As the founder and on-going president of Blue Fish Canada I’m pleased to report that 2022 witnessed our return to offering direct in-person programming. On-line program delivery will continue due to its effectiveness and cost efficiency, but in many cases actual outdoor experiences are irreplaceable for building real and lasting connections with nature. You can call what we do a hybrid delivery model, but in reality, it’s a strategy Blue Fish Canada embraced ten years ago when we were first registered as a Canadian charity. All this to say, Blue Fish Canada is growing forward!

Invasive Species: In partnership with the Invasive Species Centre, Blue Fish Canada produced a series of invasive Grass Carp and Goldfish public service advisories including videos, audio inserts, and alternative format (braille / large print) hand-outs. A social media campaign to disseminate these important messages and best-practices continues.

Podcasts: Another 28 episodes of “The Blue Fish Radio Show” and 26 episodes of “Outdoors with Lawrence Gunther” were produced. Both podcasts are now ranked top-ten in their respective categories in Canada and abroad.

Youth Fishing: Continued partnerships with Earth Rangers, CNIB, the St. Lawrence River Institute, the International Game Fish Association, Ottawa Youth Fishing School, Scouts, Girl Guides and more, extends Blue Fish Canada’s reach to a diversity of youth. Specially curated training materials ensures young anglers have the tools and inspiration to become stewards of nature and citizen scientists. Over 137 youth were directly engaged by Blue Fish Canada, and a further 300,000 families benefited from accessing Blue Fish Canada content.

Newsletter: Over 6,000 subscribers receive the biweekly Blue Fish News. A further 127,892 unique visitors accessed the News through the Blue Fish Canada website. Each issue includes a timely editorial with supporting podcast interviews, links and summaries to media reports, and a guest feature article.

Fish Health: President Lawrence Gunther continues to chair the Great Lakes Fish Health Network. Book submissions, academic articles and research papers are being produced with support from Network members and partner organizations such as the St. Lawrence River Institute for Environmental Sciences, Queen’s University, the Canadian Environmental Law Association, the Great Lakes Network and others.

TV: Over 6,000 subscribers receive the biweekly Blue Fish News. A further 127,892 unique visitors accessed the News through the Blue Fish Canada website. Each issue includes a timely editorial with supporting podcast interviews, links and summaries to media reports, and a guest feature article.

Stakeholder Engagement: Nature Canada tasked Blue Fish Canada with facilitating dialog on the topic of fish and fishing concerning a proposed National Marine Conservation Area including the eastern basin of Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte. To date, conversations have been held with seven stakeholders representing fishery researchers, commercial fishers and processors, indigenous fishers, recreational anglers and guides, and government officials. Their views and knowledge are being shared in summative reports and podcasts.

Facebook Live: Canada Fishing Network’s Monday Night Live Facebook stream includes President Lawrence Gunther’s 30-minute weekly segment featuring insightful commentary on fish and fishing in the news with the show’s host Scotty Martin.

Field Research: Working in collaboration with governments, the private sector, research organizations, shoreline property associations, indigenous communities and expert anglers, Blue Fish Canada is establishing a series of longitudinal research projects to assess measures to strengthen fish habitat and resilience throughout west Quebec and eastern Ontario. Research sites provide youth with training and opportunities to work alongside researchers.

Accessibility and Diversity: Growth in fishing participation is being driven by women, BIPOC, LGBTQ, people with disabilities and youth living primarily in urban centers. Blue Fish content and programs are inclusive, bias-free, and accessible. Guest experts reflect Canada’s diversity and include collaborations with indigenous communities.

Documentaries: Three new Lake2Plate 30-minute documentaries featuring fishing in Quebec’s Pontiac were released in 2022. A documentary short featuring President Lawrence Gunther and the work of Blue Fish Canada aired at the Ecological Society of America’s AGM and has been uploaded to the Water Ranger website. BFC provided CBC with archival content for their documentary “The last Guide”. Our documentary What Lies Below released on the BFC YouTube channel in 2021 has now been viewed over 30,000 times.

Blue Fish Certification: As outfitters, lodges, resorts, and other outdoor tourism operations recover from pandemic related impacts to their businesses, our sustainable training resources and certification programs grow in popularity. Be sure to look out for our Blue Fish logo on certified 3rd-party websites and social media, and please reward them with your business.

YouTube: Nine new videos have been uploaded to the BFC YouTube channel featuring live panel discussions produced by BFC on topics such as angler apps and fish research, and safeguarding St-Lawrence River muskie habitat. Another four invasive species PSA videos were produced and uploaded. Blue Fish Radio is also now producing more video content in addition to the audio podcasts.

Presentations / Seminars: A total of 17 in-person and live streaming presentations and seminars were provided by President Lawrence Gunther at outdoor shows like the Toronto Sportsman Show, an OceanWise evening at the Museum of Nature, schools, youth camps, science symposiums, government conferences, and conservation events.

Traditional Indigenous Knowledge: Indigenous Leaders like Chief Scot MacLeod and Chief Donald Maracle continue to share with Blue Fish Canada their traditional knowledge and values, allowing Blue Fish Canada to advance reconciliation by sharing more broadly their historic perspective and unique expertise.

Angler Champions: High profile angler experts, advocates, and influencers such as Canadian country music star and TV host Bret Kissel and Iron Maiden lead guitarist Adrian Smith lend their support to Blue Fish Canada. These champions also play a key role in amplifying the reach of our programs and the stewardship best practices and values they represent.

Science Advisors: Collecting, documenting, and sharing local and traditional knowledge is crucial. Ensuring this information and guidance is accurate rests with Blue Fish Canada’s many science advisors. Whether it be catch-and-release best practices, sustainable harvesting, or precautionary principles, we ensure all Blue Fish Canada guidance documents and program policies are factually accurate and scientifically valid.

Guest Appearances: President Lawrence Gunther featured in 11 live streaming events, expert panels, conferences, symposiums, and podcasts over the past 12 months. Recordings of many of these events are now on YouTube or available as podcasts.

Partnerships, Sponsors and Affiliates

AMI Audio and TVMaitland TowerOttawa River KeeperNature Canada
Pontiac TourismOttawa Region Walleye LeagueOutdoor Canada MagazineDoor #1
Public Fisheries AllianceSail OutdoorsRanger BoatsOceana Canada
B.C. Federation of FlyfishersKeep Canada FishingSaskatchewan Angler Research GroupShimano
Canadian Fishing NetworkMasters Production Ltd.Save the RiverOrleans Boat World
Canadian Environmental Law AssociationSt. Lawrence Institute for Environmental ResearchLowranceCanadian Sportfishing Industry Association
Mohawk Council of AkwesasneStriper CupCarp Anglers Group OntarioSalus Marine
Four Wheel Campers CanadaThe Blue Fish Radio ShowDestination Northern OntarioMuskie Canada Inc.
Now with Dave Brown TVTom Rowland PodcastEarth RangersScotty Fishing
Nature and Outdoor Tourism OntarioWatershed Watch Salmon SocietyFish’n CanadaEagleClaw
Ontario Bass NationWorld River DayGreat Lakes Fish Health NetworkCNIB
B.C. Anglers CoalitionHumanWareGreat Lakes Toxic Free NetworkWater Rangers
Anglers AtlasFishingWireWatershed Watch Salmon SocietyMuskies Canada

Social media





Summary: Blue Fish Canada continues to serve an increasingly important role in the future of water quality, fish health and recreational fishing across Canada. Using a combination of online tools, print resources and traditional storytelling is proving highly effective at engaging the next generation of recreational anglers and their mentors. While our on-line strategies continue to generate strong results, our shoreline access sites combined with fishery and habitat research and youth training ensures Blue Fish Canada programs are nature based.

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.

Yours Sincerely,
Lawrence Gunther Euteneier M.E.S. M.S.M.
Blue Fish Canada

Blue Fish Radio Show Guest Highlights

Lawrence’s “Field research’’

What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: Snow is flying, boats are being stored, and ice fishing gear readied. A perfect time to take stock on how 2022 unfolded. Stay tuned for Blue Fish Canada’s yearly up-date and plans for 2023 – coming soon. Thanks for your support – please keep it coming – none of what we do would be possible without you.

Oceana Canada’s Science Director Dr. Robert Rangely.

In the November 21, 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we explore the challenges, opportunities and commitments needed to rebuild Canada’s fish stocks, including a discussion with Dr. Robert Rangely, Science Director with Oceana Canada. As always, we include links and summaries to the latest fishing, fish health, habitat and other news you need to know. Our closing Special Feature chosen to inform and inspire our readers concerns the Ontario Government’s Bill 23 and its potential impacts on fish habitat.

This Week’s Feature: Rebuilding Fisheries

By Lawrence Gunther

I recently spent a day with about 140 highly intelligent and motivated people representing all aspects of marine commercial fishing organized by Oceana Canada. Even the Minister of Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans spoke to us at the end and took questions, in addition to a number of DFO officials taking part.

Like Ocean Wise, Oceana Canada is not philosophically opposed to fishing. In fact, Oceana believes that if managed properly, the ocean could supply the world’s population with sustainably harvested wild fish.

The following three priorities shaped the discussions during the Symposium:

  1. Potential for rebuilding abundance in Canada’s oceans in the next decade.
  2. Growth opportunities for food security, income, and livelihoods in coastal communities.
  3. Required changes to ocean governance and investment over the next five years.

My reason for attending the Symposium, in addition to satisfying my curiosity, was to learn what lessons could be applied to recreational fisheries. Turns out commercial fishing could take a lesson from the recreational fishing handbook, and I pointed this out during A Q/A session with panelists, touching off an interesting little debate – more on that to come.

We heard from indigenous representatives who shared advice on moving forward together using a “two eye” perspective, or in other words, by drawing on both science-based best practices, and indigenous traditional knowledge and values. We listened to a lot of scientists discuss research that examined environmental, social and governance issues associated with commercial fisheries, and we heard from representatives from the fishing industry itself, including those promoting community supported fisheries that link artisanal fishers directly with consumers.

My general sense is that Canada is on the right track in terms of rebuilding marine fisheries, even if we have been a bit slow to get started. Unfortunately, not much has changed in terms of how we regard ocean fishes as distinct “crops” that continue to make a handful of people a lot of money.

Having participated in the North Atlantic cod fishery prior to the moratorium coming into affect throughout Atlantic Canada in 1992, I understand all too well just how important fishes like cod are to people trying to make a living. It worked for those who chose to migrate to North America over 500 years ago, and continued to do so for many subsequent generations. The environment, society and the governance of the people and the fish stocks never seemed to be an issue for much of this time. The question of indigenous participation in commercial fisheries is another matter that I really don’t know that much about other than barriers to accessing fisheries evolved to become problematic. What I did witness on Canada’s east coast however, was the use of significant technological advancements that led to significant impacts to fish stocks. It was my sharing this observation that touched off a lively debate among the panelists.

My question to the panelists was: “Why do we blame solely the large-scale factory trawlers for the depletion of the cod stocks off North America’s north Atlantic coast? No doubt, these large-scale fish harvesting and processing machines were to blame for much of the collapse, but it was also my experience that even independent artisanal fishers were constantly upgrading their boats and fishing technologies to maximize efficiencies?”. Nothing that could compete with the mega factory off-shore trawlers that exemplified “economy-of-scale” fishing, but modifications to smaller in-shore vessels that exponentially improved their catch-to-effort performance. In short, I wanted to know why more research isn’t being conducted on how to scale back fishing pressure, instead of trying to discover a social engineering solution to the problem.

There were those who felt that the solution was to turn back time to when many of these technical innovations such as sonar, GPS, machine driven winches, nylon nets and lines, on-board freezers, etc. became the norm. Others argued that fishing technologies designed to maximise economy of scale fishing is essential to minimise time on the water and the expenditure of fossil fuels. To me, I think about all the restrictions I need to know when I go fishing recreationally or when competing in tournaments, and wonder why commercial fishers aren’t being required to “dial it back” as well?

Recreational angling, whether with a guide, on your own, or in a tournament, functions within a broad scope of rules that limit how much fishing pressure we are permitted to apply. Things like how many hooks we can have tied on our lines at any one time, how many lines we are allowed to use at once, the types of baits we are allowed to use, whether we are allowed to set lines and then leave, or if we can use nets to do more than trap a fish already hooked, or whether we are allowed to use fish attractants like chum, lights at night or sounds. This is all on top of increasingly complex rules governing what size fish we are allowed to harvest, when and where we are allowed to fish, and how many fish of any one species we are allowed to have in our possession.

Fishing tournament organizers expand on recreational fishing regulations with many more restrictions meant to ensure that each angler has no unfair advantage over their competitors before and during the competition. Things like the size of our motors on our boats, a ban on soliciting information from locals on where to fish, and now in some cases, what types of electronics are allowed on board. In short, rules, both legal and situational, meant to ensure recreational fishing is both sustainable and equitable.

The concept of sustainability is only recently become an important consideration to those who manage and participate in commercial fisheries. The principle of equitable access is also an issue, and in many cases, has been deliberately undermined. When you have one man who owns virtually all the commercial fishing boats on Canada’s West Coast, and now much of the processing capacity as well, what’s fair about that?

I’ve personally witnessed one of his large saining vessels force hundreds of recreational, guide and First Nations small watercraft from the water in order to deploy their nets. They simply deploy their net by circling the school of migrating salmon without regard for other vessels that need to quickly move away to avoid being caught up in the “set”. To make matters worse, they then leave with the fish without even stopping to buy gas or lunch. It can take days for the next school of migrating salmon to replenish the local waters, and that’s never guaranteed.

It’s not just western Canada where you see this type of domination of a fishery by one person or corporation. Iceland’s Atlantic salmon fishery is one, the menhaden fishery off the U.S. East Coast is another. However, it’s not the issue of equitable access that’s causing fish stocks to decline, it’s the lack of regulations meant to ensure the sustainability of our fish stocks by limiting the way these resources are harvested.

One example of achieving sustainability by restricting the application of technology is the Bluefin tuna fishery on Canada’s East Coast. Bluefin tuna can be caught using rods and reels equipped with a single hook, a “tended line” with a single hook attached directly to a fishing vessel, and in certain limited situations, the use of Trap net/weirs that fish swim in to but then can’t find their way back out. Unfortunately, Bluefin can also be legally harvested as bycatch by off-shore vessels that use Pelagic longlines used to harvest swordfish and other tunas. These longlines are a mainline suspended by floats equipped with 600 to 1100 baited hooks on a line measuring from 50 to 90 kilometers in length. Incredible commercial fishing technology for sure. Fortunately, all Bluefin tuna caught are tallied each day in order that set quotas can be respected.

Some argue that the problem lies with DFO being responsible for both managing fishery sustainability, and the commercial success of the industry. That managing these two areas of responsibility presents a conflict of interest resulting from DFO placing more emphasis on helping Canadian commercial fishing businesses to succeed by ignoring the harvest limits recommended by their own scientists. These critics point out the long list of fish stocks being over-exploited, such as the crash of the North Atlantic cod stock off the east coast of both Canada and the United States. Thankfully, both nations have since strengthened their respective rules that now put fish stock sustainability ahead of corporate profits.

Personally, I’m not convinced that focussing DFO to manage fishing pressure exclusively is the answer. In the end, no matter what the department’s other responsibilities might include, they still need to consult with stakeholders when formulating and implementing harvesting regulations. Forcing DFO to forgo their role in promoting Canadian fishery businesses would simply hand responsibility over to some other department that would do much the same.

Unfortunately, large companies have had an advantage in past that allowed them to focus lobbying efforts to influence those in power responsible for making the rules. This wasn’t the case with small-scale entrepreneurs or what many now refer to as artisanal fishers. It’s not so easy to consult thousands of independent and diverse commercial and indigenous fishers who may or may not belong to national associations. It’s much more convenient and intoxicating to sit down with a handful of powerful ultra-rich industrial magnates to politely portion out the windfall. It’s this history of excluding local and indigenous commercial fishers that concerns many who presented at the Oceana Canada symposium.

So once again, there’s no one answer that will rebuild the abundance of Canada’s marine ecosystems. Yes, we need to reduce the level of fishing pressure, and yes, we need to make sure those who want to be part of our commercial fisheries can do so. Regardless, large players in the commercial fishing industry will argue that putting limits on the use of harvesting technologies will price Canada out of the market. Other than boutique-style markets, we won’t be able to compete internationally on price if we don’t employ the same economy of scale approaches used by our competition. But aren’t these same people the ones responsible for the overfishing and excess fishing capacity the world now finds itself in? There you go, another piece to the puzzle, ensuring fair and competitive competition, which I’m happy to say Canada is also now working on addressing.

The most recent round of negotiations at the World Trade Organization saw Canada successfully put forward a limited number of proposals to ensure small scale commercial fisheries are protected and sustainable. More work to do indeed, but it seems we are moving in the right direction, with that one nagging exception — the lack of restrictions on fishing technologies to manage fishing pressure.

Hey, if placing restrictions on the use and application of certain fishing innovations is considered fair when regulating recreational fishing, why not apply restrictions to commercial fishers regardless of their routes or the pray being pursued. It has nothing to do with who’s doing the fishing, it’s about the tools in hand and their unimaginable destructive potential – a relatively new power that reaches well beyond the prior experience of all humans.

If you want to know more about what came out of the Rebuilding Abundance symposium, listen to my conversation with Oceana Canada’s Senior Science Director Dr. Robert Rangeley. Dr. Rangeley and I took time not long after the symposium concluded to discuss the points raised concerning the three identified priorities, and the applicability to recreational fishing. We also discussed why it makes sense to invite recreational anglers to join the table when fish stock research reports are being presented and harvest limits set – especially when the fishes in question are of interest to both recreational and commercial fishers. This inclusion already took place on Canada’s West Coast when it became apparent that the economic contribution of recreational fishing far outweighed the contribution of commercial fishing. Link below to hear Dr. Robert Rangeley on The Blue Fish Radio Show:

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


Are Canada fisheries officials failing to protect their most iconic fish? / Sport Fishing Mag
An environmental report says Fisheries and Oceans Canada lacks staff to adequately enforce the nation’s laws to protect over a dozen species, including Chinook salmon, steelhead trout, bluefin tuna and Atlantic cod.

Canadian operation uncovers illegal fishing in North Pacific / SeafoodSource
As part of Operation North Pacific Guard Canadian fishery officers flew 29 patrols over 247 hours, and covered a total of 44,200 nautical miles. The multinational maritime surveillance mission uncovered a number of violations on the high seas such as sharks being caught and kept , and noted a large number of vessels with improper identification.

Fishermen take federal government to court over right to sell Class B licences again / Global
Donald Publicover, 71, wants the ability to sell or transfer his Class B fishing licence to ensure the financial stability of his family.

After record haul, Bristol Bay sockeye harvest forecast to drop next year / Seattle Times
2022’s record harvest was 104 per cent higher than the 20-year average. These fish, as well as smaller numbers of other salmon, were collectively worth more than $351M.

Record Smallmouth Bass Caught On Lake Erie! / WFN
Gregg Gallagher’s goal during a last-minute fishing trip with his son on Lake Erie was to “catch a giant smallmouth bass, 7 pounds or better.” The huge smallmouth caught Nov. 3 was not only a personal-best for Gallagher, it was likely the largest smallie ever caught in a Great Lake, pending certification, incredibly weighing in at more than 10 pounds. The behemoth broke the 68-year-old smallmouth record for the province of Ontario, Canada.

Ask MRIP: Answering Your Questions About For-hire Data / NOAA
Saltwater anglers, for-hire captains, and other members of the recreational fishing community often ask how and why the NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Recreational Information Program collects recreational fishing data. They also want to know how the MRIP uses that data to estimate total recreational catch. Our Ask MRIP web series answers your questions about the science and statistics that support sustainable fishing.

Menhaden Harvest Increase Approved As Anglers Petition To Close Chesapeake Bay Fishery / FishingWire
East Coast fishery managers have approved increasing commercial harvests of Atlantic menhaden from Maine to Florida. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), which regulates near-shore harvests of migratory fish, voted Wednesday to set a new ceiling on the coastwide menhaden catch of 233,550 metric tons, a 20 percent increase over the current quota.

Salmon’s Arctic Expansion Has Communities Worried / Hakai
Inuvialuit fishers are adapting to rising numbers of Pacific salmon in the western Canadian Arctic, but fears remain about impacts on native species.

Learning More about “Dark” Fishing Vessels’ Activities at Sea / FishingWire
Fishing vessels can “go dark” by turning off Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders that broadcast their location to satellites and terrestrial receivers. What they do during those invisible hours has long been a mystery. New research funded in part by NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement analyzes where, when, and potentially why vessels disable their AIS broadcasts systems.

A complex case of murders on the high seas haunts a Canadian investigator / Walrus
When video of a grisly shooting on a fishing boat circulated online, one determined investigator went on a quest for justice

New Ocean Order / Craig Medred
The salmon fishing industries of Alaska and Russia look poised to continue as the big beneficiaries of global warming with Canada and the U.S. West Coast the big losers.


Canada proposes 62 fish stocks for sustainability protection / CBC
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has proposed adding 62 stocks to a regulatory list that binds the minister to rebuild them if they become depleted. Regulations that went into effect earlier this year as part of the Fisheries Act created a list of so-called prescribed fish stocks. In April the first batch of 30 was added.

We Saved These Tuna. We Can Save Some Sharks Too / Sierra Club
The data on tuna goes back the farthest. The first international tuna data-collection agreement was signed in 1949, between the United States and Costa Rica, just as motorized fishing boats and power block winches began to drastically increase the volume of fish that a single fishing vessel could bring in. Today there are five Tuna Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs) in which member nations try to hammer out catch limits, data collection, monitoring, and best practices for fishing.

