Looks like our local MP, Nathan Cullen, has started an interesting site that allows us to comment on specific issues. I really like the topic re. Fisheries Management on the Skeena (changenorthwest.ca/issues/fish-n … ent-skeena).
Interesting link, glen. Thanks for that. Welcome to HTMF!
Fisheries does not “manage” anything. All they do is keep fishing closed as much as possible. I would like to know of 1 BC river that has had depleted stocks, and has returned in big numbers by just not fishing it.
There are several rivers that have gone downhill and not been fishd in many years and have not rebuilt. Skidegate Inlet was a large chum salmon run historically(up till maybe the lat 70s). It has not been commercially fished for several cycles(was 1 day opening once that I can rmember in the last 25 years)and has had 6-8 full cycles to rebuild, yet the run has not returned anywhere near enough fish to even have a modest fishery. Not fishing does not work to rebuild stocks.
The skeena will soon follow this pattern because if you do not fish salmon they will come back at very close to th same numbers each year, not enough to have a fishery, but enough to keep the run alive.
The coho,springs,pinks steelhead runs in the skeena are all at or near historical highs. They are doing well because sportfisherman have been fishing them. I talked to the 2nd in command at DFO recently and he said he was baffled as to why the Nass has been doing so much better than the skeena on sockeye. It is very simple,DFO has forced commercial gillnetters into fishing the Nass(only place to fish sockeye and make any amount of money)so the run has stayed strong, and even gotten stronger in the last 20 years.
Why would a river in very close proximity to another do well, and another do so poorly? They fish the Nass at the proper rate and they overspawn and do not let you fish the skeena. Even as recently as 3 years ago there was a huge skeena sockeye run that fisheries and oceans overspawned massively, this is why I dont buy the global warming, “environemntal” excuses. Why would every other species of salmon be doing so well.
Quite ironic timing for this topic. Was just watching a show called Alaskan killer sharks on Nation Geographic Channel. It mentions how salmon sharks actually help the salmon species by killing the weaker salmon;therefore, actually stengthening the salmon species. We do not have many salmon sharks in our waters, so it was commercial fisherman who would catch the weaker fish. Having no commercial fishery allows all the strong and weak fish to make it,thus weakening the entire run.
I am no gardener, but I have heard many times you have to prune plants and trees if you want the strongest plant or tree because it is mother natures way. If you prune an apple tree you will get far more apples than by letting it do its own thing. Im guessing is the same principal as the one bad apple theory, except DFO lets up many bad apples and because of that the salmon do not come back in the numbers DFO predicts. If you prune the salmon you will get a much higher rate of return than by letting all the fish to spawn!
It’s amazing how all the species have survived without our Devine intervention.
HAHAHA! So I guess a Salmon Gillnet and Salmon seine nets are actually making a judgement call on wether to go after different fish based on how healthy or strong they are?!?!
I call BS on this one, I do agree on DFO mismanagement of salmon on the NorthCoast but saying that commercial and Sport fishing actually is helping to ensure healthy stocks is ridiculous.
Call BS all you want. It has been the last 15 years our stocks have drastically declined. This corresponds with salmon area licensing and the amount of boats in any area cut by at least 1/2. With so few fisherman left it is much easier for DFO to do as it wishes because there is not enough fisherman left to fight, so the oppurtunities have been greatly reduced;as well as, areas that used to be open for commercial fishing are now closed. Gillnetters nor seines are making judgement calls; however, some of the bigger stronger sockeye will break through a gillnet, but a smaller weaker sockeye will not.
Bristol Bay in northern Alaska is probably the largest sockeye run on the planet. The sockeye return was 40 million this year, they harvested 30 million in fisheries. They harvest on average 75 % of the returning sockeye. On the skeena the amount of spawners has been increasing throughout the years. In the 1980s they wanted 600,000 to 700,000 for escapement. Now they deem a million as the ideal number for escapement. The higher the escapement needs for DFO the lower the returns have been.
The only good return on the skeena recently was 3 years ago. My guess is far less than a million were harvested on a run of 2.5 to 3 million. In my opinion is that is too small of harvest rate. This past season there was not 1 day fishing on the skeena for sockeye. This was on a cycle that was not fished 4 years ago, and DFO got the required escapement in 2005. 4 years from now 800,00 to a 1.2 million will return and there will be no fishery, even though escapement will be near DFO’s target.
There has been a huge increase in sportfishers from the 80s and early 90s. They are not doing this to ensure the stocks by any means, but the amount of springs harvested has increasing every year, and this decade is the highest average return of spring salmon recorded since the 1950s. pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/northcoast … ndices.htm
More BS! All your numbers and opinions mean nothing, because that is just what it is, opinions backed by numbers with no meaning.
You say that in the last 15 years the stocks have declined, and that this corresponds to the cutting of the commercial fleet!?!? BULLSHOOT!
I would challenge you to find any numbers or Science which can back this claim.
I highly doubt that there are any accurate numbers on stocks before your claim of decline 15 years ago.
There are several reasons for the decline in fish stocks, (habitat destruction, over fishing, global warming…)and the issue is very complex. To simply claim that the Skeena and all other stocks would be better off if DFO would allow more commercial fishing is unfounded and one sided…by any chance are you a commercial fisherman?
Is this not a chat forum for speaking opinions?
You seem like a bureaucrat/sciene guy there “salmon slayer”, so tell me when did the sockeye start going into a serious decline?. Guess DFO statistics for 53 years is not considdered accurate.
Tell me how many times there were zero days of commercial fishing on the skeena prior to 1996 because there has been 2 seasons like that in the last 5 years.
Why is global warming hurting the skeena so badly, yet DFO is so pleased with the Nass. There was much more habitat destruction in the 70s through 90s than the last 15 years. Why is every other salmon species is at or near all time highs in that same habitat. How is it now that there is less than 1/2 the boats fishing 1/2 the amount of time in 1/2 the area, and in some cases 1/2 the net has now overfished the stocks.
I am not in the fishing indusrty.
You a University educated bureaucrat/negotiater?
Perhaps the answer is contained within your own comments.
That was a reference as to why chinook are doing much better than sockeye.
Long article in the Vancouver Sun that tells how the exploitation rate is much lower than it was before. It also mentions Russia, Japan and Alaska are experiencing bumper harvests. Trying to put to many fish in the spawning grounds is killing the runs in BC.
Very interesting comments folks…one of the big differences in the last number of years is the illegal fishing that is taking place on the Skeena also the upriver commercial(native only)fishing.Nothing will change till we are all treated equal.Take the legitimate food fish and we can share the rest.
Chiefdave is the one that is out to lunch,sorry chiefie,the water temps are actually lower not warmer,and who is overfishing,sure as hell is not the commercial fleet.
I have a suggestion - why not take this discussion over to the forum set up for it.
That way, folks not in the HTMF-fold can also join in.