Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Salmon Farms Must Go

The Pacific Salmon Foundation ( PSF ) and the Sport Fishing Institute ( SFI ) have recently made public statements against salmon farms. 

  PSF is involved with the Strategic Salmon Health Initiative , including some DFO scientists and Genome BC, which is finding a link to the virus PVR , common in fish farms, and risk to wild chinook salmon. 
SFI position on fish farms, http://sportfishing.bc.ca/fish-farming-2/ , is to support Wild First , rather than duplicate efforts of another organization.
Wild First  http://www.wildfirst.ca/ 
And SFI gives an additional link to “A Case for Caution” , by Tony Allard  http://sportfishing.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Case-for-Caution.pdf 

 There has been a law suit which was won, to stop fish farms from continuing putting PVR infected young fish from their hatcheries out into ocean pens where they can infect migrating wild salmon. The fish farm industry is big and powerful and it seems their main argument is simply financial loss. The judgment  was clear, but DFO is ignoring it, which is outrageous. So Alexandra Morton and a First Nation, have filed additional lawsuits which will be heard in September.   http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/ 

 This is just the recent news in 30 years of unacceptable risks to wild salmon from fish farms.  I won’t try to sum up here, except to say that there is this recent swell of notables opposing fish farms, which seems like good news, except that the science that brings them is bad news.  In the past it seemed like Alexandra Morton was alone leading this charge. 
 The first step now is found best on Alexandra’s blog.  The Province of BC holds the leases for fish farms , and several of these are coming up for renewal.
“ The Minister of Fisheries is lost to us.
However, Premier John Horgan is the industry's landlord and he will decide on June 20th whether to perpetuate this nightmare and issue tenure renewals for 1/4 of the industry as their licences expire.
I am not sure what else you need to know to take action with us.  
Tell Horgan he must not renew salmon farm tenures in Musgamagw, Namgis territories, the Broughton Archipelago
Premier Horgan's contact info:

 Please help save the future of wild salmon. please contact Premier Horgan and tell him not to renew the salmon farm leases coming up for renewal.
 Ask you grocer or restaurant  if the salmon is farmed, and tell them you will not buy that.

 thank you,

Thursday, 26 April 2018

feeding the fish

 I took a turn feeding the chinook smolts, and took some photos on this sunny day.  The weather has turned from cool and stormy when we put the fish in , to hot now.  There has been algae growing on the net ,  restricting the water flow, and lowering the available oxygen level .  So the fish were released today , about a week ahead of the preferred schedule.
 These are young chinooks being helped along by the hatchery system to spend the rest of their lives as wild fish. Hatcheries are not to be confused with salmon farms.  (See blog post April 11 )
 Bon Voyage little fish .  Come back big and strong.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

A little fishing on the way

 Shamra and I did a little fishing on the way , on a trip to see HM out in the islands , to talk about a carpentry project, really.  What a lovely day. 

The bald eagle's head is just showing above this nest.  She is probably sitting on an egg or two.  

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

pipe line delivery of chinook salmon

We helped deliver the chinook smolts today , as we do every spring . These are young chinook salmon from the Quinsam Hatchery, a tributary of the Campbell River .  Instead of swimming downstream in the river to the sea, they've had a ride in a tank truck and then pumped through a pipe into this pen in the marina. These little ones will spend a few weeks in this pen , being fed twice a day , while they get accustomed to the ocean water .  Then they will be released to find their way up the coast with their wild relatives in their far northern migration . We'll anticipate their return in three , four, or five years with some of them over thirty pounds , the famous Campbell River Tyees.  

 Several of us from the Campbell River Guides Association volunteer to help the Quinsam Hatchery  crew . This date was scheduled in advance and as luck would have it, it blew a real storm with harsh rain and cold wind. These are all outdoorsy guys, dressed in foul weather gear, and cheerful throughout.  There is some muscle power needed to drag the hose sections down the dock and then to drag them back and roll them up onto the trailer. There are two other pens in marinas along the waterfront . 

