Category Archives: Fisheries

Good News About BC’s Fishing Runs

By Roy L Hales

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Aside from the incredible run of 2010, reports of the Fraser River’s sockeye salmon tend to be glum. I believe there is only one Cortes Island based fisherman still working the Johnston strait and recently learned this is the second year he did not receive an opening to fish sockeye.[1] Though the culprits were last year’s drought and a culvert (close to my home), most of the chum returning to Basil Creek in 2015 were killed before they could spawn. These were just a few of the stories that prompted me to seek out evidences of the impending demise of what was previously one of our province’s leading industries. Instead, I found good news about BC’s fishing runs.

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Hard Evidence From The Inside

By Roy L Hales

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Wildlife biologist Alexandra Morton has been wanting to get a close look at the salmon inside a fish farm for years. She got her opportunity on August 23, when the  Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw nation boarded the Marine Harvest Midsummer farm in Kingcome Inlet, BC. The video below shows what Morton found after lowered a Go Pro camera into the pens for ten minutes.  She calls this hard evidence from the inside.

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Four Decades Of Gillnetting On Cortes Island

By Roy L Hales

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There are more than more 40 names on the Cortes Island Museum’s list of fishermen from the 1970’s. Some were wives, who worked alongside their husbands. Others may have been deckhands. The names of 28 boats are given, though not how many were working in any given year. Now there are two.[1] In this week’s radio program (podcast below), the owner of one of those 28 fish boats describes close to four decades of gillnetting on Cortes Island.

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Forcing EPA To Protect Salmon

By Roy L Hales

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There have been salmon die-offs since the mid-1990s. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was on the verge of addressing this issue more than a decade ago. Vested interests objected.  The idea was shelved until last year’s drought. After water temperatures rose 4 degrees above the lethal ceiling (68 degrees F), 96% of the returning adult sockeye died before they could pass beyond the Lower Granite dam. Now a coalition of environmental groups  is forcing EPA to protect salmon in the Columbia and Snake rivers.

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Where Have All The Wild Salmon Gone?

By Roy L Hales

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Six to eight hundred adult Chum Salmon used to come up Hansen’s Creek. Now there are 30 in a good year and as few as 3 in poor ones. Though we were talking about Cortes Island, this is a common phenomenon along the West Coast of British Columbia. Where have all the Wild Salmon gone?

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