To whom it may concern,
We are writing to provide feedback on the changes MNRF is proposing for the bass season in FMZ 20 – primarily Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence River.
Blue Fish Canada is a registered Canadian charity and federally incorporated non-profit entity. Our mandate includes water quality, fish health and the future of recreational fishing. Blue Fish Canada promotes both catch&release best practices, and the sustainable harvest of fish based on scientific research.
In preparation of this letter Blue fish Canada reached out to the angling community in several ways. Our consultations included producing and broadcasting a 28-minute podcast featuring Blue Fish Canada’s president in conversation with Dr. Bruce Tufts from Queen’s University.
The podcast was shared with over 100,000 Canadians by numerous podcast broadcasters, cable and satellite TV, home smart speakers, and the podcast website: www.BlueFishRadio.com.
We also presented the proposals and Dr. Tufts research to the over 10,000 members of the Canadian Fishing Network.
Blue Fish Canada supports keeping opening season for Largemouth as the 3rd Saturday in June, and moving the opening day of Smallmouth to the first Saturday in July. We agree with keeping harvesting regulations the same for this summer / fall fishery.
Blue Fish Canada also supports a pre-spawn fishing season for both Largemouth and Smallmouth bass to begin in January and to end in early May. Further, we recommend that harvesting during the pre-spawn season be limited to either catch&release only, or the harvest of two fish based on a slot size to be scientifically determined. Both of these options for the spring pre-spawn fishery would help ensure large breeding fish remain close to their chosen nest sites leading up to and during the spawning season.
Thank you for your on-going commitment to further fine-tune the recreational bass fishery in FMZ 20 using the best available scientific research.
By Lawrence Gunther
President, Blue Fish Canada
Introduction: Many anglers strive to keep better track of where and when they go fishing, the conditions at the time, and what worked or didn’t. They do this in order to turn experience into knowledge for their own benefit and, if possible, to further research and enhance resource management of fisheries. Numerous angler apps keep appearing in the market that claim to do it all. But just as with fishing, expectations and reality don’t always align.
What Apps Do: Angler apps provide a convenient means for tracking real-time data about our fishing activity. Using smartphones and tablets, anglers are able to record, store, retrieve, and even transmit a wide variety of data. According to an authority on the research application of angler apps, Dr. Paul Venturelli Director of Environmental Sciences at Ball State University Indiana says that some angler apps now automatically record data such as date and time, weather, location, moon phase, and the GPS coordinates of the route travelled throughout the day. Additional data can be manually entered, such as fish species, number caught, size and condition, location of each capture, water temperature, depth and method of angling, a photo, and if the fish was harvested or released. According to Dr. Venturelli, data collected can make anglers more knowledgeable and effective, provide support to research initiatives, and might someday be used by regulators to manage fishing pressure and fish stocks.
What Apps don’t do: Anglers have made it abundantly clear that they won’t enter data that could give away location information that is specific to hard-earned prized fishing hotspots. They are reluctant to share this important information with other anglers. Researchers interested in studying a specific species of fish are often disappointed with the low number of anglers who submit relevant data for a specific water body or fish species. Regulators remain unconvinced that the data that is collected or reported by these apps accurately reflect the true experience of each angler. No doubt, there is still lots of room for app improvement, especially as more angler apps are released every year.
Privacy: All people who fish want to become better anglers. It’s why we are keenly interested in the success of others. And yet, we can’t help but brag about our own fishing successes even though we know our fellow anglers are more interested in deciphering where and how we caught the fish than they are in the specific fish we caught. For this reason, developers of angler apps are continuously searching for that perfect balance between sharing and privacy. And central to reaching this balance is ensuring anglers continue to have say over what information is shared and with whom.
Integration: Industry is capitalizing on the growing trend of anglers using apps to track their personal fishing efforts. Technologies are being integrated to offer anglers a seamless electronic data collection and display experience. For example, the Anglr app, Lowrance Sonar, and Abu Garcia fishing rod companies now offer anglers the ability to press a button built into the fishing rod itself to convey data to the smartphone app which, in turn, communicates with the sonar unit. The end-result is a wide range of data being collected, recorded and displayed through a variety of devices.