 In other years the weather has been fair and bright for nicer photos. As in the past I have marvelled , and noted in this blog, how fascinating it is to see the shapes of these fish facing into the current as they are flowing downstream in the translucent pipe.  Then, when the water leaves the pipe in a little waterfall, they turn themselves with great agility and dive in headfirst !  

 Stay well little salmon, and come back big and strong .  

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Saturday, 10 March 2018

It's fishing season, always !

 It was darn good fishing this morning, March 10.  I was out with Jeremy, on his boat . Good fishing, good weather, good company, and we talked fish politics, and all that , too.  

This time of year is when the herring are spawning , and in some years the fishing slows down locally for a little while, but we had some good action.  Jeremy caught the big one , we had two more nice keepers, and released a couple of undersize, and missed a couple of bites. 

Yesterday, I was out fishing with Shamra, in the middle of the day, so that is two days, after not fishing for a while.  We released two undersized and lost one or two that seemed like nice ones. We took tissue samples of the released fish for DNA analysis.  Lovely weather both trips. 

 Jeremy is taking stomach samples for science research.  So he didn't open the stomach , but there was a tail of a herring sticking out and he pulled it so we could see what size the herring is.  Just a few of those fills the tummy up pretty well. 

 Jeremy writes a blog that I recommend highly for learning information that goes into management of salmon and also halibut and other sportfishing related issues.   http://www.theardentangler.com/ 

Sunday, 21 January 2018

blog catch-up

I've been catching up on this blog.  Thanks for your patience my friends.

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not so bad on the inside

Recent weather made me think about how sheltered this area is.  Here are a couple of eagles drying out after a rain storm. These are a couple of town eagles , the photo is taken from our back door. 

I had a couple of inquiries about fishing that asked about seasickness.  I explain that we are located in the Inside Passage, about in the middle of the sheltered east coast of Vancouver Island. This is the ocean , but not the kind of big ocean you might be thinking of.   Big ocean swells are far more than a hundred miles away, either direction.  Think of Georgia Strait as an inland sea , like a big lake , with narrow passages linking to it, and fjords leading into the mountains.  From Campbell River we can choose to head into the sheltered areas when we want extra nice conditions. 

Last night was the strongest storm of the winter so far. Coming out of the Pacific storm track with lots of rain it, peaked this morning about 6 am with winds at the Sentry Shoal buoy, in the middle of Georgia Strait, measured at 35 knots and gusting to 43.  (  40 mph and 50 mph ) . That is about as bad is it gets in a usual winter. Seas were a bit over 3 meters or 10 feet.
For comparison, there have been wave warnings in recent days for the west coast of Vancouver Island for waves of 30 to 40 feet , and warnings of 50 feet for Washington State.  Parks Canada put out an Extreme Wave Warning  and the town of Tofino closed beach access .   Waves were measured January 18 offshore at 14 meters , about 5 stories high. 

I took this photo of the ferry leaving it's Campbell River berth , also on January 18.  It is blowing with gusts nearly 30 knots , as recorded at the Sentry Shoal buoy .  Tidal current direction makes a big difference to localized waves , and here it is pretty okay way out to Quadra Island.  However there are 6 footers out in the open, by the horizon .   There will be some times in the winter when the ferry misses a few sailings.  I took this with my smartphone, standing behind my open car door and having trouble holding the phone steady as the wind buffeted the flat surface in the gusts. The water is pretty flat. At least it wasn't raining at the time.  

The storm that was peaking at 6 am ran through, the winds died, and the sky broke into a lot of blue and sun by mid morning. This photo is 11 am , looking over town and pointing at April Point. 

 In the news is a notice that Mt Washington, the great ski mountain behind Courtenay and Campbell River is closed today.  They had too much snow to cope safely.  Over 80 cm overnight and 105 in the last 24 hours. ( 41 inches ) .  A good snowpack in the mountains is important for young salmon in the streams in summer. 

For contrast , here is what can happen in very calm fall and winter conditions.  That is fog laying over the cool water of Discovery Passsage ( January 3 ) , like a wall as soon as a boat leaves the harbour. 

We're looking forward to nice spring, summer, fall conditions.  I love winter too, but you have to be more flexible about choosing fishing days.  Check out the flat water in all the fishing and touring photos. 

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