Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead being netted to extinction - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead being netted to extinction

Lowest chum return in history, lowest Thompson Steelhead return at 86 Steelhead and 39 Chilcotin steelhead ever and yet Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is still allowing non-selective gill net fisheries? Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead are going extinct under his watch!

https://www-ops2.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/f...ningTimes.html
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 04:59 PM
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Steelhead are a provincial resource, not DFO's responsibility. DFO simply doesn't care. DFO resisted having Thompson/Chilcotin steelhead placed under Canada's Species at Risk Act. The sooner the steelhead go extinct, the sooner this thorn in DFO's side goes away. Seems like BC's Ministry of Environment, Fish, Wildlife, & Parks could make a strong case that salmon and tidal waters should not be under DFO's authority.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 02:13 AM
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No question it is time for the Oncorhynchus family to be managed by one group.
The current split between DFO and BC Govt isn't working.
What's disappointing is there is no one federally or provincially who seems willing to take the lead.
With one manager in charge and some understanding of the economic value of each of the species perhaps steelhead could find their way to the top of the value chain.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 05:18 PM
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They seem to be doing a fine job accomplishing the same feat on the skeena as well.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 05:27 PM
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They seem to be doing a fine job accomplishing the same feat on the skeena as well.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 10:04 PM
The Skeena in the fall
 
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Letís remember these are the same people that managed the east coast cod fishery
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019, 10:37 PM
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Are there any humans left in government?
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 01:23 AM
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The implication here, whether intentional or not (based on the link you posted), that this is somehow a result of Indigenous food fisheries is very problematic. Furthermore, the original link posted says literally nothing about any set net/gill net fishing occurring in anywhere but the Squamish which, last time I checked, is not a migration route for Thompson and Chilcotin River steelhead. All this does, really, is demonize Indigenous peoples and a food and ceremonial fishery. If you actually look at the full Indigenous fishery opening regulations for the Fraser for all of 2019, NO gill net fisheries are allowed to operate in the Lower Fraser watershed. Middle/Upper Fraser gill net openings are limited to hours...not days, not weeks, hours. And are required to be 8" openings, never left unattended and hot picked. Lower Fraser set net fisheries occur sparsely at best and are, again, limited to hours worth of opening times. Now, do some people break the rules? Sure they do. Non-Indigenous anglers do as well, and thats actually a larger population if you wanna talk numbers. But the majority of Indigenous fishers, like the majority of non-Indigenous anglers, follow the rules. This all to say that I fully agree that DFO is failing. They are failing EVERYONE. They are failing salmon, they are failing steelhead (I know technically steelhead are provincially regulated). They are failing Indigenous folks and non-Indigenous anglers alike. What we ultimately need is a full shut down of a commercial salmon fishery, especially in-river commercial operations.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamess View Post
The implication here, whether intentional or not (based on the link you posted), that this is somehow a result of Indigenous food fisheries is very problematic. Furthermore, the original link posted says literally nothing about any set net/gill net fishing occurring in anywhere but the Squamish which, last time I checked, is not a migration route for Thompson and Chilcotin River steelhead. All this does, really, is demonize Indigenous peoples and a food and ceremonial fishery. If you actually look at the full Indigenous fishery opening regulations for the Fraser for all of 2019, NO gill net fisheries are allowed to operate in the Lower Fraser watershed. Middle/Upper Fraser gill net openings are limited to hours...not days, not weeks, hours. And are required to be 8" openings, never left unattended and hot picked. Lower Fraser set net fisheries occur sparsely at best and are, again, limited to hours worth of opening times. Now, do some people break the rules? Sure they do. Non-Indigenous anglers do as well, and thats actually a larger population if you wanna talk numbers. But the majority of Indigenous fishers, like the majority of non-Indigenous anglers, follow the rules. This all to say that I fully agree that DFO is failing. They are failing EVERYONE. They are failing salmon, they are failing steelhead (I know technically steelhead are provincially regulated). They are failing Indigenous folks and non-Indigenous anglers alike. What we ultimately need is a full shut down of a commercial salmon fishery, especially in-river commercial operations.
Whoh! Whoh!......Have you witnessed the in river First Nations fishery personally? Unless you have boots on the ground so to speak, reading what's on paper is a far cry from what's happening on the river. I've seen it personally for years. Ive lived on Reserve, my ex is Native and one of my best friends is Native. Who by the way, takes part in the summer gill net fishery. Now he does fallow the rules, and as you say, most FN do. However, the bad apples are very bad, and take a lot. As for nets having to be attended at all times? Dosnt happen. Even the good guys leave their nets. The big problem is gill nets kill. They kill target species as well as non target. The other issue is the so called "Food Fishery". When you see salmon on Craigslist, its more of a "sale fishery". First Nations have a legal and Constitutional right to fish the river. But, not at the expense of conservation. This is the key that DFO keeps forgetting. We are also under a Lib Gov hell bent on fast tracking "reconciliation" and the salmon/steelhead are an appeasement tool being used to great extent. The monster hiding in the shadows however is that should IFS (Interior Fraser Steelhead) be listed under SARA, big bans and closures not only on the Fraser River, but in the salt (during migration) would have to occur. Huge economic impacts across the board.
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 01:12 PM
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From my understanding, there have been changes since 2017 with respect to the chum fishery the coincided with the steelhead runs in late Fall. Too little too late unfortunately.

