In this June 28 2020 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we celebrate the up-coming Family Fishing Week – July 4-12! This week’s news includes curated Blue Fish Radio content to get those new to fishing connected with anglers from across Canada; links to the latest fish, fishing and water quality news; and, a Blue Fish Canada pan fishing resource to ensure you and your family get the most out of the up-coming Family Fishing Week.

**Last chance to take the Blue fish Steward 12-question Quiz and enter your name to win one of seven great prizes totaling $750 in value**

Editor Lawrence Gunther with his two youngest holding a Largemouth Bass that bit their artificial frog

Virtual fishing networks connect anglers across Canada, while groups seek to ensure the survival of native fish species:

Canadian Fishing Network nearing 11,000 strong – Blue Fish Radio
If you’re looking for a new fishing buddy or information about fishing in your area, you may want to consider following the Canadian Fishing Network on Facebook. Scottie Martin is the host and driving force behind the wildly successful CFN, which now has close to 11,000 followers on Facebook. They also just concluded another successful edition of the national fishing “Fish-Off” tournament led by CFN Michael Consul. The virtual fishing platform shows no signs of slowing, and is truly a grass-roots Phenomenon. Scottie and Mike were the guests on this episode of Blue Fish Radio.

Alberta Focusses on Rebuilding Native Trout Species – Blue Fish Radio
Five Alberta conservation groups and the Alberta government are working hard to rebuild native trout populations. Westslope Cutthroat Trout, bull trout and Athabasca rainbow trout are native trout species found in Alberta that now need help. Protecting these native species and the diversity they represent is crucial if we are to ensure the wide variety of fish and fishing opportunities across Alberta and Canada. The Alberta Native Trout Restoration Program includes The Cows and Fish, Trout Unlimited Canada, Foothills Research Institute, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Alberta Government. The Program entails: fish habitat improvements, a north Central Native Trout Recovery Program, a roadway Watercourse Crossing Remediation Initiative, a Westslope Cutthroat Trout Recovery Program, and a Whirling Disease detection, education and mitigation strategy. Listen as editor Lawrence Gunther speaks with senior ACA biologist Mike Rodtka as they discuss the many challenges ahead on Blue Fish Radio.

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Water Quality News

Fishing:

DFO’s Response to Fraser Chinook Salmon Conservation – Seafood Source
The DFO’s Fraser River Chinook salmon management measures announced June 20, 2020 are assessed by conservation groups as failing to protect endangered salmon runs. Others report that Fraser River Chinook stocks will continue to be tightly controlled, including limited harvests and a push-back on dates of certain fisheries. Specifically, a maximum size limit of 80 centimetres in southern marine recreational fisheries will be enforced for July and August, as well as a fishing closure at the mouth of the Fraser River. Limited harvest for First Nations will be allowed, and the commercial troll fishery will be pushed back into August to avoid Fraser chinook encounters.

Covid-19 Hits Florida Recreational Fishing Hard – Angling International
Florida is one of the US states hardest hit by COVID-19. Florida, often referred to as the ‘fishing capital of the world’, has more than four million anglers who generate $11.5 billion in economic impact and support more than 106,000 jobs.

The Golden Age of Smallmouth Bass – The IGFA
Smallmouth bass thrive in clear water. So, their tide began to turn after the Clean Water Act limited pollution of the Great Lakes and other waters, while clearing it as well. Further water clarification has been provided by exotic zebra and quagga mussels that crossed the Atlantic from Europe and colonized the Great Lake in the 1980s. Their populations have expanded to more lakes ever since, causing problems with shoreline infrastructure but providing water clarity for smallmouths to thrive. Invasive prey fish, such as the round goby, have also provided added forage for smallmouth bass. In their northern natural range, annual ice cover has been reduced in recent decades due to milder and shorter winters, which gives this warm water fish more time to spawn and grow.

American Sportfishing Association applauds passing of Great American Outdoors Act – Angling International
The body that represents the fishing tackle industry in the USA has applauded the passing of an historic public lands bill. By a comfortable majority, the US Senate gave the go-ahead to the Great American Outdoors Act, a landmark legislative package to fund access to and the maintenance of the nation’s public lands.

Fish Health:

Report on the 2020 State of Wild Atlantic Salmon – Atlantic Salmon Federation
The ASF’s annual look at Atlantic salmon returns to North American rivers shows that the downward trend in abundance continues. Last year’s adult salmon returns to North America were among the lowest in a 49-year data series, continuing a downward trend that threatens the sustainability of the species. In recent decades, the human harvest of wild Atlantic salmon has been significantly reduced through a series of conservation measures, helping to stabilize some populations, but recovery has been inhibited. Wild Atlantic salmon are struggling to adapt to warming rivers, changing oceans, and pressure from human development.

Teck Mines Elk Valley B.C. Coal Mine Expansion Threatens Westslope Cutthroat Trout – The Narwhal
Teck Resources’ Castle Mountain is being described by the company as an expansion of an existing mine, and not a ‘new’ mine — but critics say the project’s significant environmental impact should make it subject to a rigorous federal assessment. Tech’s own scientists report that mining associated selenium contamination has contributed to a 93% reduction in Westslope Cutthroat, a problem for Alberta’s trout recovery program. The coal mine’s expansion is expected to increase selenium pollution entering the rivers that flow into Alberta and Montana, causing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to request clarification on how the scientific assessment was conducted.

300-million-year-old fish resembles a sturgeon but took a different evolutionary path – Science Daily
Sturgeon, a long-lived, bottom-dwelling fish, are often described as “living fossils,” because their form has remained relatively constant, despite hundreds of millions of years of evolution.

Size matters in sex life of Atlantic salmon – Science Daily
For Atlantic salmon, size matters when it comes to love. Larger males and females that may spend up to four years at sea produce many more babies, but they are exceedingly rare compared to younger fish.

Key monitoring of herring near Haida Gwaii cancelled due to coronavirus – The Narwhal
The federal government axed seasonal dive surveys of endangered pacific herring off the B.C. coast, where the species has suffered worrying declines in recent decades. Herring are a key food source for west coast salmon and their continued over-harvesting is undermining the recovery of certain Chinook stocks at risk.

Water Quality:

More regulatory changes introduced in wake of Mount Polley mine disaster – Vancouver Sun
One of the largest mining-dam failures in the world in the past 50 years, the Aug. 4, 2014, collapse of Imperial Metals’ gold mine dam in B.C. shook the industry and caused wide spread concern that aquatic life would be harmed, particularly salmon that use the Quesnel Lake system to spawn. If the legislation is passed under the minority NDP government, a new chief permitting officer position will be created, separate from the chief inspector of mines.

A Shipwreck’s Incalculable Toll on a Remote Reef – Hakai Magazine
After a fishing boat ran aground on a fragile atoll, the consequences for the ecosystem were alarming—and curious. How the toxins from the shipwreck altered the ecosystem of the coral reef and the fish that lived nearby presents a disturbing but fascinating story.

Tourism:

Alaska Airlifts ‘Into the Wild’ Bus Out of the Wild – Outside Online
In recent years, the bus once occupied by Christopher McCandless had attracted tourists from all over the world—a growing number of whom had to be rescued in their attempt to reach the remote location. McCandless occupied the bus, located outside the town of Healy near the boundary of Denali National Park, during the spring and summer of 1992. He died there in mid-August, and his story was made famous by Jon Krakauer—first in a now-classic Outside story, “Death of an Innocent,” and then in his bestselling 1996 book, Into the Wild.

Business:

Fishbrain reaps benefit of significant shift to digital sales – Angling International
The shift towards e-commerce has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen bricks-and-mortar retailers across the globe forced to shut up shop. One company that has experienced the benefit of the shift is Fishbrain, described as the world’s largest social network for anglers.

Blue Fish Canada Sustainable Panfish Fishing Tips:

  1. Panfish live under docs and boathouses, and near rocks, weeds or around sunken brush.
  2. Panfish eat worms, grubs, flies and small fish, and can be caught using small artificial baits and lures.
  3. Use 4-6 pound test fishing line, non-lead weights and jigs sized 1/8 ounce or smaller, or non-offset size 8-12 circle hooks.
  4. Check harvest regulations before you go fishing and report tagged fish to aid with fish research.
  5. Use of small needle nose pliers can help with removing hooks, as does pinching down hook barbs.
  6. Cut the line near the hook if swallowed as fish can pass most small hooks safely.
  7. Hold fish out of water no longer than 30 seconds and always keep fish wet to protect the slime coating.
  8. Keep one of each panfish species in a bucket of water for observation, and change water regularly release fish.
  9. Never discard old fishing line, hooks, weights, artificial baits and live minnows into the environment.
  10. Always release extra-large panfish as these are the primary breeders.

About us:

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

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

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

Please rate The Blue Fish Radio Show on Apple Podcast so others will learn of this unique Canadian resource by visiting: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-blue-fish-radio-show/id1090189487?uo=4

Should you have a podcast suggestion or resource you would like to share, please send us a message to: Admin@BlueFishCanada.ca

Blue Fish Canada is a federally incorporated registered Canadian charity. Please consider making a small monthly donation to off-set the costs of this Newsletter and our other Blue Fish Canada programs by visiting: https://bluefishcanada.ca/donations/

It was not that long ago that I competed in over 2-dozen fishing tournaments in a season. As a blind angler, my reputation as someone who could feel even the lightest bite was earned by regularly placing ahead of most of my competition. I totally get the allure of fishing competitively and continue to compete in about a dozen tournaments each year for everything from bass to walleye to muskie and even carp. All this to say, tournament anglers understand the connection between keeping fish healthy and the future of their sport. This year is different though, this year we also need to think about a whole new range of issues related to keeping safe ourselves that goes way beyond life jackets and sun exposure – COVID-19.

In the Blue Fish News this week we bring you a special to ensure anglers have the knowledge needed to understand the unusual “one-health” issues the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced to competitive bass fishing. As always, we bring you the latest fishing, fish health and water quality news. And finally, check out our fully vetted and approved sustainable fishing tips when competing in bass tournaments – good luck everyone and stay safe.

Editor Lawrence Gunther with a 4lb Largemouth Bass

Ontario’s Bass Season Opener and Covid-19 One-Health Concerns

Across southern Ontario bass fishing season is in the process of opening up. It is a moment many speculated might not happen in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. Well, a lot of bright minds have given the matter considerable thought and plans are now underway to commence tournament bass fishing. Anglers understand the one-health connection between themselves and the fish, but this year they are faced with a third priority. In addition to catching the biggest bass and making sure they go back alive; we also need to stay COVID-19 free – the stakes have never been greater. The following three resources may not help you sleep the night before that big bass fishing tournament, but will give you the one-health knowledge to keep both the bass and yourself healthy.

The Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation is one of the biggest competitive bass tournament organizations in Ontario having 25 chapters and over 800 members. No wonder then their executive has been working overtime to figure out how to hold bass fishing tournaments without putting their members or the resource at risk. It is an uncharted “one-health” predicament that recognizes the connection between fish and anglers in ways never imagined. Link below to hear OBN’s VP and Conservation Director Jason Barnucz speak with Lawrence Gunther about the good news and the bad for the upcoming 2020 OBN bass fishing season on this episode of Blue Fish Radio: https://bluefishradio.com/bass-fishing-tournaments-and-covid-19/

Dr. Bruce Tufts runs the freshwater research centre at Queen’s University and knows a thing or two about catching and releasing fish alive. He is also looked inside more than his fair share of fish to learn just what makes them thrive, which led to his team’s developing the Shimano live release weigh-in system including a live-release boat. Dr. Tufts is also a world leader in the field of understanding the impacts invasive gobies are having on spawning Great Lakes and St Lawrence Bass – crucial information every angler should know. Link below to hear Dr. Tufts speak about his research, and his thoughts on kids spending time on the water on this episode of Blue Fish Radio: https://bluefishradio.com/bruce-tufts-on-gobies-bass-and-youth/

We already established the fact that Dr. Bruce Tufts is an expert on researching and conducting field studies on bass in Ontario. But did you know that because of Dr. Tufts research that the government of Ontario recently conducted consultations this past spring on whether to change the rules governing the capture and harvest of both Smallmouth and Largemouth bass in Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence (FM Zone 20)? Link below to learn about Dr. Tufts’ latest research on how climate change is impacting the timing of bass spawning, and the government’s range of proposed changes on this episode of Blue Fish Radio: https://bluefishradio.com/dr-bruce-tufts-on-bass-research-and-regulatory-changes-in-fm-zone-20/

**Don’t forget to take the Blue Fish Steward 12-question Quiz and enter your name to win one of seven great prizes totalling $750 in value**

The Latest Fishing, fish Health and Water Quality News

Fish and Fishing:

Free fishing weekend in Ontario June 20-21 for Father’s Day – Government of Ontario
Canadian residents can fish in Ontario without buying a fishing licence during: Family Fishing Weekend in February; Mother’s Day Weekend in May; Father’s Day Weekend (June 20-21); and, Family Fishing Week (July 4-12).

Shimano Steps up to Support Bass Weigh-In Best Practices – Renegade Bass Tour
Renegade Bass Tour is pleased to announce that Shimano has stepped up and purchased a weigh-in bag for each competing team. With new Covid-19 weigh-in procedures designed to keep both anglers and fish safe and healthy, each team will receive a new bag to use for the season to ensure accurate weights and optimum fish health. At the end of the season, teams can either return the bags, or purchase the bags for $40, in which case the funds will be donated by Shimano to Tufts Lab at Queens University in support of Dr. Tufts’ on-going research on weigh-in best practices to optimise fish health.

Early Positive Signs of Strong Atlantic Salmon returns Continue – Atlantic Salmon Federation
There are large and extremely healthy wild Atlantic salmon noted in rivers from Maine to Newfoundland. While water levels are dropping almost everywhere, there are some remarkable stories of the runs this year.

Pikeminnow still need to be caught despite cancellation of Cultus Lake fishing derby – Abbotsford News
Organizers of annual pikeminnow derby asking folks to continue to help get rid of the predatory fish. In turn, folks will be giving an endangered species of salmon a chance to survive. The event, which is held on Father’s Day weekend every year, typically attracts 400 to 500 people but this year it has been cancelled due to the COVID-19

Do carbonated beverages reduce bleeding from gill injuries in angled Northern Pike? – bioRxiv
The use of carbonated beverages to treat bleeding fish is an intervention practiced by some anglers. To assess the validity of the practice, scientists captured Northern Pike via hook and line, experimentally injured their gills in a standardized manner, and treated them with carbonated softdrinks and observed the duration and intensity of bleeding. The researchers found that the duration and intensity of bleeding increased regardless of the type of carbonated beverages used in this study. No scientific evidence was found to support the use of carbonated beverages for reducing or stopping blood loss for fish that have had their gills injured during recreational angling.

Invasive shrimp in Okanagan Lake still an issue after 50 years – InfoNews
By the time the B.C. government realized that introducing mysis shrimp into Okanagan Lake was a bad idea, it was too late. The Ministry of Environment thought the shrimp would provide a food source for the declining Kokanee fish population, but their science was flawed and has led to unforeseen consequences.

Water Quality:

Earth’s Largest Waterfall is Under the Ocean – EarthSky
Earth’s largest waterfall – known as the Denmark Strait cataract – begins 2,000 feet (600 meters) under the ocean surface near the southern tip of Greenland. From there, it plunges down nearly 3 km to the ocean floor.

Final Report – Nature-Based Climate Solutions Summit
Last February I attended the Nature-Based Climate Solutions Summit in Ottawa in my capacity as a member of the media. Interest in the topic of nature-based climate solutions was overwhelming with the Summit being capped at 400 participants. Clearly, the appetite for these conversations is there, and Summit organizers want to ensure that the momentum continues despite the current circumstances with COVID-19. The final Summit report containing links to videos of many of the sessions is now available.

Ontario Restores Environmental Rights – CELA – Canadian Environmental Law Association
The government of Ontario restored the 1994 Environmental Bill of Rights on June 15, 2020. Ontario suspended key provisions of the EBR in early April prompting 50 civil society organizations to raise concerns over the suspension as it eliminated public knowledge and accompanying rights to stay informed about environmentally significant decisions using the Environmental Registry.

Industry:

Master Promotions Acquires Canadian National Sportsman Shows – Master Promotions Ltd.
Halifax, Canada-based Master Promotions Ltd announced on Wednesday that it has acquired five major-market consumer boat and sporting goods shows from Canadian National Sportsmen’s Shows (CNSS). This includes one of the biggest and oldest outdoor shows in Canada, the Toronto Sportsman Show. Master Promotions has been producing trade shows and consumer shows across Canada since 1973, and several years back acquired the Ottawa Boat Show from CNSS.

Business:

Step up to your plate of sustainable seafood – The Chronicle Herald
The world has changed. Canadians have changed. As part of that change, we need to increasingly value what we have as a country and what our natural ecosystems continue to produce — for ourselves and for the world., With Covid-19 playing havoc with our traditional food chains, it is a fitting occasion to remind ourselves of Canada’s extraordinary potential to establish secure, long-term access to wild, organic sustainable seafood, rich in protein, nutrients and oils. Yet despite having the world’s longest coastline, most of the seafood consumed by Canadians is imported.

Patagonia Provisions challenges ocean fish farms by selling seafood – Forbes
Outdoor gear and seafood may seem like an unlikely pairing, but Patagonia wants to expand its environmental mission to restructure food supply chains through the Patagonia Provisions brand. Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard describes this new foray into the food realm as “the most important experiment we’ve ever tried”

Ten Bass Tournament Sustainable Fish Management Tips:

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

About us:

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

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

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

Please rate The Blue fish Radio Show on Apple Podcast so others will learn of this unique Canadian resource by visiting: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-blue-fish-radio-show/id1090189487?uo=4

Should you have a podcast suggestion or resource you would like to share, please send us a message to: Admin@BlueFishCanada.ca

Blue Fish Canada is a federally incorporated registered Canadian charity. Please consider making a small monthly donation to off-set the costs of this Newsletter and our other Blue Fish Canada programs by visiting: https://bluefishcanada.ca/donations/

In the June 14, 2020 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we dive into the Great Lakes and explore what’s good, what’s not good, and what’s being done about it. As always, the news includes links to timely fishing, fish health, water quality and other fishing related articles, and more about our Blue Fish Steward Quiz along with details of the prizes totaling over $750 in value!

Photo of Editor Lawrence Gunther fishing on the St. Lawrence River

This Week’s Feature:

Ever wonder why recreational fishing harvest regulations and fish consumption advisories don’t always mesh up? Or why different government organizations issue conflicting advisories concerning the same fish from the same body of water? Want to no more about why fishing advisories are issued in the first place, or what makes advisories necessary in the first place? As well, Fish move around, as does the water in the great lakes, so why do we have different advisories for the same species of fish based on some invisible line on the water? I and many other recreational anglers and indigenous fishers have been asking these questions and others for decades, and all the time wondering just who to believe.

For several years now I’ve been part of a process called the “Healthy Great Lakes Initiative” organized by the Canadian Environmental Law Association. They understand that water quality issues in the Great Lakes Basin and Upper St. Lawrence River includes fish health. With their support, I conducted a stakeholder consultation that explored Great Lakes and St. Lawrence fish health issues including speaking with people including recreational and indigenous fishing, the fishing and boating industry, conservation groups, government officials and the scientific community. They all agreed that not only is non-commercial fishing a valuable economic contributor valued at over $8-Billion annually, but an important part of the social fabric of both indigenous and non-indigenous shoreline communities. A number of recommendations came out of the process, which I’m pleased to report are beginning to be acted upon. You can read the report for yourself here: https://bluefishcanada.ca/resources/fish-health/

Mark Mattson is a lawyer and the Waterkeeper for Lake Ontario. Mark’s been advocating for more responsible ways to release sewage into our ecosystems. No doubt, the untreated sewage that is routinely released into the Great Lakes and associated watersheds each time there’s a significant rainfall is one problem. Another is the harmful chemical and other toxins that end up passing through sewage treatment plants and being released into the lakes and rivers each day. Link below to hear my conversation with Mark Mattson of Swim Drink Fish Canada on Blue Fish Radio: https://bluefishradio.com/sewage-continues-to-pose-problems-for-fishability/

The Great lakes and St. Lawrence Collaborative recently wrapped up their own consultations in which they explored issues such as addressing shoreline erosion, outdated infrastructure, invasive species, exposure to toxins, and beach contamination. The Collaborative recently released their final Action Plan calling for a $2.2 Billion investment by Canada that would result in ecological, public health, economic, and lifestyle benefits. One of the five organizations participating on the Collaborative was the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, responsible for overseeing what is the most valuable freshwater commercial fishery in the world. I had a chance to speak with the Fisheries Commission’s Bob Lambe Executive Director and Marc Gaden Communications Director and Legislative Liaison to discuss how fish health factored into the work of the Colaborative on this episode of Blue Fish Radio: https://bluefishradio.com/great-lakes-and-st-lawrence-collaborative/

Mercury and PCB have been an issue with fish health and the source of numerous fish consumption advisories throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence for decades. While many of these issues continue to this day, steps have also been taken to ensure further such contamination is prevented. Not so with a variety of new “forever” chemicals being released into the ecosystem by industry such as PFAS commonly found in products such as fire retardants and waterproofing agents. These are chemicals that biomass [accumulate] in fish and, if eaten by us, in humans as well. Worse, they are considered endocrine disruptors, or in other words, the cause of cancerous tumors, birth defects and other developmental disorders such as with the sex organs of juvenile fish. John Jackson, Co-Chair of the Binational Toxic-Free Great Lakes Network, is leading the charge in Canada to get chemicals such as PFAS listed as “chemicals of mutual concern”. John was my guest on the following episode of Blue Fish Radio: https://bluefishradio.com/great-lake-chemicals-of-mutual-concern/

Normand Peters is a Mohawk elder who has taken on the responsibility of educating the next generation of Mohawk of Akwesasne youth on their 10,000 years of fishing culture. Fears over consuming contaminated fish from the St. Lawrence has meant two generations of Mohawk people have lived along the river without catching and eating the fish. No wonder then it was the Mohawk that successfully pursued the companies that once dumped the chemicals into the river over decades of manufacturing along the its banks. The restoration work will be on-going for years. Blue Fish Radio was on hand to record the story of four Mohawk activists and now fishers who graduated from Normand’s outdoor education program: https://bluefishradio.com/restoring-the-st-lawrence-thanks-to-the-mohawks-of-akwesasne/

Finally, One of the recommendations concerning fish health getting underway is a new International Joint Commission initiative intended to explore fish consumption advisories of specific relevance to the Mohawk of Akwesasne. The goal is by working with the Mohawks, scientists and officials from both the Canadian and U.S. governments, we can begin to make sense of how advisories are formed and issued. Blue Fish Radio recently spoke with Dr. Laurie Chan, Canadian Co-Chair of the IJC initiative. Link below to hear how this first step will be used to inform a much broader process that will look at fish consumption advisories throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence: https://bluefishradio.com/ijc-on-new-great-lakes-fish-health-advisory-committee/

The Latest Fishing, fish Health and Water Quality News

Fishing:

Renegade Bass Tour’s 2020 season will continue
To comply with Federal and Ontario health guidelines, a number of changes will be implemented. RBT competitors are not to participate in the tournament if they have had any Covid-19 symptoms within the last 14 days leading up to an event.

