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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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

Scientists and Local Champions:

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

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

Coming Up:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Week’s Feature – Brunswick Corporation Sustainability and BioBase

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Link below to read Navico’s Sustainability Mission statement:

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

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

Link here to read the rest of the article…

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

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

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

This Week’s Feature – Fishing Regulations and Consumption Advisories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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

Scientists and Local Champions:

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

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

Coming Up:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: You may have noticed that the last three issues of the Blue Fish News have all included editorials focussing on invasive species. Blue Fish Canada is pleased to partner with the Invasive Species Centre on the production of these editorials and a number of informative videos, audio PSAs, accessible braille / large print documents, and more. While all this is going on, we also organized an interactive exhibit at the Toronto Sportsman Show where editor and President of Blue Fish Canada Lawrence Gunther provided four presentations on the Great Outdoor Canada Stage. Just wait until you find out what we have in store for April!

In the March 28, 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on Grass Carp and their threat to the Great Lakes. 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 explains why fish in Canada often experience “winter kills”.

This Week’s Feature – Grass Carp and the Great Lakes

By Lawrence Gunther

Media reports of yet another invasive fish, plant, mollusk or other life forms are being reported ever more frequently. Like the pandemic, people are growing weary and beginning to tune out, throw caution to the wind, and get back to what we love to do, fish. But is this really the time to step back and let things sort themselves out that seem beyond our control? Not when it comes to Grass Carp it isn’t. These invaders are coming and it’s up to all of us to stop them in their tracks.

At present there are no established populations of Asian carps in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes. However, evidence of reproducing Grass Carp has been found in two U.S. tributaries of Lake Erie, and Grass Carp are now being found in the Great Lakes in small numbers. Of all four species of Asian carps, Grass Carp now represent the most immediate threat to the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.

Grass Carp are a true menace to native fish species that depend on aquatic plants for habitat, food and nursery sites. Grass Carp can grow up to 1.5 meters in length, weigh as much as 45 kilos, and consume up to 40% of their weight in weeds each day. Ten Grass Carp can easily consume 50% of one hectare of aquatic vegetation. Worse, Grass Carp only digest about half of the plant matter they consume, expelling the rest back into the water resulting in degraded water quality such as turbidity. Predation by native fish species can’t be counted on as a deterrent since Grass Carp quickly outgrow the gape (mouth) size of most all potential native predators. In short, they are extremely difficult to control once established.

While Grass Carp represent one species of Asian carp that have most certainly earned the invasive label, don’t forget about Silver, Bighead and Black carps, three other species of Asian carps that feed at the base of food webs – setting in motion food chain collapses such as those experienced along the entire Mississippi River and its tributaries. The transformation of these watersheds is so profound that Asian carps now make up 90% of the biomass in some areas. Learning how to identify Asian carps and what to do when one is sighted is therefore every angler’s responsibility.

How to Identify Grass Carp: Grass Carp have large scales, and their eyes are in line with their mouths They have a short dorsal fin and a short anal fin with no spine. Unlike Common Carp, Grass Carp possess no whiskers or barbels at the corners of their mouth. Common Carp also have a much longer dorsal fin, and a sucker shaped mouth. Link here to learn more about Grass Carp identification and some commonly confused species.

What to Do: If you should encounter Grass Carp in Ontario waters, take lots of photos, note your location and report it to the Invading Species Hotline at: 1-800-563-7711. They’ll help you to determine whether it really is a Grass Carp. To take a more proactive approach use EDDMapS, an app for reporting invasive species. The app also allows map data to be downloaded to support off-line use. Remember, never release Grass Carp alive.

More Information: to learn more about invasive Grass Carp Visit Asian Carp Canada at, and for more about invasive species visit the Invasive Species Centre at For more Blue Fish Canada stewardship tips visit Blue Fish Canada at:

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


Live-Imaging Sonar Research on Fishing Pressure / Crappie Now
Whether you love it or hate it live-imaging sonar is here to stay and will likely get better and better in the years to come. There are several live-imaging sonar (LIS) products on the market now, but the Garmin LiveScope™ started the craze. Ever since it hit the market in 2018, crappie anglers everywhere have been debating pros and cons of the advanced technology. Some are concerned it will adversely impact fish populations and have even suggested tighter regulations – or at least “self-imposed” limits by anglers – as a result. Now, fisheries biologists with the Kansas Dept. of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) have conducted a first-of-its-kind study of the effectiveness of LIS. According to the KDWP, the data collected demonstrated that while LIS may improve angler catch and size of crappie by casual weekend anglers, overall differences were statistically minimal. And maybe more importantly, the data suggests an overall low risk of long-term damage to crappie populations as a result of LIS.

Anglers need a unified voice to protect salmon / CBC News
Gord Follett writes about the widening rift between salmon anglers and the results of a recent study on catch and release of Atlantic salmon. In 2018 the Nova Scotia government undertook research on catch-and-release fishing. The results of this three-year study proved that, yes indeed, this widely accepted conservation practice works 96 per cent of the time when waters are 18C and cooler.

B.C. fishing guide catches massive white sturgeon / Field & Stream
Yves Bisson, a well-known sturgeon guide, recently landed one of the biggest fish he’s ever laid eyes on while fishing the Fraser River. The massive fish was tagged as part of a conservation project. The angler estimates it was about 100 years old

Lake Erie Committee Sets Yellow Perch and Walleye Allowable Catches for 2022 / GLFC
Lake Erie fishery managers from Michigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario and Pennsylvania—meeting as the binational Lake Erie Committee (LEC) – agreed to a total allowable catch (TAC) for 2022 of 14.533 million walleye and 7.185 million pounds of yellow perch. Guided by the Walleye Management Plan the LEC set a 2022 lake wide walleye TAC of 14.533 million fish, an 18% increase over the 2021 TAC of 12.284 million fish. The increased TAC reflects continued strong recruitment and high population levels over the last several years. Under the 2022 TAC, Ohio will be entitled to 7.428 million fish, Ontario 6.258 million fish, and Michigan 0.847 million fish. Jurisdictions in eastern Lake Erie are outside of the TAC area, but harvest limits are set consistent with lake wide objectives.

New Youth Fly Fishing Programs – Building the next generation of ethical fly anglers / IGFA
The IGFA currently offers a variety of youth angling education programs, however, this will be the first hands-on program that focuses specifically on fly fishing. The IGFA’s youth angling education programs have existed for several decades, and in just over the past four years they have reached nearly 100,000 children around the world.

Canadian groups ask Governor Dunleavy to stop Alaskan harvest of BC salmon / Watershed Watch Salmon Society
A coalition of Canadian conservation organizations has written Alaskan Governor Mike Dunleavy, asking him to stop Alaska’s harvest of B.C. wild salmon. The coalition says that while commercial fishing was nearly non-existent in B.C. last summer, Alaskan fleets just across the border logged over 3,000 boat-days and harvested over 650,000 Canadian-origin sockeye.

How we became fishermen: An exploration of the evidence so far / Safina Center
Anthropologists believe that our dynamic diet coupled with foraging for aquatic and marine foods is causally responsible for our widespread geographic expansion. With the earliest record of marine food use in humans, through remains of stone and obsidian tools, dated at 125,000 years ago on Red Sea coast of Eritrea. It is thought that this foraging behaviour enabled humans to migrate from one end of Africa to the other and eventually into southwestern Asia.

A sustainable fishery is good for the economy and the ocean / SaltWire
Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans writes about her goal of sustainable and prosperous fisheries.

Coastal Job Fly Fishing guide / Hakai
Triston Chaney helps visitors find the best fish – and dodge hungry bears – in Alaska’s Bristol Bay area.

High seas treaty talks fail to reach a deal / Phys.Org
United Nations member states have been in talks since 2018 to develop a treaty to protect the resources of the high seas, but the final scheduled round of negotiations came and went last week with no deal reached. It’s now up to the United Nations General Assembly to green-light further discussions.

Tackling the Challenges of Global Seafood Traceability Programs / NOAA
In the fight to ensure that our seafood is safe, legally caught, and accurately labeled, traceability is a critical tool to ensure that information is accessible throughout the global seafood supply chain. A recent workshop brought together practitioners, technical experts, and fisheries officials from across the globe to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the design, management, and implementation of seafood traceability programs.

Play with Your Food and Cook It! / The Upwhel
There’s a bit of a crisis in some countries around the world—kids aren’t eating fish and other seafood. In a world of climate change, seafood can have a lower carbon footprint than other protein, including soybeans, and is healthier than livestock meats in general.

Canadian anglers need to be extra vigilant about invasive grass carp. Here’s why / Outdoor Canada
If you fish around the Great Lakes you need to be on high alert. Even if you spend most of your time fishing on inland waters, like Lake Simcoe or one of the Kawartha or Muskoka Lakes, you can’t let down your guard. As a matter of fact, you can’t get too comfortable anywhere across Canada—on Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba or Last Mountain Lake in Saskatchewan—even if the Great Lakes are ground zero today. There is a clear and present danger to these lakes—lakes that support a thriving fishing industry worth more than $7 billion a year and more than 75,000 jobs.


Kokanee population ‘collapsed’ in Kootenay Lake but unlikely to disappear / ToDayInBC
High predator abundance of Gerrard rainbow and bull trout are still the accepted culprits, says the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

Aging fleet, broken parts force DFO to cancel northern cod stock assessment / CBC News
Mechanical issues on a Coast Guard survey ship has forced DFO to cancel the assessment of Newfoundland and Labrador’s northern cod stock for this year. The department said it had to make changes to data collection in 2021 due to offshore weather and the condition of its research vessels. 30 years after the cod moratorium, DFO said they also won’t be able to do a full assessment on the Newfoundland’s capelin stock.

Salmon on the High Seas: Unlocking the Mystery of Salmon in the North Pacific / NOAA
NOAA scientist, Laurie Wietkamp, discusses a research survey on Pacific salmon in an effort spanning the entire North Pacific Ocean. The goal is to unravel a mystery: What determines whether salmon that migrate across the North Pacific come back alive?

Traces of DNA Can Accurately Assess Fish in the Ocean / NOAA
New research shows traces of DNA that fish species leave behind in the water can reveal the abundance and distribution of fish over large areas of the ocean as accurately as conventional fisheries survey methods.

Pacific herring spawn spectacle surfaces along West Coast / Surrey Now Leader
A natural wonder that peaks in March, the herring spawn is a herald of spring, eagerly anticipated and celebrated by humans and wildlife alike.

Meet the invasive ‘vampire fish’ that lives in the Great Lakes / Weather Network
Last summer, Marc Gaden, communications director for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, told The Weather Network that sea lampreys possess a “trifecta of perfect invasion capabilities” in the Great Lakes – almost unlimited food availability, practically unlimited spawning grounds, and no natural predators.

Species at risk ‘simply not protected’ on P.E.I., says new report / CBC News
In 23 years under the Wildlife Conservation Act, not one species at risk on Prince Edward Island has been protected.

Researchers create tool to help protect native freshwater fish from hybridizing with non-natives / Phys
Oregon State University researchers have created a tool to assess the risk of hybridization among native and non-native fish, a development that could aid natural resource managers trying to protect threatened or endangered freshwater fish species.


Coming soon to a backyard or forest near you: the invasive Asian jumping worm / CBC
First discovered in the Windsor area as far back as 2014, the worms were found last summer in other Ontario communities, including Wheatley, St. Catharines, Dundas and the Greater Toronto Area. They’ve also been discovered in New Brunswick, in the Fredericton-Oromocto area.

When COVID-19 travel restrictions drop, mussel concerns pick up on Okanagan Lake / Global News
The Invasive Mussel Defense Program wants to bolster protections for Okanagan Lake ahead of what’s expected to be a busy tourist season. “Since 2015, the (program) has prevented 137 infested watercraft from entering provincial waters by conducting more than 220,000 inspections.”

Heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles alarm climate scientists / The Guardian
Unprecedented heatwaves were recorded at both of Earth’s poles, raising red flags for scientists who fear this could be a sign of accelerated climate breakdown. Antarctica saw temperatures 40 °C higher than usual, and near the North Pole, temperatures were 30 °C above normal. (The Guardian)

Where Should Ships Go When They Die? / The Tyee
Ship breaking is what happens when ships die. It’s the process of taking apart any vessel, of any type and any size, and sorting the materials into recyclable scrap or garbage. It’s a vital industry that recycles staggering amounts of steel, but it’s also one of the most hazardous industries in the world. Which is why it might be surprising to hear that Canada doesn’t have any ship breaking regulations. That’s both a neutral and a bad thing, depending on who you talk to.

UPDATE to Opposition to the Proposed US Customs and BP Facility / Save The River
As of Friday, March 18th over 900 river residents have voiced their opposition to the proposed US Customs and Border Patrol station in Blind Bay. The construction of this new facility places at risk vital Muskie spawning habitat on the St. Lawrence River.

A massive dam under construction on Tanzania’s Rufiji River may become one of the most environmentally damaging hydroelectric projects ever built in Africa / Yale E360.
Experts warn the dam will flood a large portion of the iconic Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and will have devastating impacts, depriving downstream villages, mangrove forests, and fisheries of the water they depend on. But rather than heed these warnings, the authoritarian Tanzanian government has stood by its own flawed environmental reviews and threatened to jail the project’s critics.

How Conservation Authorities can help Ontario to build resilience / Conservation Ontario
Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities understand the value of water and how it’s connected to what we do in our daily lives. Conservation Ontario celebrates World Water Day 2022 by releasing a new Discussion Paper that calls for us to do all we can to conserve, protect and restore nature for clean, sustainable water resources that are critical for us, the environment, and our economy.

Wild times: keeping Trudeau’s promise / Watershed Sentinel
B.C. will need to double parklands by 2030 in order to make good on Trudeau’s promise for 30 per cent of B.C. to be granted protected area status.

The Ontario natural resources report government didn’t want you to read / The Narwhal
Staff at Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry spent years pulling together an overarching report on the state of the province’s resources and ecosystems. But when it was ready, former minister John Yakabuski did not give the green light to publish it. A freedom of information request gained access to this report. Though the report’s findings span the province, its conclusions about population-heavy southern Ontario are among the most troubling. Two-thirds of the wetlands that once existed in southern Ontario are gone, for example, and decline is speeding up for those that are left. Between 2011 and 2015, 7,303 hectares of southern Ontario wetlands were lost.

Federal fisheries sees country’s future as ‘blue’ / Comox Valley Record
Fisheries and Oceans Canada recently released a report on Canadians’ vision for oceans.

Containment key to managing invasive species in Alberta lake / Troy Media
New research led by University of Alberta scientists could help contain the spread of the Chinese mystery snail, an invasive species whose discovery in a southern Alberta lake is as enigmatic as its name.

Regulator fines engineers 8 years after Mount Polley disaster in B.C. / Vancouver Sun
Three engineers have been disciplined nearly eight years after one of Canada’s worst mining catastrophes.

Preparations underway for continued work at the Big Bar landslide / My Cariboo Now
As spring approaches, work is expected to resume in the near future at the Big Bar landslide.


How Indigenous guardians are reinforcing sovereignty and science / The Narwhal
Guardians along the B.C. coast are bringing back traditional practices of territorial safeguarding — and filling major knowledge and conservation gaps while they’re at it.

History-making Indigenous title case heads to B.C. Supreme Court / The Narwhal
Extensive industrial clearcutting destroyed salmon streams on an island the B.C. government says the Nuchatlaht ‘abandoned.’

Ahousaht First Nation celebrates salmon ambassadors / Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News
Ahousaht’s Maaqutusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Society is cheering the supporters of a voluntary stewardship fee that’s funding vital salmon restoration efforts in the region.

Tomcod, the Apoqnmatulti’k project brings Indigenous communities and scientists together to better understand one another and three food fisheries / Hakai
The state of marine species is an important consideration in Nova Scotia, where many Indigenous and coastal communities depend on fisheries. American lobster, for instance, forms the basis of the region’s most lucrative fishery, which brings in nearly CAN $700-million a year. Other fisheries, though smaller, also play an important role in the economic and cultural life of coastal communities. But historically, decisions about these species haven’t always incorporated local and Indigenous knowledge. Moreover, the question of who is able to benefit from the use of these species has at times been a point of conflict.

Horgan’s letter on fish farms causes ‘stir’ among chiefs / New West Record
While a number of First Nations in B.C. support the industry and are actively involved in it, the vast majority of First Nations in B.C. oppose open-net fish farming, says Bob Chamberlin of the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance.


NPAA Joins 44 Other Hunt Fish 30×30 Organizations / NPAA
The National Professional Anglers Association and 44 other members of the Hunt Fish 30×30 Coalition submitted formal comments to the U.S. Federal Register regarding the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas (Atlas), a key component of the Biden Administration’s 30-BY-30 program.


Greg Taylor: Pacific salmon outlook for 2022 / Watershed Watch
Each year, Greg Taylor takes a look at the forecasts provided by DFO and makes some predictions about what commercial fishers can expect from the season ahead.


