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Fishing practices draw fire


By Mike Mushins
Red Deer, Alberta
Oct 17 2006

I just returned from a fantastic fishing trip to the Chilliwack/Vedder River. Unfortunately, I was left with some extremely vivid memories of some atrocious unsportsman like behaviour. I felt so sickened that I had to report what I saw. I have sent a copy of this letter to the Department of Fisheries for their information and action and to a variety of newspapers in hopes that public pressure can be applied when your readers witness this kind of behaviour.

What I witnessed included;

One individual culling fish (keeping fish alive so he could release the smaller one after a larger one was caught).

Another person catching and keeping wild coho, under the excuse that it was hooked too badly to live. I am not sure how a single barb-less hook could cause severe damage.

Numerous fishermen catching chum salmon and without landing the fish pulling very hard to break their line leaving at times the hook, weight and float attached to the fish or ripping it out of the fishes mouth, causing damage.

Many fishermen catching chum yarding them a shore, kicking them up the beach so that they could be unhooked and then kicking them back into the water.

One individual offered me a chinook salmon that he had caught and was planning to leave hidden near the beach. I went to the location and noticed that, in addition to the fish in question, two others were also there, one was chinook and one looked like a coho. I have attached photos of these fish for reference.

It was interesting to hear on occasion verbal pressure, by some fishermen, to release foul hooked fish, while other more appalling behaviours noted above were left unchallenged.

These activities are blatantly counter to the fisheries regulations and acceptable sportsman like conduct. It is my hope that fishermen will hold each other more accountable to eliminate this type of unacceptable behaviour.


KUDO's to ya Mike!! :wink:
 

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Yup already read it over dinner this evening.. :? Disturbing behavior...In the few times I've been out on the Vedder this fall, I've witnessed some of the same conduct. None more disturbing when out for an afternoon walk with my family, I witnessed two "so called fly enthusiests :x :x " trying to snag chum which were clearly digging reds in some dead water near the shore line of a run. After I belted out a comment about the conduct taking place, they simply turned their backs and fished the tailing pond behind them..Anyhow that's my little rant.


Finder :roll:
 

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That is just wrong

I used to live down there and fish the Vedder, I have seen and heard it all like many of you. As if salmon don't have enough against them already, than you have guys that call themselves fisherman doing this! Good on all of you that have been speaking up. Face it, DFO can't be every where and are very out numbered (Fisherman to officer ratio) so everybody else needs to start speaking out on the river. The only bad thing is, these guys that act like morons seem to travel in packs.
 

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drove up to the Vedder from town on Monday for a dawn to dusk fishing day. was into a couple of fish early in the lower, then decided to prowl around for the elusive coho upriver. ended up below Tamahi around one o'clock. saw a couple getting into their vehicle, so I stopped to ask them how it went. "oh, lot's of fish" was their reply. I asked them if there were any biters, and the response was, "It doesn't matter".
I was a bit put off, but they mentioned that while there were quite a few fishers around, there was space avilable to fish. I went down to the rivers edge and began to cast. I set up with about 14" from my float to swivel, and about 18" leader. was not having any luck, and started to notice fish being landed. took a look to see what these guys were using for setups. seems I had it all wrong, I needed 4' from my float to my swivel, and my leader should have been 4" long. with this setup, the couple were right, who cared if they were biting. after witnessing a 30# spring dragged out of the water, and unhooking the guy next to me from his belly snagged wild coho, I decided to leave. Monday was my first trip to salmon fish the river, but after reading about the lack of ethics on the Vedder, and witnessing it first hand, I think I'll keep fishing in Squamish.
 

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It didn't used to be this bad... :( I have fished this river for a long time and although there were always some questionable methods, it never came to this point, at least not that I witnessed...

