Over the years I have been privileged to attend a considerable number of fundraiser events sponsored by various conservation groups that contribute so much to the well-being of our fish, wildlife and wild places.
On Saturday, Sept. 17 I, along with several hundred residents of Area 14, attended the annual Comox Valley Dinner and Auction of the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) at the Filberg Centre. On a scale of one to 10 this event rated near a 10. Congratulations to Judy Ackinclose and her hard-working committee and all the participants who gave generously to the financial success of the evening. My guess is that the live auction raised close to $20,000.
In many respects these soul-enriching conservation banquets and fundraisers have many of the qualities of an old-time religious revival meeting where folks spent much time praising the Lord; only in this situation they spend their money in praising the efforts of the group toward enhancement goals for Pacific Salmon Foundation.
There are raffle tickets, silent auctions and live auctions all designed to let the event achieve its fundraising goals, while attendees are well-fed and entertained. Following the fundraiser events, the evening closes with a dance, making a full occasion for all concerned.
An integral part of the annual fundraiser is the honouring of individuals who have made a significant contribution to the causes of enhancing the well-being of our wild Pacific salmon. This year four individuals were honoured by being presented with framed prints of the 2011 Chinook Salmon Conservation Stamp.
Bob and Maggie Brown were honoured for their contribution of easement across their land for the Oyster River Enhancement Society. The picture is of CEO and executive director of the Pacific Salmon Foundation Brian Riddell, Larry Peterson and Nick Strussi who were honoured for their lifelong crusades for wild salmon and associated conservation projects. Congratulations to all of the recipients for a job well done. I apologize that the photograph of the group, including Bob and Maggie Brown, did not turn out.
In a brief talk to the assembled supporters, Riddell recounted how major funding from both the provincial and federal government has been reduced and every dollar raised at the fundraisers is critical to keeping the PSF programs going. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if some of the large corporations in the resource sector who receive generous subsidies and tax breaks could develop a fiduciary response in supporting the PSF in its role of bringing back the salmon streams – one system at a time? This would help to remediate some of the environmental damages their resource extraction does to salmon-bearing streams.
Late Season Opportunities
As of today you have one more week to target lingcod and rockfish in Area 14 and adjoining waters in the Strait of Georgia. Remember the size limit is 65 cm – they are such good eating fish, almost on a par with halibut.
The Puntledge River is scheduled to open for chum salmon in October. As of this writing there will be no open season on coho due to the major loss of the 2008 brood year from the Puntledge hatchery because of excessive warm water in the rearing ponds during the summer of 2008. You need a freshwater salmon stamp to retain a salmon in freshwater. If you are under 16 years of age and a resident you do not require a licence or stamp to fish in freshwater in B.C.
Spider Lake has been producing some prime trout and bass for the past couple of weeks. With the rain events of the past few days it should continue to produce good fishing well into December. Rising lake levels will create feeding opportunities for large fish prior to the cooler weather during the winter.
Leech patterns, worms, and lures will all produce good catches. For fly fishers it will be primarily a wet line fishery. I have also had good success with late-season chironomids at this time of the year.
Wolf Lake is worth giving some time in the next month as the fish go on active feeding binges as they get ready for the coming cold weather.
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.