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

Click on the link to listen to Adrian Smith in conversation with editor Lawrence Gunther on The Blue Fish Radio Show: https://www.outdoorcanada.ca/blue-fish-radio-why-iron-maiden-guitarist-adrian-smith-loves-fishing-so-much/

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

In the October 24, 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we report on the B.C. Public Fishery Alliance 2-day awareness raising campaign that brought MPs on the water to show first-hand the state of B.C public fisheries. As always, we include links and summaries to the latest fishing, fish health, habitat and other news you need to know. Our closing Special Guest Feature details ways you can influence the course of future Great Lakes fish health research and bilateral actions by offering guidance to the International Joint Commission.

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

By Lawrence Gunther

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

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

Whale observation studies suggests the frequency of appearances by SRKW pods in many of the exclusion zones their time spent in any one zone is well under 10% of the season. Link below to listen to my conversation with Tom Davis, Director with the Public Fishery Alliance, and Chris Bos, Chair of the south Vancouver Island Anglers Coalition, on this new episode of The Blue Fish Radio Show: https://www.spreaker.com/user/5725616/e370-public-fishery-alliance-conducts-re

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whale avoidance bubble:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the meantime, we have a public fishery on life support, and no one seems to notice, at least until now. Thanks to the advocacy work of the PFA, politicians and government decision makers are learning to appreciate the nuances associated with protecting both wild Pacific salmon, and the right of public, FN and commercial fishers to harvest marked hatchery fish. And just as importantly, that all three stakeholders are equally committed to safeguarding and rebuilding Chinook fish stocks for fishers, killer whales, and the ecosystem as a whole. If you want proof, link below to listen to this recently released episode of The Blue Fish Radio Show featuring Peter Krahn with an update on his selective salmon fishing ‘’River Trap’’ mobile weir technology now being trialed by three FN communities: https://www.spreaker.com/user/5725616/e371-river-trap-up-date

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

Coming Up:

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

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

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

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

Complete the online survey

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

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

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

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In the October 10, 2022, Thanksgiving issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with an exploration of why being thankful doesn’t seem to be enough for people who poach and cheat. As always, we include links and summaries to the latest fishing, fish health, habitat and other news you need to know. Our closing Special Guest Feature chosen to inform and inspire our readers is an extract from the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address.

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

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

This Week’s Feature – Poaching and Cheating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Latest Fishing, fish Health and Fish Habitat News


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

Coming Up:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click on the link to listen to the tour of the Antique Boat Museum on the Blue Fish Radio Show: https://www.spreaker.com/user/5725616/e365-north-americas-largest-antique-boat

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

Click on the link to hear an update on the important conservation work underway at Save the River from John Peach and Lauren Eggleston on The Blue Fish Radio Show: https://www.spreaker.com/user/5725616/e366-up-date-from-save-the-river

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

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

Click on the link to this special audio/video production of my tour of the Maitland Tower project and conversation with Philip Ling on The Blue fish Radio Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHpZIW97CQ8

Click on the link to hear my conversation with Michele Andrews from the Door #1 NGO on The Blue Fish Radio Show: https://www.spreaker.com/user/5725616/e367-door-number-one-and-michele-andrews

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

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

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

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

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

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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

Scientists and Local Champions:

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

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

Coming Up:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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In the August 18, 2022, issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on corporate sustainability and responsibility, and how Navico is making the BioBase fisheries research cloud-based tool available to scientists to research fish habitat. As always, we include links and summaries to the latest fishing, fish health, Habitat and other news you need to know. Our closing Special Guest Feature comes from Outdoorlife magazine and explores the evolution of fishing apps.

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

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

This Week’s Feature – Brunswick Corporation Sustainability and BioBase

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link below for more about how fisheries biologists are using Navico’s BioBase: https://blog.biobasemaps.com/2022/04/11/professional-spotlight-dr-chris-harrod-and-chilean-kelp-mapping/

Link below to learn how BioBase facilitates social map and data sharing/cloud computing: https://www.biobasemaps.com/Dashboard/SocialMap

Link below to read Navico’s Sustainability Mission statement: https://navico.com/sustainability/

And finally, link below for Brunswick’s Sustainability Report describing their latest environmental, social and governance accomplishments: https://d1io3yog0oux5.cloudfront.net/brunswick/files/pages/brunswick/db/632/description/22_BRN_CB_SustainabilityReport_F_4.22.22.pdf

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

Link here to read the rest of the article…

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In the July 25th, 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on disputes over B.C. Salmon fisheries and the role of hatcheries. As always, we include links and summaries to the latest fishing, fish health, habitat and other news you need to know. Our closing Special Guest Feature concerns the spread of a contagious viral outbreak among marine life along North Americas north-east coast.

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

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

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

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

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

Increasingly, Pacific salmon advocates are expressing concern that fishery managers may choose to allocate additional salmon restoration funding towards increasing salmon hatchery output in the name of salmon recovery. Their concern is based on scientific DNA evidence that hatcheries have contributed to the DNA contamination of the over 9,000 distinct populations of Pacific salmon in B.C. Click on the link to read an editorial explaining why key west-coast salmon advocates believe that “one generation of wild salmon raised in a hatchery can change hundreds of genes, and that multiple generations of breeding in hatcheries produces salmon that are fit for hatcheries but not the wild”: https://theprovince.com/opinion/vanessa-minke-martin-aaron-hill-greg-knox-misty-macduffee-jeffery-young-spending-stimulus-money-on-hatcheries-will-harm-wild-salmon

In a recent Tyee article penned by author Jude Isabella we are told that by the time Haig-Brown published his first book in 1931, “the science had already aligned against fish hatcheries.” Isabella goes on to say, “At first, it was mainly politics and blind faith in technology. Today, the reliance on hatcheries is a combination of politics, law and desperation.” Click on the link to read Jude Isabella’s complete article: https://thetyee.ca/News/2022/06/06/The-Hatchery-Crutch/

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

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

While playing fast-and-loose with salmon DNA may have inadvertently un-done centuries of evolutionary success, the problem now seems to be more about how much of a good thing is too much? According to author Miranda Weissin in her recent article published in The Tyee, “since the 1970s, industrial production of pink salmon has exploded, and today, hatcheries in the United States, Canada, Russia and Japan pump about 1.3 billion pink salmon fry into the Pacific each year, leading to the production of roughly 82 million adults. About 15 per cent of all pinks in the ocean originate from hatcheries, topping off a population that is already at a record level of abundance.” Clearly, hatcheries are not just being used to prop-up collapsing salmon runs but are also now being used for commercial gain. Click on the link to read Miranda Weissin’s article: https://thetyee.ca/News/2022/06/07/Too-Much-Pink-Salmon/?fbclid=IwAR1IQWk-ny2ThErrS9HZAVbPo7j4amc-hL1p0qTPPyfitvPotJt_F7HPRSE&mc_cid=4e2618ff27&mc_eid=c35174bfce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

Scientists and Local Champions:

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

Free Resources:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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In the June 27 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on the importance of honouring the need for youth to connect to nature through fishing. As always, we include links and summaries to the latest fishing, fish health, Habitat and other news you need to know. Our closing Special Guest Feature chosen to inform and inspire our readers concerns the Pacific Salmon Foundation’s reflections on the recent federal announcement to phase out open pen salmon farming on Canada’s west coast.

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

This Week’s Feature – Connecting Youth to Nature Through Fishing

Within a half-dozen episodes after starting the podcast “The Blue Fish Radio Show” in 2013, I stopped asking my guests what helped stoke their passion for fish and fishing. The answer was always the same, a mentor who introduced them to the sport at a young age. The younger they got their start the more powerful their passion grew over time. In fact, fishing often accounted for some of their earliest memories. Over 350 podcast episodes later and my opinion on the subject hasn’t changed. In my own case it was my father and mother, but mainly my dad. He just loved to catch and eat fish.

Having six kids of my own I’ve made sure to invest time on the water, so they had plenty of positive experiences. And to be sure, this didn’t simply mean taking young “Extra Line” fishing to improve my harvest limit for the day. More often than not it meant not fishing myself to make sure my kids got the instruction and support they needed to master the many technical and skill-based aspects of fishing. Supporting one child new to fishing is doable while fishing yourself, but more than two, it’s all hands-on deck.

There’s plenty of solid research out there now that proves children need access to shorelines at a young age in order to develop certain aspects of their world view. Shorelines are where life happens. The synergy that results when terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems come into contact is quite possibly the origin of the word synergy itself. Life may be small, but there’s so much of it.

Fishing / foraging is the next logical step and has been for millions of years. It’s long-since been hard-wired into our DNA, or at least I like to think so. History aside, fishing is still the number one way people connect with nature directly by searching out and capturing food grown in the wild. Over two-billion people around the world still depend on fish as their primary source of protein. The popularity of fish and fishing even grew over the past several years as the pandemic reminded us of the vulnerability of our social networks and food systems.

Whether you fish for food or to just get outdoors, fishing teaches us to observe nature, and in turn, to become stewards of what we have come to know and love. Unfortunately, for ever-more urban youth, this connection is missing.

Blue Fish Canada has developed programs, tools and partnerships to make sure youth aren’t forgotten. Whether this means equipping and supporting skilled anglers to take time to introduce youth to fishing, or collaborating with youth organizations such as Earth Rangers, Girl Guides, Scouts, community centres, First Nations communities, and disability organizations to name a few, Blue Fish Canada is working hard to empower and inspire youth to connect sustainably with nature through fishing. Personally, my most rewarding youth training experiences happen when introducing deaf and blind children to fishing. It gives a whole new meaning to “feel the bite!”

Many other organizations are also beginning to acknowledge that, in addition to fishing by indigenous groups, fishing is also an acceptable sustainable activity to be undertaken by all manner of people. People from all corners of the world practiced subsistence fishing, and variations of fishing that have since evolved such as commercial, recreational, and now sport.

For sure there are lots of environmentalists that still promote the idea that humans must adopt veganism if the planet is to be saved, such as the message conveyed in films such as “Seaspiracy”. However, restricting humans from engaging in traditional foraging practices like fishing, even when science demonstrates that fishing is often undertaken sustainably, is resulting in the connection between people and nature being weakened and often broken. This is especially the case with people who grow up in urban environments.