Resource Management: Governments are also beginning to pay attention to the growing popularity of angler apps. A recent report issued by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) states: “When electronic reporting is part of a probability-based sampling survey design, it has the potential to reduce data collection costs and improve the quality of reported information.” What NOAA is hoping is that at some point, sufficient data will be logged for use in expanding the findings of more traditional, and costly, creel surveys. The NOAA report goes on to say that for these apps to produce fish population level estimates based on electronically reported angler catch-data, a large number of anglers would have to use the apps consistently, and to report accurate information about their fishing trips.
The NOAA recommends that a “statistically valid probability-based sampling survey” would need to validate any self-reported data by eliminating any “outlier” data points that have little in common with the majority of reports. In addition, any survey would have to monitor reporting frequency and track the frequency of trips that are not being reported.
Qualitative or Quantitative: The NOAA report raises important questions about the validity of data that is collected by angler apps. It suggests this raw form of data is suitable only as a qualitative means of supporting citizen science research and is not reliable as quantitative data, essential for assessing and adjusting fishing rules and regulations. In a nutshell, there is an abundance of data being collected through angler apps, but there are surprisingly few instances where government researchers and policy makers use the information.
Bias: The NOAA study points out that when recreational catch estimates are produced using data collected through an opt-in website or mobile app, “the estimates are likely to be biased.” This means that anglers can’t always be counted on to accurately report the results of their day’s fishing. People may not think it’s relevant that they made, let’s say, 9,999 casts without catching a Muskie, or that the Muskie they did catch but didn’t bother reporting wasn’t anything close to their personal best. But knowing how much effort it took to achieve success is just as important as tracking the number of juvenile Muskies in a system, or the number of days fished without a single successful capture. None of this may be regarded by anglers as valuable data.
Creel Surveys: Governments conduct creel surveys to inform the creation of policies, regulations, and efforts to rebuild fish stocks. The data are collected by surveying anglers at boat launches and shore fishing locations. The data contain information on catch rates, species caught, numbers of fish harvested or returned, and the general area being fished over a set time period. The problem with creel surveys, according to Sean Simmons, CEO of Anglers Atlas and inventor of the MyCatch App, is that they can cost upwards of $25,000 to survey a single body of water. This makes them ineffective at monitoring overall fishing pressure and fish stock health.
Citizen Science: Fish researchers are highly dependent on anglers as citizen scientists to locate, capture, and report tagged fish. While anglers may be notoriously secretive about their fishing hot spots, researchers are achieving success in convincing them that reporting catch data is in the best interest of the sport and resource overall.
Research: Researchers are also turning to anglers to assist with targeted research initiatives that involve electronic reporting technology. These are time-limited research initiatives that often focus on fish species of mutual concern. Without the support of anglers, the research would not be possible at even four times the cost. Without this research, anglers would have no idea about whether their beloved sport fish species are imperilled or recovering. Unfortunately, maintaining the interest of anglers in longer-term research initiatives is proving difficult since apps may be good at collecting data, they are surprisingly weak at facilitating the two-way communication that is essential for maintaining longer term angler engagement.
Tournaments: Electronic reporting of fish captures during fishing tournaments is already well underway. Many tournament organizers post tournament results in real time as the competition unfolds. Typically, this identifies the number of anglers, total hours fished, location and weather, and the number and size of fish caught. The recently launched Major League Fishing tournament series has taken catch reporting to the next level by requiring anglers to report the total number and size of all fish caught, instead of the competitors transporting their fish to the event weigh-in station. On-line fishing communities are also taking the next step and encouraging their members to report their individual fishing results, similar to the approach Muskie Canada initiated back in the 1970s with their catch log program.
Catch, Record, Release: Increasingly, fishing clubs are experimenting with electronic reporting apps to provide their members with both collective and real-time results. Many club events now use Facebook to record catches during club outings and competitive events. Individual posts include catch, measure, photograph, and release data. The problem with using Facebook to store such data is the inability of researchers to electronically “scrape” data from Facebook pages, making it necessary to manually transcribe what has been posted.
