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B.C.W il dlif e F ed eratio n June 28, 2006
The Hon. Barry Permer
Minister of Environment
P.O. Box 9047 Stn Prov Gov't
Room 112, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8W 982
3c !rliDrlFE FLDEiAT oN B.C.Wllctnle recl
Unit 101 - 3060 Norland Ave.,
Bumaby, BC V5B 3,46
Phone 604 291 9990 Fax 604291.9933
To11 Free in BC 1 888 881 BCWF (2293)
[email protected] www.bcwf.bc.ca
Re: Steelhead Stream Classification Policv Via Fax: 250-387-1356
(ORIGINAL FOLLOWING BY MAIL)
The BCWF continues to have a major concern with your Ministry of Environment draft
policy entitled "Steelhead Stream Classification - Policy and Procedure" (SSCP).
Specifically, page 4,8. Management of Designated Steelhead Sfteams states that:
o "The Ministry will manage designated provincial steelhead steams as follows:
o "Wild" Steelhead Streams\
And further:
"Angling regulations are to be enacted that prohibit retentions of wild
steelhead to conserve wild {ish, provide higher catch rates and simpliff
management."
It is our view that consultation by your MoE officials about this proposed policy has been
inadequate. We have repeatedly asked for and offered necessary changes but, to our best
knowledge, your ministry continues to provide the unchanged original proposal. There
has been no redraft and certainly no follow-up consultation despite groups such as ours
providing input and moderate recommendations for change, as requested. This creates the
unfavorable optic ofyour ministry enacting policy regardless oflogical stakeholder
sentiments.
The policy ofthe BCWF is to support a retention fishery for all species where a
biological surplus exists. This position was clearly stated in our original response to the
draft SSCP in 2004. Our members are particularly concemed about MoE's intent to wdte
this reasonable "retention" position out ofthe final policy altogether. Premier Campbell
made a commitment that management of our environment, fish and wildlife would be the
best in the world, bar none, but this cannot be achieved if the draft SCPP is imposed in its
current flawed form.
The present policy provides an implied motivation to enumerate stocks. A blanket change
to province-wide non-retention, such as currently proposed, would eliminate the need for
mariagers across the province to monitor steelhead stocks and the already sparse data
would become even sparser. Since there is no provision to write this retention-ifabundance
policy back into the regulations for when stocks improve, the effect of
"simplified management" becomes unmistakably clear, namely a permanent loss of the
retention right of residents.
The members of the BCWF have always demonstrated a clear and continued commitment
to conservation in our proud history, and the membership continues to support extensive
fisheries management and harvest restrictions where the conservation ofany species of
fish is a concem. However, the BCWF does not believe that the best management of a
species occurs with the use of irreversible blanket policies, and we see no scientific or
logical motivation to eliminate the opportunity to harvest wild steelhead ifa biological
surpius exists.
The BC provincial steelhead management policy is progressively excluding resident
anglers from participating in the recreational fishery sector.
Bait bans, high license fees, fly-only fishing, prohibiting harvest, and outright closures
are all examples ofpolicies which discourage residents from participating in steelhead
angling. This is diametrically opposed to MoE's own service plan obj ective to increase
the number of anglers in the provrnce.
Further, angling is a fundamental part of our lifestyle in British Columbia. This is
especially true in rural communities where the opportunity for the angler/gatherer to keep
a fish and share that natual food with the family at the dinner table is an historic and
integral part of the social fabric. This encouragement ofnatual food harvesting by
residents, in a sustainable way, is a centerpiece of MoE's wildlife management regime.
Why can't the same approach be included in the Steelhead Stream Classification Policy?
In our view, the proposed blanket policy of maaaging steelhead so that no wild fish can
be harvested will set a dangerous precedent that carries broad implications for future
angling ofall fish species. Our membership strongly opposes this proposed regulation
change and we reiterate our great displeasure that your ministry has ignored our
recommendations on this matter.
The Federation cannot supporthe proposed policy implementation for 2007 as written
and feels that it is imperative that "The ability to retain a wild steelhead where a
biological surplus exists" be included in the provisions ofthe policy.
We look forward to discussing this matter in person at your earliest convenience.
Yorus in Conservation.
Wilf Pfleiderer
President
 

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Whistler said:
The BC provincial steelhead management policy is progressively excluding resident
anglers from participating in the recreational fishery sector.
Bait bans, high license fees, fly-only fishing, prohibiting harvest, and outright closures
are all examples ofpolicies which discourage residents from participating in steelhead
angling. This is diametrically opposed to MoE's own service plan obj ective to increase
the number of anglers in the provrnce.