Fish Health:

Sockeye Salmon Back in Canadian Lake for First Time in Fifty Years! – Goodnet
Restoration efforts have successfully brought back thousands of sockeye salmon to British Columbia’s Okanagan Lake. Sockeye salmon were once native to this lake in British Columbia, Canada, although they had not been seen in it for five decades.

Goldfish are rapidly taking over this B.C. lake – CBC
Dumping a couple of unwanted pet goldfish in a lake may not sound like a big deal but two can quickly multiply. Pinecrest Lake, which is located about halfway between Squamish and Whistler, had no goldfish in its waters last year — but now they number in the hundreds, according to the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council.

Atlantic Salmon Continue to Dwindle in Nova Scotia’s LaHave River – CBC
The Atlantic Salmon Federation calls on DFO to focus on restoration of Atlantic salmon in the LaHave River, instead of their current preoccupation with the St. Mary’s River in northeast Nova Scotia where Salmon populations are stable. The salmon advocates are asking for better support from government in areas where help is required.

Virus-infected salmon should not be sold – ASF
Nova Scotia salmon advocate raises concerns on the potential harm from distributing virus-infected salmon in areas not originally impacted. Advocates claim The Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture’s decision to give a 20-year permit to Cooke Aquaculture to raise farmed salmon in Liverpool Bay is both devious and reckless.

‘Eyes the size of a coffee cup’: Rare deep-sea fish found near Port Angeles – KOMO
A paddle boarder made a discovery of an extremely rare fish near Port Angeles Sunday that has wildlife researchers buzzing. The ribbonfish, known as the King-of-Salmon, was found at the Salt Creek Recreation area. The fish typically live down around 3,000 feet deep along the Pacific Coast and up till now, only four or five had ever been spotted between Washington and British Columbia.M

Water Quality:

Pebble Mine Nears a Decision but Questions Surround its Environmental Review – Hakai Magazine
Documents unveiled by a Freedom of Information Act request show agencies’ behind-the-scenes critiques of the proposed Pebble Mine. The Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP) plans to build an open-pit mine in a largely undeveloped stretch of southwest Alaska to extract a fraction of what may be the world’s biggest unexploited deposit of copper and gold. The proposed site for the mine lies under two rivers that drain into Bristol Bay, home to one of the world’s most productive wild salmon fisheries.

Elephant in the room – liabilities of open-pit mining – The Narwhal
On April 17, with the energy industry in crisis, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $1.7 billion in federal funding for cleaning up a long-festering environmental liability: orphan and inactive oil and gas wells. While it was viewed as a positive step to fix a growing problem, it also drew criticism for offloading the responsibilities of private corporations onto taxpayers. What about Alberta’s oil sands? The Alberta Energy Regulator says publicly that the liabilities of open-pit mining — the operations that produce tailings ponds — amount to $30 billion, though its internal estimates calculated a “worst-case scenario” of $130 billion. The province of Alberta has on hand less than $1 billion as the oil sands industry grapples with a declining market.

Lake Ontario Containment of 150-year-old toxic blob – The Narwhal
A $139-million underwater box the size of six city blocks is being built to contain an underwater contaminated zone in Hamilton’s Randle Reef for some 200 years. While critics point out the answer to the steel town’s historic pollution shouldn’t be found in making more steel, others say the technique should be considered for other toxic sites in Canadian waters

How a Yukon mine left behind a $35-million clean-up bill – The Narwhal
The Yukon Territorial government is on the hook to clean up the Wolverine mine after its owner went bankrupt. A system in place to secure funds for remediation throughout a mine’s life should have prevented this scenario, but it didn’t — and that doesn’t bode well for future mine clean-ups.

Indigenous:

Northern B.C. First Nations wrap up testimony in supreme court case against Rio Tinto (Alcan) – Prince George Matters
Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations launched legal action in BC Supreme Court in 2011 to save the Nechako River and its fisheries. The case centres around the impacts of the construction and operation of the Kenney Dam on the Nechako River and Saik’uz and Stellat’en’s constitutionally protected Aboriginal rights, including fisheries on the river.

Business:

Free Business Re-Opening Resource
A new free toolkit has been prepared by Destination Northern Ontario and Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario (NOTO). The toolkit is designed to provide guidance for business owners, operators, staff as well as customers.

Arts:

“Invader Crusader” Art Contest Winner Announced – Outdoor.Com
Wildlife Forever and Title Sponsor Bass Pro Shops, is proud to honor 7th grade, Pennsylvania artist, Tilden Abercrombie with the prestigious Invader Crusader award. The Invader Crusader award was created to spotlight the impact that invasive species have on fish and wildlife.

Blue Fish Steward Quiz

You already know how to catch fish, great, but are you the best angler you can be? Want to test your knowledge to see if you’re following the latest science-based best practices so released fish swim away healthy, and the fish stocks you harvest from are sustainable?

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/C6FS5MQ

Be one of seven lucky anglers who will receive gifts from Ranger Boats, Shimano, Orleans Boat World, EagleClaw, Salus Marine, Scotty Fishing and Musky Factory Baits – gifts totaling over $750 in value.

Blue Fish Canada has assembled a series of short quizzes to test your knowledge about fishing sustainably. They go beyond fishing regulations, and test how well you know the latest best practices and proven technologies that safeguard the welfare of fish and their long-term sustainability.

Take the first quiz and gain access to Blue Fish Canada’s interactive on-line citizen science resources, and the tools to become a certified Blue Fish Canada Steward including free decals and the chance to sample the latest sustainable fishing gear.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/C6FS5MQ

Whether you’re new to fishing and you want to make sure you’re catching, releasing and harvesting fish sustainably, or you want to mentor those new to fishing using the best available science-based knowledge, Blue Fish Canada has the free resources you need to fish with confidence, connect with nature sustainably, and give back in meaningful ways.

About us

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

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

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

Please rate The Blue fish Radio Show on Apple Podcast so others will learn of this unique Canadian resource by visiting: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-blue-fish-radio-show/id1090189487?uo=4

Should you have a podcast suggestion or resource you would like to share, please send us a message to: admin@bluefishcanada.ca

Blue Fish Canada is a federally incorporated registered Canadian charity. Please consider making a small monthly donation to off-set the costs of this Newsletter and our other Blue Fish Canada programs by visiting: https://bluefishcanada.ca/donations/

In this June 7, 2020 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we celebrate World Ocean Day (June 8) and the bounty the ocean represents.

This week’s Blue Fish Canada News includes:

  • Our weekly Feature including curated Blue Fish Radio interviews with experts and analysis;
  • Links to timely fishing, fish health, water quality and other news; and
  • A resource that will inform and inspire you to become better at both catch-and-release fishing, and at harvesting fish sustainably.

**Don’t forget to take the Blue fish Steward 12-question Quiz and enter your name to win one of seven great prizes totaling $750 in value**

Lawrence Gunther surf casting

World Ocean Day June 8:

This Week’s Feature celebrates World Ocean Day on June 8, and the sustainable seafood opportunities the world’s ocean represents. Not only is Canada surrounded on three sides by three oceans, but Canada also has the longest coastline in the world. Further, taking into consideration Canada’s rights over it’s coastal waters, the total area of ocean Canada has responsibility over is 2.67 million square kilometres representing 72% of Canada’s total territory. You would think that we would be world leading stewards of our good fortune.

Bren Smith is a Canadian now living on Long Island in the state of New York where he’s pioneering a Green Wave by showing and teaching the world how to farm the ocean sustainably. In Bren’s conversation with editor Lawrence Gunther on this episode of Blue Fish Radio, he speaks about his leaving Newfoundland and a career in the commercial fishing industry, and what inspired him to start an international movement to practice green aquiculture: https://bluefishradio.com/bren-smith-pioneers-green-wave/

With large-scale commercially harvested seafood piling up in freezers due to the closure of restaurants and vacant hotels, you would think that grocery stores would be bursting at the seems, but they’re not. No wonder then direct consumer to fisher seafood purchasing relationships are growing in number as never before. It’s a movement that has been long in the making, and we owe much of it to the hard work of Josh Stoll, a leader in the world in setting up Community Supported Fisheries and a past guest on Blue Fish radio: https://bluefishradio.com/josh-stoll-on-community-supported-fisheries/

Oceana Canada recently investigated seafood being sold in stores and restaurants in five cities across Canada, and their DNA findings were not promising. Upwards of 30% of seafood is being miss-labeled and its never the case of Arctic Char being sold as Tilapia. Josh Laugrehn is the Executive Director of Oceana Canada and has a lot to say about the state of Canada’s commercial fisheries. We use to be the 7th greatest commercial fish harvesting nation in the world, but we’ve since slipped to 21st. Are we on our way back? Listen as Lawrence and Josh discuss progress, challenges and what we still need to see happen before Canada can hold its head high as a sustainable commercial fishing nation: https://bluefishradio.com/oceana-canada-speaks-out-about-the-state-of-canadas-marine-fisheries/

Curious to learn if anything was being done to address the lawless harvesting and misleading sales of ocean seafood taken from international waters, Blue Fish Radio reached out and spoke with Michele Kuruc, VP of world ocean policy at the World Wildlife Fund. We heard about their leadership role in partnership with the U.S. government to rain-in the fish piracy taking place in international waters. https://bluefishradio.com/wwf-on-illegal-fishing/

Having taken part in the North Atlantic Cod fishery up until it’s ultimate demise in 1992 as a deckhand jigging for Cod aboard a 10-meter homemade wooden dory off Cape Breton Island between semesters at university, I know first-hand what it’s like when a once vibrant fishery is depleted. Fortunately, Canada is slowly turning this ship around and rebuilding fisheries, one fish stock at a time.

Non-profits such as Ocean Wise, formally known as the Vancouver Aquarium, have been leading the charge to raise awareness and demand for sustainable seafood. There are many businesses across Canada that are now delivering sustainably harvested seafood right to your door, and Ocean Wise is there to help connect consumers with just such seafood retailers who have earned their Ocean Wise sustainable certification. Learn about sustainable seafood home delivery options in Canada: https://www.aquablog.ca/2020/05/get-ocean-wise-seafood-delivered-to-your-home

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Water Quality News

Fishing:

Atlantic Salmon Federation News — ASF RiverNotes – 5 June 2020
Overall the 2020 Atlantic salmon angling is slow in starting. High water and a pandemic are reducing activity on many rivers. Yet Atlantic salmon are returning, and in some rivers there are some very beautiful early fish.

Angler incentive project launched on Kootenay Lake — Nelson Star
Anglers are asked to harvest their catch of rainbow and bull trout, then turn in the heads to one of four depots, and be entered into a monthly draw for prizes valued at $1,000.

Size Matters in Balancing Recreational Fishing Policy for Striped Bass — NOAA
A recent study by Science Center scientists sheds light on possible actions needed to rebuild the Atlantic striped bass fishery while minimizing adverse impacts to anglers. Andrew Carr-Harris and Scott Steinback evaluated the immediate economic and biological impacts of different types of recreational Atlantic striped bass fishing policies. Understanding how anglers respond to management changes is key to rebuilding overfished stocks like Atlantic striped bass.

Effort to Save Endangered Rockfish in BC Is Working — The Tyee
Many rockfish species are vulnerable to over fishing: they can live for more than a century, are slow to grow and reproduce, and don’t stray far from home habitats. Rockfish targeted within the inshore waters of Vancouver Island, including the Gulf Islands, have been in decline. A push using education and spy cameras shows promise in turning things around.