Scientists Call for Setting Limits and a Possible Moratorium on Fishing in Antarctica / Phys.Org
This week, an international group of 10 scientists is calling for protective limits on fishing in Antarctica’s Southern Ocean, reporting in the journal Science that current levels of fishing, combined with climate change, are taking a concerning toll on a diverse ecosystem of global importance.

Welcoming Herring Home / Hakai
In Howe Sound, British Columbia, a new generation of stewards is keeping careful tabs on the comeback efforts of a tiny fish with big cultural value.

Washington won’t renew leases for Puget Sound fish farms / Global
The Washington state Department of Natural Resources said Monday it will not renew a fish-farming company’s last remaining leases on net pens in Puget Sound.

Will aquaculture solve our seafood problems? Not likely, say these UBC researchers / VanIsle News
“Aquaculture has a role to play but we shouldn’t give up on our wild fish, and that means rebuilding and conserving them. We need aquaculture, we just need to manage it wisely, and not oversell its potential.”

Will Lab-Grown Fish Save Alaska’s Wild Salmon Stocks? / KDLG.Org
Although wild salmon remains one of Alaska’s most lucrative seafood industries, it’s also one of the state’s most vulnerable, as climate change and population growth increase pressure on the world’s oceans. As it looks more and more likely that demand will eventually outstrip the productivity of salmon and other wild seafood stocks, researchers have turned to another method for producing protein from fish by culturing it in a lab.


The real reason global fish stocks are declining — and what you can do about it / Discover
Although the oceans are already changing, advocates say it’s not too late to do some serious damage control. This includes halting the decline of global fishing stocks.

The World’s Biggest Marine Reserve Seems to be Doing it’s Job / National Geographic
Fishing boats around Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawai’i are catching more tuna than they used to, suggesting local populations are growing again.

A deeper dive into the marine protected network plan on Canada’s West Coast / National Observer
There’s much to celebrate in the proposed plan to create a string of marine protected areas stretching Canada’s West Coast from northern Vancouver Island to Alaska, experts say. But the lack of information on specific protection measures for the BC Northern Shelf MPA Network means the blueprint to preserve sensitive ocean ecosystems risks becoming a string of “paper parks” — legally designated areas that don’t actually have effective conservation or stewardship measures.

Pristine alpine lake contaminated by dust from mountaintop B.C. coal mines, study shows / Vancouver Sun
New Alberta government research has found windblown dust from mountaintop removal coal mines in B.C. has polluted a pristine alpine lake to the point where its as contaminated as lakes downwind from the oilsands.

Ottawa considers crackdown on cruise ship industry for using B.C. coastal waters as ‘a toilet bowl’ / West Coast Now
Each year cruise ships dump tens of millions of tonnes of concentrated acidic sulphates, metals, and other toxins dumped into B.C. waters.


How the Kenney Dam broke the Nechako River / Tyee
First Nations want B.C. and Rio Tinto Alcan to save the river. Is it too late?

West Coast First Nations, feds reach tentative understanding on vast offshore region / Salmon Arm Observer
Off the west coast of Vancouver Island is an area spanning 133,019 square kilometres characterized by deep sea hydrothermal vents and seamounts surrounded by vibrant coastal ecosystems. Identified by authorities as the ‘Offshore Pacific Area of Interest’ and also known as Tang.ɢwan-ḥačxʷiqak-Tsig̱is, it’s future has been the focus of intense, groundbreaking discussions between West Coast Indigenous peoples and the federal government, discussions that may have hit a milestone.

Salmon’s Arctic expansion has communities worried / Hakai
Inuvialuit fishers are adapting to rising numbers of Pacific salmon in the western Canadian Arctic, but fears remain about impacts on native species.


New awards added to recognize outstanding achievements in the worlds of freshwater and fly angling. / IGFA
Named after the individual that many consider the biggest influencer in the history of fly fishing, the newly announced IGFA Joe Brooks Fly Fishing Award acknowledges anglers who have made significant and outstanding contributions to the world of fly fishing. There are few names if any, that carry more weight in the world of recreational angling, especially freshwater angling, than Johnny Morris. The newly announced IGFA Johnny Morris Freshwater Angling Award will acknowledge anglers who have made significant and outstanding contributions to the world of freshwater angling.


ePropulsion Expands Electric Inboard Motor Line-Up With New I-Series / FishingWire
Available in 10KW, 20KW and 40KW input power, the I-Series electric inboard motors are ideal for leisure marine and commercial applications on small and medium size boats. All products in the I-Series have been designed for ease of use and space-saving. The models have a compact design that integrates the motor, gearbox, motor controller, system control unit and cooling system into a small area that requires 60% less space than a typical combustion engine. The I-10, I-20 and I-40 are also 65% lighter than a typical combustion engine and feature an easy-to-maintain, high-performance and durable lithium iron phosphate battery.


Kids Art Contest / PSF
The Pacific Salmon Foundation’s 2nd Annual Kids Salmon Art Contest is accepting salmon themed entries until December 5. Award winning entries will receive a prize pack worth up to $150 each! AND each submission from a classroom/ on behalf of a school, either individual or class, will be entered to win one of three $1000 cash prizes towards Pacific salmon education and resources for your classroom or school.

Guy Harvey Foundation Renews Support for The Art of Conservation Fish Art Contest / FishingWire
White Bear Lake, MN – Wildlife Forever is excited to announce The Art of Conservation Fish Art Contest has partnered with the Guy Harvey Foundation for the 2022-2023 contest. The partnership will continue to spotlight the Guy Harvey Shark Award, featuring four critical shark species. Art eligible for the Guy Harvey Shark Award must depict a Mako, White, Bull, or Tiger Shark, and include a written component relevant to the chosen species. The Fish Art Contest is open to youth Kindergarten – 12th grade from anywhere in the world.


Subscribe here to Alberta’s 2023 Discover Guide! / ACA
The 2023 Annual Alberta Discover Guide is coming in January – sign up today for this FREE guide and get it delivered. Over 790 conservation sites for hunting and angling including sites from Ducks Unlimited Canada and Alberta Fish & Game Association.

Special Issue of Fisheries Shines Spotlight on Citizen Science / NOAA
A special issue of Fisheries magazine highlights citizen science and other nontraditional data sources in fisheries science and management. This issue includes papers, project information, and discussions based on a symposium held at the 2020 American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting. Access to the special issue is free for the next 2 months.

Special holiday Subscription Rate for Outdoor Canada magazine / Outdoor Canada
A one-year subscription includes 6 issues per year, featuring Canada’s only national fishing and hunting magazine. First subscription: $19.95, each additional subscription $14.95.


Rebuilding Abundance With Oceana Canada / Blue Fish Radio
Oceana Canada believes that if managed properly, the ocean could sustainably supply the world’s population with sustainably harvested wild fish. Ensuring Canada is doing its part is their mandate and the theme of their recent symposium “ Rebuilding Abundance”. Over 140 experts and stakeholders met to discuss Canada’s potential, opportunities and needed investments. An invitation and professional Curiosity about how all this might apply to recreational fisheries led to my attending, and a subsequent conversation with Oceana’s Science Director Dr. Robert Rangeley. Check out this episode of The Blue Fish Radio Show to hear Dr. Rangeley discuss what we learned and what needs to come next.


White Shark Necropsy / Dr. Chris Harvey-Clark
Check out “White Shark Necropsy October 2022” filmed near Halifax N.S.” by Dr. Chris Harvey-Clark.

Scientists and Local Champions:

Nature Inspirations Awards – Fishing for Success / Canadian Museum of Nature
These annual awards, now in their ninth year, recognize individuals, businesses, and not-for-profits that show leadership, innovation and creative approaches to sustainability in order to connect Canadians with nature and the natural world. One of the eight 2022 winners is “Fishing for Success”, a community social enterprise in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland for its program that introduces women and girls to sustainable fishing practices.

Special Feature – The Ontario government’s “More Homes Built Faster” Bill 23

Bill 23 is the Ontario government’s plan to immediately build 1.5 million new homes by 2031 by bringing in changes to ten provincial Acts relevant to the protection of freshwater and shorelines. Blue Fish Canada provided the following submission to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario:

“As a registered charity dedicated to the future of fish and fishing, Blue Fish Canada is concerned that Bill 23 may result in the destruction of important fish habitat. Shoreline wetlands are crucial to fish during spawning and development, and provide a source of prey for adult fish. Should these shoreline wetlands be impacted, entire eco systems may be put at risk. Such impacts to the Great Lakes alone can cause harm to the $8.5 billion freshwater fishery and the food and income upon which many people are dependent. Please modify this bill to ensure important wetlands are preserved to ensure the future of fish and fishing in Ontario. The 1.4 million Ontario fishing license holders and their children and grandparents will thank you.”

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.

What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: Blue Fish Canada continues to add to it’s inventory of unique lakes and rivers ideal for conducting research and providing training. Should you know of a lake, river or ocean coastline of specific interest to fish and fishing, and in need of some “special attention”, drop us a line and we’ll add it to our list of waterbodies to assess using our criteria developed with input from expert anglers, traditional knowledge keepers, and scientists. Send an email to

Dr. Chris Harvey Clark

In the November 7, 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we ask the question, “When will fish and their habitat get added to the list for building climate change resilience?” With record hurricanes slamming into Atlantic Canada and Florida in the past couple months, impacts on fish deserve our attention. 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 explains just how invasive species entered the Great Lakes and what’s being done about it.

This Week’s Feature – Impacts of Hurricanes, Droughts, Heatwaves and Floods on Fishes

By Lawrence Gunther

Storms and other severe weather-related extreme events are occurring in ways that are more than worrying. And yet, there are still some who believe much, if not all of these extreme events are part of the earth’s natural cycle. Without doubt, there’s evidence of regular 11-year fluctuations in our weather, but we know that has more to do with solar activity on the sun’s surface than it does with what’s taking place here on earth.

Yes, there are earth’s own internal rumblings that can trigger volcanic eruptions that can alter weather due to ash blocking out the sun. We also are growing increasingly aware of the threat asteroids pose to life on earth, leading to considerable effort and expense to develop asteroid detection and diversion technologies. So, given all what we know about various forces that affect the weather, thanks in large part to science, isn’t it time to take a closer look at weather-related impacts on fish health and habitat?

Let’s please skip over the debate about the cause behind more intense hurricanes, floods, drought, heatwaves, lightening, wind and cold. Instead, consider how these extreme weather-related events are impacting things in addition to us and the people and things we hold dear. Only then can we set our opinions and emotions aside and begin to prepare for such events on top of our usual response and recovery reactions.

Just several years ago the focus was solely on mitigating climate change. We limited our interest to speculating on potential impacts using computer simulations. To have suggested then that we also consider how to prepare for such events was perceived by many as giving up hope that we can stop earth’s climate from changing. Or worse, to continue to allow the behaviors and policies that led to where we are now. Still worse, spending money on resilience was seen as diverting money away from important initiatives such as investing in renewable energy.

Turns out many of the climate change computer modelling predictions are starting to come true. It’s time enough that we expand our response to include building resilience on top of mitigating climate change itself. So, what does this mean for nature?

A third priority now needs to be added to our preparations for climate change. On top of mitigating climate change and building resilience to protect our built environments, we must also now include measures to strengthen nature.

Based on what we just witnessed with seven of the eight billion snow crabs in the north-east Pacific Ocean being wiped out, and two of the most destructive hurricanes — Fiona and Ian – slamming into North America, to assume that nature can recover and adapt on its own seems like a huge gamble. Do we really want to keep taking a wait-and-see approach?

I reached out to friends in Florida after Hurricane Ian struck to hear from expert anglers and guides about what the storm meant to fish and their habitat. I was politely told that my request would need to wait as it was all hands-on deck to help with recovery, and that discussions about the impacts on nature would need to wait. Not to be deterred, I reached out to my friend Dr. Chris Harvey Clark at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia several weeks after hurricane Fiona struck. I know Chris is always underwater with a camera and gauges documenting marine life off Canada’s east coast. He himself had narrowly missed the worst of hurricane Fiona on his seaside home. Chris had a lot of observations to share, but it was also clear that much more research is required. Unlike toppled trees, massive forest fires and floods, the extent of destruction unleashed below the surface of our rivers, lakes and oceans can’t easily be seen or measured. You can listen to my conversation with Dr. Harvey Clark on The Blue Fish Radio Show by using the link:

I know some may question my call to do more to document and respond to the impacts of extreme weather on fishes and their habitat. Believe it or not, I also track what happens to farm animals during and following extreme weather events. Until only recently, mainstream media covering extreme weather events has focused primarily on reporting human loss and the impacts to our homes and communities. The catastrophic loss of farm animals and their plight after experiencing extreme weather events is now only beginning to be reported. If farm animals can barely attract media coverage, What will it take to include fishes?

We need to start raising awareness and concern about climate change impacts on fishes and their habitat among those who reside in urban spaces. Even those who spend considerable time in the outdoors need access to the observations of others and the findings of scientists to confirm what they too are observing. Only then will society as a whole become more attuned to the incredible impacts climate change is having on fishes and nature as a whole.

As anglers, conservationists, stewards, and scientists, we can assist with raising awareness of the impacts of climate change. Thanks in large part to you, the public was made aware of salmon struggling in excessively warm and low rivers on both Canada’s east and west coasts this past summer. Keep engaging your local media by reporting your observations. Increasing awareness is essential if those responsible for setting research priorities and implementing resilience strategies will begin to include fish and fish habitat in their research and spending decisions.

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


A Catch of a Lifetime Caught in the Toronto Harbour / Toronto Star
As a longtime angler and fishing guide in Toronto, Sampson has been fishing in the harbour almost his entire life and knows what to expect from the local waters. Around this time of year, he knows to look for Northern Pike. But when he hooked into something big just off of Billy Bishop Airport, Sampson’s knees buckled instantly — it was a 43-inch muskie.

I hated Fishing, Then Fishing Changed My Life / Wallstreet Journal
My son Jesse and I learned to fish in the past couple of years—I mean, fishing-fishing, really fishing, the more involved stuff, patience and technique, not (yet) the wizardry of a fly rod but pretty much everything else. We have caught big ones and small ones, and we have lost big and small ones too. Most important, we are now able to bore anyone on earth with a 20-minute story about fishing, which is a true sign we’ve arrived as fishermen.

Major League Fishing Announces Scoring Change for 2023 Bass Pro Tour / NPAA
Major League Fishing (MLF), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, announced today a scoring change for the 2023 Bass Pro Tour. The extremely popular catch, weigh, immediate-release format will remain, however scoring will change. New Scoring Will Retain Catch, Weigh, Immediate-Release Format While Counting Angler’s Five Heaviest Bass Per Day

Can You Catch More Fish When the Water Is Spinning? / NOAA
Eddies are slow-moving swirls of water, or circular ocean currents, that can be tens to hundreds of miles across. New study sheds light on how fish use these spinning water masses as habitat.

Female Fishing Participation on the Rise / Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing
The sports of fishing and boating flourished during the worst years of the pandemic due to lack of school and professional sports, concerts and other activities involving crowds. People flocked to fishing and boating as a way to participate in a sport with lower risks of infection and to bond with family or friends to experience the outdoors together. The sport of fishing is now challenged with how to keep these new participants. The good news is, according to the report, 99 percent of participants plan to continue fishing this year.

Female Fishing Participation on the Rise / Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
Women now account for 37 percent of anglers in the U.S., the highest level on record according to the Special Report on Fishing announced at ICAST 2022 by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) in collaboration with the Outdoor Foundation. 19.4 million women went fishing in 2021, an 8% increase in fishing outings since 2019. 1.6 million female participants were first timers. The total number of fishing outings for females in 2021 was 288 million.

Record 25 nations participate in FIPSED Black Bass World Championship! / NPAA
The bass fishing world descended upon South Carolina’s famed Lake Murray for the XVI Black Bass World Championship. The host community of Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board (CCLMC) put together a bass fishing tournament like none before! Teams from Australia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estwatini, Germany, Italy, Japan, Laos, Mexico, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe competed.


Environmental groups shock salmon to study them humanely / CBC
Two environmentalist groups recently teamed up to study Atlantic salmon in the Shediac Bay watershed — and they used a backpack that pumps electricity into the water to do it without harming the fish.

Huge sunfish makes rare appearance in cold north Vancouver Island waters / CHEK
The Mola tecta, a semi-tropical sunfish, had been misidentified until seven years ago and is rarely seen in the northern hemisphere.

Salmon activist says government should aid communities, remove fish farms from water / My Powell River Now
Alexandra Morton says she feels the way forward is to learn what communities that benefit from the farms need and remove the farms.

Goldstream salmon run should hit targets / Goldstream News Gazette
The mass salmon die-offs that plagued rivers on the mainland likely won’t be seen in Greater Victoria rivers, thanks to the rain and a boost in water supply from nearby water sources.

Parasites, yum / VanIsle News
If you haven’t heard about the most common parasite that likes to live in your dinner, it’s sea lice, writes Van Isle news staff.

The broken promise of salmon hatcheries / News-Review
“Salmon hatcheries have existed in Oregon since the late 1800s. They have never lived up to their promise, yet we have become addicted to them.”

What DFO says about Cooke Aquaculture’s plan to farm millions of salmon in N.S. bay / CBC News
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has released its review of Cooke Aquaculture’s proposed Atlantic salmon farm expansion at Liverpool Bay, highlighting potential impacts on lobster and wild salmon.

Why volunteers scoop thousands of fish out of Alberta irrigation canals each year / CBC
Every year, volunteer groups organize rescues to save fish stranded in Alberta irrigation canals when they’re drained for the winter.

How Genetic Pollution Could Change Nature as We Know It / Nature Canada
Genetic engineered organisms as pollution is a relatively new concept. Simply put, genetic engineering is when humans use laboratory techniques to directly alter the DNA of an organism. In the darkest scenario, genetic pollution could weaken a wild species, and along with all the other threats, put it at risk of extinction.

Pandemic negatively impacted invasive species control in Great Lake waters / Manitoulin Expositor
“When COVID-19 hit in 2020, it caused a 75 percent lapse in control treatments on all the lakes,” said Marc Gaden, communications director and legislative liaison with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC). “In 2021 all the stakeholders involved we got back to limited controls but there was still another 25 percent less in lamprey control treatments.” “We are back to normal in terms of lamprey control treatments in 2022, but we are seeing the survivors (lamprey) of the 2020 season,” said Mr. Gaden. “If you have a 75 percent cut in lamprey control treatments you would expect to see a significant number of lamprey come back to the lakes. We now have the data that proves this, and the number of lampreys being found in nets shows an increase in lamprey numbers. We are also hearing lots of reports of anglers catching fish with many scars on them caused by lamprey.”

Ship Noise Sends Beluga Whales Scrambling out of the Way / Hakai
A new tracking study shows just how far belugas will go to avoid noise pollution. By tracking the movements of both whales and ships, researchers can show in unprecedented detail how beluga whales react to ship noise—for instance, by turning and swimming away until the hazard has passed.


Reducing climate-driven flood risk can be done in ways to also help nature recover / Forbes
Due to rising risk on top of current vulnerabilities, keeping communities safe from flooding will need to be a major priority of governments over the next few decades. Nature-based solutions can reduce risk for people while restoring ecosystems needed to help reverse the global decline of wildlife.

‘Swamp as sacred space’: Save wetlands to save ourselves, say experts / CBC Radio
Our relationship with wetlands is nothing if not troubled; swamps, bogs, and marshes have long been cast as wastelands, paved over to make way for agriculture and human development.

‘The party is over’: Ottawa to crack down on destruction of endangered species’ habitats / CTV News
Ottawa has a warning for Canada’s provinces and municipalities: there will be no more tolerance for the destruction of habitats containing endangered species.

Over-Heating Waters Threatening Newfoundland’s Atlantic Salmon / Globe&Mail
Anglers say the water in the Gander River has been noticeably balmy, part of a warming trend. In temperatures above 23 C, Atlantic salmon can become stressed, and anything beyond 28 C can be lethal

Natural nutrient enrichment 8 million years ago caused today’s largest ocean ‘dead zone‘ /
Oxygen-starved ocean “dead zones,” where fish and animals cannot survive, have been expanding in the open ocean and coastal waters for several decades as a result of human agricultural and industrial activity.

We Don’t Deserve Beavers / Sierra Club
Meddlesome beavers are cleaning up Superfund sites.

Beavers Are the Ultimate Ecosystem Engineers / Sierra Club
The aquatic rodents have rebounded, and they’re reshaping watersheds for the better.

Beavers Are Firefighters Who Work for Free / Sierra Club
Is it time to rethink beaver relocation bans?

Coastal GasLink blasts a creek near a Wet’suwet’en camp / Narwhal
Questions and concerns about salmon, steelhead and the health of the river remain unaddressed as TC Energy continues construction of its gas pipeline.

Doug Ford is gutting Ontario conservation authorities / Narwhal
In a massive overhaul of urban development planning, the Ontario government looks to take power away from the agencies that help prevent flooding — again. The legislation will repeal 36 specific regulations that allow conservation authorities to directly oversee the development process. If passed, it would mean Ontario’s conservation authorities will no longer be able to consider “pollution” and “conservation of land” when weighing whether they will allow development.


DFO, 4 Mi’kmaw First Nations in Nova Scotia renew moderate livelihood ‘understanding’ / CBC
Mi’kmaw can now fish a total of 3,500 traps during the 2022-2023 commercial lobster season.

Katzie First Nation sues B.C. Hydro, province over Alouette Dam / CBC
The Katzie First Nation has filed a lawsuit alleging that the B.C. government and B.C. Hydro have failed to meet legal obligations related to the construction and operation of the Alouette Dam.

