May 28, 2014

Sockeye to ‘Overwhelm’ Fraser River? Yeah, right… NOT

Whenever I see headlines like "Projected Sockeye Run Could Overwhelm Fraser River" I shudder and shake my head. Ain't no such thing. This is the "human management mind" in action.

Damn, we may not be able to freeze, can, smoke them all.

What crap.

Why the hell should we freeze, can, smoke them all?

Were sockeye runs "overwhelming" the Fraser River 100 years ago? No. 200 years ago? No. For the last century, or more, it's been humans overwhelming the sockeye, and other salmon runs.

Let's celebrate massive returns of sockeye. Let's fish them for First Nations, let's fish them commercially, let's allow sport fishers at them, too.

But we also have to let them spawn and die. Let's allow their decaying carcasses to enrich our rivers and streams, and feed wildlife other than our selfish human selves, and enrich forests, and meadows, and marshes.. 

Posted by Paul at 09:36 PM

May 07, 2014

Fisheries Protection Program Presentation in Parksville, BC, May 30

The Salmon Enhancement & Habitat Advisory Board will host a Friday Night Forum in Parksville, BC, on May 30, on the new Fisheries Protection Program.

Please plan to attend a presentation on the Fisheries Protection Program being held in Parksville on May 30th 2014 at 7:00 pm. We are very pleased that DFO's Adam Silverstein is able to come out to present at this focused meeting.  The Salmon Enhancement and Habitat Advisory Board (SEHAB) is hosting this evening event as a part of our ongoing Friday Night Forums series.

WWW.SEHAB.org

We are hoping you and members of your organization can make it out to hear Adam, in an informal setting. Adam has been firmly engaged in SEP over the years and is well versed in your efforts. He is supportive of community, salmon and salmon habitat and will be providing an overview of the changes to the act, the policy and the program.

Fisheries Protection Program Presentation

Friday May 30th, 2014
7:00 - 10:00 pm

Light refreshments will be served

Parksville Civic & Technology Centre

132 E Jensen,
Parksville, BC

If you can please RSVP to info@SEHAB.org so we can plan the refreshments, chairs etc. BUT if you find yourself able to attend last minute please come even if you hadn't sent an RSVP. This is an important topic and DFO staff is stretched as you can imagine.

Posted by Paul at 11:55 AM

November 30, 2013

My Heart Goes Out to DFO Staff

As more and more bad news about Canada's politically hamstrung Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and new implementation of the recently gutted Fisheries Act and its new regs comes my way, I just want to say that I really feel for the fine, upstanding, hardworking DFO staff that I know and work with as a volunteer, on the ground, and in the community. I wish them well as they struggle to protect the fish, wildlife and habitat that I know they love, under the present uncaring political regime.

I guess that sentiment may put me on Harper's "terrorist environmentalist" list. So be it. I've probably been on it for years already anyway, just for volunteering as a streamkeeper, and caring about biodiversity in my community.

Posted by Paul at 10:38 PM

April 05, 2013

Interviewed by Burnaby Now on Fisheries Budget Cuts, Downloading on Volunteers

I was interviewed recently by Jennifer Moreau of the Burnaby Now in regard to more budget cuts to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and how that's having a negative impact on habitat protection while downloading work to volunteers that the government should be doing.

Huge budget cuts worry local streamkeeper

Posted by Paul at 09:09 AM

February 08, 2013

Wild Salmon, Sport Fishing Trump Fish Farms, Commercial Catch in Economic/Jobs Contribution to BC

According to this item in the Victoria Times Colonist based on BC Statistics' latest numbers, wild salmon and the sport fishery are way ahead of fish farms and the commercial catch in terms of economic value and jobs benefit to British Columbia.

So where is the Government of Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada on the wild salmon file? Why are habitat protections being gutted and habitat offices being slashed? Why is it taking so long to implement the Wild Salmon Policy? Why has there been no response to the Cohen Commission, that recommended major and immediate changes, with deadlines - several already passed unfulfilled - to realize the WSP?

Our present federal and provincial governments appear to base all of their decisions on purely short-term economic benefits.

Well, here you go. The preservation of wild salmon is a huge economic benefit in the short term, and as a protected renewable resource, in the long term.

And as this article points out, preserving and enhancing wild salmon and the habitat that they rely on would also boost the languishing commercial fishery, eh?

Posted by Paul at 10:27 PM

November 14, 2012

DFO is MIA in Celebrating Success

We are having an amazing chum salmon year in Burnaby and neighbouring cities. People are reporting spawners in creeks where they haven't been seen in 50+ years. Newspapers and TV newscasts are featuring enchanted kids with sparkling eyes marvelling at seeing salmon in their neighbourhoods.

Chum have moved up the Brunette River, up the new Metro Vancouver fish ladder at Caribou Dam, through the dredged Burnaby Lake (a City of Burnaby initiative that I initially had qualms about, but am now reassessing), and up Still Creek beyond the Burnaby border and well into Vancouver. Some reports say it's been 80 years since salmon have spawned that high up Still Creek, which for decades wasn't much more than an open sewer.