Bassmaster Elite Series Resuming Schedule On Historic Lake Eufaula
Finally, after the longest unplanned break in B.A.S.S. history due to COVID-19 precautions, the Bassmaster Elite Series will resume tournament action next week.

Fish Health:

Fraser River Big Bar Landslide Mitigation Costs Escalate — CBC
The cost of the federal contract for clearing out the Big Bar landslide has tripled to $52.5 million as crews try to meet the “very, very difficult” goal of allowing salmon to migrate naturally along the Fraser River. Federal scientists say some salmon populations in B.C. face possible extinction as a result of the landslide.

Why the Ocean Fish We Eat May Become More Toxic than Ever — Nature
Many species of fish — several of which end up on our plates — are displaying increasing levels of methyl-mercury, a very toxic substance. Why is this happening? Researchers from Harvard University believe that they may have the answer. At the moment, according to recent research, approximately 82% of the exposure to methyl-mercury that consumers get comes from eating seafood. In a new study, the results of which appear in the journal Nature, researchers suggest that levels of methyl-mercury in fish such as cod, Atlantic blue-fin tuna, and swordfish are on the rise. The reason? According to the research team, we should blame the ill effects of global climate change.

Montreal’s rare humpback whale sighting draws crowds and concern — Global News
This is the first time in recorded history that this species of whale has been spotted this far up the St. Lawrence River. Humpback whales usually live in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and can be seen during summer months near Tadoussac, Baie-Comeau and Rivière-du-Loup, all cities about 500 kilometres away. The reasons why the whale has traveled so far are still unknown, perplexing local marine scientists.

Water Quality:

PFAS “the Forever Chemicals” Contamination in the Great Lakes
The Toxics Free Great Lakes Network, Healthy Great Lakes Program (a Program of the Canadian Environmental Law Association), and National Wildlife Federation will be hosting the following webinar: PFAS “the Forever Chemicals” Contamination in the Great Lakes Basin – A Strategic Discussion on Further Steps Around Binational Citizen Action. DATE: Monday June 22, 2020. TIME: 12 noon ET.

Yukon gold mine releases 43 million litres of wastewater amid spring runoff — The Narwhal
Meltwater from heavy snowpack combined with unseasonably warm temperatures caused Victoria Gold’s Eagle Gold Mine to divert wastewater into sump, where arsenic levels were measured at four times the allowable concentration on April 27.

Lobster and Sea Scallop Habitat Shifting North — NOAA
A new NOAA study projects that climate change will pose management challenges for two commercially important species—lobster and sea scallop—as suitable habitat shifts north. Researchers have projected significant changes in the habitat of commercially important lobster and sea scallops on the Northeast continental shelf, posing potential trouble for the U.S. commercial fishing industry.

Industry:

ICAST Trade Show Goes Virtual — Angling International
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA), producer of the ICAST trade show, has revealed details of the virtual event that will replace the conventional show this July. The transition from conventional show floor to a 24/7 virtual experience means that ICAST, already the world’s biggest trade show, will reach a larger audience than ever before. During ICAST week, ASA will host several conservation-related events to engage the recreational fishing audience, providing information on the nation’s conservation efforts and critical needs for the future.

Boating:

Boat Buying Frenzy Across U.S. — BoatTest.com
Reports of a tremendous spike in boat buying this spring as families seek isolation on the water. A boat buying frenzy is playing out at many dealerships. From runabouts and center consoles to large express and flybridge cruisers and motoryachts, boats are selling at a fast pace, and many dealers are running out of inventory. Builders of large boats in the $1 to $2 million range report that nationwide inventory is often in single digits, and in some cases only a couple of boats are available for immediate delivery. One financial institution is saying its boat loan business is up 31%. BoatTEST has seen a huge spike in boat research on its website, something echoed by virtually all major online classified services.

Sea Tow Foundation Appoints Angie Scott to Serve on North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council — NPAA
The Sea Tow Foundation has appointed Angie Scott, Podcast Host of The Woman Angler & Adventurer as one of seven new marine industry stakeholders to serve a two-year term on its North American Sober Skipper Advisory Council which was established in 2019. In this capacity, Scott joins a combined slate of 19 council members charged to collaborate on and develop a variety of strategies and tactics to promote greater awareness and adoption of boating safety initiatives and messages.

BRP discontinues production of Evinrude E-TEC and E-TEC G2 outboard engines — Global News
VALCOURT, Quebec, May 27, 2020 BRP announces it has re-oriented its marine business to focus on the growth of its boat brands with new technology and innovative marine products. The Stuyvesant WI facility will be repurposed. In 2018 BRP acquired Alumacraft and Manitou boat companies in the U.S., followed by the acquisition of Australian boat manufacturer Telwater in 2019. “Our outboard engines business has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, obliging us to discontinue production of our outboard motors immediately. This business segment had already been facing some challenges and the impact from the current context has forced our hand,” said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP. BRP has signed an agreement with market leader Mercury Marine to supply outboard engines to BRP’s boat brands. BRP will continue to supply customers and dealer network service parts and will honour manufacturer limited warranties, plus offer select programs to manage inventory. These decisions will impact 650 employees globally. BRP plans to expand its presence in the pontoon and aluminum fishing markets and continue to develop unique new marine products, such as the next generation of engine technology with Project Ghost and the next generation of pontoons with Project M.

Business:

Outdoor retailer Sail Outdoors Closes Six Stores — Canadian Press
Sail will shrink its footprint by a third with the closure of four stores in Quebec and two in Ontario that will affect about 500 workers. The move comes two days after the Quebec-based company said it filed for creditor protection under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act due to the pressure of having its stores shuttered for several weeks because of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The restructuring will see it end the Sportium brand by closing locations in Quebec City, St-Hubert, Laval and Kirkland at the conclusion of a liquidation sale that will start in a few days. Ontario stores in Vaughan and Etobicoke, near Toronto, will also close. The company, founded more than 40 years ago, will focus on 12 remaining Sail locations, including eight in Quebec and four in Ontario, as well as its e-commerce business. Sail has 1,800 employees, some of whom will be able to transfer to other stores or its distribution centre.

Ottawa Unveils Biggest Fishing Industry Aid Package Since Cod Moratorium — SaltWire Network
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced $469 million in direct support for fish harvesters, who are facing mounting uncertainty. Crab and lobster fisheries throughout Atlantic Canada have faced delayed season openings due to fears about the coronavirus spreading in small communities and close working conditions. The start of the season is also overshadowed by a significant drop in prices due to a collapse in retail and restaurant markets in the United States, Japan and China, major export markets for Canada’s seafood.

Art:

Winners of the 2020 State-Fish Art Contest — Wildlife Forever
A distinguished panel of judges selected winners from over 5,000 entries received from 47 states and 32 international countries. On May 18, judges from around the world including Jeremy Wade of River Monsters utilized a new online platform to help to select this year’s winners. Artists competed for state, national and international recognition including several unique award categories including the Guy Harvey Award, Fish Migration Award and Invader Crusader Award. Students also competed by submitting a written essay for the Fish Make You Smarter Award. Art has been intricately linked to nature for thousands of years. From pictographs on stone walls, to Ding Darling and the creation federal duck stamp program, utilizing art to build connections to nature is at the core of modern conservation. Fish Art captures the wonder and real-life experiences of stories told and lessons learned, inspiring visions for tomorrow. For many students, the Fish Art Contest is their first experience learning about fish and fishing. 22 years ago, the Wildlife Forever contest was born from a child’s idea that has since inspired tens of thousands of youth to create, learn and become uniquely connected to the outdoors.

Photo of editor Lawrence Gunther fighting a 300lb Bull Shark using a stand-up harness, a #10 inline circle hook with a 15lb Bonita as bait, 500lb steel leader and 200lb main line

Blue Fish Canada Sustainable Saltwater Fishing Tips:

  1. Use corrosive / non-stainless steel hooks to shorten the time the hook will take to dissolve if left in a fish.
  2. Use non-offset circle hooks designed to hook fish in the jaw, reducing the chance of causing internal injuries to fish.
  3. Photograph and release fish while in the water whenever possible. Large fish can injure themselves and anglers, and cause damage to the interior of boats.
  4. The protective slime on a fish is important, so handle fish as little as possible. If you must handle a fish, only use wet hands, and never use a towel.
  5. Avoid lifting a fish from the water by the line. If you use a landing tool such as a Boga-Grip® to control the fish, use your hand to support the belly of the fish.
  6. If a fish needs to be taken out of the water to measure or vent it, or to remove the hook, this is another perfect opportunity to quickly take a picture.
  7. Avoid lifting a fish by its jaw, especially large fish. This can injure the fish so it can’t feed normally and may harm its internal organs.
  8. If a hook is lodged deep in a fish’s throat, cut the line as close as possible to the hook.
  9. If a net is needed to land or control the fish, always use a knot-less rubber-coated net. Only gaff a fish when you intend to keep it.
  10. Gently release fish headfirst into the water. If a fish is exhausted, revive it before releasing it by moving the fish forward in the water with its mouth open, allowing water to flow through its mouth and over its gills. Be cautious of predators while reviving fish.

About us:

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

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

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

Please rate The Blue Fish Radio Show on Apple Podcast so others will learn of this unique Canadian resource by visiting: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-blue-fish-radio-show/id1090189487

Should you have a podcast suggestion or resource you would like to share, please send us a message to: admin@bluefishcanada.ca

Blue Fish Canada is a federally incorporated registered Canadian charity. Please consider making a small monthly donation to off-set the costs of this Newsletter and our other Blue Fish Canada programs by visiting: https://bluefishcanada.ca/donations/

In this May 31 2020 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we thought the time was right to pay homage to the ultimate shore fishing experience, Common Carp. Now’s the time to get out there and intercept these shoals of bruans that make their annual spring appearance.

This week’s Blue Fish Canada News also includes:

  • Live coverage, interviews and resources designed to fire up your Carp fishing engine;
  • Links to timely fishing, fish health, water quality and other news; and
  • Blue Fish Canada Carp Fishing Best Practices.

**Don’t forget to take this week’s Blue fish Steward 12-question Quiz and enter your name to win one of seven great prizes totaling $750 in value**

Editor Lawrence Gunther aboard his ranger Fisherman holding a 25lb Common Carp caught on a Senko while flipping pads for bass

Canada’s World-Class Carp Fishing

As the water begins warming Common Carp move into the shallows to feed and spawn – not simultaneously, but the point is they make their appearance. Brought to Canada in the early 1900’s from Eastern Europe as a “comfort food” their status in North America has long since transitioned from “invader” to that of “sportfish”? Well maybe not sportfish yet, but if what happened in Europe makes it over to this side of the pond, these fish might just someday become regarded as a truly prize catch.