Native Guardians: Canada’s First Nations Move to Protect Their Lands / Yale E360
Canada’s Indigenous communities are making remarkable progress in setting aside vast tracts of their lands for conservation. Faced with mounting impacts from climate change and a push for resource development, First Nations and Inuit peoples are protecting tens of millions of acres — a scale that conservationists say is unprecedented. They are also partnering with scientists on research that can help them protect their lands and their traditional way of life.


Update on the Clean Earth Challenge / FishingWire
All summer long Johnson Outdoors employees around the globe participated in the Clean Earth Challenge with the National Wildlife Federation. From the coast of the Mediterranean in France to the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, they rolled up their sleeves and rolled out trash bags to keep wildlife safe.


Yamaha Rightwaters™ Conservation Efforts Gain Recognition for Innovation / BUSINESS WIRE
Soundings Trade Only recognized Yamaha as one of the Top 10 Most Innovative companies in the marine industry for the Yamaha Rightwaters sustainability program. The announcement was made during a special online presentation of The Most Innovative Company awards ceremony honoring forward-thinking companies.


“Any Fish, Any Water: Photography by Jason Arnold” / FishingWire
Any Fish, Any Water is Jason Arnold’s latest project featuring 219 pages of vivid underwater photography showcasing vibrant portraits of fish, marine life, and fishing landscapes. Additionally, the book presents stories and conservation endeavors from well-known leaders in the fishing industry such as professional angler Scott Martin and television host Rick Murphy.

Am I helping? A biologist’s search for self-worth in a world on fire / National Observer
I could never shake the nagging feeling that I was standing on the sidelines, watching idly as ecosystems around me fell like dominoes, writes fisheries biologist Auston Chhor.


Blue Fish Radio: Canadian country music star Brett Kissel on living an outdoor life / Outdoor Canada Magazine
In this episode of Blue Fish Radio, producer/host Lawrence Gunther, talks to musician Brett Kissel, winner of 22 Canadian Country Music Awards who’s also landed 15 songs in the top 10, including three #1s. Kissel is also a dedicated angler and hunter, and producer and host of Sportsman Canada TV’s show Backwoods Backstage. Listen in to Lawrence and Brett’s wide-ranging conversation, as they talk family, fishing, hunting, conservation and the future of our outdoor pursuits.


St. Lawrence River Institute 2-Day Science Symposium
Catch all the presentations during the St. Lawrence River Institute’s annual science symposium.

Lake Links 2022 / Watersheds Canada
Watch the webinar recordings from Lake Links 2022 showcasing how lake associations have recognized threats on their lakes and rivers, and what steps they have taken to address them.

Wild Animal Sanctuaries: The New Face of Humane Education / Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy
In this webinar, Dr. Lori Marino talks with guests about the creative ways they are focusing on wildlife in their humane education programs, and how sanctuaries – including the coming Whale Sanctuary in Nova Scotia – are playing an essential role in driving education and cultural change.

Coming Up:

Don’t miss out! Tuesday 11/8 Webinar on Lake Superior / IJC
The International Joint Commission wants your input on issues affecting the water quality of Lake Superior and the St. Marys River.

Healing Our Connection to Water and Place through Habitat Creation / Latornell
On November 9th, at 10:00 AM – 12 PM don’t miss the 2nd. Webinar offered by Latornell called Healing Our Connection to Water and Place through Habitat Creation that highlights two Indigenous-led projects to recreate natural spaces along the St. Lawrence River and the St. Clair Rivers.

Special Guest Feature – Ballast water management is reducing the flow of invasive species into the Great Lakes

By Anthony Ricciardi, Professor of Biology, Redpath Museum & Bieler School of Environment, McGill University

Over the past two centuries, established populations of nearly 190 non-native species of invertebrates, fishes, plants and microbes have been discovered in the Great Lakes basin. They were introduced through several sources and pathways including canals, pet release, bait bucket dumping, aquaculture escapes and — most notably — ballast water discharge from transoceanic ships.

From 1959 to 2006, one new invader was discovered established in the Great Lakes basin every six to seven months, on average. Nearly two-thirds of these species were delivered in ballast water. They include invaders that have reduced native biodiversity, impaired fisheries and caused other ecological and socioeconomic impacts in the Great Lakes.

In 1993, Canada and the United States attempted to control ballast-water invasions by requiring inbound ships to exchange their freshwater ballast with saltwater before entering the Great Lakes. The logic behind this regulation was that freshwater organisms in the ballast tanks would either be purged or killed by exposure to saltwater, and any marine organisms taken up haphazardly during the process would be unable to reproduce in the Great Lakes. The regulation’s effectiveness was undermined by inbound vessels that were not required to undergo ballast water exchange because they declared they had no pumpable ballast on board, although there was residual water in their “empty” tanks. In fact, such vessels, which comprised the majority of ships entering the seaway, carried an average 47 tonnes of residual water and 15 tonnes of sediment in their ballast tanks and contained diverse living freshwater invertebrates.

After visiting a Great Lakes port to offload their cargo, these unregulated ships would pump in water to replace the lost weight. Then they would visit another port to take on new cargo and discharge the water, now contaminated with organisms. Several invaders were introduced to the Great Lakes by this pathway.

To address this issue, a procedure called saltwater flushing was developed. Ship-board experiments showed that flushing ballast tanks with seawater to the point where tank salinities reached oceanic concentrations substantially reduced the abundance and diversity of organisms in the tanks. Since 2008, new invasions recorded in the Great Lakes basin declined by 85 per cent. The frequency of invasion is now at the lowest rate ever recorded in the basin.

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What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: Some of you may recall Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden featuring on our official podcast The Blue Fish Radio Show. Adrian spoke about his book “Monsters of Rivers and Rock” and his world-wide fishing experiences. He’s one of several giants in the music industry who not only loves fishing, but finds time to support the work of Blue Fish Canada – including getting the word out about the importance of fishing sustainably and being a steward of the resource! Last week Adrian was in town with Iron Maiden to play a sold-out show in Ottawa, the location of Blue Fish Canada’s headquarters. As promised, Adrian reached out to editor Lawrence Gunther to take him up on his offer to spend a day fishing for muskie on the Ottawa River, one of Canada’s premier wild muskie fisheries. Joining the two aboard Lawrence’s Ranger 1880 Angler was John Anderson, a Blue Fish Canada Angler Expert volunteer and resident muskie guide. Not only was Adrian able to check another item off his bucket list — twice with the capture and release of two 47”-plus muskie, he learned all about the challenges that go into maintaining a world-class muskie fishery. Let’s just say this won’t be the last you hear from Blue Fish Canada giant Adrian Smith!

Click on the link to listen to Adrian Smith in conversation with editor Lawrence Gunther on The Blue Fish Radio Show:

Photo of Iron Maiden lead guitarist Adrian Smith holding a 47-inch Ottawa River muskie

In the October 24, 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we report on the B.C. Public Fishery Alliance 2-day awareness raising campaign that brought MPs on the water to show first-hand the state of B.C public fisheries. 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 details ways you can influence the course of future Great Lakes fish health research and bilateral actions by offering guidance to the International Joint Commission.

This Week’s Feature – Pacific Salmon and Public Fishing Access Advocacy

By Lawrence Gunther

Unfortunately, BC’s recreational anglers, fishing guides, outfitters and lodges are losing hope that a marked selective salmon fishery might someday become reality. Further fueling their despair is and ever-growing list of both key Pacific salmon fisheries and public waters being declared off-limits for reasons that confound anglers and scientists alike. Breaking through this logjam remains the goal of the Public Fishery Alliance (PFA), and the purpose of their two-day awareness raising event held for government and elected officials this past August. Here’s a brief overview of the issues discussed.

According to Tom Davis, an angler of many years and hats, and Chris Bos, a local fish hatchery champion, much of the folly is the result of SRKW (southern resident killer whale) exclusion regulations that prohibit fishing for Chinook and other fishes. Additionally, vast stretches of ocean are now no-go zones. Waters impacted include all of the southern gulf islands, Pender/Saturna Island, the Swiftsure Bank at the western entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait, and more. We now have vast expanses of ocean where no recreational fishing, boating and whale watching are permitted. According to Tom. Chris and others, the fishing prohibitions and exclusion zones seem over-the-top when factoring in research findings concerning Chinook abundance and marine sound levels.

Whale observation studies suggests the frequency of appearances by SRKW pods in many of the exclusion zones their time spent in any one zone is well under 10% of the season. Link below to listen to my conversation with Tom Davis, Director with the Public Fishery Alliance, and Chris Bos, Chair of the south Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition, on this new episode of The Blue Fish Radio Show:

Another significant deterrent to public anglers and boaters alike are the number and complexity of regulations intended to enforce fishing restrictions and exclusion zone boundaries. The opaque rules result in anglers becoming increasingly fearful of dropping a line over fears of having misinterpreted the regulations and incurring large fines.

Guests taking part in the PFA’s on-water tour were shocked by just how few sport fishing boats were in the area despite it being a perfect August day. The observers covered about 50 square kms of water, and only saw a handful of other boats fishing during what is normally the peak time for late summer angling. Even areas open for fishing near Sidney showed very little angling activity. No wonder the PFA believes the future of public fishing is being subjected to “death by a thousand cuts”.

Many of these new exclusion zones were initially listed as Chinook non-retention restricted areas. Alternate protections proposed by the PFA such as implementing a marked selective fishery to allow anglers to harvest only hatchery salmon, designed in concert with regional DFO officials and then re-jigged to include even tougher restrictions, still led to their hopes being dashed without reference to sound science-based precautions.

Declared restrictions are intended to provide sanctuary to chinook stocks of concern. In reality, many of the fishing zones impacted have been proven to be frequented by at-risk chinook stocks during only very brief periods of time throughout the fishing season. Such evidence bolsters the PFA’s position that a number of these exclusionary zones should be open to the retention of at least one easily identifiable hatchery chinook throughout the summer.

Science has proven that noise reduction is crucial for SRKW health, a conclusion that the PFA in no way disputes. What the PFA does challenge however, is why recreational fishing boats and large ships are being found to be equally culpable. The type and volume of noise emanating from fishing boats is miniscule in comparison to what container ships and ferries emit.

A study conducted for the Port of Vancouver to assess marine traffic noise in the Salish sea assigned 0.6% of noise as coming from fishing boats, 0.6% from whale watching boats, and 2.8% from recreational boating. The main contributors of marine sound are ferries, that are responsible for 66.9%, and commercial shipping for most of the rest. In other words, the three boating sectors that are most disadvantaged by SRKW exclusionary regulations and their associated closures to fishing are responsible for 4% of the noise. What’s wrong with this picture?

The PFA has a proposal to address noise impacts on SRKWs from recreational fishing boats as well. They call it the “moving avoidance bubble”. The idea being SRKW pods would be protected by a moving exclusion zone that angling, sight-seeing and recreational boats would be required to respect. It’s a low-tech system that could be applied to the whole BC coast for any whale or orca population.

Whale avoidance bubble:

On the initial sighting of whales, anglers and boats shall:

  1. Stop fishing, turn off their sounders and slowly move away from the whales to an agreed-to distance. Once the whales have left the area, fishing can be resumed.
  2. If anglers and boaters are unable to move away because the whales suddenly appear close by, they will stop fishing and turn off their motors and depth sounders until the whales move away.
  3. The angling and recreational boating public, in conjunction with the government of Canada, will develop educational material, and actively promote whale protocols while assisting with on water compliance, including reporting vessel owners who do not comply to DFO enforcement.

Once again, the PFA’s proposals were rejected out-of-hand. The PFA believes DFO’s unwillingness to consider the proposal had to do more with maintaining public trust in their embargoes than nuancing SRKW protection measures.

Successive years of fishing embargoes are raising concern over the future of BC’s marine public fisheries. In the end, if you own a boat and/or related fishing business and have been unable to fish or earn income from your boat/business, it’s unlikely that you will continue to own such valuable assets if there’s no where to fish.

The marine public fishery on Canada’s west coast is valued at $10 billion annually, that’s a lot of money being earned and spent locally. It’s an economic component of the economy that can’t easily be subsidised. But it can be lost, and once gone, it’s unlikely there will be people left with sufficiently deep pockets to bring back recreational fishing.

At the same time this significant economic contributor is brought to its knees, commercial fishing licenses are now being bought back, further deconstructing key components of BC’s economy. For what purpose has yet to be made clear.

What is also causing many public fishers and those associated with the sport fishing sector concern are the number of “Indigenous Conserved and Protected Areas” (ICPAs) being proposed that would cover many of the same public waters where fishing is now being stifled. Such undefined proposals have on-lookers worried that access to public fisheries may be curtailed in future. There’s also the issue that the implementation of ICPAs may follow a path similar to how old-growth forestry rights are being assumed by First Nation (FN) communities. In short, the future of salmon and SRKW pods may not be guaranteed by simply replacing current science-based harvest and conservation measures, as flawed as they are, with harvesting practices governed solely using traditional indigenous knowledge and values. It’s not FN traditional knowledge and values that are the issue, it’s the application of modern innovations that have given all people the capacity to harvest at unsustainable levels, a newly found destructive power that people everywhere are only now beginning to understand.

Knowing that all fish harvesters everywhere are experiencing the same challenge of regulating and moderating fishing pressure, it makes sense therefore that all parties work together and share the resources along with the science and values needed to assure their future. This includes the hard-earned knowledge gained through experience with commercial fish and forest harvesting technologies and their destructive forces when not applied judiciously. Forestry practices are just as much a key component of fish stock recovery as managing fish harvesting since habitat loss has been identified as a major contributor to the collapse of fish stocks throughout B.C.

In the meantime, we have a public fishery on life support, and no one seems to notice, at least until now. Thanks to the advocacy work of the PFA, politicians and government decision makers are learning to appreciate the nuances associated with protecting both wild Pacific salmon, and the right of public, FN and commercial fishers to harvest marked hatchery fish. And just as importantly, that all three stakeholders are equally committed to safeguarding and rebuilding Chinook fish stocks for fishers, killer whales, and the ecosystem as a whole. If you want proof, link below to listen to this recently released episode of The Blue Fish Radio Show featuring Peter Krahn with an update on his selective salmon fishing ‘’River Trap’’ mobile weir technology now being trialed by three FN communities:

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


Fish trap demonstration in Chilliwack geared to better salmon spawning success / Chilliwack Progress
Retired engineer Peter Krahn set out three years ago to design a fish trap platform that would permit the release of non-targeted fish, helping them to reach their spawning grounds at the “highest level of fitness.” Elected officials, DFO reps, fishing reps gathered at Island 22 to see Krawn’s selective fishing River Trap system in action.

Catch-and-Release Fishing May Cause Temperature Spikes in Sharks / FishingWire
New research from marine scientists raises potential red flags for sharks that are caught and released by anglers. The team has discovered that the ocean’s iconic predators typically spike temperatures after they have been caught, which may have physiological and behavioural impacts.

Murder at Sea / Hakai
When a grainy video of a grisly mass shooting on the high seas surfaced, one determined detective and a host of NGOs went on a quest for justice.

I swam with the salmon — they taught me about dignity and strength / National Observer
Campbell River can host upwards of a million returning pink salmon in a banner year and is an ideal place to appreciate the fundamental role the iconic fish play in B.C.’s marine, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems.


Ancient Mystery of European Eel Migration Unraveled / FishingWire
Having suffered a 95% decline in numbers returning to Europe’s rivers since the 1980s, the European Eel is now a critically endangered species.

Record year for sockeye salmon returning to Okanagan / iNFOnews
A record-setting half a million sockeye salmon are expected to return to Okanagan waterways this month to spawn, testament to years of work to rescue the devastated salmon ecosystem by the Okanagan Nation Alliance and its partners.

New Research Rewrites the Evolutionary Story of Gills / FishingWire
Surprising new research released by the University of British Columbia and published in Nature is adding a new, early chapter to the evolutionary story of gills.

Why volunteers scoop thousands of fish out of Alberta irrigation canals each year / CBC
Every year, volunteer groups organize rescues to save fish stranded in Alberta irrigation canals when they’re drained for the winter.

Visiting Fundy’s endangered Atlantic salmon / National Parks Traveler
It’s actually a good sign that the endangered Atlantic salmon eluded me as I snorkelled starfish-style through a river pool known as Black Hole in Fundy National Park.

Environment commissioner warns Canada failing to protect commercially valuable fish / Canadian Press
The audit looked at nine fish, five of which have significant commercial value. In all five cases, Fisheries and Oceans Canada didn’t list those five as being species at risk.

Hydro dams and stranded fish – B.C. can do better / Watershed Sentinel
Every year in B.C., thousands of fish die in mass-stranding events. Solutions do exist, but public pressure is needed.

Urgent Action on Climate Change Needed to Rebuild Fish Stocks in Canada and Beyond / CTV
“If we don’t mitigate climate change, we will continue to see a decrease in these fish stocks.” A new study from the University of British Columbia shows that urgent action on climate change is needed to rebuild fish stocks across Canada. While reducing fishing by an average of 25 per cent would allow stocks to rebuild even with a higher degree of warming, “managing fishing activity can’t be the only strategy.”

Landmark Study of Atlantic White Shark Movements Published / FishingWire
In a new peer-reviewed paper published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Marine Science, OCEARCH and its collaborative research team, for the first time, provide a comprehensive analysis of the movements and migrations of white sharks in the western North Atlantic, over multiple years and life stages. Using an unprecedented dataset from a combination of animal tracking technologies, this landmark study analyzed the movement patterns of 48 white sharks tagged at different locations along the U.S. and Canadian Atlantic coasts. “By collecting vital data for understanding the ecology and life history of white sharks in the western North Atlantic, we have identified this population’s critical habitats, and the linkages between these habitats, as the animals grow and thrive. The team’s findings show this population of white sharks makes predictable annual migrations between the northern and southern parts of their range, which stretches from Newfoundland to the eastern Gulf of Mexico.


What DFO says about Cooke Aquaculture’s plan to farm millions of salmon in N.S. bay / CBC
Here’s what DFO says about Cooke Aquaculture’s plan to farm nearly two-million salmon in Liverpool Bay Nova Scotia.

Billions of snow crabs disappear in Alaska / Weather Network
Alaska snow crabs saw a population decline of 7 billion crabs over the past few years, prompting the closure of their commercial harvest.

Ocean is getting hotter faster / Hakai
The ocean is getting hotter faster, affecting marine life, contributing to sea level rise, and increasing the number of extreme weather events. Even with ambitious action, a new study suggests we can expect ocean temperatures to double by the end of the century. (The Guardian)

Gray Whale Numbers Continue Decline / NOAA
Gray whales migrating along the West Coast of North America continued to decline in number over the last 2 years. The population is now down 38 percent from its peak in 2015 and 2016, as researchers probe the underlying reasons.

P.E.I. watershed groups prepare for climate change by counting bugs / CBC
Watershed groups on P.E.I. are monitoring their rivers and streams for bugs that are food for Atlantic salmon, as they prepare for the impacts of climate change that will change those waterways as habitat for fish.

Mining regulations: tracking where B.C. falls short / Narwhal
B.C.’s mining association has called the province a “leading” and “world-class mining jurisdiction.” But when it comes to mining regulations, there are a few examples where B.C. is lagging behind the rest of the world.

Coastal GasLink Warned More Than 50 Times Over Environmental Violations During Pipeline Construction / CBC
In an email to CBC News, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change said it had issued a total of 51 warnings, 16 orders, and levied two fines – penalties of more than $240,000 “for repeated non-compliance” – since construction on the pipeline started in 2019. Many of the warnings relate to the failure to protect sensitive waterways and wetlands from sediment and erosion that can harm fish habitat and water quality, a violation of the project’s environmental assessment certificate.

Arctic Lakes Are Vanishing a Century Earlier Than Predicted / Yale Environment 360
Arctic lakes are drying out nearly a century earlier than projected, depriving the region of a critical source of fresh water, according to new research.

Dangerous Viruses Can Survive in Fresh Water by Clinging to Plastic Waste, Study Finds
Viruses are able to survive in fresh water by clinging to microscopic pieces of plastic, posing a potential threat to public health, according to a new study. But what does this mean for fish health?

Satellite Images Show Disappearance of Iconic Canadian Glacier / Yale Environment 360
The Peyto Glacier in Canada’s Banff National Park has shrunk by around 70 percent over the last half-century, a dramatic change highlighted in newly released satellite imagery from NASA.

Joint Canada-U.S. Deep-Sea Coral Seamount Survey / NOAA
On September 6, an international team of researchers assembled to survey deep-sea coral and sponge habitats on seamounts 300 miles offshore of the U.S.-Canada border in the Northeast Pacific Ocean.


The Precarious Position of Treaty-less Tribes / Hakai
What a five-year fight over a few dozen clams shows about the inconsistent rights of Indigenous tribes.

B.C. First Nations seek action on sturgeon deaths, after court blamed declines on dam / Canadian Press
Three British Columbia First Nations want the provincial and federal governments to live up to a nine-month-old court decision that said there is “overwhelming” evidence a dam on the Nechako River is killing endangered sturgeon. They are highlighting the ruling after scientists asked the public in September for help in solving the mysterious deaths of 11 adult sturgeon found in the Nechako River in central B.C. The Ministry of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship said the fish showed no visible external injuries and their deaths were not caused by disease, chemical exposure, angling or gillnet fisheries.


Yamaha Rightwaters Helps Center for Coastal Studies Repower Marine Mammal Rescue Boat / BusinessWire
Yamaha Rightwaters™ continues its support of the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Mass., by helping the marine rescue organization repower a boat with new 300-horsepower outboards. The F300s will power the twin-engine Ibis, a whale disentanglement vessel used to assist with several research and rescue programs in the Cape Cod Bay area.


