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Floating fishing lodge gets rocky reception
By Jennifer Feinberg
Chilliwack Progress
March 18, 2008

The idea of a deluxe floating fishing lodge anchored in the Fraser River could have ramifications for aboriginal fisheries, said Sto:lo Tribal Council advisor Ernie Crey.

Although officials with various agencies say only informal discussions have taken place so far about the lodge proposal, Crey said he hopes First Nations will be properly consulted before the plan becomes a reality.

“There is already conflict on the Fraser River and the 2008 salmon fishing season is not yet officially underway,” writes Crey in a letter dated March 12 to Environment Minister Barry Penner.

One of the issues is there has been no effort yet by proponents to discuss the plan with Sto:lo communities, “not even the common courtesy” to approach them about consultation, despite the legal duty to consult with aboriginals, he said.

He said he only found out about the lodge idea by checking out some sportfishing websites.

“It’s essential that there be dialogue regarding the lodge before the operators get the green light to go ahead,” Crey said in the letter, and suggested there’s still “plenty of time” for proper discussions.

Billed online as the “first ever floating lodge” on the Fraser, a few local guiding websites such as Len’s Sportfishing and Great River Fishing Adventures are proudly offering the opportunity “to enjoy world class sportfishing and a night’s stay in the 23-room lodge” for the 2008 season.

The fishing lodge is operated by West Coast Resorts, and is used for crew accommodation in Toba Inlet.

“All the amenities of a hotel but better!” reads the online advertising for the deluxe lodge. “Walk right out to your guide and boat first thing in the morning and let your dream fishing holiday begin.”

Crey said the concern is if they allow one lodge to be barged up the river into local waters, there could be more on the way.

“As the sport fishery has expanded on the Fraser so to have the conflicts between anglers and aboriginals,” he wrote in his letter to the minister.

“Anglers have pelted Sto:lo fishermen with both beer bottles and rocks. Nets owned by Sto:lo are routinely vandalized or run over by high-powered boats operated by anglers.”

Sometimes Fraser River fishermen feel they can “displace” the long-standing aboriginal fishery because they want to fish in a given area, he said.

“Both the province and the feds have encouraged and allowed for the growth of the sport fishery in an unregulated and uneven way, which has created tension and conflict,” Crey said last week. “And it’s getting worse each season.”

The stakeholders who will be party to future discussions should include the proponents, DFO, the city, and B.C. Ministry of Environment, he added.

“The meeting should take place as soon as possible,” Crey wrote.

A city staffer said the issue has not been to council yet, and only an enquiry had been received so far at city hall about mooring the floating lodge to a bank in the Fraser River’s Minto Channel, near Island 22 and the old Cattermole Lands.

DFO spokesman Mel Kotyk said Fisheries and Oceans have only had “basic discussions” with the proponent about the idea of a floating fishing lodge.

“But I have not seen any application nor has there been any dialogue yet between DFO and any of the interest groups,” Kotyk said. “We’re still getting background on the project and that’s as far as we know.”

Environment Minister Barry Penner said Friday his office had not yet received Crey’s letter.

“I would imagine a number of regulatory agencies would have to be involved on this,” he said.
 

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Painful read...sport fishing really can't be that evil and destructive, can it? >:D

It seems like an odd if not ineffective angle to defend his people's right to fish. As dangerous as it is to assume, Mr. Crey appears to not be concerned with survival of the salmon species. All he wants is fish in aboriginal nets, and just his band's for that matter.

It would be interesting to see someone provide a perspective on Mr. Crey contrary to this. I really would love to hear he is balanced and understands the salmon stock situation as well as one who attempts to educate others should.

Hoping my assumption is wrong...
 

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Clashes with anglers only started when they began drift netting...

Set nets have been going on for ages, and we've all been living in harmony...

Those comments are absurd, and have more to do with the new competitiveness than anything.

my 2 cents.
Nicole
 

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Crey appears to not be concerned with survival of the salmon species. All he wants is fish in aboriginal nets, and just his band's for that matter.


Dam right thats all they ever care about.. Just dont screw with us & " our land" & we will be Happy.. They dont give a Crap about the fish or what others may think. Just soo long as we dont fish on there land or hurt them in anyway..
Dont get me started ( this may head for the sin bin) lol :wallbash:
 

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I wouldn't get too worked up over something that I doubt will ever happen..There are a lot of considerations to review regarding putting people on the river in a barge, and I find it highly unlikely, if you cannot live on your own boat in the upper Fraser basin in the area described how will they be recieved? If approved, a lot of people will be moving to the river to pollute it even more than it already is..Ortho 8)
 

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I don`t see how a floating barge would cause any more damage or conflict than a riverside lodge. The same number of fisherman will be killing the same amount of fish. One thing I can say is the economic return per fish killed would be higher.
 

