Blue Fish News – May 24, 2020

In this May 24, 2020 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we wanted to focus on the human side of fishing. Topics like anglers who become giants of the fishing world, or those who are successful in other ways but use fishing as a way to unwind. Just as importantly, we thought we should include some information just in case all this Covid-19 business is beginning to get you down.

This week’s News includes:

  • Two giants in the fishing world currently hunkered down and dreaming about fishing
  • The latest water quality, fish health and fishing news
  • Tips for staying mentally fit as we begin to re-open society and the outdoors!
Photo of Editor Lawrence Gunther aboard his ranger Fisherman

Giants in the World of Fishing:

Every couple months Blue Fish Radio reaches out to one of the giants in the fishing world for a check-in on their take on the state of fish and fishing. Most recently we found Jeremy Wade from River Monsters and singer songwriter and angler Uncle Kracker at their respective homes sheltering from Covid-19.

Jeremy Wade is UK’s “Sherlock Holmes” of angling. His magical blend of solving underwater mysteries through careful planning, local knowledge and a hook-and-line has been capturing the imagination of viewers for over 15 years starting with his world renowned series “River Monsters”. It’s a return to the origins of the true spirit of angling that’s inspiring the next generation of curious and conservation minded anglers. Link below to hear Jeremy in conversation with host Lawrence Gunther on this first of this two part Blue Fish Radio installment in the series “Giants of the Fishing World”:

In this final installment of our interview with Jeremy Wade from the River Monster series, we dive deeper into what it takes to produce the magical moments Jeremy has been creating to inform and entertain mainstream TV viewers for over 15 years. We also explore Jeremy’s books and his role as an international fish art competition judge. Find out what makes Jeremy tick, and why anglers – and especially youth – are embracing Jeremy’s thirst for adventure and insatiable curiosity to seek out and reveal the freshwater animals called fish:

Last but not least, Matthew Shafer, AKA by his stage name Uncle Kracker, is an American singer-song writer and musician known for his rock and now country music. Matt is also a big fan of fishing, and lives in Michigan on the shores of Lake St. Clair where he keeps his 25-foot centre console. Uncle Kracker’s musical career includes hit singles Follow Me, Smile, Drift Away and Floatin, and collaborating and touring with Kid Rock and his group Twisted Brown Trucker. Since 1999 Matt has recorded five records as a solo artist Double Wide (2000), No Stranger to Shame (2002), Seventy Two and Sunny (2004), Happy Hour (2009), Midnight Special 2012, and now his hit single Floatin (2018). Link below to hear Matt in conversation with Lawrence Gunther as they explore the challenges of writing songs that reference fishing without having them sound corny, and what it takes to get your kids interested in fishing, on this special “Fishing Musicians” episode of Blue Fish Radio:

The Latest Water Quality, Fish Health and Fishing News


Fishing in Canada during Covid-19 – Keep Canada Fishing
Fishing has been and always will be important to the mental well-being of Canadians. It is an ecologically sound method of putting healthy food on the table and a crucial part of the Canadian economy. To help us all get through these trying times, Keep Canada Fishing has compiled a Code of Conduct based on the current recommendations of health officials.

Port Alberni cancels 49th annual Salmon Festival – Port Alberni Valley News
In what many consider the world capital of salmon fishing, it couldn’t have been an easy decision for Port Alberni to cancel their Salmon Festival. Salmon is the foundation of the Port Alberni economy and the social backbone of the various First Nations and non-indigenous communities situated along this amazing salmon runway. The festival will be rescheduled to 2021.

Fish Health:

Take a Survey to conserve and restore Alberta’s native trout
Native trout are some of the most threatened species in Alberta, but there is little public awareness of native fish and their threats. The Native Trout Collaborative Communications project is a joint project aiming to increase awareness of recovery, habitat and threats to native trout in Alberta. Multiple organizations in Alberta are collaborating in this joint effort including Alberta Environment and Parks, Alberta Conservation Association, Cows and Fish, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Southern Alberta Chapter, Trout Unlimited Canada, and Foothills Research Institute.

Live gene bank only hope for inner Bay of Fundy salmon – CBC News
The survival of Atlantic salmon in the inner Bay of Fundy is now almost entirely dependent on two federal fish hatcheries, according to a new and dire population estimate released by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Smolt tagging and Tracking on the Miramichi – Atlantic salmon Federation
With the longest unbroken data series on Atlantic salmon migration in the world at risk, Atlantic Salmon Foundation Jonathan Car and his son Evan take their social bubble north for smolt tagging and tracking on the Miramichi.