Young people create ripples in the world of water stewardship
Ripples is an arts zine created by youth, showcasing artwork, prose, poetry, and photography that celebrates a shared love of and connection to water—all created by youth and kids between the ages of 5 and 27. Keep an eye out on March 22nd for the Zine to be published.


What could British Columbia look like in 2032 if we plan for, and fund, watershed security today? / Freshwater Stream podcast
Host Danielle Paydli of the Freshwater Stream podcast posed this question to four B.C. water champions: Mayor Toni Boot from the District of Summerland; Brodie Guy, CEO of Coast Funds; Russell Myers Ross, former Chief of Yunesit’in First Nation; and Coree Tull, co-chair of the BC Watershed Security Coalition. The Freshwater Stream, a collaboration between Watershed Watch Salmon Society and the Canadian Freshwater Alliance, is a podcast about B.C.’s watersheds and the people who care about them.


New Video Highlights Campbell Creek Dam Removal / ASF
For the first time in a century Campbell Creek flows freely. Where until recently there was a stagnant headpond and obsolete concrete dam, there is now an unobstructed channel and a streambank quickly returning to its natural state. Improved water quality, restored migratory fish access, and reinvigorated habitat are among the benefits for Campbell Creek, a tributary of the Nashwaak River, which itself flows into the Wolastoq (St. John River).


Let’s Talk Lake Ontario: Invasive Species – Lake Ontario’s Most Unwanted / Lake Ontario Partnership
On April 22 Join us for a one-hour webinar on Invasive Species in Lake Ontario as part of our 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.

Canada’s Pollution? Where? What? How to Find Out? / Watersheds Sentinel
As we work to protect our environments, it is essential that we know what pollutants are already affecting our communities and what pollutants are likely to arrive along with new industrial projects. This information is available from the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) through data it collects on emissions from most major pollution sources in Canada. In this webinar we take a look at what information is there and how to use it. Our presenters are all experienced environmental advocates who have used the NPRI to organize and mobilize.

New Invasive Species & Watercraft Regulations / FOCA
On March 9, 2022 – the Federation of Ontario Cottage Associations was joined by Jeremy Downe of the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry for a lunch-and-learn webinar to discuss changes to the Invasive Species Act, including new regulations on the movement of watercraft that came into effect on January 1st, 2022.

Scientists and Local Champions:

Manitoba Wildlife Federation applauds province’s choice for new chief conservation officer / Outdoor Canada
Earl Simmons was appointed by Manitoba as their new chief conservation officer, and one of the first things Simmons did was to issue a directive allowing for plain-clothes conservation officers and unmarked vehicles. According to Heald, this will help tackle the ongoing problem of road hunting, as well as the illegal underground trade in fish and game. Being able to blend in will help COs stop more wildlife offences in the act of being committed, he says.

Career Opportunity: Nova Scotia Program Director / ASF
The Regional Program Director for Nova Scotia is a diverse role that serves as the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s point person for wild Atlantic salmon conservation and restoration in NS. Primary activities include leading the development and implementation of conservation activities in Nova Scotia, as well as carrying out evidence-based advocacy and community engagement.

Coming Up:

Muskie Odyssey / Muskies Canada!
Muskie Odyssey is back and in person at the Hamilton Convention Center on April 2nd, 2022. Doors open at 8:30 and the event runs until 5pm, The Odyssey team invites you to come check out everything we have to offer – Speakers, Convention Exhibition Hall, Auctions, and our own MCI Entertainment booth where a lot of action will be taking place.

BC Outdoors Show
On April 8-10 in Chilliwack BC, after three years of anticipation, our inaugural event the BC Outdoors Show is finally happening, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Our intention with this show has always been about bringing the industry together. We are ready to reunite in person with friends, colleagues and you!

4th Local Seafood Summit / Local Catch
We are thrilled to invite innovative, inclusive, and collaborative speakers to submit proposals for the 4th Local Seafood Summit to be held in Girdwood, Alaska on October 2-3, 2022. Proposals for the summit will be a accepted through Sunday, April 17, 2022. We encourage that presentations and sessions provide tangible learning takeaways and practical skills, tools, and strategies for summit attendees, and align with the summit theme, Building the Future of Local and Regional Seafood Systems.


Michigan Department of Natural Resources

After ice and snow cover melt on Michigan lakes early this spring, it may be more likely for people to discover dead fish or other aquatic animals. While such sights can be startling, the Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone that this is normal, since winter conditions can cause fish and other creatures such as turtles, frogs, toads and crayfish to die.

Winterkill is the most common type of fish kill. As the season changes, it can be particularly common in shallow lakes, ponds, streams and canals. These kills are localized and typically do not affect the overall health of the fish populations or fishing quality.

Shallow lakes with excess aquatic vegetation and soft bottoms are more prone to this occurrence, particularly when a deep snowpack reduces sunlight for the plants. Canals in urban areas also are quite susceptible due to the large amounts of nutrient runoff and pollution from roads and lawns and septic systems that flow into these areas, especially from large storm events.

Fish and other aquatic life typically die in late winter but may not be noticed until a month after the ice leaves lakes. That’s because the dead fish and other aquatic life are temporarily preserved by the cold water. Fish also may be affected by rapid changes in water temperature due to unseasonably warm temperatures leading to stress and, sometimes, mortality.

Fish can become easily stressed in winter due to low energy reserves because feeding is at a minimum in winter. They are then less able to handle low oxygen and temperatures swings.

Winterkill begins with distressed fish gasping for air at holes in the ice and often ends with large numbers of dead fish that bloat as the water warms. Dead fish and other aquatic life may appear fuzzy because of secondary infection by fungus, but the fungus was not the cause of death. The fish actually suffocated from a lack of dissolved oxygen from decaying plants and other dead aquatic animals under the ice.

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What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: Beginning March 17 and lasting four days, Lawrence Gunther will be live on the Outdoor Canada seminar stage at the Toronto Sportsman Show. Drop by booth 2723 and get caught up on the latest local, traditional and scientific sustainable fishing knowledge.

In this March 14 2022 Blue Fish Canada News we begin with an editorial meant to clarify confusion over invasive, non-native and native species. 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 are tips for removing invasive species from your boat and trailer at the launch.

This Week’s Feature – Native, Non-Native, and Invasive – Which is What?

As individuals, it’s important that we understand the various ways we commonly assess the value or impact of different species on the environment. There is growing awareness that invasive species pose serious threats to our beloved fisheries, but what we don’t fully appreciate is that preventing these impacts from occurring is not necessarily BEYOND our control. Take for instance the movement of fish and other species not technically considered invasive, but when these non-native species show up, the consequences for native species can be significant. No doubt, changes are occurring all the time, but under chaotic conditions, the rate of change intensifies. So let’s all get on the same page with respect to understanding how are attitudes and behaviors towards native, non-native and invasive species are impacting the fisheries we love so much before our great country turns into one giant smorgasbord. 

Walk into any aquarium store and pick from a wide variety of legal but potentially invasive species available for purchase. What doesn’t come with your new aquarium pet are instructions on what to do should your interest in their upkeep dwindle. Thankfully, increasingly more aquarium stores offer credit for returned fish, but what none offer are instructions on how to humanely euthanize unwanted aquarium guests. The result is a “pandemic” of invasive aquarium pets being sighted in lakes and rivers across Canada. Everything from the simple Goldfish to Red Ear Turtles. Simple pets turned wild resulting in massive ecological changes.  

Lamprey are another much misunderstood species thanks to the inadvertent introduction of Sea Lamprey into the Great Lakes following completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959. Prior to the entry of these big fellas, four other much smaller native lamprey species were existing quite “nicely” alongside other fish species for millennia. In fact, lamprey were a main food source of people for centuries. So before you go throwing shade on First Nations groups who are looking to restore native lamprey species, you might first take a few minutes to educate yourselves on how native lamprey species fit into the evolution of North American ecosystems. Only then will you understand why we actively control the spread of only the Sea Lamprey capable of killing most native predatory fish species in the Great Lakes. So what exactly is the definition of “native species”?

A native species is one that has evolved along side other species in an ecosystem. But one angler’s native species is another’s invasive species. Such is the case throughout much of North America. You would be surprised to learn just how many native fish species have been transported to other habitats where they now flourish and dominate, and have become accepted as non-native species. To list just a few, there are Brown Trout brought to North America from Europe in the mid-1860s. Brook Trout are in fact not trout but part of the char family, and are native to Eastern Canada only. That is until their aggressive and intentional spread across much of Canada starting in the 1880s. Rainbow Trout, on the other hand, a native fish species that evolved in a limited area of western Canada, were first introduced into the Great Lakes in the 1890s, and can now be found just about everywhere. 

Like the Common Carp, these three iconic trout species proliferated throughout North America thanks to human intervention. So why are Common Carp still considered a “trash fish” by many, when Brown, Rainbow and Brook Trout are revered? I’m making this point because it showcases how perceptions can cloud our opinions, not because I’m looking to either degrade trout or raise people’s opinions of carp. So this begs the question, when does a fish species cross over from being non-native to native, if not technically, in our commonly held opinions?

In the case of Pacific Coho and Chinook Salmon being introduced into the Great Lakes in the 1960s, their “rock star” status was instantaneous. The reverence anglers have for these iconic salmon species on Canada’s west coast was quick to take route in Ontario. So much so, that efforts to ensure their successful naturalization became the common call of anglers and non-anglers alike. As soon as these salmon began to migrate up Ontario rivers, calls to introduce fish ladders and to remove orphan dams followed. 

Almost without exception, upper stretches of tributaries that emptied into the Great Lakes were thrown open to Coho and Chinook Salmon as if these watersheds had been nothing more than barren virgin waters just waiting to be inhabited. That is, with the exception of the Isaac Walton Fishing Club that continues to this day to resist the removal of a dam on the Credit River in Georgetown. This 100-year-old dam represents the last barrier defending other non-native fish species that made the Upper Forks of the Credit River home about one hundred years earlier – Brown and Brooke Trout. The Club recognized that water bodies have a limited biomass carrying capacity, and that if you bring in a much larger more aggressive species, there’s going to be losers. 

Speaking of dominant sport fish, consider the Smallmouth Bass. This little champ is viewed by many, pound-for-pound, as one of the most ferocious fighting freshwater fish in North America. While they may not hold the public’s high regard like Coho and Chinook Salmon, Smallmouth Bass have a devoted following. So much so, their steady and surprisingly widespread invasion is said to be primarily due to five-gallon buckets in the hands of angling devotees. 

The spread of Smallmouth Bass throughout Atlantic Canada is blamed for holding back the restoration of native Atlantic Salmon. The presents of Smallmouth is judged as so incredibly damaging that lakes are being drained and rivers poisoned in order to break their hold. But are those responsible for their spread any more criminals than those officials who introduced Common Carp into Lake Ontario 150 years earlier as an acceptable replacement to the extirpated Atlantic Salmon? I’m not making excuses for those who choose to relocate these fish, but I think our flip-flopping on what constitutes acceptable fish management practices hasn’t helped. 

So when is a non-native fish considered “native”? The answer may annoy some, but never. However, that’s not going to slow down what’s coming. 

Due to climate change, fish species are on the move. Fish more commonly found in warmer southerly waters are creeping north. These often-toothy newcomers are taking advantage of warming ocean temperatures to expand their range. And it’s not just predators either. Even forage fish are shifting north, and their vastly inferior fat content compared to the less aggressive cold water prey fish that put more effort into storing body fat than hunting year round, means native predators such as Pacific salmon species looking for their next meal are often left feeling somehow empty of the calories they require to complete the epic migrations they normally execute with the support of their former nutritious food base. Somehow that 1,000 km swim upriver just doesn’t seem possible anymore. 

Arctic Char along Nunavut’s Baffin Island were once prized for their bright pink flesh, a result of their feeding largely on krill. Now, with the arrival of a far less colourful baitfish, the flesh of Arctic Char is now grey. This one visual indication of perceived value has placed Arctic Char on the “Junk heap” in market terms, putting an end to the once highly valued commercial fishing quotas once prized by Inuit fishers. To be frank, their pink flesh was about the only thing these char had going for them other than their exotic Arctic range. Like their cousin the Lake Trout, Arctic Char have a less than subtle flavour that many find unpalatable, but, I digress. 

The lesson here is that like Canada as a whole, we are a nation known for our diversity and mobility. Just like people, fish species seem to move around with newcomers arriving all the time. While climate change related migration may be difficult to stop, fishery biologists, First Nation communities, and others are beginning to take steps to un-do the havoc imposed on native fish species by the introduction of non-native species. 

Attitudes about tampering with natures balance to “improve” the fishing experience are shifting. Instead of putting a priority on bigger, faster growing, tastier fish, species protection now focusses on those native species that evolved over centuries. Not because they have some sort of moral right over other species, but because these native species represent diversity. 

No longer is it considered prudent to put all our fish eggs in one basket. If our ecosystems are going to stand a chance against shifting weather patterns and other ecological challenges brought about by climate change, it’s better to have a variety of strengths possessed by different fish that have evolved separately from each other over time. 

Scientists and others believe that by respecting distinct subsets of a specific fish species, we can avoid ending up with a single “monoculture” type species, which is the exact opposite of how fin-fish aquaculture operations now function. Protecting the DNA diversity within wild fish species at the sub-species level is just as important as protecting the species itself. Again, to ensure a variety of DNA strains exist that have already adapted to different environmental conditions. Besides, who wants to spend time and money travelling across Canada just to catch the same old fish everywhere you go? 

So where does that leave Canada? Does it make sense to make the removal of non-native species a priority? Or can we simply agree that moving fish and other species into new habitat is just wrong. 

The new eco-tourism angling trend these days is the experience of capturing unique native fish species. Offering such bucket list opportunities is helping to create new sustainable tourism jobs in remote and northern areas of Canada. Regions that have been “burnt” by the boom-bust cycle of resource extraction type industries like forestry and mining. It all sounds great, but before you heap shame on fishery managers of past, a lot of the decisions taken to introduce non-native species had little to do with eco-tourism, and everything to do with ensuring food security for growing and food insecure populations. 

While I’m not saying that harvesting fish for food is wrong, I’m simply suggesting that food security shouldn’t be addressed by promises of shiny new fish species such as Splake, a hybrid fish species created in hatcheries by crossing Lake Trout with Brook Trout. Instead, let’s rely on managing fishing pressure on wild fish stocks, and if that’s not enough, I’m sorry, but turning Canada’s lakes and rivers into giant pseudo aquaculture operations should no longer be an option. 

Conservation should be our priority, and not playing at being God by mixing and matching fish with different habitats. This applies to fishery managers and individuals alike. Time to respect those that came first, instead of simply shoving them aside as if they were last year’s fashions.

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


My Catch Ontario Fishing Challenge / Angler Atlas
The My Catch Ontario Ice Fishing Challenge wrapped up February 28 with over 3,000 fish entered by anglers across the province! Over 500 participants competed for over $8,000 in cash prizes, as well as local bragging rights. The Township of Chapleau was crowned the 2022 Ice Fishing Capital of Ontario with 161 fish caught and 39 residents participating in the event. Dubreuilville came in second with 18 residents catching 372 fish. In third place is the town of Wawa, with 45 residents catching 193 fish. 

Greg Marino of Sioux Lookout landed the longest fish of the event, with a 112.4 cm Northern Pike.  The longest lake trout was won by Steve Dumonski of Sioux Lookout with his 103 cm catch.  The longest Walleye came in at 76.2 cm, landed by Chris Hayes.  The longest Brook (Speckled) Trout at a respectable 53.5 cm was pulled in by Darren Smith. The longest Yellow Perch measured up at 37.5 cm, reeled in by Nathan Monk of Nipigon.  And rounding it all out, Tyler Soulliere of Espanola won the diversity prize catching 18 different species of fish during the event.

The International Game Fish Association Expands Record Categories with new species / IGFA

New freshwater Species added to the angling record keeping duties of the IGFA include:

Barbel Barus barbus – 44 cm
Bass, spotted Micropterus punctualtus – 34 cm
Buffalo, bigmouth Ictiobus cyrprinellus – 48 cm
Buffalo, smallmouth Ictiobus bubalus – 50 cm
Catfish, flathead Pylodictis olivaris – 75 cm
Gar, longnose Lepisosteus osseus – 77 cm
Huchen hucho – 72 cm
Inconnu Stenodus leucichtys – 64 cm
Muskellunge, tiger Esox masquinongy x Esox Lucius – 57 cm
Pellona, Amazon Pellona castelnaeana – 37 cm
Tambaqui Colossoma macropomum – 53 cm
Trout, tiger Salmo trutta x Salvelinus fontinalis – 43 cm

Clever Whales and the Violent Fight for Fish on the Line / Hakai
As I coiled rope on the deck of a commercial fishing boat in the western Gulf of Alaska, I felt the sudden thud of a revolver reverberate in my chest. I wheeled around as a crewmate fired more bullets; a round of buckshot followed, from a shotgun held by my captain. I’d known their anger was growing as sperm whales ate our catch but hadn’t expected they would vent their frustrations with live ammunition. I looked out and saw a sperm whale crest the surface for air around 20 meters away, seemingly unfazed by the heavy fire.

