Canada Closes Section of Southern Vancouver Island to All Fishing to Save Orca Whales

The Canadian Government just released new fishing rules, regulations and conservation measures for Northern and Southern BC Chinook salmon in an effort to provide food for southern resident orcas. The map below shows the no fishing zone between the red marks. Effective June 1 to September 30, 2018 there is no fishing for finfish in Subareas 18-2, 18-4, 18-5, 18-9, 19-1 to 19-4 and Area 20. Map below shows Area 20 sub areasNo Fishing Zone

Juan de Fuca (Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and Area 20):  Effective June 1, 2018 to September 30, 2018 there is no fishing for finfish in Subareas 20-3, 20-4 and that portion of Subarea 20-5 that lies west of 123 degrees 49.30 minutes west longitude (Otter Point) Effective June 1, 2018 until June 28, 2018 the daily limit for Chinook salmon is two (2) per day which may be wild or hatchery marked between 45 and 67 cm fork length or hatchery marked greater than 67 cm in Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and 20-6 and 20-7 and that portion of Subarea 20-5 that lies east of 123 degrees 49.30 minutes west longitude (Otter Point). Effective June 29, 2018 until July 31, 2018, the daily limit for Chinook salmon is two (2) Chinook per day which may be wild or hatchery marked between 45 and 85 cm or hatchery marked greater than 85 cm in Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and 20-6 and 20-7 and that portion of Subarea 20-5 that lies east of 123 degrees 49.30 minutes west longitude (Otter Point).

Notes: Additional local closures may be in effect in your area.  Please check for the latest closures and restrictions for your area, and other recreational fishing information at: www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/recfish  Further information on specific management actions by area may be communicated by separate Fishery Notices. You can view or subscribe to fisheries notices at:  http://notices.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fns-sap/index-eng.cfm  www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/recfish FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Contact your local DFO officehttp://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/contact/regions/pacific-pacifique-eng.html

Fishery Notice – Fisheries and Oceans Canada Subject: FN0428-Conservation Measures for Northern and Southern BC Chinook Salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales This notice provides information on planned conservation measures for Northern and Southern BC Chinook Salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales that will be implemented beginning June 1, 2018. Chinook Conservation MeasuresTo address Chinook conservation concerns, DFO is implementing a precautionary 25-35% reduction in exploitation rates for Chinook stocks of concern to support conservation and promote rebuilding. These additional reductions are planned to address conservation concerns for Nass River, Skeena River and many small wild Chinook populations in Northern BC; and, all Fraser River Chinook populations (including Spring 4(2), Spring 5(2), Summer 5(2), Summer 4(1) and Fall 4(1) populations) in Southern BC.   Additional Northern BC Chinook management measures are outlined below, followed by additional Southern BC Chinook management measures.

Northern Commercial Fisheries Area F Troll – opening of AABM Chinook fishery delay to July 10 in addition to boundary changes.  Refer to the subsequent Fishery Notice for details.  Northern Recreational Fisheries Please note that possession limits for Chinook Salmon are twice the daily limit. The recreational daily limits of Chinook Salmon are being reduced in North Coast tidal waters as follows: Haida Gwaii: Effective June 1, 2018 to July 9, 2018, the daily limit is one (1) Chinook per day in Areas 1, 2, 142, and that portion of Area 101 west of 131 degrees 40.0 minutes West longitude  North Coast: Effective June 1, 2018 to June 15, 2018, the daily limit is one (1) Chinook per day in Areas 3 to 5, 103 to 105, Subarea 102-1, and that portion of Area 101 east of 131 degrees 40.0 minutes West longitude

Effective June 16, 2018 to July 9, 2018, there is zero (0) retention of Chinook Salmon in Areas 3 to 5, 103 to 105, Subarea 102-1, and that portion of Area 101 east of 131 degrees 40.0 minutes West longitude Effective July 10, 2018 to July 31, 2018, the daily limit is one (1) Chinook per day in Areas 3 to 5, 103 to 105, Subarea 102-1, and that portion of Area 101 east of 131 degrees 40.0 minutes West longitude Effective June 1, 2018 to July 31, 2018 the daily limit is one (1) Chinook per day in Areas 6 and 106 Variation Order Number: 2018-RFQ-0307 Management measures for northern BC non-tidal waters were previously announced in FN0372 issued May 8, 2018.  Southern BC Commercial Fisheries Area G Troll: There is no commercial fishery for AABM Chinook in June or July. Area B Seine and Area H Troll:Effective June 1 to September 30, 2018, there is no commercial salmon fishing in Subareas 20-3, 20-4 and that portion of Subarea 20-5 that lies west of 123 degrees 49.30 minutes west longitude (Otter Point).   Area B Seine and Area H Troll:Effective June 1 to September 30, 2018 there is no commercial salmon fishing in Subareas 18-2, 18-4, 18-5 and 18-9.