The Risk Doesn’t Outweigh the Reward / Yamaha Outboards
Whether it’s a slick calm evening for the perfect kayak trip down the river, the sun is shining for a family lake day, or the wind is blowing to make the bass crush a spinnerbait – the weather plays a key role in us enjoying the outdoors.


Pumpkin Carving Stencils for Ocean Lovers / NOAA
Wow your neighbors with our eerie-sistibly fa-boo-lous ocean-inspired jack-o’-lantern stencils.


New science shows what bass do (and which ones survive) after being caught and released / Outdoor Canada
In this episode of Blue Fish Radio, producer/host Lawrence Gunther, talks to Dr. Steven Cooke, a Carleton University biologist, avid angler and prominent researcher in fish ecology, physiology and conservation. A frequent guest on Blue Fish Radio, Dr. Cooke returns to share his latest fascinating research about smallmouth and largemouth bass. In particular, where they go and what they do after being caught and released, best practices for hook removal and more.


Bass in Opinicon: A Troubling Trajectory Calls for a New Management Strategy / QUBS
In this Queen’s University Biology Station video Dr. Dave Philips addresses the costs and benefits of prohibiting angling for black bass during their spawning and extended parental care periods. New experimental data are helping us focus on how protection of bass reproductive success can have positive impacts on wild populations and identify a new management approach that will provide innovative conservation for bass populations into the future.


Have your say on DFO’s Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation Strategy / ASF
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is currently seeking public input, through an online survey, on the development of their Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation Strategy. Join the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) for an informative webinar to help make your submission as strong and informed as possible.

Creel Optimization / Science Insights seminar
Science Insights presents Dak de Kerckhove on creel optimization.

Coming Up:

Rebuilding Abundance Symposium / Oceana Canada
On October 26 at the Ottawa Westin hotel join the conversation with world leading oceans and fishery experts, Indigenous and fishing industry leaders, policy-makers and journalists from across Canada to identify a shared vision for abundant oceans and fisheries.

Northern Ontario Tourism Summit / NOTO
On November 21-23, grow Northern Ontario’s tourism industry by joining industry peers and colleagues in our shared pursuit of excellence and success in Thunder Bay, Ontario at the 7th Northern Ontario Tourism Summit. If you own a tourism business, work in or for the industry, are involved in economic development, workforce development, investment attraction or supply the tourism industry, you should seriously consider attending this Summit.

2023 Invasive Species Forum / ISC
Call for Abstracts and Award Nominations Now Open. The annual Invasive Species Forum will be held on February 7-9, 2023. The theme is Invasive Species Action in a Changing Climate.

Special Guest Feature – The International Joint Commission needs your input on restoring, protecting and enhancing the Great Lakes

Complete the online survey

The IJC prepared a survey where you can provide your input on the governments’ 2022 Progress Report and the water quality in each Great Lake.

Participate in a webinar – Register for the evening webinar event that corresponds with the watershed you are interested in discussing:

Submit a written comment
Submit your written input via email by December 23, 2022.

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In the October 10, 2022, Thanksgiving issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with an exploration of why being thankful doesn’t seem to be enough for people who poach and cheat. 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 is an extract from the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address.

What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: On National Reconciliation Day Blue Fish Radio released a new podcast featuring Chief Donald Maracle of the Mohawks of Bay of Quinte. I first met Chief Maracle in 1994 not long after he was first elected chief while attending a five-day awareness raising program on the Tyendinaga reserve. Some 28 years later and its sad to say that not a lot has changed, other than people are starting to listen. During my conversation with Chief Maracle he speaks about his community’s traditional and current connection with the fish of Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte, and how racism and the unwillingness of settlers to share nature’s resources has now led to a need for reconciliation. Link below to listen to my conversation with Chief Maracle recorded in his office this past August:

Photo of Chief Donald Maracle of the Mohawks of Bay of Quinte

This Week’s Feature – Poaching and Cheating

While compiling the Blue Fish News this week I came across several stories in the news / social media that casts doubt over whether it’s possible to ensure everyone is fishing by the rules. One of these stories concerns people illegally harvesting rockfish, a category of fishes found along B.C.’s coast said to be easily over-exploited if not carefully regulated. The other story concerns a team of competition anglers caught cheating by adding lead to the five walleye they brought to the scales. The stories have many questioning the morality of people who fish, and the reliability of the safeguards in place meant to catch those who break the rules. However, I think we need to explore the reasons why people poach or cheat before we conclude that systems in place to catch poachers and cheaters are flawed.

Let’s examine first why people poach. Taking more fish or a specific species of fish than what you’re legally entitled to, can upset others over concern about their being sufficient fish to meet everyone’s needs now and in future. Thus, poaching is just as much about putting a fish stock at risk, as it is about stealing from other anglers. How poaching is defined in law is another matter.

Indigenous fishers engaged in harvesting fish were often, and in many cases still are, perceived by non-indigenous people as poachers. It didn’t help when government officials and the media labeled indigenous harvesters as poachers prior to the courts having reached such a verdict. We now understand that indigenous fishers engaging in ancient harvesting rights that existed long before we showed up and began imposing our laws is itself an injustice. However, even the most commonly held norms governing poaching can be rendered benign under certain circumstances.

Not long after the USSR collapsed in 1991 the economic system across much of the world’s largest country ground to a halt. For many Russians and others it meant no longer receiving a pay cheque. This led to rivers and lakes across Siberia that could be reached by road being fished hard. The people doing the fishing were concerned with feeding their families and communities, and earning money. It didn’t take more than a year before these rivers and lakes had been pretty much “fished out”. Not that every last fish had been caught, but that the effort to catch fish versus the return no longer justified the effort. People did what they had to do to survive and keep the lights on.

Poaching fish during times of food insecurity is not uncommon, and was something experts in North America were monitoring when COVID-19 caused many to lose their jobs and grocery store shelves to be emptied. Fortunately, it never came to that. A dramatic jump in fishing license sales did occur, but this had more to do with people looking for safe inexpensive activities to do outdoors than feeding their families.

Never-the-less, the rationale fueling the rockfish poaching issue in B.C. is being attributed to COVID-19, but not because the people doing the poaching are food insecure. The poachers are said to be taking advantage of a perceived or actual reduction in enforcement activity brought about by the pandemic, blunting the deterrent affect that enforcement personnel on the water are intended to represent. It’s not hard to find both unwitting and willing buyers of freshly poached fish, but why have these poachers decided to do what they do? To explore this further, let’s examine the second story in the news about the tournament anglers caught cheating.

There has always been and always will be people who cheat at games. It’s why we have rules and people in place to enforce the rules. But what motivates such people? Is it greed, envy, narcissism, revenge, ideology, or simply the thrill of not being caught?

The two tournament anglers featured in the second story were caught just prior to their being awarded a trophy and cheque worth about $35,000 Canadian. That’s a lot of money and could explain greed as the motivating force. However, fishing tournament competitors must first pay a considerable entry fee. They also need to have access to a well-equipped fishing boat and the means to transport their boat to and from the water – an investment that can easily top $200,000 once you add in the cost of tackle. Maybe the two anglers had recently lost their jobs, or had medical bills that were mounting, or some other compelling financial reason. However, whether it’s greed or a financial crisis that drove them to cheat, one might question the math used to justify their actions. It’s a lot of money to spend to steal a much smaller amount of money.

Maybe envy was behind their decision to cheat. The desire to be the winning team holding the trophy and giant cheque on stage at the end. To be recognized, finally, as the winners. To receive the respect of their fellow anglers. Now we are tipping into narcissism. But, these two competitors had never been widely regarded as top-shelf anglers, so it’s not like they were desperate to maintain their reputations and the support of sponsors. No, these were two men who had likely never experienced such adulation, and never really knew intimately what they were missing. It’s doubtful that envy and narcissism were their primary motivations.

Let’s consider revenge then. Could it be that the two caught cheating were simply trying to prevent others from winning the trophy and cheque? Had they grown tired and frustrated due to others always being the winners? The fact is fishing tournaments are generally made up of those few who routinely finish near or at the top, and all the rest who seldom if ever earn a cheque. Tournament payouts often award cheques to the top-ten finishers, the rest of the competitors are generally referred to as “donors” – the people whose entry fees are split among the winners. These are Anglers who also buy the same boats, trucks and tackle, who pay the same entry fees time-and-time-again, but who seldom if ever receive a cheque. When such upsets do happen there’s a general but unspoken understanding that luck rather than skill had more to do with the surprise finish. Hardly the type of adulation people crave, and even less likely to cause any serious grief among top competitors.

One can never rule out ideology. People against fishing from an ideological perspective can be motivated to disrupt activities that they find to be morally reprehensible. In their minds stopping an injustice to animals justifies the means.

We often hear about those opposed to farming animals disguising themselves as farm laborers in order to witness farm animals being neglected or abused, and then releasing graphic videos to the public with the goal of bringing down the farming operation. If ideology was the motivation of the two anglers, and their goal was to disrupt the tournament, one would think they would have by now have made their reasons known. No, their actions aren’t some form of anti-fishing protest, even if it does tarnish the image of tournament anglers and fishing as a whole.

Before we explore the last possible motivation behind why some people choose to cheat, people unfamiliar with tournament fishing should know that cheating during fishing tournaments, much like in every sport, is an issue and always will be. It’s why there are tournament directors. It’s why tournament organizers spend countless hours drafting and revising tournament rules, and then subject competitors prior to the event to obligatory meetings to read out the rules that can easily last several hours. The goal is to deter people from trying to cheat and to explain how unlikely it is that they will succeed if they try.

Many organizers of tournaments where large cheques are being dispensed also employ deterrents such as “marshals” that travel with angler(s) in their boats throughout the event to monitor for cheating. Mandatory polygraphs for top place finishers prior to the trophies and cheques being awarded is another.

So why is it people cheat? I’m reminded of a study about shoplifters I read years ago. The researchers found that the vast majority of shoplifters have with them sufficient funds to pay for the articles being stolen. The explanation given for juvenile shoplifters is that it’s a “cry for help”. However, it seems unlikely that two adults would pose as professional tournament anglers to steal likely have other under-lying issues.

Face facts, there will always be those who feel that the rules don’t apply to them. This includes alcoholics who insist on driving drunk even though they know the consequences of being caught. These are the “killers” Mothers Against Drunk Drivers are still trying to get off the road.

Could it be that people who steal do it for the thrill? Maybe legitimately winning a fishing tournament isn’t enough, and what they crave is the rush of winning a tournament by cheating. A double dose of adrenaline.

Cheaters and poachers don’t just cheat or poach once, the act itself becomes like a drug, they crave it. And after being caught, which is pretty much inevitable, such people simply move on to find new victims and systems to exploit.

In the end, cheaters and poachers will always live among us, making it necessary to always have deterrents and the systems to catch and punish such people. Add to this the power of social media, and maybe fewer cheaters will risk all to satisfy their unusual desires. So watch out for those few bad apples, and otherwise, be thankful that we have the systems and rules in place to deal with such people. Not so much as the “glass being half empty”, but something else to be thankful for.

The Latest Fishing, fish Health and Fish Habitat News


Pandemic Poaching Sets Rockfish Conservation Effort Back Years / Hakai
Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, another scourge has been rampant around southwestern British Columbia’s Galiano Island: illegal fishing. In the past two years, suspected poaching incidents increased dramatically in three marine reserves near the island, which are designed to protect rockfish.

Cheating scandal rocks fishing world after lead weights found in winning catch / CBC
With tens of thousands in prize money and the integrity of anglers hanging on the line, a walleye fishing tournament in Ohio turned ugly after an apparent cheating scandal was uncovered.

Signs of sockeye poaching abound, though Fraser remains off limits / Vancouver Sun
Watershed Watch’s fisheries advisor Greg Taylor weighs in on numerous reports of illegal salmon fishing, sales and dumping on the Fraser River.

B.C. man developing less harmful way to harvest salmon selectively / Cowichan Valley Citizen
Elected officials, DFO, fishing reps met at Chilliwack boat launch to see demo of the new technology.

Believe the Hype: Anglers Weigh in on Live Sonar / FishingWire
No fishing technology in recent memory has created more conversation on social media and message boards than live sonar. And this online chatter has proven itself on the water, because no fishing technology has changed the sport more dramatically overnight than MEGA Live Imaging™ (although strong arguments also can be made that both Spot-Lock® and MEGA 360 Imaging™ are equally valuable tools-more on that later).

After decades of dwindling runs, sockeye salmon return to Yukon fishing village in droves / CBC
On the heels of the Yukon River’s lowest chinook salmon run, Fisheries and Oceans Canada predicts that more than 25,000 sockeye will return to the Yukon’s Klukshu River to spawn. The fishery is open to recreational and First Nations anglers, and it’s shaping up to be the best in two decades. (CBC)

N.L. extending fishery guardian program by 4 weeks, after years of pleading by anglers / CBC
A little over a week after salmon anglers in Newfoundland and Labrador resumed their annual call to keep fishery guardians on salmon rivers longer, the federal government has extended the program by four weeks.

Fraser River sockeye closed to Island fishers, as U.S. fleet nets B.C. bound fish / CHEK
According to Unifor, as many as 800 coastal fishers are now going home empty handed.

How to Get Started With Fly-Fishing / Sierra Club
Tips for beginners, why to take it up, and the best gear to start.

Halibut Obsession Chasing: white gold in the Pacific Ocean / BC Outdoors
For some people, recreational sport fishing is a hobby; for others, it is a passion; and for some of us, it is our livelihoods as professional sport fishing guides and lodge owners and operators.

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture Report 2022 / OceanWise
The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022, by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, was recently released. This report can guide the work of policymakers, fisheries managers and scientists.

Salmon fishers in B.C. face decision of whether to quit industry via federal licence buyback plan / CBC
The federal government is introducing a buyback program for commercial licences by the end of this year, but those in the industry say more information about the divisive plan is long overdue.


Thousands of salmon dead due to heat / CTV
B.C.’s sunny, dry weather is leading to major drought conditions in parts of the province, causing devastating impacts for some wildlife.

Skeena Sockeye Returns Are Surging — But Big Concerns Remain / Tyee
SkeenaWild fisheries advisor Greg Taylor said it’s the biggest Skeena sockeye year he’s seen since 2000. “The Skeena is looking healthier than it has for a couple of decades, at least.” But Taylor emphasized that strong returns don’t necessarily reflect improved watershed health, but may be the result of environmental changes in the ocean. He said an unusual three straight La Niña years have created the coolest sea surface temperatures the B.C. coast has seen in a decade.

What Is Killing the White Sturgeon of the Nechako River? / Tyee
There were no obvious net scars. No hooking injuries. Or wounds. And so the race is on to figure out what is killing the endangered Nechako white sturgeon in suddenly large numbers. And to find out whether those deaths in B.C. are tied to other spikes in sturgeon losses happening across North America.

After 50 years, westslope cutthroat trout return to lake in Banff National Park / CBC News
Restoring Hidden Lake is a feat of conservation that Parks Canada experts worked on for more than a decade to achieve.

The Tale of the Trojan Trout / Sierra Club
Can the introduction of a genetically modified invader save the West’s native fish?

Researchers successfully breed ancient endangered fish found only in Nova Scotia / National Post
After decades of being endangered and on the brink of becoming extinct, there’s new hope for the Atlantic whitefish, a species that is unique to Nova Scotia,

Salute to the Sockeye festival / PSF
Celebrate the 2022 Adams River sockeye run taking place Sept. 30 to Oct. 23, 2022 at Tsútswecw Provincial Park! The Adams River sockeye run is one of the largest sockeye runs in North America. This year, millions of salmon are expected to return to the Adams.

Fish-eradication project in Miramichi has begun, opponents say / CBC
Opponents of the project to eradicate the invasive smallmouth bass from Miramichi Lake say spraying has begun, but are continuing their efforts to stop it.

Miramichi fish-eradication project paused for 2nd year / CBC
The North Shore Micmac District Council has agreed to stop any more applications of rotenone and put a pause on the smallmouth bass eradication project in Miramichi Lake this year.

River Notes / Atlantic Salmon Federation
Zoë Coates of Hogan’s Salmon Lodge in New Brunswick writes, “the effects of Hurricane Fiona were definitely seen on the Miramichi. The river rose a solid five feet and peaked on September 24th. The water now is high, dark but clean, despite full trees being observed coming down the river last weekend.” Matt Dort of Nova Scotia writes, “Hurricane Fiona left many of us with challenges and serious concerns. Respecting our rivers, it brought the rain we needed but with that, it also brought devastating winds that left many local paths to salmon pools inaccessible and alternative routes are now needed. The storm surges associated with Fiona also left me wondering how the Atlantic Salmon cope with these strong currents, waves and poor water clarity in the estuaries and harbours as they wait to enter the Northumberland Strait Rivers.”

DFO launches fish farm transition framework / Watershed Watch
DFO has launched a plan to start planning the transition plan for fish farms. (A lot of planning eh?) Stan breaks down this latest document.

Feds approve fish farm expansions despite commitment to remove / Watershed Watch Salmon Society
Fisheries and Oceans Canada recently approved three fish farm expansions in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, with no public consultation.

Nova Scotia wants public to weigh in on fish farming as industry aims to expand in East Coast waters / Canada’s National Observer
At the same time, environmental groups have called for a moratorium on aquaculture expansion, pointing to the federal government’s commitment to phase out open net-pen fish farms in B.C. waters by 2025.

Lowest Chinook salmon count on record in Yukon River sends wave of concern / Yukon News
Federal department data shows only 12,025 Chinook salmon have crossed into Canada.

The Mysterious, Vexing, and Utterly Engrossing Search for the Origin of Eels / Hakai
To save endangered eels, researchers have been working for decades to figure out where they reproduce.

Who took the Chinook? / Watershed Watch
In the Fraser, Chinook aren’t faring well with 14 of 16 populations assessed as endangered or threatened.

We’re Running Out of Seafood, Yet We Waste Billions of Pounds of It / Sierra Club
A 2015 study published in Global Environmental Change estimates that every year, almost half the seafood supply in the United States alone is lost, amounting to nearly 500 million pounds of protein waste. It’s recommended that the average person consume at least 1.7 ounces of protein per day, this lost seafood is enough to feed more than 2.7 million people for an entire year.


How do tides and turbines affect sea life? Fundy study hopes to find out / CBC
Harnessing power from the tides has tremendous potential, but in the Bay of Fundy, between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, developing it responsibly offers as many challenges as opportunities. Researchers hope that creating a new atlas of vital fish species that depend on the area will answer questions that could lead to more sustainable development of tidal power. The risk assessment project is researching nine marine species, including ones important for commercial fisheries, like striped bass and alewife, as well as ecologically and culturally significant species such as American eel, tomcod and white sharks.

Excitement in B.C. Indigenous communities as salmon get past Fraser slide zone / Vancouver Sun
Fisheries and Oceans Canada says 280,000 salmon have already been counted above the Big Barlide site north of Lillooet.

Canada’s first network of marine protected areas slated for B.C. / Pique Newsmagazine
The marine protected area network would stretch from Campbell River on Vancouver Island

DFO dragging out marine protection plans on West Coast, First Nations say / National Observer
For more than a decade, coastal First Nations in British Columbia have been actively involved in a marine planning process to create a network of marine protected areas. They’re ready to move forward with their plans to conserve and protect fish, other marine life, and their ecosystems, but they’re at an impasse with Canada’s federal fisheries department over proposed fishing regulations.

Impact of Ecstall River landslide to salmon runs / Global News
There are growing fears about the impact of a powerful landslide in north central B.C. that has inundated a remote tributary of the Skeena River outside Prince Rupert. The timing of the disaster could not be worse given the fate of several different salmon runs.

Restoring salmon habitat could help B.C. flooding / Narwhal
Watershed Watch’s Lina Azeez was interviewed for this piece about decisions to restrict the mighty Fraser River through extensive diking, the consequences for fish, and the opportunity to ‘build back better’.

Inside a 50-year journey to reopen the ‘lungs’ of the Squamish River / Narwhal
A company built a spit that blocked salmon from accessing crucial habitat — then it left. Decades later, the Squamish Nation, local environmentalists and the federal government have worked together to finally break open the barrier and reconnect a fractured estuary.

Sunken fishing vessel pulled from Salish Sea after ‘complex’ diving operation / CBC
A fishing boat that sank near Vancouver Island while carrying an estimated 9,460 litres of light diesel has been safely recovered, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Global ‘Stilling’: Is Climate Change Slowing the Wind? / Yale Environment 360
Climate change is impacting wind speeds. Last year, Europe experienced a six-month “wind drought,” with wind speeds slowing by 15 percent or more below the annual average, and researchers are forecasting that global wind speeds could drop by up to 10 percent by 2100. This wind “stilling” is being attributed to a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and a warming of the Earth’s poles. Scientists say the slowdown could impact wind energy production and plant distribution and growth, and might affect the Gulf Stream, which drives much of the world’s climate.

Northeast Striped Bass and Ocean Temperatures / FishingWire
Research scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their annual State of the Climate report which found that ocean heat – measured from the surface to a depth of more than 6,000 feet – was the highest on record. The study found that some areas of the North Atlantic registered from 3.6 degrees to 9 degrees warmer than average at times, conditions that have not been observed since record keeping began roughly six decades ago. According to researchers, this persistent rise in ocean water temperatures can have a major impact on marine life, particularly in terms of altering migration patterns of certain fisheries.

New study suggests climate change has pushed the planet to five tipping points / CBC Listen
A new study suggests climate change has pushed the planet to five tipping points, two of which — thawing of the boreal forest and the end of an ocean current system near Labrador — are of particular concern to Canada.

