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#381 AllseeingEye

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Posted 30 March 2023 - 11:03 PM

While this was indeed a spectacular sight - one which occurs far less frequently than it used to - nature better 'find a way' inasmuch as the herring fishery and industry have been in decline in coastal BC and especially east VanIsle waters for many years.

 

I've critiqued DFO in the past for many sins of omission but one thing they do and have done very well over many decades is undertake detailed studies of certain fishery-species using whatever historic records, scientific and technological tools they have at their disposal at that time; and they've done so for about 80 years meaning there exists much valuable data with regard to certain species, herring certainly being one of those. They are a critical piece in the marine environment as herring are a big part of the diet of BC salmon, particularly chinook salmon - and salmon are the foundational species of everything above them in the larger eco-foodchain.

 

In recent years there has been - thankfully, finally - increased awareness and concern by industry, government and the public about the environmental protection of Pacific herring spawning grounds, which have been in long decline from a herring reproduction and productivity standpoint.

 

An increasing number of nearshore developments, such as log booming activities and marine/aqua-culture establishments have drastically affected many inter-tidal and shallow, sub-tidal spawning areas utilized historically by herring. Anyone who grew up in Victoria and is of a certain age will recall the long bygone days when herring spawned in vast numbers in and near the gorge waterway. You don't need to look very hard online to find images of hundreds of people jigging for herring off the Admirals Rd bridge. Those days are a distant memory. Today there is very little to no evidence of herring making a comeback in the waterway in spite of concerted efforts in recent years to clean it up after a hundred years of industrial degradation.

 

The impacts of oil spills, pollution, various inshore commercial fisheries above all, in addition to warming oceans on herring spawning distributions are also all identified by the DFO data as significant concerns. Perhaps of highest concern with the identification of nearshore areas as herring spawning habitat is that much of the BC coast, perhaps 19% or more according to the data, has been utilized as a herring spawning site at least once during the last 75 years. However, much less of this coastline - estimates vary but range only from 1-2% per DFO - is used for repetitive spawning over a number of years. 

 

The herring are clearly vulnerable so lets hope this activity off the north end of the island was a sign the fish are adapting and migrating to these new spawning grounds and thriving, as opposed to it representing a last desperate gasp of a declining, dying species.


Edited by AllseeingEye, 30 March 2023 - 11:26 PM.


#382 Mike K.

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 06:55 AM

So those herring up in Port McNeill, that’s good, right?
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#383 AllseeingEye

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 07:30 AM

Anything is better than none so by definition most certainly yes. Good thing too since the herring population on the east coast in the traditional spawning grounds, roughly between Parksville and Comox, plummeted to the point the commercial fishery was essentially shut down beginning in about 2014-15. It simply became not worth it for fishermen whose annual licenses cost far, far more than the allowable catch would have netted them financially from their catch.

 

As I pointed out above everything from habitat destruction - probably the number one threat to the fish - in addition to warming waters to commercial over-fishing, all combined to push the species to a dangerously low point.

 

Also large increases in seal and sea-lion populations - both protected species - over the last 50 years have contributed to many more mouths predating on herring. And don't forget that along with warmer currents come other threats not historically seen in BC waters, Humboldt squid to name but one. They are nasty critters which feed on anything they can catch including fish native to BC waters, juvenile salmon and herring above all. We've caught them several times beyond Sooke and farther out past Otter Pt towards Secretary Island and kill them as soon as we get them in the boat.


Edited by AllseeingEye, 31 March 2023 - 07:30 AM.


#384 Mike K.

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 08:14 AM

Should we start a sea lion hunt to keep them from ravaging herring populations?

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#385 AllseeingEye

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 08:28 AM

Lots of the commercial fleet guys, and others, would be all over that idea for sure. Its pretty evident however that the 'human' factor has by far the bigger negative impact on the fish. Like we do on the rest of planet regardless whether you are talking about the marine or terrestrial environment. Take away human causal factors like habitat destruction, pollution, over fishing (i.e. greed, without any thought to long term consequences or paying the slightest attention to the science) and you could likely have multitudes more sea lions munching away on herring with minimal effect. So I propose a human hunt to kick off the campaign to save the herring......