Our friends at Fish’n Canada believe in carp fishing so much they bought the business. In 2018 they began hosting the FNC Carp Cup, and in 2019 Blue Fish Radio was on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River to speak with the different teams competing in the grueling weekend-long tournament: https://bluefishradio.com/fishn-canada-carp-cup-live/

A big issue many believe to be slowing the growth of carp fishing in Ontario is the inability of anglers to use multiple fishing lines such as the case in the U.S. and Europe. Blue Fish Radio spoke with Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, who committed to have this inequity addressed: https://bluefishradio.com/ontario-gives-carp-fishing-a-long-needed-boost/

I think a big part of the issue behind carp fishing being slow to take off in Canada also has to do with the threat of invasive Bighead and Silver Carp making their way up the Mississippi River and threatening to wreak havoc on the ecosystems within the Great Lakes. While all carp may not be made the same, there’s no doubt that the threat of these filter-feeding disruptors is real as discussed with our friends at Save the River in Clayton NY on this episode of Blue Fish Radio: https://bluefishradio.com/save-river-looks-halt-spread-asian-carp/

The Ontario Federation of Angling and Hunting are also hard at work raising awareness of the danger invasive carp species represent as explained by one of their campaigners on Blue Fish Radio: https://bluefishradio.com/invading-species-toronto-sportsman-show/

If you want to learn about the basics and more advanced techniques and equipment commonly used by carp anglers, this on-line resource full of great articles featuring one of the greats in the carp fishing world, Jeff Vaughan , were written especially for carp fishing in Ontario: https://www.ontariocarpfishing.com/

It’s a good time to go carp fishing with your family, those your sheltering with, or a fishing buddy that you can count on to adhere to social distancing. Shorelines provide ample space to spread out, and once you get set up, it’s pretty much wait-and-see. Early mornings and later in the afternoon are generally your best bites, but mid-day can provide steady action as well. So, pack up your kit, some food and drink, and your favorite outdoor chair and go fish. For tips on where, visit Carp Anglers Group Ontario on Facebook and the folks there will be happy to offer advice.

Fishing, fish Health and Water Quality News

Fishing:

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds —| Smithers Interior News
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has announced widespread closures to recreational salmon fishing affecting all fresh water areas of the North Coast. The notice expands on the May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed.

Lake Superior anglers are asked to avoid the overharvest of steelhead — Duluth News Tribune
As Lake Superior gradually warms up this spring and the fishing heats up, fisheries biologists are asking anglers to pay closer attention to their catch. Steelhead/rainbow trout and Coho salmon are cousins of a sort, both in the Salmonidae family, but conservation measures in place for Steelhead means knowing which-is-which is important. . They look close enough alike that some anglers are keeping steelhead to kill and eat thinking they are Coho.

Lake Erie Expected to Provide Great Walleye Fishing this summer — The Fishing Wire
World-class fishing continues to exceed expectations on Lake Erie in 2020, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Walleye harvest rates set records for the second straight year in 2019. Top Lake Erie walleye catch rates from 2019 were in June, July and May, respectively. Numerous large hatches point to an increasingly bright future for Lake Erie.

Pandemic complicates salmon angling in Quebec — Atlantic Salmon Federation
Anglers are experiencing challenges over the Covid-19 restrictions and their impacts on the salmon angling rivers in Quebec.

Indonesian lockdown heralds micro fishing craze — Angling International
A Japanese style of micro fishing has become increasingly popular during the lockdown in Indonesia. Inspired by senior anglers, Budi Wi and Harry Buana, Ispull Micra Fishing Tanago (IMFT), has taken off because it can be carried out close to home in the smaller rivers.

Crappie USA Reschedules Tournaments
The first and largest crappie tournament organization in the world, and the founder of the American Crappie Association, the first and largest association of crappie anglers, has announced new dates for some of its events. Events have been moved back and safety precautions have been put in place, but the tournament group still plans on holding 10 competitions this year.

Competition fishing given go-ahead across England — Angling International
Competition fishing in England can be resumed immediately across all disciplines after Government approval was given this week. Competition anglers are among the sport’s highest spenders and the return of matches will be a welcome boost for the industry. Separate guidelines have been produced for game, coarse and sea angling.

Plea of South African anglers falls on deaf ears as fishing ban remains in force — Angling International
John Pledger is the head of the representative body of anglers across South Africa, and has expressed his disappointment at a lack of response from Government ministers to its plea to allow angling to resume during the COVID-19 crisis. The South African Consolidated Recreation Anglers Association (SACRAA) wrote to six senior politicians, including the head of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, asking them to act now to save many businesses threatened with closure.

Fish Health:

Salmon expected to begin arriving soon at Fraser River landslide — Times Colonist
Parts of a pneumatic fish pump dubbed the salmon cannon have arrived at the site of a massive landslide along British Columbia’s Fraser River. A fish ladder that’s nearly complete would attract salmon, guiding them into a holding pond before they enter the fish pump and tube system that will take them up river and over the slide.

5 Ways Hatchery Fish Hurt Our Wild Salmon — Skeena Wild Video
Large scale hatcheries may seem like an easy answer to dwindling fish stocks; however, new research shows that they tend to do more harm than good. There is limited food out in the ocean – especially in recent years due to warming ocean temperatures – and with billions of hatchery fish entering the ocean every year from large production hatcheries, they compete with wild salmon for limited food. But small, community hatcheries have less impact and can be important for restoration of individual stocks.

Water Quality:

How the St. Lawrence River’s Ups and Downs Impact Biodiversity — St. Lawrence River Institute
River water level fluctuations are a natural phenomenon that help shape aquatic communities. However, the St Lawrence River (SLR) water levels have been managed for the past 60 years. Join River Institute Research Scientist, Matt Windle, Wednesday June 3 @ 7pm [online], for a talk on what the SLR used to be like and how aquatic life have adapted to the changes over the years. Matt will also discuss his studies to compare the biodiversity of Hoople Bay to other sections of the river that do not experience the same severe water level fluctuations and to track seasonal biodiversity changes.

Remove dam, let St. Croix River run freely, says Fundy Baykeeper — CBC News
With New Brunswick’s Milltown Generating Station no longer viable, decommissioning of the Milltown Generating Station and dam would provide an ecological boost to the St. Croix River and an economic boost to region say Matt Abbott, the Fundy Baykeeper of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

Industry:

National Outdoor Groups Release Six “Recreate Responsibly” Tips
A newly formed coalition of outdoor groups has created the Recreate Responsibly initiative to share ways for anglers to stay healthy while enjoying public lands, parks, trails, waters, and other outdoor areas.

Boating:

New On-Line Resources to Help Canadian Boaters Navigate COVID-19 — Discover Boating Canada
With Canada’s pleasure boating restrictions being lifted and the season ramping up, DiscoverBoating.ca has launched two new pages to help Canadian boaters find the latest information on enjoying boating while navigating COVID-19 guidelines.

Boating During COVID-19 features guidelines set by Transport Canada and includes helpful, printable infographics for NMMA Canada members to use in their businesses and share with customers.

Coronavirus and Boat Shopping: What You Should Know provides Canadians comprehensive insights into buying a boat during this time, from scheduling appointments and closing the deal, to service and support, plus Discover Boating resources to research and shop online.

Business:

Locals First – Creating Experiences to Appeal to the Local Market — Free Webinar
On June 3rd, 2020 – 11:00 am EDT catch this webinar geared to tourism / outfitting businesses interested in attracting local customers. Learn how to adjust your product offering and experiences to appeal to local customers (e.g. family, couples, and outdoor adventure, culinary).

Arts:

In conversation with Robert Bateman on his 90th birthday — The Narwhal
Iconic Canadian artist and naturalist reflects on his life and his work

Blue Fish Canada Common Carp Sustainability Fishing Tips

  1. Rod, reel, line and tackle should be of sufficient strength to control carp properly to avoid over-tiring fish, keep them away from snags, and to prevent fish from breaking off or spooling your reel.
  2. Soak bait such as corn or nuts to ensure bait doesn’t swell in the stomachs of fish.
  3. Use non-offset circle or barbless hooks, or hooks with micro-barbs, to reduce the chance of deep-hooking fish and to minimize hook wounds.
  4. Use smooth leader material or a rubberized coating to prevent injuring fins and scales while playing carp.
  5. Use lead weight release devices to ensure fish don’t become tethered to snags.
  6. Don’t fish along shores or on peers subject to large waves to prevent injuring fish.
  7. Make sure nets and weigh slings are knot-free or rubber and of sufficient size, and ensure fins are flat against the fish’s body when placed in weigh sack.
  8. Keep forceps, needle nose plyers and hook cutters handy to remove hooks quickly, treat hook holes with an appropriate antiseptic, and use unhooking mats to prevent injuries to fish.
  9. Wet unhooking mats and weigh slings prior to use to avoid removing protective slime from fish.
  10. Wet hands and forearms and carry fish by supporting their bodies near the pectoral and anal fins. Be sure not to remove protective slime with your dry clothing.

About us:

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

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

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

Please rate The Blue fish Radio Show on Apple Podcast so others will learn of this unique Canadian resource by visiting: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-blue-fish-radio-show/id1090189487

Should you have a podcast suggestion or resource you would like to share, please send us a message to: admin@bluefishcanada.ca

Blue Fish Canada is a federally incorporated registered Canadian charity. Please consider making a small monthly donation to off-set the costs of this Newsletter and our other Blue Fish Canada programs by visiting: https://bluefishcanada.ca/donations/

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

This week’s News includes:

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

Giants in the World of Fishing:

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

Jeremy Wade is UK’s “Sherlock Holmes” of angling. His magical blend of solving underwater mysteries through careful planning, local knowledge and a hook-and-line has been capturing the imagination of viewers for over 15 years starting with his world renowned series “River Monsters”. It’s a return to the origins of the true spirit of angling that’s inspiring the next generation of curious and conservation minded anglers. Link below to hear Jeremy in conversation with host Lawrence Gunther on this first of this two part Blue Fish Radio installment in the series “Giants of the Fishing World”: https://bluefishradio.com/river-monster-host-jeremy-wade-part-1-of-2/

In this final installment of our interview with Jeremy Wade from the River Monster series, we dive deeper into what it takes to produce the magical moments Jeremy has been creating to inform and entertain mainstream TV viewers for over 15 years. We also explore Jeremy’s books and his role as an international fish art competition judge. Find out what makes Jeremy tick, and why anglers – and especially youth – are embracing Jeremy’s thirst for adventure and insatiable curiosity to seek out and reveal the freshwater animals called fish: https://bluefishradio.com/river-monster-host-jeremy-wade-part-2-of-2/

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

The Latest Water Quality, Fish Health and Fishing News

Fishing:

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

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

Fish Health:

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

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

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

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

Indigenous:

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

Water Quality:

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

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

Boating:

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

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

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

Maintaining Sound Mental Health

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

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

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

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

About us:

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

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

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

Please rate The Blue fish Radio Show on Apple Podcast so others will learn of this unique Canadian resource by visiting: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-blue-fish-radio-show/id1090189487?uo=4

Should you have a podcast suggestion or resource you would like to share, please send us a message to: Admin@bluefishcanada.ca

Blue Fish Canada is a federally incorporated registered Canadian charity. Please consider making a small monthly donation to off-set the costs of this Newsletter and our other Blue Fish Canada programs by visiting: https://bluefishcanada.ca/donations/

Yours truly,

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

In this May 17, 2020 edition of the Blue Fish Canada Newsletter:

  • We continue our exploration of salmon and steelhead habitat access issues on the Fraser River; 
  • More water quality, fish health and fishing news; and,
  • In recognition of Safe Boating Awareness Week, we bring you a compilation of Covid-19 inspired boating and fishing best practices.

Fraser River estuaries serve as nurseries to salmon and steelhead
Last week we explored the Big Bar Fraser River landslide. Today we turn our attention to measures underway to rehabilitate the salmon and steelhead rearing habitat at the mouth of the Fraser River. While some doom-and-gloom people may think the writing is on the wall regarding the salmon and steelhead that rely on the Fraser River, there’s a lot of folks who refuse to give up. Their collective efforts, often now combined with resources from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, are beginning to turn the tide on the decline of the river’s former glory. 

The Fraser River is in no way just another of many west coast rivers that empty into the Pacific Ocean. It serves as a 1,375 km long freeway of sorts that links the ocean to numerous rivers and 12 distinct watersheds spread out throughout southern B.C. The steelhead and salmon that commute up and down the length of the Fraser also rely on the estuaries located near the river mouth for cover. Not just the process of smolting (shifting from living in freshwater to saltwater), but to build up the size and strength needed to survive in the open North Pacific ocean. 