Invasive jellyfish species spotted in Ramsey Lake / CTV
For the last 70 years, Freshwater jellyfish, an invasive species from China, has been slowly making its way north. In the last few weeks, it finally arrived in Sudbury, Ont.


With Old Traditions and New Tech, Young Inuit Chart Their Changing Landscape / Hakai
For generations, hunting, and the deep connection to the land it creates, has been a mainstay of Inuit culture. As the coastline changes rapidly—reshaping the marine landscape and jeopardizing the hunt—Inuit youth are charting ways to preserve the hunt, and their identity.

Establishing Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas: The Jurisdictional Spectrum / CELA
”There is no one model for the formation, management, and governance of IPCAs precisely because they must be rooted in Indigenous laws and systems of governance. However, it is always important for the Crown to commit to meaningfully working with Indigenous authorities to recognize and support the implementation of IPCAs over the long term. Given the importance of advancing reconciliation and the severity of Canada’s biodiversity crisis, it is in all of our interests to demand that they do so.”

Why is Ontario resisting Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas? / The Narwhal
Ontario reporter Emma McIntosh read three sentences from internal briefing documents and discovered Ontario’s pushback to Indigenous-led conservation efforts and land stewardship.

Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik sign declaration to protect Big Salmon River / CBC News
Mi’kmaw and Wolastoqey leaders have signed a declaration they hope will lead to the protection of the Big Salmon River watershed, which reaches from almost near Sussex down to the Bay of Fundy.

Vancouver Island First Nations seek to double the size of coastal Guardians program / Global News
Guardians, the nations say, are a 21st century form of their communities’ traditional stewardship of the lands and waters, ensuring they are protected for generations to come.

Alberni families hand net salmon in traditional First Nations food fishery / CHEK
First Nations families in Alberni have been out harvesting salmon while the food fishery window is open.

Wet’suwet’en celebrate return of salmon amidst threats to keystone species / Narwhal
When the salmon return to Wet’suwet’en territory in northwest B.C., the occasion is marked by celebration and ceremony. Protecting the waters and fish they rely on for their survival is a responsibility that goes back thousands of years.


Lululemon founder Chip Wilson gifts $100M to help protect nature in B.C. / CBC
The commitment is part of the B.C. Parks Foundation’s launch of a multi-year campaign to protect 25 per cent of B.C.’s land and waters, in partnership with Indigenous people.


Boat Trader Survey Results on Why Owners Are Selling / FishingWire
Boat Trader survey finds few sellers are concerned about economic uncertainty, and nearly 40% report intent to upgrade.

First marine EV charging station in Canada installed in Kingston, Ont. – Kingston / Global News
In what is likely to become a more common feature in marinas, Kingston, Ont., is the first place in Canada to install a charging station for electrically powered boats.


Love Seafood? Enjoy a Taste of National Marine Sanctuaries / NOAA
National marine sanctuaries are special places set aside to protect and preserve areas of the ocean and Great Lakes with great natural and cultural significance. Our friends at National Marine Sanctuaries gathered some iconic dishes found across the sanctuary system.


Let’s talk wild salmon and climate change / Watershed Watch
The final episode of season 2 of The Freshwater Stream podcast speaks with Vancouver Island biologists Tim Kulchyski, Tom Rutherford and Tanis Gower about the impacts of low flows on salmon and how we can manage our watersheds to give wild salmon the best chance at survival in a changing climate.

Coming Up:

Rebuilding Abundance Symposium / Oceana Canada
On October 26 at the Ottawa Westin hotel join the conversation with world leading oceans and fishery experts, Indigenous and fishing industry leaders, policy-makers and journalists from across Canada to identify a shared vision for abundant oceans and fisheries.

Lake Links webinar
Register for the annual gathering of eastern Ontario lake association representatives Saturday, October 22, 2022. Traditionally held in person in Perth in eastern Ontario, this year’s event will be held by webinar and is focused on: “Challenges and Solutions for Lake & River Health” – How Associations have recognized threats on their lakes and rivers, and what steps they have taken to address them.

2023 Invasive Species Forum / ISC
Call for Abstracts and Award Nominations Now Open. The annual Invasive Species Forum will be held on February 7-9, 2023. The theme is Invasive Species Action in a Changing Climate.

Special Guest Feature – Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address / Greetings to the Natural World

The following is a brief extract from the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address. Link here to read the entire greeting.

Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people. Now our minds are one.

We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our mother, we send greetings and thanks. Now our minds are one.

We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms- waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water. Now our minds are one.

We turn our minds to all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks. Now our minds are one.

We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring teachers. Now our minds are one.

Now we turn our thoughts to the Creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator. Now our minds are one.

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In the September 26, 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a celebration of World Rivers Day! There are plenty of amazing historic rivers worth celebrating in Canada, but the St. Lawrence River can always use a bit more love, which is why we reached out to Philip Ling and his amazing Maitland Tower revisioning project. Don’t miss out on this exclusive audio-video podcast – links below. As always, we cover the latest fishing, fish health, habitat and other news across Canada, with a focus on the state of the Great Lakes 50-years after the binational water quality agreement came into effect. Our closing Special Guest Feature chosen to inform and inspire our readers concerns the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission recently released Shared Priorities for the Great Lakes.

What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: Youth fishing programs have wrapped for the year, or at least until ice fishing season. It doesn’t mean Blue Fish Canada is taking a break. Meeting with fish and fishing stakeholders associated with a proposed National Marine Conservation Area for the eastern basin of Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte continues – seven stakeholders engaged to date – stay tuned for a compilation multi-media report as well as access to the full-length recordings of our conversations.

Photo of the Maitland Tower along the shore of the St. Lawrence River

This Week’s Feature – St. Lawrence River Recovery and Renewal

Much focus is placed on the Great Lakes and the 20% of the world’s surface freshwater that passes through these five distinct water bodies. Much less so with respect to the tale end of the lakes where the St. Lawrence River stoically transfers all this water to the earth’s one ocean along it’s 1,197-kilometer length covering 1,600 million square kilometers. The spotlight hasn’t always focussed exclusively on the lakes. Numerous First Nations have made the river home for thousands of years, and for a much briefer period of time, many of North America’s industrial leaders regarded the river as their preferred summer destination. Maybe the river lost it’s shine due to all that industrial and human waste the River had to endure, or that the Seaway turned the river into a shipping highway of sorts. But thanks to a dedicated bunch of river advocates the state and reputation of the St. Lawrence River is experiencing an up-swing of sorts. The question is, can the St. Lawrence River recover, and what will it eventually look like?

My own fascination with the St. Lawrence began in 1967 when Montreal hosted the World Expo on the shores of Man’s Island. Only ten short years later in 1977 I took part in a canoe expedition led by the 1st. Georgetown Venturers that had us paddle two 8 meter warrior-style canoes down the length of the St. Lawrence River as part of our journey from Toronto to P.E.I. I’ve since camped many times with my own family along its shores and have taken part in numerous fishing tournaments on the river pursuing everything from bass, carp, pike and muskie. What gives me hope that the river is on an up-swing are the many researchers, FN leaders, and conservationists dedicated to the river’s recovery – many of whom I’ve featured on The Blue Fish Radio Show over the past nine years.

To celebrate World Rivers Day, and in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the binational Great Lakes water quality agreement, I wanted to feature several organizations that, to me, represent an interesting diversity of philosophies in how they view their conservation and renewal roles. Two of these organizations include in their mandates the preservation of artifacts that represent aspects of what many now refer to as colonization of the river by “settlers”. My focus today is how these two organizations, one being the Antique Boat Museum located in Clayton NY, and the other being the Maitland Tower located just east of Brockville Ontario, are moving forward without forgetting what came before.

As the name might suggest, the Antique Boat Museum has over 320 beautifully restored vintage personal watercraft that featured in the lives of the summer vacationers that as many as 12 trains a day shuffled between New York City and the Thousand Islands beginning some 150 years ago. Interstate highways developed in the 1950’s followed by the growth of passenger airline services precipitated the decline of the use of the islands for vacationing, but many of these families continue to own property in the area 4-5 generations later. Others have moved in to build and rebuild a new swath of expensive residences in the area. It’s definitely a destination on the rise with respect to vacationing, retirement, and remote work? I was fortunate to have been given a tour of the Museum by the museum’s executive director Rebecca Hopfinger and chief curator just ahead of their volunteer appreciation river cruise in recognition of the over 8,000 hours of volunteer effort their 200-plus volunteers provided in 2022. Thanks to John Peach, executive director of Save the River and Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper, for organizing the tour.

Click on the link to listen to the tour of the Antique Boat Museum on the Blue Fish Radio Show:

Like me, John Peach’s love of the St. Lawrence River straddles two passions; enjoying all things boating, and a dedication to conservation. To some, boating and conservation represent an irreconcilable contradiction. For others, finding ways to maintain the tradition of living and recreating on the River’s thousand islands and shores, while giving back to ensure the health of the ecosystem in ways that ensure it’s viability, represent the goals of renewal and recovery.

Click on the link to hear an update on the important conservation work underway at Save the River from John Peach and Lauren Eggleston on The Blue Fish Radio Show:

The day after visiting the museum I travelled 30 minutes east and met with Philip Ling, the man behind the restoration of six river-side heritage buildings constructed in the mid-19th century — one of which is an 8-story former windmill built to power what would become the largest flour mill in eastern Canada. I also met with Michele Andrews, the executive director and co-founder of the non-profit “Door #1”, a newly formed NGO associated with the Maitland Tower project. The six buildings located on 6 hectares along a 3.4 kilometer stretch of the St. Lawrence river’s north shore and a beautiful peninsula, include a 2-story stable, garage, greenhouse, 5,000 sq ft residence, a main building where mill business was conducted, and the 8-story tower itself. All but one building were constructed using stone from the area to form walls 60 cm in depth.

Philip purchased the property in 2016 after spotting the tower during a solo bike ride along the length of the St. Lawrence. An engineer, he felt compelled to ensure these important heritage buildings were preserved, and more importantly, given a new purpose. The buildings are now in the midst of being restored, and while their future role has not yet been finalized, the goal is to use the property to gather people with knowledge about the health of the river so learnings and knowledge can be shared, and to conduct further research. Philip is committed to see the buildings and the property become a facilitator of environmental renewal, conservation, research, reconciliation, and a means to reconnect people to nature.

Click on the link to this special audio/video production of my tour of the Maitland Tower project and conversation with Philip Ling on The Blue fish Radio Show:

Click on the link to hear my conversation with Michele Andrews from the Door #1 NGO on The Blue Fish Radio Show:

What strikes me when reviewing my conversations with these St. Lawrence River champions is the contrast between the tremendous grass-roots support generated by the Antique Boat Museum, and the near-solo effort being made by one person and the team he’s assembled to restore and revitalize what is arguably one of the most significant examples of early-settler economic activity on the St. Lawrence River. But, before you start worrying that people might care more about their toys than the place where they play, fear not, there are also numerous other organizations focussed on ecosystem restoration.

One need only look at the NGO “Save The River” located in the same town as the museum and all the great work and support they are generating. Or, the St. Lawrence River Institute for Environmental Science located just an hour’s drive east in Cornwall. There are many more organizations and NGO’s and a significant and powerful First nations that are reasserting their presence and authority. Numerous binational government- funded entities are also hard at work to address “areas of concern” where sizeable pockets of pollution have been identified, and to understand better what is needed to rehabilitate the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence – organizations such as the Great Lakes Commission, the International Joint Commission, and the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission to name a few. However, we need to take care that conservation and restoration doesn’t degenerate into reactionary responses that result in history being erased. An indigenous elder once told me that moving forward should always be undertaken by walking backwards to make sure one never forgets where they come from.

Let’s all do what we can to make sure the focus on the 50th anniversary of the binational Great Lakes water quality agreement includes fish health. As the founder and chair of the Great Lakes Fish Health Network, I can attest to just how challenging it is to expand conversations about water quality to include fish. Recreational anglers and First Nations get this – both groups identified fish health as their top priorities in a recent binational Great Lakes stakeholder survey. The connection between fish health and our own is obvious but assessing the health of fishes goes beyond the potential danger they represent to those who consume them.

It’s difficult to grasp just how many fishes live in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River when these same waters keep these fishes so well hidden from the public’s eye. The massive annual economic contribution fishes represent to the Canadian and U.S. economies – $8.5 billion CDN – does little to impress on people the true extent of their numbers.

We also need to remember how each single negative impact we make as individuals is compounded. Dilution is no longer the solution since our emissions are no longer organic. In fact, the opposite is now the case as we have substituted organic materials with products manufactured using forever chemicals. Our lifestyles flow down stream into a space inhabited by fish. World Rivers Day organizers understand this, and that the earth’s rivers, lakes and oceans are all connected.

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


St. Lawrence River named best fishery in the U.S. / Bassmaster Magazine
Bassmaster’s magazine ranked the “100 Best Bass Lakes” and crowned the St. Lawrence the top fishery for the first time since 2019.

Study Reveals Fishing ‘Invasion Superhighways’ Spread Aquatic Invasive Species / Ball State University
A recent study conducted by researchers at Ball State University, in partnership with Fishbrain, the world’s most popular fishing app, offers new insight into “invasion superhighways,” in which aquatic invasive species are spreading across the U.S.

One-year closure of commercial cod fishery in northern Gulf of St. Lawrence / CTV
DFO Minister Murray said in a news release that cod stocks in the area are at risk of serious harm, and the closure is needed in order to rebuild them. She said the one-year management plan will allow young fish in the stock to reach maturity.

30 years after the moratorium, what have we really learned about cod and science? / CBC
As is often the case with great catastrophes, the cod collapse presented a vast opportunity for even greater discovery — but have those lessons stuck?

Canada hopes to lure more nations into fighting illicit fishing / Vancouver Is Awesome
According to the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans, “it’s also about the importance of the ocean to communities and the variety of economic activities from food production to tourism that make (them) so incredibly important to our future.”

The Search for Pike / Rapala Fishing Blog
The coil. Then the flash. Within an instant, you’re in for a fight you won’t soon forget. And at the other end, a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth to greet you.

Livewell Tips and Tricks to Ensure a Healthy Catch / Mercury Dockline
Catch and release is one of the best aspects of bass fishing. The entire culture is built around this principle, with recreational and tournament anglers alike tossing back most of the bass they catch. The first step in this principle is learning how to care for bass being held in a livewell.

Sockeye opening on Fraser River will see anglers flocking to Fraser Valley boat launches / Chilliwack Progress
Current status of the Fraser sockeye return allowed for recreational retention, DFO says.

Climate change threatens world fisheries, say UBC researchers / Pique Newsmagazine
Global warming and overfishing threaten the world’s fish stocks without dramatic action, University of B.C. and U.S. researchers say in a new report.


St. Lawrence River zones that are hostile to invasive species can be refuges for native fish / ISC
Several invasive species, such as the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) are native to the Ponto-Caspian region, which includes the Black, Caspian and Azov Seas, and were imported to North America by transoceanic ships. These species are known to have disrupted ecosystems around the world, including those of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.

Traces of silver carp found in Presque Isle Bay / ISC
The Fish and Wildlife Service found silver carp environmental DNA in one of 100 water samples it took from Presque Isle Bay on Lake Erie as part of routine testing for invasive species.

Studying Sources of Lake Huron Algae / ABCA
The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) worked with American researchers studying phosphorus nutrient loading in Lake Huron, and its impact on lower Great Lakes. The study used satellite imagery to locate sediment plumes flowing from Lake Huron into the St. Clair River. The water in the plumes was then tested for suspended solids and total phosphorus which can lead to algal growth, fish die-offs due to less dissolved oxygen in the water, and even the release of toxins that can threaten public health.

Atlantic Cod moratorium lessons for B.C. salmon / CBC
On the 30th anniversary of the Atlantic cod moratorium, what can B.C. learn about Pacific salmon? Pacific Salmon Foundation VP of Salmon Jason Hwang spoke about the parallels on CBC’s All Points West.

River Notes August 25 2022 / NS/ASF
“Stripers appear in the lower section of Lower South and West River Antigonish early and often. Angler reports indicate they had made their way upriver as high as the No. 7 salmon pool (West River) by early June. Based on the abundant population appearing in April, I would guess Striped Bass do not leave Antigonish harbour and may remain year-round. Based upon angler observation alone, I am of the opinion that the population growth we have experienced is having an impact on our trout fishery throughout the North Shore rivers.”

Illegal sockeye sales rampant on Fraser River / B.C. Wildlife Federation
“We are seeing evidence of illegal fish sales all over social media and Craigslist,” said B.C. Wildlife Federation Executive Director Jesse Zeman. Thousands of sockeye salmon that have been cleaned and apparently prepared for sale are being dumped along the Fraser River. Illegal sales of salmon are rampant in B.C., especially on the Lower Mainland.

Quebec’s Atlantic Salmon Run Data / ASF
Low water conditions were a major factor affecting angling success during the month of August on many of Quebec’s rivers. The attached tables display statistics up to and including late August 2022, and for the previous four seasons for comparison.


World Rivers Day Sept 25, 2022
It’s amazing to see the many creative ways in which people across the globe will be celebrating World Rivers Day! This year may well be the biggest celebration yet, with 1000s of events and millions of participants in well over 100 countries spanning 6 continents.

Rainwater Unsafe to Drink Amid ‘Forever Chemicals’: Study / WebMD
Researchers found major environmental contamination of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, which are human-made chemicals used in numerous products, such as food packaging and waterproof clothing. The chemicals can spread in the atmosphere and are now found across the globe, including in rainwater, snow, soil, and even human blood.

A multination effort to restore the Great Lakes: a watershed moment / Canadian Geographic
Fifty years after the landmark Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, what’s changed?

Your Lake Your Voice Canada / U.S.
This year, Canada and the US are hosting the triennial Great Lakes Public Forum in Niagara Falls, Ontario on September 27-29. The governments of Canada and the United States will update the public based on two comprehensive reports.

State of the Great Lakes 2022 Report
This report provides a summary of the health of the Great Lakes using indicators of ecosystem health, such as drinking water, fish consumption, and beach closures. The 2022 Progress Report of the Parties describes recent achievements in restoring and protecting Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health.

Assessing Progress under the Water Quality Agreement / IJC
The IJC is also working on drafting its latest Triennial Assessment of Progress, or TAP, report. We’ll document progress by Canada and the United States toward achieving objectives of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and make recommendations.

Share Your Input on Great Lakes Water Quality Progress / IJC
The International Joint Commission (IJC) launches its efforts to gather public feedback on the Canadian and United States governments’ latest Great Lakes progress report. Let us know what progress you’re seeing, or making, happen, and what should be done to improve Great Lakes water quality in your community.

Great Lakes Lakewide Action and Management Plans 2021 Annual Reports / Binational
The 2021 Lakewide Action and Management Plan (LAMP) Annual Reports for Lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario and Superior are now available. These five-year strategic plans identify key priorities for each Great Lake and guide the coordination of binational environmental protection and restoration activities.

Trudeau announces expanded oceans protection plan / CBC News
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced new details of the federal government’s $3.5-billion plan to protect the oceans and boost coast guard facilities on the world’s longest national coastline.

Sunken vessel leaking fuel off San Juan Island / CTV
A sunken vessel is leaking fuel into Haro Strait, between the San Juan Islands in Washington State and Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The Aleutian Isle had 9,800 liters of diesel and oil on board, and the US and Canadian coast guards are working to contain the spill.

Healthy Great Lakes Funding Renewed / CELA
The Canadian Environmental Law Association is delighted to announce renewed funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to support the Healthy Great Lakes program. With a further two years of funding secured, CELA will continue to work toward ensuring clean, affordable, safe drinking water and freshwater health for all life. This includes continuing to support the work of the Great Lakes Fish Health Network.

Invasive Crayfish Discovered at Bow Lake / CTV
On Aug. 6, Parks Canada followed captured northern crayfish in one of the streams flowing into Bow Lake – the headwaters of the Bow River – about 38 kilometres north of Lake Louise along the Icefields Parkway – following a report a few days earlier.


Senate committee presents plan for peaceful fishery that sidelines DFO for Indigenous groups / CBC
A standing senate committee said First Nations fishing groups shouldn’t have to negotiate with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for harvesting agreements.

Fisheries report brings hope to Indigenous communities, sparks anger in industry / Lethbridge News Now
A Mi’kmaw lawyer from the community at the centre of a violent backlash over its self-governed lobster fishery says she’s “very hopeful” about a new Senate report that calls for the full implementation of Indigenous fishing rights.


Outdoor retailer Patagonia donated to fund fight against climate change / Sierra Club
On September 14, Patagonia made headlines when Chouinard announced that he was transferring 98 percent of the family-owned company—and all its nonvoting stock—to the non-profits Holdfast Collective, an advocacy group with a mission to “fight the environmental crisis, protect nature and biodiversity, and support thriving communities.” When 73-year-old adventurer Rick Ridgeway learned that his old buddy Yvon Chouinard was giving away outdoor retailer Patagonia to a non-profit that will donate the company’s profits to environmental work, he wasn’t terribly surprised. Ridgeway has known Chouinard, the company’s 83-year-old founder, since the early 1970s, when the pair bonded during trips to climb and surf in remote places. Then, Ridgeway spent 15 years leading Patagonia’s environmental initiatives and public engagement. The company’s fidelity to green values, he said, was clear from the start. “Patagonia’s always been one step ahead, out in the vanguard exploring new ways to do things,” Ridgeway said. “The company’s had that commitment since it started 50 years ago.”