By replacing truly formative outdoor experiences like fishing with theoretical concepts like environmentalism opens the door to future adults willing to consider greater exceptions when new economic initiatives are being proposed. Exceptions that necessitate the destruction of nature to one degree or another despite sustainability claims. If you love something you’re far less likely to agree to questionable commercial activities, or what many in the media report as balancing the needs of the environment with economic opportunity.

Can Blue Fish Canada promise that if you teach a kid to fish the level of environmental destruction will decrease – if it were only so simple. And let’s face it, there are plenty of ways to fish that aren’t necessarily sustainable. Teaching kids to fish the way we were taught also needs to be re-examined, which is what Blue Fish Canada has been doing for the past ten years.

With the involvement of our many Blue Fish Canada volunteers made up of local champions, indigenous knowledge keepers, scientists, conservationists, and people who possess both local and traditional knowledge, Blue Fish Canada has been assembling species and regional specific sustainable fishing guides. These are fact-checked guidance documents that reflect the best of what new and old knowledge has to offer. It’s also work that will need to continue as we learn more about nature’s long-hidden underwater ecosystems.

Groups like the International Game Fish Association have also been working hard to develop instructional materials being used to teach youth to fish respectfully in over 35 countries. Not only does the IGFA track recreational fishing world records, they ensure the pursuit and capture of these fish is a sustainable activity. It made perfect sense then that Blue Fish Canada would become IGFA’s first Canadian youth fishing program delivery partner. Click the link to listen to my conversation with Lisa Morse, Education Programs Manager, with the International Game Fish Association on the Blue Fish Radio Show: https://bluefishradio.com/igfa-global-partners-deliver-youth-programming/

Whether it’s your own kids or your neighbors’, take time this summer to pass on your love and knowledge of fishing. Let’s face it, anyone who walks into a fishing store can quickly feel overwhelmed by the sheer variety of fishing technologies for sale. The learning curve can be quite intense if not properly managed. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on boats, rods and lures, without knowing how to properly fish, it can become quite frustrating and potentially destructive. But it’s also a passion that is limitless in terms of the opportunities available to discover and grow to love our many lakes, rivers and oceans and the fishes that have made it their homes. To access our free Blue Fish Canada Sustainable Fishing Guidance documents, visit: https://bluefishcanada.ca/resources/blue-fish-sustainable-fishing-tips/

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


DFO closes Chinook salmon fishing around Prince Rupert / Terrace Standard
The decreases are in place to “address on-going concerns for Skeena Chinook” DFO stated. In the tidal waters around Haida Gwaii and off the west coast of the archipelago, anglers are allowed to catch one chinook per day from June 15 to July 15 and two per day from Aug. 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.

Hundreds of pounds of fish removed from lake aids in recovery of endangered Cultus Lake sockeye / Chilliwack Progress
A pikeminnow and smallmouth bass fishing derby was held at Cultus Lake’s Main Beach on Father’s Day weekend.

Whether passion or obsession, the benefits of salmon fishing are virtually endless / CBC
Salmon season has arrived, and for those who partake, it can be better than Christmas, writes Gord Follett.

St. Lawrence River Hosts B.A.S.S. Nation Northeast Regional / Fishing Wire
Anglers competed in WADDINGTON, N.Y. for the B.A.S.S. Nation Northeast Regional on the St. Lawrence River beginning June 24, 2022.

What my dad taught me about fishing in Alaska / National Geographic
In the wilds of Tongass, a love of wilderness unites a father and son for the last time.

‘Fishing has provided me with a connection to place’ / Tyee
Fisheries biologist and Emerging Leader Taylor Wale braids science, community and culture together in her work.

Fish Lead-Free in New Hampshire / Fishing Wire
The Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (NHFG) want to remind anglers about the ban on the sale and freshwater use of lead sinkers and jigs weighing one ounce or less for all freshwater in the state. The Loon Preservation Committee recently recorded its first lead-poisoned loon of the year. In 2021, a total of seven adult loons and one immature loon in New Hampshire were confirmed to have died from lead poisoning after ingesting lead sinkers.

Sustainable Seafood Guide / Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
Our friends and partners at the North American Marine Alliance (NAMA) have put together a “Sustainable Seafood Guide” that aims to provide insight into the seafood landscape. The guide can be utilized to help inform purchasing decisions, raise awareness, and take actionable steps toward policy change. Access the full guide.

Asian Carp – No More – Meet “Copi” / Choose Copi
The dreaded Silver carp, Bighead carp, or Grass carp, are now being rebranded as the next big thing in fine dining. Along with the push to eat these invasive fish comes a brand new name “Copi”. Copi is also recommended for consumption by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.

Alaskan Fishery Managers Call for Deeper Look at Salmon Bycatch / Fishing Wire
Western Alaska villagers have endured the worst chum salmon runs on record. Many of those suffering see one way to provide some quick relief: stop Large vessels trawling for pollock and other groundfish in the industrial-scale fisheries of the Bering Sea from intercepting so many salmon.


Toxic PFAS, the “Everywhere Chemicals,” Are in Organic Foods and Packaging / Sierra Club
A raft of new studies have found that some foods may not be as safe as we think.

B.C.’s doomed Thompson River steelhead offer a stark warning / Outdoor Canada
As with salmon, steelhead are born in freshwater but migrate to saltwater, where they spend several years before returning to their natal rivers to spawn. Unlike Pacific salmon, however, they can live for up to 15 years and spawn several times. So, what is causing this dramatic decline in the population? According to a 2018 federal study, the reasons are numerous, creating a perfect storm that could lead to the ultimate extirpation of the Thompson’s steelhead.

Feds move to ban open net salmon farms in B.C. / Victoria Times Colonist
Canada has temporarily renewed dozens of fish farm licences in B.C. A decision on how the farms will be removed from the Pacific will be released in spring 2023.

Returning home: The Elwha’s genetic legacy / Encyclopedia of Puget Sound
Following dam removal, migratory salmon have been free to swim into the upper Elwha River for the first time in 100 years. Their actual behaviours and reproductive success may well be driven by changes in their genetic makeup.

Good news on Greenland fishery / ASF
North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization members have committed to better management of the Greenland salmon fishery, agreeing to close the fishery when 49% of the catch is registered—a measure that will significantly reduce overharvest of wild Atlantic salmon.

B.C. salmon farm’s sea lice levels were five times limit: docs / Narwhal
Internal government emails show sea lice levels multiple times higher than federal rules detected at two Cermaq farms earlier this year.

Sharks May Be Closer to the City Than You Think Fishing Wire
A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, researchers tracked the movements of three shark species, bull, nurse and great hammerhead, in relation to the city of Miami. Given the chemical, light, and noise pollution emanating from the coastal metropolis, researchers expected sharks to avoid areas close to the city, but that’s not what they found.

Source of solvent that killed potentially hundreds of fish in Coquitlam creek unclear: city / Global News
People who live near Booth Creek at Myrnam Street first noticed the dead fish and a strong odour Saturday evening.

Sockeye salmon fill rivers in Alberni, as rains raise flow levels to record highs / CHEK
A natural rite of spring is filling up Alberni Valley rivers as schools of sockeye salmon make their annual journey home. They are a critical species on our coast, and this year are encountering record high water levels from all the recent rains.

Something’s fishy about fish farm fans / VanIsle.News
“Are these nine scientists as concerned about wild salmon as we are? Or are they just trying to protect the industry they have ties to?”

Higher ground: Little Campbell River hatchery rebuild planned following November floods / Peace Arch News
Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club looks to update its facility, and move it off the flood plain.

Why climate change could mean more jellyfish for B.C. / Vancouver Is Awesome
Invasive jellyfish to see explosive growth in B.C., says modelling. Sightings have already ballooned. A scientist looks to track how it could damage ecosystems.

Population of Atlantic salmon around the world continues to decrease due to climate change and human exploitation / Nature World News
A sudden shift in climatic conditions in the North Atlantic approximately 800 years ago had a part in a drop in Atlantic salmon populations returning to rivers, according to research headed by the University of Southampton. Salmon stocks were further depleted as a result of subsequent human exploitation.


Conservationists pleased government has begun salmon farm transition, but impacts on wild salmon will continue until fish farms out / Watershed Watch Salmon Society
By not renewing the Discovery Island licences and limiting all other salmon farm licences to two years, government has signaled that open-net salmon farming in B.C. is coming to an end. Until now status quo salmon farm licence renewals were six-year terms. Whether this decision offers immediate relief to wild salmon outside the Discovery Islands will depend on the newly issued farm management rules (i.e., Conditions of Licence) and how they are enforced.

New Report on Proposed National Marine Protection Area for Lake Ontario Eastern Basin / Nature Canada
Many believe Lake Ontario has the strongest fish populations and that ensuring access to these fish means investing more in understanding their issues and protecting their habitat. Nature Canada’s new report outlines why a National Marine Protection Area for Lake Ontario’s eastern basin is an essential step to ensuring the future of fish and fishing.

Melting Glaciers Likely to Boost Healthy Salmon Spawning Habitat: Study / Fishermens News
Dramatic increases in the melting of Alaska’s massive glaciers in the midst of global warming reflect a silver lining for wild salmon in Alaska.

43 per cent of world’s rivers contain dangerous levels of prescription drugs / New York Post
Researchers found 23 active ingredients, including those found in antidepressants, antihistamines, stimulants, benzos and painkillers, at levels exceeding “safe” concentrations in 43.5 per cent of the 1,052 they tested in 104 countries.

U.S. wants Canada to join probe of cross-border pollution from B.C. coal mines / Dawson Creek Mirror
The United States government, including President Joe Biden’s White House, has joined calls for Canada to participate in a probe of cross-border pollution coming from coal mines in southern British Columbia.

Water test: Rending the Great Lakes food web / Great Lakes Echo
The food web in lakes Michigan and Huron has changed in ways that jeopardize age-old fishing traditions and raise questions about how we’ve managed them. It is an ecological disruption that sets the scene for deciding how to manage the lakes in the future, and how best to parcel out the lake’s fish. Quagga mussels have changed the Great Lakes water chemistry, posing new challenges to fishery managers.

