farms earlier this year.
Sharks May Be Closer to the City Than You Think Fishing Wire
A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, researchers tracked the movements of three shark species, bull, nurse and great hammerhead, in relation to the city of Miami. Given the chemical, light, and noise pollution emanating from the coastal metropolis, researchers expected sharks to avoid areas close to the city, but that’s not what they found.
Source of solvent that killed potentially hundreds of fish in Coquitlam creek unclear: city / Global News
People who live near Booth Creek at Myrnam Street first noticed the dead fish and a strong odour Saturday evening.
Sockeye salmon fill rivers in Alberni, as rains raise flow levels to record highs / CHEK
A natural rite of spring is filling up Alberni Valley rivers as schools of sockeye salmon make their annual journey home. They are a critical species on our coast, and this year are encountering record high water levels from all the recent rains.
Something’s fishy about fish farm fans / VanIsle.News
“Are these nine scientists as concerned about wild salmon as we are? Or are they just trying to protect the industry they have ties to?”
Higher ground: Little Campbell River hatchery rebuild planned following November floods / Peace Arch News
Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club looks to update its facility, and move it off the flood plain.
Why climate change could mean more jellyfish for B.C. / Vancouver Is Awesome
Invasive jellyfish to see explosive growth in B.C., says modelling. Sightings have already ballooned. A scientist looks to track how it could damage ecosystems.
Population of Atlantic salmon around the world continues to decrease due to climate change and human exploitation / Nature World News
A sudden shift in climatic conditions in the North Atlantic approximately 800 years ago had a part in a drop in Atlantic salmon populations returning to rivers, according to research headed by the University of Southampton. Salmon stocks were further depleted as a result of subsequent human exploitation.
Conservationists pleased government has begun salmon farm transition, but impacts on wild salmon will continue until fish farms out / Watershed Watch Salmon Society
By not renewing the Discovery Island licences and limiting all other salmon farm licences to two years, government has signaled that open-net salmon farming in B.C. is coming to an end. Until now status quo salmon farm licence renewals were six-year terms. Whether this decision offers immediate relief to wild salmon outside the Discovery Islands will depend on the newly issued farm management rules (i.e., Conditions of Licence) and how they are enforced.
New Report on Proposed National Marine Protection Area for Lake Ontario Eastern Basin / Nature Canada
Many believe Lake Ontario has the strongest fish populations and that ensuring access to these fish means investing more in understanding their issues and protecting their habitat. Nature Canada’s new report outlines why a National Marine Protection Area for Lake Ontario’s eastern basin is an essential step to ensuring the future of fish and fishing.
Melting Glaciers Likely to Boost Healthy Salmon Spawning Habitat: Study / Fishermens News
Dramatic increases in the melting of Alaska’s massive glaciers in the midst of global warming reflect a silver lining for wild salmon in Alaska.
43 per cent of world’s rivers contain dangerous levels of prescription drugs / New York Post
Researchers found 23 active ingredients, including those found in antidepressants, antihistamines, stimulants, benzos and painkillers, at levels exceeding “safe” concentrations in 43.5 per cent of the 1,052 they tested in 104 countries.
U.S. wants Canada to join probe of cross-border pollution from B.C. coal mines / Dawson Creek Mirror
The United States government, including President Joe Biden’s White House, has joined calls for Canada to participate in a probe of cross-border pollution coming from coal mines in southern British Columbia.
Water test: Rending the Great Lakes food web / Great Lakes Echo
The food web in lakes Michigan and Huron has changed in ways that jeopardize age-old fishing traditions and raise questions about how we’ve managed them. It is an ecological disruption that sets the scene for deciding how to manage the lakes in the future, and how best to parcel out the lake’s fish. Quagga mussels have changed the Great Lakes water chemistry, posing new challenges to fishery managers.
Heat waves are expected to continue, and B.C. needs to act in order to protect its fish: prof / Salmon Arm Observer
UBC Professor leading charge in solutions to combat extreme heat to protect fish and marine species.
Wildlife can’t keep waiting for ban on ship waste / Vancouver Sun
“Billions of litres of ship waste have been dumped in marine protected areas since Canada promised to ban the practice three years ago.”
Canada can hit its conservation goals with a huge assist from Indigenous initiatives / National Observer
Canada can hit its conservation targets if the provinces and territories work with Indigenous partners to formally protect ongoing conservation initiatives like the Seal River Watershed in northern Manitoba — one of the world’s largest remaining ecologically intact watersheds.
‘We are salmon people’: First Nation leaders in B.C. demand audience with fisheries minister / National Observer
First Nations leaders are calling for more political engagement from federal Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray, expressing rage and grief over Pacific salmon’s path to extinction — and with it, the ongoing decimation of their communities’ culture, self-identity and food security.
How First Nations peoples have adapted to climate change and ocean temperature shifts for thousands of years / National Observer
Archaeologists studying fish bones from the villages of Ts’ishaa and Huu7ii on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, are learning how First Nations peoples have adapted to climate change and ocean temperature shifts for thousands of years. This knowledge could help inform present-day fisheries management decisions amid worsening climate conditions.
How an oily fish is connecting Nisg̱a’a youth to the land / Narwhal
After a long, dark winter, the return of the oolichan to Ḵ’alii Aksim Lisims is the first sign of spring on Nisg̱a’a territory. During a three-day camp, Ging̱olx youth connect with saak and those who catch and process it.