Bucket List Fishing: Even if governments continue to perceive data generated by catch reports by anglers using apps as unreliable, this doesn’t mean they won’t someday become the norm. Many young anglers are choosing to use apps to track their fishing effort and successes, and to share with others details about their fishing results. In short, a new generation of anglers seems less concerned with privacy and more interested in pursuing one-off bucket list fishing challenges, and then enthusiastically sharing their experiences with others.
Sustainable Management: If fishing rules, regulations, and stocking efforts are to respond efficiently to fishing pressure and other factors that impact fish stocks and fish health, then some sort of system will be required to track and report on angler fishing efforts that are specific to individual bodies of water. The alternative is for anglers to continue to self-regulate based on what retired fish biologist and Outdoor Canada Magazine fishing editor Gord Pyzer calls “pulse fishing.” More on that next.
Pulse Fishing: We all practice pulse fishing to one degree or another. We hear about an up-and-coming hot fishery through the grape vine and then check it out for ourselves. Word spreads, and before you know it the fishery is the new “community fishing hole.” This lasts for as long as the fishing remains relatively good. But as soon as it starts to drop off, we shift our fishing effort to the next reported hotspot, allowing the depleted location to enter a period of re-building. Since it’s seldom the case that all the fish were caught, these fish stocks will slowly rebound until the fishery, once again, is rediscovered. It may not be pretty, but it’s what happens now.
Self-Management: Until governments invest considerably more money in monitoring popular fishing locations, it may just be the case that fishing apps will become the go-to tool for anglers to soften the peaks and valleys experienced by popular fishing locations. Additionally, spreading out fishing pressure over more spots instead of huge numbers of anglers moving on massefrom one spot to another could mean less time and fuel spent chasing down false leads. And that’s good for the planet. Both anglers and the environment could be better served through the transparent sharing of accurate real-time fishing data.
Managing Angling Pressure: Whether we ever get to the point that individual fishing locations are managed based on real-time fishing pressure is difficult to say. Many of the commercial fisheries are now managed this way, so it may not be that far off before there’s a convergence between science-based fish management and the collection and accurate reporting of individual fishing effort. The challenge is how such mandatory reporting can be enforced. While not yet electronic, similar resource management practices are already being used in Wisconsin by anglers fishing for Lake Sturgeon.
Grass Roots Initiatives: It’s unlikely that government will adopt the approach of using self reporting data to manage fishing pressure any time soon. But we may not be that far away from changes at the lake or cottage association level. Look to them as they consider the adoption of new voluntary strategies for managing their shared resource. After all, it’s better to have informed local anglers, than people continuing to fish with the false expectation that the supply is infinite. Not knowing can lead to cottagers on a lake harvesting a limit of fish every weekend, or assuming that the number of fish in their lake has dropped to dangerous levels, resulting in calls to unnecessarily curtail or suspend angling altogether. It’s the lack of knowing that fuels ignorance and resentment.
The Future: Builders of angler apps are consulting with stakeholders (including anglers, tournament organizers, researchers, government biologists, etc.) to advance the use of their new apps. We are now witnessing the beginning of a shift in how we manage our fisheries collectively. Angler apps will become the norm, if not an essential component of the management of recreational fisheries and their oversight. It’s no longer a question of if, but when.
Link below to hear Dr. Venturelli discuss with the author the strengths, weaknesses and future of angler apps on the podcast “Blue Fish Radio”:
Link below to hear Sean Simmons discuss with the author how his MyCatch app is being used by anglers to support fisheries research on the podcast “Blue Fish Radio”:
Link below to hear Gord Pyzer discuss with the author the pros and cons of pulse fishing on the podcast “Blue Fish Radio”:
Blue Fish Canada was pleased to be able to take part in the World Wetlands Day celebrations in Akwesasne on February 2. Our volunteers distributed a range of fish health and water quality resources and our tips on sustainable fishing. We were part of a variety of interesting and diverse groups of exhibitors representing the scientific, conservation and youth engagement initiatives – all of which were well received by the Mohawk community and people from both sides of the Kaniatarowanenneh (St. Lawrence River).
The three Mohawk communities situated on the St. Lawrence have worked hard to protect and restore wetlands along the River. Heavy industrialisation during the first half of the 20th century and lax pollution control measures meant severe contamination of wetlands and the River that are still impacting the River to this day. Warnings and outright bans on consuming Walleye for health reasons remain in effect. Numerous areas of concern have yet to be addressed, but progress is being made.