Trout Unlimited Cane Rod Raffle / TUC
Support the conservation of cold-water resources and share the sport of fly fishing! Trout Unlimited Canada Northern Lights Fly Fishers has a bamboo fly rod up for raffle. This custom rod has a retail value of $1,500. Draw Date: June 1, 2022


New Hope for Billfish in the Pacific
With nearly fifty years experience working to conserve large open-ocean predators, Wild Oceans (formerly the National Coalition for Marine Conservation) …

Fundamental Growth Limitations Found in Antarctic Fish
Antarctic fish have adapted over millennia to survive in the freezing temperatures of the Southern Ocean. 

Smallmouth Bass Caught at the Edge of Yellowstone National Park / GARDINER 
An angler caught a smallmouth bass on Feb. 19 while fishing on the Gardner River. 

Addressing Native Freshwater Fish Hybridization with Non-Natives
Oregon State University researchers have created a tool to assess the risk of hybridization among native and non-native fish.

Fall in Love with New Seafood this Year / NOAA
Whether you’ve made, broken, or forgone New Year’s resolutions this year, we have a tasty proposal: resolve to try some new seafood! Seafood is a healthy, nutrient-dense source of protein. Some fish are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart and can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish (particularly fatty fish) per week.

Wild fish stocks squandered to feed farmed salmon, study finds / The Guardian
Shoppers’ appetite for salmon is causing millions of tonnes of nutritious mackerel, sardines and anchovies to be wasted as fish feed, according to new research.

New research sheds light on salmon survival in open ocean / Campbell River Mirror
A recent study examines the relationship between environmental conditions, pathogens, and gene expression in wild salmon.

‘Grunts, growls and hums’: B.C. researchers help compile online database of fish sounds / CBC News
Cataloguing fish sounds will allow for a better understanding of marine ecosystems, researchers say.

Lady killers: declining female sockeye in the Fraser River / FISHBIO
Monitoring data has revealed a concerning trend: the proportion of females in many spawning populations in the watershed has been declining over the past 30 years.

Aquaculture salmon detected in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Maine rivers
Two aquaculture-origin Atlantic salmon were among seven adult fish collected on Nova Scotia’s Gaspereau River this year for breeding at Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Coldbrook Biodiversity Facility, a hatchery where populations of critically endangered inner Bay of Fundy Atlantic salmon are maintained. DFO scientists reported the information at a recent update on salmon recovery efforts. 


30×30 Beginning to Unfold Across the U.S.
American sportfishing Association Government Affairs Vice President Mike Leonard has your March video update. This month’s episode is all about 30×30. 

Regional organizations release annual joint priorities for the Great Lakes / ISC
To celebrate Great Lakes Day events, a binational coalition of regional agencies, legislators, local communities, tribes, and business, maritime and environmental groups released shared priorities for restoring the Great Lakes and supporting the region’s economy.

Extreme weather could help invasive green crab crawl along Vancouver Island, B.C. coast / ISC
The European green crab is present all the way up the west coast, but that invasion has been going on for over two decades, said Tom Therriault, a research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

Nature Conservancy hopes to keep round goby out of Lake Champlain / ISC 
The Nature Conservancy in New York is calling on the state to close one of the locks along the Champlain Canal, west of the Mohawk River, until a permanent solution is realized to prevent the invasive Round Goby species from traveling to the lake.

UN agrees to create global plastic pollution treaty / CBC News
The United Nations approved a landmark agreement to create the world’s first ever global plastic pollution treaty on Wednesday, describing it as the most significant environmental deal since the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Enviros call on Canada to strengthen our rules after genetically modified aquarium fish escapes into the Brazilian wild / National Observer
As one of the first countries to approve the sale of the Glofish in the early 2000s and the first to produce genetically engineered salmon, environmentalists say Canada needs to take a long, hard look at its regulations around genetically modified animals.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joins NCC in protecting P.E.I. land / CBC News
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was a partner in a recent land acquisition by the Nature Conservancy of Canada in western P.E.I. NCC purchased 68 hectares of salt marsh, freshwater wetland, and forest along the Percival River.

British Columbia’s gold rush threatens wilderness and salmon / Outdoor Life
“Proposed mega gold mines in British Columbia are setting the region’s wilderness history and its mining future on a collision course.”

Catching crabs in a suffocating sea / Tyee
Climate change is creating ‘dead zones’ on the west coast. Researchers and crabbers are working together to find solutions.

St. Mary’s Bay, Nova Scotia fish farm application filed as community vows to show its opposition / SaltWire
Canadian Salmon Farms Ltd. has taken the next step in the application process to develop four finfish aquaculture sites in St. Mary’s Bay.

Canada fisheries minister reiterates commitment to removing salmon farming net pens in B.C. as industry begs for clarity / IntraFish
The status of 79 remaining salmon farming licenses in British Columbia set to expire in June remains up in the air.


‘It’s for our survival’ — Indigenous women lead conservation efforts in Canada / National Observer
In Canada, Indigenous women are leading the charge to preserve biodiversity and fight climate change by heading up important new conservation initiatives.

Feds float $11.8 million for Indigenous commercial fishing ventures on West Coast / National Observer
The funds will support new businesses, training opportunities and increased access to fisheries for 31 Indigenous commercial fishing companies involving 117 First Nations across B.C.

A 30-Year-Long Fishing Dispute Fizzles Out / Hakai
Indigenous people and their ancestors have been netting salmon and digging clams in the island-studded Salish Sea for at least 10,000 years. These long-time residents of what are now Washington State and British Columbia—multiple communities represented by dozens of languages and a long, branching, sometimes-overlapping history—forged alliances among families to allot access to the rich fishing grounds. The arrival of Western colonial powers, however, froze those boundaries and undermined the ability of Indigenous peoples to govern those fishing territories and their natural resources.


International Game Fish Association names five angling greats to the 2022 class of the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame / IGFA
This year’s inductees include IGFA World Record holders and light tackle aficionados Pam Basco and Enrico Capozzi; renowned angling historian and advocate Mike Farrior; iconic B.A.S.S. leader and industry pioneer Helen Sevier; and legendary lure designer and innovator Joe Yee. Elected unanimously by the IGFA Board of Trustees, the 2022 class will join 136 legendary anglers, scientists, conservationists, writers and fishing industry leaders whose contributions to sport fishing are forever preserved and celebrated in the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame.

NAISMA seeks new Executive Director  / ISP
The North American Invasive Species Management Association is seeking a new Executive Director.


ePropulsion, a global leader and market challenger in marine electric propulsion systems and services, has announced record sales / EPripulsion
Sales revenue increased 200% year-on-year in 2021, with over 15,000 units sold across the globe. The company estimates a further 100% growth rate in 2022 as more boat owners look to switch to more sustainable boating and convert to electric propulsion systems. 


New Episode of the “Fish of the Week” Podcast
Put on your shades and learn about one of North America’s most colorful fish, the Longear Sunfish. 

My Catch Panel on Virtual Tournaments and Fisheries Research / The Blue Fish Radio Show
This podcast is a recording of a panel discussion I organized with the St. Lawrence River Institute for Environmental Science featuring virtual fishing tournament organizers, Fish biology researchers, and the inventor of the My Catch app. The five presentations take the first 30 minutes, and is followed by a live Q/A session with the over 280 webinar participants who caught one of the two Facebook streams or YouTube stream. We drilled down on topics such as confidentiality, data protection, and how the app facilitates both fisheries research and tournament coordination. 


Please share freely / Blue Fish Canada Stewardship Tips:

Stop the Spread of Invasive Aquarium Species 

Four Angler Tips to Stop the Spread of Invasive Species 


Webinar March 22 water security, collaboration between Indigenous & non-Indigenous scientists / Canadian Freshwater Alliance
On World Water Day March 22 Canadian Freshwater alliance is hosting a talk on how a new project from Clearwater River Dënë Nation showcases how experts in Dënësułinë knowledge systems are working alongside experts in Northern social, ecological and interdisciplinary science systems to create powerful relationships that allow science to be more effective in developing community-led water security solutions.

Webinar Recording: 

New Invasive Species and Waterfront Regulations in Ontario  / FOCA

Scientists and Local Champions:

Become an ISAP Ambassador / Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program
Are you, or someone you know in high school, college, or university, part of an environmental or eco-club, or have thought about starting one? Well, Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program (ISAP) wants to help! We are looking for Ambassadors for our new volunteer program – the ISAP Ambassadors, or ISAPA for short! Register now to be part of this exciting opportunity.

Call to Action:

Tell MPs factory fish farms aren’t above the law / Watershed Watch Salmon Society
As of March 1st, factory fish farms must abide by rules requiring them to keep their parasite levels below three salmon lice per farmed fish. This rule was created by the federal government as an attempt to protect vulnerable wild juvenile salmon as they migrate past the farms and their harmful parasites. 

Right now, parasites are out of control at many factory farms. Some farms can have upwards of 16 parasites per farm fish. Obviously, these farms are unable to control the spread of parasites and are now endangering juvenile wild salmon during their outmigration. 

We are exactly four months away from June 30th, when almost all factory farm licences expire. We know the industry is nervous about this upcoming deadline, we see their propaganda ramping up. These next few months will be pivotal in the fight to get factory fish farms off the B.C. coast and away from migrating wild salmon.

Our federal government promised to get factory fish farms out, and while they’ve taken some action, removing farms from the Discovery Islands, they’re not done yet. We need to keep reminding them to keep their promises and defend wild salmon from fish farms and their parasites and diseases. 

Please take action. Our MPs need to hear from us on this. Send them a quick email.

Coming Up:

Have Your Say Lake of the Woods Anglers / NDMNRF
Ontario is seeking the public’s input on the management of the recreational walleye fishery on Lake of the Woods through virtual roundtable sessions on March 22, 2022 at 7 pm EST, 6 pm CST. 

BC Outdoors Show
On April 8-10 in Chilliwack BC, after three years of anticipation, our inaugural event the BC Outdoors Show is finally happening, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Our intention with this show has always been about bringing the industry together. We are ready to reunite in person with friends, colleagues and you!

Toronto Sportsman Show
On March 17-20 at the Toronto International Centre, the Toronto Sportsman Show is back! Check out seminars taking place on two stages, hundreds of outdoor exhibiters, and plenty to excite people of all ages. 

4th Local Seafood Summit / Local Catch
We are thrilled to invite innovative, inclusive, and collaborative speakers to submit proposals for the 4th Local Seafood Summit to be held in Girdwood, Alaska on October 2-3, 2022. Proposals for the summit will be a accepted through Sunday, April 17, 2022. We encourage that presentations and sessions provide tangible learning takeaways and practical skills, tools, and strategies for summit attendees, and align with the summit theme, Building the Future of Local and Regional Seafood Systems.

Special Guest Feature – How to Remove Aquatic Species from Your Boat / Mercury

Just a few extra steps right after you pull your boat out of the water can help ensure that you don’t take any aquatic invasive species – or eggs or seeds – to another body of water.

  • Once the boat is on the trailer, pull it to the nearest possible out-of-the-way spot. A slight incline is preferred to facilitate more complete drainage.
  • Remove the drain plug and make sure there is nothing preventing the bilge water from flowing freely.
  • Lower all engines or outdrives to allow the water in the coolant passages to drain.
  • Remove the plugs from all livewells and baitwells and let them drain completely.
  • Starting at the rear of the boat, do a visual inspection for organic matter and remove it with your hands. Don’t forget the trailer, outdrive, swim platform, boarding ladders, transducers and anything else that tends to collect debris. You should also remove any mud or sediment you might have picked up as it can harbor seeds, eggs or tiny creatures.
  • Continue the process down one side of the boat, paying special attention to the trailer rollers or bunks, as well as the axles, rims, brake lines and other hardware. A boat hook can help reach potential AIS material that is not easily accessible by hand. Repeat the process on the opposite side of the boat and trailer.
  • Next, check the interior of the boat for any organic matter. Fishing tackle, tow ropes and the like can easily pull AIS material into the boat, and they can just as easily set it free in the next body of water you visit.
  • Inspect the exterior of the boat from several angles to check for anything you might have missed the first time.
  • If you’ve got a trolling motor, thoroughly inspect and decontaminate it as well.

Finally, raise your engines or drives back up to the normal traveling position and you’re ready for the drive home. 

As the boat owner, it’s ultimately your responsibility to ensure that your vessel is clean and free of any potential AIS material before you leave the immediate area of the waterway.

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What’s New at Blue Fish Canada: On top of ice fishing adventures to trial and refine the best sustainable fishing tackle and techniques, there’s lots happening. We produce biweekly Blue Fish Radio and Outdoors with Lawrence Gunther podcasts as well as edit this biweekly Blue Fish Newsletter and editorial, enjoyed by over 6,000 of you. Don’t forget each Monday evening we are live on Canadian Fishing Network’s Facebook Live, and every second week we have a ten-minute environmental segment on AMI TV across Canada. But it’s still not enough. That’s why we are pleased to announce our new partnership with the Invasive Species Centre on a new “Don’t Let it Loose” initiative. Our role is to engage anglers to become champions for keeping invasive species out of Canada’s rivers and oceans. There’s more invasive species prevention work we can’t talk about just yet, and the same goes for three – possibly four – exciting new youth fishing partnerships being planned for 2022. We can tell you that the Great Lakes Fish Health Network that Blue Fish Canada’s President Lawrence Gunther chairs, has just launched a judicial review of fish consumption advisories meant to help sort out the contradictory messaging from different levels of government concerning the same actual chemicals and schools of fish. And on a brighter note, we are just about to release a new Lake2Plate documentary featuring more of Quebec’s Pontiac region. Oh yes, let’s not forget about the Toronto Sportsman Show coming up in March. Just a few more reasons why the Blue Fish Canada charity is deserving of your volunteer time – or maybe a donation?

In the February 14th, 2022 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News, we begin with a focus on Lake Nipissing’s Nation-to-Nation fisheries management challenges and changes. 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 a letter sent to Canada’s DFO Minister from BC’s Public Fishery Alliance.

This Week’s Feature – Lake Nipissing’s Nation-to-Nation Fishery Challenges and Changes

By Lawrence Gunther

You may recall from an earlier editorial that Blue Fish Canada submitted input during the government of Ontario’s public consultation on proposed regulation changes to Lake Nipissing’s recreational fishery in mid-2021. The consultation document issued by the government included explanations behind the proposed restrictions to walleye, northern pike and muskie fisheries, and the opening up of the bass fisheries, which were all straight forward enough with one small omission; they did not mention the First Nation commercial fishing taking place on the lake for several of these same species. The absence of information about the FN fishery got me looking around for more information about the FN fishery, and I found plenty on Nipissing First Nation’s (NFN) website.

While comprehensive, the information made available on the NFN website also lacked any meaningful reference to the recreational fisheries other than that their commercial fishery was timed to take place during the same period as recreational fishing seasons. Confirmation indeed that the NFN was aware of the recreational fishery, but still no evidence that these two fisheries were being co-managed in a mutually respectful way. I kept digging.

I should say up front that judicial rulings in Canada have already sorted out definitively that First Nations fisheries take priority over recreational fisheries. This means that if additional conservation measures are required to protect or rebuild a fish stock, FN fishers will still be fishing when recreational fishers are side-lined. If still stronger conservation measures are required, these same judicial rulings state that all fisheries can be restricted or halted altogether. I’m not going to get into the politics of government agents halting FN fisheries, as that’s not applicable in the case of Lake Nipissing, or at least not now. All this to say, from the perspective of both FN and recreational fishers, we are not all created equally. Never-the-less, Lake Nipissing is an example that mutually respectful fisheries are, indeed, achievable.

Based on what I’ve learned over the past six months, Lake Nipissing is evolving as a positive example of how FN and recreational fisheries can be managed in ways that respect the rights of both. Achieving mutually respectful fisheries among FN fishers and recreational anglers began in earnest in 2016 when Nipissing First Nation signed a deal with the Ontario government. Link below to read the latest iteration of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU):

To learn more about how this jurisdictional recognition and cooperation agreement came about, I spoke with Kimberley Tremblay from the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (NDMNRF). Kim serves as the Management Biologist for Lake Nipissing, and along with the rest of her team, are responsible for setting recreational fishing regulations, working with NFN on the collection and sharing of fish stock data, and for monitoring and safeguarding the general health of the Lake’s overall ecosystem. Link below to read the Lake Nipissing Management Plan:

I asked Kim why, if we are all fishing the same lake for more-or-less the same fish, stakeholders aren’t brought together at one table to sort out who gets what. Not a fair question I know, given the historical and judicial rights of FN fishers to manage their own commercial and “food, social and ceremonial” fisheries, whereas recreational fishing is still considered a “privilege” under the law, but I wanted to know who had the backs of anglers if they weren’t actually at the table where stock sharing is being discussed. What I learned is that our fishing fates are in the hands of the NDMNRF. By extension, this also goes for the many guide and tourism related businesses around the lake that depend on a fishery that has a perceived value to recreational anglers.

