Skeena Angling Management Plan - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Skeena Angling Management Plan

attaching a copy of the PROPOSED Skeena Angling Management Plan.

This is NOT LAW yet - and I for one, as a non-resident angler, have written the appropriate Ministries to voice my opinion.

What scared me is the membership of the working groups. All guides and resident anglers, no local businesses represented.

My opinion - these changes if made into law - will def. hurt the economic benefits that this fishery provides.

long read, but worth it.
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File Type: pdf SkeenaAnglingManagement.pdf (1.23 MB, 491 views)

enjoy!
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post #2 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-22-2008, 03:44 PM
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what's the bottom line?

Hey Jumbo,

Can you give a brief summary of what the plan says? I'm REALLY interested, but I have a newborn at home and no time to read the whole document anytime soon. I'm sure there are others that would love to comment and write to the appropriate ministries about it too. Since you've read the whole plan, do you think you could sum up what it says and maybe include the addresses of people to write to in order to voice our opinions?

Thanks a ton,

Mike
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post #3 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-22-2008, 04:47 PM
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They do blame websites promoting the drainage as one of the reasons for overcrowding. I hope they don't shut spey pages down!!!

I have only thumbed through it while at work today, and still need to finish reading it and try to look at it as unbiased as possible. As an non resident, I get a little annoyed but that is just me thinking selfishly, and really not thinking about the resource that is so endangered. I am sure if I lived in BC I would be thinking a little differently....
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post #4 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-22-2008, 05:02 PM
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Difficult to present a 'vaid' summary, but considering the .pdf document is 114 pages long you only need to read (as a start!) for the nuts & bolts of the proposals (still proposals, not 'law') pages 5 to 19.

Essentially, trying to deal with with issues of river overcrowding, mainly by non-guided & non-resident (ie anyone fishing without a licenced & legal guide AND not a BC resident) anglers, particularly during peaks of late September through October.

Different proposals for each river (& sections within those rivers) within the system, different due to perceived differences in angling pressures.

max. 8-day licences, by limited lottery application
& other measures.

Read these 15 pages, & it will become clearer.

Mike

If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles (spey rods). Doug Larson

Take only photographs, retain only memories, leave only a good impression of yourself, perhaps just footprints.

Your lines, your rivers, your way!
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post #5 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-23-2008, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Here's my take - and an action plan

Per request, here's a synopsis...

Full disclosure: I am not a BC resident, and I do respect BC's right to regulate it's own fishery. My motivation is indeed self-serving because I want to fish some of these waters more freely than this plan would allow. I and many others, locals and non-residents alike, believe this process is flawed and based on a grab for $$ by some in the guiding community. If one looks at the data, the Skeena is lactually far less crowded today than it has been in recent history. My guess is it will continue to be so as the economy hits the bottom of the toilet.

The summary....

Since the 70's, a small but vocal group of guides has complained about river overcrowding on the Skeena.

This group received funding to form three "working groups" as part of a "quality waters strategy" because of [perceived] "overcrowding" by non-residents. These group consisted of guides or former guides (71%) and local resident anglers. No local businesses (besides outfitters/guides) were represented. In fact, local business owners requested to be part of the working group and were denied access to the process.

The idea is this, BC residents and guides should have priority access to rivers, and non-residents should not. The key premise is that non-residents are the source of overcrowding, illegal guiding and poor etiquette.

Working from this premise (my opinion, largely overblown and totally self-serving), the working group considered a set of rules/angling management options for for each river - with the goal of reducing angling impact on the fishery, thereby improving the experience for residents, guided anglers the guiding businesses, and those non-residents lucky enough to fish. The key "tool" in a working group's tookit is to reduce non-resident access.

I can't summarize all 16 pages of the Exec. Summary in this forum - but suffice to say, non-resident access to angling on the Skeena system will take a hit if this goes through. And many local businesses will suffer as will license revenue. Some of the recommendations are more reasonable than others based on the makeup of the working groups.

I believe the process was severely flawed because a large stakeholder group (businesses depending on the angling economy like motels, restaurants, tackle shops, campgrounds, etc.) were left out of the process.

The good news is that this is all part of a larger process, and are, for now, just recommendations.

