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Author Topic: Conservation, Thompson Steelhead Style  (Read 721 times)

IronNoggin

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Conservation, Thompson Steelhead Style
« on: November 02, 2022, 11:29:57 AM »

I know some don't like Hooton's approach to trying to generate change... But I do.

Thanks Bob for your efforts.

Conservation, Thompson Steelhead Style

We’re deep enough into the annual returns of Interior Fraser Steelhead (IFS) to be able to go out on a limb and say a few things about the commitment of three levels of government (federal, provincial and indigenous) to conservation of the most iconic steelhead in British Columbia, if not the entire range of the animal. We’re past the point of anyone even recognizing, much less caring about the other stocks (Chilcotin, Bridge, Seton, Stein and Nahatlatch) that make up that group of steelhead so the only game in town is the Thompson. Let’s examine where we’re at in the conservation arena as of Halloween, 2022. Start with recent history. (The red line represents 938 spawners, the science supported minimum requirement.)



There is a lot of content which follows, culminating in this assessment:

Conservation is a meaningless term of convenience, consistently trumped by the politics of reconciliation and business opportunity. Steelhead, IFS or otherwise, do not warrant recognition.

I absolutely concur...

Nog
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Darko

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Re: Conservation, Thompson Steelhead Style
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2022, 11:43:44 AM »

one of BC sportfishing's greatest losses, truly shows that in the end money is the priority for 99% of our nation and especially our leaders. Even better that the same nets are still in the river.
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IronNoggin

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Re: Conservation, Thompson Steelhead Style
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2022, 12:26:54 PM »

Apologies Folks!

Thought I had put the link to the article in when I first posted.

Damn SomeTimers...

So, here you go: https://steelheadvoices.com/?p=3314

Worth the read IMO...

Nog
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RalphH

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Re: Conservation, Thompson Steelhead Style
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2022, 09:28:13 PM »

I am not going to argue that netting has had no impact on IFS or that it is not serious  but the evidence is their that these fish have sustained high levels of interception since early in the 20th century. In the early 50s SB Smith the Divisional biologist for DFO stated that inceptions in the Fraser river only, ranged as high as 5467 fish and interceptions averaged 40.5% from 1951 to 54. A study done in the early 80s estimated  that in river FN ranged as high as 5,000 yet as best I recall those years  were considered wonderful years for fishing the Thompson  All those numbers do not include interceptions in the saltwater.

The big decline in returns didn't take place until about 2005. There is research that shows that as long as juvenile and ocean survival is good reasonably managed commercial netting is unlikely to effect most salmonid populations. the real limiting factor is spawning & rearing habitat. Allowing more escapement beyond an optimal number won't increase returns but rather may cause lower returns. The current situation with IFS may be more complicated than net interceptions.

I also like to point out that from Sept 12th to Oct 28th there have been no listed gill or drift net openings in the lower Fraser.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2022, 07:59:44 AM by RalphH »
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