Heat waves are expected to continue, and B.C. needs to act in order to protect its fish: prof / Salmon Arm Observer
UBC Professor leading charge in solutions to combat extreme heat to protect fish and marine species.

Wildlife can’t keep waiting for ban on ship waste / Vancouver Sun
“Billions of litres of ship waste have been dumped in marine protected areas since Canada promised to ban the practice three years ago.”


Canada can hit its conservation goals with a huge assist from Indigenous initiatives / National Observer
Canada can hit its conservation targets if the provinces and territories work with Indigenous partners to formally protect ongoing conservation initiatives like the Seal River Watershed in northern Manitoba — one of the world’s largest remaining ecologically intact watersheds.

‘We are salmon people’: First Nation leaders in B.C. demand audience with fisheries minister / National Observer
First Nations leaders are calling for more political engagement from federal Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray, expressing rage and grief over Pacific salmon’s path to extinction — and with it, the ongoing decimation of their communities’ culture, self-identity and food security.

How First Nations peoples have adapted to climate change and ocean temperature shifts for thousands of years / National Observer
Archaeologists studying fish bones from the villages of Ts’ishaa and Huu7ii on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, are learning how First Nations peoples have adapted to climate change and ocean temperature shifts for thousands of years. This knowledge could help inform present-day fisheries management decisions amid worsening climate conditions.

How an oily fish is connecting Nisg̱a’a youth to the land / Narwhal
After a long, dark winter, the return of the oolichan to Ḵ’alii Aksim Lisims is the first sign of spring on Nisg̱a’a territory. During a three-day camp, Ging̱olx youth connect with saak and those who catch and process it.


Helen Sevier Pioneer Scholarship presented by Shimano / B.A.S.S.
To honor Helen Sevier’s leadership and long-term vision for the growth of sportfishing, B.A.S.S., in partnership with Shimano, will dedicate two $2,500 “Pioneer” scholarships to deserving female high school anglers and members of B.A.S.S. who wish to pursue competitive fishing at the college level. The program is open to Canadian Women. Application Deadline: July 15, 2022.


The Popularity of Pontoon Boats is Rising / NPAA
Whether you fish for catfish, bass, walleye, or panfish the pontoon boat is becoming a favorite platform. Boat dealers are now selling pontoon boats fully rigged for the fishermen and many of those dealers will customize the boat to whatever features and equipment anglers prefer. For bigger and faster boats, it’s recommended buying a tri-toon if an engine of 150 horsepower or more is desired.


Surrey’s salmon-painting challenge aims to teach public about water pollution / Peace Arch News
The competition encourages everyone to get involved in spreading the word about pollution affecting fish.

Fish Art Contest International and Essay Winners Announced / Fishing Wire
Supported by Title Sponsor, Bass Pro Shops, students who participate choose a fish species then create both an artistic rendition and a creative writing submission for the contest. Essay winners are recognized in three age categories per state; 4th-6th grade, 7-9th grade, and 10th-12th grade. Students may submit a wide variety of creative writing pieces to qualify, such as poems, songs, stories, or fun fish interviews.

Click the link to view the 2022 essay award winners. https://www.wildlifeforever.org/?p=11936

International art pieces are awarded by country in the above age categories. Click the link to view the 2022 international art award winners. https://www.wildlifeforever.org/?p=12461


Happy Canada Day! / Outdoor Canada
Re-subscribe to Outdoor Canada magazine for only $20* for a one-year subscription. OC we’ll include an OC pocketknife for your travels and complimentary DIGITAL edition.


The World’s Largest Recorded Freshwater Fish Caught
The world’s largest recorded freshwater fish, a giant stingray weighing over 300 Kilos, has been caught in the Mekong River in Cambodia.

Blood-sucking sea lampreys threaten Great Lakes ecosystem / CTV News
The bi-national Great Lakes Fishery Commission is spreading awareness of a blood-sucking fish that has been wreaking havoc to ecosystems for decades.

Scientists and Local Champions:

What the Federal Government’s Aquaculture News Means for Wild Fish / The Tyee
When The Tyee spoke with Alexandra Morton in early June, she said the day the DFO decision came down would be the day “I’m going to find out if my whole life was a waste.” But on Wednesday, after the announcement, Morton said her life, which she has dedicated to researching and documenting the harms caused by the fish farm industry in B.C., hasn’t been wasted.

Calls to Action:

Muskies are becoming a growing concern in the Upper St. Lawrence / InformNNY
According to the Gananoque 1000 Islands Chapter of Muskies Canada, there has been a recent surge of dead Muskellunge fish floating on the St. Lawrence River. Although the group said that dead fish are often found on local water bodies in the spring months, the recent reportings are a cause for concern. The group said in a press release “there is a fine line between normal and diseased mortality.” To document any abnormalities, all anglers are required to report and subsequently recover all dead muskies so an autopsy can be conducted. Anglers should email the Gananoque 1000 Islands Chapter of Muskies Canada at gan.chapter.mci@gmail.com and provide their name, phone number and the exact location for recovery.

Last week to have your say about the Telkwa Coal Mine / SkeenaWild
The Australian owned Allegiance Coal is proposing to mine more than 800,000 tonnes of coal per year in an open pit mine, with three massive tailings ponds near the Telkwa and Bulkley Rivers (tributaries of the Skeena River). The risks this open pit mine poses to water quality, salmon and steelhead populations and air quality are just too high. Please take a few minutes to submit a comment today. The deadline for comment is July 3rd.

Special Guest Feature: Government of Canada Outlines Next Steps In Transition From Open Net Pen Salmon Farming In British Columbia / Pacific Salmon Foundation

The Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) has appreciated the opportunity to participate in and contribute to early phases of transition consultations with the Hon. Joyce Murray and DFO, and we look forward to further consultation to advance this mandate for the future health of wild Pacific salmon. Our team has been at the forefront of independent science related to the impacts open-net-pen fish farms have on wild Pacific salmon. The research will continue.

The government’s announcement also clarified that the Minister will renew licenses for only two-years, in the case of marine finfish aquaculture facilities outside of the Discovery Islands – far shorter than the historical license renewal period.

PSF is encouraged by the two-year renewal as a strong signal from the Minister that the removal of salmon farms is nearing. We are also optimistic about the suggestion of tightened standards related to monitoring and sea lice management, as research has shown disease transfer between open-net fish farms and wild salmon as well as higher levels of sea lice near active farms. We will be scrutinizing DFO’s new licensing standards in the coming days.

The decision to not renew licences for Atlantic salmon facilities in the Discovery Islands, pending further consultations, is a win for some of our most at-risk wild salmon populations in B.C, including imperiled Fraser River sockeye.

Here at PSF, the Salmon Health team will continue working in partnership with DFO, First Nations and many other collaborators on vital research and monitoring related to the impacts of open-net-pen salmon farms on wild Pacific salmon.

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

In this June 14th, issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on fishing regulations and consumption advisories. As always, we include links and summaries to the latest fishing, fish health, Habitat and other news you need to know. Our closing Special Guest Feature chosen to inform our readers focusses on how to identify harmful algal blooms.

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

This Week’s Feature – Fishing Regulations and Consumption Advisories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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

Scientists and Local Champions:

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

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

Coming Up:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: The International Game Fish Association not only tracks fish capture records around the world, they promote fishing and conservation. One of the IGFA’s programs focussed on inspiring youth to connect with nature through fishing includes partner organizations from 34 countries. Blue Fish Canada is proud to bring Canada on board as the 35th country offering the IGFA Youth Fishing Passport program. Blue Fish Canada also celebrates its 10th anniversary as a registered Canadian Charity. More partnerships and exciting initiatives to come…

In this May 30, 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on the rise of Community Supported Fisheries and how anglers can benefit. As always, we include links and summaries to the latest fishing, fish health, habitat and other news you need to know. Our closing Special Guest Feature concerns the latest North American fish stock reports.

Photo of Sonia Strobel, co-founder of Skipper Otto, one of Canada’s first Community Supported Fisheries at a pickup with volunteers.

Angler Interest in Community Supported Fisheries

Food security hovers on the periphery of our lives and impacts ever more as Covid and now disruptions in international supply chains continue to chip away at what we once took for granted — relatively low cost and abundant food. While Blue Fish Canada promotes sound conservation measures such as catch-and-release best practices, we also encourage sustainable harvesting where possible. Unfortunately, the systems we rely on to monitor recreational anglers, with few exceptions, provide few details about just how much sustainable seafood is being harvested. Other than the number of fishing licenses issued by provinces and territories, the only indicators regarding the quantity and purpose of fish being harvested by recreational anglers is limited to periodic and short-term creel surveys, and even these data collection tools provide no clear economic indications of the value of these fisheries or the motivations of those doing the harvesting.

Canada isn’t the only developed nation struggling to understand the true number and value of fish caught and released or harvested. The most recent report from the U.S. NOAA also offers scant details about recreational angling effort (see guest feature at the end of the News comparing commercial harvest rates with fish caught by recreational anglers). The summary also includes the latest news on what fish stocks are being fished sustainably, or unfished but are still below sustainable levels.

One example of a world renowned source of seafood are the Great Lakes, a collection of five massive lakes that hold 20% of the world’s surface freshwater, may also just be the world’s most underutilized source of seafood. Yes, we know that Great Lakes fisheries represent the most valuable freshwater fisheries in the world, but just how much fish are being caught by anglers and indigenous fishers is unknown. I also think there are few who could explain how Great Lakes commercial, recreational and indigenous fisheries link to our seafood consumption patterns, food insecurity, and economic and social benefits. Other than the $250 million in commercial fishing that takes place each year, we the public know relatively little of the estimated $8.5-billion recreational and indigenous fisheries.

Community Supported Fisheries (CSFs) are growing in importance and popularity throughout North America. These fisheries establish short local supply chains that connect commercial fishers to consumers with relatively few people in between. The goal is to provide the public with direct access to fishers so they can gain greater assurances that the seafood they are consuming is being caught sustainably, is relatively fresh, and is what the labels claim. From the fisher’s perspective, they are empowered to operate their own vessels, fish for seafood they know is abundant at different times of the year, pay their crew fair wages, and are compensated properly for their time and investment. Perhaps the most important aspect of this relationship though, is the knowledge that it’s a system that can withstand the sort of disruptions that currently impact larger value chains.