Edited by AllseeingEye, 31 March 2023 - 08:29 AM.


#386 Mike K.

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 08:29 AM

What about a predator that will hunt the sea lions?

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#387 lanforod

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 10:05 AM

Round here, not sure there are any predators of sea lions other than orcas, and we can't really drastically increase the orca population in any way. 

 

Excluding humans of course. Don't think we have many sharks round here large enough to tackle sea lions.


Edited by lanforod, 31 March 2023 - 10:06 AM.


#388 Mike K.

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 10:06 AM

Challenge accepted.

 

Give me a few days.


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#389 lanforod

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 10:07 AM

Maybe what we really need is predators of humans :P.



#390 Mike K.

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 10:08 AM

Those are other humans!


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#391 lanforod

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 10:09 AM

I was thinking we should resurrect velociraptors.



#392 Mike K.

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 10:27 AM

What if they end up liking only herring?


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#393 Matt R.

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 10:32 AM

Modern day velociraptors would only eat plant based herring I am pretty sure.
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#394 Mike K.

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Posted 31 March 2023 - 10:42 AM

Specifically, the red herring.


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#395 AllseeingEye

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Posted 16 May 2023 - 06:31 PM

Woo hoo: sockeye season is open now so we're headed up to the Somass and possibly the upper Stamp rivers in pursuit of what IMO is the tastiest of all salmon.

 

The Somass, near Pt Alberni, is one of those strange environments where you fish everywhere from literally wilderness central - at one point you drive to the middle of nowhere north of town, park in a barely maintained gravel 'parking lot' or what serves that purpose, then gear up and wade across the river to fish on an 'island' (nothing more than a gravel bank) in order to comply with DFO regs for that stretch of the river. Fail to do that and fish on the side of the river where you park and you're in violation of the regs.

 

In other places you are fishing directly across the river from people's suburban (Pt Alberni) homes - you watch them having coffee on their decks or bbq'ing dinner and they watch you back; and in yet another location you park in a private lot on a privately owned farm then 'sign in' by going to a clipboard the guy keeps in his open garage; you sign your name, the date, fishing license and license plate #'s, then trudge across an open farm field, still on his property, and descend down a steep pathway to the river's edge. At which point there is a gun range literally right next door....

 

Personally I prefer going further up the system into the Stamp River watershed which is more remote and where there are huge fish and way fewer people......

 

https://www.pac.dfo-...egion1-eng.html


Edited by AllseeingEye, 16 May 2023 - 06:33 PM.

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#396 AllseeingEye

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Posted 17 May 2023 - 02:47 PM

Good for DFO. I criticize them periodically for a variety of reasons but all credit is due here - my only comment is that they should have grabbed his boat in addition to the gear, and banned him indefinitely especially as he is a repeat offender. D***s like this don't deserve the privilege of fishing in BC waters, or anywhere for that matter.

 

https://www.cheknews...mo-dfo-1152745/



#397 AllseeingEye

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Posted 20 May 2023 - 10:27 AM

So...sockeye salmon, IMO the best tasting of all salmon. Sockeye is open as of May 1 and as noted above we are heading to the Somass River tomorrow afternoon staying a couple of nights in Pt Alberni in a "fisherman's motel". We got a crazy good $ deal too thanks to one of our guys being a life-long salesman. He can talk the talk and get a nice cheap rate for the group :)

 

Fishing for sockeye is not like fishing for other salmonid species. So-called 'bottom bouncing' has become far and away the most popular method of catching sockeye this time of year. The set up for bottom bouncing for sockeye is unique and is incredibly effective.

 

The gear required to bottom bounce is pretty standard stuff. A graphite steelhead rod and level-wind reel is the typical river set up and will be perfect. If you are new to fresh water fishing and don't have such a kit, a medium action spinning rod and reel in the 8 to 9ft range will also get you started just fine. My usual go-to rod is a 9.5' Ugle Stik which is one of the most versatile rods out there. I've caught everything from 2 lb rainbow trout to 30+ chinook on this thing and it just keeps on ticking.