As of last weekend I understand Stoney Creek in NE Burnaby, the most productive stream in the city, had counted over 750 chum back.

And not a peep from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on how much of this is due to decades of local streamkeeper volunteers and the DFO's Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP), of hard-working DFO staff on the ground, of DFO Community Advisors and volunteers at hatcheries, of doggedly rehabilitating and stocking urban and suburban creeks and streams year after year after year, of collaborations between stewards, the City of Burnaby, Metro Vancouver and DFO in making culverts more fish friendly, of tackling pollution issues and sanitary/storm cross-connects...

Why can't DFO publicly promote such success? Hard-earned success and cooperation from volunteers and all levels of government? It's a shame that nothing can be officially said by DFO Pacific without approval from Ottawa.

SEP is likely one of the most popular and cost-effective government programs in history, leveraging contributions by tens of thousands of volunteers in BC. It should be seen as something to celebrate and emulate.

I should include the "full disclosure"  bit: I am a volunteer streamkeeper and president of the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society, a member of the Salmon Enhancement & Habitat Advisory Board to DFO, and a citizen representative on the City of Burnaby's Environment Committee.

UPDATE: (Nov. 23, 2012) Happy to see that DFO has published some positive PR on the SEP website. Let's keep it up! Chum salmon make stronger-than-usual return in 2012.

Posted by Paul at 07:33 PM

November 02, 2012

Wild Salmon Policy Receives Boost From Cohen Commission

I am very pleased that the recently released Cohen Commission Report sets out strong, specific, deadline-driven recommendations for Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans in regard to the long-languishing Wild Salmon Policy. Created with extensive stewardship-community input, the WSP has had no funding and no one driving it within DFO. Yet it is clear that if you do not assess and classify salmon stocks, and do not protect their habitat, we will continue to see wild salmon in decline.

Justice Cohen came out with two basic recommendations regarding the WSP:

1) Cohen recommends the appointment of a "new associate regional director general" responsible for implementing the WSP, and,

2) that "The Government of Canada should establish dedicated Wild Salmon Policy funding sufficient to carry out the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' implementation plan and to cover ongoing operational costs."

If that's not clear enough to DFO's political masters, here's the entire WSP recommendation section from the Cohen report, and I suggest that the federal government would ignore these recommendations at its peril. Tens of thousands of volunteer stewards, First Nations, commercial and sport fishers, and tourism operators representing annual economic value in the hundreds of millions of dollars are watching very closely how the government will respond.

Cohen Recommendations in Regard to WSP

New position of associate regional director general

4  The Department of Fisheries and Oceans should immediately create a new position in the Pacific Region at the associate regional director general level with responsibility for developing and implementing the Wild Salmon Policy implementation plan recommended under Recommendation 5; and supervising the expenditure of funds provided under Recommendation 6 for implementation of the policy.

Wild Salmon Policy implementation plan

5  The new associate regional director general should, by March 31, 2013, publish a detailed plan for implementation of the Wild Salmon Policy, stipulating

what tasks are required;
how they will be performed and by whom;
when they will be completed;
and how much implementation will cost, as set out in a detailed itemization of costs.

Wild Salmon Policy funding

6  The Government of Canada should establish dedicated Wild Salmon Policy funding sufficient to carry out the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' implementation plan and to cover ongoing operational costs.

Annual report on progress in Wild Salmon

Policy implementation

7  The new associate regional director general responsible for implementation of the Wild Salmon Policy should, by March 31, 2014, and each anniversary thereafter during implementation, report in writing on progress in implementation of the policy, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans should publish

that report on its website. Each annual report should invite responses from First Nations and stakeholders, and all responses should be promptly published on the DFO website

Wild Salmon Policy: strategies 2 and 3

8  By January 31, 2013, the new associate regional director general should decide whether the Habitat Management Program (Ecosystem Management Branch)* or the Science Branch should take the lead role in implementing strategies 2 and 3 and what support should be provided by the other branch. The new associate regional director general should also identify who is responsible for, and set deadlines respecting, the

following activities:

preparing habitat status reports;
monitoring and assessing habitat using the habitat indicators and benchmarks developed by Stalberg et al.;? and
finalizing habitat indicators and benchmarks where possible.

The new associate regional director general should coordinate with the Habitat Management Program to ensure consistency in implementing both this Recommendation and Recommendation 41.

Wild Salmon Policy: Strategy 4

9  In order to begin integrated strategic planning under Strategy 4 in relation to Fraser River sockeye without further delay, these key deliverables should be completed according to the following schedule:

By March 31, 2013, identification of red zone Conservation Units under Strategy 1, based on the Grant Draft Paper 2011.?

By September 30, 2013, preparation of overview reports for the Fraser River watershed and marine areas relevant to Fraser River sockeye salmon, based on the best available information at that time. Knowledge gaps of concern to the drafters should be identified in the overview reports and a plan developed to address those knowledge gaps.

