The DFO office was crowded at the last meeting of the Area 14 SFAC.

Area 14 SFAC meeting addressed many important issues

The Area 14 Sport Fishing Advisory Committee (SFAC) holds its daytime meetings in the committee room at the DFO office in Comox.

For the March 20 meeting, 15 representatives from Area 14 fishing groups and agencies showed up at 1 p.m., with the result being a crowded room of fish-friendly people. The meeting was well handled by Area 14 chairman Gil Gingras, who is also our representative on the south coast Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB).

Coho – The meeting discussed the dilemma of being told there are too many coho and the DFO is not allowing recreational anglers increased opportunities to catch these surplus fish that frequently end up taken in other fisheries. The local SFAC passed a motion in support of the main board motion which basically asked the DFO to reconsider its management practises of reducing hatchery coho production until the South Coast recreational fishery has been at full limits for hatchery coho for several years in the hope of minimizing the other fisheries for these fish.

It also raises the question are pink and chum salmon being monitored for hatchery wild ratios? There are indications that more than 50 per cent of some hatchery rivers pink and chum returns are hatchery stock.

In the Puntledge it was felt we should be looking at in-river coho fisheries after the summer chinook are cleared at the end of July. It was also suggested that fish in the river are not being considered summer run, so why not open 14/11 on Aug. 15?

Chinook numbers for fall chinook were considered OK since it is a hatchery stock. There is still a concern for summer run chinook. Timing of the summer run chinook in the river is cut off at the end of July, this would also clear 14/11 for retention of fall chinook on the suggested Aug.  15 opening.

Small Hatchery Reports

Little River – Coho marking taking place on March 27 at 8:30 a.m.

Oyster River – Pinks smolts are being released into the river.

Qualicum Rivers – They have been selected for study of harbour seal predation on smolts.

Puntledge River – Would support an Aug. 15 opening in 14/11 assuming current returns are positive.

Black Creek – An indicator stream – no report.

Fanny Bay – No report.

Nick Strucci and Larry Peterson reported on the disgraceful amount of garbage along the Puntledge and other local streams.

Glen Lario gave a brief report on the printed set of tidal regulations he is working on and trying to get out on a complementary basis with appropriate advertising support, early in the season. The DFO is not printing regulations in 2015: you must get them off the Internet.

Brad Beith, DFO  Communality Adviser, gave a report on interior Fraser River coho exploitation rates. Historically we are allowed three per cent but take only about one per cent.  It was unknown what the recommendations for 2015 would be on these stocks.

Chuck Ashcroft gave a report on ground-fish, prawns and crabs.

Halibut – We may see late-season changes in retention depending on in-season catches, otherwise no change.

Lingcod and rockfish openings appear to be the same as 2014.

Prawns – The doing away with high use area management is a real concern to our fishery.

Crabs are being fished to the limit because of high prices for crab in the Asian market.

Proposed tuna limits on recreational fisheries from commercial fisheries are a concern.

A tip of the hat to Gil Gingras and all the dedicated members who work huge hours for the SFAB and our fishery.

Correction: The fish in the photograph with my column last week only weighed 17 pounds on April 1, otherwise it was about three pounds – and 17 inches long.

Your new fishing licenses are due as of April 1.

Ralph Shaw is a master fly fisherman who was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984 for his conservation efforts. In 20 years of writing a column in the Comox Valley Record it has won several awards.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley Regional District board approves $115,000 towards soccer field house project

The Comox Valley Regional District board has approved a $115,000 contribution to… Continue reading

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Comox Valley Horseshoe Society all about friendly competition

Feeling lucky? Do you have horseshoes? The Comox Valley Horseshoe Society is… Continue reading

Fanny Bay residents fed up with problem house

A delegation from Fanny Bay has appealed to regional district directors to… Continue reading

Merville’s annual Garlic Fest a ‘stinking good time’

Once again, it is time to hold your nose and prance on… Continue reading

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Man accused of killing Red Deer doctor says he does not remember attack

Appearing before a judge, Deng Mabiour, 54, rambled about being sick and needing a doctor

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension, allowing up to 5 days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Most Read