Kim and I also discussed the new regulations for sport fish on the lake including why a retention bass season is now in effect almost year-round, why the retention of a single muskie was raised to a minimum of 54 inches, why the NDMNRF went to a slot size for no more than two walleye, and why very large northern pike must now be released. Regretfully, our time ran out before we could dive into perch. Link below to listen to my conversation with Kim Tremblay on The Blue Fish Radio Show:

With so many anglers pointing fingers at FN fishers on the lake, I reached out to Chief Scott McLeod of Nipissing First Nation. I prefaced our conversation by asking “Are there any topics that are off limits?”. To my surprise Chief McLeod responded, “there are no questions you can ask that I can’t answer.” But before I got into my list of questions, I asked Chief McLeod to provide a short history of the Algonquin people that make up the two communities on Lake Nipissing and the key events that transpired following the arrival of settlers. It’s good to know this history since it’s not something that I learned in my high school in Georgetown Ontario.

Following Chief McLeod’s very illuminating historic summary, I started in with my questions. Topics ranged from spearing spring spawning walleye, advancements in technology that can easily lead to overfishing, what FN people think about catch-and-release fishing, and more. Link to hear my conversation with Chief Scott McLeod on The Blue fish Radio Show:

A nation-to-nation working relationship has been made possible by both nations agreeing to collect, share and reference real data to ensure their respective fisheries and the ecosystem as a whole are respected and sustainable. The agreement between the government of Ontario and Nipissing First Nation has been and continues to be a learning path for many, but I wonder if these important lessons and breakthroughs are being widely shared?

Many other FN communities and recreational anglers are fishing from the same waters across Canada. With so much change being driven by the push to achieve self-governance, establishing “indigenous conserved and protected areas” to address past injustices, and ensuring all FN communities can bring about social and economic sustainability no matter how rural, remote or northern, the access to fisheries enjoyed by the over six-million recreational anglers in Canada now seem to be viewed as somewhat inconsequential. This, in spite of the important contribution recreational fishing adds to the social and economic sustainability of communities. Concerns over changes to our climate and the mitigation discussions now taking place between government, FN and environmental groups to address impacts to nature, and it’s understandable that anglers are feeling increasingly anxious about being left out of the loop.

It’s my hope that the polarisation of issues and divisions between FN communities and recreational anglers can be repaired so that truly mutually respectful fishing can take place. Prior to the arrival of settlers, we are learning that indigenous communities had comprehensive systems in place for managing access and harvest pressures. Since then, the balance of power shifted considerably, leading to the emergence of a totally different system for controlling access. The question now is how do we move forward and build mutually respectful fisheries that take into consideration the relatively recent introduction of fishing innovations and the need to mitigate climate change.

We are told the Lake Nipissing Walleye population is recovering since its near demise first reported in 2013. FN fishers and recreational anglers are both still fishing, so something must be going right. This editorial and the two podcasts I recorded offer a glimpse into what it took to bring this recovery about, but it’s just that, a glimpse by one outsider who decided to take a closer look. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

All stakeholders should have representatives at the table where stock sharing decisions are being decided so that stronger and long-lasting agreements can be achieved. Right now, it’s limited to First Nations and government. It needs to include anglers, the tourism sector, and conservation groups. By opening up negotiations, all stakeholders will have deeper understandings of the issues, concerns and issues being proposed so long-lasting solutions can be achieved. I’m not suggesting we start afresh, just that we move forward together by making sure none of us lose sight of the people and history that make up who we are – advice passed on to me by a First Nation elder.

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Fish Habitat News


The organizers of the Presidential Challenge Charitable Foundation have announced the formation of a new event: the Presidential Women’s World Virtual Fishing Challenge. This virtual format event is slated for Feb. 1 – March 31, 2022. It is open to women anglers around the world, with no age limit. Scoring will take place using the CaptApp application, which verifies catches using video and geo-location.

Beauval, Sask. man fined $14,500 for breaching wildlife, fisheries laws / Global News
A 36-year-old man from Beauval, Sask. has been fined $14,500 after pleading guilty to multiple wildlife and fisheries offences last month.

4 Fishing Etiquette Tips / FishingWire
One of the biggest pet peeves for many freshwater anglers is when they are having a good day fishing from a boat in a quiet spot on the lake or river and another angler comes along, pulls up right beside them and starts casting in the same area without asking first.

Research Shows That Coral Reef Fish are Overfished / FishingWire
A new study led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science has found concrete evidence that more than 85 percent of the grouper and snapper studied are overfished as a direct result of increasing human demand for seafood. The research team analyzed 30 years of population data for 15 coral reef fish species central to South Florida’s commercial and recreational fisheries using their length-based risk analysis (LBRA) framework. They found that three out of the five grouper species, all eight snapper species, and two grunts analyzed were below the 40 percent minimum spawning potential. The study, “Length-based risk analysis of management options for the southern Florida U.S. multispecies coral reef fish fishery,” published in the journal Fisheries Research.

Two B.C. spots ranked among best fishing areas in Canada / DailyHive
B.C. is known for its great outdoors, and now two areas in the province have been ranked on a list of the best fishing destinations in Canada.

Minister Murray makes some mad, pleases many more / ComoxValley News
There will be far fewer boats fishing for herring this spring on the waters off Vancouver Island. Herring are important food for salmon, sea birds, marine mammals and other fish.


Kootenay Lake kokanee spawning numbers a growing concern / Castlegar News
The latest kokanee spawning numbers in Kootenay Lake indicate a growing concern for anglers and conservationists.

Basking Shark Findings Blow Assumptions Out of the Water / WesternU News
If basking sharks were like Canadians, their migration habits might be easily explained. But instead of lounging in warm waters near Ireland, they spent much of their time in water that was deeper – and much colder – than if they’d stayed closer to Ireland.

The Great Splake Debate / Main-Gov.
Splake are a hatchery hybrid cross between a male brook trout and female lake trout. This hybrid is not produced outside of the hatchery environment because the two parent species spawn in completely different habitats. Splake are genetically stable, and are technically capable of reproducing, but successful wild reproduction is extremely rare, if not practically nonexistent, and has never been documented in Maine. Splake tend to be faster growing than both of its parent species and tend to live longer than brook trout. These qualities make this hybrid trout an effective tool for fish biologists and can create a trout fishery where other native cold water species are unlikely to thrive.

Recovering Threatened and Endangered Species Report to Congress 2019–2020 / NOAA
This report summarizes efforts to recover all domestic species under NOAA Fisheries’ jurisdiction. It highlights progress made toward recovery of nine critically endangered species identified in the Species in the Spotlight initiative.

Research Reveals Link Between Warming Waters and Fish Abundance / FishingWire
A long-term study in the Southern Ocean reveals a clear correlation between warming waters, decreased sea ice, and reduced abundance of Antarctic silverfish. These small, abundant fish are important prey for penguins, seals, and other regional marine life, in a role similar to that played by anchovies or sardines in more temperate waters. The study was published in the February 3rd issue of Communications Biology, an open-access journal from Nature Portfolio.<

Research Priorities Identified for Threatened Sharks / Combio
A new paper in the journal Conservation Science and Practice, led by Arizona State University Faculty Research Associate David Shiffman, has identified 35 research priorities that scientists can use to shape their research on threatened shark species.

Really, parasites are allowed on fish we eat? / NorthIsle News
Stan Proboszcz, Science Advisor with Watershed Watch Salmon Society, published a chart highlighting the high parasite levels at a few of the factory fish farms in the North Isle. The sea lice are so big compared to the salmon; it would be like having a chicken chewing on your leg.

Global Study Sheds Light on the Valuable Benefits of Shellfish and Seaweed Aquaculture / NOAA
Shellfish and seaweed farms provide sustainable seafood and can improve the surrounding environment. Farmed oysters, mussels, and other bivalve shellfish are some of the most environmentally sustainable sources of animal protein. Seaweed aquaculture also provides many benefits to both people and the ocean environment.

“How much fish does a seal need?” / Marine Mammal Research News
Two long-term studies quantify the prey requirements of pinnipeds, and help predict the effects of nutritional stress.

Decline in Reported Severity of Ocean Acidification Impacts on Fish Behavior / Labroots
As humans fill the atmosphere with excess carbon dioxide, much of it gets absorbed by the oceans, causing acidification. Researchers implemented a meta-analysis that examined studies conducted between 2009 and 2019, all of which focused on how ocean acidity levels were affecting fish life and behaviors—in total, reviewing about 91 different studies from a range of journals. Researchers noted that while studies published early in their time window noted drastic correlations between ocean acidity and negative effects on fish behavior, those correlations quickly fizzled out.


A B.C. mine proposal is dead, two decades and $30 million later / The Narwhal
Pacific Booker Minerals is being told for the second time its proposed Morrison mine is a no-go for sensitive salmon habitat in northwest B.C. — leaving some wondering why the province’s environmental assessment process is so inefficient.

Burnaby creek hit hard by sewage pollution / Burnaby Now
“People in this region pay a lot of money in taxes to various levels of government. Upgrading our infrastructure so we are not literally polluting local water systems needs to be priority.”

Scientists Race to Gather Winter Data on Warming Great Lakes / New York Post
Lake scientists have long considered winter a season when aquatic activity slows. Most do their field studies at other times of year. But researchers now think more is going on in the bitter depths than previously believed — including activity influenced by climate change. To learn more, teams will venture onto the frozen surfaces of all five lakes this month to collect water samples and other information from below the ice.

Conservationists pan N.S. Aquaculture Decision / ASF
In December the Aquaculture Review Board (ARB) held hearings on a proposed boundary expansion at Cooke Aquaculture’s Rattling Beach site in Nova Scotia. The company has been operating outside the boundaries of its lease for over a decade. On Monday the board decided in favour of Cooke, drawing immediate criticism, including from the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

Phase 1 of Plan 2014’s Expedited Review Now Complete / IJC
The Report provides new insights for International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board. After two years of record-breaking water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, the International Joint Commission (IJC) chose in February 2020 to order an immediate and thorough review of the outflow management plan for the lake. The project, called the Expedited Review of Plan 2014, includes two phases. The first phase, now complete, focused on providing information quickly enough to aid the response to any near-term recurrence of extreme high water events. The second phase, just beginning, will provide for a more sweeping analysis of the outflow regimen known as Plan 2014.

Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement Turns 50 / IJC
There is much to reflect on as the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement marks its 50th anniversary in 2022. But what is the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, exactly, and what is the IJC’s role?

Scientists make final bid to stop Port of Vancouver’s terminal expansion / The Narwhal
The port promises it can mitigate the impacts of the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 expansion on endangered species like Chinook salmon and southern resident killer whales. But in a recent letter to Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, scientists argue the port’s final plan still impacts more than 100 species of concern in the heart of the Fraser River estuary.

The impact of extreme heat on coastal ecosystems is dramatic. / Hakai
Extreme heat in the world’s oceans passed the “point of no return” in 2014 and has become the new normal, according to research. Scientists analyzed sea surface temperatures over the last 150 years, which have risen because of global heating. They found that extreme temperatures occurring just two percent of the time a century ago have occurred at least 50 percent of the time across the global ocean since 2014. In some hotspots, extreme temperatures occur 90 percent of the time, severely affecting wildlife.

Teck is fighting Montana pollution rules it doesn’t have to follow. Why? Look to B.C. / Narwhal
Teck Resources operates some of the biggest coal mines in the country in the Elk Valley and B.C.’s rules allow enormous amounts of selenium pollution to enter the province’s rivers and waterways. But new rules in Montana, which experiences the downstream impacts of Teck’s operations, have the company on the defensive.

Can kelp help? Investors eye sustainable harvest from seaweed / Financial Times, CNN
Seaweed farming is definitely having a moment. It’s largely a labor-intensive endeavor in most parts of the world, but a prototype “sea combine” can help with harvesting.

Great Lakes Congressional Lakes Week events / GLC
The Great Lakes Commission, in collaboration with regional partners, will host a series of topical sessions on Great Lakes priorities throughout the week of February 28 through March 4 featuring remarks from senior administration officials and members of Congress. These sessions will last approximately 45 minutes and are planned to begin at 9 a.m. ET daily.

Logging in Watersheds Among Stressors for Declining Pacific Salmon According to Experts / Cheknews
Decades of clear-cut logging in BC have disrupted the landscape’s natural mechanisms for mitigating floods and landslides, impacting salmon habitat and leading to declines across the Pacific Coast.

Still No Penalties for Coastal GasLink Environmental Violations / Thyee
The gas pipeline being built to supply LNG Canada in Kitimat keeps having repeated violations, including pouring sediment into our local rivers, streams and wetlands, yet no accountability.

Ocean’s largest dead zones mapped by MIT scientists / EcoWatch
There are two mysterious zones in the Pacific Ocean where marine life cannot survive. Two MIT scientists recently succeeded in making the most detailed atlas to date of these important oceanic regions, revealing crucial new facts about them in the process.

US plays catch up with Canada to quiet ships for endangered orcas / TradeWinds
Canada’s ECHO Program setting the benchmark for protection of southern resident killer whales, with the US said to be five years behind in its efforts.

Ducks Unlimited Canada surpasses one million acres conserved in Ontario / Global News
Since 1974, DUC has completed more than 5,000 conservation projects in Ontario, altogether conserving one million acres of natural habitats—specifically, wetlands and their next-door natural spaces like grasslands and forests. Together, these habitats help make up functioning ecosystems and they’re making life better for wildlife and communities.

Mining companies to relinquish thousands of claims in Yukon’s Peel watershed / HighNorth News
The Yukon government has struck agreements with seven companies, which, in turn, have forgone 5,031 claims — the majority of outstanding pre-existing claims located in protected areas.

Duncan looks to restore fish-rearing habitat / Cowichan Valley Citizen
City applies for federal grant to help rejuvenate Fish Gut Alley, once important spawning and rearing habitat for wild salmon.

Epic floods in Pacific Northwest revive a long-running dispute over how to manage a river / Mother Jones
Farmers in Washington State and British Columbia want to dredge the Nooksack River. Native communities and scientists say that will doom the endangered Chinook salmon.

Salty level of Okanagan Lake water intensifies / Vernon Morning Star
Increased trend still far short of endangering water quality, aquatic life.


Saik’uz and Stellat’en to appeal Rio Tinto ruling / Prince George Daily News
The Saik’uz and Stellat’en First Nations announced Monday that they will proceed with an appeal to the British Columbia Court of Appeal in their effort to hold Rio Tinto Alcan responsible for its impact on the Nechako River and its fisheries.

Saving fish habitat today, using ancient First Nation fish-catching technology / CHEK NEWS
Several Vancouver Island First Nations have teamed up with an estuary conservation group to prevent Canada geese from destroying important fish habitats.

Malahat Nation working to remove ‘ghost gear’ from Salish Sea / Castlegar News
Malahat Nation is getting help with its cleanup efforts in the Salish Sea, which they hope will include the removal of “ghost gear.”

First Nations are buying land to create urban reserves. But is it ‘land back’? / CBC News
Indigenous people represent the fastest-growing population in Canada, and more and more of them are moving to urban areas. One advocate says urban reserves are a great way for First Nations to expand their reach and strengthen self-sufficiency, but that they don’t undo historical wrongs. The Land Back movement is less predicated on acquiring more land and more focused on the responsibilities that municipal, provincial, territorial and federal governments have to make up for what their predecessors stole from Indigenous communities.

Two years after B.C. passed its own UNDRIP act, has anything changed? / Narwhal
The northwest coast Gitxaała Nation has filed a legal challenge against B.C. for failing to align its Indigenous Rights legislation with provincial mining laws; Gitanyow hereditary chiefs in northwest B.C. independently announced the creation of a new protected area; and the Nuxalk Nation on B.C’s central coast issued an eviction notice to an exploration company.

A way of life disappears along the Yukon River with the decline of the salmon / Yukon News
It looks as if the devastating outlook for Yukon River salmon will continue.


Shimano Records 45% Sales Increase in 2021
Shimano, Inc. reported sales in 2021 increased 44.6 percent from the previous year to ¥546,515 million. Operating income increased 79.3%.

The AMFF Honors Johnny Morris
Philanthropist, visionary, educator, and pioneer Johnny Morris will receive the American Museum of Fly Fishing’s 2021 Heritage Award.

IGFA Announces 2022 Tommy Gifford Award Winners / IGFA
The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) announced its 2022 Tommy Gifford Award winners in recognition of their significant contributions to recreational angling as captains, guides or crew. This year’s recipients include Florida Keys stalwart Captain Alex Adler; famed Baja skipper Captain Jesus Araiza; Caribbean offshore pioneer Captain Atlee Evans; Australian big-game legend Billy Fairbairn; and New Zealand blue water innovator Captain John Going.


