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My brother-in-law's brother is a DFO officer on the Strait of Georgia, and was in Creston when I was there. We spent an evening drinking wobbly pops and talking about his job. Boy, did I get my worst fears confirmed. Here is a brief summary of the evening.

1. A couple of years ago the Dept of Fisheries and Oceans took the 2 boats they had on the west coast out of service, promising to replace them. Sure enough, they replaced the boats and stationed them on the east coast. As a result the DFO officers are placed on coast guard vessels for patrolling. The Coast Guard mandate is for search and rescue, and does not include fisheries patrol, so they leave port and then tie up in some quiet bay or island nd wait for a distress call. If they tie up in a productive area the crew and DFO officers fish, if not they paint the boat (depends on the captain).

2. The floating lodges (some owned by Jimmy Pattison) anchor at the mouth of a productive river and intercept everything they can. At the end of 2 cycles (8 years) they have depleted the salmon runs to nothing and move on to the next victim, leaving behind a dead system and virtually no bottom fish in the area. He has walked rivers for fishcounting and seen thousands of fish in a system, then when the lodges arrive, seen the count to drop to hundreds within 4 years and to nothing by the end of 8 years!

3. If the DFO officers have any queries for Ottawa, the email and wait for 6 to 8 weeks until their bosses respond. However, if they manage to get out and check hooks (apparently lodges often use barbed hooks) and licenses, they will receive a call within 4 hours asking them what the hell they think they are doing and ordering them to stop.

I know these are anecdotal stories, but I will be contacting my MP (Dawn Black) asking her to pursue this matter. I am also sending a letter to the Minister of Fisheries federally, and the Minister of the Environment provincially asking them to explain this. I hope you all are as enraged as I am over this apparent lack of regard for the resources we have entrusted to the care of the Department of Fisheries.
 

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WOW.... Professor that sure sounds like a bunch of bureaucratic bullshit! What the hell is wrong with our fisheries? I look at all of our river systems in lower BC
and they are the craps compared to what they used to be. Are the central and northern next or are they already there?

The best part a salt license is what $27 ? What friggin joke why not $50 or $75 and bring it inline with a freshwater and put that money towards more officers?
Enhancement programs etc...

I fish up the sunshine coast(saltchuck) alot and you would be amazed at what people are killing. Makes me sick.Never DFO to be found .I always phone in whatever violations I see
and nothing seems to change. But hey people chuckin spoons on the upper silverhope in July. fishing bait in the Coq. Killing baby lings keeping 3" rockfish barbed hooks the list goes on and on and on and on.

Then I read this.

WHAT A BUNCH OF [email protected]#$&#G CRAP.
I'm pissed

Bluesteele
 

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I never realized the fishing lodges were such a problem. That coupled with farms we'll have no fish soon.
One would think they would have respect for the river systems. $$$$$$$$$
Has any of this info ever been published?
What a sorry, sad situation.
 

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It is very disappointing and sad to read this. It sounds like the usual story similar to what we are asked about protecting the environment. We thing that each of us can make the difference, but it is actually nothing compared to the difference that big agencies and big people could make. You change your light bulbs (I did) and you think you did a great thing and helped to preserve the system. Then the next day you discover that next to your place a nuclear system has been just created. We just need good, serious and responsible politicians (if there is any good one), that's what we need.

Giuseppe
 

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Hey Mugs love the avtars :thumbup:.
Those fishing factories are a major problem on the coast. I can second what the prof said about. A client of mine was telling me on time they were installing a pool for one of the lodges up near the charlottes, on a day break the lodge pilot ook them in the chopper to a river inland. absolutely amazing he said it looked as if no one had ever been there, and thick with fish. He went back up last year and the pilot was telling him that one of the local lodges in the area had been taking clients up there for packages, and the fishing had pretty much dropped down to what he said you could call a valley flow.If you think the lodges give a flyin' s#*t remember it's all about the mighty dollar and how much they can make.
Crazy D
 

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I will fire off a letter in the morning. When I was at one of the lodges I check the hook that crew had put on my line and sure enough it had barbs. I questioned them about it and they said don't worry it is all ok. I said take the fing barb off as I never fish with them. They looked at me funny but they took them off. I still can not believe they would put fisheries one a coast gaurd boat, what a joke. I guess they want our salmon fishery to end up like the east coast cod.
 

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Just a couple of things to wonder about.
1)Most lodges are not at the mouths of "productive" rivers, just look a all the lodges on the Queen Charlottes and central coast. About the only place with lodghes at the mouth of a productive river or rivers is Rivers Inlet. Start naming all the lodges at the mouth of the Skeena, Kitimat, Fraser, Bella Coola, Stamp/Somass system, Nitnat, etc.
2) Lots of lodges purchase or tie only barbless leaders and all will tell their clients that the hooks must be barbless, It's the law and they know it. About the only thiong that may be correct is the placement of DFO staff and boats. Not sure what sort of tainted view the bro inlaw has about sportfishing, but before I contacted my MP to talk about this, I would make sure the facts are correct.
 