In spite of remediation challenges, Efforts by the Mohawk Council to reconnect their youth to the River through fishing are underway. Youth and their families visiting our Blue Fish Canada exhibit Sunday demonstrates that these community initiatives are paying off, as made evident by the participation of the Mohawk nation in the Pan American Bass Fishing Tournament on the St. Lawrence River organized by Bob Izumi and the Canadian Sportfishing Association in 2019.
Blue Fish Canada volunteers and our president Lawrence Gunther were humbled when they met the many Mohawk youth, their families and elders, and heard the passion in their voices for the St. Lawrence River. It comes from the thousands of years the Mohawk have lived along the River’s banks. It’s a connection that has been undermined by the mess heavy industries from early in the previous century left behind. “We all love the River”, says Lawrence Gunther, “and feel the pain of not knowing if Walleye caught can be safely eaten, or if it’s one of the heavily contaminated fish that make up two of every ten fish according to research underway”.
No one can deny the St. Lawrence is still a beautiful part of earth, and one that deserves celebrating and our respect, such as through this World Wetlands event hosted by the Mohawk Community of Akwesasne. ”
Link here for a first-hand account of the Mohawk people’s fight to restore the St. Lawrence River and to strengthen their connection to the River on Blue Fish Radio first aired in 2017.
Link Here for Bob Izumi’s post tournament summary and his reflections of Mohawk nation participation in the 2019 Pan American Bass tournament aired on Blue Fish Radio.
Last week Blue Fish Canada reported on 2019 Program Highlights geared to recreational anglers seeking to enhance their stewardship and citizen science skills. Today we want to draw your attention to our recently published Report: Fish Health in the Great Lakes and Upper St. Lawrence River.
The goal of the Report is to promote fish health research, increase angler involvement, and inform policy and programs essential to ensuring the future of fish and fishing.
Water quality issues are numerous, but understanding how these issues impact fish health and the people and communities who have a vested interest in fish, are often over-looked. Blue Fish Canada will work to ensure the 17 recommendations contained within the Fish Health report are implemented. But, we can’t do it without you. It takes a community of anglers to ensure the future of fish health and the communities whose socio-economic sustainability depend on healthy fish stocks.
Although Blue Fish Canada programs rely 100% on volunteers, there are still costs associated with delivering important initiatives such as representing the concerns and views of recreational anglers and their communities. Over 17-million Canadians have tried fishing, support recreational fishing, and have plans to go fishing again. Help Blue Fish Canada raise the status of fish health to maintain this important connection with nature through the stewardship and sustainability of wild fish.
Healthy fish stocks and our connection to nature are intrinsically linked. A path forward to connect fish health stakeholders is clearly articulated in the Fish Health Report, but implementing the Report’s 17 recommendations takes resources. This is your chance to pay it forward so Blue Fish Canada can begin implementing the recommendations needed to build a Fish Health Network.
The Fish Health Report represents the views of scientists, fishers, government, conservationists and business. While the focus of the Report is the Great Lakes Basin and Upper St. Lawrence River, the Report’s methodology sets out a framework that will be replicated as we engage stakeholders across Canada.
The time to dream and plan is now over. The path forward is well defined and includes broad stakeholder engagement. It’s time to take action and begin implementing the recommendations of the Fish Health Report.
Please lend your support by getting involved or by making a tax deductible donation as we launch this next phase of stakeholder engagement with the goal of ensuring fish health and the future of fishing. Don’t forget to sign up for our Blue Fish News Letter.
Lawrence Gunther Euteneier M.E.S. M.S.M.
President / Blue Fish Canada
Word from the President: As the Founder and president of Blue Fish Canada, and Canada’s only blind outdoor writer, podcaster, TV host and film maker, I’m continuously engaging with stakeholders to track and promote Canada’s water quality, fish health and recreational fishing. This includes partnering with local and national fishing and conservation organizations, experts and centres of expertise, and anglers engaged in citizen science. At the same time, Blue Fish volunteers are busy implementing programs and reporting back on successes and lessons learned. Here’s a summary of what we accomplished this year.