Resources for Boaters / Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program
With the new regulations for watercraft users that came into effect this past January, preventing the spread of invasive species through the boater pathway has been top of mind. To make it easy for boaters to find the resources they need, we have collected them all and added them to our new ‘Boater Resources’ page. These resources are available as free, downloadable PDFs you can save to your phone or computer for easy access. You can also visit this page for instructions on ordering Clean, Drain, Dry signage for your lake!


Spot a B.C. salmon and enter the ISpySalmon / PSF
As a part of this year’s Salmon Spotting campaign, the Pacific Salmon Foundation is proud to partner with the BC Parks Foundation on a photo contest! Capture a photo of your salmon spotting experience and use the hashtag #ISpySalmon to be entered to win prizes.

25th Anniversary Fish Art Contest / Wildlife Forever
Wildlife Forever is excited to announce that the 25th Anniversary Fish Art Contest is now officially open! Since 1997, the contest has grown into an internationally recognized youth conservation program, drawing thousands of entries each year. The program is free to enter and open to youth Kindergarten through 12th grade.


Great Lakes Untamed / TVO
Premiering Monday, September 26, 2022 (9:00pm ET) on TVO channels and YouTube: a three-part natural history series about the North American Great Lakes. Learn how the lakes were formed, how animals, plants and people have been shaped by the extremes of this vast watershed and explore how climate change is challenging the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem.


Great Lakes Tri-Board Webinar
Link to the recording of the Great Lakes Tri-Board webinar on Tuesday, August 30.

Scientists and Local Champions:

African Women in Science 2023 program applications open / ACARE
The International Institute for Sustainable Development and the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education (IISD-ACARE) are happy to announce the open application for the African Women in Science (AWIS) 2023 program. We encourage all interested and qualified applicants to apply to the program by completing the form on the ACARE website by October 7, 2022:

‘Evangelist’ of fishing inducted into Freshwater Hall of Fame / Angling International
The man who has played a central role in growing and shaping Trout Unlimited (TU) has been inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. Chris Wood joined TU 20 years ago and has been President and CEO since 2009. The industry has seen the benefits of Wood’s work in the shape of the protection of public lands and waters and the restoration of rivers and streams.

Coming Up:

Northern Ontario Tourism Summit Register now! / Destination Northern Ontario
Destination Northern Ontario is encouraging the industry to register for the largest northern tourism event of the year, the Northern Ontario Tourism Summit, this fall in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The early bird deadline falls on September 30th this year, and we want to make sure our industry partners can take advantage of the special price starting at $250 per person.


Please sign the petition today / Watershed Watch
SkeenaWild and Watershed Watch Salmon Society need your help to get a petition about Alaskan overfishing to the House of Commons. They need 500 signatures to get it on the table. The Pacific Salmon Treaty is an outdated document, created at a time when salmon populations seemed plentiful. In a changing climate, with increasing numbers of endangered populations, this agreement needs to be overhauled. At a minimum, we need to do away with unselective interception fisheries. This parliamentary petition asks our government to do just that.

Special Guest Feature – Shared Priorities for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence / GLSLCI & GLFC

The Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and Great Lakes Fishery Commission released Shared Priorities for the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence: Advancing Equitable Restoration, Revitalization and Resilience. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River are an integral part of Canada, and North America’s economy, culture, and history. More specifically, almost 20% of the world’s surface fresh water is found in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River basin. This basin is invaluable as the source of drinking water for more than 40 million people in Canada and the U.S. The basin directly generates more than 1.5 million jobs and $60 billion in wages annually and is the foundation of a $6-trillion regional economy, which would be one of the largest in the world if it stood alone as a country. Recreation in the basin’s waterways – including world-renowned boating, hunting, and fishing opportunities – generates more than $52 billion annually for the region, and the area is home to over 3,500 plant and animal species, some of which are found nowhere else on Earth. It is imperative for all levels of government, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence organizations, communities, and residents in the region to collaborate closely to tackle complex issues.

In the interest of protecting and restoring these treasured freshwater resources the GLSLCI & GLFC are committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders towards advancing the following priorities:

  • Improve cross-border dialogue and collaboration between agency and government sources involved in water governance.
  • Enhance coordination and governance of domestic freshwater management to better address the impacts of climate change and other stressors.
  • Increase funding to complement investments made into Great Lakes restoration by the United States.
  • Strengthen vital water and shoreline infrastructure across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin.
  • Put forward adequate protections for the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River basin from aquatic invasive species
  • Take active measures to reduce pollution and improve water quality across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin.
  • Lay the foundation for a prosperous Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River “Blue Economy.”

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In the August 18, 2022, issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on corporate sustainability and responsibility, and how Navico is making the BioBase fisheries research cloud-based tool available to scientists to research fish habitat. 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 comes from Outdoorlife magazine and explores the evolution of fishing apps.

What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: Just back from three weeks in the Prince Edward County area of Ontario where we have been meeting with all manner of fisher-folk to document their socio-economic relationship with the Bay of Quinte and the east basin of Lake Ontario. This part of the Lake represents some of the best fishing in the Great Lakes. We wanted to know what people think about the state of the fisheries in the region, and how they feel about the proposed National Marine Conservation Area. Six interviews so far and more to come – we promise to make sure fish and fishing are not overlooked or undervalued should this NMCA process move forward.

Lawrence Gunther’s guide dog Maestro on the ice with a Lowrance ice fishing sonar system

This Week’s Feature – Brunswick Corporation Sustainability and BioBase

When I founded the charity Blue Fish Canada in 2012 our goal was to inform and engage the angling community to safeguard fish health to ensure the future of fish and fishing. Fishes need both habitat and water that supports life, hence the reference to “Blue” in the charity’s name.

Initially, not all involved in the fishing and marine industries were happy that we raised the topic of fish health. There were those who believed recreational fishing should focus exclusively on having fun. Eventually, our recognition and support of anglers who champion conservation and practice sound stewardship became widespread. Don’t get me wrong, many in the fishing and marine industry have known for decades that sound conservation measures is essential to their long-term success. What’s changed in the past ten years is that promoting this “one-health” philosophy has become popular. Many corporate entities have since announced policies and programs directed towards sustainability.

Angling and marine industries aren’t alone in their adoption of sustainability goals. In fact, critics have begun to question just how committed corporations in general are to follow through. Some are suspicious that “green washing” is being employed to divert attention away from less environmentally friendly aspects of their businesses. It doesn’t help that the definition of sustainability itself is quite wide. But overall, positive changes are in the works, and the message to the angling community as a whole is that we all need to do our part. One outcome of this shift is that you no longer hear people deny climate change.

Brunswick corporation and its many subsidiaries such as Mercury and Lowrance are taking sustainability seriously. In October 2021 Brunswick acquired Navico for $1.5 billion, the world’s largest marine sonar and electronics manufacturer, which itself purchased Lowrance in 2003. Stay with me as I’m going somewhere with this.

In 2014 Navico purchased Contour Innovations BioBase software, proprietary technology designed to aid fish biologists to document fish habitat using the sonar capabilities of Lowrance fish finders. Whereas anglers depend on sonar to locate fish and the structure that fish commonly inhabit, BioBase automatically identifies, measures and records data specific to weed growth, a crucial variable for assessing fish health.

I had the opportunity to speak directly with Navico’s VP of Sustainability Tara Norton, and Ray Valley, founder and program manager of BioBase. BioBase is available to fisheries researchers to record, share and access detailed GIS data specific to fishes and their habitat, and is free for researchers in Environmental agencies and universities along with reduced pricing on compatible Lowrance devices. Navico and it’s parent company Brunswick Corporation also partners with a number of non-profit organizations to support their conservation initiatives. Link below to hear my conversation with these two highly dedicated and committed conservationists on The Blue Fish Radio Show:

There are some who question the degree to which Brunswick and Lowrance are committed to sustainability. After all, gas-fueled Mercury outboards are responsible for propelling millions of fishing boats throughout the world, and Lowrance is making fish capture increasingly efficient. Full disclosure, I use both Lowrance and Mercury products, and the work of Blue Fish Canada has been supported by these companies. I’ve never heard a quieter and a cleaner smelling outboard motor than my Mercury Pro XS. Also, the kids I bring on to my boat to experience fishing are more interested in fishing than ever before thanks to the attractive and intuitive graphics displayed on my Lowrance sonar units. Kids can easily view different fishes below or near my boat, which seems to help keep them focussed on fishing even if the vast majority of the fish we encounter have no interest in biting. At the same time, the kids learn that our rivers and lakes aren’t filled with an infinite supply of fish — underscoring the need to practice conservation.

Contrary to what some might suggest, knowledge of fish habitat and the real-time location of fish doesn’t necessarily equate to excessive harvesting. Suggesting we return to more traditional forms of fishing and forgo the use of tools designed to make fishing more immersive and efficient could lead to people returning to harvesting their limit as defined by government fish biologists. The introduction of such limits in the mid 20th century was the first iteration of conservation anglers were expected to adopt. We now know that it’s often the case that returning fish alive is the preferred conservation measure, and according to the most recent data collected by Statistics Canada, anglers in Canada released roughly 2-3 of the over 160-million fish caught each year.

Not all anglers are created equally. There’s a difference in how people fish for food, how they fish during competitions, and fishing recreationally. It’s my opinion that anglers looking to fill their freezers have food insecurity issues and aren’t the ones investing in expensive technologies to catch their legal possession limits more efficiently.

People who fish competitively create technical advantage over their competition by utilizing proprietary technologies. Like any competitive sport, spectators prefer that sport fishing professionals are judged on their fishing prowess and not on their exclusive access to the latest technical innovations. Thus, tournament organizers often include rules to limit a competitor’s access to 3rd-party knowledge or electronic data. It’s a topic that is increasingly being discussed as sonar technologies become increasingly effective at finding fish.

Most recreational anglers are simply looking to spend a day on the water catching and releasing fish and keeping the occasional fish to celebrate their success with family and friends. Their investments in electronic fish-finding aids are generally more low-cost in nature. While such anglers enjoy a good bite, they aren’t under pressure to acquire and use the latest electronics to catch as many big fish as possible the same way anglers fishing competitions do. They are just as likely to leave a spot where they have been catching fish in search of another. It’s like a buffet – you don’t fill up on the first dish you come across, and you don’t need to consume everything on the buffet table – you practice self control by knowing when enough is enough.

Sustainable recreational fishing has more to do with managing fishing pressure than it does limiting access to fishing and marine innovations. Knowing the state of fish habitat and water quality are two vital variables when assessing and setting harvest regulations. Knowing how many of each fish species exist within a specific body of water is probably the most important variable but by far the hardest to determine. Creel surveys provide a glimpse of what this might look like, but the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission are the first to admit that knowing the economic value of the number and species of fishes either harvested or released by recreational anglers is the great unknown.

Just like commercial fishing, recreational fishing will only ever be truly and dependably sustainable when scientists can track numbers of fishes in a body of water and can track the number of fishes being harvested from that body of water in real time. For this to happen, biologists first need tools to assess fish habitat, fish health and fish abundance, and the BioBase tool is perfect for providing much of this data.

Tracking fishing pressure more effectively is not an impossible challenge, one need only look to the province of Quebec where it tracks fishing pressure in their 84 ZECs (designated fishing / hunting domains).

Without knowledge of fishing pressure, the tendency of fisheries regulators is to rely on conservative estimates. Based on what I learned during my recent three weeks spent interviewing all manner of people involved with fish and fishing in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario, this amazing fishery could easily support a lot more fishing than what currently takes place now – more on this to come.

Link below for more about how fisheries biologists are using Navico’s BioBase:

Link below to learn how BioBase facilitates social map and data sharing/cloud computing:

Link below to read Navico’s Sustainability Mission statement:

And finally, link below for Brunswick’s Sustainability Report describing their latest environmental, social and governance accomplishments:

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


Fish trap demonstration in Chilliwack geared to better salmon spawning success / Chilliwack Progress
Elected officials, DFO reps, fishing reps gather at Island 22 Regional Park to see selective fishing in action. Peter Krahn set out three years ago to design a fish trap platform that would permit the release of non-targeted fish, helping them to reach their spawning grounds at the “highest level of fitness.” The technology provides “an alternate technique” to gillnetting and beach-seining, which are used in First Nations economic opportunity fisheries.

Pandemic reels Nova Scotia into sport fishing / CBC
About 79,000 general sport fishing licences were sold in the province in 2021, the most since 1985. Nova Scotia residents bought 97 per cent of licences — the highest percentage of in-province sales Canada-wide.

The Pandemic Changed How People Buy Fish—and Small Fishers Couldn’t Keep Up / Hakai
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the global fishing industry. Lockdowns, travel restrictions, and disruptions to supply chains all conspired to depress demand for fresh fish in markets and restaurants, while simultaneously driving an increase in demand for frozen and processed products. Against these changing demands, fishers scrambled to keep up. Fishers’ ability to adapt was unequal, however, and according to a report by Future of Fish, a non-profit organization focused on ending overfishing, that has transformed the fishing industry in important ways. With many small-scale fishing communities unable to compete, they have lost ground to their bigger competitors.

Live-viewing sonar is banned during musky fishing tournaments / Muskie Insider
Eagle River was a perfect example of what happens when you combine sharp-shooting with a prolific numbers fishery. 1. Muskies are particularly vulnerable to live-sonar because they are easier to spot and target compared to other species. You can also follow the fish around making multiple casts at them. 2. The new tech isn’t cheap. Especially if you rig up with multiple screens & transducers, which is basically the deal if you want to maximize your catch-rate. 3. Some folks are using it to target fish in deep water where barotrauma and delayed mortality is a larger concern.

Lake Michigan salmon believed to be heaviest in 30 years / USA Today
It weighed 40.40 pounds, was 44 inches long and had a 28.5-inch girth. Its adipose fin was not clipped, indicating it was likely a wild fish.

Believe the Hype: Anglers Weigh in on Live Sonar / FishingWire
The ability to see fish and structure in real-time, even watching fish on-screen as they move in to bite the lure, has given a decisive edge to tournament anglers and other avids who have mastered this new weapon.

Prince Rupert fisherman frustrated by DFO salmon limits he says, despite millions of fish / Terrace Standard
Long-time marine fisherman Howard Gray is frustrated with the federal government’s management of the commercial sockeye harvest around Prince Rupert.

Resident anglers fed-up with governments’ ‘short-sighted’ fishery management / Yahoo!
A grassroots group of Smithers anglers are frustrated with the federal and provincial governments’ salmon and steelhead management plans, which they see as short-sighted and ineffective.

New ropeless fishing technology, which can help save whales, tested off N.L. / Yahoo!
A test deployment of ropeless fishing gear last month off the coast of Newfoundland brought to life a more than four-decades-old dream of biologist Michael Moore — and in a way, the test brought those dreams home.


Appearance of pink salmon on Central Coast cheers First Nations / Vancouver Sun
Watershed Watch’s fisheries advisor, Greg Taylor, weighs in on the large pink salmon returns in B.C.’s central coast, despite poor returns elsewhere.

The Salmon People / National Observer
Some victims don’t have voices. Off the coast of B.C., wild salmon started dying by the millions. Chris Bennett runs Blackfish Lodge 300 kilometres north of Vancouver. He was leading a group of tourists on a boat tour when he looked into the water and noticed young salmon – called smolt – acting strangely. He’d found a clue.

Salmon Wars: The Dark Underbelly of Our Favorite Fish
Pulitzer Prize winner Douglas Frantz and former journalist and investigator Catherine Collins have garnered plenty of praise for their searing indictment of the open net-pen industry. ASF president Bill Taylor says, “Salmon Wars will change the way people look at the supermarket seafood counter. Frantz and Collins pierce the pastoral facade of Big Salmon and show what’s really happening under the water.”

Atlantic Salmon Runs in Newfoundland & Labrador / ASF
Due to conditions, DFO has issued notices for many rivers, limiting recreational angling to early morning fishing only. Despite low water levels and warm temperatures, we are receiving reports that large numbers of salmon are still returning from the sea and are congregating at the mouth of rivers. In Labrador, angling conditions are much better, particularly as you go further north. Reports of good fishing on many rivers within this region continue to come in.

Why are young sturgeon disappearing from the Fraser River? / Fraser Valley Current
The number of juvenile sturgeon in the Lower Fraser has dropped by 71 per cent in two decades. Scientists are trying to figure out why.

New Brunswick Atlantic Salmon Returns / ASF
NB’s Department of Natural Resources shared numbers from the Dungarvon and Northwest Miramichi. Total salmon counts to date are a fair bit below last year. Given the intensely hot summer we have experienced to date, we remain hopeful that the salmon are simply waiting within the estuary and will make their way up river with the arrival of much needed rain and cooler temperatures. As of July 26, according to the warm water protocol in place for the Miramichi River system, 29 salmon pools across the system will be closed to ALL angling due to hot water conditions.

Fisheries official denies coverup allegations over research into endangered B.C. steelhead / CBC
A senior DFO official has denied allegations the federal government covered up scientific findings on a unique kind of rainbow trout in B.C. in an attempt to justify continuing commercial fishing that endangers the species.

Invasive fish species trapped in Courtenay creek threaten salmon / Chek News
A disturbing discovery in a Courtenay marsh has locals worried after an invasive species known as pumpkinseed fish turned up in random salmon monitoring nets there.

Wild pink salmon are back! / VanIsle News
“It’s a summer of abundance after years of decline. But this underdog story didn’t just come out of thin air. It came from years of hard work.”

The secret to better fisheries management is hidden in their DNA / Forbes
DNA sequencing has gotten to be a lot less expensive and that has opened the door for many different uses. One has to do with the optimal management of fisheries.

Here’s what we’re doing to save Yukon River salmon / Anchorage Daily News
“As Alaskans all know, salmon have a complicated life history, spending time in both freshwater and saltwater. This is magnified in the Yukon River, where salmon swim as far as 1,800 miles to spawn in Canada and the same distance downstream as outmigrant juveniles before entering the Bering Sea to begin their life in the ocean. “

Greenland Tracking Project Produces Crucial Data / ASF
The Atlantic Salmon Federation’s effort last fall marked a banner year in our satellite tracking in West Greenland. Seventy adult salmon were tagged with pop-up satellite tags. All of this is being done to discover not only where the fish are going, but what conditions they encounter along the way as well as behavioural information.

Climate Change and Overfishing Threaten Once ‘Endless’ Antarctic Krill / FishingWire
Antarctic krill — tiny, filter-feeding crustaceans that live in the Southern Ocean — have long existed in mind-boggling numbers. A 2009 study estimated that the species has a biomass of between 300 million and 500 million metric tons, which is more than any other multicellular wild animal in the world.

Judge bars pesticide spraying in Miramichi Lake until hearing / CBC
Chemical spraying of Miramichi Lake was stopped once again. The spray is intended to eradicate invasive smallmouth bass.


Fish passage improvement over last year at Big Bar landslide site / My Cariboo Now
Gwill Roberts, the Director of the Big Bar Landslide Response with Fisheries and Ocean Canada, said, “We have all parts of the canyon from both the West side and the East side of the river covered with sensors. As they approach the slide we can tell where they’re having trouble. The recent data is showing that we have sockeye and chinook getting through that area in about two and a half hours which is very quick relatively speaking. It’s a tough area, there’s a torrent of water that comes through that canyon but they can get through right now.”

The eighth anniversary of Canada’s worst and largest tailings dam failure / Narwhal
The Mount Polley mine disaster occurred when a design flaw led to the breach of the dam, which sent 25 million cubic meters of toxic liquid waste cascading into B.C.’s Fraser River watershed. Now, Imperial Metals, the company that owns the Mount Polley mine, wants to re-open it and continue to pump waste into Quesnel Lake for another three years — the floor of which is still covered by toxic sludge from the spill.

Biology prof on how longer summers can spell doom for lakes / CTV
When you head down to a lake in Canada this summer, you might spot more algae covering the surface than usual. This is just one of the scary impacts that our warming planet is having on lakes globally right now, according to John Smol, a professor at Queen’s University.

B.C. yet to follow Mount Polley recommendation toward zero failures / The Province
Co-chair of the B.C. Mining Law Reform Network, Nikki Skuce, and Christine McLean of Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake write about the ongoing risks posed by tailings facilities in B.C.

A Year In, Progress Is Slow in Development of the Deep-Sea Mining Code / Hakai
Halfway to the two-year deadline, the International Seabed Authority is struggling to finalize the rules for mining the deep sea.

Here’s How Fish Passes Work / FishingWire
Over one million dams and culverts (tunnels that encircle rivers passing under roads) block the movements of fish and other wildlife in Europe. Scientists estimate that less than 1% of catchments in the UK are free of obstruction. A report released in 2020 showed the effect this trend is having worldwide.

TMX critics question pipeline construction in river with spawning salmon / Vancouver Sun
Hope resident and conservation volunteer Kate Tairyan was surprised to see crews start trenching in a river just as salmon arrived

‘Cool fishy features’ highlight North Saanich waterway’s extreme makeover / Times Colonist
Not only is Chalet Creek being cleaned up after last November’s massive storms washed out the road and debris was dumped in the creek bed, it will be more “fish-friendly” than it was in recent years.

Will a legal right to a healthy environment make a difference for Canadians? / Narwhal
Despite supporting a UN resolution on the right to a healthy environment, critics say the federal government’s proposed environmental rights bill is narrow and lacks teeth.


DFO dragging out marine protection plans on West Coast, First Nations say / National Observer
The sticking point to moving forward with long-planned marine protected areas on B.C.’s Central Coast is the DFO Pacific branch’s objections to proposed fisheries measures, say First Nations. “While some fishing restrictions are proposed for some MPAs, measures would vary according to the conservation objectives of each area.”