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The logde may not be 'close' to the river but most are on the migration route for certian rivers. Hakai Pass is a good example, most of the fish there are going to go up the rivers behind the pass.

Professori: Your post scares me and validates many things that crept into my mind in the dead of night.

I find it crazy that I have not been stopped in fifteen years for a lincens by DFO, and I'm on the water more than most. Back in the day, early 90eis, I can remember being stopped twice a year. The only time I've seen any kind of enforcement is at the Cap and usually it just to keep boat out of the shipping lane.

A while ago I heard that DFO was going to contract out enforcement did that ever happen?

Another unsettling thing I noticed on the DFO site was the kreel report for saltwater, they seem to be very low. Such as the one for 2005 August when apperently no chinook were caught in area 28 (Burhard Inlet and Howe Sound). I known that was a bad year but I also know people caught spring in area 28 - I was one. Now maybe there is some algorithm they use to fill in the blank that is not shown on the site. If not there getting some seriously bad data. I personally think we should have to send our licences in or in some other way put the # of chinook, ling, and halibut in a database so an more accurate picture of the effect of sport fish can be seen... but that would be senceable and take money, so it won't happen.

I've figure DFO out they don't like to count past twenty so there mismanaging the fish until the stock get to below the number of fingers and toes they have,

Have fun, Jason
 

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Having worked with DFO agents several times while in the Navy and now in the Air Force I think I can speak with some confidence about their organization.

To say "The Coast Guard mandate is for search and rescue, and does not include fisheries patrols" is completely incorrect. On the front page of the CG website it says As a Special Operating Agency of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the CCG helps DFO meet its responsibility to ensure safe and accessible waterways for Canadians. The CCG also plays a key role in ensuring the sustainable use and development of Canada’s oceans and waterways. The Coast Guard performs a minor role in search & rescue. If they happen to be in the area, they will assist, but ALL vessels in the area are required to assist as required by law. The Canadian Forces hold the responsibility of performing Search & Rescue within Canada's domestic airspace, not the CG.

On the 8 occasions I've taken part in fisheries patrols while in the Navy, I can tell you the DFO Officers are not told to stop checking hooks, etc. In fact they are told to dig deeper and see if they can find anything else wrong with the vessel, it's fishing habbits, etc. They are given "free reign" when it comes to those types of things. While on Patrol with a DFO Officer last year, I can guarantee all agents have a direct line to their regional office and queries are answered within 8-10 hours, not weeks. They usually carry satellite phones with them everywhere. Ottawa doesn't talk directly to/with individual agents.

As for contracting out, the DFO has contracted Provincial Airlines to do some of their work in airborne surveillance around the Island but I don't think anyone other than DFO themselves hold enforcement responsibilities.
 

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If you think commercial meat lodges are not a problem, put down the crack pipe and walk away slowly.
I hear all the time, from friends and clients of the massive meat hauls they come away with from lodges.
When salmon fishing is slow, off for halibut they go, reducing vast areas to chicken farms, with no large breeders left.
RLN, hows Rivers Inlet these days?????, cause I am hearing its going tits up, must be the Indians ::).

Blame fish managers though, they are responsible.
 

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Rod
my reply about lodges goes with the earlier statement of I quote from earlier
2. The floating lodges (some owned by Jimmy Pattison) anchor at the mouth of a productive river and intercept everything they can. At the end of 2 cycles (8 years) they have depleted the salmon runs to nothing and move on to the next victim, leaving behind a dead system and virtually no bottom fish in the area. He has walked rivers for fishcounting and seen thousands of fish in a system, then when the lodges arrive, seen the count to drop to hundreds within 4 years and to nothing by the end of 8 years! "

Rivers Inlet, like all salmon fishing is now a shell of it's former past but to put the blame squarely on the shoulders of lodges is not correct either. They have been there for 40 years and it did not seem to end sharply after 2 cycles like it was mentioned happens earlier. Seeing that the lodges never targeted the sockeye there, Got any idea what happened to them? Maybe the same thing that wiped them out has wiped out the chinooks also, but I doubt having the lodges there has helped any at all except for the hatchery the lodges pay for and run to try and keep a reasonable return of chinooks happening. I do agree completely about blaming the managers of our salmon and steelhead stocks. No one seems to be managing for future returns and once again it was proven on the Skeena this year when the minute there was any sort of assumed "excess" sockeye the commercial fleet is fishing hard. Not a chance in [email protected] that anyone would let an extra spawner get a chance to do so.
 

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I know the dual roll of the Coast Guard does effect how much they can check on fisheries related. Just listen to Chanel 16, around the lower strait there is someone in some sort of distress every few hours. Though it is the responsibility of everone on the water to assist the CC has to coordinate the effort, many times taking them away from what they were originally do - emergency take precedence.