Sustainable Fishing Tips cover harvesting recommendations and catch-and-release best practices:
- Fact-checked by leading Blue Fish Science Advisors;
- Adopted by fishing and conservation groups across Canada;
- Regionally customized to include fish ID information and relevant fish handling best practices.
Blue Fish Sustainable engages partner organizations and recognizes their commitment:
- Partners feature and distribute Blue Fish Tips;
- Sustainable harvesting recommendations and catch-and-release best practices become partner policies;
- Public recognition and endorsement of partners for their stewardship commitments;
TV extends the reach of Blue Fish to mainstream audiences:
- Semi-weekly 12-minute outdoor environmental stories on “Live from Studio 5”;
- Monthly 5-minute outdoor conservation segments aired on “AMI This Week”;
- Streamed on the Web and aired on basic cable and satellite TV across Canada;
Stewardship Kits available to anglers and partner members at cost:
- Includes catch-and-release sustainable fishing tackle;
- Fish ID cards and regionally relevant tips inform new anglers on best practices;
Youth and Family Fishing events inform and inspire the next generation of conservation minded anglers:
- Sponsored two family ice fishing derbies and one shore fishing event on Family Fishing Weekends;
- Provided families with shoreline clean-up kits, EagleClaw circle hooks, tin weights and floats, fish ID cards and tips for handling fish;
- Events included the Harbour Harvest Ice Fishing Derby, the Ottawa Family Fishing Ice Derby, and the Remic Rapids Family Fishing Day;
Outdoor Magazine Publications include information about Blue Fish programs and stewardship strategies:
- Seven articles published in magazines such as Outdoor Canada, Muskie Release Journal, North-East Ontario Tourism, etc.
- Topics included anglers as citizen scientists, Muskie catch-and-release best practices and reporting on fish kills;
What Lies Below feature film introduces viewers to water quality and fish health issues across Canada:
- Ten water quality / Fish health stories told by anglers and fishers from across Canada;
- 79-minute Feature documentary airs on CBC television;
- In April 2020 will begin airing on YouTube;
- Funds raised through screenings go to Blue Fish Canada;
Blue Fish Tips for integration with 3rd-party audio content:
- 52 1-minute audio stewardship tips available for listening and downloading;
- Leading fishing podcast producers include Tips as PSA’s.
Feel the Bite Videos explain why we all need to be stewards:
- 12 viewable and downloadable 5minute video stewardship tips;
- Used by schools, outdoor shows and 3rd-party websites;
Urban Fishing Nodes create fishing access and fish habitat:
- Working with city officials and Indigenous leaders to build fishing access into shoreline development projects;
- Provides urban youth with low-cost outdoor experiences;
- venues for Blue Fish volunteers to mentor new recreational anglers;
Sustainable Fishing Seminars showcase Canada’s diverse and rich natural abundance and the stewardship roles anglers’ play:
- 17 seminars ranging from 30 to 60 minutes;
- Venues included: Ottawa Boat Show’s CSFL Super Tank, Toronto Sportsman Show’s Outdoor Seminar Stage, high schools and fishing / conservation clubs;
Mainstream Media coverage:
- Twice featured on Outdoor Journal Radio;
- Featured on podcasts including Tom Rowland, Ugly Pike and Fish Nerds;
- 4-minutes on CTV Morning news;
Outdoor Shows allow anglers to learn about Blue Fish programs and to provide feedback:
- Exhibited ten days at the Ottawa Boat Show, the Toronto Sportsman Show, and the Musky Odyssey;
- Distributed free shoreline clean-up kits, fish ID cards and stewardship tips;
- Over 150 original Posts shared with groups and influencers across Canada;
- Twitter and Facebook accounts include:
Conferences and Webinars provide venues to promote water quality, fish health and recreational fishing:
- Participated in 11 conferences, symposiums, stakeholder consultations, annual meetings and webinars;
- Representing angler issues over fish health and concerns regarding access;
Fish Health consultations and report directly links fish health concerns to issues such as water quality:
- Authored the consultation report “Fish Health in the Great Lakes Basin and Upper St. Lawrence River”;
- Stakeholders included recreational anglers, indigenous fishers, scientists, recreational fishing industry, and government;
Blue Fish Radio sponsorship of the podcast continues:
- 52 new Blue Fish Radio episodes aired by 18 podcast broadcasters;
- Reflections and advice on conservation by “giants” of the Canadian fishing industry (Bob Izumi, J.P. DeRose, Dave Mercer, Peter Bowman, Angelo Viola, Jeff Gustafson, and more);
- Expert guests covered everything from the Striped Bass / Atlantic Salmon controversy on Canada’s east coast, to the struggling salmon populations on the west, and everything in between including Walleye on Lake Winnipeg and fish kills on the Ottawa River;
- The podcast now ranks in top-30 fishing podcasts by Feedspot, and is the official podcast of Outdoor Canada Magazine;
Summary: Blue Fish Canada continues to serve an increasingly important role in the future of fish and recreational fishing across Canada thanks to dedicated volunteers and the funds provided by donors and foundations. Please think of Blue fish Canada the next time you want to show how much you love the tremendous fisheries Canada has to offer.