Here is what is going on this year, with links on this page to up to date harvest data.

https://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/...rt_Mann_Bridge

Though not specifically looking for it, I have never seen any information on the BC Provincial government lobbying the DFO to help save the steelhead.

Apparently the 15,000 grizzly bears flourishing in BC are more of a conservation concern. 15,000 being much higher than the mere 7000 Thompson River steelhead returning to the Fraser in the 1980s. apparently the bears are doing so 'poorly' a national grizzly bear conservation strategy is being developed, yet, a provincially managed wildlife species. Go figure!

Seems like steelhead are not sexy enough (outside of this crowd) to save, much like the mountain caribou. But grizzly bears and orcas are....and soon to be the 'endangered' wolf charismatic mega-fauna, what can you do?
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 01:13 PM
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Yes, I have actually spent my whole career living in and working with Coastal Indigenous communities in BC. Lots of boots on lots of grounds. I’m not just pointing to figures on a sheet. I know plenty of people that fish to feed their families and do it responsibly albeit under imposed conditions. And it’s simply not fair to demonize an entire group of people because of the actions of a few, and that’s what tends to happen. This is just further pitting Indigenous fishers and non Indigenous anglers against one another which, leaves the real issue (as you very cogently pointed out) unattended to.

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 01:22 PM
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One final point: over exploitation of resources is an expression of poverty. So, until the larger socioeconomic issues that continue to keep many Indigenous communities in conditions of poverty are addressed, you cannot blame some people for taking as much as they can when they get an opportunity to. People are not being greedy, they are simply trying to survive.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 06:33 PM
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Well said regarding poverty. So many times folks say ďit is too complex, there are many causes.Ē Like the old days with aviation accidents, there is one root cause. Todayís many causes approach fogs up the solution that would work. You nailed it, not nice, but true.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-31-2019, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by adamess View Post
Yes, I have actually spent my whole career living in and working with Coastal Indigenous communities in BC. Lots of boots on lots of grounds. Iím not just pointing to figures on a sheet. I know plenty of people that fish to feed their families and do it responsibly albeit under imposed conditions. And itís simply not fair to demonize an entire group of people because of the actions of a few, and thatís what tends to happen. This is just further pitting Indigenous fishers and non Indigenous anglers against one another which, leaves the real issue (as you very cogently pointed out) unattended to.
This is not about First Nations, this about DFO and the Province failing to manage the resource properly and driving IFS steelhead to extinction. Given the keys to city any user group can do a lot of damage.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-01-2019, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cohochinook View Post
This is not about First Nations, this about DFO and the Province failing to manage the resource properly and driving IFS steelhead to extinction. Given the keys to city any user group can do a lot of damage.
I caught an interview with you cohochinook where you stated that the lack of DFO funding for your angler group and groups like yours was one of the reasons that salmon were declining. Could you please elaborate.

Do you have any evidence that gillnets are driving steelhead to extinction? Could you please share this evidence. Or are your 'gut feelings' telling you that gillnets are driving steelhead to extinction?

Strikes me that 'gillnets' are an allocation issue and the removal of remaining gillnets would have no measurable impact on steelhead abundance.

į

Science is not common sense. Much of it is devoted to a systematic documentation of what we do not know and understand.
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