Dr. Josh Stoll from the University of Maine was instrumental in forming the non-profit Local Catch Network. Since then, he and his team have helped launch CSF’s throughout North America, and the results are benefiting everyone involved. Link below to listen to my conversation with Dr. Stoll in 2016 on The Blue Fish Radio Show and learn how Community Supported Fisheries began to turn fisheries once known for high-volume low-quality seafood production, into providers of sustainably caught high quality fresh seafood delivered direct to your door. https://bluefishradio.com/josh-stoll-on-community-supported-fisheries/

According to the Local Catch Network, “the direct seafood marketing sector has continued to expand. Catalyzed by local innovation and nation/global drivers. More and more seafood harvesters are pivoting to local and direct seafood marketing to create transparent, safe, fair, profitable, equitable, and sustainable supply chains that support marine conservation and resilient coastal communities. However, the sector also continues to face diverse challenges that create obstacles to growing and sustaining the sector. These challenges have the potential to limit the long-term success of those engaged in local and regional seafood systems at a time when the sector is more important than ever.

Right here in Canada our own Sonia Strobel is the co-founder and CEO of Skipper Otto, a Community Supported Fishery based on Coast Salish territory in Vancouver, BC. Sonia was also recently appointed as the first Canadian director to the board of the Local Catch Network. She already serves on several advisory committees with the Fisheries for Communities Coalition and Slow Fish Canada and is president of the Friends of Granville Island Society, a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, and a business mentor with The Forum. It was in 2008 that Sonia co-founded Skipper Otto, one of the first CSFs in Canada. Her insights on the important role CSFs play in Canada is being repeated thanks to the innovative software solutions her organization shares, something she hopes might someday be adopted by First Nations fishers. Link below to hear my conversation last week with Sonia Strobel on The Blue Fish Radio Show: https://bluefishradio.com/community-supported-fisheries-and-skipper-otto/

Want to know more about how fishers and their communities benefit from CSFs? Hannah Harrison from the University of Guelph and Director of Science for the Coastal Roots Program has spent several years collecting learnings through numerous interviews with commercial fishers. Dr. Harrison was also a guest on Blue Fish Radio in 2021 where she discussed how CSFs faired during Covid, and what we the public need to do to ensure these artisanal fishers have the respect and support essential to their continued operations such as working waterfronts. We also discussed what it takes to resolve resource sharing conflicts. Link below to hear my conversation with Dr. Hannah Harrison: https://bluefishradio.com/hannah-harrison-on-covid-19-and-community-supported-fisheries/

So, if you like to fish, or not, but haven’t had access to the sorts of seafood you would like to provide for your family’s table, then just maybe a CSF is the way to go. Don’t think it as casting a cloud on your angling ability, but more of a means of forging a stronger connection to the world of fishing. I recognize that fishing is considered by many to be a “sport”, which there is nothing wrong with – especially if you fish competitions. However, if size and number of fish caught and released isn’t necessarily your prime directive, and you’re interested in bringing more fish home, maybe it’s time anglers take a good look at the CSF model and first Nations values that promote the sustainable foraging of local fish.

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


No live or dead bait allowed into Canada / Duluth News
While U.S.-based anglers were locked out of Canada for nearly 18 months in 2020 and 2021, both the Ontario provincial government and Canadian government tightened regulations on bringing live bait across the border and moving live bait within the province. The new regulations are aimed at slowing the spread of invasive species. Essentially, no live or dead bait are allowed to be brought across the border. That includes frozen minnows which had been allowed across the border through 2019.

Drone Fishers Are in the Hot Seat / Hakai
Is fishing with a drone the way of the future? Not everyone is on board.

Climate Change Is Shifting What Seafood Restaurants like Tojo’s Source and Serve / The Tyee
According to new study from the University of British Columbia, warming water temperatures are changing what seafood is sourced and served in Vancouver. The study reviewed 362 seafood menus from Vancouver restaurants dating back to 1880 and found, because of warming ocean temperatures, we’re ending up with more warm-water-associated species on our plates.

If subsistence salmon fishing opens on the Yukon River, new rules will limit who can fish for salmon / KNBA
“From the fisherman’s standpoint, this summer is going to be horrible. To allow this fishing, the runs would first need to indicate that there are enough salmon to meet escapement goals, both for the state’s goals and for the treaty goals with Canada. It’s the second year in a row where there could potentially be no salmon fishing,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Yukon River Fishery Manager Holly Carroll.

Captain Survives After Treading Water for 10 Hours in Mobile Bay / Outdoor Life
Capt. Kevin Olmstead is a veteran angler and captain, but he made some tragic mistakes that almost cost him his life


Salmon at increased risk of exposure to harmful bacteria near B.C. fish farms / CBC
A new study finds that young Fraser River sockeye are 12 times more likely to pick up the harmful pathogen Tenacibaculum maritimum if they swim past the fish farms in British Columbia’s Discovery Islands. The bacterium can cause illness or death in wild salmon, lending additional support for Canada’s plan to transition away from open-net salmon farming. (CBC)

2022 Salmon Outlook / Greg Taylor
Every year, Watershed Watch Salmon Society’s fisheries expert, Greg Taylor, looks at DFO’s forecasts and makes some predictions for the fishing season ahead.

The Invisible Miracle / Watershed Watch
While salmon are known for their amazing journeys home to spawn, they also start their lives with an incredible journey. Learn more about the invisible migration.

The future of fishing and fish — and the health of the ocean — hinges on economics and the idea of ‘infinity fish’ / The Conversation
Humans have failed to take good care of the ocean — and the environment at large — because we undervalue its goods and services. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), 34 per cent of the world’s fish stocks are overfished. But other organizations, including the Global Fish Index, estimate that roughly half of marine fish stocks are overexploited.

The US has spent more than $2B on a plan to save salmon. The fish are vanishing anyway / OPB
The US government promised Native tribes in the Pacific Northwest that they could keep fishing as they’d always done. But instead of preserving wild salmon, it propped up a failing system of hatcheries. Now, that system is falling apart.

DNA from nearly-forgotten Yukon kokanee salmon ‘a treasure’ for modern conservation / CBC
Researchers found that salmon currently in the Kathleen Lake system aren’t so genetically different from their ancestors, while the hatchery kokanee have diverged to the point where they shouldn’t be reintroduced into the wild.

This hybrid fish in Canada could be bad news / Digital Business
A chinook-coho salmon hybrid first was noticed in 2019, likely caused by climate change, is raising concerns in Canada.


Blue-green Algae – Know it and report it / MECC
Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has launched a website page dedicated to identifying blue-green algae. Though more prevalent in the late summer and Fall, under the right conditions Ontario lakes can present with blue-green algae blooms throughout the ice-off season. Protect yourselves and others from this toxic algae by understanding what to look for and how to report it. Remember to report suspected sightings by calling the Spills Action Centre: 1-800-268-6060.

Minister Murray’s moment of truth / Stan Proboszcz
With less than two months until the June deadline, read Stan’s latest update (which includes a bit of background on all the twists and turns this campaign has taken to date).

Canada flip-flops amid calls for probe into Teck mine pollution / Narwhal
Contaminants from the B.C. coal mines owned by Teck Resources travel through rivers in the Elk Valley to Lake Koocanusa, a cross-border reservoir, and into the Kootenai River, flowing through Montana and Idaho, threatening fish and other aquatic life. The two countries have an agreement meant to tackle issues exactly like this: The Boundary Waters Treaty. But, in late April, a spokesperson with Global Affairs Canada told the Ktunaxa Nation Council, which represents four First Nations in southeast B.C., that the government had decided against involving the International Joint Commission.

‘They’ll eat everything’: Newfoundland fishermen say ‘aggressive’ invasive green crab leaving ‘mass grave of shellfish’ in their path / ISC
The green crab was first reported by the DFO in 2007 in North Harbour, Placentia Bay. Shortly after, DFO conducted a national risk assessment to determine its effect on local ecology. The assessment concluded a high risk, both ecologically and economically.

EPA proposes Bristol Bay protections in potential blow to Pebble Mine development / Seattle Times
The Environmental Protection Agency proposes new safeguards for Bristol Bay, Alaska, which sustains the world’s largest remaining sockeye salmon runs. The move might deal the final blow to the Pebble Mine project that’s jockeyed back and forth under the last three US presidents.

How Atlantic Canada’s warming ocean could impact everything from seaweed to lobster / CBC
An Atlantic Canadian biotechnology seafood company says harvest levels have plunged at the southern range of the cold-water seaweed it uses as raw material. Meanwhile, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is being urged to do more research on lobster and climate change.

Fisheries minister pledges to study impact of seals on Atlantic Canada’s fisheries / Global News
A report by members of Atlantic Canada’s fisheries industry says large populations of grey and harp seals are having a serious impact on the ocean ecosystem.


First Nation in B.C. says it was blindsided by closing of fishery / Globe and Mail
The Heiltsuk Nation says their input on harvest levels and maintaining fishing was ignored as their fishery was cancelled without advance notice.


Mercury Marine names Perissa Millender Bailey Vice President of E-Solutions / Brunswick Marine
Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), has named Perissa Millender Bailey Vice President and General Manager, eSolutions. This new position on Mercury’s leadership team will be responsible for leading the company’s electrification business and product development strategy. She joins Mercury following an 18-year career with Ford Motor Company, most recently serving as the company’s global technology strategy and planning director.


Wildlife Forever Announces 2022 Art of Conservation Fish Art Awards / NPAA
Wildlife Forever and Title Sponsor Bass Pro Shops are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2022 Art of Conservation Fish Art Contest. Winners of the contest were selected from over 4,300 entries from 42 US states and 43 countries.

Scientists and Local Champions:

Bob Izumi Retires after 38 years / Outdoor Canada
Fishing legend Bob Izumi hosted TV’s Real Fishing Show for 38 years before announcing in February that he’s moving on to new projects in the fishing industry. “I cannot thank my fans, viewers, sponsors, family and friends enough,” he says. Watch for him now on TikTok: @FishingWithBobIzumi.