1. How do bait bans, high license fees, fly-only fishing, prohibiting harvest, and outright closures discourage BC residents from fishing? These measures are designed to conserve the resource, not discourage anglers.

2. Non-Resident license fees and guiding requirements are much higher than that for residents.



Whistler said:
The Federation cannot supporthe proposed policy implementation for 2007 as written
and feels that it is imperative that "The ability to retain a wild steelhead where a
biological surplus exists" be included in the provisions ofthe policy.
We look forward to discussing this matter in person at your earliest convenience.
Yorus in Conservation.
Wilf Pfleiderer
President
1. What is the definition of "biological surplus"?

2. How many BC streams have a biological surplus of wild steelhead? I would guess there is but a handful.

And on top off that, it is hard to take seriously such a poorly written paper.

Dinsdale.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes I hope the government doesn't take it seriously.....however the BCWF is a big organization and seems determined to see this through. I would suggest that people take the time to let minister Penner know how they feel.

Brian Niska
 

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Hey Whistler,

Looking at the quotes I cited, it makes you look like the author advocating this position. Sorry about that. Clearly you see the madness in the sort of thinking that endorses a free-for-all on wild steelhead.

Dinsdale.
 

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If this is the position that the BCWF has taken, then I do not think I can support them. I will visit their site and see if there is any more info on this subject. Ideally, if there are strong stocks in one system, I would prefer they be left alone, or even used as brood stock for other systems where natural populations have been all but wiped out...
Hmmmmm....I'll check out their site.
 

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Whistler wrote:
The Federation cannot supporthe proposed policy implementation for 2007 as written
and feels that it is imperative that "The ability to retain a wild steelhead where a
biological surplus exists" be included in the provisions ofthe policy.
We look forward to discussing this matter in person at your earliest convenience.
Yorus in Conservation.
Wilf Pfleiderer
President

Dinsdale wrote:
1. What is the definition of "biological surplus"?

2. How many BC streams have a biological surplus of wild steelhead? I would guess there is but a handful.

What I get from this letter when I read it .... is that the Prov. Gov. is not including the wording, that in the future would provide recreational anglers the possibility of retaining a wild steelhead, provided (not in our lifetime) the quantities reach a retention level.

I presently don't know of any that presently have a biological surplus .......... but I believe what the author is stating, and what the BCWF is afraid of ...... is that if this wording is not included and lost ...... it will never be reinstated excluding a recreational fisherman the ablility to retain a wild steelhead ever.

I agree the letter is quite poorly written ....... spell check and proof reading would have been nice. But at least it does address a concern ....... I don't know how valid ....... but obviously quite a concern to the President of the BCWF.

Anyhow ....... that is my understanding of the letter ...... not that there should be a free-for-all re: Wild Steelhead.


GOFISH 8)
 

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In addition .....

I think the letter from the BCWF also addresses the concern that if the "Wild Steelhead" wording is removed from the classification it would harm wild steelhead conservation in the long run. We all know how our government likes to cut corners ....... if there would never be any retention .... why collect data about sizes ...... and on and on ...

We have repeatedly asked for and offered necessary changes but, to our best
knowledge, your ministry continues to provide the unchanged original proposal. There
has been no redraft and certainly no follow-up consultation despite groups such as ours
providing input and moderate recommendations for change, as requested. This creates the
unfavorable optic ofyour ministry enacting policy regardless oflogical stakeholder
sentiments.
The present policy provides an implied motivation to enumerate stocks. A blanket change
to province-wide non-retention, such as currently proposed, would eliminate the need for
mariagers across the province to monitor steelhead stocks and the already sparse data
would become even sparser. Since there is no provision to write this retention-ifabundance
policy back into the regulations for when stocks improve, the effect of
"simplified management" becomes unmistakably clear, namely a permanent loss of the
retention right of residents.