Southern BC Recreational Fisheries:

Southern BC Inside Waters Areas 13 to 18, 28 and 29 and Subareas 19-1 to 19-6 (except those portions listed below): Effective June 1, 2018 until September 30, 2018, the daily limit for Chinook Salmon is one (1) per day in in Areas 13 to 17, 28 and 29 with the exception of those four areas listed below under the headings Strait of Georgia, Pender Island, Juan de Fuca and Fraser River mouth.   Terminal fishing opportunities at full limits for Chinook may be considered in-season if abundance permits. Effective October 1, 2018 until further notice, the daily limit for Chinook Salmon is two (2) per day in in Areas 13 to 19, 28 and 29

Exceptions: Strait of Georgia: Note: this measure came into effect on May 7, 2018 as previously announced in FN0370 issued May 7, 2018. Effective immediately until June 28, 2018 the daily limit for Chinook salmon is two (2) per day, of which only one may be greater than 67 cm in Subareas 18-1, 18-3, 18-6, 18-11, and 19-5. Effective June 29, 2018 to July 31, 2018 the daily limit is two (2) Chinook salmon per day between both of which must be less than 85 cm in Subareas 18-1, 18-3, 18-6, 18-11, and 19-5.  Chinook salmon retained in these waters must have a fork length of at least 62 1a

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WDFW denies permit for company to place 800,000 Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound net pens

OLYMPIA – Citing the risk of fish disease transmission, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has denied permission for Cooke Aquaculture to transport 800,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon from its hatchery near Rochester to net pens at Rich Passage in Kitsap County.

In late April, Cooke applied for permission to move juvenile non-native salmon from its hatchery into pens in Kitsap County to replace adult fish that were recently harvested. Washington lawmakers enacted a bill earlier this year that will phase out Atlantic salmon aquaculture by 2022, but Cooke plans to continue to operate until then.

WDFW officials cited two factors in denying the permit that they said would increase the risk of disease transmission within the net pens and possibly to wild and hatchery-raised Pacific salmon outside the pens:

  • The population of Atlantic salmon that would have been transported from Cooke’s hatchery near Rochester tested positive for a form of the fish virus PRV (piscine orthoreovirus) that is essentially the same as the PRV that occurs at the Iceland hatchery from which Cooke receives Atlantic salmon eggs. The Icelandic form of PRV is not known to occur in the eastern Pacific Ocean or Puget Sound, so WDFW classifies it as “exotic” in Washington.
  • Cooke proposed to place fish into pens that have not been empty (or “fallow”) for at least 30 days after the most recent harvest of adult fish, and within a farm that still contains adult Atlantic salmon. These actions would contradict the company’s own management plan.

“Each of these factors raised an unacceptable risk of introducing an exotic strain of PRV into Washington marine waters,” said WDFW fish health manager Ken Warheit. “This would represent an unknown and therefore unacceptable risk of disease transmission.”

Warheit said samples of the juvenile fish that would have been transported were collected by an independent licensed veterinarian under contract with Cooke.  The samples were tested for PRV at the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Washington State University. Test results were confirmed at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Washington Fisheries Research Center.

Until recently, Cooke operated up to nine net pens in Puget Sound, including one at Cypress Island in Skagit County that collapsed last August and allowed approximately 250,000 Atlantic salmon to escape. The company’s latest permit application is not related to the Cypress Island operation or the August mishap.

 

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2018-2019 Puget Sound Recreational Chinook & Coho Seasons by Marine Areas

2018-19 Puget Sound Recreational Chinook and Coho Seasons by Mar

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Washington’s salmon fishing seasons set for 2018

WDFW Marine Area Map

OLYMPIA – With low returns of Chinook and coho salmon expected back to numerous rivers in Washington, state and tribal co-managers Tuesday agreed on a fishing season that meets conservation goals for wild fish while providing fishing opportunities on healthy salmon runs.

The 2018-19 salmon fisheries, developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty tribal co-managers, were finalized during the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s meeting in Portland, Ore.

Information on recreational salmon fisheries in Washington’s ocean waters and the Columbia River is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/northfalcon/. The webpage also includes information on some notable Puget Sound sport fisheries, as well as an overview of Chinook and coho fishing opportunities in the Sound’s marine areas.

A variety of unfavorable environmental conditions, including severe flooding in rivers and warm ocean water, have reduced the number of salmon returning to Washington’s rivers in recent years, said Ron Warren, head of WDFW’s fish program.

In addition, the loss of quality rearing and spawning habitat continues to take a toll on salmon populations throughout the region, where some stocks are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act, he said.

“It’s critical that we ensure fisheries are consistent with ongoing efforts to protect and rebuild wild salmon stocks,” Warren said. “Unfortunately, the loss of salmon habitat continues to outpace these recovery efforts. We need to reverse this trend. If we don’t, salmon runs will continue to decline and it will be increasingly difficult to develop meaningful fisheries.

A bright spot in this year’s salmon season planning process was a renewed commitment by Indian and non-Indian fishermen to work together for the future of salmon and salmon fishing, said Lorraine Loomis, chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission.