Helen Sevier Pioneer Scholarship presented by Shimano / B.A.S.S.
To honor Helen Sevier’s leadership and long-term vision for the growth of sportfishing, B.A.S.S., in partnership with Shimano, will dedicate two $2,500 “Pioneer” scholarships to deserving female high school anglers and members of B.A.S.S. who wish to pursue competitive fishing at the college level. The program is open to Canadian Women. Application Deadline: July 15, 2022.
The Popularity of Pontoon Boats is Rising / NPAA
Whether you fish for catfish, bass, walleye, or panfish the pontoon boat is becoming a favorite platform. Boat dealers are now selling pontoon boats fully rigged for the fishermen and many of those dealers will customize the boat to whatever features and equipment anglers prefer. For bigger and faster boats, it’s recommended buying a tri-toon if an engine of 150 horsepower or more is desired.
Surrey’s salmon-painting challenge aims to teach public about water pollution / Peace Arch News
The competition encourages everyone to get involved in spreading the word about pollution affecting fish.
Fish Art Contest International and Essay Winners Announced / Fishing Wire
Supported by Title Sponsor, Bass Pro Shops, students who participate choose a fish species then create both an artistic rendition and a creative writing submission for the contest. Essay winners are recognized in three age categories per state; 4th-6th grade, 7-9th grade, and 10th-12th grade. Students may submit a wide variety of creative writing pieces to qualify, such as poems, songs, stories, or fun fish interviews.
Click the link to view the 2022 essay award winners. https://www.wildlifeforever.org/?p=11936
International art pieces are awarded by country in the above age categories. Click the link to view the 2022 international art award winners. https://www.wildlifeforever.org/?p=12461
Happy Canada Day! / Outdoor Canada
Re-subscribe to Outdoor Canada magazine for only $20* for a one-year subscription. OC we’ll include an OC pocketknife for your travels and complimentary DIGITAL edition.
The World’s Largest Recorded Freshwater Fish Caught
The world’s largest recorded freshwater fish, a giant stingray weighing over 300 Kilos, has been caught in the Mekong River in Cambodia.
Blood-sucking sea lampreys threaten Great Lakes ecosystem / CTV News
The bi-national Great Lakes Fishery Commission is spreading awareness of a blood-sucking fish that has been wreaking havoc to ecosystems for decades.
Scientists and Local Champions:
What the Federal Government’s Aquaculture News Means for Wild Fish / The Tyee
When The Tyee spoke with Alexandra Morton in early June, she said the day the DFO decision came down would be the day “I’m going to find out if my whole life was a waste.” But on Wednesday, after the announcement, Morton said her life, which she has dedicated to researching and documenting the harms caused by the fish farm industry in B.C., hasn’t been wasted.
Calls to Action:
Muskies are becoming a growing concern in the Upper St. Lawrence / InformNNY
According to the Gananoque 1000 Islands Chapter of Muskies Canada, there has been a recent surge of dead Muskellunge fish floating on the St. Lawrence River. Although the group said that dead fish are often found on local water bodies in the spring months, the recent reportings are a cause for concern. The group said in a press release “there is a fine line between normal and diseased mortality.” To document any abnormalities, all anglers are required to report and subsequently recover all dead muskies so an autopsy can be conducted. Anglers should email the Gananoque 1000 Islands Chapter of Muskies Canada at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide their name, phone number and the exact location for recovery.
Last week to have your say about the Telkwa Coal Mine / SkeenaWild
The Australian owned Allegiance Coal is proposing to mine more than 800,000 tonnes of coal per year in an open pit mine, with three massive tailings ponds near the Telkwa and Bulkley Rivers (tributaries of the Skeena River). The risks this open pit mine poses to water quality, salmon and steelhead populations and air quality are just too high. Please take a few minutes to submit a comment today. The deadline for comment is July 3rd.
Special Guest Feature: Government of Canada Outlines Next Steps In Transition From Open Net Pen Salmon Farming In British Columbia / Pacific Salmon Foundation
The Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) has appreciated the opportunity to participate in and contribute to early phases of transition consultations with the Hon. Joyce Murray and DFO, and we look forward to further consultation to advance this mandate for the future health of wild Pacific salmon. Our team has been at the forefront of independent science related to the impacts open-net-pen fish farms have on wild Pacific salmon. The research will continue.
The government’s announcement also clarified that the Minister will renew licenses for only two-years, in the case of marine finfish aquaculture facilities outside of the Discovery Islands – far shorter than the historical license renewal period.
PSF is encouraged by the two-year renewal as a strong signal from the Minister that the removal of salmon farms is nearing. We are also optimistic about the suggestion of tightened standards related to monitoring and sea lice management, as research has shown disease transfer between open-net fish farms and wild salmon as well as higher levels of sea lice near active farms. We will be scrutinizing DFO’s new licensing standards in the coming days.
The decision to not renew licences for Atlantic salmon facilities in the Discovery Islands, pending further consultations, is a win for some of our most at-risk wild salmon populations in B.C, including imperiled Fraser River sockeye.
Here at PSF, the Salmon Health team will continue working in partnership with DFO, First Nations and many other collaborators on vital research and monitoring related to the impacts of open-net-pen salmon farms on wild Pacific salmon.
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