Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: British Columbia
I cant really comment on the Skeena region as I only fish its systems 4 weeks a year at best. Would fish it more but finding time in this world is not easy. However, in my home waters, FN wastage of fish is rampant. Its far more than just a few bad apples. When DFO and BCCO pick up over 200 ghost nets a season, investigate hundreds of dumped and spoiled fish along shorelines and in the bush, are having to do night patrols on river to combat poaching, its a problem. And if anyone thinks that FN can police their own fisherman, you are kidding yourselves. Personally though, I don't care if the Gov gives total control of the Skeena to the Gitxsan. A transfer of power from one Gov to another. I mean hell, really, can they do any worse with the fishery than DFO?.....lol
As long as I still have access to the river to swing flys, Id be willing to buy my lic from the First Nations. And that right there, is the real issue. Access. I've been watching the CMT meetings with the Hereditary Gitxsan Gov online (its streamed via FB every second Thursday of the month). A few of the Chiefs are level headed, a few arnt (they are no different than any other Gov....lol). Rules went into play last year with having to ask permission to cross Rez lands to access the river. They want all access in their traditional territory closed to non-Native sports fisherman (or as Chief Norm calls, The White Man). Basically the short of it, they want to shut down all access to the Skeena and tribs in their traditional territory. Period. However, there is in-fighting. Some of the members, for instance on the Kispiox, are guides. These guys make a living guiding the "white man" on their territory. There is also the pay to play deal. Some back room deals with lodges ($$$ obviously).
At the end of the day, and this is my personal opinion, give it to them. Give it all to them. But under one condition. That access for non Native fisherman is not restricted. As I said above. Transfer all licensing to the Git. I want to go fish in their turf for a week, I buy my steelhead lic from them ,and the current Provincial pricing system stays the same. Non of this $100 a day f-ing BS. Make them responsible for all river maint and care (of the fishery). Do the same with hunting. Don't kid yourselves people. This fight is all about control and nothing else.