“No fisherman wants to catch the last salmon. We know that the ongoing loss of habitat, a population explosion of hungry seals and sea lions and the needs of endangered southern resident killer whales are the real challenges facing us today. We must work together if we are going to restore salmon to sustainable levels,” she said.

Low returns of some salmon stocks prompted state and tribal fishery managers to limit opportunities in many areas to protect those fish.
For example, recreational anglers will have less opportunity to fish for Chinook salmon in both the Columbia River and Washington’s ocean waters compared to recent years. Tribal fisheries also will be restricted in certain areas to protect weak stocks.

In meeting conservation objectives for wild salmon, the co-managers are limiting fisheries in areas where southern resident killer whales are known to feed. The adjustments will aid in minimizing boat presence and noise, and decrease competition for Chinook and other salmon in areas critical to the declining whales. 

Details on all recreational salmon fisheries will be provided in the 2018-19 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, which will be available in late June.

For information on tribal fisheries, contact the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (http://nwifc.org/).

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Washington Sport Halibut Quota 2018

SquidPro Tackle's Halibut Fishing Chronicles

Here is a breakdown on the poundage quota for the 2018 sport halibut fishery in Washington waters.  This information is pulled from the Federal Register at:
https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/03/26/2018-06049/pacific-halibut-fisheries-catch-sharing-plan

Also note, SB-6127 the Halibut Catch Record Card bill passed and was signed by the Governor and will be implemented in 2019. This year we have asked WDFW managers to have their license sales vendor re-program the point of sales system to not issue any free halibut catch record cards after July 1st, 2018 when there’s no chance of fishing for halibut. Hopefully this will give WDFW fisheries managers better numbers to figure out the actual sports catch. Once the new low-cost Halibut Catch Record Card law goes into effect it will drastically reduce the numbers of halibut anglers which we hope will reduce the sport catch estimates and give us more time on the water fishing for halibut.

This season, depending on…

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Sport Fishing Ban Along Vancouver Island Proposed To Help Orcas Eat More Salmon

WhalesFamilyOrcas are on the decline along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada has proposed a solution — to ban all sport fishing from Sheringham Point to East Point on an experimental basis from May through September 2018.

Fisheries managers claim the initiative would help maintain Chinook salmon populations in essential feeding areas for southern resident Orcas that rely on Chinook salmon to survive.

Lots of people disagree with this Draconian measure. According to Ryan Chamberland, owner of Vancouver Island Lodge near Sooke. He says only 2% of recreational caught salmon is attributed to the Orca’s diet.

Sooke currently pen raises 500,000 Chinook smolt to be released in the Strait, which should help feed the Orcas. Sooke sports anglers say they are doing something to help the Orcas. A sport fishing ban would in fact cost millions of dollars to the British Columbia economy impacting not just sports anglers but dozens of related businesses including lodges, guides, tackle shops, motels, restaurants etc.

Sooke and other local anglers have proposed a bubble zone to DFO fisheries managers. Their plan would mandate sports anglers to move when Orcas go near certain fishing areas in order to give Orcas a clear and quiet zone to feed on salmon.

This sounds all warm and fuzzy, but I can tell you from experience, Orcas don’t much care if anglers are in the area and will continue feeding if there’s salmon there. And while this possible months long closure would save such small numbers of potential Orca food, halibut anglers would be prevented from fishing simply because DFO fisheries managers want to save a few salmon. This, my friends is a slippery slope that makes non anglers “feel good.” In reality it won’t save Orcas.

The real solution is seal and sea lion control. These pennipeds are record high numbers and eat far more salmon than recreational anglers catch. Let’s ban them from eating salmon.

Some have also suggested moving the no fishing boundary in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from French Beach to Sombrio Beach.

By taking a couple kilometers here or there we can preserve those recreational fishery values while still playing a major role for southern resident killer whales,” said Director of Business development for the sports fishing institute of B.C. Martin Paish.

The DFO is taking feedback at ashley.dobko@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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Fishing Canadian Waters in 2018

SquidPro Tackle's Halibut Fishing Chronicles

Last July Canada passed a law making it easier for anglers to enter Canadian waters and go fishing.  In years past anglers had to call Canadian Customs upon entering Canadian waters.  Here’s what the new law reads:

Reporting Exemptions

If you are visiting Canada, you are not required to report to the CBSA if you:

  • Do not land on Canadian soil and do not ANCHOR, moor or make contact with another conveyance while in Canadian waters, and
  • Do not embark or disembark people or goods in Canada

Simply put, if you plan to anchor for halibut in Canadian waters you MUST call Canadian Customs at 1-888-226-7277 and get a Canadian Customs Clearance Number.

Upon re-entering U.S. waters You MUST call the U.S. Customs at 1-800-562-5943

I just called today, 3-10-2018 to confirm this rule/law.

Everyone aboard your vessel will need a Passport, Enhanced Drivers License, Global Entry or Nexus Card…

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