Here is a example: My parents had smoke start blowing out of the engine on their 42' sail boat. Not sure how bad the fire was my mother called Mayday as my father put it out. Turned out to be a belt that slipped and burnt - could have be much worse. With even with the fire out the habour patrol had to respond as they were drifting into second narrow. The CC arrive continued to observe the situation as any fire on boat can be a killer. So how does this tie in, the CC and Harbour Patrol were engaged in a training exercise at time an this distress call took them away from it just a distress calls take the CC away from whatever they had planned to do. My parent tide up two boats their crew and on heavily armed boarding part, MP-5s and all. I allways have a laugh at the picture of one of the bad dude with a submachine-gun passing our french bull dogs over to the Harbour Patrol boat.

Combining CC duties with fisheries duties is just another way someone in Ottawa thought would save money. We need Fisheries to be more autonomous so they can be more effect. It is analogous to the Lib's in the ninety's when they scrapped our contra bution to the EH-101 or Cormorant helicopter conglomerate. Our forces need a helicopter with it capability, a true all weather capable chopper. The political sticker shock cost so much more money and men as we had to make do the aged Sea King, only to end up buy Cormorants for search and rescure at a higher price and then buying a replacement for the Sea King from Boeing. Instead of the original plan which was to continue on with the EH-101 program and have Pratt and Whitney Can. making the engines and have one large fleet of the same airframe. Instead we have a handful of two types and the cost of maintaining a two small fleets - there's a word for that: dumb. Then there is the econmic hit from buying out the contratact and loosing out share in one of three western medium/heavy lift helo available as the worlds fleets of Sea Kings, Pumas, Lynx, Super Stallions, and Super Pumas are running out of life - again a short sited political move that completely stupid in the long run.

In my mind not have the CC have a separate role than the Fisheries Patrol is dumb. Look at the effort the UK and Denmark go to maintain sovernty over there fisheries. Both have a few corvette sized craft specifically for patrolling their fisher. We have to share Zodiacs with the CC. Oh, I can here someone saying out firgets are a 'patrol frigate that have as one of it mission fishery patrol' - not when there in the Arabian Gulf or playing game with NATO. Our CC, DFO officers, and Armed Forces do a great job with the tools they have but we need more tools. This issue goes beyond our inshore water and poaching done by Canadians. We need in the pacific dedicated resources for inshore and off shore fisheries patrol. Technically 5 countries (Canada, US, Russia, Korea, and Japan) are allow to fish salmon but many more do and we lack teethe to stop them. Think about this: Iceland nearly got in a war with the UK over fishing ground - even Iceland has corvette sized fisheries patrol boats. I know we talked tough with Spain but well after the Grand Banks weren't so Grand.

Have fun, Jason
 

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I'm not going to go into the cormorant deal as it's not the intent of this thread. I will, however, go into the idea of using our frigates for fisheries patrols. Yes, we have one frigate in the Gulf of Oman, and we have another ship (not a frigate, but a destroyer), leading the NATO troops. That leaves 1 destroyer...and 11 frigates. Surely the 11 frigates remaining can "take the strain"

Our Navy does an outstanding job during fisheries patrols and there's been several large enforcement activities in the past. The unfortunate part is, our frigates can't get to a lot of the places where the violations are happening. They're big and, although they are quite agile, still can't turn or move in some of the more shallow bays. The Navy just finished purchasing a smaller, more agile vessel and I'm pretty sure the first 3 or 4 are already built. These boats are purposely made for going into places where the frigates/destroyers can't go and will have a much more active role in helping DFO move their personnel into the right places.
 

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11 on the sea at one time, never, never ever, unless at war.

And when you say, 'we need smaller vessels for coastal patrol,' your agreeing with me.

I think the model of other countries with small buget but large assets like Denmark (remeber the Danes have Greenland to admister too) is a better model to follow than the one we are following.

The only reason only one frigete is out right now is our lack of support ships. Our two are at the end of their lives. So our the Tribal class of Destroyer - a very good class with the SM-2 on it - but only 3 are left and they will be reefs soon.

Our Navy or 'forces on water' is extermly small for the water we have to protect. We have no ice capable vessels that are sovernty minded (again the Dane's do). We have no respecatable landing capablity - the Swedes beat us in that and they've only go landing caft. And as you've said we have no inshore capablity.

Stop trying to defend a nation ill addvised about defence. It doesn't help the cause. I find it amazing the loyalty to the tradion of not get pissed when we don't get what we need. Our world and our water are quickly becoming places that we have to stick up for to get our way in. We need ice capable frigates, we need real destroyer with AGIS, we need many small parol carft for fisheries work.

I allway wonder when people get personal about our people who serve when get defencive about expanding the services. I never said we did a bad job. I did say we are a G8 nation that does not pull it miltary weight when it come to GDP. GDP or Gross Domestic Product had nothing to do with quality of people who serve.

Our nation is under the US's sadow becuse we are seen as defended by them. If our nation had the same per capta amount of money as the UK for the Navy or armed force in general we'd have a say.

Instead we have a nation that has not provided a signifigant for to Peace Keeping sign Creet (there many be another but we only provide leadership in those from the 90 on). Austraila does more with half the people in it's nation and has a navy we evy.

I know there is much to say a fair weather nation is the way to go but if we intent to keep out peace keeping tradion up we need more navy, more air transport, more everything.

Have fun, Jason
 
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