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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a quick update on my meeting with the fisheries people......They have agreed with me that they have some problems with the current regulations that are in place around the rivers close to hatcheries, but, like everything else (especially with the government agencies) things take time. :wink:
They said spot closures are a much more effective way to protect fish, when they need protecting, and are relatively easy to enforce since you are dealing with a small area of a river or ocean. I was also informed that there would likely be no fishery of any kind on the Chilliwack River if it wern't for the hatchery, and the spring,chum, and steelhead programs are specifically directed to the sports fishers and both local and visitors.(tourism)
Hatcheries on one stream often provide smolts to a large number of other local rivers where their programs do not allow them to raise certain species. This is the backbone of the program..Keep fish on a lot of streams and reduce the pressure on another.
I think there will be some changes forthcoming that will help the fish return to the hatcheries, but still allow the sportsfishers to harvest a fair share of the resource....Yes, the fish raised in the hatcheries are often better off bonked if they are fairly caught. That's why they are there. However, the thought that they will die anyway is not a reason to start a snagfest fishery.
Stream managers, or streamkeepers will likely be employed in the next 3-5 years to keep an eye on poachers/snaggers etc. and this would be a welcome change from the present.

I am heading to Port Hardy for a week so keep a lid on things boys & girls and I will give you the scoop on the Northern fishery on my return....Cheers for now..Ortho 8)

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Spot closures will only offer protection for fish in a case where mass groups of fish stack in a river, unable to further migrate up river or pass an upstream barrier. I know of 1 such place in the LM, and it was closed years ago.
Perhaps the Cable pool on the Cap can be considered another, but with many responsible anglers who also fish this spot, it would be a shame to make them pay for the action of others.
Also include the 'Hatchery run" on the Chehalis, which is now devoid of fish, most of the year, due to lack of water.Some people would like to see the water diverted back to this channel, others know that the new path of the river has improved fish habitat immensely and will only allow more protection to them. It also keeps the desperate(will do anything) anglers away from this system , NO LOSS there.
In the USA these areas are referred to as "Terminal fisheries", many hatchery rivers have them,"Blue creek" on the Cowlitz river is just one of many. They are often ugly places with crowding , poor ethics , and sometimes flared tempers. However, ask any die hard angler if they dislike such places, and the answer will be a resounding NO. They tend to attract most of the riff raff to one area, and leave the rest of the river clear for the sportfishing crowd. Also the CO's can easily find the people to hand tickets out to
Our hatcheries release their fish in various locations and they tend to return to these spots. People know where fish stack, and flock to those areas, is this a bad thing, I'm not so sure.
On the Vedder river there are many places where fish stack, closing these spots will only make anglers seek out other spots where fish stack and continue there debauchery there. This will only serve to make for more problems on an already crowded river.
My opinion is its high time anglers took the initiative in correcting the poor practices of others around us.
There is a group of anglers trying to organize a "watch group", in this case its for the Coquihalla river, but it should be extended to all our rivers that have a good flow of anglers.I am getting involved and I would hope other concerned anglers from this site will too.
The ugliness on display at our rivers goes far beyond "hatchery holes", to assume that closing them will somehow get rid of this stuff, is foolhardy. As anglers we need to educate those around us and let those that know exactly what their up to , that they are being watched and not going unoticed.
I look forward to hearing of these closures that will cure our angling problems, if in fact any happen at all.

To properply close all troubled areas you would have to close
Vedder River - limit hole, ranger run, borden creek run, prison camp,Ft apache , Allison pools, clay bank hole, all of Tamihi area for at least a mile, Osbourne rd, Wilson rd area all the way to pool behind "on the Way", Vedder crossing run, Peach rd , Lickman to the Train bridge, and Keith Wilson Bridge hole and the next few holes down.
Stave River- the whole river
Chehalis River- Intake area - both sides , easter seal run( severe snagfest), and hatchery hole and many others below, if you diverted the river.
Suicide creek- the whole area around the bridge and several pools up river that riff raff have discovered.
These are just a few examples of the massive closures that will be needed if this approach is to be undertaken.
Educating the young anglers and stepping up enforcement are a much more realistic approach to curing these problems.
It can start with us anglers and hopefully govt enforcement will improve with our help.

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Very good arguments indeed.

I can see the arguments already, with closed areas it easy to spot the people fishing illegally and make it easy to call in said people. Maybe. How many people call in the snaggers and poachers now? Why would spot closures make some one anymore apt to call in these people? With no enforcment anyways the reaction will be the same, calls with no one to respond.
I believe taht the idea of these "spot" closures would in fact help reduce the problems. It becomes pretty hard when a DFO officer has to approach every fisherman at the hole to inspect thier gear, even then how can they prove they were snagging without seeing it personally? As you can see this would mean a lot of time investigating the fishing practices taking place. With a spot closure, a DFO officer could simply pull up to any given hole, and if anyone is fishing there BAM, ticketed. Would this elimnate poaching / snagging? Probably not, but it is a step forward.

My opinion is its high time anglers took the initiative in correcting the poor practices of others around us.
There is a group of anglers trying to organize a "watch group", in this case its for the Coquihalla river, but it should be extended to all our rivers that have a good flow of anglers.I am getting involved and I would hope other concerned anglers from this site will too.
I completely agree, but some people do not want to be corrected. There are plenty of people who know what they are doing, and do it anyways. Plus this could become quite confrontational, which can be fun or not, all depending on how big he is :wink:

Even then, the regs state "No Fishing" Areas - Within 23M below the entrance to any fishway, canal, obstical or leap; ( http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/documents/Fish Syn Front End.pdf page 10 in the regulations synopsis) of which an impassable or temporarily impassable section would undoubtably include.
Wouldn't this mean that fishing next to the hatchery channel at the Chehalis is illegal? Here would be another grey area that is up to the interpreter to determine. Who rules that a certain area is impassible? Maybe closed signs should be used by DFO when the water levels drop too much to create these impassible areas.
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