Have I experienced crowding on the Skeena? Yes.
Has angler use declined on the Skeena system drastically without these measures? YES

Should other groups besides the guiding community be part of the process? Yes.
Should I write the appropriate ministers and voice my opinion? Yes.

There is a group called the Bulkley Steelhead Anglers - who are questioning this process
http://www.bulkleysteelheadanglers.com/Site/Home.html

I encourage all to visit the site and leave your comments. In addition - it takes less than ten minutes and 72cents postage to cut and paste and mail a letter to the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Environment. I have, and you should too!!!

enjoy!
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post #6 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-24-2008, 11:54 AM
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Great insight, and thanks for sharing the link!!!
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post #7 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-25-2008, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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One More Action Step For Interested Parties

Below is a link to the OFFICAL BC GOVERNMENT COMMENT PAGE re: the Skeena Angling Management Plan.

make your voice heard...no matter your opinion.

the Response Form is now available at:

http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/ske/qws/feedback/

enjoy!
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post #8 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-27-2008, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Bump!!!

Kind of puzzled by the lack of response - what's the deal?

enjoy!
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post #9 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 06:01 PM
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Skeena AMP: Waste of Time

Here is an email I received from Paddy Hirshfield of the BC Ministery of Environment after I voiced my concerns about the AMP plan before the draft was released to the public.
>>> "Hirshfield, Paddy ENV:EX" <[email protected]> 10/9/2008 1:06 PM >>>
Hi Peter, thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts on this
planning process.

To touch on your points below, the rationale for Working Group
composition was to have the folks most familiar with the fishery and its
intricacies make recommendations for Angling Management Plans. These
groups were required to look beyond their self interests. To accomplish
this, a summary of initial public consultation (on issues, problems and
solutions) formed the basis of Working Group discussions. This
consultation report can be found on-line at:
http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/ske/qws/engagement.html. Feedback gathered
from many non-residents is contained within this report.

The patronage of visiting anglers definitely supports many of our local
businesses. As I am sure you could appreciate, any actions which would
make it difficult for these businesses to be successful would not be
publicly acceptable in the northwest.

Further, there are many ways non-resident anglers can have meaningful
participation with this process. These avenues include completing a
response form soon to be available on our website, writing to Alan Dolan
(contact at http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/ske/qws/contact.html) the process
facilitator and/or attending upcoming stakeholder and public open houses
this fall (the dates have not yet been set, but they will occur late
October, early November in local communities). If you like, I can have
Alan include your email address in his mail-out list to let you know
when meetings will be occurring.

If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to give me a
call at 250 847 7346.

Thanks, and happy angling Peter.

Paddy
*********************************
My concerns with the AMP are as follows:

1. I want to know where, in the plan, the working groups actually looked "beyond their self interests" as Paddy indicated they were required to do? It appears to me that the guides and resident anglers looked no further than the tips of their own noses.

2. The BC gov website alleges it NOW wants input from outsiders (us, the people who give millions of dollars to their economy.) The problem is that the guides and resident anglers HAVE ALREADY FRAMED THE ISSUES AND IDENTIFIED THE PERCEIVED PROBLEMS without anyone else's input. When it comes to politics, once you frame the issue in your favor, it is easy to advance your agenda into law.

3. I don't want nor do I need a guide ($ is also a factor I must admit). I like figuring stuff out on my own and if I guide is forced upon me, I'll go elsewhere to fish.

4. They should scrap the AMP and start over with representatives who cover everyone's interests.
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post #10 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for posting

Good information. Thanks for posting.

I agree with you point about "framing" - that is my biggest frustration here - they've established "problems" of overcrowding that aren't supported by any data and are based on very self-interestd anecdotal evidence...

fight the good fight.

enjoy!
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post #11 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-30-2008, 11:03 AM
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AMP Plan: Reduce Guide Numbers

You are right that the perceived overcrowding is the main complaint of the guides. How they define "overcrowding" is not clear.

One proposal you will not find in the AMP plan is to reduce the number of guide days on the river. Forgetting my self-interest in fishing the Skeena, reducing the number of guide days may actually be better economically for BC. Let me explain why . . .