Blue Fish Canada
Tired of hearing about climate change and how it’s going to destroy the world as we know it? Well, try doing some of the following and let’s put a halt to climate change and all that bad news. These New Year’s resolutions have nothing to do with losing weight, and everything to do with the health and wellbeing of us all. The following are 12 actions experts recommend each of us can do to prevent further climate change:
- Measure Up: There’s some truth to the saying “What gets measured gets managed,” and quantification has become something of a cultural obsession. Oroeco, an app available on both Android and iOS, takes that zeal and applies it to tracking personal carbon emissions. Oroeco helps quantify the carbon emissions associated with purchases, investments, dietary choices and preferred modes of transport. It allows users to set goals, track performance and even compare their performance with friends.
- Reduce Consumption: Reuse everything possible, fix and repair items, recycle those items that can’t be used again.
- Conduct an Energy Efficiency Audit and develop an improvement plan: Weatherizing, using energy efficient appliances and light bulbs, and unplugging devices top the list for reducing your energy usage.
- Consider Solar: Take advantage of government programs or join a Solar Power Club to add the power of solar energy to your home or business. Whether it’s a solar heater to complement your regular water tank, or a solar panel to generate electricity, or simply using passive solar energy to heat your home, it will all help to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels.
- Switch Diets: By switching to a diet full of nuts, beans, fish and less meat, global warming could be reduced by up to 15 percent by 2050. By eating fish instead of steak, you’ll produce an eight-fold reduction in emissions, and switching to beans or lentils drops your footprint to almost zero.
- Waste Not: Worldwide, agriculture accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. We can help slash emissions by simply wasting less food. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about a third of the food produced worldwide never gets eaten. North American consumers and restaurants are some of the worst — throwing away almost 40 percent of the food they purchase.
- Compost: Whether you have a backyard bin, vermiculture (worm) bin, or utilize curbside pickup, composting benefits the environment. Food scraps and yard waste are typically about 30% of the waste going to landfills and incinerators. There is a two-fold climate benefit to composting by reducing the amount of methane gas released into the atmosphere.
- Install a Rain Garden: Climate change means more dramatic weather events, including flooding. Rain gardens are beautiful additions to any size yard and will relieve burdens on municipal water treatment systems, filter runoff pollutants, and protect local waterways.
- Plant a Tree: All residential communities should adopt the goal of 60% tree cover. Trees will clean the air, capture carbon and provide habitat and food for native wildlife.
- Use Transit: The transportation sector contributes over 1/3 of our carbon emissions. Use alternative transportation, such as biking, walking, taking the bus, and carpooling. Or, go electric. By committing to walk or bicycle distances under 1 km, about roughly 20% of car trips, you will eliminate 611 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. That’s the equivalent of the weight of a football or a can of soup.
- Step it up: Talk to people about the unraveling Arctic, extreme weather, rising temperatures and oceans, and all the rest that adds up to climate change. Challenge people who still think it’s nothing more than another of nature’s phases, but be respectful when presenting the facts.
- Get Civically Involved: Find and join a local climate change or conservation group. Phone and email your government representatives. Ask questions of store managers when making purchases.
Blue Fish Canada has partnered with leading Bass tournament organizations to promote conservation.
- Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation
- B1 Fishing
- Orleans Boat World Fishing Invitational
Support from Blue Fish Canada includes providing each competitor with a shoreline clean-up kit and a handy reference guide detailing “Ten Bass Tournament Conservation tips”.
Blue Fish Canada also sets up a Fishing Tackle Recycler on site to collect and recycle used fishing tackle such as line, lead weights and jigs, soft plastic baits, and other terminal tackle.
Many of Canada’s top bass anglers compete in these tournaments, and Blue Fish Canada is there to lend a hand to ensure bass experience minimum stress and are returned healthy.
Blue Fish Canada is pleased to announce its support for the 2018 Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation Hank Gibson Provincial Qualifier. Support for the annual BASS tournament includes providing each competitor with a shoreline clean-up kit and a handy reference guide detailing “Ten Bass Tournament Conservation tips”. “It’s an honour to support such an important “catch & release tournament” says Lawrence Gunther, President of Blue Fish Canada and former OBN competitor himself.
Blue Fish Canada and the North Bay Bassmasters will also be joining forces to collect and recycle used fishing tackle such as line, lead weights and jigs, soft plastic baits, and other terminal tackle. As well, Blue Fish Canada is pleased to provide each angler with a $20 Cabela’s coupon to put towards their next purchase – thank you once again Cabela’s for supporting another Blue fish Canada conservation initiative!
Hosted by the North Bay Bassmasters, this year’s Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation Qualifier will include over 90 teams competing for the right to represent Ontario at the regional level. “Many of Ontario’s best bass anglers will be competing in the Qualifier for the chance to go on to compete for what many consider to be the world’s most coveted bass tournament prize – the “Bassmaster Classic”, Says Jason Barnucz, Conservation Director for the Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation.
The provincial qualifier event will be held over the weekend of August 25 on Lake Nipissing. It’s a lake known for both its tremendous fishery and volatile nature” says Mathew Koprash, tournament organizer and Conservation Director for the North Bay Bassmasters.
Blue Fish Canada is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to the future of fish and fishing. Programs inspire and equip outdoor enthusiasts to promote conservation through citizen science. Link here to learn more about Blue Fish Canada: www.BlueFishCanada.ca
The Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation was founded in 1995 and is made up of 24 clubs from across the Province of Ontario. The Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation is a grass-roots organization designed for everyone from beginners to seasoned tournament anglers. Link here to learn more about the Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation and the Hank Gibson Provincial Qualifier: www.ontariobass.com
Lawrence Gunther, Blue Fish Canada, 613-882-3028
Mathew Koprash, North Bay Bassmasters, 1-249-358-0402
Blue Fish Canada was pleased to be asked to take part once again in the 25th Anniversary of the annual science symposium organized by the St. Lawrence River Institute on Environmental Research. Our presentation focused on the citizen science work Blue Fish Canada inspires and informs through our Fish Stewardship and Citizen Science program. It was a packed room, and the presentation received strong positive feedback. More about the symposium follows:
For Immediate Release
May 28, 2018
Sharing Knowledge and Linking Science on the St. Lawrence River
by Karen Douglass Cooper, St. Lawrence Institute of Environmental Sciences
The St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental SciencesSt. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences will pay homage to its history while looking ahead towards the future when it hosts the 25th Anniversary Great Lakes / St. Lawrence River Ecosystem Symposium this May 30 and 31 at OPG St. Lawrence Power Development Visitor Centre. The conference began in 1993 in Cornwall, Ontario (one year before the River Institute was founded) as a means of bringing scientists and communities together to discuss fresh water issues. IAGLR has been held conjointly with the River Symposium twice, in 2000 and again in 2012. Twenty five years on, River scientists and community members from Ontario, Quebec, Akwesasne, and New York State will come together to re-visit the original conference theme, ‘Sharing Knowledge – Linking Sciences’.
The theme celebrates the River Institute’s founding partners and neighbours, the Mohawks of Akwesasne, and highlights projects and programs that link ecosystem science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). River Institute Executive Director, Dr. Jeff Ridal says, “Our collective responsibility to protect the environment is from an indigenous perspective and is laid out at the beginning of each conference with the “The Words that Come Before All Else” which is the traditional Mohawk Thanksgiving Address.”