Again ..... not clearly written ....... but I would have to agree that the program monitoring wild steelhead would suffer because who would care given that a retention possibility would be completely eliminated.


GOFISH 8)
 

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What a bunch of crap! :x ........This is somebody's idea of throwing out a whole bunch of BS and trolling on the local fish sites to see what will happen and check the depth of the local "Knowledge"
Over the years the streams in this province have received classifications for a reason> You got it...Non Retetion of steelhead and protection measures put in place to protect this magnificent fish.
Why the hell would anyone want to retain a wild steelhead and just how do they define a "biological surplus"? :shock: We are a long way from any biological surplus' in any river in British Columbia as far as I am concerned. That is just plain ignorant!
The BCWF needs to spend a little time doing some research before they post up such a bunch of nonsense!
The management of fisheries in this province has taken a lot of hits over the years but I hardly see that a retention fishery for steelhead is very high on their agenda, and would likely cause an uproar much larger than this piece of info will generate.
Drop a line to [email protected]
and let him know this is solely a tactic to gain a little recognition from a group that has lost plenty of respect over the years and is now making a pathetic plea to be recognized.

I am steamed!..............Ortho :x
 

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Ortho ..... relax,

Over the years the streams in this province have received classifications for a reason> You got it...Non Retetion of steelhead and protection measures put in place to protect this magnificent fish.
There is nothing stated in the letter about having a open fishery for Wild Steelhead ...... where do you read that???


The management of fisheries in this province has taken a lot of hits over the years but I hardly see that a retention fishery for steelhead is very high on their agenda, and would likely cause an uproar much larger than this piece of info will generate.
If you look at the quoted phrases in my earlier comments where do you see that the BCWF if not concerned with the protection of Steelhead??? All they want is the wording that exists in previous Steelhead Management Documents to remain .... the wording relating to "retain a wild steelhead where a biological surplus exists".

Let's face it ....... a biological surplus is never gonna happen in either of our lifetimes ....... and I agree with you in your opinion of the BCWF ....... but I fail to see why you are so pissed about their statements. Take a breath .... re-read the article ..... they are not asking for an open fishery to slaughter all the wild steelhead ..... in the contrary they are concerned that the government will diminish statistical analysis and replenishment efforts if that future possibility if removed.

GOFISH 8)
 

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OK, GOFISH, I have taken a breath and I am calm . Before I respond let me say that between the lines written here you and I are on the same page, so I don't want to start a pissing contest, just want to clarify................
I didn't say they were advocationg an open fishery for wild steelhead. My point was to remind the readers that classified waters are put into effect for a reason....namely

*non retention of endangered species
*periodic closures to protect migrating fish
* closures to protect fry & smolts
*selective fishing methods (fly only)

I didn't say BCWF were not concerned. I have an issue with the "retain where surplus exists"....What stream in this province would ever be in a state where a surplus exists, and how would you analyze & come to a conclusion that such a river/stream exists and meets the criteria?

I did not quote them as asking for a "wild fishery slaughter", but I do have an issue with a document that is poorly written, misleading,and contains enough drivel to choke a horse!

with respect...........the posting is not worth re reading. Ortho
 

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Ortho,

Sorry also if I jumped to the wrong conclusion .... I also feel we are both on the same side when it comes to fish conservation. I probably took your post in the same light as some other previous ones that mentioned a wild steelhead slaughter or free-for-all. And Lord knows I hate pissing contests. :roll:

One thing for sure ...... we both are definately on the same page with regards to it's quality and content. I think (as president of the BCWF) I would run and hide under a rock after presenting such a document to the government for consideration. And the BCWF wonders why the government ignores it. Almost needed a translator the first time I read it.