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Glad I wasn't the only one P/Od by Ernie in this weeks local gazzette. I agree with you Barba the river was alot more peacefull when they were set netting only. I was a little annoyed by Mr Crey's comments regarding sporties throwing rocks and beer bottles and the native fishers, and how mothers and children are are constantly verbally abused on the water. Well it goes both ways on the water. Before this turns into sin bin material take it for what it is worth. Mr Crey loves the media attention and knows just how word things so as to sway opinions. As far as the floating seasonal lodge,
why not? As Dean put it there wouldn't be more pressure from more anglers, it just would allow for a more complete package. Chilliwack as a city does'nt really have any real nice hotels per say. If some one is here for a once in a life time fishing expierence why not have a floating lodge to complete the package. as far as polluting the water, we now have treatmnet systems we are installing were the water coming out the discharge is supposed to be drinkable. I just want to know how they are going to float it up to minto channel there's some shallow water to cross before there.
Cheers,
Crazy D
 

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you have to consider the source of the discontent. Ernie Crey has almost ZERO respect from any First Nations groups, other than his own. The fact that the press continues to provide him with a soapbox from which to spew his absurd points of view explain why he will never go away. ::)
 

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ogobogo said:
you have to consider the source of the discontent. Ernie Crey has almost ZERO respect from any First Nations groups, other than his own. The fact that the press continues to provide him with a soapbox from which to spew his absurd points of view explain why he will never go away. ::)
The media never let's the facts/truth get in the way of what they think is story that will sell.....
 

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I still think it's a terrible Idea and for the rivers sake and the for the existing guides sake it doesn't go through. Theres already too many retards who think their good fisherman, they'll get their guide licenses and go take their clients and bounce them into fish all day long. I still think this idea spells trouble for everyone
 

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Second thought I agree with you finder. Though I dont think they could ever get that thing up to minto I sure would'nt want it in there. That is funny though that they are already advertising it for this season :confused:
Crazy D
 

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I go fishing down in Washington for 5 days and look what happens....
Glad to see Mr. Crey is still up to his usual spin doctor excellence...
I take everything he says with a grain of salt ::)...
That being said ,I don't think you'll see any floating lodge up here just yet..Too many obstructions to cross before permits get issued..It would be a bad thing for the area fishing and could easily lead to more crap in the water if environmental issues are not dealt with properly.
 

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IN this morning's paper,the two most hotly debated water, the upper Pitt & the Fraser between Mission and Hope have made # 1 & 2 on the most endangered list this year, according to the Outdoor Rec Council of BC......Now I would find it rather incredibile if a floating lodge were to be plunked on the Fraser, as it would definitely set an example as to how NOT to manage a river.....

It would open the area for floating homes anchoring in the back channels of a public waterway
It would allow unsupervised discharges of oils,gasolines, and other pollutants from a large concentrations of boats.
The power & sewer issues will be difficult to deal with at a regional level
The project will need more than a landowner's approval, as many levels of Gov't need to be consulted...

Now, if I am wrong, and this lodge is allowed to proceed, the development of the waterfront all along the upper Fraser, the specific area in peril, will definitely take a serious hit, as all types of permits will need to be reviewed including many other commercial projects that have always been rejected before they got off the ground with the powers that be.

The thing that puzzles me a little is why Great River & Len's fishing are openly advertising this lodge on their webpages and taking reservations.
Now, there are other fishing lodges run by other outfitters along the river, but they are placed on lands that fall under all the usual building codes ,tax bases, and rules set by the region/city/municipality, but none of them are floating on any body of water. I have fished with this company in the past and found them very professional and in posession of a very good nose for business.

They have a very successful business and likely have the connections and their own "spin" to put on the necessary applications for a business on the main stem or side channel of the Fraser. Interested to see how this plays out....Ortho 8)
 

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im glad to hear that the UPPER PITT has been labeled endengered once again :thumbup: hopefully this will be enough to stop these power projects from happening up there. Floating resort :confused: on the fraser :confused: to me that just sounds dumb, sounds like something to float away :happy:
 

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The thing that puzzles me a little is why Great River & Len's fishing are openly advertising this lodge on their webpages and taking reservations.
Maybe they feel the need to compete with the other "lodge" on the river who has "lured" a fair share of their clients over the years. It's hard to compete with a lodge that offers every amenity.
 

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HOOK said:
im glad to hear that the UPPER PITT has been labeled endengered once again :thumbup: hopefully this will be enough to stop these power projects from happening up there. :
Unfortunately this will not have any effect on the building of the power plants unless it mobilizes people to work to stop them. The politicians and businesses don't care if a river is listed, they care if voters and shareholders threaten to act. We can't sit on our hands because the Living Rivers Society has stepped up. They are one organization, and have been trying for years to stop the gravel mines from polluting the Coquitlam River. See how much good that has been, without an angry populace stepping up. We can't let someone else do our work for us.
 
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