Doom and Gloom from British Coloumbia [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Doom and Gloom from British Coloumbia

03-23-2004, 07:50 PM
I get mail everyday from an Enviro group and today they included an article about "Salmon" in B.C. These particular salmon were Steelheads and some of the numbers they were quoteing I found to be most distressful the one that really stung was the snorkel count for the Gold River on Vancouver Island.
The Gold one of the finest winter and spring steelhead rivers I have ever fished used to have escapement numbers as high as 5,000 steelheads. Last year they counted 900, this year they have counted 35 (thirty five) individual steelheads.
Bear in mind that this entire region has been managed under C&R with minimal native (First Nation) harvest for quite some time!
Sounds like all the other systems are equaly affected and some of the smaller systems have zero or only a mere handful.
Please somebody shoot the messenger and take him out of his misery.:(

03-25-2004, 05:59 PM
Below is part of an email I got from Bob Hooten (BC steelhead Biologist) yesterday...I had the great pleasure of meeting and speaking with Bob at the West Coast Steelhead conference a couple weeks ago in Port Townsend. The early word is that thus far it's been a BLEAK winter for BC steelhead.


Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 13:45:10 -0800
(from an email exchange with Bob Hooten, posted with his permission)

Information continues to trickle in
since Fort Worden. Our Keogh research facility on the northern tip of
Vancouver Island has the 2002 steelhead smolts surviving at 0.23% for fish
returning after two ocean years (usually the majority). That is the worst
return rate in 28 years of record. Recent anecdotal reports from the Queen
Charlotte Islands indicate dismal winter runs there as well. West coast of
Vancouver Island off the bottom of all previous charts. I'm reminded a bag
of decent golf clubs costs lots less than the double handers I own!

Bob Hooton
Senior Fisheries Operations Specialist
Environmental Stewardship Division
Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection
2080-A Labieux Rd, Nanaimo, B.C. V9T 6J9

03-25-2004, 06:08 PM
What else came out of the Conference?

Are there going to be minutes or something published that will allow us to get a closer look at the going on's at the Conference?

03-25-2004, 06:14 PM
I'm not sure if they'll publish a proceedings. Bob Leland asked the speakers for permission to keep and post the powerpoint files that were used in their presentations, but I'm not sure how that'll be made available. I'll try to find out and post an update on this bb.

Unfortunately I can't give a full report on the material covered at the meeting, I attended only 1 of 3 days.

03-25-2004, 07:06 PM
A couple of other doom & gloom reports from BC...Seymour river had 8 steelhead counted on the first swim of the year. Cheakamus river had 15 steelhead counted on the early march swim. The Trent river had 2 female fish counted on the swim there. About the only 3 river systems with any amount of steelhead in them this year are the vedder/chilliwack, Cowichan and Stamp/somass. Almost every other stream has been poor to terrible. Most blame ocean survival but nobody really seems to know and our goverment is not putting any money out to try and find out why this is happening and how to change it. We are in dire straits at this time.

03-25-2004, 11:19 PM
This just in, My source in Southeastern Alaska tells me that Humpback Creek one of the earliest of the mainland Steelhead returns which normaly has the bulk of its run in stream by now was surveyed with "Zero" steelhead present.
When I take up golf, it will be over!