There is a trend here. A trend towards unethical fishing methods, disrespect for the resource, disrespect for the enforcement officers, lack of ettiquette and now even a lackadaisical almost listless lack of optimism that things can change.
This trend will not stop at the vedder.
mark my words.
This problem will spread to the chehalis, to the cap, the stave, the mamquam, and other big rivers....then it will spread to your back yards, when your neighbor who usually fishes the vedder sees a few fish jump in the nic or the campbell or the serp....they will fish there too, and use the methods they learned out on the vedder and the fraser....they will drive over the silver on their way out to play golf somewhere, and they'll take note of someone fishing for summer runs, and they'll come back. They'll do the same with the thompson, and they'll come back. It will not end here on the vedder, and it won't end up there on ashlu creek or anywhere else you choose to fish.

And it won't end with my bitching or anyone else's...but it will start here with bitching, and then it will move out onto the flows in our back yards and the obscure little known creeks and smaller rivers where we will talk to the newcomer who brings these methods to new places and we show him what's wrong about it and we get through to him....and that effect will snowball from fisherman to fisherman and river to river,,,and hopefully with a lot of help from special interest groups and dfo/co enforcement we can see a new trend here, a trend that will return to the vedder, a trend that will have people learning how to fish in a more conservation minded way, a less intrusive way. One that a person can take pride in for something other than just having a fish on the end of the line...

But for now, I am disgusted by it all, I feel an uphill battle coming on, and the frustration at what I see out there can really get a guy down too, but damned if I'm just going to pack it in and sell my rod and give up on it....

It's been a tough couple of days guys....sorry for the rant, just want to see something positive going on and there ain't much of that around me right now, let me tell ya...once I go find a quiet spot to fish, I'll feel a whole lot better...
 

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We are two of your visitors each year for 4-5 days of fishing for several years now. I read on here of the Vedder river, sad story , I asked a trusted friend and guide last week about fishing the Vedder since we have never seen it. His response was no way: do not even think about getting into that crowd.

Do not give up guys, this is not right. How can an annual visitor help with writing your what we call Game and Fish Commission, etc. Thanks. Salt.
 

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Something does need to change. It comes down to no respect. No respsect for the environment, no respect for the salmon. These salmon are something to be revered not brutilized. I just dont understand the way some people think. Its too bad the government cuts funding to the conservation officers. I think if there were alot more of them out there at the busy times of the season then more people would start to learn the hard way how to fish for sport not for whatever the heck they get out of sngging fish and treating them with no reverence. True anglers can do all they can to teach others the proper way to do things, but what some people need is a huge fine and no gear to fish with. The world is going crazy, the river is supposed to be a place to get away from it. I take it personaly when some jack--- is ruining my tranquility. Maybe we need to group together and make a vigalanty stance and educational movement. Something like the guardian angles except aimed at educating evil doers as well as reporting them everytime. Just a thought.
 

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One of the fishing sites down here does some Anti-snagging T-shirts and sells them for cost to get the word out.
One of the member was on the news talking to snaggers and discussing ethics. I've posted a picture of the T-shirt. Obvoiusly, the phone numbers would need to be changed. Put the forum logo on the front and there you go!!!
Something to think about. 8)
What would be cool is to have a big ass banner like the picture and hang it off the KWB. Probly need an armed guard to protect it. :lol:





This on on the back of the shirt and the cool ifish logo on the front in deep green. The short and long sleeve shirts are ash color (light natural grey)
PRICES ARE:
5.50 for short sleeve, 6.50 for XXL
7.50 for long sleeve, 9.00 for XXL, 10.00 for XXXL
I also have a few sweatshirts, they are all XL and are 13.50

[/img]
 

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My personal opinion is the only way to make it change is to educate. And that will be a long hard road.
You will always have those that do things unethically, but if the public sentiment is against it, that particular person will at least know that he or she is doing it wrong!!!
Did that make sense ???
 

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We need some of those fine looking shirts up here in BC!
 