U.S. Fishing Industry urges Trump Administration to deny Pebble Mine proposal in Alaska – Angling International
More than 250 US outdoor sporting businesses and organisations have urged President Donald Trump to safeguard American jobs and industry by denying a key permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The letter comes as the US Army Corps of Engineers is poised to release its final Environmental Impact Statement in the coming months, a key document in the permitting process for the large gold and copper mining proposal. The Pebble Limited Partnership is now 100% owned by The Northern Dynasty Partnership, which is a wholly owned Canadian-based subsidiary of Northern Dynasty Minerals, Limited. The letter was delivered by the CEOs of The Orvis Company.


Living with Sea Otters Next Door – Hakai Magazine
Ecologists and Indigenous leaders are developing strategies to help communities cope with resurgent sea otter populations.

Water Quality:

Protecting Champlain-Missiquoi and Memphremagog from Harmful Algal Blooms – International Joint Commission
Public concerns regarding water quality and harmful algal blooms in Lake Champlain-Missisquoi Bay and Lake Memphremagog have continued to grow over the past decade. The International Joint Commission (IJC), in response to a request from Canadian and United States governments, has issued a report with recommendations on how federal, state, provincial and local governments can work together to clean up the water. Harmful algal blooms produce toxins that can affect human health, pets, ecosystems and wildlife. They also impact recreational activities in the summer, local economies and threaten the safety of drinking water. The blooms occur due to high phosphorus levels in the lakes from sources including cities and farms.

Study finds micro plastics in birds of prey – EarthSky
Past studies have documented increasing amounts of micro plastics in the guts of fish, marine birds, and filter-feeding invertebrates, such as oysters. Now a new study has confirmed the presence of micro plastics in birds of prey – including hawks, ospreys and owls – for the 1st time.


Clean Drain Dry Initiative Unveils New Tools to Fight Invasive Species
Wildlife Forever’s Clean Drain Dry Initiative has developed new and innovative products to help stop the spread of invasive species. Across the country, invasives are forcing managers to create new restrictions to protect natural resources. Invasive species destroy native habitat and are a leading cause for endangered species listing. Stakeholders are encouraged to use the ready-made materials on how and why Clean Drain Dry is critical to protect resources and outdoor sports.

Marina Life While Respecting Social Distancing – Boating Ontario
A webinar for marina businesses and those who frequent marinas on May 26th at 11:00 EST on defining expectations from the parking lot to the boat to the service shop, the fuel dock and everything in-between.

Electric PWC Wins Red Dot Design Award
The Taiga Orca, an all-electric personal watercraft from Canada’s Taiga Motors, has earned a Red Dot Award for outstanding design.

Maintaining Sound Mental Health

Anglers everywhere appreciate the physical and mental health benefits of spending time in the outdoors. Fishing is not only a tradition that reconnects us to nature, it’s a way of releasing tension and taking a well needed break from the grind of our daily responsibilities. Unfortunately, the two most common factors linked to suicide are economic setbacks and social disconnection, according to University of Toronto Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Roger McIntyre, both factors associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research shows that following natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes, there’s a rise in suicide after the immediate physical dangers of the disaster have passed. It’s why it’s more important than ever to maintain social contact with family, friends and our neighbours now, and even more so once we begin our journey back to “normal”.

We all enjoy fishing, camping, boating, etc. but will it be enough? Experts say Now is the time to learn techniques for “mindfulness” so you will have the tools to move forward without finding yourself suddenly experiencing a mental health crisis. Just like physical exercise, mindfulness techniques can help to keep you feeling well. In the meantime, practice the following:

  • Connect online: See friends and family by Zoom or phone. Feeling understood and sharing feelings of pain can help alleviate it.
  • Adjust your medications if necessary: Make sure you’re on the right medication and the right amount. Many psychiatrists are taking advantage of relaxed rules from insurers regarding telemedicine, so they are still able to meet remotely with patients and can adjust medication as needed during those appointments.
  • Seek teletherapy or group therapy: Teletherapy has seen massive growth for those who can find providers. Also, support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous are meeting online.
  • Make a safety plan: Discuss with family or partners what works for you — specific measures they can take or not take when you’re in crisis. Make sure you keep guns and ammunition locked up and think about who has access to the keys, or maybe shouldn’t have access for a time.
  • Develop a new routine: Quarantine has disrupted daily life, so developing new patterns that foster good sleep, healthy eating and exercise are helpful. This brings focus to the day and is helpfully distracting from thoughts of hopelessness and anxiety.
  • And finally, learn mindfulness techniques and put them into practice. Just as the body needs exercise, the mind needs to enter regular periods of calm.

About us:

You can read current and back issues of Blue Fish Canada’s Newsletters by visiting:

For more about Lawrence Gunther, North America’s only blind professional angler, conservationist, writer, blogger, podcaster, film maker and TV personality, visit:

Gunther founded the charity Blue Fish Canada in 2012 and launched the podcast Blue Fish Radio in 2013.

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Yours truly,

Lawrence Gunther Euteneier M.E.S. M.S.M.
President / Blue Fish Canada