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Discussion Starter #1
It is absolutely unbelievable! In the face of the 2nd worst Thompson Steelhead runs on record DFO has okayed a commercial chum salmon opening for Wednesday Oct. 20th! This is squarely in the heart of the time that all the best science indicates is the prime window of migration through the lower Fraser.

The Provincial Fisheries MWLAP have repeatedly stood agianst such openings - their concern is steelhead, the Federal Fisheries - DFO has jurisdiction over salmon - and they don't care about the steelhead.

This is outrageous, sportfishermen are shut down as even a catch and release fisherey is deemed too dangerous to the health of the run and DFO schedules an opening. We are trying to rally the troops to register our outrage, but with less than two days notice until the opening there is not much time. This has not even been announced yet - this info is a hot leak... It is clear they didn't want us to have time to organize. The newspapers have been contacted and messages are out on bulletin boards - we need some emrgency troops!

Right now we must flood DFO's phone lines with protests ...the Dirctor Generals office is 604 666-6098...(Paul McGillvary)...or any and every other Lower Fraser manager...Devona Adams has often been very helpful....but now seems to think its no big deal...604 666-6512.

Paul McGillvary's e-mail is [email protected]
Devona Adams e-mail is [email protected]


If you have fished the Thompson - or ever hope to fish it in the future take some time and make the effort.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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folks this is serious stuff--we need your help!!!

the phone numbers tyler posted are likely on voice mail by now as we have been ringing them off the hook but the more calls they get the better, especially from international anglers.

pick up the phone, call and demand that DFO immediately and indefinitely suspend all commercial openings in the Fraser River and other Thompson steelhead approach areas.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here is a Press Release prepared for CTV

Press Release,

The greatest race of steelhead in the world is in mortal danger. The most revered sport fish in western North America is BC’s Thompson River steelhead. It isn’t just changing ocean and climatic conditions or environmental issues that threaten, but Government mismanagement. Once again Federal and Provincial governments are at odds and the ill-advised wishes of the DFO are taking precedent. The cost is at the expense of one of BC’s priceless natural resources – the Thompson Steelhead.

The Thompson River has a predicted return of fewer than 800 fish this year - this is an abysmal state of affairs. The Provincial Fisheries Branch MWLAP has ordered the river closed to fishing, as even the minuscule mortality rate of a catch and release fishery has been deemed unacceptable. As hard as it is to accept, the necessity of the closure is brutally evident to the sport fishing community.

The problem we have is with the actions of the DFO, in particular the A/Area Management decision to allow a chum opening on the Lower Fraser River on Wednesday October 20. All the available research shows that this is the peak migration window through the Lower Fraser for Thompson Steelhead. We find this outrageous and unbelievable. The DFO’s own test fishery has only caught 3 steelhead, which extrapolate into the second worst return in 26 years. Yet DFO shows absolutely no concern and provides a commercial opening for chum salmon

If the return numbers of Thompson steelhead are so critically low that a closure must be applied to the least effective sector of resource users the sport fishers, how can it be remotely justifiable that any other fishery – let alone a commercial one be allowed? Even the rationale for Native ceremonial fish is superseded by conservation needs. The fact that there is a surplus of chums, does not justify the endangerment of a seriously threatened run of fish like the Thompson steelhead.

When the DFO was concerned about Thompson Coho, the entire commercial industry ground to a halt to enable their recovery. Yet, when a world famous, irreplaceable steelhead resource is threatened in the very same river - nothing happens. In fact, the Federal Department that is supposed to be the steward of the resource further threatens it by enabling more commercial openings. It is no wonder that the sport fishing community shakes it head with resignation and disbelief when the DFO steps in.

In the case of Thompson River Steelhead the Province has championed the needs of the fish. MWLAP biologists in Kamloops have done everything in their power to protect the fish and promote the recovery of the flagship of Beautiful BC’s sport fishery - the Thompson Steelhead. Yet, it seems at every turn the Federal Government’s DFO has thwarted their efforts. DFO deems the needs of an already heavily subsidized commercial fishery take precedent over world famous natural resource.

The steelhead community, which is local and international is outraged and flabbergasted by this development. Furthermore, it appears that DFO has delayed its public announcement of this opening so as to minimize our ability to protest. This is unconscionable

Yours sincerely,

Tyler Kushnir
Director, Steelhead Society of British Columbia
 

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Activism

Emails sent. :tsk_tsk:

Great to see the forum being used to spread the word about a threatened resource. The steelheading community (especially the portion of it fortunate enough to aford travel to the Thompson and Skeena basins every year) is small and this really helps to get the word out. I just learned of the Thompson closure 2 weeks ago talking to some refugees on the Clearwater. :Eyecrazy: I've been wondering what I could do, and now I know.

Please continue posting info about threatened rivers (Canada and US) and providing info so we can all get involved. I've hear some bad things about logging interest in the Skeena country and would like to know more.

Sweet dreams of hefty steel,

Matt
 

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Thompson threat

Thanks for the info on the Thompson! Have sent the following to both McGillvary & Adams:

Dear :

I am writing to strongly protest the proposed chum fishery opening during the peak of the extremely threatened population of Thompson River steelhead. The arrogance with which the federal government ignores the plight of these fish is a classic example of shortsightedness. The value to Canada & B.C. in maintaining a healthy sport fishery in the Thompson in the long term certainly exceeds the short term value of the chum fishery. I make trips to the Skeena system every year & have been wanting to add a trip to the Thompson, but the sad state of that fishery for the last few years has made that impossible. Now you want to destroy the fishery forever! How can anyone with any understanding of biological resources make such short sighted decisions.

Sincerely,

Jay H. Beckstead, M. D.
Medford, OR
 

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Emails sent as follows,

I have heard that the DFO plans to have an open chum commercial fishery that will undoubtedly affect the steelhead runs on these very same rivers. This is unconscionable. I am but one of a group of 12 anglers who had regularly travelled from Calgary, Alberta to fish these rivers for steelhead, all of us dedicated to catch & release of this valuable resource. On average, we spend over $2000 each on these trips; most of this is spent locally in BC. Again, this year, we will not be doing our fishing trip primarily because of dwindling fish returns. I want to register in the strongest possible terms, my objection to any form of commercial fishery given the extreme danger that faces returning steelhead stock. The greatest race of steelhead in the world is in mortal danger and the DFO must act in concert with the Provincial Fisheries Branch MWLAP, NOT in complete ignorance and disregard of these facts!

Phone calls also done!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Another Opening Is Planned!

It just came to my attention that DFO is planning another chum opening for next week! We can't let up on the pressure now!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No - it is another opening on the Thompson subsequent to tomorrow's!
 

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Kush

Just sent off emails to the addresses you provided. Also went online and found some additional officials in the canadian government. Emailed them all. Although it's not agroup I always agree with you might want to think about contacting Greenpeace. They are always looking for a fight to get involved in. You live up there and know the local politics so I'll leave that up to you.

Gillie
 

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Steelhead are cool!
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Kush,

I just copied your original post and put it on Washington Fly Fishing.
I hope you don't mind. I want as many people to phone or email as
possible. This opening and future openings are just plain stupid!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Kevin, if we are going to stir up a s#*t storm then it might as well be a big one!
 

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Kush
Posted on the SALAR list out of Newfoundland this A.M. Now ya've got it covered coast to coast !
Cheers and good luck
 

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Email sent, anything that is needed post it here I will help. Lets stop this by any means necessary.

The media needs to get involved, I dont think politicians like attention too much.
 
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