Over the past two and a half decades the Institute has evolved into a unique nucleus for fresh water research, education, and community engagement throughout the Great Lakes – St Lawrence River ecosystem. That uniqueness comes in part from its connection to community and a desire to develop an enhanced awareness of the value of TEK by integrating it into scientific research. This integration is playing a vital role on the upper St. Lawrence River where public involvement plays such a vital role.
River Institute Board Chair Walter Oeggerli says, “Our experience at the River institute has been that the stories that define our history are important pathways to engage people in environmental issues and also serve to inspire scientific inquiry and research.”
Over the course of two information packed days, the 2018 Symposium will also feature three keynote speakers that exemplify scientific inquiry and community engagement.
On May 30, the Symposium’s Community Science Day, Canadian explorer and Order of Canada recipient, Dr. Geoff Green of Students on Ice and Canada C3 fame will join local high school students. He will speak on the epic 25,000 km. Coast to Coast to Coast research and reconciliation expedition that he led along Canada’s coastline in 2017.
The next day will highlight fresh water research and remediation. Tony David, Water Resources Manager with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe of Akwesasne and winner of the 2017 Environmental Champion Award from the U.S. EPA, will discuss his work in the decommissioning and removal of the Hogansburg Dam. The first project of its kind for a Native American Tribe, the removal has opened up over 500 miles of river and streams as spawning habitat for migratory fish.
Dr. John Smol, professor in the Biology Department at Queen’s University and Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change, as a guest speaker, will round out the day River Ecosystem discussion. A Co-director of Queen’s Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL), Dr. Smol’s talk is entitled appropriately enough, “Looking Back to Predict the Future”.
For more details or to RSVP please contact:
Karen Douglass Cooper
Community Outreach Officer / Remedial Action Plan Coordinator
St. Lawrence River (Cornwall)
St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences
situated on the traditional lands of the Kanien’keha:ka
2 St. Lawrence Dr.
Cornwall, ON. K6H 4Z1
(613) 936-6620 (ext. 229)
I’m proud to have the honor of being the first Canadian to take part in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 3-day Fisheries Science and Management for Recreational Anglers Workshop. The fact the NOAA offers such a Workshop demonstrates that the National Marine Fisheries Program understands the social and economic value of recreational fishing.
The 3-day workshop took place in Hanover Maryland and included guides, outfitters, headboat captains, outdoor writers, conservationists, and even someone from the American Sportfishing Association. I learned a ton about recreational fishing through the course materials and presenters, and conversations with NOAS’s scientists and Workshop participants. I walked away with a wealth of information and new connections that will support Blue Fish Canada to contribute even more to improving the science -based management of Canada’s recreational fisheries that coexist alongside our commercial fishing industry.
Without doubt, the NOAA is working hard to develop resource management and stock sharing policies, and data collection and analysis programs that provide a framework to ensure their science-based stock management decisions balance the interests of both commercial fishers and recreational anglers. National Marine Fisheries Program regional advisory Commissions now include representatives for both sectors, along with other stakeholders interested in contributing to short and long-term planning decisions on how stocks are managed. Wouldn’t that be great if Canada opened up the decision making process to include recreational fishers as well?
Follow the links below to access a few of the NOAA recreational fishing resources provided:
Marine Resources Educational Program website: https://www.gmri.org/our-work/fisheries-convening/mrep-northeast
Link Link to workshop materials: https://www.gmri.org/our-work/fisheries-convening/mrep-northeast/workshop-materials
I want to thank the folks at NOAA for making it possible for me to attend this Workshop. By including a representative from Canada, they have planted the seeds of change that will hopefully see Fisheries and Oceans Canada do more to recognize recreational fishing as a significant socio-economic contributor equal to if not greater than commercial fishing.
As part of the Blue Fish Canada exhibit at the 2018 Ottawa Boat Show, BFC volunteers set up and ran the Kid’s Casting Zone – a 20’x40’ area complete with life-like fish silhouettes and actual fish-holding structure. Kids learned fish species identification and the different types of structure each species prefers, as well as precision casting.
CTV Morning News was there to feature the Blue fish Canada exhibit and the Casting Zone: http://ctv.news/oS7C4gd