Blue Fish Canada Passes 10-Year Mark / Outdoor Canada
Blue Fish Canada, a charity organization formed in 2012 by Outdoor Canada contributor (and renowned blind angler) Lawrence Gunther to promote the health of Canada’s water resources and wild fish stocks, celebrates its 10th Anniversary.

Coastal Job: Tribal Fish and Wildlife Technician / Hakai
Vanessa Castle keeps a close eye on the salmon and big cats that roam around her coastal home.

Calls to Action:

Help defend BC wild salmon from Alaskan plunder / Watershed Watch
In response to a shocking report that showed Alaskans are catching a growing share of B.C. salmon, Watershed Watch Salmon Society has launched a new campaign. Find out more and take action.

Special Guest Feature – Two New U.S. Fishing Reports Released by the NOAA

The annual Status of Stocks report highlights U.S. efforts to rebuild and recover U.S. fisheries by providing a snapshot of the more than 460 stocks managed by NOAA Fisheries. In 2021, U.S. fisheries held steady with more than 90% of stocks not subject to overfishing, and 80% not overfished.

The number of stocks on the overfishing list also held steady at 26, and the number of overfished stocks slightly increased to 51, up from 49.

The NOAA defines “overfishing” as “a stock having a harvest rate higher than the rate that produces its maximum sustainable yield.”

NOAA defines “overfished” as, “a stock having a population size that is too low and that jeopardizes the stock’s ability to produce its maximum sustainable yield.”

The maximum sustainable yield (MSY) for a given fish stock is defined as, “the highest possible annual catch that can be sustained over time by keeping the stock at the level producing maximum growth.”

The U.S. annual Fisheries of the U.S. report focuses on the economic impacts of fisheries. U.S. commercial fishermen landed 8.4 billion pounds valued at $4.7 billion while recreational anglers caught an estimated 1 billion fish and released 65 percent of those caught. Landings for fish in the U.S. were down 10%, likely due to the impacts of the pandemic.

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What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: Thankfully, after such a long winter, boats are getting re-launched, only this year with a heightened awareness of their potential to convey invasive species. For much of Canada, boats back in the water marks the end of that difficult and often frustrating period that starts when ice fishing ends. If you have a youth fishing event planned for 2022, drop us a line so we can help get the word out and celebrate your endeavour: admin@bluefishcanada.ca

In this May 16th, 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on nuclear risks to our Great Lakes fisheries and the results of a new International Joint Commission report. As always, we include links and summaries to the latest fishing, fish health, Habitat and other news you need to know.

Photo of danger radiation sign located on the shore of Lake Athabasca

Nuclear Threats to Great Lake Fisheries

The International Joint Commission recently released a significant report that clearly outlines a path forward for greater public and indigenous engagement on matters concerning nuclear power generation and decommissioning end-of-life generating stations on the shores of the Great Lakes. The report was prepared by the IJC’s Water Quality Board and covers the 38 nuclear reactors and 18 existing nuclear power stations located along the shores of the Great Lakes, including the three Ontario owned stations responsible for generating half of Ontario’s electricity. Many of these stations were built in the 1970s and are now nearing end-of-life. The report covers the decommissioning of the actual stations, the transport of spent nuclear fuel to long term storage facilities, and the creation of such storage sites. While not a technical report, it makes clear that both Canada and the U.S. have much work to do to meet these challenges, and that much of this work entails building public trust through meaningful consultations and engagement. These decisions and actions have massive potential consequences for freshwater quality that accounts for 20% of the world’s supply, and the most valuable freshwater fisheries in the world. The stakes are huge, and yet steps on how to decommission nuclear power stations and dispose of spent nuclear waste have yet to be fully developed and implemented. For more about the IJC’s recent report “Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Facilities in the Great Lakes Basin”, link below to hear Gayle Wood Canada’s Co-Chair of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board on The Blue Fish Radio Show: https://www.spreaker.com/user/5725616/e358-great-lakes-nuclear-power-station-d

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is another organization seeking greater understanding of Ontario residents’ views on Canada’s plan for the long-term management of used nuclear fuel. The NWMO is tasked with implementing Canada’s plan for the safe long-term storage of used nuclear fuel in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come. The Ontario communities of Ignace and South Bruce are the two areas currently involved in the NWMO’s site selection process for a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel. All households in Ignace and South Bruce were sent a short survey in January 2021 to assess their awareness of the project, and to understand what topics people are interested in learning more about through community studies. No doubt, public perceptions are fraught with miss-information and legitimate concerns when it comes to the long-term storage of the spent nuclear fuel that continues to pile up at Ontario’s three power stations.

The issue of disposing nuclear waste is also one that concerns those 2-million people and 13 First Nations communities that live along side the Ottawa River. In 1944 the Chalk River Laboratories opened on the banks of the Ottawa River about 200 km upstream of our nation’s capital. According to Ottawa Riverkeeper there have been major accidents at both the National Research Experimental Reactor and the National Research Universal Reactor at Chalk River resulting in several persistent waste issues. The facility’s Waste Management Areas have caused contamination of the groundwater which continues to be released into freshwater streams and lakes. In 2016 the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories submitted a project proposal to build a permanent Near Surface disposal facility at the Chalk River site that would operate for 50 years and dispose of waste from both the Chalk River Laboratories site and other similar facilities. The site, to be located several hundred metres from the banks of the river, will have a capacity of roughly 1,000,000 cubic metres of waste. Once the entire mound is filled, a permanent cover will be installed to reduce exposure of the waste to rain and snow. The fact that groups like Ottawa Riverkeeper remain highly concerned about these plans, and that there is little public awareness of the waste disposal plans being proposed, is not only evidence of pour planning and communications, but undermines public confidence in the way these facilities are being managed.

Even as plans for the disposal and decommissioning of current nuclear power stations gets underway, plans to meet our current and growing electricity demands now include exploring the feasibility of “Small Modular Reactors” and even smaller “Micro Modular Reactors”. Small and Micro modular reactors have a smaller footprint than traditional reactors, but in no way can be compared to portable generators used on construction sites or to provide off-grid power for RVs, cabins and fish camps. These modular reactors are designed to be assembled easily, produce at most 300MW, and come complete with sufficient nuclear fuel to last approximately 20 years after which they would be decommissioned. SMRs are being positioned as a clean technology to address climate change and are being promoted as an essential component of Canada’s emissions reduction plans. Having spent considerable time in Canada’s Arctic, where diesel powered generators are used to meet the electrical demands of communities, I understand why such technology would have its appeal given the lack of sun during winter months and the unpredictability of wind.

At the other end of the spectrum there’s the mining of the actual fuel used to power nuclear stations big and small. Canada was once a world leader in the mining of such fuel and would continue to be such if demand for uranium hadn’t dropped off. One need only visit northern Saskatchewan for evidence of once booming uranium mining operations such as the Gunnar mine site located on the north shore of Athabasca Lake. This mine and others made up the sole industry that prompted development of communities such as Uranium City, once home to over 5,000 people prior to the closure of the Gunnar Mine site. Literally over night, residents of the community, now jobless, packed up their vehicles and drove the 100 kilometers south across the frozen lake to start over. The shuttering of the mines and departure of the miners and their families left behind over 80 abandoned uranium mine sites featuring slag heaps and waste ponds that continue to release dangerous levels of radioactive contamination to this day. Link below to hear a resident of Uranium City discuss his life and his family’s exodus on The Blue Fish Radio Show: https://www.spreaker.com/user/5725616/reflections-on-growing-up-on-the-north-s_1

What the IJC report made obvious is that Canada requires stronger nuclear related policies that provide clear and strong guidelines on how nuclear waste and uranium mines should be managed to bring Canada more in line with international norms. Should Canada choose to restore its position as an international leader in nuclear power, it will also need to adopt more comprehensive regulations to properly evaluate and monitor all manner of proposed developments. Decommissioned power stations and temporary waste collection sites must also be re-assessed to ensure they are safe from climate change driven weather events. The last thing we need are more signs being posted such as those found on Lake Athabasca warning the public to keep clear due to dangerous radiation. Signage like this requires a half-life of 250,000 years.

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


Manitoba Wildlife Federation supports upcoming changes to the province’s fishing regs / Outdoor Canada
The Manitoba Wildlife Federation says it’s completely on board with a suite of upcoming changes to the province’s recreational fishing regulations. The changes will affect fishing licences and seasons, possession limits, size restrictions, the harvest and use of live bait, ice-hut rules, and regulation enforcement.

New Ontario Bait Strategy
New rules, effective January 1, 2022, make it illegal to bring baitfish or leeches, whether live or dead, into a Bait Management Zone (BMZ). Persons coming into Ontario in areas where BMZs abut the border of the province must ensure they are not bringing these commodities with them. Non-resident anglers are required to purchase their baitfish and leeches from within the Bait Management Zone they are going to be using it in. They are required to retain a legible receipt and must be able to immediately produce if asked by a Conservation Officer. The bait must be used within two weeks of purchase.  Visit the website for more information on the new bait regulations.

Lee Livesay Relies on Baitfuel to Win Bassmaster Central Open / Fishing Wire
BaitFuel products have undergone extensive scientific research and testing to ensure the mix of bite-inducing ingredients is fully optimized for maximum performance in both BaitFuel Gel and BaitFuel integrated soft plastics. BaitFuel is supercharged with F.A.S.T. (Fish Active Scent Technology), water-based technology that releases scent easily and mimics the smell and taste of actual prey.

Video: The Science behind Bait Fuel / Bait Fuel
Using a revolutionary manufacturing process to supercharge traditional soft plastic baits, Dr. Bruce Tufts and his researchers came up with the ultimate fish attracting scent now marketed as BaitFuel.

Added measures return to protect B.C.’s southern resident killer whales / Salmon Arm Observer
The federal government is once again putting measures in place to protect southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. The southern Gulf Island salmon fishing closure will last from the first southern resident sighting until the end of October.


Life Cycle of Atlantic Salmon / U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Atlantic salmon make an epic migration in their lives, swimming thousands of miles across the North Atlantic. Typically, adults will spend two winters at sea before migrating back to their natal rivers to spawn. Unlike Pacific salmon, which always die after spawning, Atlantic salmon often survive spawning and may migrate back out to sea with the chance of returning to spawn again. Female repeat spawners are an important dynamic to the species survival since these older fish are more fertile and produce larger eggs with a better chance of survival.