Blue Fish Radio is always amazed and pleased to meet and present anglers who have dedicated huge chunks of their lives to stewarding the wild fish resources in their area. Dave Brown is another one of these local champions who may know more about the Thompson River and Chilcotin River steelhead that run up the Fraser River on Canada’s west coast. His knowledge and advocacy were recently recognized in 2017 with DFO awarding Dave the “National Recreational Fisheries Award”. Dave continues to work hard to save the iconic wild steelhead from annihilation. Link below to hear Dave Brown in conversation with Lawrence Gunther about the history, current situation, and what needs doing to save BC’s steelhead on this episode of Blue Fish Radio: https://bluefishradio.com/what-to-do-about-declining-fraser-river-steelhead/

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assessed 13 of BC’s 26 southern Chinook stocks and found eight to be endangered. Contributing to the demise of these endangered salmon and steelhead is a history of well-intentioned developments along the Lower Fraser estuary such as dykes, pump stations, dredging and infilling that were taken over the past 100 years. Thankfully, a $2.7-million habitat connectivity project funded through the $75-million coastal restoration fund — part of the federal five-year $1.5-billion oceans protection plan – is already helping to restore crucial salmon and steelhead habitat. The days of the Steveston Jetty on the lower Fraser River preventing juvenile salmon from accessing the estuary zone in Sturgeon Bank may be coming to an end. The Steveston Jetty project is one of many underway to restore access to vital salmon rearing habitat essential to the development of salmon smolts prior to their entering the Pacific Ocean. Link below to learn how Murray Manson, a restoration biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is working with angling and conservation groups on this episode of Blue Fish Radio: https://bluefishradio.com/dfo-on-restoring-fraser-river-salmon-habitat/

The Watershed Watch Salmon Society is devoted to addressing issues impacting wild salmon stocks throughout British Columbia. Whether it’s to improve conditions for struggling southern BC Chinook salmon stocks to help feed resident killer whales, or to ensure indigenous fishers and recreational anglers can continue to catch salmon to feed their families and sustain their coastal communities, the organization and its many volunteers are working hard to resolve spawning opportunities and habitat issues. Link to listen to Lina Azeez from Watershed Watch speak with Lawrence Gunther about their recent success in convincing BC municipalities to restore habitat for salmon smolts along the lower Fraser River on this episode of Blue Fish Radio: https://bluefishradio.com/bc-municipalities-vote-yes-wild-salmon/

It’s obvious that rebuilding Fraser River salmon and steelhead spawning and nursery habitats is a complicated issue that we have allowed to fester for far too long. Undoing the issues and reversing the decline of these important fish to the ecosystem and the socio-economic fabric of so many coastal communities will be a time consuming and costly endeavour. Thankfully, the alternatives of doing too little or nothing at all are ones that increasingly fewer people are willing to accept.

No doubt, as we learn about the success of restoration projects, our expectations will increase and still more such projects will be proposed, supported locally and funded. Ensuring that post Covid-19 infrastructure investments designed to rebuild economies include such habitat improvement considerations is something we all need to keep a watch over.

Call to Action:

Wild Salmon in the Age of Covid – Watershed Watch Salmon Society
With governments poised to implement a new round of infrastructure investments, we have an opportunity to rebuild endangered wild salmon populations, while securing good local jobs and protecting communities.

Ask federal and B.C. governments to invest in proven, fish-friendly flood control and habitat restoration projects.

Expansion of the Roberts Bank Fraser River shipping terminal – The Narwhal
A massive container terminal proposed for British Columbia’s Fraser River Delta is set to be a litmus test for the federal government’s commitment to conserve crucial Fraser River salmon habitat.

In the News:

Fishing:

Newfoundland/Labrador Government Not Selling Non-Resident Salmon Angling Licenses in 2020 – Atlantic salmon Federation
For the first in many decades, the Newfoundland / Labrador provincial government will not be selling non-resident salmon angling licenses. Not surprising with the Covid-19 pandemic, but on another level, this is a province that has encouraged salmon anglers who “come from away” for more than 125 years.

Record Numbers of Young People Discovering Fishing – National Professional Anglers Association
Across the U.S. more teens are going fishing than ever before. Some speculate it may be a result of school closures due to Covid-19. In one week, the Minnesota DNR sold a record 13,369 fishing licenses to resident teens 16 and 17 years old, a 99% increase over the year before. Minnesota fishing license sales overall increased by 44%. While most provinces in Canada don’t track sales of fishing licenses to youth, one need only drive by public access shore fishing locations to see a similar up-take in fishing here as well.

B.C. Anglers call for Salmon fishery to open to chinook retention – Squamish Chief
Sports anglers say government regulations that restrict the harvesting of Chinook salmon on the south coast, including in Howe Sound, are not based on science. Conservationist say opening is the goal, but the preservation of the stocks at risk is more important.

Trout Stocking Extravaganza – Alberta Conservation Authority
The Alberta Conservation Authority has been working hard to ensure nearly all ACA lakes have been stocked for the long weekend, and urges anglers to go catch a big delicious trout!

A Podcast about seafood and local fishers – Coastal Routes Radio
Social FISHtancing is a new podcast that presents stories of local fishers living in a time of COVID-19, brought to you by Coastal Routes Radio. It investigates the impacts of the COVID-19 on fishing families and communities across North America. Each week the hosts speak with people involved in small-scale fisheries and how their fisheries are being impacted, and how fishermen and women are responding to shifting seafood markets and consumer needs. Coastal Routes Radio is produced at the University of Guelph and is an initiative of the Coastal Routes project, a network of researchers, coastal communities, and non-profit organizations — united to support verdant, sustainable, and just coastal livelihoods and places.

Watch Major League Fishing Pros Cast Their Best Trick Shots 
Most of us have been sheltering at home to help slow the spread of COVID-19, but that hasn’t stopped many of us from practicing our casting. Major League Fishing pros were recently tasked with showing off their expert casting skills to the world and submitting their best “Trick Shot”, and the best were compiled into a video that can be viewed at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Indigenous:

Fish parcels from home: Fish Distribution by coastal B.C First Nation’s – Cowichan Valley Citizen
Despite the pandemic, Kyuquot First Nation will continue with its annual food fish distribution to Kyuquot First Nation members spread across B.C., and the US. Each receives a doorstep delivery of fish from their traditional land on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Water Quality:

Great Lakes Water Levels Webinar – International Joint Commission
The IJC recently held their 3rd water levels webinar of 2020. IJC co-chair Jane Corwin advises that forecasts show the water levels topping out at about one foot higher than where levels are now.

Fish Health:

Ontario B.A.S.S Nation Fish Care Study 
In March 2020 Jason Barnucz OBN Conservation Director attended the 2020 B.A.S.S. Conservation Summit held during the 2020 Bassmaster Classic. This bi-annual summit brings all B.A.S.S. Nation Conservation Directors, Resource Managers and Fisheries Experts from across North America together to discuss conservation issues including tournament fish care, invasive species, fisheries management and more. Ontario’s Jason Barnucz presented on the 2019 Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation Live Release Study carried out at the 2019 OBN Qualifier at Rice Lake. 

Fisheries and Aquaculture minister devious and reckless – South Coast Today
The recent Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture decision to give a 20-year permit to Cooke Aquaculture to raise farmed salmon in Liverpool Bay is likely to result in the raising and selling of virus-infected salmon in the province.

The Miracle Fish – The Tyee
Salmon, amazing in so many ways, have swum in these waters for 50 million years. It’s miraculous they still do.

Restoring Balance in the Heart of the Fraser – The Nicomen Slough
The Nature Trust of British Columbia has acquired an important piece of habitat for conservation in the Heart of the Fraser known for prime spawning habitat for salmon and white sturgeon and for serving as a nursery for millions of salmon fry every year.

Industry:

Canada’s own B.A.S.S Elite Angler Jeff ‘Gussy’ Gustafson Raises Money for Covid-19 Relief
Gustafson has partnered with Shimano Canada and the Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation to raise money for the Covid-19 charities of the winners choice, who will receive an autographed tournament jersey from Bassmaster Elite Angler Jeff Gustafson, and a G-Loomis E6X Rod of their choice from Shimano Canada.

Dire straits for BC’s sport-fishing – Times Colonist
Fishing guides are at home, hotels are closed and vessels are docked due to COVID-19 restrictions, and it’s not known when these seasonal businesses will be able to start up again.

Shimano’s much-anticipated ICAST product presentation Moves On-Line – Angling International
Instead of staging the showcase in its booth in Orlando, Shimano is moving it online in a virtual event scheduled for the same time it would have been held in the Orange County Convention Center this summer. Product development staff and pro-staffers will be introducing new products from Shimano, G.Loomis, PowerPro and Jackal.

Marine Retailers Association 58-page Guide to Operating Safely 
The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, along with trade association partners from across the marine industry, recently released a 58-page publication aimed at helping marine dealers operate safely in a new marketplace concerned with COVID-19.

Safe Boating and Fishing

May 16-22 2020 is Safe Boating Awareness Week. With boat launches and marinas moving to open up, Blue Fish Canada conducted a scan and pulled together the following list of Covid-19 boating and fishing best practices for staying safe:

  1. Maintain social distancing, other than with those whom you live, including limiting who you invite on your boat;
  2. When picking up tackle or live bait, arrange to have curb-side pick-up or no contact delivery if possible, or ware a face covering and gloves if entering a store / bait shop;
  3. Don’t share equipment such as nets, pliers, life jackets, water bottles, weighing or measuring equipment, fishing rods, minnow buckets or any other piece of fishing or personal gear with other anglers / boaters with whom you are social distancing;
  4. Wear a mask or face covering if you’re going to be fishing or moving around people with whom you are social distancing;
  5. Avoid using boat docks at launches if possible by entering and exiting your boat directly from the launch;
  6. If you need to use a boat dock, avoid using ropes and cleats, wear gloves, and clean the soles of your shoes when you enter the boat. Wipe down your gunnels and sanitize your hands after departing the dock or loading your boat;
  7. Avoid shore fishing locations or using launches that are congested or where others are failing to respect social distancing;
  8. Don’t fish off docks where people are launching and trailering their boats, and don’t go on to a dock until the person before you is finished using it;
  9. Park your vehicle far enough away from other vehicles and don’t touch anyone else’s vehicle or boat;
  10. Don’t request assistance, other than from those you live with, to help launch or load your boat, or help with netting or releasing your fish. If you can’t do it yourself, then don’t go;
  11. Keep your dog on a leash as dogs can transfer the virus by touching their fur;
  12. Be prepared to offer help to other boaters in distress by carrying with you gloves and a mask or face covering, as well as hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes. It’s unlawful and immoral to deny another boater aid when their life is at risk.

About us:

You can read current and back issues of Blue Fish News by visiting: www.bluefishcanada.ca

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

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

Please rate The Blue fish Radio Show on Apple Podcast so others will learn of this unique Canadian resource by visiting: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-blue-fish-radio-show/id1090189487

Should you have a podcast suggestion or resource you would like to share, please send us a message to: Admin@bluefishcanada.ca

Blue Fish Canada is a federally incorporated registered Canadian charity. Please consider making a small monthly donation to off-set the costs of this Newsletter and our other Blue Fish Canada programs by visiting: https://bluefishcanada.ca/donations/

Yours truly,

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

The Blue Fish Canada News for May 10, 2020 focuses on citizen science – the tools, the challenges, and how people who thrive in the outdoors are becoming increasingly effective citizen scientists. We all take pride in following the tried-and-true lessons passed down to us from our mentors and all those who came before, but we also are finding ways to incorporate the new technologies and science-based best practices. It’s all about applying our natural curiosity in ways that satisfies our desire to go fishing while recognizing our responsibility to give back.

