Chum Fishery Threatens The Thompson - Fly Fishing Forum
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  #1  
Old 10-18-2004, 07:10 PM
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Chum Fishery Threatens The Thompson

It is absolutely unbelievable! In the face of the 2nd worst Thompson Steelhead runs on record DFO has okayed a commercial chum salmon opening for Wednesday Oct. 20th! This is squarely in the heart of the time that all the best science indicates is the prime window of migration through the lower Fraser.

The Provincial Fisheries MWLAP have repeatedly stood agianst such openings - their concern is steelhead, the Federal Fisheries - DFO has jurisdiction over salmon - and they don't care about the steelhead.

This is outrageous, sportfishermen are shut down as even a catch and release fishery is deemed too dangerous to the health of the run and DFO schedules an opening. We are trying to rally the troops to register our outrage, but with less than two days notice until the opening there is not much time. This has not even been announced yet - this info is a hot leak... It is clear they didn't want us to have time to organize. The newspapers have been contacted and messages are out on bulletin boards - we need some emrgency troops!

Right now we must flood DFO's phone lines with protests ...the Director General's office is 604 666-6098...(Paul McGillvary)...or any and every other Lower Fraser manager...Devona Adams has often been very helpful....but now seems to think its no big deal... 604 666-6512.

Paul McGillerary's e-mail is macgillivrayp@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Devona Adams e-mail is adamsd@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

If you have fished the Thompson - or ever hope to fish it in the future take some time and make the effort.
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  #2  
Old 10-18-2004, 07:16 PM
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Area code 604?
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Old 10-18-2004, 07:29 PM
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yes - changed it - thanks.
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Old 10-18-2004, 07:30 PM
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Yes, area code 604.

Voice mail this time of night... left a message and will call again (and again).
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Old 10-18-2004, 08:55 PM
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we need to light up the phone lines on this

especially those of you from far away (thanks Peter and Juro for taking the point on this!)--call and demand that all commercial salmon fishing in the Fraser River and other Thompson steelhead approach areas be immediately and indefinitely suspended.
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:17 PM
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just sent a couple of e-mails and they came up that the address`s didnt exist. Please confirm the addy`s. Thanks.
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:26 PM
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try these email addresses

Paul McGillvary's e-mail is mcgillvaryp@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Devona Adams e-mail is adamsd@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:38 PM
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Dana, thanks for the quick reply. Please everyone lets pull together on this one!
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:41 PM
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an email I sent

copy and paste if you like with your sig line!

Paul and Devona,

I must express my outrage at the planned commercial openings on the Fraser River this Wednesday Oct 20th. You well know that Thompson steelhead are returning in record low numbers again this year and that WLAP has closed the Thompson to sportsfishing. To allow any chum openings this fall is unconscionable, and I call on you to immediately and indefinitely suspend all commercial salmon fishing in the Fraser River and other Thompson steelhead approach areas.


Dana Sturn
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:50 PM
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I will hit them first thing int he morning and see if the WSC can send something ASAP as well.

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Old 10-18-2004, 10:51 PM
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updated email addresses

these ones seem to work (they haven't bounced back yet):

Paul Macgillivray's e-mail is macgillivrayp@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Devona Adams e-mail is adamsd@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

sorry to all for any confusion--we are moving quickly as things develop and there will be some changes here as we learn more...make those calls; send those emails...
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:54 PM
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another address

Honourable Geoff Regan
Minister, Fisheries and Oceans
Min@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2004, 11:13 PM
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message to Geoff Regan

Minister Regan,

Further to my previous email, Thompson River steelhead are returning in record low numbers this year. The Province has closed the Thompson to sportsfishing, yet DFO is allowing a commercial salmon opening in the middle of the peak migration period for Thompson steelhead.

Is it this government's position to participate in the extermination of a fish species so that commercial interests can be satisfied?

Once again I call on you to order an immediate and indefinite suspension of all Fraser River commercial salmon fisheries so that the few remaining Thompson steelhead can safely transit the Fraser.

Time is short; you must act now.

Dana Sturn
Director
The Steelhead Society of British Columbia

cc The Vancouver Sun
CTV
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Old 10-19-2004, 01:16 AM
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Here is a Press Release prepared for CTV

Press Release,

The greatest race of steelhead in the world is in mortal danger. The most revered sport fish in western North America is BC’s Thompson River steelhead. It isn’t just changing ocean and climatic conditions or environmental issues that threaten, but Government mismanagement. Once again Federal and Provincial governments are at odds and the ill-advised wishes of the DFO are taking precedent. The cost is at the expense of one of BC’s priceless natural resources – the Thompson Steelhead.

The Thompson River has a predicted return of fewer than 800 fish this year - this is an abysmal state of affairs. The Provincial Fisheries Branch MWLAP has ordered the river closed to fishing, as even the minuscule mortality rate of a catch and release fishery has been deemed unacceptable. As hard as it is to accept, the necessity of the closure is brutally evident to the sport fishing community.

The problem we have is with the actions of the DFO, in particular the A/Area Management decision to allow a chum opening on the Lower Fraser River on Wednesday October 20. All the available research shows that this is the peak migration window through the Lower Fraser for Thompson Steelhead. We find this outrageous and unbelievable. The DFO’s own test fishery has only caught 3 steelhead, which extrapolate into the second worst return in 26 years. Yet DFO shows absolutely no concern and provides a commercial opening for chum salmon

If the return numbers of Thompson steelhead are so critically low that a closure must be applied to the least effective sector of resource users the sport fishers, how can it be remotely justifiable that any other fishery – let alone a commercial one be allowed? Even the rationale for Native ceremonial fish is superseded by conservation needs. The fact that there is a surplus of chums, does not justify the endangerment of a seriously threatened run of fish like the Thompson steelhead.

When the DFO was concerned about Thompson Coho, the entire commercial industry ground to a halt to enable their recovery. Yet, when a world famous, irreplaceable steelhead resource is threatened in the very same river - nothing happens. In fact, the Federal Department that is supposed to be the steward of the resource further threatens it by enabling more commercial openings. It is no wonder that the sport fishing community shakes it head with resignation and disbelief when the DFO steps in.

In the case of Thompson River Steelhead the Province has championed the needs of the fish. MWLAP biologists in Kamloops have done everything in their power to protect the fish and promote the recovery of the flagship of Beautiful BC’s sport fishery - the Thompson Steelhead. Yet, it seems at every turn the Federal Government’s DFO has thwarted their efforts. DFO deems the needs of an already heavily subsidized commercial fishery take precedent over world famous natural resource.

The steelhead community, which is local and international is outraged and flabbergasted by this development. Furthermore, it appears that DFO has delayed its public announcement of this opening so as to minimize our ability to protest. This is unconscionable

Yours sincerely,

Tyler Kushnir
Director, Steelhead Society of British Columbia
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  #15  
Old 10-19-2004, 01:20 AM
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thanks to the many of you who have already called or sent email. Please cc me with any email you send:

blacksalmon@hotmail.com
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