Invasive species found in St. Lawrence River / Watertown News
A small population of the Eurasian tench has been found in the St. Lawrence River by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. The discovery has hooked the interest of both river officials and north country anglers.

Ontario’s feral goldfish population is exploding and climate change may be to blame / CBC News
Researchers at the University of Toronto believe this scenario is repeating itself hundreds of times in suburban storm ponds all over the province. Originally built to reduce neighbourhood flooding and relieve pressure on Ontario’s city sewer systems, these pools have become ground zero for what Nicholas Mandrak calls “super invaders.”

Millions of tonnes of dead animals: the growing scandal of fish waste / Guardian
Dumped at sea, lost on land or left to rot in shops and fridges, the global catch of fish is being wasted like never before – hurting not only the oceans but the nutrition of billions of people. Can it be reversed?

Big Bar landslide response information bulletin May 9 2022 / Fisheries and Oceans Canada
The first salmon fry releases of the 2021 Big Bar conservation enhancement program have begun.


Last habitat of endangered Atlantic whitefish saved from logging / National Observer
Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources and Renewables announced the decision Monday, citing the species’ precarious state as the reason for an indefinite hold on logging plans near Minamkeak Lake that include three sections of Crown land.

Canada dumps billions of litres of raw sewage into natural waterways annually. How can we stop? / CBC News
Every year, cities across Canada dump billions of litres of raw sewage into our rivers, lakes and oceans. Uytae Lee looks into how we got into this mess and how can get out of it.

The ocean’s biggest garbage pile is full of floating life / New York Times
Researchers found that small sea creatures exist in equal number with pieces of plastic in parts of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which could have implications for cleaning up ocean pollution.

Feds appear to cover-up inconvenient salmon lice science / Watershed Watch Salmon Society
In 2012, a federal inquiry found that salmon farms in the Discovery Islands may pose a risk to wild sockeye salmon and should be removed by September 30, 2020, (or sooner if evidence arises) unless DFO can show they are of minimal risk. On September 28, 2020, DFO held a press conference concluding that 9 pathogen risk assessments showed salmon farms pose minimal risk to sockeye salmon. Evidence pieced together by Watershed Watch Stan Proboszcz suggests DFO may have covered-up some of its own research that concludes sea lice can harm sockeye.

Why a federal salmon study that found viruses at B.C. fish farms took 10 years to be released / Globe and Mail
For ten years, Kristi Miller-Saunders could not fully disclose the results of her study that showed a virus spreading among fish-farmed salmon in British Columbia. The federal Fisheries Department in the government of Stephen Harper would not release the 2012 report into open-net fish farms, a position that continued with the Trudeau government. In March, the federal Information Commissioner ordered the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to release the information that found pathogens among open-net fish farms in the province. The commissioner ruled that suppressing publication of the document was not justified. The study found that fish-farmed salmon suffered from jaundice and anemia because of the highly contagious Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV). This virus is associated with organ failure in chinook although it is not considered harmful to humans.

Years of regulation may have reduced invasive species risks in the Great Lakes, study says / Great Lakes Now
The study, released by McGill University and the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, looked at the bi-national regulation of ballast water. According to the study, this practice has actually reduced the risk of an invasion by 85% since 2008.

Nature Canada leads campaign to designate PEC as a National Marine Conservation Area / Cottage Life
Along the shore of Prince Edward County (PEC), the waters of Lake Ontario serve as a hotspot for bird watchers, nature lovers, and adventure seekers. But without safegaurds, this may not last. Lake Ontario is one of the least protected of North America’s Great Lakes, making it vulnerable to land development, runoff pollution, and invasive species. According to Nature Canada If the area is designated a NMCA, it’ll prevent extractive and destructive practices from disturbing the ecosystem, such as bottom trawling, lake bed mining, oil and gas extraction, and dumping. What it won’t change is how cottagers use the area. The waters will still be open to recreational use, including swimming, paddling, surfing, motorboats, and even commercial fishing.

The Queen Conch’s Gambit / Hakai
The first and only queen conch hatchery and nursery run by local fishers is poised for duplication across the Caribbean—but even if conch farming can help ease overfishing, can it survive in warming, storm-lashed seas?

In Graphic Detail: The Right Whales Aren’t All Right / Hakai
More than 80 percent of right whales have been entangled at least once. The ropes and floats hamper swimming and sap the energy available for growth, leaving the whales smaller, on average, than 40 years ago. The odds of survival look increasingly grim for the North Atlantic right whale, one of the world’s most endangered large whales. The population, estimated at just 336 animals in October 2021, is the smallest it’s been in two decades.

Open-net fish farm closures delayed / CTV
The promise to phase out B.C.’s open-net fish farms by this summer has hit another speed bump, as the industry pushes back once again in court. Marine-biologist Alexandra Morton explains the next steps to Gloria Macarenko.

Bridgewater opposes logging in home of critically endangered fish / CBC News
The Nova Scotian town of Bridgewater water utility is opposing an application to log on Crown land inside the Petite Riviere watershed, citing fears that the proposed harvest poses a risk to its water supply and the remaining population of critically endangered Atlantic whitefish.

P.E.I. environment minister confirms Canada Games project damaged spawning grounds / Salt Wire
Environment Minister Steven Myers confirmed construction of upgrades at the Mark Arendz Ski Park in Brookvale caused damage to salmon spawning grounds in a West River tributary.

It’s past time Canada banned dumping of ship scrubber discharge into our waters / The Province
“Scrubbers dump acidic sulphur, heavy metals and other chemicals into the ocean at levels that exceed thresholds set for protecting local marine life. Transport Canada has the authority to ban them.”

We should be concerned about aquaculture projects in Newfoundland / Salt Wire
“People from the area should have a last look at the bay as they knew it and get ready for big aquaculture.”

Concerns raised about possibility of invasive fish disease in B.C. waters / Nelson Star
Whirling disease has decreased fish populations by 90 per cent in certain regions.

How Teck Resources’ coal mines threaten fish from B.C. to Idaho / Narwhal
Selenium from a string of Teck Resources’ mines in southeastern B.C. is projected to contaminate the transboundary watershed connecting Canada to the U.S. for centuries to come.


Bringing the salmon home initiative / Toronto Star
The three governments of these First Nations have banded together with the government of Canada and British Columbia to form the Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative.

First Nations hold floating protest to demand end to salmon farming in B.C. / CTV
Dozens of Indigenous protesters and their allies took to the water in Tofino Harbour on Saturday to demand that the federal government refuse to renew salmon farm licences on the B.C. coast next month.

BC Province announced a $30 million investment in partnerships that empower local leaders to secure a sustainable future for their watersheds and the communities that depend on them. Of this funding, MakeWay and Watersheds BC (a project on MakeWay’s shared platform) will steward $15 million specifically to support Indigenous-led projects for watershed health. We will work hard to administer this funding in ways that reflect the recommendations of the Indigenous Leaders Advisory Council, and in collaboration with Indigenous partners, to shape a thoughtful process for deploying funds. From restoring rivers and streams and protecting salmon habitat, to fostering future generations of watershed stewards, this work will help pave the way towards a model of watershed security that is rooted in long-term resilience, local values, and Indigenous rights and title.

This fishing captain is combining Inuit knowledge with scientific expertise to fight climate change in the Far North / Globe and Mail
Using a traditional spear and modern ice sensors, Inuk fishing captain Joey Angnatok is part of a global effort to monitor the effects of climate change in the Far North. When he’s not fishing, he operates his 60-footer as a marine research vessel, working with scientists to collect data that help with long-term tracking of sea ice and wildlife trends. He also hops on his snowmobile to do ice reconnaissance with his harpoon.


Recreational Fishing World Reconvenes at ICAST in July / NPAA
Celebrating its 65th year the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades – better / MPAA known as ICAST – heads to Orlando, Fla., and the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) from July 19-22 for the planet’s largest sportfishing trade…

Scientists and Local Champions:

Watersheds Canada Seeks New Executive Director
We are looking for an individual who can champion our vision that all Canadians are engaged and caring for clean, healthy lakes and rivers that sustain humans and wildlife for years to come. By joining Watersheds Canada, they are joining a close-knit family made of dedicated staff that are excited to support the new Executive Director in leading the organization to new successes.

Remembering Ray Scott, A True Friend to All Anglers / NPAA
Ray helped make dreams come true for many! Ray, the founder of the Bass Angler Sportsmen’s Society, B.A.S.S., and the father of modern-day conservation.

Alan Graham honoured with top salmon award / ASF
The 2022 T.B. ‘Happy’ Fraser Award was recently presented to Alan R. Graham. The award is the Atlantic Salmon Federation Canada’s top honour, given out since 1975. It recognizes sustained and substantial contributions to conservation, protection, and restoration of wild Atlantic salmon and wild rivers.

Coming Up:

World Fish Migration Day – Connecting fish, rivers and people
Help celebrate World Fish Migration Day on May 21. It’s a truly global celebration to raise awareness of the importance of free flowing rivers and migratory fish.

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What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: Talk about lines in the water, Blue Fish Canada is busy reeling in partnerships to support youth new to fishing. Not that winter puts a freeze to our outdoor youth activities, but summer truly is when the bite is the best. We have also been busy rounding up advocates to take a minute to tell us about their successes – lots to take inspiration from in deed! So, when you’re finished getting your boats, canoes and kayaks out of storage and readied for fishing, take a minute, put your feet up, and read the latest Blue Fish News….

Photo of 3rd generation muskie guide Jeff Garnsey and Editor Lawrence Gunther holding an Upper St. Lawrence River 44” Spotted Muskie

In the April 25, 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a terrific story about diverse advocates pooling resources to save vital Upper St. Lawrence Muskie spawning habitat. As always, we include links and summaries to the latest fishing, fish health, Habitat and other news you need to know. Our closing Special Guest Feature chosen to inform our readers comes from the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission (GLFC) and their work to control Sea Lamprey in the Great Lakes.

