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GoFishBC Releases 95 Millionth Fish!

Published on Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

GoFishBC Releases 95th Millionth Fish!

This year marks the tenth anniversary since the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC was formed by the Government of British Columbia. More commonly known as GoFishBC by recreational fishermen, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is responsible for all lake stockings in British Columbia, as well as river steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout productions, and additional conservation work such as the white sturgeon recovery program.

To celebrate this milestone, we were invited to attend the release of the 95 millionth fish at Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam. In the past ten years, a total of 90 million+ fish have been released into hundreds of lakes across this province for anglers to enjoy. In return, revenue generated from anglers’ freshwater licences is used to fund the production and stocking of these fish.

The Honourable Steve Thomson, Minister of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, was present to assist with the release with students from Maple Creek Middle School. Also present were City of Coquitlam, BC Federation of Drift Fishers, Sportfishing Institute of BC, Family Fishing Society of BC, BC Wildlife Federation and other key partners of the society.

Below is a video of speeches from GoFishBC’s president Don Peterson and Minister Thomson, ended with some footage of the rainbow trout release.

2013 Cultus Lake Pikeminnow Derby Results

Published on Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Ethan Zue took first place in junior class of 2013's Cultus Lake Pikeminnow Derby

Well, another pikeminnow derby at Cultus Lake is in the books. After two out of the last three derbies being very wet, 711 anglers and organizers on Saturday were greeted by a calm sunny day for a change.

After running the derby in the last few years, the Fraser Valley Salmon Society turned the derby over to be run by Cultus Lake Aquatic Stewardship Strategy (CLASS) however many FVSS directors and members were there running the weigh scales, helping with the prizes and draws.

Many anglers were on the water at first light and some fished tight up to the 2 pm deadline with all the docks crowded with anglers. Before the award presentations, 560 fish were brought to the scales. Junior anglers caught 196 and adults caught 364 pikeminnows. One angler was lucky to catch a FVSS specially tagged fish and took home $100 cash prize. There also was 3 FOC tagged fish taken.

In the junior class, Ethan Zue took home the Greg Clarke Memorial Trophy along with $100 cash plus prizes. His fish hit the scales at 0.78Kg and was 0.09 ahead of Kassidy Nienhuis’ 0.69kg pikeminnow.

Cole Rogozinski topped the adult division with a 0.76kg entry just edging out Rick Devries’ 0.75kg fish. Winners both won prizes along with cash for their winning entries.

The father-son combination of Peter and Tyler Buck defended their most pikeminnow title again this year with son Tyler edging out his dad by a 52 to 48 count. They won $200 and $150 along with prizes.

In the junior division Karena Williams took top spot with 25 fish followed by Owen Nelson with 22. They also won cash and prizes.

All four categories also saw third and fourth positions entries winning money and prizes.

The smallest fish was taken by Lindsay Alsop measuring only 83mm.

Thanks to all local merchants that donated the many prizes and made this a fun and successful event.

More photographs can be found on Fraser Valley Salmon Society’s Facebook page.

2013 Chilliwack River Clean-ups

Published on Monday, February 18th, 2013

2013 Chilliwack River Clean-ups

Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society has finalized this year’s river clean-up dates with the City of Chilliwack and Fraser Valley Regional District. They are:

  • April 20th at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve
  • July 20th at the Great blue Heron Nature Reserve
  • September 29th at the Chilliwack Fish and Games Club

This will be the twelfth year since we started the group. In 2012, participants racked up 2,464 volunteer hours, collecting 5.72 metric tonnes of garbage from the Chilliwack River. This shows the importance of having these clean-ups. Not only are we maintaining the Chilliwack River valley so it is a pristine recreational corridor for all to enjoy, we are also minimizing garbage from being washed into the Pacific Ocean. Please support these three clean-ups once again in 2013.

Collecting Eggs and Milt

Published on Monday, October 29th, 2012

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be part of a rather fun, or dirty, project on the Alouette River. Students from BCIT were learning the process of collecting chum salmon eggs and milt for the Seymour Salmon Hatchery, and I was invited to document it.

As mentioned in an earlier article, 2012′s Fraser River chum salmon run has been better than average so far. 3 to 3.5 million fish are estimated to make their way into the system by the end of the year. Just the Alouette River alone can see up to 250,000 spawning fish returning. I was blown away by the amount of fish that have reached the counting fence at the hatchery.

Each year, Seymour Salmon Hatchery collects eggs and milt from the Alouette River to boost Seymour River’s chum salmon stock. The run has been poor for many usual reasons, including the existing dam, urbanization and poaching. By transplanting more fish, the hope is to rebuild this run to possibly what it once was.

Here are some photographs. Stay tuned for the video feature!

Big School of Spawning Chum Salmon

Collecting Chum Salmon Broods

Dead Chum Salmon

Return of Salmon at Kanaka Creek

Published on Monday, October 22nd, 2012

This past weekend, we decided to put our fishing rods down and attended a very worthy local event in Maple Ridge. On Sunday, at Kanaka Creek, volunteers from Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society (K.E.E.P.S.) displayed salmon that are currently returning to this system at the fish counting fence.

K.E.E.P.S. volunteer Ross Davies showcasing a spawned out chum salmon

K.E.E.P.S. volunteer Ross Davies showcasing a chum salmon

Kanaka Creek is a small river system. Unlike larger systems such as the Chilliwack River, it only sees the return of several hundreds to thousands of salmon each year. Meanders through a rapidly developing part of Metro Vancouver, it faces many challenges, including pollution, river discharge fluctuation and poaching. Collectively, these challenges can impact the fragile salmon population if actions are not taken.

K.E.E.P.S. volunteer Ross Davies showcasing a chum salmon

K.E.E.P.S. is an active stewardship group that ensures the survival of this stream and its inhabitants. By ongoing work at the Bell-Irving Hatchery, habitat enhancement, river patrol and various outreach programs, it has been responsible for the return of these fish each year.

Chum salmon eggs

While we were at the event, visitors also received an extra treat when a black bear decided to make a surprising appearance. I managed to capture the last portion of its visit on video.

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