Back to Basics Boating Terms / Yamaha Outboards
Nautical jargon fills the air during boat show season and, if you are relatively new to boating, it can be like trying to understand a foreign language. Here’s a brief overview of some of the most common terms in the boating vernacular to assist in building your nautical-speak vocabulary.

Does everyone on board know how to call for help? / CPSS
To operate a Marine Radio, it is required by law to have the Restricted Operator Certificate. Register with the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron to take the course.


American Sportfishing Association Launches Podcast / ASA Fishing
The Politics of Fish podcast will explore the people, organizations and issues that impact the sportfishing industry in an engaging and informative way. This new American Sportfishing Association initiative is designed to strengthen our voice and expand our reach. Released on a biweekly basis, each episode features an exclusive interview with a leader in the sportfishing community as we unpack critical recreational fishing policy issues.

European green crab firmly established on Vancouver Island’s west coast / John Ryan
On a single day in December, technicians from the Ahousaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, and Ucluelet First Nations and the Coastal Restoration Society trapped more than 10,000 of the invasive crabs near Tofino. The same group has collected more than 107,000 green crabs since mid-November. But south of Vancouver Island, in Washington’s Puget Sound, state biologists think it’s still possible to keep the crustacean’s numbers low in the Salish Sea.


Watch The Full ‘Mighty Waters’ Film Now / FishingWire
The American Museum of Fly Fishing has partnered with Simms, Costa, Shannon Vandivier and his team at Cold Collaborative to create a film that tells the extraordinary story of Ansil Saunders, a legendary Bimini bonefish guide. Martin Luther King Jr. found a friend in Saunders. Just four days before his assassination, Dr. King was sitting in Ansil’s boat, sharing psalms and working on “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”—his final speech.

Can octopuses form bonds with each other—or with humans? / Hakai


Webinar: Shoreline Stabilization and Fish Habitat / DFO
The DFO’s Fish and Fish Habitat Protection Program (FFHPP) is looking for feedback on the details of specific classes of works and conditions being considered for inclusion into a proposed Prescribed Works and Waters Regulation. Watch the technical session that explores these classes in greater detail.

Webinar: Marine Sanctuaries / Wednesday Feb. 16 at 1:00 p.m. EST / NOAA
Science and natural resource management with Dr. Steve Gittings, Chief Scientist, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. NOAA conducts, sponsors, and facilitates research that is fundamental to understanding natural and cultural resources in marine sanctuaries. This research is driven by management needs and focused on improved understanding, assessment, evaluation, protection, and restoration of its trust resources.

Scientists and Local Champions:

Canadian ecologist Jeffrey Hutchings dies at 63 / CTV News
Canadian ecologist and fisheries scientist Jeffrey Hutchings was known for criticizing political interference in scientific advice on declining fish populations — particularly the northern cod. Hutchings passed away , he was 63.

Coming Up:

Get your tickets now for the Toronto Sportsmen Show taking place March 17-20, at The International Centre!

Trusted in Ontario for over 70 years, this is the place to get excited, inspired, and outfitted for the great outdoors. With an expanded selection of products from fishing and hunting to boating, powersports and more – there is something for everyone!

ICAST 2022 Registration Is Open
Anglers are more than your target audience, they’re your people — that’s how you know which products they’ll want next.

Special Guest Feature – Letter from the Public Fisher Alliance to Canada’s Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard (February 2022)

Dear Minister Murray,

In recent years, at critical times of the fishing season, the Department of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard (DFO) has denied the Public Fishery opportunities for retention of Chinook salmon in important Southern B.C. tidal and in-river fisheries. This, despite the Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB) demonstrating the absence of Fraser River stocks of concern in their very modest fisheries proposals. Additionally, between April 1st and July 31st there has been no retention permitted of plentiful U.S. origin adipose fin clipped hatchery Chinook. These actions have had devastating effects on the Public Fishery, both financially and socially.

Many hard-working Canadians in the public fishery and related businesses are now without a job and the fishing service infrastructure that supports angling is collapsing. The COVID-19 pandemic has simply magnified these social and economic impacts.

An SFAB salmon technical working group produced multiple Chinook retention proposals in collaboration with your department’s salmon stock assessment and fisheries management staff using up-to-date DFO stock data. The purpose was to allow very modest access to the retention of hatchery Chinook and other Chinook stocks that are not of concern. The proposals were assessed by DFO review to be very low risk or no risk at all to stocks of concern. They offered an important lifeline to the Public Salmon Fishery to avoid further harm, and importantly did not jeopardize the recovery of Fraser River Chinook stocks of concern, yet they have all been rejected.

Recently, DFO’s specific concerns with the latest SFAB proposal have been disclosed. With your department’s salmon management team now indicating these important early season opportunities will not be discussed, it would appear the Public Fishery is set for another year without relief. However, there are clearly solutions to these concerns that would allow the reopening of very modest Chinook retention fisheries in critically important areas where stocks of concern are not present, and/or the abundance of hatchery Chinook is sufficiently high.

We firmly believe there are additional solutions, which could, for example, include reductions in fishing times and areas, hatchery only fisheries and size limit adjustments to the original proposals. These added management actions would result in even more protection for stocks of concern. Therefore, we urge that you direct your department to work together with the SFAB, particularly at the upcoming February 11th SFAB Main Board meeting, to explore ways these desperately needed openings can be approved. We particularly want to focus on the period from April 1st to May 31st this year, where there is a documented unique window of opportunity when stocks of concern are not present, while hatchery marked Chinook are prevalent in high numbers.

As very significant work and discussion has already taken place on this issue, and with April 1st being less than two months away, this is obviously a time sensitive matter that needs urgent attention and should be easy to complete. Many organizations that rely on these Chinook openings respectfully seek your support in ensuring that the required consultations take place as soon as possible. Be assured we are committed to working respectfully with your department and First Nations toward conservation of this precious resource, the recovery of stocks of concern and preserving opportunities for all Canadians.

Yours in conservation,

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In this November 23, 2021 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on the return of Great White sharks to Atlantic Canada and what it means for the ecosystem, tourism, fish and fishing. As always, we include a specially curated list of summaries and links to timely fishing, fish health, water quality and other news. Our closing guest feature explores what recent floods in B.C. means for spawning Pacific salmon.

This Week’s Feature – Atlantic Canada’s Apex Predators Are Back!

Canada may have the longest coastline of any country in the world, including the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic oceans, but in reality it’s just one big inter-connected ocean covering 71% of the earth’s surface. Setting aside the naming protocols employed by cartographers, the point I’m heading towards is that “great white” sharks care little about lines on a map, and have found their way back to Atlantic Canada. Sharks have always been present along Canada’s east coast, mainly blue sharks, but the return of white sharks has significant ramifications for both the marine ecosystem and the way we humans recreate along the Atlantic coast.

In 2019, I spent a week along the coast of Maine with my family taking daily dips in the frigid Atlantic and building sand castles on the beach. It was the last year tourism officials along the U.S. North Atlantic coast would pretend that shark attacks were no more likely than getting hit by lightening. By 2020 a rash of attacks by white sharks off Cape Cod and further north blew this idyllic beach vacation myth out to sea. Close to 400 white sharks have since been tagged along the Atlantic coastline between Massachusetts and Nova Scotia, but based on amateur drone surveillance, These sharks with their highly visible tracking tags represent only about 10 out of every 100 white shark sightings along the coast. Statistically, this doesn’t mean there are 4000 white sharks cruising along the North Atlantic east coast, but what it does mean is that there are likely far more than the 3500 white sharks left in the world as claimed by some groups.

Increasing white shark abundance along the Canadian and U.S. East Coast is linked to grey seal numbers rebounding significantly after seal culls ended in the 1980’s. U.S. officials now estimate the grey seal population along their north-east Atlantic coast to be approximately 50,000. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to Canada. According to the NOAA there are now approximately 450,000 grey seals and a further 30,000 harbour seals in total along North America’s east coast. The vast majority of these are located in Canada. Add in five more seal species commonly found in Canada such as ringed, hispida, harp, bearded and hooded, and it adds up to a lot of potential white shark forage. To be honest, getting exact numbers isn’t easy as estimates range wildly based on who’s website you visit.

Up until recently, grey seals have ventured off shore in pursuit of schools of fish at will. The more common blue sharks represent no real threat to the much bigger grey seals that can weigh as much as 400 kilos. It means seals have been travelling where and when they want for several decades now, and their unfettered access to fish has meant their numbers have increased exponentially. Well, no more.

Commercial fishers and even some scientists have been calling for the cull of seals to be renewed, claiming that their impact on cod stock recovery is significant. These claims have since largely been disproven, but that doesn’t mean the sheer number of seals isn’t impacting fish stocks in general.

When white sharks first started being sighted off Canada’s Atlantic coastline there were some who believed their presence was due to warming waters brought about by climate change. However, veteran biologists like Dr. Chris Harvey-Clark from Dalhousie University offer an alternative hypothesis – they are coming for the seals. Chris has been documenting and reporting on sea life along Canada’s Atlantic coast for decades, and recently encountered a white shark himself while diving near the entrance to Halifax Harbour. Link below to listen to my latest conversation with Chris following his hair-raising close encounter with a three-meter white shark in mid-November 2021 on The Blue Fish Radio Show:

Upon reaching maturity white sharks transition from preying on fish, in favour of energy-foods like blubbery mammals – seals. Seals aren’t stupid, and figure out quick enough that the wide open ocean is no place to be caught feeding. On the other hand, white sharks are highly evolved apex predators, and it doesn’t take them long to figure out where grey seals live – along the coast. According to Chris Harvey-Clark, the grey seals he encounters have already altered their behaviour, and now seem to be pinned down along their rookeries where they are growing increasingly hungry.

Each spring as white sharks arrive along Canada’s east coast their first order of business is figuring out where to find fish if they are juveniles, or seals if they are adults. Sharks don’t necessarily travel in “shivers”, but that doesn’t mean they won’t school-up when a “bob” of seals have been located. In the meantime, be prepared for white sharks to be cruising beaches and other stretches of coastline as they familiarize themselves with the appearance, flavour and habits of newly preferred pray.

Juvenile white sharks in the 3-meter range pose serious risks to humans as they experiment with forage options as they transition from fish to mammals. But it doesn’t mean you need not fear larger adults such as an 800-kilo 4-meter male white shark tagged nearby the Magdalen Islands, or the recently christened “Queen of the Ocean” tagged off the coast of Nova Scotia in October 2020 weighing 1,606 kilograms and measuring nearly 5.25 metres.

For many beach-goers white sharks means an end to swimming, surfing, paddle-boarding and maybe even kayaking with impunity. Many beaches in Cape Cod even discourage wading into the water past your knees. That’s O.K. though, most of the ocean temperatures along the beaches in Atlantic Canada rarely warm up past 15 degrees Celsius. As a former owner of a bungalow in Cape Breton Nova Scotia for 13 years, and having canoed the coasts of New Brunswick and P.E.I. I know from experience that finding warm ocean water inshore where the Gulf Stream touches land is rare.

To some, white sharks represent a solution to the problem of seals feeding on schools of commercially valuable fish with abandonment. Politicians are now breathing easier as none had to stick their neck out and authorize a seal cull. Nature is taking care of its own. Balance is being restored. Thanks to white sharks, nearshore and offshore schools of fish, and even inshore schools, now have ample guardians – the exception being blue fin tuna, a fish enjoyed by white sharks of all sizes.

Of course, fish stock recovery along Canada’s Atlantic coast is tenuous at best. Rising or warming oceans, an end to the Gulf Stream, new invasive species from the south, infectious diseases spread from fish pen operations, microplastics, over fishing, or who knows what else could easily tip nature’s balance once again. In the meantime though, this balance is in the process of being restored. Melting glaciers and sea ice continue to keep ocean temperatures in check for the most part. Just maybe government fish stock rebuilding efforts will finally start to pay off. Watch out lobster and crab, could it be that North Atlantic cod are finally on the rebound?

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Water Quality News


Calling the largemouth the single most popularly targeted game fish in the world seems like a fairly safe bet / AFTCO
Among the reasons for this are its aggressive nature, hard strike, occasional gill-rattling leaps and — particularly — the proclivity of this hardy species to thrive just about anywhere and everywhere. Once found only in its native region of eastern North America, it supports active sport fisheries around the world in locations such as Japan, China, Russia, most western European countries and many African nations as well. The economic importance of this species is remarkable. It lives happily in lakes and slower rivers ranging from tropical areas to hard, cold arctic regions near the poles. The largemouth (aka black bass) is the largest member of the sunfish family, Centrarchidae.

Want to Save a Failing Fishery? Take the Long View / Hakai Magazine
Almost 30 years ago, the cod fishery that had sustained commercial fishers in Newfoundland and Labrador for centuries came to an abrupt end, with a government-imposed moratorium aimed at saving the collapsing cod population. Now, new research shows that the collapse was not inevitable, and that—if it weren’t for short-term thinking decades earlier—the cod fishery could have been viable to this day. A new model based on catch records dating back to 1508 shows that the cod population remained relatively stable from the 16th century until the 1960s, when the advent of large-scale industrial trawling caused catches to skyrocket. From catches of 100,000 to 200,000 tonnes a year for most of the 18th and 19th centuries, the catch climbed until it peaked at 810,000 tonnes in 1968. From there, the population declined precipitously.

Repel sharks!
Products such as the Sharkbanz2 advertise that they utilize electromagnetic waves to repel sharks from the wearer or your fishing tackle. A worthwhile consideration for anglers and beachgoers where the risk of sharks is present.


How a Fish in Hamilton Broke a World Record – for All the Wrong Reasons /
In 2015, a handful of University of Toronto researchers in a small boat hauled in a brown bullhead catfish from Hamilton Harbour, on the western tip of Lake Ontario. This summer, they reported that the fish had broken a world record — it contained 915 synthetic particles, the most ever recorded. The brown bullhead was one of 212 specimens examined during six years of research on plastics pollution led by Keenan Munno at U of T’s Rochman Lab and published in Conservation Biology this summer. Munno and her team discovered synthetic particles in each. In the bullhead, some of the smallest, called nanoplastics, had migrated from its digestive system to its skeletal muscles: the fillets often sold in grocery stores.

How Fish Schools Swim
Nature documentaries have long exploited the elegant swerves of massive schools of fish. Fish team up to cut through the water more easily and protect themselves from predators. But new simulations are revealing how fish schools also operate like superorganisms. Each individual fish seems to be optimized—from body length to how often it moves its tail—for the group’s maximum surveillance and energy efficiency.

Mowi Pauses NL Expansion After Near $8M Hit from Salmon Problems / ASF
With nearly a half million open net-pen caged salmon dead this fall at several sites, the company is pushing the pause button on its planned expansion in the province.

Climate Change Causes Death, Disease at NS Fish Hatchery / ASF
The hatchery at Nova Scotia’s Fraser’s Mills, Antigonish County, has big problems, and is looking for new solutions to go forward.

Preserving Genetic Diversity Gives Wild Populations Their Best Chance at Long-Term Survival / NOAA
A new paper shows that genetic variation is crucial to a population’s short- and long-term viability. The paper, by a NOAA Fisheries Northwest Fisheries Science Center researcher, examined decades of theoretical and empirical evidence. It was published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.

Survivor Salmon that Withstand Drought and Ocean Warming Provide a Lifeline for California Chinook / NOAA
In drought years and when marine heat waves warm the Pacific Ocean, late-migrating juvenile spring-run Chinook salmon of California’s Central Valley are the ultimate survivors. According to a recent study, they are among the few salmon that return to spawning rivers in those difficult years to keep their populations alive.

Restoration of historic lake trout spawning bed begins on Ontario’s Diamond Lake / Watersheds Canada
A momentous first step was taken last month to restore a historic lake trout spawning bed in the Madawaska Valley region. Diamond Lake is one of only twelve trout lakes in Renfrew County, Ontario. For many years the trout population has experienced struggles on the lake, with the once productive spawning bed being recently damaged by siltation. The Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s Outdoor Fund donated critical funds to launch the restoration process of the trout spawning bed, with project completion scheduled for spring 2022.

Goldfish and other aquarium species have become big issues at 3 Lethbridge ponds / CBC News
In Lethbridge, Alta., goldfish and other aquarium species like koi have become problematic at three ponds: Firelight Park, Chinook Lake and Elm Groves Pond. “These populations are a direct result of somebody putting fish in the storm ponds,” said Jackie Cardinal, the parks natural resource coordinator for the city.

Lobstermen and NPS Say No to Salmon Cages Next to Acadia Park / ASF
The issue of two proposed salmon aquaculture sites in Frenchman Bay, next to Acadia National Park, is generating concern for the ecology and health of these inshore waters.

Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray Gives Interview on Aquaculture in Newfoundland / CBC News
The new Canadian Minister of Fisheries and the Coast Guard was interviewed and provides insights on her thinking as she takes over the portfolio.

Atlantic Salmon Federation’s Jonathan Carr Wants Cooke to Improve Monitoring / ASF
ASF’s Vice-President of Research and Environment gave testimony on a proposed expansion of an aquaculture set of cages in St. Mary’s Bay operated by Cooke subsidiary Kelly Cove Salmon, and supported a more cautionary approach to save endangered wild salmon


DFO flags invasive species concerns as Baffinland seeks Mary River mine expansion / The Narwhal
Federal scientists say ships likely brought marine worms to the port of one of the world’s northernmost mines. Now vessel traffic could double as a result of a proposed expansion. According to the department, Baffinland should be developing a response plan to address Marenzelleria, the “high-risk potential aquatic invasive species that has been introduced to Milne Port.” This comes from a letter DFO submitted to the Nunavut Impact Review Board on Oct. 18 as part of the board’s assessment of Baffinland’s phase two development proposal, which would double the mine’s iron ore production.

Great Lakes DataStream is live! / DataStream
Explore 7 million open data points – including the Lake Partner Program data – collected by water monitors from across the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence Basin. The newest DataStream hub was released during Open Access Week in late October. The hub includes stories, resources and more.

Zebra Mussels & Toxic Algae – a link? / Science Daily
Michigan State University researchers recently detected a relationship between the presence of invasive zebra mussels and toxic algal blooms in a state lake. It seems the mussels like the taste of other algae, but leave a phytoplankton called Microcystis to thrive where it wouldn’t otherwise, resulting in an increase in blue-green algae. When the mussels died off one year due to warm weather (at temperatures that should have been ideal for algae growth), Microcystis decreased as well. This example of the “cascading effect” of complex climate-facilitated change in ecosystems was only noted due to the availability and analysis of a long-term data set for the lake. (Hooray long-term data!)


B.C. study shows sustainable management of salmon fishery before colonization / ASF
The study published Wednesday in the journal Scientific Reports examined chum salmon bones dating from between 400 BC and AD 1200 from four archeological sites around Burrard Inlet.

Could an Indigenous conservation area in Hudson Bay also be the key to saving carbon-rich peatlands? / The Narwhal
Northern Ontario’s James Bay and Hudson Bay — known in western Cree as Weeneebeg and Washaybeyoh — are 800-plus kilometres north of Toronto at their most southerly point, and unconnected to the rest of the province by road. The coastline and adjacent wetlands have long been understood as a globally significant site of migration and breeding for hundreds of bird species, and dozens of species at risk. The Mushkegowuk Council has resolutions on record from as early as the 1980s, calling for the creation of a Tribal Conservation Authority to manage this critical ecosystem. In August, the Mushkegowuk Council signed a memorandum of understanding with Parks Canada to establish a National Marine Conservation Area in James Bay and southwestern Hudson Bay. At more than 90,000 square kilometres — an area roughly the size of Portugal — the conservation area would be the largest in Ontario and second largest in the country, after Nunavut’s Tallurutiup Imanga.

Indigenous Guardians are patrolling the front lines of climate change /
There are some 70 groups of Indigenous Guardians across Canada. Their formal network is only five years old, but the work they do goes back for hundreds of generations. Fisheries audit: little.


Improvement over past five years despite government commitments | Campbell / River Mirror
The most recent audit of Canada’s fisheries show little improvement over the past five years, with many unknowns remaining. About 30 per cent of Canada’s fisheries are considered healthy, a decline from 2017. Conversely, about 17 per cent were assessed as “critical” while 16 per cent were ranked as “cautious.” But over a third of fisheries are considered unknowns — meaning not enough information is available to assess their status.

Moratorium sought on herring fisheries; critical for salmon / Victoria Times
Conservationists are calling for a moratorium on both the ­upcoming food-and-bait herring fishery in the Strait of Georgia and next season’s roe herring fishery to protect stocks of the small silver fish. They fear herring ­living ­year-round in the Strait of ­Georgia are at risk due to fishing. Resident herring are caught in the winter, as well as in March, when they are pulled up in nets along with migratory herring returning to the strait to spawn.

Canada releases first-ever code for care and handling of farmed salmonids / The Fish Site
The Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) have announced the release of the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farmed Salmonids. Canada’s Codes of Practice are nationally developed guidelines for the care and handling of farm animals. They serve as the foundation for ensuring that farm animals are cared for using sound management and welfare practices that promote animal health and well-being. Codes are used as educational tools, reference materials for regulations and the foundation for industry animal care assessment programs. “This code reflects the hard but very important conversations we had on how to bring meaningful improvements to the welfare of farmed salmonids in Canada.” – LEIGH GAFFNEY, WORLD ANIMAL PROTECTION CANADA.

Z-Man ElaZtech Lures Solve a Conservation Dilemma / The Fishing Wire
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has estimated that as many as 20 million pounds of soft plastic lures (SPLs) enter surface waters each year, and that 10 to 12 tons of them are lost or discarded. “We don’t think people are discarding them intentionally,” said University of Illinois researcher Cory Suski, who conducted a cooperative study with Canada’s Carlton University in 2014. “The baits just drop off the hook or half of it rips off and sinks to the bottom where it can’t be easily retrieved to evaluate change in SPL size and decomposition, researchers immersed eight different types of PVC-based SPLs in water at 39- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit for a period of two years. After just four months, in 70-degree water, the PVC baits had grown 10-percent in length. After two years in the warmer water, SPLs were 50-percent longer and 30-percent wider (i.e. a 6-inch bait swelled to 9-inches.) Coldwater immersed baits had grown by 25-percent. Similarly, the weight of SPLs more than doubled after just 7 months in water.


Electric Boat Bass Tournament Series Set for 2022
The Electric Bass Angling Championship powered by Elco Motor Yachts is a year-long series of fishing tournaments hosted by local fishing clubs throughout the U.S.

Webinar Recording: Green Stuff in the Water: No Day at the Beach / Lake Ontario Partner
Join us for a one-hour webinar as we talk about Cladophora! Cladophora are those green mats of algae in the water that you may have seen on beaches and along shorelines in Lake Ontario. While Cladophora is necessary for a healthy ecosystem, when nutrient levels in the water are too high—i.e., from lawn fertilizers, agricultural and urban runoff, and septic and sewage treatment systems—we see too much Cladophora growth. This can present aesthetic and odor issues that impair recreational uses of the lake, as well, decaying Cladophora harbors bacteria that can pose health threats to humans, fish and wildlife.

Video: Wild Salmon Watersheds / ASF
ASF’s Wild Salmon Watersheds program is a bold new initiative to conserve and restore the most productive salmon habitat. By giving wild salmon the cold, clean water they need, we’re also making a significant contribution to reversing the climate crisis.

Special Feature — What does the flooding in southwest B.C. mean for wild salmon? / (an extract from the Original article)

By Aaron Hill / Watershed Watch Salmon Society

Flooding is an essential part of a healthy natural river ecosystem, but it often takes a toll on salmon. This week’s flooding is taking an abnormally heavy toll. Many southern B.C. salmon populations are already at historic lows. Chum and coho are spawning now, and the raging waters are making successful spawning very difficult. For salmon that have already spawned, the flood waters are scouring out their eggs or depositing silt on them. And those massive pump stations that are moving water out from behind the dikes and back into the river? Most of them are not “fish-friendly,” meaning they are killing large numbers of the fish that ended up in the flood zone.

It could take salmon several generations to recover.

Pollution is a problem, too. We hear from colleagues in Chilliwack that the waters in the flood zone are festooned with petrochemical slicks, human and animal waste, dead animals and garbage. Volunteers from the flood zone are dealing with rashes and eye infections.

All levels of government have known for many years that their dikes and pump stations are not strong enough to handle the increased flooding brought by global warming. They’ve been working towards doing something about it, but the planning has been too slow, and here we are. They have to kick their flood prevention into high gear.

But here’s the kicker for salmon. Over 1500 km of salmon habitat in the lower Fraser floodplain are blocked off by obsolete dikes, pump stations and floodgates. These structures need major upgrades to keep us safer. As those structures get upgraded, we have a historic opportunity to make them safe for salmon and open up huge swaths of prime salmon habitat. This will help rebuild depleted salmon runs. This is what “building back better” will look like for people and salmon.

We can also take better care of our watersheds by changing the way we log and develop our lands. Let’s leave last century’s failed water and land management practices in the past where they belong. And for the love of all that is good in the world, let’s get serious about curbing our greenhouse gas emissions before things get even worse.

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In this November 8, 2021 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News we begin with a focus on new research on catch-and-release bass fishing tournaments and what happens to bass post-release. As always, we include a specially curated list of summaries and Links to timely fishing, fish health, water quality and other news. Our special guest resource at the end comes from the U.S. Congressional Sportsmens Foundation and concerns their path forward for achieving 30-by-30 protection commitments.

This Week’s Feature – Dispersal Patterns of Post Tournament Bass

By Editor Lawrence Gunther

In late August 2021 the North American Journal of Fisheries Management published the long-awaited results of research conducted in Canada on the post-release behavior of smallmouth and largemouth bass. The research was conducted in Eastern Ontario on Big Rideau Lake during early, mid and late season tournaments. Researchers included Alice E. I. Abrams, A. J. Zolderdo, Elodie J. I. Lédée, Michael J. Lawrence, Peter E. Holder, Steven J. Cooke, and a cohort of willing anglers.

An abstract of the research reads as follows, “Black bass fishing tournaments with conventional weigh-ins tend to displace fish from their capture site and often release fish within close proximity to the weigh-in site. Tournaments often include largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides and smallmouth bass M. dolomieu and occur throughout fishing seasons; however, there have yet to be any systematic congeneric comparisons across different seasons.” All this to say, the researchers used the latest fish tracking technology to determine what happens to bass after they are released following fishing tournaments. Not just if they survive, but where they go.

A total of 88 largemouth and smallmouth bass caught during the three tournaments were fitted with acoustic tags and then released from the same area where the weigh-ins took place. A preseason control group of 30 bass were captured, tagged and also released in the same area. The bass had their geospatial movements tracked using receivers situated around the weigh-in release site, along the passage that led back to the main body of the lake, and throughout the lake itself.

The 88 tournament-caught bass that took part in the research were selected based on the willingness and ability of anglers to share with researchers where each individual bass was caught using a map of the lake. If an angler wasn’t absolutely certain where a specific fish was caught, or was unwilling to disclose this information, the bass was rejected by the researchers.

Data shows that upon being released bass experienced a short-term stockpiling within 300 meters of the release site. All 88 bass eventually left the area – The largemouth taking on average 4.6 days, and the Smallmouth bass left within a day.

The distance from the release site to the main body of the lake where all 88 tagged fish were caught is over 10 kilometers. The Largemouth bass took just under 240 days to return to the main part of the lake, and the smallmouth bass took less than half that time. The smallmouth that took the longest to return (108 days) were caught during the October tournament.

Researchers concluded that, “although fish do survive and eventually return to the main basin, displacement may have broader ecological consequences such as “large-scale displacement of top predators and adverse effects on recruitment”. They conclude that, “there may be merit in tournaments adopting a catch–weigh–release format instead of bringing fish to a central weigh-in location.”

There’s plenty of research that has informed how to manage tournament weigh-in processes to mitigate bass mortality. Many large tournaments also employ boats especially equipped to move bass away from tournament weigh-in sites to facilitate their dispersal. Numerous smaller bass tournaments have adopted these best practices. However, until now, no one has determined where bass go after being released, and just how much time and effort bass expend in the process.

I spoke with Dr. Cooke about the research, and he confirmed that each of the bass caught and tagged returned to where they were originally caught. The fact that bass prefer to range within their specific territory should come as no surprise. Even smallmouth bass known for roving in “wolf packs” routinely visit the same locations. Larger bass will even drive off other bass that are perceived as trespassing. Obviously, just like any animal, bass are creatures of habit.

I asked Dr. Cooke how bass manage to navigate their way around a lake, and to find their way back to their home turf. You would be amazed to hear the different tests Dr. Cooke and his team conducted to learn how bass navigate their environment. Dr. Cooke shared with me details of the bass release research along with findings from his research on hook removal techniques and bass mortality. He even had new research to share on how bass fair when caught through the ice. You can hear my conversation with Dr. Cooke by linking to the below podcast episode of The Blue Fsh Radio Show.

So, what does all this mean for tournament angling? We know that bass survive post release and that they do eventually return to their preferred range. But what about bass caught during tournaments held on rivers – do they return home if it means swimming up stream? At the very least, we now know bass will have ample opportunity to move away from a weigh-in site before another tournament is held the following weekend, but that doesn’t guarantee they won’t be pressured by anglers who happen upon recently released bass before they have had sufficient time to clear out.

Bringing bass back to a centralised weigh-in location has positive aspects as well. The health of bass can be assessed by tournament officials. Bass are observed to make sure they are healthy, and anglers are penalised if a fish is judged as mortally wounded. Captured fish can also be examined and samples taken, or tags attached by researchers. Conducting fish health research is challenging as it entails finding and capturing fish. Researchers depend on fishing tournaments to collect samples and attach tags and other tracking devices.

Lots and lots of discussion and debate over fish welfare and tournament rules has already occurred, and without doubt will continue to dominate pre-tournament planning meetings. New innovations, fish handling best practices, rules and penalties are always being adjusted to fit with what we know and what the public expects. Without the trust of the public, the anglers and the sponsors, bass tournaments would not exist.

Bass anglers want to do the right thing, they care about the resource, and they contribute significantly to habitat restoration and research both in terms of money and time. How tournament organizers and anglers respond to the results of the research undertaken by Dr. Cooke and his team will be interesting to track over time as well.

Major League Fishing is a relatively new tournament series that has grown quickly in popularity. It uses a capture, record and release format, but is dependent on 2nd party observers to ensure accurate self reporting. Most amateur bass tournaments involve a team of two bass anglers. Adding a third observer in each boat poses considerable additional logistical challenges. However, digital real-time measuring and recording technologies could make such human observers redundant. We already pay thousands more for our boats to be equipped with live wells used for keeping fish alive during their transportation back to weigh-in sites. Why not instead allocate this money to pay for secure digital remote reporting equipment that would allow anglers to release bass back into the water where they are caught?

Angler apps already on the market possess much of the needed technology to support catch-record-release fishing tournaments. Their use throughout North America is growing steadily in popularity. In the end though, if an angler is bent on cheating, no rule or technology will stop them from trying their hand.

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Water Quality News


Lake Trout Fishing Heats Up On Lake Michigan / FishingWire
Lake trout average 6-10 pounds but can tip the scales at 15 pounds or more, and they become very active in late fall on the big lake. Fishing deep is popular when targeting lake trout this time of year. If you prefer to catch-and-release, the cold water creates better opportunities for successful release; however, keep in mind that smaller lake trout are excellent table fare.

Angler knocked over by bear at creek near Tofino, people urged to stay away from area / CBC News
The B.C. Conservation Service is asking people to stay away from the Kootowis Creek area near Tofino after an angler was knocked off his feet by a bear. The black bear approached the angler from behind and made contact with the man, who was able to scare the animal away. Although the bear knocked the man over, he was not injured.

Fishing gear available for loan at Richmond Public Library / Richmond News
Richmond Public Library is now lending fishing rods and tackle, to help people explore Richmond, B.C.’s waterways and ecology.

B.C. recreational chum salmon fisheries go catch-and-release due to low returns / Prince Rupert Northern View
DFO non-retention orders in effect for multiple recreational fisheries throughout southern B.C. In recent years, chum salmon have exhibited “very poor” returns through much of their spawning range, which spans North America and Asia, said Brian Riddell, Pacific Salmon Foundation science advisor.

Latin American Nations Create No-Fishing Corridor in East Pacific / FishingWire
Four Latin American countries announced Tuesday that they will expand and unite their marine reserves to create a vast corridor in the Pacific Ocean in hopes of protecting sea turtles, tuna, squid, hammerhead sharks and other species. The new marine corridor will connect the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador with Colombia’s Malpelo Island and the Cocos and Coiba Islands in Costa Rican and Panamanian waters, protecting migratory species from fishing fleets of hundreds of vessels that visit the eastern Pacific each year.

Lake Erie Perch/Walleye Survey Promising / FishingWire
Lake Erie Fisheries Research completed annual gillnet assessment of the Lake Erie warm water fish community in 2021. The primary goal is to collect abundance and age structure information for walleye, yellow perch, and smallmouth bass—the three most targeted fish species by anglers in New York’s portion of Lake Erie. The walleye and yellow perch data also contribute to lake-wide assessments that determine safe harvest levels. The highlight of the 2021 warm water survey was the presence of solid juvenile walleye (age-1) and yellow perch (age-2) year classes, both of which should start to contribute to the fishery next year. Young-of-year (age-0) yellow perch, walleye, and smallmouth bass were also collected during the survey potentially indicating good hatching success in 2021. Walleye, yellow perch, and smallmouth bass are not stocked in Lake Erie, meaning these fisheries depend entirely on the hatching success and survival of wild fish. Hatching success in 2021 bodes well for fishing quality in the coming years.

