Letters to the Editor: Steelhead plan just more of the same

The BC Wildlife Federation laments the decision not to name Steelhead as a species at risk

Dear Editor,

The BC Wildlife Federation is hugely disappointed that the Governor in Council has decided not to list the Thompson and Chilcotin River Steelhead Trout under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). This decision ignores the recommendations of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

Fisheries conservationists know there is a more effective way of recovering the Interior Fraser Steelhead (IFS). Reaction to the announced plans for managing the endangered species is one of dismay and rejection. Provincial and federal governments plan to apply the same measures that have not improved IFS numbers during at least the last decade. Changing non-selective net closures from 27 to 42 days is only designed to mollify fisheries conservationists, as by-catch of endangered steelhead will still be allowed to continue. The two levels of government are intent on treating the symptoms, not the problem.

All the other measures in the plan are needed, but actually represent routine responsibilities of government. Measures such as watershed management, recreational fisheries closures, drought regulations, and mitigating the rock slide at the Big Bar area are necessary for the longer term, but will not help the IFS in the short term. BCWF past-president Harvey Andrusak calls the plan “nothing short of political smoke and mirrors.”

The science points to non-selective gill net fishing as the immediate cause of IFS decline. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has lost its way as it moves to populism while ignoring science because of reluctance to change fundamental fishing methods. Nor does either government provide the leadership or investment to address the fundamental issue of watershed sustainability. The old Federal/Provincial Fisheries Agreement needs to be updated to reflect a far more comprehensive approach for the management of fish and fish habitat.

Making the Steelhead management plan a priority for DFO, while failing to address the root causes of their demise, is unacceptable and unproductive. IFS deserve the full protection of a recovery plan under the federal Species at Risk Act. The current plan does not adequately address interception issues and are simply more of the same: the status quo.

BC Wildlife Federation

Surrey, B.C.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Cache Creek residences on flood alert as Bonaparte River rises again

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Vanderhoof man dead following two-vehicle collision near Ashcroft

Incident occured on Highway 97C near Barnes Lake Road on Canada Day

Rain prompts travel advisories, road closures in Cache Creek area

No stopping during heavy rain on highways near Cache Creek

Free screenings of ‘Twilight Zone’ episode filmed in Ashcroft

‘A Small Town’ was filmed in February, and is now available as part of TV show’s second season

Ashcroft council moves forward on rezoning project

Amendment to zoning bylaw paves the way for new housing development in North Ashcroft

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read