Message from Fred (08.26.20)
The summer of 2020 will be remembered for many reasons. COVID-19 was a game-changer for everyone, a reality of just how fragile things can be and how quickly things can change. Our team at Fred's is committed to the best in customer service for our clientele with the restrictions and concerns of COVID-19. We are launching our new online store this week and encourage everyone to sign up on the distribution list. There will be specials and incentives that you do not want to miss.
I know that many anglers have been heading out to the waters to enjoy the outdoors as much as they can with the travel restrictions and concerns during this nasty pandemic. Our team of guides is providing fishing excursions using the protocols to reduce risks on your private adventure.
This summer has brought historic restrictions that have been placed on public fisheries due to growing conservation concerns. Closures and lost opportunities to the recreational angler are heavy-handed, unfair and many suggest, unjustified. The people that are responsible for the unfair and unjustified policies are DFO. DFO has a responsibility to manage fisheries to protect the resource and to allow opportunities for anglers to fish when it is deemed that abundance is available. We are seeing a total failure to this responsibility with closures being the answer rather than building a long-overdue plan with efforts to curb the serious declines of our precious fisheries. We are having to put up a desperate attempt, a lack of ability, and understanding from the government to provide the necessary resources to address this disaster. The past twenty years suggest we are rapidly heading to a total collapse in our future fishing opportunities in our oceans and rivers.
The unfortunate status of our fishery is under heavy scrutiny as growing political interference is seriously handcuffing logical options that are creating a debacle of mismanagement and lost opportunities. The number one concern is how to move forward with a recovery plan for healthy and sustainable fisheries for everyone. If we are not allowed to work together on this issue to protect the resource, create reasonable and fair opportunities for all parties, then we are just continuing on the same trajectory that has got us into this mess.
It is good that we are now considering better and more selective fishing. Gill nets and beach seining have been the only tools considered for harvest in most cases by DFO. It is interesting that more advanced technologies are available that greatly reduce negative impacts on Salmon, Sturgeon, and Steelhead. Several proposals are in being considered here in the Fraser Valley for this fall. Hopefully, these projects will give us better options for legitimate harvest without the collateral damage we need to control.
The public fishery is not being fairly considered and unfairly blamed for the horrible downward trends on the West Coast of B.C. The Fraser River anglers are shut out completely despite announcements of abundant Chinook from DFO. The saltwater anglers are restricted despite the current data that clearly shows the low impacts on stocks of concern. Anglers across this province are frustrated and amazed by the lack of support and willingness to be included in any plan for rebuilding and recovery. The social and economic values are dismissed as being insignificant when in actual fact the values are huge and necessary for this province. The public fishery is desperately reaching out to be included in a long-overdue recovery plan. The commitment by anglers across this province is steadfast and open to change to protect the future for the next generations. This should be a big component of the recovery plan. Today that is questionable with little to no response from DFO.
It is extremely frustrating how recreational fishing is at the very bottom of a priority list despite the tremendous value it brings to the table. The angling community deserves better than how it is being recognized and supported. It is deplorable how management is handling this dilemma.
It is our collective responsibility to ensure that our fisheries resource is looked after. We can no longer tolerate overfishing and abuse to this precious resource. It is time for the government to deal with the big picture, identify the real problems, and put a strategic and forward-thinking plan together using every resource available. It is complex and challenging for sure, but it is not impossible to fix this. The plan needs to be inclusive using creative and forward-thinking parties that are dedicated to working together and willing to sacrifice when needed. It is critical to deal with the issues that are impacting our fisheries and address those issues head-on. Cut the blame game and focus on what needs to be done immediately, before it's too late. Please get involved to make a difference.
Join the FRSA today. They represent numerous groups in a coalition to protect our fisheries from extinction. We need your help now before it is too late to save the fish for our future generations.