This Week’s Feature – A Win for St. Lawrence River Muskie Spawning Habitat

By Lawrence Gunther

Here’s a truly amazing story about diverse stakeholders coming together to protect vital Muskie spawning habitat. It starts with The Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper John Peach, who also serves as the Executive Director of Save The River, when he discovered plans by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to build a new facility in Blind Bay on the south shore of the Upper St. Lawrence River. The chosen site is one of the few remaining prime spawning sites used by muskie in the 1000 Islands. It’s also adjacent to a Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) preserve that is home to numerous species of fish and birds. John knew he had to act and quickly if he was to protect this vital habitat from serious degradation. What happened next is remarkable.

The Blind Bay Wetlands is connected to Sand Bay at the northern tip of Chippewa Bay. It’s part of the largest shoreline shallow water ecosystem in St. Lawrence County. It’s also designated by New York State as significant habitat. One might wonder why the site was even under consideration.

Jeff Garnsey is a 3rd generation Muskie guide on the St. Lawrence and Chair of Save The River’s board of directors. In a Blue Fish Radio podcast, we recorded in 2018 while trolling for Muskie aboard his 1953 ChrisCraft, Jeff expressed concern about the steady decrease of St. Lawrence River Muskie over recent decades. He stressed that taking action to protect shoreline wetlands through measures such as Plan 2014 are vital to restoring muskie numbers along with 53 other fish species that can be found in the Upper St. Lawrence River. Link below to hear my conversation with Jeff Garnsey and John Peach on The Blue Fish Radio Show: https://www.spreaker.com/user/5725616/e264-survival-of-upper-st-lawrence-river

According to Dr. John Farrell, professor of Environmental Science and Director of the Thousand Islands Biological Station (TIBS), the decline of Muskie worsened following the emergence of a highly transmissible virus that first showed up early in 2000. Research conducted by TIBS identified invasive Roundhead Goby, now common forage for many of the river’s predators, are serving as vectors for the virus. Link below to hear Dr. John Farrell and Dr. Anna Conklyn discuss how the virus is impacting Upper St. Lawrence River Muskie on the Blue Fish Radio Show:

In addition to Upper St. Lawrence muskie experiencing an on-going virus outbreak, and the loss of habitat due to shoreline wetlands being left high-and-dry, many of the river’s remaining wetlands are being taken over by an invasive hybrid cattail infamous for obstructing natural water flow, crowding out native plant species, and degrading conditions for native fish and wildlife. In an effort to push back on this invasive wetland plant, the Thousand Island Land Trust, in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, implemented a series of interconnected potholes and channels in 12 hectares of dense cattail mat located in the bay next to Blind Bay. Several culverts were also replaced to enhance water flow. The restoration work saw noticeable wetland improvements of benefit to both fish and birds.

Those familiar with the wetland and river understood that blocking development of the proposed USCBP facility in Blind Bay was critical. According to the Thousand Island Land Trust’s Executive director Jake Tibbles, “the cumulative environmental consequences of habitat fragmentation, edge encroachment, migration barriers such as perimeter fencing, noise and light pollution, and wetland degradation would have lasting impacts that reach far beyond Blind Bay.” Jake understood all to well what such a development would mean for their recent restoration work in the adjacent conserved and enhanced wetlands.

The advocacy efforts objecting to the commercial development of Blind Bay quickly grew over the first few months of 2022. Before long, thousands of letters had been written, news coverage was prolific, and numerous organizations got behind the movement to save Blind Bay. All this despite what construction and operation of such a facility would mean to the local economy. Advocates aren’t against such a facility being built in the area, just not in the middle of sensitive and vital wetlands.

Blue Fish Radio is pleased to introduce you to four of the advocates behind the push to end the development of Blind Bay. Each tells their portion of the story, and then together explore what needs to come next. Their collaboration represents an amazing model of what can be accomplished when diverse advocates unite.

Guests include:
John Peach, Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper and Executive Director of Save the River
Jeff Garnsey 3rd generation Muskie guide and Chair of Save The River
Dr. John Farrell, Professor of Aquatic and Fisheries Science & Director, Thousand Islands Biological Station
Jake Tibbles Executive Director Thousand Island Land Trust

Link below to watch this engaging and informative tale of strength, determination and grass-roots advocacy on the Blue Fish Canada YouTube channel:

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


Childhood Memories of Bullhead Fishing / Thousand Islands life.com
A bullhead is a primitive looking fish, armed with fins that are capped with very sharp horns, one on each side on top of the head. Fishing for bullheads is a ritual, an almost sacred ceremony.

Fishing participation in US dips after 2020 boom / Angling International
It’s common knowledge that in 2020 the COVID pandemic sparked the single largest increase in fishing participation. Newcomers and returnees took advantage of the perfect opportunity to isolate – and the tackle industry boomed. According to license sales data from state agencies numbers grew approximately 14% in 2020, the largest single year increase in 30 years of tracking. License sales in 2021 did however decline by 6%. For tackle sales, the outcome was increased sales by nearly 50% in 2020. Figures for 2021 are not yet available.

Stratford pond to be restored with help from 3 levels of government / CBC News
Three levels of government are pitching in to restore Kelly’s Pond, once a popular fishing spot in Stratford, P.E.I.

British fishermen feared pro-Brexit campaigners would betray them—and they did / Hakai Magazine
Fishermen overwhelmingly supported Brexit, and it came back to bite them.

“Climate Change at the Water’s Edge”: Understanding the Impacts of Black Mangroves on Juvenile Shrimp / NOAA
The COVID-19 pandemic has had global impacts to human health, safety, and livelihoods, including to Pacific Islands fisheries. Pacific Islands fishermen share how the pandemic affected their livelihoods and how they adapted.

An homage to the fish kiss—a playful way of showing affection to our fishy friends / Outdoor Canada
Some anglers say it’s a sign of respect, a thank you of sorts to the fish for putting up a good fight. Others suggest it’s to bring themselves good luck the next time they head out on the water. Then there’s the camp that maintains it’s just a way of saying goodbye to the fish and wishing it well. Still others contend it helps take away the sting of getting hooked. Whatever the case, kissing a fish before letting it go signifies the angler, in one way or another, is showing admiration for the finned creature.

Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation to resume popular Youth Conservation Camp / Outdoor Canada
There will be one camp for girls from July 15 to 21, and another for boys running July 22 to 29. Open to youths aged 12 to 15, the program was created to provide hands-on education about a wide range of outdoor skills. Some of them have a good idea of hunting, fishing, conservation, but basically, we’re opening up the door to turn them into leaders.

Ottawa Fish School is OPEN! / Ottawa River Musky Factory
The Ottawa River Musky Factory in conjunction with Dovercourt Community Centre and Blue Fish Canada will again be offering a FISH SCHOOL! Monday to Thursday kids will get four hours of fishing instruction and fishing at Dows Lake or another downtown location. On Fridays the school moves to Petrie Island for some boat fishing. The objective is to teach kids to be self sufficient with fishing equipment and to be great stewards of our waters and the outdoors. Every student will receive a quality Shimano rod, reel, line, and tackle kit as well as information and shoreline clean up kits from Blue Fish Canada.

Let Us Help Support and Promote Your Youth Fishing Initiative! / Blue Fish Canada
Are you running or thinking about offering a youth fishing initiative this summer? We can help. Blue Fish Canada can provide stewardship training material and help promote your initiative. Check out our resources and contact us for more details.


Canada ignored warnings of virus infecting farmed and wild salmon / Guardian
Canada was warned in 2012 by its own scientists that a virus was infecting both farmed and wild salmon, but successive governments ignored the expert advice.

Why a federal salmon study that found viruses at B.C. fish farms took 10 years to be released / Globe and Mail
The federal Fisheries Department in the government of Stephen Harper would not release the 2012 report into open-net fish farms, a position that continued with the Trudeau government.

DFO enacts new regulations aimed at depleted fish stocks / CBC News
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has enacted new regulations that bind its minister to rebuilding Canada’s depleted fish stocks and ensuring healthy ones stay that way, a move that comes weeks after it closed down two East Coast fisheries in the name of sustainability.

Study Reveals That Great White Sharks Occasionally Hunt in Pairs / FishingWire
When people think of social predators, most probably picture a pack of wolves hunting in an organized, cooperative group. But social behavior can be much simpler than that. An animal may simply decide to stay in close proximity to another individual because it has learned that if its “colleague” locates some prey, its own chances of getting a meal increase.

B.C. conservation group moves thousands of salmon that will produce millions of eggs / CTV
Members of the Mill Bay Conservation Society, 50 kilometres north of Victoria, have taken the fish into their own hands — literally.

Scientists are predicting another year of low chum and Chinook returns on the Yukon River / KYUK
Last week, Alaskan and Canadian biologists and salmon managers met to share their forecasts and management recommendations for Yukon River chum and Chinook salmon. It’s looking like another year of low returns.

Hums, growls and farts: fish sound the alert / Cortes Currents
Fish have plenty to say and we need to make more of an effort to listen to them and understand what they’re talking about, researchers say.

Epic forecast for Bristol Bay salmon has fishing industry worried it will be too much to handle / Seattle Times
Experts predict that a record 75 million fish will return to Bristol Bay rivers this summer, with 60 million available for harvest.

Fish behavior is affected by microplastics in water / Sciworthy
Microplastics and nanoplastics affect gut bacteria and neurotransmitter levels in discus fish, potentially explaining changes in fish behavior.

A two-year project to benefit the Pugnose Shiner in the Quinte watershed is winding down  Watersheds Canada
The Pugnose Shiner is a small fish in the minnow family that is found in Southern Ontario including near the Quinte watershed. It is assessed as “threatened” by COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) and listed as such under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1. It is very vulnerable to declining habitat quality.


The Great Lakes Before the 1972 Water Quality Agreement / IJC
Over the past two centuries, western settlement and the Industrial Revolution dramatically changed the water quality of the Great Lakes. New economic activities and cultural centers were spawned, while the lakes saw new (and often unwanted) species and pollution from industry, agriculture and cities. The 1972 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement provided a path forward for Canada and the United States to jointly address these issues. The two nations have made much progress in the years since. April 15 marked the 50th anniversary of the Agreement’s signing.