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I think those are some great ideas. I like the shirts. Maybe on the front of the shirts you could put the BC fishing reports logo. I think that if you could get enough of those shirts out there then it would send a strong message that real anglers will not put up with the crap. Also if some jack--- is snagging fish and a few of us show up on the run with the shirts on, you may not even have to say anything, most of them will put thier tails between thier legs and take off.
Also, I think that a report on the news like the one in the clip would make a difference as well. It would be good education for the new people to the sport as well as just getting the message out there that the unethical fisherman out there not only have to watch out for conservation officers but also ethical fisherman and I beieve that we still outnumber the unethical. I see the need for a movement!
 

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This complex issue has many ramifications, however, I know the Fisheries people are aware of the problem, and will likely do what they can with the limited resources they have to prevent this from reoccuring..........I believe the river should be closed to all fishing when the flow reaches , say .50cubic meters /second at the crossing. The river at this level is almost at minimum flow for fish to migrate. It allows free and easy access to runs that can normally not be fished when the water is higher.The fish don't have a chance in the KWB meatholes, along with a few others art Cottonwoods and Lickman Rd.
I also believe if the Fisheries Dept. does not lay out some concrete laws to prevent this snagfest, it will continue to spead and be the death of our fisheries. It is not enough to say we should use "selected angling methods" What a bunch of crap!
I have thoroughly read all the reports on various fish sites in the Lower Mainland and I do believe most fishers would support tough, anti snagging laws, with some fines attached to them.....The laws and the courts are so unbelievably lax, why wouldn't someone break the law for $$$$
Take a close look in your own neighbourhood and see how the anti-drug laws in Canada are working.....The attitude is who cares.....slap on the wrist....back in business tomorrow.
Same with the salmon, my friends......but don't be surprised to see some vigilante fishers on the flow soon...........Ortho
 

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Hey, I like the sound of vigalante fishers! So what about the t-shirts? Doesnt anyone else think that is a good idea? Vigalante fishers should be on the shirts as well. I dont know, it has to start somewhere and there just are not enough conservation officers out there to do a whole lot. Any more ideas?
 

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I would buy and wear one of those t-shirts. But under my waders, jacket and rain gear it wouldn't be too visible. Therefore a button would might be better. The local tackle shops might even put it out on their shelves.
 

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:( It is pretty sad how a minority of stupid idiots can ruin it for the rest of us decent fisher people. If the problem gets too big then DFO has to react. And it would be real drag :( if the government would implement such similar measures that are employed in some european countries already. In Germany for example one needs a fishing licence which involves a written and oral exam almost like a drivers license. Just look what happend to boating, some idiots drive around like careless and wreck it for all other boaters. Now we need this boating license. Is this what these idiots want to happen to our great fishing? I think all of us serious anglers should work together to keep this a great country for fishing by showing more responsibility.
Unfortunately these idiots can be very intimidating (as I have witnessed myself) and we must find a way to make this reportable just by looking at a person. Maybe a number that has to be displayed like a car or boat would be the answer when fishing in these high pressure regions. That way one could just report that number to DFO without having to confront a maniac and risking to be thrown in the water or being stabbed. I bet you this would slow things down.
I am proud to be a sportsfisher but sometimes wish the rules would be tougher to get these idiots off the water or change theri attitudes. Also the general public is starting to view is anglers in a negative light. :wink:

Petri Heil :wink:
 

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Im in the process of working out details with the "owner" of the logo He's pretty much open to anything so long as it brings snagging to a stop!!!
I'm looking for input as far as what info to put on the front i.e. logo and the like. The no snagging logo with poacher hotline # would be on the back.
 

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Hey, thats great fishhog. I am not sure what to put on the front. We need some suggestions.
 

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Here's my idea for the front...

In a bit of a smaller picture have a guy standing there with his rod hold the fishing line with a salmon hooked by the tail dangling from the end.....

then, now here's the kicker, in the immediate background of the picture, have a few other fishermen pointing at the guy and snickering, and laughing at him...one of those guys could be holding a cell phone????

And I guess, above and to the right or left, you could have the prerequisite smaller organizational badge or logo...

Just an idea, you heard it here first...
rib
 
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