First Nations, fishing groups and City Of Chilliwack want jet boats banned from Fraser River tributaries / Abbotsford News
‘We think it’s time, for the sake of the fish, that we need to take some action’ – Sumas Chief Dalton Silver.

Tla’amin Nation director spearheads project to reintroduce salmon at Unwin Lake / Powell River Peak
It’s been a century since sockeye and chum have spawned in Unwin Lake. That’s because the creek between Desolation Sound and Unwin was dammed for logging.


Are Pro Anglers Snagging Bass With Forward Facing Sonar? / NPAA
Bassmaster Elite Series pro John Crews takes on a very controversial subject in his latest YouTube video — are pros snagging bass with Livescope?

Progress update on the Big Bar landslide response / DFO
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, along with First Nations leadership and the Government of British Columbia, provided an update on the actions taken to date at the Big Bar landslide site. The landslide has now impacted four years of salmon migration up the Fraser River


Alberta Anglers asked to take quick survey / ACA
The Alberta Conservation Association is asking anglers to share their perspectives and potential interest in recreational fishing for lower profile fish! In Alberta, over 80% of the total reported catch of fish falls on four species: northern pike, yellow perch, walleye, and rainbow trout. Significant angling pressure on these sport fish species may result in population declines and has the potential to reduce future angling opportunities. Lower profile sport fish species may help take the pressure off and add some new harvest opportunities—and bragging rights.

Special Guest Feature – Are Fishing Apps Doing More Harm than Good / Outdoor Life

The question anglers should be asking is: How do we forge ahead in the information age without compromising fisheries? To answer it, you must first identify the biggest culprits—in other words, which platforms burn fishing spots the hardest. Facebook and Instagram? Sure, grip-and-grins of trophy fish that show obvious landmarks in the background don’t help. Forums? In my experience, you give away too many goods and your post will get shut down. I’d posit that fishing apps produce more burn victims than any other platform.

The good news is that some developers are coming up with ways to incorporate ethics into their apps, but to understand the significance of that, we must first look at Fishbrain —the app anglers love to hate and hate to love.

Link here to read the rest of the article…

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In the July 25th, 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on disputes over B.C. Salmon fisheries and the role of hatcheries. 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 concerns the spread of a contagious viral outbreak among marine life along North Americas north-east coast.

What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: As we sort through mounds of data and opinions concerning the plight of B.C. salmon, who’s catching them and who isn’t, and the 150-years of hatchery remediation intended to mitigate habitat destruction, we are also diving head first into the world of fishing in Lake Ontario’s eastern basin. And, all this while volunteers head outdoors and on the water themselves to take some well needed time to reconnect with nature. Lots more in the works, so stay tuned….

Blue Fish Canada volunteer Mike De Souza holding an 18lb Chinook Salmon

This Week’s Feature – Disputes Over Pacific Salmon and the Role of Hatcheries July 25 2022

British Columbia’s Pacific salmon hatcheries are increasingly coming under the microscope and calls for salmon restoration funding to be spent elsewhere are growing. The issues are numerous, but should we really be considering “throwing out the baby with the bath water?” Here’s a quick overview of some of the issues and arguments that warrant consideration as we begin to prepare, promote, defend and challenge both hatchery and fishery practices and policies, and their place in re-building and maintaining sustainable salmon fisheries.

On Canada’s west coast alone, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) operates 15 hatcheries and oversees 19 facilities run by First Nations and community groups. Collectively, they release approximately 300 million salmon each year.

Increasingly, Pacific salmon advocates are expressing concern that fishery managers may choose to allocate additional salmon restoration funding towards increasing salmon hatchery output in the name of salmon recovery. Their concern is based on scientific DNA evidence that hatcheries have contributed to the DNA contamination of the over 9,000 distinct populations of Pacific salmon in B.C. Click on the link to read an editorial explaining why key west-coast salmon advocates believe that “one generation of wild salmon raised in a hatchery can change hundreds of genes, and that multiple generations of breeding in hatcheries produces salmon that are fit for hatcheries but not the wild”:

In a recent Tyee article penned by author Jude Isabella we are told that by the time Haig-Brown published his first book in 1931, “the science had already aligned against fish hatcheries.” Isabella goes on to say, “At first, it was mainly politics and blind faith in technology. Today, the reliance on hatcheries is a combination of politics, law and desperation.” Click on the link to read Jude Isabella’s complete article:

Focusing on hatcheries as a “mitigation” solution for habitat destruction may have been il-conceived, but that doesn’t mean hatcheries aren’t playing a role in rebuilding endangered salmon runs. Hatcheries can and do perform vital conservation and restoration work. An article written by Vanessa Minke published in Hakai Magazine reports that a century ago roughly 20,000 coho would return to California’s Russian River and its tributaries in a typical year. By 1988, the number had fallen by 95 percent. It was a coalition of county, state, and federal agencies that captured the few remaining wild Coho’s to be part of a hatchery program. According to Vanessa Minke “today, 500 to 1,000 coho return to the Russian River each winter. Some were born at the Warm Springs hatchery, others in the river, spawned by hatchery-born fish. Nearly all are descended from those last wild fish that were taken into captivity between 2001 and 2003.” Click on the link to read Vanessa Minke’s article:

First nations communities are also turning to hatcheries to rebuild vital salmon stocks. A recent Hakai Magazine article written by Ashley Braun relays just such a story. “The Nisqually is one of many tribes with their backs shoved against the concrete wall of challenges that salmon face today, and so they, too, have resorted to hatcheries—facilities where humans direct salmon sex, fertilizing eggs in plastic buckets and giving naïve young salmon a head start before their journey through an untender world. But despite the genetic and ecological risks to future salmon populations, for the Nisqually and many other tribes, no hatcheries would mean practically no salmon. It’s untenable.” Click on the link to read the full article:

While playing fast-and-loose with salmon DNA may have inadvertently un-done centuries of evolutionary success, the problem now seems to be more about how much of a good thing is too much? According to author Miranda Weissin in her recent article published in The Tyee, “since the 1970s, industrial production of pink salmon has exploded, and today, hatcheries in the United States, Canada, Russia and Japan pump about 1.3 billion pink salmon fry into the Pacific each year, leading to the production of roughly 82 million adults. About 15 per cent of all pinks in the ocean originate from hatcheries, topping off a population that is already at a record level of abundance.” Clearly, hatcheries are not just being used to prop-up collapsing salmon runs but are also now being used for commercial gain. Click on the link to read Miranda Weissin’s article:

Any ecosystem can support only so much biomass. The problem in the North Pacific is there are too many countries with commercial fishing interests attempting to turn the North Pacific into one giant aquiculture operation for their own benefit. This is not the case in the Great Lakes where Canada and the U.S adjust hatchery outputs each year to reflect seasonal variations in pray abundance. The uncoordinated introduction into the north-east Pacific of select salmon species chosen by commercial interests has little to do with achieving salmon restoration goals, and everything to do with generating maximum returns.

We also now know that Alaskan commercial fishing boats are intercepting B. C’s Chinook and Steelhead. Thousands are being caught in commercial nets and going unreported. Alaskan interception fisheries now catch more of B.C.’s Pacific salmon than British Columbians do. While Alaskan commercial harvesters report record profits, Canada’s commercial, recreational and FN fishers remained sidelined. David Mills of Watershed Watch Salmon Society explains how all this came about and why it’s now time to revise the 1997 Pacific Salmon Treaty in this latest episode of The Blue Fish Radio Show:

Regardless of what you think about hatcheries, they aren’t the cause of the collapse of B.C. salmon runs. Yes, open pen aquiculture, climate change and other human-driven habitat destruction have resulted in the need for significant restoration work, but an equally troublesome issue impacting salmon numbers is the move away by certain fisheries from using selective fishing best practices. If salmon are to recover, stakeholders need to first agree to how many salmon each is allowed to add to the system, an then we need to stop taking fish that don’t belong to us. These aren’t impossible “asks.”

We have technologies that can both track and identify specific runs of fish. There are also First Nations and recreational anglers who are advocating for the adoption of selective fishing. The hold-up seems to be, once again, large-scale commercial fishing interests that won’t back down until their pursuit of salmon is no longer profitable.

The good news is that not all Pacific salmon stocks are at risk. According to the Pacific Salmon Foundation, problematic stocks account for about half. There are also excellent examples of stakeholders collaborating on the implementation of science-based precautionary strategies that focus on salmon recovery while maintaining fishing access for first Nations, commercial and recreational interests.

While not an exact science, selective fishing would be enhanced considerably if each hatchery salmon had their Adipose fin clipped. This would allow recreational, First Nations, and small-scale sustainable commercial fisheries to remain open while still operating under precautionary principles. Intentionally unmarked hatchery and wild fishes could then be released to spawn in their respective tributaries.

So let’s find a way to bring an end to the practice of shoving as many fish into the Pacific with the hopes of achieving ever-higher commercial harvesting profits. It’s an unsustainable fishery management practice that victimizes both wild salmon and the people and ecosystems that depend on them. And then, let’s agree to use technology and techniques that will put an end to people taking each others’ fish just because we can. No more excuses for not knowing whose fish are in your boat or net. Time we park our pointer fingers at the door and get started with building important collaborations based on science and respect before Pacific salmon go the way of the Atlantic cod.

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


Wild abundance: surviving a record-breaking salmon season in Bristol Bay / National Fisherman
Nora Skeele writes about her experiences on a fishing boat in Alaska’s Bristol Bay.

Area M: the place in the sea where Alaska commercial and subsistence interests collide / KYUK
In the wake of chum salmon crashes in Western Alaska, subsistence fishermen have been pleading with the state to restrict salmon fishing near the Aleutian Islands. Subsistence users say that commercial vessels are taking fish bound for their rivers.

Alaska salmon harvest swells to 68.8 million fish / Fishermens News
Commercial harvests of salmon in Alaska jumped from 37.6 million to 68.8 million fish in a week’s time.

Who does the salmon in Area M belong to? / Alaska Public Media
In the wake of chum salmon crashes in Western Alaska, subsistence fishermen have been pleading with the state to restrict commercial salmon fishing near the Alaska Peninsula.

DFO closes Skeena Watershed to Chinook Salmon Fishing / SkeenaWild
DFO announced that sport fishing for chinook salmon is once again closed for the Skeena River watershed. The closure includes the rivers and lakes in the Skeena region except for the Kitimat River and the Nass River watersheds. DFO expects fewer than 22,000 chinook salmon will return to the Skeena this year which is only about one-fifth of the long-term historical average return, said Greg Knox, SkeenaWild’s Executive Director.

DFO plans more fishery closures under salmon management plan / Yahoo!
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Northern B.C. salmon management plan will take a precautionary approach to manage fisheries, including increased closures for the 2022-2023 year, stated a July 8 news release.

FishDonkey Fishing Tournaments
FishDonkey is about conservation and the ability to create a fishing tournament where fish can be immediately released back to their natural environment. To accomplish this we invented anti-cheating technology, which makes it possible to fish from anywhere and still have results you can trust.

Conservationists angling for a fight over fishing in High Park / TorontoStar
David Kearney and David Clark are directors of the Toronto Urban Fishing Ambassadors (TUFA), a group that promotes recreational fishing in Toronto and the GTA. TUFA supplies equipment, instruction, and bait for learn-to-fish events. Angling is permitted almost anywhere in Toronto, and Clark says it’s great way for city-dwellers to spend time outside and connect with nature. But not everyone is hooked on the activity. The High Park Natural Environment Committee (NEC) opposes the fishing festival and is urging the city to put a stop to fishing at Grenadier Pond for good.

It’s Taken More than 20 Years and Is Full of Holes, but a New International Agreement Targets Fishing Subsidies / Hakai
After 20 years of failed negotiations, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has secured a deal to curb harmful subsidies that contribute to overfishing. Conservationists and campaign groups welcomed last week’s agreement as historic, despite criticism of “big holes” in the agreement.

First-of-its-kind spearfishing course aimed at controlling invasive species in Manitoba’s Clear Lake / CTV
Four employees of Parks Canada and four members of the Coalition of First Nations recently completed a Smallmouth Bass spearfishing course at Riding Mountain National Park. The course teaches how to dive and resurface safely, as well as proper spear throwing techniques.

The expert’s guide to teaching a kid to love fishing / Field&Stream
Wilkins’ number-one piece of advice is simple: Keep the action hot and always get excited when a kid reels something in—regardless of species.

Henry Winkler Catching Trout Is The Hottest Trend This Season / Vanity Fair
The fly-fishing Fonz is an internet sensation.

The world’s best fishing trips – put Alaskan salmon on your bucket list / Forbes
A salmon fishing trip to Alaska is an epic – and delicious – vacation, even if you are not an avid angler.

Did Ottawa truly understand the impacts of closing most salmon fisheries on the Pacific coast? / TheStar
We must ensure we’re building policies that allow ecosystems, coastal economies and food systems to thrive — and that no communities are left behind, writes Sonia Strobel, CEO of Skipper Otto.


Bold, sustained action can revitalize wild Pacific salmon in the Fraser /
Nineteen major populations of wild Pacific salmon in the Fraser River are projected to decline over the next 25 years—but it’s not too late to boost their chances of recovery.

The Hatchery Crutch / Tyee
Wild salmon struggle from California to Alaska, despite 243 hatcheries. Fish hatcheries around the Pacific Rim release salmon into the North Pacific at an astonishing rate, over five billion annually, and the ocean may have reached capacity.

Can We Have Too Much Pink Salmon? / Tyee
Pumped by the billions into the North Pacific, these hatchery fish are upending marine ecosystems. “Chinook from British Columbia fare poorly when pink numbers are high…. Steelhead in the central North Pacific go hungry in pink boom years, and on the Fraser River in British Columbia, fewer young chum survive in years crowded with juvenile pinks.”

The Hail Mary Hatcheries / Hakai
As wildfires, droughts, and floods deal a blow to coastal habitats, wild salmon are disappearing from waterways like California’s Russian River. Can conservation hatcheries save endangered runs?

As alewife deaths rise, Michigan aims to boost king salmon stocking /
In response to growing alewife numbers, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is advancing a proposal this summer to boost the number of chinook, or “king” salmon it stocks in the lake to 1 million fish next year. This year, the DNR stocked about 687,000 chinook, a popular sport fish which can grow quite large and feasts almost solely on alewives as its protein of choice.

New genetic data fuels debate over Bering Sea salmon bycatch / National Fisherman
The contentious issue of Chinook and chum salmon that are taken as bycatch in the Bering Sea pollock and groundfish trawl fisheries reached a new order of magnitude.

How a salmon farm disaster changed Northwest aquaculture forever / High Country News
Thousands of salmon escaped into the Puget Sound. Then the controversy began.

PNW hatcheries aren’t saving salmon, investigation finds / Crosscut
After two decades and $2 billion in spending, the U.S. government’s promises to Native tribes to boost fish populations in Oregon and Washington haven’t held up. Nearly 250 million young salmon, most of them from hatcheries, head to the ocean each year — roughly three times as many as before any dams were built. But the return rate today is less than one-fifth of what it was decades ago.

New Life Arrives in Blind Bay on the St. Lawrence River / NNY360
This month, Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) and the Thousand Islands Biological Station teamed up to release nearly ten thousand advanced muskellunge fry in the St. Lawrence River. The two-month-old muskellunge – or muskies were released in Blind Bay, a unique shallow aquatic ecosystem with submersed vegetation that provides critical spawning, rearing and foraging habitat for many fish species.

Why do muskies gulp air? / Outdoor Canada
According to Dr. Sean Landsman with the Institute of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Science at Carleton University, and president of the American Fisheries Society’s Science Communication Section, “Muskies are physostomous, so they have a little duct that connects their swim bladder to their esophagus and thus, the outside world,” he says. “This means they can gulp air to try and increase buoyancy or burp air to lose buoyancy. But why they need to do this is unclear. Are they having some sort of physiological issue that is preventing them from moving gas into their swim bladder? Did they just eat a large meal and need to compensate for the added weight by increasing buoyancy?”

Lake Erie’s once-thriving blue pike is long gone but never forgotten / Great Lakes Now
One of the last known (and most famous) blue pike was landed by hook and line in 1962. In 1983, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the blue pike extinct. Yet, nearly 40 years later, the population remains robust and healthy – in the hearts and minds of countless anglers.


Big Bar landslide response information bulletin July 18 2022 / DFO
Summer operations at Big Bar have been fully mobilized, including the three biological programs: monitoring, enhancement, and trap and transport.

B.C. has a mine waste problem and it could be catastrophic / Narwhal
As B.C. permits mines to hold more tailings slurry behind ever-growing dams, a new report finds the consequences of a failure grow in step. Climate change could make things even worse

Saskatchewan’s $4 billion irrigation project explained / Narwhal
The largest infrastructure project in the province’s history could be a win for farming and potash mining, but a loss for the environment and First Nations. One of the primary concerns is moving water around for agricultural purposes, which tends to change the composition of what ends up back in rivers and lakes. Added nutrients, particularly from fertilizer, for example, degrades water quality and can lead to toxic algal blooms.

New Brunswick Establishes First 84 Nature Legacy protected areas / GNB
The N.B. government has committed to doubling its permanently protected land and freshwater from 4.6 per cent to 10 per cent, an area equivalent in size to 19 Fundy National Parks. These protected lands represent every region of our province, from the headwaters of the Penniac Stream to the Little Gaspereau wetlands, the Little Southwest Miramichi River to Miscou Island, from the Wilderness Corridors of the Restigouche to Chiputneticook lakes,.

US cruise ships using Canada as a ‘toilet bowl’ / Guardian
Cruise ships on their way to and from Alaska dump an estimated 31 billion litres of pollution off Canada’s west coast each year.

Researchers call for science-based policies given impacts of mining on salmon, trout /
New research shows that, despite impact assessments, mines continue to harm salmonid-bearing watersheds.


Tribal Hatcheries and the Road to Restoration / Hakai
Despite the genetic and ecological risks to future salmon populations, for the Nisqually and many other tribes, no hatcheries would mean practically no salmon. It’s untenable.

Abegweit First Nation’s fish hatchery celebrates releasing over a million fish to Island streams / CBC
The fish hatchery at Abegweit First Nation, P.E.I. is celebrating an important milestone: it has now released more than 1 million fish into Island streams.

Micro fish hatcheries built in shipping containers help salmon recover / Globe&Mail
The hatchery at Nak’azdli is not a traditional operation. Instead of a multimillion-dollar, permanent Fisheries and Oceans Canada facility, the hatchery at Nak’azdli is a collection of shipping containers: a hatchery in a box.

‘A lot of people think we’re doing this just for First Nations people. We’re not’ / Tyee
The First Nations Fisheries Council is working to ensure that salmon are a part of our future.

Weak salmon run on Yukon River halts harvesting in First Nations / Yukon News
Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Vuntut Gwitchin First Nations ask members not to harvest salmon.

Chief says renewal of fish farms will take ‘huge toll’ on wild salmon in B.C. / APTN
A hereditary chief in B.C. says the renewal of fish farms will have a ‘huge toll’ on wild salmon in the Discovery Islands.


IGFA Surpasses Goal to Teach 100,000 Children to Fish / IGFA
The International Game Fish Association (IGFA), is excited to announce that the organization has recently met and surpassed its goal of teaching 100,000 children around the world to fish. To accomplish this ambitious initiative, the IGFA established three avenues: Develop and distribute IGFA Passports to Fishing kits (fishing clinics in a box); to an international network of supporters and education partners; Create a series of online angling education modules and virtual fishing programs to teach the basics of recreational fishing and the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship; and, Establish strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations and educational institutions that share similar missions and values when it comes to youth angling education. Through the development of these new programs and relationships, the IGFA youth angling education programs have expanded to nearly 40 different countries on six continents and are offered in 14 different languages. Blue Fish Canada is proud to offer the IGFA program in Canada.


5 Common Nautical Superstitions / Mercury Dockline
While many boating superstitions got their start as a practical response to a perceived threat to life on board ship, today, we can enjoy them as colorful pieces of nautical lore. Here are five myths that seem to persist: 1, it’s bad luck to rename a boat; 2, never step onto a boat with your left foot; 3, whistling is forbidden on board; 4, bananas should be banned from boats; and 5, cats bring boats good luck. Read the article for explanations on how these myths got their start.


Watershed Watch / SkeenaWild B.C. Salmon Update
Watershed Watch fishery advisor Greg Taylor’, and Greg Knox SkeenaWild’s executive director, together provide a midseason update on B.C. salmon. The two Gregs answered questions on management decisions, stock abundance, and gillnets.

Scientists and Local Champions:

Joe Izumi founded Canada’s first organized bass tournament. This is his untold story / Outdoor Canada
Before TV star Bob Izumi burst onto the pro fishing scene, his father, Joe, founded Canada’s first-ever organized bass tournament. This is the remarkable true story of the challenges Joe Izumi faced, and the incredible legacy he left behind.

Free Resources:

Nova Scotia Salmon Association hosts series of training sessions / NSSA
NSSA’s Habitat Programs offers training each summer to the field staff and volunteers of community groups, river associations, and Indigenous-led organizations involved in the Nova Scotia Salmon Association’s Adopt-A-Stream program. The sessions provide hands-on experience installing in-stream habitat structures (known as digger logs) and an introduction to stream ecology.

Download your free Lake Protection Workbook / Watersheds Canada
The “Lake Protection Workbook: A Self-Assessment Tool for Shoreline Property Owners” is an educational tool that helps property owners make improvements to their shorelines, and provides information about lake protection.