Phase 2 Begins for Expedited Review of Lake Ontario’s Plan 2014 / IJC
Plan 2014 is a set of rules that regulate the rate of outflow from Lake Ontario into the St. Lawrence River through a dam on the upper St. Lawrence, with the goal of moderating extreme water levels while allowing more natural variation in those levels. The International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board can override Plan 2014’s set rules and adjust the outflow when water levels reach extremes. The Expedited Review of Plan 2014, the outflow management plan for Lake Ontario, has moved to a second and more expansive phase. The focus is now on the workings of the plan and possible changes.

Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Facilities in the Great Lakes Basin / IJC
There are 38 nuclear reactors at 18 generating stations at 15 sites on the shores of the Great Lakes in Canada and the United States. Nuclear power plants have a finite, 20- to 60-year lifespan. The board’s report highlights four areas where decommissioning rules can be improved to better protect the Great Lakes, including: public engagement and transparency, radioactive waste storage, transporting spent nuclear fuel, and the cleanup and monitoring of residual contamination.

Sea lions trapped in fish farm near Tofino expected to move on after pens emptied / Victoria News
Industry watchdog Clayoquot Action criticizes pinniped raid as another reason to eliminate open pens.

Work to protect juvenile salmon in Fraser River’s north arm a success: conservationists / Global News
A 30-metre breach cut into the Fraser River’s North Arm Jetty is already helping young fish avoid being pushed out into the Strait of Georgia too early, conservationists say.

Logging proposed next to the last habitat for the endangered Atlantic whitefish / National Observer
The Petite Rivière watershed in southwestern Nova Scotia is home to the world’s only remaining population of Atlantic whitefish. It’s also where a new forestry cutblock on Crown land is proposed.

Wind is the fastest growing energy source in the U.S., providing 42 percent of the country’s new energy in 2020. So far, most of that has come from land-based wind turbines. But, faster and steadier offshore wind speeds offer more potential. And as the cost of efficiently harnessing offshore wind has plummeted, that potential has soared.

This Canadian river is now legally a person. It’s not the only one / National
From the Amazon to the Klamath, granting rivers legal rights is part of Indigenous-led efforts to protect them.

Dead rivers, polluted oceans: industry adds to world’s mounting water crisis, report warns / Phys
A new report paints a picture of a planet with deep problems, ranging from dwindling supplies of groundwater to oceans overloaded with microplastics, lakes choked with algae and waterways contaminated by mineral mining booms.

Fifth vessel joins 2022 Pan-Pacific winter high seas expedition / Cordova Times
A fifth vessel has joined the fleet for the 2022 Pan-Pacific Winter High Seas Expedition to learn more about the lives of salmon during the marine phase of their life history during winter in the North Pacific Ocean.

Find out more about the impacts of invasive species / Invasive Species Centre
An invasive species is an organism that causes, or is likely to cause, ecological, economic, or social harm in a new environment. Invasive species reduce the diversity of plant and animal species and can put native species at risk. They do this by crowding-out native species or competing for resources like light, water, and nutrients, preying on native species, or acting as carriers for diseases or parasites that could spread to native species.

Feds to establish Canada water agency; just one of many investments in water resources / Welland Tribune
The federal government will spend $43.5 million over five years to establish a Canada water agency that will co-ordinate the more than 20 federal groups, departments and agencies that currently help to regulate freshwater in the country.

Canada in deepwater: behind the Bay du Nord approval / Narwhal
Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault greenlit Newfoundland’s first deepwater oil and gas development project. Questions remain about how that decision was made.

An ocean of noise: how sonic pollution is hurting marine life / Guardian
Today’s oceans are a tumult of engine roar, artificial sonar and seismic blasts that make it impossible for marine creatures to hunt or communicate. We could make it stop, so why don’t we?

Engineered log jams restore natural river flow, fish spawning in Pacific Northwest / Medill Reports Chicago
The log jams allow sediment and wood to accumulate and create new areas on the floodplain, which over time will become established with vegetation and trees. The deadwood and debris also slow the water flow.

Damming research: study finds beavers might not be all bad for trout streams / Duluth News Tribune
University of Minnesota Duluth researchers found cooler water and higher stream flows with beaver dams in place.

New Global Forecasts of Marine Heatwaves Foretell Ecological and Economic Impacts / NOAA
Researchers have developed global forecasts that can provide up to a year’s advance notice of marine heatwaves—sudden and pronounced increases in ocean temperatures that can dramatically affect ocean ecosystems.


First Nations-led initiative seeks to protect Okanagan Lake / Kelowna Capital News
A coalition of First Nations, government, and academics have been working to address the cumulative impacts threatening the long-term viability of Okanagan Lake.

Rebuilding fisheries and wild fish stocks for coastal First Nations would be reconciliation in action / Globe and Mail
Canada’s coastal fisheries and ecosystems have been pushed to the brink, just as climate change and other stressors continue to strain ecosystems, write Christine Smith-Martin and Marilyn Slett.

Report offers First Nations a blueprint for reclaiming mining sovereignty / Tyee
B.C.’s mining laws are ‘outdated’ and ‘colonial’ and violate DRIPA, says the First Nations Energy and Mining Council.


Learn how to properly clean, drain, and dry your boat / Ontario.Ca
In Ontario, new watercraft regulations came into effect under the Ontario Invasive Species Act on January 1, 2022. These updates mean it is now mandatory to take reasonable measures to ensure the removal of any aquatic plants, animals or, algae from the watercraft when transporting it over land. Learn the law on what you need to do before moving your boat between water bodies. Read the guidelines outlined by the Government of Ontario.

Ready for the Worst: Boating Accidents and Beyond / InTheBite
Most people are not aware of what to do when something “bad” happens on the water, whether that is a collision, missing diver, prop strike, hard grounding, the list goes on.


The fight to save Interior Fraser steelhead / The Adipose
Aaron Hill of Watershed Watch Salmon Society and Jesse Zeman of the BC Wildlife Federation speak to The Adipose about the dire state of Interior Fraser steelhead and next steps.


Learn all about Africa’s Great Lakes / ACARE
Ever wondered what makes the African Great Lakes so great? Or how many millions of people depend on them for their welfare and livelihoods? Learn all in under 3 lil’ animated minutes in this video from the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education


On April 29th Report on Decommissioning Nuclear Power Facilities in the Great Lakes Basin / IJC
The Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission (IJC) invites you to participate in a webinar about the board’s newly-published report on decommissioning nuclear power facilities in the Great Lakes.

50 Year Celebration of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement / Michigan Sea Grant 
View the webinar celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Canada / U.S. water quality agreement.

Invasive Species – Lake Ontario’s Most Un-Wanted / Lake Ontario Partnership
The recording of a one-hour webinar on Invasive Species in Lake Ontario as part of the Let’s Talk Lake Ontario webinar series! Learn more about invasive species in Lake Ontario, why they’re a problem, and how Canada and the U.S. are taking steps to prevent their introduction and spread in the Basin.

Scientists and Local Champions:

It’s Our 25th Anniversary! / Alberta Conservation Association
Our Fisheries Program has created many new opportunities for anglers in Alberta. Aside from the millions of trout that have flowed into Alberta’s lakes through our stocking program over the years, we’ve been involved in restoring old fisheries, battling invasive species, creating trophy trout lakes through our aeration program, monitoring native trout, and much more.

Josie Osborne on leading B.C.’s newest ministry / The Narwhal
Josie Osborne is the new B.C. Minister of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship. In an interview with a Narwhal reporter the Minister says the new Ministry has, “four specific actions that the new ministry is leading on and one that we’re supporting the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation on. It really characterizes the collaboration that we need to do, the work we need to do to gather with First Nations on strategies and programs for things like protecting and revitalizing wild salmon, advancing more sustainable water management and addressing cumulative impacts on the land base.”

Coming Up:

St. Lawrence River Strategy Planning Exercise Invite – May 17 / River Institute
The River Institute has partnered with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne to help develop ‘The St. Lawrence River Strategy for a beautiful and healthy St. Lawrence River. The aim of the River Strategy is to develop a shared vision for change and a common agenda for restoring and preserving the entire Upper St. Lawrence River (spanning from Kingston (CA)/Cape Vincent (U.S.) to Lake St. Francis). We envision the River Strategy will result in a centralized hub where individuals or groups engaged in research, remediation and restoration, community projects or events can find access to information and foster partnerships on initiatives with shared goals. This is an open invitation to those interested in the St. Lawrence River to join our workshop. We hope to bring together participants from all sectors including scientists, community members, and groups from both sides of the river.


Great Lakes Fisheries Commission (GLFC)

Sea lampreys, native to the Atlantic Ocean, are invasive to the Great Lakes. They entered the basin through shipping canals and were first seen in Lake Erie in November 1921. Sea lampreys spawn in streams once and then die. Their offspring live as harmless larvae in river bottoms for several years before the larvae transform into parasitic adults and migrate to open lake. In the lake, sea lampreys spend about 18 months feeding on fishes’ body fluids using a large suction-cup mouth filled with sharp, horn-shaped teeth surrounding a razor sharp rasping tongue. Each sea lamprey is capable of killing up to 40 pounds (18kg) of fish.

Sea lampreys prey upon a wide variety of Lake Erie fishes including lake trout, salmon, steelhead, smallmouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, whitefish, burbot, and even sturgeon. Within a few decades of their arrival in Lake Erie, sea lampreys had colonized all areas of the Great Lakes basin and caused major economic losses. They also contributed to significant ecosystem disruption.

In 1986, a control program for sea lamprey began in Lake Erie. The sea lamprey control program is a highly coordinated effort between the United States and Canada. The program was established by the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries of 1954, a treaty between the two nations. Since 1958, the program has used the lampricide TFM to control sea lamprey in the Great Lakes. TFM does not pose a risk to human health or the environment when applied at concentrations necessary to control larval sea lampreys.

The Lake Erie fishery is incredibly productive and valuable to the people of the United States and Canada. Fishing is the lifeblood of Lake Erie communities, big and small. The Lake Erie fishery and ecosystem is dependent on sea lamprey control, and because of sea lamprey control, fishery agencies have a valuable fishery to manage. Thanks to aggressive sea lamprey control during the past decade, Lake Erie sea lamprey populations are now at the lowest level since the program began in 1986.

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