Fishing for Sport and Seafood / NOAA Fisheries
Cooking seafood you catch yourself strengthens your connection to the ocean and our marine natural resources. And money you spend on recreational fishing trips supports fishing guides, suppliers, charter vessels, and our unique coastal communities. As long as you follow the appropriate regulations, you can know that you are participating directly in the economically and environmentally sustainable harvest of our fisheries. In 2019, recreational and non-commercial saltwater anglers took 187 million fishing trips and caught 950 million fish. Catch-and-release angling plays an important role in U.S. fish conservation—more than half the fish caught are released. But there are plenty of opportunities around the nation for anglers to keep the fish they hook. Plus, a dinner featuring seafood you caught yourself adds a delicious capstone to an exciting day on the water.

Kids win by supporting Kootenay Lake conservation / East Kootenay
Kids submitted Rainbow or Bull trout heads that they caught on the main body of Kootenay Lake and were eligible to win Pelican Magna kayaks, Kokanee Mountain Zipline Tour packages, or fishing equipment.

Anglers seek $450K to restore Quispamsis fishing spot / CBC News
An angling group in New Brunswick wants to restore a popular fishing hole that’s been filling up with sediment from erosion. Aquatic species in Crowley’s Pool are at risk, and so is a Quispamsis roadway, said Sarah Blenis, project coordinator with the Hammond River Angling Association. That’s a group with about 325 members that’s been around since the late 1970s.

Alaska bans fishing in Yukon as salmon decrease / Texas News Today
Two salmon species have almost disappeared from the Yukon River in Alaska this year, and the state has been urged to stop fishing to save them. For the first time in memory, both King Salmon and Cham Salmon were nearly zero, and the state banned salmon fishing on the Yukon River. Even the self-sufficient harvest that Alaska Natives rely on to fill their winter freezers and pantry.


Nova Scotia Salmon Association Turns Down Atlantic Gold / Halifax Examiner
In a plea deal for its environmental infractions, Atlantic Gold agrees to pay $120,000 to the Nova Scotia Salmon Association. The NSSA, however, isn’t interested.

B.C.’s declining salmon stocks may force rethink on hatcheries / The Narwhal
Releasing more fish into the environment might seem like an easy solution to declining numbers. But in nature, this rarely works. “Climate change has reduced the quality and quantity of the food for fish in the open ocean,” Aaron Hill tells The Narwhal. “So, the idea of releasing more hatchery fish is like letting more cattle out into a field with less grass and thinking you’re going to get more and fatter cows.”

Survivor salmon that withstand drought and ocean warming provide a lifeline for California Chinook /
In drought years and when marine heat waves warm the Pacific Ocean, late-migrating juvenile spring-run Chinook salmon of California’s Central Valley are the ultimate survivors. The different timing characteristics of the fish are referred to as “life-history strategies.” Those with a late-migrating life history strategy represented only about 10 percent of outgoing juveniles sampled in fish monitoring traps. However, they were about 60 percent of the returning adult fish across all years, and more than 96 percent of adults from two of the driest years.

MP Bachrach goes to Washington: Raises concerns about Alaska interception ofSkeena steelhead and salmon / Skeena Strong
The Member of Parliament for Skeena-Bulkley Valley went to Washington D.C. to speak with Alaskan members of Congress about solutions to the steelhead and salmon crisis in northern B.C. “The urgency of this crisis requires immediate action. That’s why I’ve come to Washington to make the case directly to decision-makers in Alaska that we need to be working together more closely,” said Bachrach. “Steelhead are an iconic part of our region and contribute millions of dollars to the local economy every year. More importantly, they’re an integral to a lot of folks’ lifestyles in the Northwest.”

Bachrach returns with results after salmon crisis talks in D.C. / Terrace Standard
Talks on the salmon crisis ended in two accomplishments, after Taylor Bachrach, Skeena Bulkley MP, visited Washington D.C. on Oct. 21., to address Alaskan officials. First, an acknowledgement from the Alaskan delegation on the seriousness of the situation recognizing the need to do more on both sides of the border and, second, the need for a formalized forum between elected officials.

ASF and partners bring stunning Salmon School sculpture to global climate change conference / ASF
At the UN COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Joseph Rossano’s ’school’ of 350 elegant glass-blown salmon are seen daily by delegates, many of them key decision makers. ASF worked with a transcontinental alliance of wild salmon conservation groups to bring this artwork—and its message of hope—to the global stage. Read about how our partnership demands bold action for wild salmon, and shows that providing salmon with “Cold, Clean Water” also helps in the fight against climate change.

‘Damn near extinction’: Interior steelhead run expected to be very small / The Province
A decades-long slide in interior steelhead populations could escalate this year with only 58 fish expected to spawn in the Thompson watershed and 27 in the Chilcotin. In the past, the federal government has declined to pursue an emergency listing of the Interior steelhead as endangered under the Species At Risk Act, citing the adverse impact of widespread fishery closures on First Nations, recreational and commercial fisheries.

PEI Works to Restore Wild Salmon / ASF
Atlantic salmon habitat such as Sediment traps, meanders, and other ideas are being considered and restored to protect the future of wild Atlantic salmon in the island’s rivers.

What really makes fish become sexually active /
UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, challenges previous hypotheses that attempted to explain why fish reach first maturity when they do and offers an alternative explanation. “Textbooks usually attempt to answer the question of why fish spawn when they do by describing a process supposedly triggered by environmental ‘stimuli’ experienced at the onset of the spawning season, passed on to the hypothalamus, and thence to a hormonal cascade,” Daniel Pauly said. “This explanation assumes that the process of perceiving the environmental stimuli is self-starting; however, it cannot be because the same environment was always there, and they didn’t spawn earlier.”

California Hatchery to Increase Chinook Production by 500,000 / FRANK SARGEANT
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation have announced a joint effort at the Nimbus Fish Hatchery in Sacramento County to increase production of fall-run Chinook salmon by 500,000 smolts to help combat effects of the drought. Spawning of returning fall-run Chinook salmon begins this week.


BC Liberal MP Joyce Murray becomes Minister of Fisheries, Oceans & the Canadian Coast Guard / Island Fisherman Magazine
Minister Murray becomes the sixth DFO minister in the last six years. Murray is an experienced politician with a long background in business in both national and international arenas. She opposes pipelines crossing BC, and offshore oil shipments, while supporting more oil refining in Canada. Murray currently opposes salmon farming and has called for a complete ban on open net cage salmon farms in BC. What does her appointment mean for public fishery access and angling’s business interests? At this stage no one knows. There is very little in her record that reflects what she does or does not know about the public fishery.

How sea otters led a green revolution on the B.C. coast – and played a part in climate-proofing the Pacific / Globe and Mail
When humans reintroduced these animals to B.C., their messy foraging habits improved the genetic mix of eelgrass meadows, making them better equipped for changing temperatures and acidity, new research finds.

Reducing vessel activity key to southern resident killer whales’ survival, B.C. study suggests / CTV News
A new study suggests reducing vessel activity is key to the survival of B.C.’s endangered southern resident killer whales. The study showed that when vessel speeds were lowered feeding activity of killer whales increased.

Potential ‘irreparable damage’ to Puget Sound orcas over alleged illegal salmon hatchery expansion /
Expansion of Washington state’s hatchery system has long been a primary tactic for preserving Chinook. The question, then, is will salmon hatcheries as currently designed save the orcas? The Wild Fish Conservancy (WFC) and The Conservation Angler filed a lawsuit Oct. 11, which alleges that WDFW (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) “embarked upon a massive expansion in the production of hatchery salmon that could cause irreparable damage to fragile wild fish populations and to endangered Southern Resident killer whales,” per a joint press release from the two organizations. The crux of their argument is that WDFW failed to comply with the proper environmental regulations which would encompass research to understand how hatcheries will impact native Chinook salmon populations as well as Southern Resident orca whales. “The Court finds that NMFS’s (National Marine Fisheries Service, also known as NOAA) failure to make a jeopardy determination on the prey increase program for the Chinook salmon ESUs (Evolutionarily Significant Units) violated its obligations under the ESA,” its findings.


Mercury risk in fish ‘low’ among indigenous and remote communities, study finds / CTV News
Indigenous and remote communities that rely on fish for sustenance shouldn’t worry about mercury levels in their food as the benefits of eating the meal outweigh the risks. The study published in the journal Environmental Research examined 443 blood samples and 276 hair samples from residents across nine communities in the Mackenzie Valley of the Northwest Territories and found that mercury exposure “may be low even when it is sometimes present in elevated levels.”


In the 12 months ending September 2021, U.S. fishing-equipment in-store and online sales revenues across mass merchants and sporting goods retailers, as well as e-commerce sites grew 4%, year over year, reaching $3.9 billion. The fishing equipment market has experienced three consecutive years of growth.


Boaters fined for violating orca sanctuary zone / Times Colonist
Transport Canada has levied nearly $25,000 in penalties to five vessel owners who have breached zones around Pender Island intended to protect southern resident killer whales. The violations were handed out between December 2019 and July this year for boats in an interim orca sanctuary area set aside for the endangered species. Several vessel owners were cited multiple times.


“The Little Creek that Could” / by Mark Angelo
This children’s book written by Canada’s own Mark Angelo, founder of World Rivers Day, presents a story of a stream that came back to life. It’s a true story of a 5-decade long effort to restore a B.C. stream, and how nature can heal itself if given the chance. Positive stories like this are more important than ever with so much talk in the news about impending environmental doom. Kids need to know that we can make a positive difference too. The earlier you start to instill a sense of stewardship in children, the greater the chance it will stick. A great bedtime read to help get through the winter months.

Fisheries scientist Daniel Pauly’s life is one for the books / Vancouver Sun
At first Daniel Pauly was reticent about the biography project but then he began to see it as another platform in the fight to protect our oceans. The renowned Pauly is the subject of the new biography The Ocean’s Whistleblower: The Remarkable Life of Daniel Pauly by David Grémillet. The 75-year-old principal investigator of the Sea Around Us Project at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries is the author of five books, 400 peer-review papers and over 1,200 other pieces of writing.

Webinars and Videos:

Video: At least 266,000 Atlantic salmon die in Mowi sites on NL South Coast / ASF Watch this short video on a die-off at three Mowi sites, on the western edge of the aquaculture operations on Newfoundland’s south coast.

Webinar: Keeping your Water Clean for a Stronger Fishing Industry
On Thursday, November 18, the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is hosting a webinar on the vital role commercial and recreational fishing serve the local economy and the wellbeing of the environment. Learn how to protect important habitat to sustain a healthy fishery and vibrant fishing economy for your community.

Video: view Skeena Foundation Executive Director Greg Knox’s video on the critical situation facing Skeena Steelhead / SkeenaWild
The Skeena is the last, best large steelhead system in the world, but in 2021, these fish are returning in record low numbers. The provincial government is responsible for managing steelhead in B.C. and they need to take meaningful steps to ensure that these iconic fish continue to support communities into the future.

Webinars: Great Lakes Nearshore Webinar Series / ECCC
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) has conducted the first cumulative assessment of the Canadian nearshore waters and are excited to share the findings with the Great Lakes community through an evening webinar series focused on the following themes:


Boat-to-plate traceability program / Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The CFIA, in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is conducting a 120-day online consultation related to the “Boat to plate” traceability program to support Canadian fishers to better market their high-quality products. The 120-day consultation is open until December 11, 2021. You can submit your feedback online or by email at:

Call to Action:

Take a moment to email the Prime Minister and urge him to recommit to getting factory / Watershed Watch farms out of B.C.
Over 1100 people have emailed Trudeau so far. We can’t let the government drop this promise because it’s getting tough and factory farm companies are pushing back. The Worst Skeena Steelhead Return on Record

Special Feature – Congressional Sportsmens Foundation recommendation on 30 x 30 Protections

The U.S. Congressional Sportsmens Foundation Key priorities associated with implementing 30-by-30 protection commitments similar to Canada’s include:

  • Clearly defining “conservation” to support the active management and sustainable use of our nation’s public trust fish and wildlife resources;
  • Recognizing and including all efforts directly contributing to biodiversity conservation including those on lands subject to multiple uses; and,
  • Collaborating closely with entities devoted to achieving measurable biodiversity conservation objectives, including other levels of government responsible for fish and wildlife management, regional fish and wildlife management bodies, members of the sporting-conservation community, federally recognized Native American tribes, and private landowners through voluntary, incentive-based opportunities.

Note from Editor: Clearly, the recommendations set out above do not represent a comprehensive blueprint on how to achieve 30-by-30 protection commitments, but instead set forth a path crucial to ensuring those with traditional and local knowledge and expertise are engaged in decision making processes. However, before such recommendations are developed and implemented in Canada, the process itself needs to become more transparent and inclusive. Given the potential impact these decisions will have on the relatively small percentage of Canadians and First Nations people who live and rely on the vast majority of Canada’s rural, remote and northern lands and waters, it’s crucial that determining what happens in the 30% of Canada to be protected is supported by those who’s lives will be impacted. Without such buy-in at the formulation stage, what we will end up with is a series of lofty goals that stand little chance of being achieved regardless of the resources spent on implementing and enforcement. Only through the support of the people impacted will the initiative stand any chance of becoming more than a tremendous waste of time and resources, and a lost opportunity.

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In this August 17th, 2021 issue of the Blue Fish Canada News, we begin with a focus on public fisheries and the role of the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association during the election and beyond. As always, we include Links to timely fishing, fish health, water quality and other news, and close with a spotlight focus on BC’s Tyee Pool in Campbell River Now Open to Gillnet Fishing.

Don’t forget to have your say! If you haven’t already – Please answer our short 5 minute BFN feedback survey

Photo of Editor Lawrence Gunther fishing for catfish on the Ottawa River behind Parliament Hill

This Week’s Feature – Public Fisheries and the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association

Over the past nine years of producing and hosting the podcast The Blue Fish Radio Show, being associated with numerous fishing clubs, competing in over 150 fishing tournaments, and having exhibited at on average 12 days of outdoor shows each year for the past 15, I’ve met many local champions working hard to promote conservation and recreational fishing in their communities. With few exceptions, they all share a strong capacity to mobilize local people and resources in the name of safeguarding fish and the public’s right to catch these fish. Now more than ever the voice of these local champions needs to be heard at the national level.

The Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association (CSIA) and the Canadian National Sportfishing Foundation (CNSF) are non-profit organizations comprised of manufacturers, retailers, distributors and sales agencies dedicated to the promotion and protection of recreational fishing in Canada. Their programs include National Fishing Week, Catch Fishing, Keep Canada Fishing, and Bob Izumi’s Kids, Cops and Canadian Tire Fishing Days. The Managing director is Mike Melnik, and Phil Morlock heads up Government Affairs. Following a 14-year stint as the CSIA’s President, Kim Rhodes of Lucky Strike Baitworks, has now accepted the Chair position.

The New President of the CSIA and CNSF is Rob Walton, Pure Fishing’s General Manager for Canada. I had a chance to chat with Rob and while he’s worried about filling some pretty big shoes, I was more than impressed about his grasp and leadership on numerous looming issues such as 30-by-30 protection commitments, navigating the pandemic, growing the sport, support for professional anglers and outdoor shows, and his determination to assemble a broad coalition of anglers from across Canada. Link below to hear my conversation last week with CSIA President Rob Walton on The Blue Fish Radio Show:

As I write this editorial, news just broke that a federal election will be held on September 20th. No doubt, addressing the causes and results of climate change will be one of several front-and-centre topics of debate, as will government responses to the pandemic. Another should be how Canada plans to meet its international commitment to protect 30% of our marine and 30% of our freshwater and terrestrial territories by the year 2030. Most certainly another issue is reconciliation, and how this has been expanded to include climate change resilience, 30-by-30 commitments, and resolving land claims – a combined process now often referred to as “Indigenous Conservation Protection Agreements”, or by some in the environmental movement as “land-back”. These huge and important initiatives share another thing in common – they all have the potential of impacting public fisheries in terms of access and opportunity.