Enjoy this week’s Blue Fish Canada Newsletter that includes:

  • An exploration of the Fraser River Big Bar landslide that has closed access to important salmon spawning grounds for various Pacific salmon and trout species;
  • The latest news about water quality, fish health and the future of recreational fishing; and,
  • Citizen science resources and tools that engage and empower outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.
Editor Lawrence Gunther with fishing guide Thomas Rutschman holding a 2-meter Sturgeon caught below Hell’s Gate on the Lower Fraser River

Editor Lawrence Gunther with fishing guide Thomas Rutschman holding a 2-meter Sturgeon caught below Hell’s Gate on the Lower Fraser River

Fraser River Big Bar Landslide:

In the fall of 2018 a landslide struck a remote rugged canyon of the Fraser River north of Lillooet BC. The location was so remote it wasn’t discovered until June 2019 when a group of rafters encountered the slide during the first trip of the year. Huge pieces of rock and significant debris had sheared off a 125-metre cliff, crashing into the river and creating a 5 meter high waterfall. The magnitude of the obstruction impeded migrating salmon from reaching their spawning beds. What’s happened since may go down as one of the greatest emergency responses on behalf of wild salmon anywhere in the world.

Blue Fish Radio first reported on the Big Bar landslide and it’s implication for spawning salmon and trout, and how the blockage will impact the people and watersheds that depend on the successful spawn of these fish. Mr. John Werring and Mr. Brian Braidwood shared their thoughts on the steps being taken to mitigate the impacts of the rock slide and whether it was enough to allow migrating fish passage.
https://www.spreaker.com/user/5725616/e262-fraser-river-rock-slide-blocks-acce

After hearing first-hand the concerns of anglers and conservationists, we tracked down and spoke with the founder of Whooshh Innovations Fish Passage Solution, CEO Vincent Bryan. The Whooshh “salmon cannon” was proposed as a solution, but the timing wasn’t right then. This technology is proving effective around the world at safely and efficiently moving desirable fish species past barriers, while re-routing less desirable species.
https://www.spreaker.com/user/5725616/e263-whooshh-innovations-fish-passage-so

In early April 2019 we spoke with Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s lead on coordinating the multi-government response strategy, DFO Ddirector Gwil Roberts. It turned out to be quite an extensive and detailed overview of how exactly a massive landslide is removed from a river. The progress report was impressive, but also discouraging in that we learned much more work would be required and that this would take time. News: https://www.spreaker.com/user/5725616/e291-an-update-from-dfo-on-the-fraser-ri

Plans in place to facilitate salmon run at Big Bar slide site | NEWS 1130

With around one month to go before this year’s salmon run will reach the site of the 2018 landslide, DFO has been working on three different plans to help the migrating salmon make it past the five-metre waterfall there, and one of these solutions now includes installation of a 160-meter long Whooshh “salmon cannon”
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/salmon-cannon-coming-to-help-threatened-fraser-river-fish-bypass-rock-slide-1.5546464

The story of this Big Bar Fraser River salmon impasse is one that will continue for some time to come. Many more millions of dollars and thousands of hours of difficult and dangerous work lie ahead. The consequences of doing nothing would be tragic, which makes this story all the more pertinent during these troubling times. We as a society won’t abandon nature when it needs our collective resources even when we face other more immediate health challenges. We are a strong country made up of determined people who just don’t quit. We learn from our mistakes and live up to our responsibilities. In spite of everything, we have much to be proud of as a country made up of many different peoples.


Links to News about Water Quality, Fish Health and the Future of Recreational Fishing

Water Quality:

Global map to reveal ‘swim ways’ of Earth’s fish – Scienceline
A small team of scientists is creating the first global “swimways” map; a tool they hope will promote stronger policies to save freshwater fish from threats like dams and overfishing.

What’s Bad for Bees Could Be Bad for Marine Life, Too – Hakai Magazine
Preliminary research shows that a popular insecticide hampers arthropods in the ocean.

Saanich crews are tackling Another Colquitz River Oil Spill – Victoria News
This is the 3rd oil spill in the Colquitz River since January. The municipality was notified of the spill Thursday night.

PEI Watershed Group Making Pandemic Adjustments
A conservation group in PEI is changing its work methods to account for the need of personal distancing and other considerations.

Fish Health:

Healthy Season Anticipated for Yukon River Salmon – KUAC
The preseason outlook for Yukon River salmon anticipates a Chinook run similar to the past ten years, but that may not mean good news for Canada.

Striped Bass is a Complex Misunderstood Fish – Coastal Review Online
Striped bass is somewhat of a mystery fish. Much of its complex behavior was poorly understood until recently.

Repeat spawning steelhead has amazing adventures – Post Register
Unlike salmon, steelhead can survive spawning and return to the ocean. If they survive in the ocean and return to spawn again, they are called repeat spawners. Such fish have been tracked throughout the Columbia River which gets its start in Canada.

Fishing:

Eight Fishing Guide Tips for Keeping Clients Safe – Fishing Wire
The American Saltwater Fishing Guide Association has released a list of eight tips to follow for keeping clients safe during the pandemic, with the hope that their industry will soon be able to return to operation.

Spring Fishing Report from the Atlantic Salmon Foundation
Enjoy the disease free wild areas where Atlantic salmon are found this spring across Canada and the Northeastern U.S.

Industry:

Shimano North America’s environmental campaigner Retires – Outdoor Wire
Shimano North America Holding has announced the retirement of its environmental campaigner for over 29 years. Phil Morlock will retire at the end of June as Vice President of Government Affairs/Advocacy for the US and Canada. From the beginning of his near 30 years tenure at the group, he recognised the potential for corporate leadership in environmental conservation, scientific research and government policy as critical for the future of fishing and mountain biking.

NMMA President Urges Boating Industry to Unite as COVID-19 Crisis Subsides
National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) president calls on the entire recreational boating industry to work together to ensure the industry exits the pandemic more relevant than when the COVID-19 crisis began.

Uptick in fishing customers seen by bait and tackle shop

Fishing Tackle Market Sees Uptick in Some Categories – ABC News Raleigh NC
With more time at home anglers have been buying more tackle and bait than ever and heading to the water.

Fish-plant job offers seen as a slap in the face by students – Miramichi Leader
Federal student support program now tied to New Brunswick government move to ban temporary foreign workers as NB’s premier maintains unemployed New Brunswickers and students on summer break can do the work.

Calls for Action:

OFAH calls for Ontario to re-open outdoor recreation
Following the release of Ontario’s framework for opening up the province, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters wrote the Premier to request that sent a letter to the Premier to request that access to the outdoors, including boat launches, provincial parks, and Crown land camping be re-opened as soon as possible during the initial stages of this plan.

COVID-19 Recovery for People and Salmon – Watershed Watch Salmon Society
Join us in calling on our governments to invest in a safer, fish-friendly, green economy. Use our one-click letter writing tool!

Citizen Science On-Line Tools and Resources:

“Citizen Science Means You” – Outdoor Canada
In this special Blue Fish Radio episode brought to you by Outdoor Canada, Lawrence Gunther speaks to a group of grade 10 students about the tradition of fishing and its link to citizen science.

Video and a Guide to Citizen Science Resources – FOCA
The Federation of Ontario Cottagers Association has created a short video about citizen science, and has released a Guide that includes links to a whole range of different monitoring programs across Ontario that you can engage in directly year-round.

Earth Rangers App
Earth Rangers now offers an app for mobile devices dedicated to educating children and their families about biodiversity, inspiring them to adopt sustainable behaviors that now includes recreational fishing thanks to a new partnership with Blue Fish Canada.

An Online History of Atlantic salmon in Lake Ontario
An excellent online presentation details the history of Atlantic salmon in the Great Lakes and prospects and the determined program to bring them back.

EDDMapS Ontario
EDDMapS (Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System) lets ordinary citizens report invasive species. The app has a mugshot and rap sheet for Ontario’s “most wanted.” If you find a suspected eco-invader, just snap a picture. Your phone’s built-in GPS flags the exact location. Then upload your sighting to EDDMapS. Scientists, researchers, farmers, municipalities and environmentalists use your data to monitor, track and remove invasives, and protect the species that belong in the ecosystem.

iNaturalist
For exploring ecosystems around the world, iNaturalist contains over two million sightings of 85,000 species, contributed by a global community of naturalists, scientists and ordinary citizens. It’s an encyclopedia of field guides, with rich resources and projects that will satisfy the keenest nature lover.

Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas
A made-in-Ontario app designed to track of turtles, frogs, toads, salamanders, snakes, and the province’s only lizard. Their numbers are shrinking. In fact, 75 percent of reptiles and 35 percent of amphibians are nationally and provincially at-risk. It takes just 30 seconds to report a sighting. So if you see a snake slide by or a snapping turtle sunning itself, take a pic and send it in. Or get involved in conservation projects like frog surveys and turtle tallies.

Water Rangers App
Use the Water Ranger app to learn about and test waterways using Water Ranger test kits, and then share water data on their open-data platform.

The Wonders of Wildlife Mission Conservation
Wonders of Wildlife is collaborating with Agents of Discovery and several leading conservation organizations to launch a campaign called Mission Conservation. This will provide parents and educators with access to Image Recognition (IR) Missions that young learners can play and share with their community.


About us

You can read current and back issues of Blue Fish News by visiting: www.bluefishcanada.ca

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

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

Please rate The Blue fish Radio Show on Apple Podcast so others will learn of this unique Canadian resource by visiting: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-blue-fish-radio-show/id1090189487?uo=4

Should you have a podcast suggestion or resource you would like to share, please send us a message to: Admin@BlueFishCanada.Ca

Blue Fish Canada is a federally incorporated registered Canadian charity. Please consider making a small monthly donation to off-set the costs of this Newsletter and our other Blue Fish Canada programs by visiting: https://bluefishcanada.ca/donations/

The Blue Fish Canada News for May 3, 2020 features how new tracking and reporting technologies are increasingly being used by anglers to become better at fishing, and at the same time, to contribute data to those responsible for conducting the science and formulating the regulations intended to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries. With fewer actual people being employed to monitor fishing activity directly, a trend that’s likely to continue, electronic monitoring may become the path forward as we continue to explore ways to ensure the future of fish and fishing.

Your Blue Fish News this week includes:

  • A collection of Blue Fish Radio interviews and a comprehensive report that pulls together the latest e-tools and how they are being used to ensure our fisheries and ecosystems are managed using science;
  • Links to the latest water quality, fish health and fishing news from across Canada; and,
  • Links to a wide choice of Angler Apps curated to satisfy most anglers.

Editor Lawrence Gunther with his guide dog Moby aboard the world’s first Blind Fishing Boat capable of being operated by anglers without sight


Citizen Science and Angler Apps

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 contribute to research intended to improve the management of their fisheries through science-based decision making. Numerous angler apps are appearing in the market that claim to do it all, but just as with fishing, expectations and reality don’t always align.

Link to hear Dr. Venturelli discuss with Lawrence Gunther the strengths, weaknesses and future of angler apps on the podcast “Blue Fish Radio”.

Link to hear Sean Simmons discuss with Lawrence Gunther how his MyCatch app is being used by anglers to support fisheries research on the podcast “Blue Fish Radio”.

Link to hear renowned fish biologist Gord Pyzer discuss with Lawrence Gunther why managing fishery resources needs to move beyond anglers practicing pulse fishing on the podcast “Blue Fish Radio”.