It's probably one of the many reasons why the BCWF has also lost a lot of credibility in my (and others) eyes.


GOFISH 8)
 

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Hey GOFISH...........10-4........O&O..........Now let's git down to some serious business of findin' a few reds in the Chilli' :wink: ...Ortho 8)
 

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From what I have heard on other forums but not directly from BCWF is that they are pushing for retention of wild steelhead on the Skeena because locals would like to retain them and there is apparently a "surplus".
 

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Looks like they've been at this for quite some time. Just read this on the Pentiction Flyfishers Journal:

B.C. Wildlife Federation Reiterates Position on Steelhead
NOTICE
Pleasure Craft Operators Course
Nov. 18 & 19 from 9 am till 1 pm
Location is the Old CPR Station on Hastings St.
For Immediate Release
October 13, 2000

SURREY, B.C. --"The long established policy of the B.C. Wildlife Federation states that when and where biological
surpluses of wildlife are determined to exist above conservation concerns, the management agency be required to
consider a harvest", stated Federation President Ivar Larson. "It makes no difference whether the wildlife population
under consideration is steelhead or coho, mule deer or stone sheep, the principle is the same", said Larson.
"While many steelhead populations in the Province show low levels of abundance, Skeena summer runs in the last
several years have returned in numbers well above conservation levels", said Past President, Les Husband. "In fol-
lowing with our Federation policy, we have repeatedly requested that provincial fisheries officials provide an opportu-
nity for a small retention fishery limited to one fish per year. However, the response has been frustratingly negative,
with little or no serious consideration of our proposal", Husband stated.
"The B.C. Wildlife Federation, together with other angling organizations, has kept a watching brief on most of the
steelhead streams in the Province. We encouraged the provincial Fisheries Program to close fishing on east coast
Vancouver Island streams and on the Bella Coola River when those runs dropped to dangerous lows a few years
ago", Larson continued. "The continuing low steelhead return on the Thompson River is presently under intense scru-
tiny, and our Federation has informed provincial fisheries management staff that we will support conservation deci-
sions for the benefit of the resource".
"Most of our members practice voluntary catch and release angling, and we have supported catch and release regu-
lations where it is clearly required. We appreciate that the science indicates a relatively small mortality of 2 to 5 per-
cent on adult steelhead", said Husband, "but we have concerns about this rate of mortality in water with very low
runs".

"There is no question that many of our members are frustrated at the continuation of catch and release regulations on
the Skeena when there are biological surpluses of steelhead in the system. This frustration is further aggravated by
what appears to be a lack of serious consideration and action by provincial fisheries management to our proposal for
a small retention fishery in the Skeena", Larson concluded.

Les Husband (604) 533-2293


The above news release from the BCWF regarding a kill fishery on the Skeena was objected to by the Pentic-
ton Flyfishers. At the General Meeting held on October 05 a motion to disagree with the BCWF regarding this
action and to send a letter of complaint to the organization was passed by the membership. The Penticton Fly-
fishers in no way support the action suggested in this communication and have said so to the BCWF. The
BCFFF has also spoken out against this position and have expressed their concerns to the BCWF as have other member clubs of the BCFFF and the BCWF
 

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Thanks for the info Eagleye ...

Although the wording is very different from the other post it doesn't take a Philly Lawyer to see the intention of the BCWF on the Skeena. I haven't heard of any retention of steelhead there since 2000 so I don't think they were successful.

The above news release from the BCWF regarding a kill fishery on the Skeena was objected to by the Pentic-
ton Flyfishers. At the General Meeting held on October 05 a motion to disagree with the BCWF regarding this
action and to send a letter of complaint to the organization was passed by the membership. The Penticton Fly-
fishers in no way support the action suggested in this communication and have said so to the BCWF. The
BCFFF has also spoken out against this position and have expressed their concerns to the BCWF as have other member clubs of the BCFFF and the BCWF
Great to see that there are many organizations speaking out against them ...... they certainly don't have my support. On a lighter note ....... at least someone learned how to use spell check. :roll:


GOFISH 8)
 
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