Many guides are "all inclusive" which means they guide, feed and lodge the angler. And, they get all the $$$ from the angler. None of the $$$ goes to owners of motels, restaurants, bars, tackle shops, etc. "All inclusive" is another way of saying the guide gets all your $$.

So, by reducing the number of all inclusive guide days, that would open up the opportunity for non guided anglers to have more days on the river, spend more money at local motels, restaurants, bars, tackle shops, etc.

The latter proposal is a reasonable alternative. Yet, when the problem (perceived overcrowding) and the solution (screw everybody but the guides)have been framed for us by a flawed and unfair process, we are not given any other alternatives.

If the BC government wants to maintain any sort of legitimacy, they should stand up, admit they made a mistake by putting the fox in charge of the chicken coup, and start over.
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post #12 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-30-2008, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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excellent points. I hope you've made them to the appropriate ministries...takes as much time as posting here

enjoy!
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post #13 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 11:10 AM
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Childish nonsense

This entire Problem and this recent attempt at a Solution is simply a very shortsighted, silly and childish exercise.
The number of Pages belies a thoroughness that is simply not in existence.

There so many other ways to manage a fishery and it's attendant issues that have already been tested and proven throughout North America, that it simply befuddles me how the Authorities have landed on these very childish "Solutions".

Sadly it is too reminiscient of many solutions to problems by less-than competent officials.

This will fail
It will hurt the economy of all the communities.
Let me say it again:
This will be an economic black-mark on a already fragile Economy.

And the most important asset in the entire argument---the Fish --- will continue to be unprotetcted.

When you read the entire plan and do the numbers on each River, you are struck by how so few anglers are perceived to be so disastrous for an extremely LARGE River System.

ALL the issues addressed and offered by the Author are simply the result of a Fishery that has NEVER been managed in even a modestly enlightened manner.
And this Plan is more of the same incompetence.

Sad

You will need more than "good luck" in the future.

Greg
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post #14 of 490 (permalink) Old 10-31-2008, 01:10 PM
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I've written some letters to Canadian fisheries people and never really heard much back. I also filled out the survey and wrote in a lot of comments in the boxes after each river section. I totally agree with what people have stated above that if they limit the number of non-guided anglers, the economy will suffer from it. It's annoying to see all the blame of overcrowding going towards the non-guided anglers. Non-guided anglers are usually at a handicap because they don't have a jet boat and don't know all the secret spots that the locals and guides know. But that's just my opinion since I've always been non-guided up there and just stumbling around trying to figure it out on my own.

When it comes to overcrowding, part of the problem I've seen is that certain anglers will fish one river and maybe even one pool on one river for weeks at a time. So that whenever anyone comes by there, that pool is taken. If people were limited to only fishing a certain number of days on any one river (but not limited to any total number of days per season), that could force people to move around and ease up on the perception of overcrowding. Honestly, when you come to a pool or run and no one is in it, it feels like you've won the lottery. Even if someone has already been through it, the feeling of having the water to yourself is part of what we're looking for.

I know Jumbo already posted the link to the survey above, but here it is again:

http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/ske/qws/feedback/
http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/ske/qws/

Mike
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post #15 of 490 (permalink) Old 11-01-2008, 12:21 AM
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Privatize a Public Resource

Do the numbers....this Plan wants to limit non-Guided Angling to about 100 people during the entire Season.

They complain about "boats" --- jet and float.
They complain about etiquette.
They note it is "crowded" at certain areas.
---(Well these certain areas are the ONLY points of access and so etiquette can be compromised at times and so you cannot access miles and miles of very good water without a boat!)

They complain that the season is compressed into a few prime weeks.
---(This year if there had not been an UNUSUALLY large early contingent of fish, it would have been a poor prime season again!)

A prime long-term access point was closed by the "Landowner" this year to only two or three guides.
----(Preview of coming attractions)

There simply is NO CROWDING problem.
There is an access problem and a major Management Problem
This is a huge River System that is underutilized and this Plan is the direct opposite of an intelligent Solution .

.....for anyone except a few small Private Guiding Operations.

You might want to simply go to the Gaspesie and see how a Riparian Resource can really be shepherded by a group of people who really care about a River System.
And they can even kill fish there, if they want!

Sad.
No pitiful.

Greg
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