Finally, link here to read a more detailed Blue Fish Canada report that captures the strengths and weaknesses of how angler apps are currently being developed, sold and applied by anglers and researchers alike, and why government regulators have been slow to get aboard:


Latest Blue Fish News on Water, Fish and Fishing

Boating:

Eight Ways to Stay Safe at Home and Still Focus on Boating
Eight U.S. links but still great tips and resources on things to do and learn while contemplating that moment when you will launch your boat for the first time in 2020.

Industry:

Shimano Offers Scholarships for High School and College Bass Anglers
Now in its fourth year, Shimano continues a key initiative to its ‘Varsity Program’ with a scholarship program with 10 scholarships for students pursuing careers in fisheries, conservation, and natural resources management. Deadline is June 15 2020.

IGFA Offers Free Memberships During COVID-19 Pandemic
The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) recently announced that it will be offering digital memberships at no cost for a limited time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tourism:

Minnesota’s New Guidelines for Outdoor Recreation
The U.S. Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota’s Department of Health collaborated to create this comprehensive list of outdoor recreation guidelines for use by entities providing outdoor access amenities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fish Health:

Your spring cleaning could kill fish. Here’s why – Tri-City News
If you’re thinking of power washing that deck or refilling the pool, be careful. What you dump down your storm drain or wash off your driveway could be introducing toxins into rivers and lakes, killing aquatic life.

Striped Bass Face Pollution and Overfishing – Coastal Review Online
A concise update and history of Mid-Atlantic striper populations, while not specific to Canada, offers some excellent insights and lessons relevant to the Striped Bass population along our own Atlantic coast.

Pacific Ocean ‘blobs’ will escalate loss of fish stocks – CBC News
New research released in the journal Scientific Reports concludes that by 2050 marine heat waves may double the impact of climate change on species that are highly valued for fisheries.

Water Quality:

How coronavirus could make a bad wildfire season even worse – The Narwhal
Should Canada experience another hot dry year prompting large, hot and rapidly moving forest fires, our response may not be up to what we have come to expect. The impacts on watersheds could be significant.

Seafood:

With fresh seafood as elusive as toilet paper, community-supported fisheries could be the answer – The Telegram
Rather than passing seafood through the hands of brokers, distributors and wholesale suppliers, Community Supported Fisheries (CSF’s) represent the entire supply chain. They catch the fish, clean it, pack it and sell it directly to the consumer.

Art:

The Art of Turning Fish into Leather – Hakai Magazine
Back when fish skin leather was once common in fishing communities; now artisans and designers are breathing new life into the tradition.

Public Access:

B.C. coastal communities brace for tourists as province opens hunting and fishing seasons – The Narwhal
As B.C. reopens the outdoors by adding fishing and hunting to the list of essential services, B.C’s remote communities are fighting back against a tide of city-weary tourists who threaten to spread coronavirus as they travel for recreation.


Angler Apps

The following is a short list of apps developed for anglers — including right here in Canada. The list is in no particular order, and the apps have not been rated, but each offers a unique set of attributes that should appeal to most all anglers.

MyCatch / Angler Atlas
This Canadian app generates detailed logs of your fishing trips, and shares your citizen science data confidentially with biologists.

Scoutlook Fishing
Drawing on the Scoutlook Weather service, the app offers precise weather conditions for your GPS locations. As well, you can store your favourite fishing spots, log your catches, and scan map overlays such as radar, terrain, and basic water charts.

FishBrain
Post and share pictures of fish captures while following specific species of fish and pics posted by thousands of other anglers. Enjoy access to maps, and mark and share your locations with friends..

GoFree Hooked
Store pics of your fish captures in your personal fishing log, or create tournaments and keep track of weather, wind, GPS location, time of day, as you keep track of the captures of fellow competitors in real time.

Fish Cacher
A digital fishing log that tracks weather, wind speed and direction, water temp, GPS location, fish species, size, lure type, depth fished, and a trip planner.

Orvis Fly Fishing
The app includes step-by-step knot tying instructions and animations, plus how-to articles, videos, and fishing reports for most states and provinces. It also includes a complete repository of flies, including when, how, and where to use them.

Pro-Knot
Offers useful fishing knots as well as rope knots for boating, including step-by-step instructions, illustrations and how-to videos.

Useful Fishing Knots
A free app with illustrations and explanations for each fishing knot.

Navionics US & Canada
A powerful boating and fishing app featuring navigation charts, U.S. government charts, sonar charts, wind forecasts, markers, trip tracking, and has an option to add to and access community edits and chart updates.


About us

Lawrence Gunther is North America’s only blind professional angler, conservationist, writer, blogger, podcaster, film maker and TV personality. Gunther founded the charity Blue Fish Canada in 2012 and launched the podcast Blue Fish Radio in 2013.

Please take a moment to rate The Blue fish Radio Show on Apple Podcast so others might learn of this unique Canadian resource.

Blue Fish Canada is a federally incorporated registered Canadian charity. Please consider making a small monthly donation to off-set the costs of this Newsletter and our other Blue Fish Canada programs.

Should you have a podcast suggestion or resource you would like to share, please send us a message to: Admin@bluefishcanada.ca

The April 26, 2020 edition of Blue Fish News, brought to you by Blue Fish Canada, includes

  • Links to resources that help explain the threat St. Lawrence Muskie are under and why we need to do more before the plight of this iconic apex predator worsens.
  • Links to make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest water quality, fish health and fishing news, followed with,
  • A curated list of on-line nature/outdoor learning resources guaranteed to inform and inspire everyone in your household.

Muskie Guide Lisa Goodier and Blue Fish Canada President Lawrence Gunther with a 52” Spotted Muskie caught on the St. Lawrence September 2019

Focus on the St. Lawrence Muskie Decline — Blue Fish Radio

St. Lawrence River apex predators – Muskie and Northern Pike – are in decline once again. While species such as Walleye and Smallmouth Bass grow increasingly bigger each year, these two bell-weather apex St. Lawrence species don’t seem to be reproducing, and worse. In the summer of 2019 we joined Clayton New York’s Save the River CEO John Peach and Chair Jeff Garnsey for a day on the River and heard first-hand how Vital St. Lawrence shoreline wetlands have been disappeared or degraded.

We also heard from Dr. John Farrell and PhD candidate Anna Conklyn from the Thousand Islands Biological Station about how Invasive Goby possess a VHF virus lethal to Muskie.

Fishing guide John Anderson conducted his own informal survey of fellow Muskie guides and a review of scientific literature and is Calling out for more St. Lawrence Muskie research

On this new episode of Blue Fish Radio. Anderson also wrote the blog The Death of the St. Lawrence Musky Fishery.

This isn’t the first time Muskie on the St. Lawrence have been struck a significant blow – a 2006 virus outbreak caused the death of hundreds of large breeders. If there was ever a time for anglers and scientists to join forces to save a fish species, it’s now, but some worry that needed resources may be unavailable with Canada and the United States fighting a human pandemic. It’s not unknown for environmental disasters to follow close on the heels of an economic crisis. Let’s make sure this isn’t the case this time.


Blue Fish Top Links

Fish Health:

IJC’s Great Lakes Advisory Boards Tackle Fish and Water Quality issuesIJC
The Great Lakes continue to face complex challenges that demand comprehensive science and policy solutions. With fresh leadership and new experts, the IJC’s advisory boards continue to work to resolve many challenges facing the lakes, including managing the threat of radionuclide pollution in nuclear facility decommissioning, developing common frameworks for fish consumption advisories, and developing an early warning system for anticipating emerging water quality threats.

Angler Action:

Alaska Group Announces Guidelines for Summer FishingFishing Wire
The Alaska Sport and Personal Use Fishing COVID-19 Response Group today released guidance to promote responsible fishery access for individual anglers and Alaska’s fishing businesses.

Help promote #ResponsibleRecreation to Ensure Safety and Public AccessNPAA
Several outdoor organizations have come together to crowdsource #ResponsibleRecreation as a way to inform the public on the need to act responsibly when recreating outdoors in the era of COVID-19. The goal is to keep the public from breaking social distancing regulations to ensure access to public lands and waters occurs responsibly.

Indigenous Fishers:

IJC Project Creates Fish Consumption Resource for Indigenous FishersIJC
Fish are a major resource for residents around the Great Lakes, and many residents consume local fish to add an important source of essential nutrients to their diet. The International Joint Commission is launching an initiative to explore how governments create and issue fish consumption advisories to First Nations, Tribal and Métis communities, who experience higher health impacts due to higher fish consumption rates. The initiative will then be expanded to include all Great Lakes communities.

Industry:

Stay ConnectedNorthern Tourism Businesses and Communities – Destination Northern Ontario
Join an April 29th 2020 11:00 am EDT webinar to learn more about: connecting with customers now and until the curve flattens; creative ways to engage and stay connected; building community amongst your customers; having difficult conversations with your customers – deposits, cancellation fee, rebooking fees; local community support and engagement; and, industry examples and case studies.

ICAST Goes Virtual in 2020ASA
Given the ongoing stay-at-home orders and the desire to keep the health and safety of everyone in our recreational fishing family first in the decision-making process, the American Sportfishing Association board of directors made the decision to cancel ICAST in 2020, and to move the largest sportfishing industry trade show in the world Online and make it virtual.

Bass Pro Shops owner donates a million face masksAngling International
Bass Pro Shops founder and owner Johnny Morris has donated one million protective face masks to healthcare workers and first responders working on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis across the United States. The nationwide donation comes as supplies for personal protective equipment (PPE) are in short supply and high demand. “We are extremely grateful to our nation’s healthcare workers serving on the frontlines of this unprecedented global crisis,” said Morris…

On-Line Learning Resources for All Ages:

Blue Fish Canada On-Line Educational Resources
Blue Fish Canada offers 11 five-minute Feel the Bite on-the-water sustainability video lessons, 52 two-minute audio Blue Fish Stewardship Tips, and over a dozen printable validated Blue Fish sustainable best practices that cover multiple fish species and fishing scenarios to inform, inspire and entertain outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

7 Free Outdoor Resources to Teach Your Kids at HomeWatersheds Canada
These seven free nature-focused on-line resource libraries are filled with curriculum-linked lessons, games, crafts, recipes, and more to help with learning and fun in your household.

Carl Safina’s “Beyond Words about wolves and dogs”Safina Centre
In this video, author, conservationist and angler Carl Safina explains how wolves evolved into dogs, and how one of the world’s toughest mammals became our closest friend.

Try Your Hand at this Ottawa River Watershed PuzzleOttawa River keeper
The Ottawa River watershed covers 146,300 square kilometres and is twice the size of New Brunswick. This on-line puzzle features a map of the entire Ottawa River watershed.

Biodiversity Identification Training ResourcesSt. Lawrence River Institute
This Cornwall Ontario independent research centre has built its reputation on providing in-person and on-line learning videos, crafts, printable resources and other learning materials suitable for all ages.

This could be the longest ocean creature ever recorded EarthSky
Did you know that 72% of Canada’s territory is covered by three different oceans? We all know Earth’s oceans have yet to be fully explored, so no surprise when researchers discovered a 46-meter siphonophore — a string-like deep-sea huge organism filmed spread out like a spiral UFO hovering and swirling in Australian waters.

Canada C3 Digital Classroom Students on Ice
A comprehensive K-12 educational resource for youth and families to learn about the people and places that make up Canada’s coastline.

Mental Health:

Isolation means many couples are spending a lot more time together
Psychologists Julie and John Gottman offer advice on dealing with “pressure-cooker” moments.

Donate to Blue Fish Canada
We are a federally incorporated registered charity focussed on Canada’s water quality, fish health and the future of fishing. Through your donations our programs will continue to inspire and inform the next generation of conservation-minded outdoor enthusiasts and their mentors, and our advocacy will make sure your voice continues to be heard.