Canada’s millions of public fishers deserve to be represented at negotiation tables. Only by ensuring that discussions are both transparent and inclusive can we be assured that outcomes will be mutually beneficial. Link below to hear my conversation with Matt DeMille from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters about the coalition of provincial and territorial outdoor partners OFAH organized ahead of the 2019 federal election:

The Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association is concerned with more than threats to public fisheries access. They also do a whole lot to inform and inspire people to form their own personal connections with nature through fishing. I think we can all agree, and Rob Walton is a strong believer, fishing has proven to be a huge benefit when it comes to mental health. It also builds a sense of stewardship over our rivers, lakes and oceans. Link below to hear The Blue Fish Radio Episode featuring CSIA Managing Director Mike Melnik as we discuss the Associations role in bringing the Pan American Bass Fishing Tournament to Canada in 2019:

And for more about Keep Canada Fishing, link below to my conversation with CSIA Media Correspondent Sarah McMichael on The Blue Fish Radio Show:

To assist readers with sorting out who best reflects their passion for fishing and commitment to conservation, don’t miss our next issue of the Blue Fish News for a list of questions and supporting policy statements developed by Blue Fish Champions. As a registered charity, we won’t be promoting one party over another as this would place the charity in conflict with the Canadian Revenue Agency. But we can help make sure the voices of Canadian anglers are heard across Canada, and what each political party position is with respect to public fisheries – stay tuned…

The Latest Fishing, Fish Health and Water Quality News


North American Bass Challenge Underway / FishingWire
The new format and concept on bass fishing, the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s North American Bass Challenge (NABC) bring together some of the best premier events for anglers everywhere. The Challenge offers something for everyone and all income levels. It is open to anglers from all walks of life, regardless of club or sponsor affiliation. Along with an overall annual payback to anglers well in excess of 100 percent a portion of each entry fee is donated to fisheries conservation and matched by the NABC and other conservation organizations up to 3-to-1 in support of bass conservation projects anywhere the North American Bass Challenge does business.

3 sizzling summer fishing getaways for Canadian anglers / Outdoor Canada
If you’re looking for new fishing destinations, check out the trophy trout of B.C.’s Elk River, the bruiser pike and lakers of Saskatchewan’s Ena Lake, and the multispecies magic of Ontario’s English River system.

The Ingenious Ancient Technology Concealed in the Shallows / Hakai Magazine
Fish traps have a long history around the world, and a vast network in a Vancouver Island estuary reveals generations of ecological wisdom. In 2002, Nancy Greene, then an undergraduate anthropology student, walked among the barnacle-encrusted stakes and thought she’d found a fascinating subject for her senior project at Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University). She had lived in the area since 1978, raised her children here, and was up for a new challenge. Little did she know it would consume countless hours, span more than a decade, or eventually reveal the largest unstudied archaeological feature yet found on the Pacific Northwest coast—one that would tell a remarkable tale of human ingenuity and adaptation in an era of climate change.

Is There an E-Bike in Your Fishing Future? / Fishing Wire
New off-road E-bikes are an asset in getting to remote angling or hunting opportunities, including some where even 4WD can’t take us. E-bikes make it possible to travel miles into difficult terrain on trails that are too narrow for full-sized vehicles, and to do it in silence, with almost no impact on the habitat or the wildlife. This gives them a huge advantage over noisy four-wheel ATV’s, a favorite of many hunters in deer and turkey seasons.

Bass Fishing Hall of Fame Makes Four Conservation Grants / Fishing Wire
For the second consecutive year, the Board of Directors of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame announces that the Hall has awarded four conservation grants to contribute to its mission of celebrating, promoting and preserving the sport of bass fishing. The recipients were selected through a highly competitive process, and they represent a diverse group of deserving projects.

Warm Water Protocols for Miramichi / ASF
With elevated water temperatures, DFO has closed a long list of salmon pools in order to protect the species.


Five Wild Facts About Shark Reproduction / NOAA
In the NOAA’s ongoing effort to help you know sharks better, they are sharing some lesser-known facts about how sharks make more sharks.

Higher Vessel Speeds Offset Salmon Abundance for Endangered Orcas / NOAA
Increased abundance of salmon in the inland waters of the Salish Sea increased the odds of endangered southern resident killer whales capturing salmon as prey, but increased speeds of nearby boats did just the opposite, according to new research findings. It found that the orcas descended more slowly, and took longer dives to capture prey, when nearby boats had navigational sonar switched on. The sonar from private and commercial vessels directly overlaps the main sound frequencies the whales use to hunt. This may mask the whales’ signals and force them to expend more energy to catch prey.

85% of Lower Fraser Salmon Habitat Not Accessible To Fish / The Narwhal
Using field manuals from 170 years ago, scientists have identified the monumental impact human development has had on B.C.’s struggling Fraser salmon — and what can be done to reverse it.

Scientists Forge New Path Against Invasive Carp / FishingWire
Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Missouri have identified a potential breakthrough: They are studying the complex way carp eggs move in rivers, in hopes they can kill them while still young. Carp eggs drift for miles, and, as they drift, the fish develop. If researchers can figure out where they land, and if those locations are suitable for the growth of young carp, then they can target sites and intercept the eggs.

ASF Rivernotes / ASF
Story of a well-known angler crossing the newly opened Canada/U.S. border on his way to the Miramichi, plus update on the smallmouth eradication project, numbers for Quebec rivers, and a detailed update of rivers in Newfoundland.

Predicting Future Fish Productivity by Better Understanding the Role of Habitat / NOAA
Scientists and resource managers have been successfully ensuring the sustainability of commercial, recreational, and subsistence fisheries primarily by managing catch levels. An innovative modeling approach considers links between environmental variables and local habitat impacts on overall fish productivity.

Major Differences in 2021 Salmon Returns to Alaska Rivers / ASF
While Bristol Bay has massive returns this year, the chinook run on the Yukon River is at historic lows.

North Van crews race to re-open Seymour River for salmon / North Shore News
Crews will be manually breaking apart large rocks on the Seymour River to open a passageway for spawning salmon. The Seymour Salmonid Society has been granted $80,000 from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to clear more boulders from the 2014 Seymour River rockslide that choked the river off and made it impassible for salmonids.


River Symposium October 27 & 28 2021 / River Institute
The River Institute’s 28th Annual Symposium provides a platform for researchers, educators, policymakers, community leaders and citizens to discuss current ecological health of our freshwater ecosystems and explore issues and challenges facing large rivers and their watersheds. Abstracts are due: September 1, 2021.

7 Years After Mount Polley B.C. Mining Rules Still Out Of Date / The Narwhal
On Aug. 4, 2014, a dam holding contaminated waste failed, causing one of the worst mining disasters in Canadian history. Despite repeated promises from the province to avoid a similar disaster, communities remain at risk and on the hook for the costs of mine pollution, according to experts.

Nepisiguit Mi’gmaq Hiking Trail Proposed for Protection / Chaleur Tourism
A New Brunswick First Nation is asking for full protection of a beautiful hiking trail under construction for four years along the Nepisiguit River known for Atlantic salmon fishing. The trail, which features waterfalls and forest and brings hikers close to the river, would take at least seven days to walk.

For Artificial Coral Reefs, Time Is Not Enough / Hakai Magazine
Decommissioned ships, concrete waste, military tanks, sculptures, and even cremated human remains mixed with cement have all been purposefully sunk over the years to form artificial coral reefs. Researchers hoped that, given long enough, artificial coral reefs would grow to match natural reefs. But an examination of a 200-year-old artificial coral reef shows that’s not necessarily the case.

Teaching citizen scientists to hunt for ‘canary in the coal mine’ in Alberta’s Rivers / The Narwhal
Living Lakes Canada has been working across Canada, and particularly in the Columbia Basin of B.C., to provide training for regular citizens in community-based water monitoring. Kat Hartwig, the group’s executive director, said in a statement she hopes the organization’s work will “support Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups on the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies to better coordinate their water monitoring. “

Sound aquatic Podcast / Hakai Magazine
Binge listen to Hakai Magazine’s five-part podcast, The Sound Aquatic, on their site or subscribe through your favorite podcast app. Link below to hear an interview with the host of this podcast series, Elin Kelsey, on The Blue Fish Radio Show:

DFO plan to phase out fish farms still missing as 109 licences set to expire / The Narwhal
On the heels of a new stakeholder engagement report from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, scientists and Indigenous advocates are renewing calls to phase out West Coast fish farms and restore devastated wild salmon stocks.

Climate Change – 2021 and Beyond
Join fellow Mayors at the 2021 virtual Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative Annual General Meeting to discuss climate challenges facing cities and their impact into the future. Speakers include the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, and Minister David Piccini, Ontario Minister of the Environment. KEYNOTE SPEAKERS include Environmental Activist Erin Brockovich.

Scientists spot warning signs of Gulf Stream collapse / The Guardian
Some scientists believe the northern part of the Gulf Stream is weakening because of melting ice from Greenland. This powerful water current shapes the climate on four continents, and its weakening could lead to consequences like faster sea-level rise in parts of North America and Europe, increased drought in mid-Africa and extreme weather events across the globe.

Love Your Lawn? Let It Grow. / Sierra Club
Not mowing your lawn—or that city park—as frequently increases biodiversity, reduces pest species, and decreases overall lawn management costs. That’s according to a meta-analysis of lawn data collected across Europe and North America by researchers from the University of Quebec.

Pollution expert aims to create ‘water champions’ / Times Colonist
Invisible chemicals tend to be out of sight and out of mind, but they are creating “an invisible crisis” says Peter Ross, an internationally recognized expert in water pollution. “There are 500,000 chemicals on the global marketplace,” he said. Many of those will surreptitiously make their way into the food chain.”

Lake centre looks at metals found in local fish species / Sudbury Star
The research projects aim to detect the levels of toxic and non-toxic metals in Sudbury and Killarney fish populations. When Adam Lepage first began this project as part of his undergraduate degree in Laurentian’s restoration biology program, he understood that it was common for fish species to accumulate heavy metals, like chromium and mercury, in their tissues. What he didn’t know was how many different forms these metals could take and the complexity of their interactions in a mining-impacted area like Sudbury. Although he’s still in the early stages of his research, Lepage hopes his findings will prove valuable not only in the field of ecological restoration but also from a public health perspective.


Ottawa to implement historic fisheries agreement with West Coast First Nations / National Observer
On the British Columbia coast, eight First Nations have signed a Fisheries Resources Reconciliation Agreement that will allow Indigenous people to regain rights over fisheries governance. the agreement covers the north and central coast and Haida Gwaii — whose territories make up 40 per cent of the province’s coastal waters. Heiltsuk First Nation Chief Marilyn Slett says, “Reconciliation and action in this context means restoring the rights of our community members to fish for a living.”

Saving Salmon for the Bears / Hakai Magazine
The Wuikinuxv Nation is conducting research to figure out how much salmon to set aside to help the bears. The fjord of Rivers Inlet once boasted annual returns of up to 3.1 million sockeye from 1948 to 1992. Squeezed by factors such as historical overfishing, myriad changes in the ocean, diminished spawning habitat due to logging, and receding glaciers—which result in warmer temperatures in spawning tributaries—salmon returns dropped off dramatically. They hit rock bottom in the fall of 1999, when fewer than 10,000 sockeye showed up at the Wuikinuxv village of ‘Kìtit about 400 kilometers northwest of Vancouver along the Waanukv River. Emaciated grizzlies desperately wandered the streets, prowled around homes for scraps, rummaged through garbage, and put frightened residents on high alert.

Five Vancouver Island First Nations ready to catch and sell fish on their own terms / North Island Gazette
West Coast Nuu-chah-nulth fishing nations prepared to exercise court-won access to the resource. The five Nations say their right to fish and sell fish is “second only to conservation and has priority over the recreational and commercial sectors.” “The DFO and the rest of Canada need to understand that our traditional territories, and the resources within, are ours to manage,” said Ahousaht First Nation Hereditary Chief Richard George. “We’re fighting for these resources so that our next seven generations will be able to participate in fisheries into the future.”

Canada commits $340 million to Indigenous protected areas, guardians programs / The Narwhal
The federal government announced it will provide funding over the next five years to support Indigenous-led stewardship of lands and waters under its $2.3 billion commitment to nature conservation as part of Canada’s international commitment to conserving 30 per cent of the country’s lands and waters by 2030.


Shimano and B.A.S.S. Congratulate Shimano’s Varsity Program Scholarship Winners / FishingWire
Students who are passionate about the sport of fishing and are training for a career in fisheries biology and wildlife management enjoy access to a unique scholarship to support their studies. Shimano North America Fishing and the conservation arm of B.A.S.S. have partnered to create this program to help recruit avid anglers into the ranks of state, provincial, tribal and federal fisheries management agencies.

Popularity of Fishing expands as fishing Tackle Sales Grow / FishingWire
Tackle manufacturers report strong growth in sales in 2021. Johnson Outdoors reports their revenue increased 51 percent due to continued high demand across all product lines in Minn Kota® and Humminbird®. Shimano Tackle Sales Surge in the first half of this year to a 108.5% improvement over the same period last year, while net sales increased by 38.4%.


Coast Guard to Approve Level 100 lifejackets Inherently Buoyant…
The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a policy letter on obtaining Coast Guard approval on Level 100 lifejackets. This policy builds upon previous efforts the Coast Guard in cooperation with Transport Canada. Level 100 lifejackets are intended for commercial vessels. However, they are acceptable for use on recreational vessels. They do provide face-up flotation with a level of support sufficient for open water use and turn most users face-up, even when the user is unconscious.


12 of the year’s most stunning and memorable outdoor adventure photos / Outdoor Canada
Dreaming of wild places? Check out these winning photos from Outdoor Canada’s 10th annual photo contest. And if you’ve taken some great outdoor shots in 2021, please enter your photos in their current contest.

Special Feature: BC’s Tyee Pool in Campbell River Opened to Gillnet Fishing

Much to the surprise of B.C.’s marine recreational anglers, the Tyee Pool in Campbell River has just been opened to First Nations gillnetting of Chinook salmon for “food, social and ceremony”. For over 100 years anglers around the world have revered the Tyee Pool for its unique rowboat fishery experience – no motors, no bait, no downriggers – barbless Plugs and spoons trolled with “armstrong motors”. The Tyee Pool is central to Campbell River’s fishing history, BC sport fishing and tourism, and part of the inspiration for legendary writers like Roderick Haig Brown and Zane Grey.

The notice issued by DFO states, “Food, Social, and Ceremonial (FSC) harvest of Chinook may occur in Subarea 13-5, including waters known as the Tyee Pool. The FSC harvest will utilize gill nets between the hours of 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM. Recreational fishers are advised to avoid the area during these times (effective immediately until 23:59 hours September 30) and that any gear conflicts may result in restrictions to recreational fisheries while FSC harvest is occurring. FSC harvest activity (via permit issued by the First Nations and communicated to DFO) may also include the use of power boats during the daytime in the Tyee Pool and all users of the Tyee Pool are urged to use caution and be considerate of each other while fishing. FSC harvesters are requested to fish with minimal vessel wake for the safety of rowers and other human powered boats. Any safety issues or conflicts during the fishery will result in action being taken to mitigate the issues.”

Recreational fishing regulations for this area include the following: “For the recreational fishery, In Subareas 13-3 and 13-5, those waters of Discovery Passage and Campbell River, the limit is One (1) Chinook per day, no maximum size limit. The annual aggregate limit for Chinook salmon is ten (10) in all tidal waters coast wide. Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon in tidal and non-tidal waters of British Columbia. The minimum size limit for Chinook Salmon in Area 13 is 62 cm. Recreational fishers are reminded that the use of motors is prohibited in the Tyee Pool under Transport Canada regulations; however, access under FSC permit is exempt from this regulation.”

Note from Tyee Club President, Roger Gage. “Attention Tyee Club members and anglers, many of you are aware that Food, Social and Ceremonial (FSC) harvest may occur in the Tyee Pool this fishing season. As representatives of the Tyee Club, we should recognize the process that is involved in the FSC harvest. Please ensure all Tyee Club fishermen represent the Club in a respectable and safe manner.”

As First Nations continue to assert their jurisdictional fishing rights for food, social and ceremony, and to earn a moderate livelihood, the Tyee Pool represents yet another in a growing list of emerging conflicts between First Nations and public fishers over conservation best practices. First Nations often speak out against recreational anglers who are permitted to selectively harvest fish of a certain size by practicing catch-and-release, but who then often continue to fish even after harvesting their limit. Anglers on the other hand, feel that nylon gillnets used by FN fishers indiscriminately injure and kill large numbers of fish of all species. The Tyee Pool polarises these viewpoints in ways few other bodies of water can.

First Nations and recreational anglers share a desire to achieve mutually beneficial understandings about fishing. We also share a commitment to conservation, and the imperative that future generations are able to benefit from fish and fishing. Commercial fishing, tourism and guiding are just some of the ways communities achieve social and economic sustainability. Sorting out these relationships and access issues takes communications and recognition that we share many of the same values.

Understandably, engaging in such talks is made difficult when certain parties are exercising rights that others have been denied. It’s meant reverting to the courts for interventions as a last resort. However, excluding stakeholders from important discussions also sets back efforts to build trust and achieve mutually beneficial agreements. Now more than ever, anglers need to have the opportunity to be part of the discussions underway that impact both our current and future relationships with nature and those with whom we share this connection.

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Subscribe to receive the Blue Fish Canada news in your inbox.
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Donate to Blue Fish Canada, a federally incorporated registered Canadian charity.