 

The tackle or rigging required is very simple but must be set up correctly for best results.

 

First and foremost is the main line. Obviously this is the fishing line that is wound and strung onto your reel. Do not go cheap here! When it comes to fishing line buy quality or you will be sorry. Normally a 20lb to 35lb test braided line is perfect for main line, 175 to 250 yds capacity will be required, especially if you hook a big fish. However braided line is an altogether different animal than typical mono-filament and requires a specific and quite technical knot, called a Berkeley knot, with which to attach the lure. Unless you are experienced with this line and knot just stick with a reputable mono-filament line.

 

The next item in line is just a basic swivel, either a size 8 or 6 are fine. Attached to the swivel will be the weight, this choice is not as simple as it seems. One to three ounces depending on depth and current speed will be required, but the style and selection is a bit more confusing. There are several different types of weights on the market that work well for Sockeye fresh-water fishing. First is the standard pencil lead, its cheap and versatile. Pencil lead is purchased in 1 lb coils. This means weight selection is unlimited because you just cut off the amount desired and attach it to your line. Pencil lead sticks with preinstalled eyelets are also available.

 

The next type is called slinkes. This is parachute cord with lead or steel shot pushed inside, the ends are heated shut and a snap-swivel is installed at one end for attachment purposes. Slinkes work very well in areas where there is submerged or semi-submerged debris in the river (logs, trees/tree-branches etc) because they do not hang up as much as other weights, but they do not have as much bottom "feel" as some other styles of weight.

 

The next style of weights are called "bottom runners" or "bouncing betties". These round weights are probably the most popular and effective in use on a river. There are actually two distinct types available, lead and composite, both have advantages and disadvantages. First the lead weights. These weights are smaller in size than the composites. This can be good in the faster water where 2 or 3 ounces may be required because the lead weights get down very quickly. In the moderate runs where only one ounce is required, the smaller weight does tend to hang up more often than the composite style.

 

In moderate and moderate-fast water, the composite weights work very well and have tremendous bottom "feel". One/two ounces are the most popular in this style.

 

Next on the list is the leader. The leader should be one or two line rating less than your mainline, 15-20lb test is perfect. Choose a high quality, abrasion resistant, stiff mono for this job. Leader length should be between 6 and 10 feet - yes I said feet, not inches, and this is very important. The lure on the end of your line will be made up of either plastic spin 'n' glows (ideally in general pink or blue work well in local rviers), corkies and/or yarn. Size 12 or 14 is perfect for the spin 'n' glo and corkies. I find yarn/wool is the very best lure for sockeye and most other folks I know will agree. Its widely used on Vancouver Island and with great results.

 

Last on the list is the hook. Standard barb less steelhead style hooks are perfect, size 1.0 to 3.0 work fine. Remember, as with line, you get what you pay for. Buy quality hooks, its worth it.

 

So now that we have our bottom bouncing set up all ready, how do we fish with this confounded rig? It is not difficult but will require some practice to fully master.

 

Basically you will want to make your cast slightly up stream, then immediately pick up your slack line, but do not retrieve. Allow your gear to bump along the river bottom. While the gear is travelling along the river bottom, follow its direction with your rod tip and hold your rod at about 45 degrees, as your line starts to flow past you can feed additional slack line out to extend your drift area if there is room. After you have gone about 25 yards (ish), then retrieve and repeat as necessary.

 

When you are first getting started don't worry too much about feeling the bite or take of these fish. It is very subtle and for the most part this will take care of itself as the rod will just bend over and......the fish is on!


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#398 Mike K.

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Posted 21 May 2023 - 07:14 AM

Always excellent posts, ASE, thank you.
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#399 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 21 May 2023 - 10:25 AM

Killer whales ram boat off the coast of Morocco: 'We were sitting ducks,' says 'petrified' couple

British couple 'couldn't believe' the orcas' behavior toward their boat

https://www.foxnews....ouple-petrified

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 21 May 2023 - 10:25 AM.


#400 todd

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Posted 21 May 2023 - 02:51 PM

^Orca -killer whale is offensive

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