DFO Research Scientist Requests Anglers to Report Tagged Atlantic Salmon / DFO
Many Atlantic salmon have been tagged as part of the Environmental Studies Research Fund (ESRF) project with internal acoustic tags (small black cylinder, see photo) or external satellite tags (big black bobber with tail. When releasing a satellite tagged salmon cut the tag off where the string holds the tag to the harness. Do not try to remove the harness. Salmon with either tags should be reported through the “ESRF Atlantic Salmon” Facebook page or by email:

Special Guest Feature – NOAA declares an Unusual Mortality Event for elevated Maine harbor and gray seals

On July 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed that samples from four stranded seals in Maine have tested positive for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1. HPAI is a “zoonotic disease” that has the potential to spread between animals and people (and their pets).

Live seals on the beach have symptoms including lethargy, coughing, discharge from the eyes and nose, seizures, and death. HPAI H5N1 has now been confirmed in 41 U.S. states and 11 Canada provinces, in commercial poultry, nearly 90 species of wild birds, eight species of scavenging mammals, and now seals.

According to the U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the health risk posed to the general public is low however, precautions are recommended for people and their pets. The public should not touch ill, stranded or floating dead seals, to keep pets far away from seals, and should call their local stranding network organization to report live or dead stranded seals. The most important action someone can take is to immediately report strandings to the Greater Atlantic Marine Mammal Stranding Networks rather than take matters into their own hands.

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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.

Photo of Editor Lawrence Gunther shore fishing with a group of Girl Guides

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:

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:

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.

International art pieces are awarded by country in the above age categories. Click the link to view the 2022 international art award winners.


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 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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What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: A few months back Blue Fish Canada was informed by Nature Canada that they were pursuing the establishment of a National Marine Protection Area in the Canadian waters of Lake Ontario’s eastern Basin. Our first question to Nature Canada was specific to recreational fishing access, and we were told that this was not an issue. Being at the table when important designations such as this are being considered is important. Giving voice to the views and concerns of recreational anglers is imperative. This includes penning the following blog, “Learn about Lake Ontario’s fisheries and how a new National Marine Conserved Area will protect them.”

In this June 14th, issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on fishing regulations and consumption advisories. 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 our readers focusses on how to identify harmful algal blooms.

Photo of Editor Lawrence Gunther with a 67 cm St. Lawrence Walleye

This Week’s Feature – Fishing Regulations and Consumption Advisories

It wasn’t that long ago that governments actually printed the fishing regulations each year along with associated fish consumption advisories. As we all moved online, governments reduced and, in some cases, eliminated the printing of fishing regulations altogether, but at what point did they stop including the consumption advisories? I’m asking as I’m concerned that anglers may have concluded that “no news is good news”.

The fact that anglers are expected to consult fish consumption advisories prior to consuming, or hopefully even the actual harvesting of fish, is concerning. So much so that in 2017 and again in 2018 I raised the issue of fish health at several water quality consultation exercises that took place in Ontario. The exercises were led by the Healthy Great Lakes Initiative upon which I have the pleasure of serving as an advisor. The over-80 water quality experts that we consulted had much to say about all manner of issues impacting the state of the Great Lakes waters that constitute 20% of the world’s freshwater. Interestingly though, there was far less awareness of how the many issues raised impact the different fishes native to the Great Lakes. This led to Blue Fish Canada being asked to conduct stakeholder consultations on the topic, which was followed by the establishment of the Great Lakes Fish Health Network for which I serve as Chair. Link to read the stakeholder report: Fish Health in the Great Lakes and Upper St. Lawrence River

For the past several years the Great Lakes Fish Health Network has been digging into fish consumption advisories. Everything from “toxins of concern”, testing methodology, the validity and reliability of test results, and how information is being shared and with whom. Reports and academic articles are in the process of being written so I won’t get into the details of what we are learning here just now. Let’s just say that the data collection, analysis and sharing systems in place are less robust than one would expect.

One of the researchers involved in tracking down answers about fish consumption advisories is Neil Dempster. Neil’s efforts resulted in the Ontario Government releasing data used to set consumption advisories across Ontario, and what we learned from this alone was more than interesting, it’s concerning. Neil Dempster is our guest on this new episode of The Blue Fish Radio Show. Link to hear what Neil uncovered

The importance of knowing of and applying fish consumption advisories was underscored during my recent participation in an Ottawa Region Walleye League event on the opening day of Walleye season on the Upper St. Lawrence River. This is a significant day for many of us anglers, and it’s not unusual for boats to be launched and in position to begin fishing at 12:01 a.m. The walleye being caught are mostly all large. My personal best that morning was 69 cm in length (27 inches). All my other fish were over 50 cm in length – a great day on the water by anyone’s standards.

The harvest regulations for the Upper St. Lawrence River on the Canadian side, as set by the Ontario Government, allow for up to four Walleye to be harvested between 40 and 50 cm in length; none of the fish I caught that day fit the slot. The same Government responsible for setting harvest regulations recommends that people eat no more than 16 meals per month of Walleye caught in the area that measure 30 to 55 cm in length, and no more than 12 meals per month of walleye measuring 55 to 60 cm in length. Discrepancies between harvest regulations and consumption advice aside, that’s a lot of walleye dinners. Further, for those deemed “sensitive”, defined as women of child-bearing age and children under 15, Ontario recommends eating no more than eight meals a month of Walleye caught in the area that measure between 30 and 45 cm in length, and no more than four meals per month of Walleye measuring between 45 to 60 cm in length. That’s still one-to-two meals per week. The New York State government on the other hand, while allowing for an angler to harvest up to five fish measuring over 38 cm in length, advises that men over 15 and women over 50 consume no more than four meals per month, and that men under 15 and women under 50 consume no more than one meal per month. Why the New York state consumption advice is significantly more restrictive than Ontario’s for the exact same fish living in the same stretch of the St. Lawrence River would suggest that either one of these governments is using faulty science-based health thresholds, or they’re testing for different toxins.

Based on my conversations with fellow anglers that morning on the St. Lawrence, while everyone seemed to be following the harvesting regulations, not many of the anglers who were harvesting fish expressed concern about following fish consumption advisories. Not wanting to sound alarmist, I was reminded of a time not so long ago when people first started to hear about the possible health risks associated with smoking. In the end, it took more than the simple sharing of scientific evidence to get people to stop smoking, and yet as many as 13% of Canadians continue to use tobacco to this day.

According to the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, the Great Lakes represent the most valuable freshwater fisheries in the world. Some even suggest that these fisheries are being underutilized. Even so, I’m concerned that people who purchase these fish for resale in supermarkets or restaurants might also be forgetting to include fish consumption advice on their labels or menus’.

I’m not advocating that people stop fishing for fish that can’t safely be consumed – fish aren’t cigarettes. Besides, such a move would pretty much shutter the Great Lakes freshwater fisheries valued annually at $8.5 billion. What I’m hoping is that anglers start asking questions about why such an important and valuable food source is toxic to one degree or another. Also, to demand answers about what is known about how toxins are impacting fishes in general – their welfare as well as their health.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Great Lakes fishes were free of toxins and their consumption risk free? That’s how it used to be. Let’s all agree to make that our goal – toxin-free fish across Canada. Let’s not wait for the other boot to come down on the health of recreational anglers and indigenous fishers. Time to speak up for fish and the health and socio-economic sustainability of our communities.

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


Learn about Lake Ontario’s fisheries and how a new National Marine Conserved Area will protect them / Nature Canada
The Great Lakes support the most valuable freshwater fisheries in the world. According to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC), the value of the combined Great Lakes fisheries is almost $9 billion, of which approximately $250 million is from commercial fishing. Protecting natural ecosystems by establishing a marine protected area in Lake Ontario can help ensure the health of the fisheries for the long term.

Do Low-Flow, High-Temp Trout Fishing Closures Work? / Field & Stream
During the hottest parts of the year, fish and wildlife agencies in western trout fishing states often initiate hoot-owl restrictions, closing fishing during the afternoon hours. In some cases, they’ll even close entire streams to fishing temporarily. These rules are enacted to protect trout, which struggle in warm water conditions that are often caused by low flows. However, Idaho doesn’t enact summer fishing restrictions and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) recently released a study demonstrating why.

Charter tuna boat captains in P.E.I. hope for mackerel closure exemption / Canada Press
Troy Bruce, chairman of the P.E.I. Tuna Charter Association, says the commercial closure is a problem for charter boat captains on the Island who rely on mackerel as live bait to catch Atlantic bluefin tuna.

Skeena Fishers Told to Stand Down by DFO While Alaska Increases its Chinook Catch / SkeenaWild
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans have announced that fishing for Chinook Salmon will be closed for the 2022 season in the Skeena Watershed. This is for all lakes in Region 6, but does not include the Kitimat River or the Nass River watershed. As DFO announces this closure for the second year in a row, Alaska has expanded their Chinook catch by about 60,000 fish! Do you know that most of the Chinook caught in Southeast Alaska don’t actually come from Alaska? They come from rivers in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. The very fish we are trying to protect by closing our Chinook fisheries are being scooped up in Southeast Alaskan fisheries!

Using The Whole Salmon / BC Outdoors
So, you have caught the salmon. Now the question remains, how do you use the absolute most of the fish? If you want to honour the salmon in its entirety, here are a few ways you can do so.

Colombia Bans Catch-and-Release Sportfishing / Fishing Wire
The decision was not made by elected leaders in Colombia but by the Constitutional Court in Columbia. The court took the step because catch and release fishing, like bull fighting, involves what it calls unnecessary cruelty to animals. The pain of hooking a fish is not justified, the judges opined, unless you are going to eat the critter.

To fight illegal fishing in the Galapagos, Ecuador turns to Canadian satellite and sensing technology / CBC
June 5 was the International Day for the Fight Against Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing. About one in five fish is caught illegally, and foreign shipping fleets often prowl near conservation areas and deprive local fishermen of stock. In Ecuador, the government has enlisted the help of Canadian tech companies to provide satellite tracking, remote sensing, and big data analysis to stop fish poaching near the Galapagos Islands.

ASA Addresses Lead-Free Draft Rule by U.S. Fish & Wildlife / NPAA
In response to a draft rule published Thursday, June 9, by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that will prohibit lead fishing tackle on certain National Wildlife Refuges, the American Sportfishing Association released a statement that says, “This proposal provides no evidence that led fishing tackle is harming any specific wildlife populations in the proposed areas. Anglers should have the option of choosing non-lead tackle alternatives, but it is important to recognize that these alternatives generally come with the trade-off of higher cost or poorer performance.”


Revelations of Genetic Diversity of Bass Species / Fishing Wire
A new study by Yale ichthyologists provides a clearer picture of species diversity among black basses.

Father’s Day weekend fishing derby will support recovery of Cultus Lake sockeye / Chilliwack Progress
Folks fish for invasive smallmouth bass, and pikeminnow, which prey on juvenile sockeye.

Like it or not, great white sharks are wending their way north to begin their annual visit in Atlantic Canada and feast on their favorite snack—the region’s abundant seal population. The forbidding predator—best known for terrifying a generation of beachgoers with its outsized portrayal in the film Jaws—typically returns to the region from July to November and has seen its profile rise in recent years due in part to efforts to tag and track the movements of great whites.

Higher Fish Consumption Associated with Increased Melanoma Risk / Fishing Wire
Eating higher amounts of fish, including tuna and non-fried fish, appears to be associated with a greater risk of malignant melanoma, according to a large study of U.S. adults published in the journal Cancer Causes and Control.

The last hunt? Future in peril for ‘the unicorn of the sea’ / Guardian
Narwhals in eastern Greenland have suffered a precipitous decline, and to protect them scientists are calling for a ban on hunting. Hunters and other opponents of the ban, however, cite the cultural, nutritional, and economic importance of narwhal meat for remote communities.


Invasive Carp Eye the Great Lakes / The Regulatory Review
Fear of sharks? So passé. The new underwater terror is far less sexy, and far more ferocious than its top-of-the-food-chain friend. That terror is the invasive carp. These fish are now considered the “poster child” for invasive species because of the devastating effects they pose for the ecosystems they inhabit.

Algoma Public Health warns people not to drink water from St. Mary’s River after oil spill / CBC
The health unit says if your drinking water intake is located east (or downstream) of the Algoma steel mill and the Great Lakes Power plant, there is a risk of contamination. It is warning people to not drink or bathe in the water, or go swimming, kayaking, or fishing in the river.

Estuary restoration to save salmon habitat from climate change in Campbell River, B.C. / CTV
More than 38,000 cubic metres of fill was shifted or trucked in the first phase to create habitat for all five species of salmon, as well as steelhead and cutthroat trout that use the estuary at various points in their life cycles.

Alberta’s oilsands tailings ponds are leaking. Now what? / Narwhal
There are more than a trillion litres of toxic oilsands waste stored in tailings ponds near Alberta’s Athabasca River — and they’re leaking.

Restoring a historic trout spawning bed on Diamond Lake, Ontario / Watersheds Canada
Diamond Lake, located near Combermere, Ontario, is one of only twelve trout lakes in Renfrew County. Over several months, a community-led effort ensured the historic lake trout spawning bed was restored. The Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Outdoor Fund donated critical funds to launch the restoration process of the trout spawning bed.

Canada’s nuclear waste liabilities total billions of dollars. Is a landfill site near the Ottawa River the best way to extinguish them? / Globe and Mail
Building 250 is one element of a multi-billion-dollar headache for the federal government. It’s among the oldest buildings at Chalk River Laboratories, 200 kilometers northwest of Ottawa, which long served as Canada’s premier nuclear research facility. Today the facility’s operator, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), is addressing the resulting radioactive waste. It has already torn down 111 buildings, but Building 250 is among the most hazardous: it contained radioactive hot cells and suffered fires that spread contaminants throughout.

Alberta oilsands tailings ponds are larger than Vancouver / Narwhal
Inside those ponds is a toxic mix of by-products from the mining of oilsands, including arsenic, naphthenic acids, mercury, lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons — all of which can impact ecosystems, wildlife and humans. The Alberta Energy Regulator told The Narwhal that no tailings deposits have yet been certified as reclaimed. According to the regulator, the estimated liabilities for cleanup of the oilsands is $33 billion. Only $1.5 billion has been collected for security as of June 2021.

Learn about the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River with this New Interactive map / Conservation Ontario
Conservation Ontario’s interactive map provides you with an opportunity to explore the natural features, ecosystems, and benefits of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, as well as the stressors facing them today, and actions we can take to protect them.


Will B. C’s Supreme Court set new First Nations title precedent? / Narwhal
The case, which will resume for final arguments in front of Judge Elliott Myers in late September, is among the first to apply the precedent-setting 2014 Tsilhqot’in decision, which granted the Tsilhqot’in Nation title to 1,750 square kilometres of territory. The Nuchatlaht case is also the first title case to test the province’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

Frustrated B.C. chiefs unload on cabinet ministers over fate of salmon / Vancouver Sun
The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs’ leadership pushed federal and provincial cabinet ministers on Friday for more urgent action on salmon conservation.

First Nation reclaims territory by declaring Indigenous protected area / Mongabay
The Mamalilikulla First Nation in British Columbia has reclaimed part of its traditional territory as an Indigenous protected and conserved area. Plans include calling for a five-year moratorium on logging and immediate protection of a marine area important for rare corals and sponges.


The National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) will host on Tuesday, June 21 at 12 p.m. EDT a virtual panel event, The Future of Marine Propulsion Technologies, featuring four industry experts who will discuss the political and economic impacts of electrification implementation into the recreational marine industry, what to expect in the near future, and the industry safety standards on the horizon. As the recreational boating industry looks to the future and considers the practical implications and realities of electrification and next generation marine propulsion systems.

State, Federal, and Canadian Partners Remind Boaters to Abide by Be Whale Wise / NOAA
To help protect the Southern Resident killer whale, the Government of Canada is putting in place concrete protective measures developed in partnership with Indigenous partners and regional stakeholders. A key finding from research that NOAA Fisheries published in 2021 indicated the effects of vessel noise are especially prominent for females, which often cease foraging when boats approach within 400 yards. Research shows this tendency to stop foraging when boats are nearby may be most concerning for pregnant or nursing mothers that need to find more food to support calves.

How Boating and Fishing Manufactures Support Conservation and Recreation in the U.S. / Fishing Wire
For more than half a century, U.S. fishing equipment manufacturers have shared a partnership with state and federal biologists through the Dingell-Johnson Act — a partnership that uses excise tax to fund remarkable fisheries conservation and recreation. Each year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) distributes millions of dollars in grants funded through this excise tax paid by manufacturers. Revenue for these grants is generated from manufacturers’ excise taxes on sport fishing equipment, import duties on fishing tackle and pleasure boats, and a portion of the gasoline fuel tax attributable to small engines and motorboats. The tax is included in the gear price and is collected and paid by the manufacturer at the point of sale, which is usually at local sporting goods stores or distributors.


Skeena Salmon Art Show Call for Artists / SkeenaWild
Calling all artists! The Skeena Salmon Art Show is back for its 5th annual exhibition! The 2022 exhibition will start at the Terrace Art Gallery and then tour to the Nisga’a Museum. The Skeena Salmon Art Show is an annual exhibition dedicated to the cultural and ecological importance of the salmon. For 2022, the organizers are calling on artists, working in all mediums from across the Skeena and Nass Watersheds and beyond to create works that are inspired by the critical importance of salmon to our cultures, communities, and ecosystems.


Skeena and North Coast Fisheries Outlook 2022 / SkeenaWild
Watch SkeenaWild’s Executive Director, Greg Knox, as he provides a brief overview of the preliminary outlook for fisheries and salmon returns to the north and central B.C. coast for the upcoming 2022 season.

Massive fish kill in N.S. river blamed on inadequate ladder / CBC
Thousands of gaspereau recently died while trying to swim upstream along the Tusket River in Nova Scotia’s Yarmouth County. Fishers are placing the blame on a fish ladder at a nearby provincial hydroelectric dam that’s only designed for salmon to pass through.


Microplastics pollution June 14th Rivers to Oceans Week!
Plastic pollution in the Laurentian Great Lakes is a big problem. Over the past decade, researchers from Canada and the United States working in all five Great Lakes and their watersheds have found tiny pieces of plastic, called microplastics, nearly everywhere they’ve looked – in water, sediment, and even in wildlife. Luckily, there is hope.

Scientists and Local Champions:

Want to be an OFAH NXT-GEN Ambassador? / OFAH
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters are looking for the next group of passionate conservationists to join the OFAH NXT-GEN program as an Ambassador. Some of these NXT-GEN Ambassadors are sticking around to help the OFAH grow this important program by working with incoming Ambassadors in year two. The call is now open for anyone between the ages of 18-29 to apply by submitting an expression of interest explaining why you would make a great OFAH NXT-GEN Ambassador.

Northwest Student Chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy Annual Conference was a Huge Success. / Marine Mammal Research Unit
On April 30th, the UBC Marine Mammal Research Unit (MMRU) hosted the 25th Annual Northwest Student Chapter of the Society for Marine Mammalogy (NWSSMM) Student Conference co-chaired by Julia Adelsheim and Taryn Scarff. It was a full day—with 26 oral presentations, 10 poster presentations and over 60 attendees from across North America.

Coming Up:

Register now for the 2022 OTN Symposium
Register and submit and abstract for the 10th Ocean Tracking Network Symposium taking place in person in Halifax with select sessions streamed live for a virtual audience on November 7-10, 2022! The Symposium will feature a variety of presentations, panels, and workshops, and is open to researchers, students, and those interested in aquatic telemetry research at no cost.

Special Guest Feature – Great Lakes HABs Collaborative releases two fact sheets on human health and harmful algal blooms / Great Lakes Commission

The Great Lakes HABs Collaborative today released two new fact sheets on the impacts of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on human health. The GLC released the fact sheets in advance of HABs season in the Great Lakes basin; early season projections for the annual bloom in Lake Erie began in May and are accessible on NOAA’s website and also shared on Blue Accounting’s website.

The first fact sheet summarizes emerging research on chronic HABs toxin exposure on the body, including on the respiratory, neurological and cardiovascular systems. According to recent lab studies, HAB toxins may cause inflammation in the lungs and disrupt lung cell structure; may damage neurons and disrupt normal brain cell function; and can lead to cardiac inflammation and tissue scarring. Frequency of exposure, dose, and personal health conditions play an important role in how any of the various toxins that may be produced by a HAB can affect a person’s health. When spending time along Great Lakes coasts and inland waters, it is important to be aware of any signs posting local health advisories, which may include warnings related to the presence of a HAB.

The second fact sheet summarizes the current understanding of the effects of inhalation of HABs aerosols: when a HAB is agitated (by waves, wind, or boat traffic), it may release aerosols into the air, and aerosols generated from water with HABs have been found to contain HAB toxins. Some animal studies have demonstrated negative health consequences such as inflammation from the inhalation of HABs aerosols and some water users have reported respiratory irritation. An epidemiological study found respiratory symptoms were more likely in humans exposed to high levels of HAB aerosols.

“We already knew that the annual bloom in Western Lake Erie, and other HABs across the Great Lakes, have adverse effects on the environment and economy in communities across the basin,” said Todd L. Ambs, chair of the Great Lakes Commission, which leads the Great Lakes HABs Collaborative in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey – Great Lakes Science Center. “Now emerging science is showing us that the human health effects of HABs can be broad and serious as well. This is more evidence that we need to act now on a federal, regional, jurisdictional, and local level to combat HABs in the Great Lakes basin.”

Freshwater HABs are an annual occurrence during the summer and fall in the nearshore areas of the Great Lakes, as well as in inland waterbodies, and have the potential to disrupt ecosystems, impact water and air quality, and deter recreation. The Great Lakes HABs Collaborative is working to establish a common agenda on science and management needs to help the region work together to prevent and manage HABs.

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