By December 31, 2013, development of habitat indicators and benchmarks for assessment for the Strait of Georgia, Juan de Fuca Strait, Johnstone Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound.

10  As part of the implementation of Strategy 4 in relation to Fraser River sockeye, these key deliverables should be completed according to the following schedule:

By March 31, 2013, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans should complete a socioeconomic framework for decision making in the integrated strategic planning process; it should also integrate meaningful socioeconomic input into fisheries management decision making, beginning with planning for the 2014 fishing season.

By January 31, 2014, integrated strategic planning processes should begin for Fraser River sockeye salmon using the best currently available information and following the procedure outlined in Appendix 2 (A structured five-step planning procedure) of the Wild Salmon Policy.

By March 31, 2013, response teams should be formed for all Conservation Units in the red zone and for those that could significantly limit fishing and other activities.

By December 31, 2014, response teams should complete plans for the protection and restoration of priority Conservation Units, and in developing such plans, they should give full consideration to approaches beyond curtailing fisheries.

Posted by Paul at 08:18 PM

August 05, 2012

Wolf Cub–My Original Membership & Welcome Cards

Wow, I came across these today as I continue sorting through boxes of my late Mom's files in our garage. She kept so many cool items.

This is my 1968 membership card in the Boy Scouts of Canada, and the "Welcome Card" that came with it.

We were all well-scrubbed and wholesome back then!

Actually, I do remember being well-scrubbed, because I was a troop leader, and my troop often led the pack in clean fingernails and spiffy uniforms.

BTW, I also have a list of all of the members of our pack, their street addresses, and phone numbers, circa 1968. Of course I won't post that here for potential privacy reasons, but if there's anyone out there who is on that list, I'd be happy to share . . .

paul_cub_scouts_1968_small

And, of course, not to forget Robert Baden-Powell . . . The cover of a father-son Scout dinner banquet program:

baden_powell_1960s_small

Now, let me be perfectly clear.

I do not in any way mean to disparage the Scouting program, if,
perchance, anyone should take my comments in that manner.

In my youth, it was wonderful. At a young age, it taught me
respect, many skills, and provided me with formative experiences
in leadership.

I am just showing how imaging and PR changes over time . . .

Posted by Paul at 09:55 PM

September 13, 2011

Gray Day Fishing at Confluence of Fraser, Sumas in BC

Cousin Stacy took me fishing yet again. The day started out overcast and gloomy, and I got a few moody shots in the low light:

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fraser_sumas_fishing_heron_20110913

A heron competing with several boats

The day eventually cleared up somewhat and Stacy limited out on pink salmon, while I managed to land two.

A few more trips, and I'll be developing into a real salmon fisherperson : - ).

Seriously, as  I mentioned in a previous post, Stacy is a great coach, and he's a CMA to boot, so he takes continual improvement seriously!

Posted by Paul at 09:07 PM

September 09, 2011

Caught My First Salmon

I've never been an avid fisherman, but it's something that's always suited the camping / canoeing / hiking portfolio of activities that I love. I did some fishing as a kid growing up in Saskatchewan, mostly for perch and pike. I've lived in BC for over ten years now, and while my wife and I have done some lake fishing from shore and from canoe, we've never caught anything.

We've both volunteered as streamkeepers for around ten years, so we know and love salmon. We do eat them, though, so I figure there's nothing wrong with catching and killing a few salmon myself, given buying the license and having the opportunity.

I've been fortunate this summer that a cousin who is a focussed, experienced fisherman, and who has a boat, has taken us fishing several times on the Sumas and Fraser Rivers. Thanks, Stacy! He's also a great coach. I caught my first salmon, a pink, yesterday, and today I threw it on a cedar plank on the BBQ. Yum!

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Me with my first pink.

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Stacy with one of three he caught that day.

The other factor that makes such days wonderful, is that we both love to be out of the city, and on the water.

P.S. All you folks out there who buy salmon steaks, or beheaded & gutted carcasses, I encourage you to get a whole fish and have it bleed all over your kitchen sink while you eviscerate it. You can have your own "reality" experience without turning on the TV. Very educational for any kids around, too.

Posted by Paul at 09:05 PM

September 04, 2011

Long Weekend Fishing on Fraser River

Cousin Stacy took us fishing today in his jet-drive river boat. He'd taken me out a couple of days ago, and today Yumi joined us. It was a glorious day, albeit slightly frustrating, as people all around us were hauling in salmon, and we brought nary a one into the boat. I had three on line, but lost them all. Keep that line tight! I don't fish often, and am not used to playing fish on single barbless hooks - they can shake them right quick if you slack up just a smidge. Most of my fishing was done as a kid in Saskatchewan where treble barbed hooks were usually used - at least a few decades ago. . . Yet I appreciate the single barbless, because you're way more likely to accomplish a successful "catch and release" than with any barbed hook, much less a treble.  Anyway it was great to be out on the water! Thanks cuz!

fishing_20110904_small

paul_fishing_2_20110904_small

Me in front of the boat

stacy_fishing_20110904_small

yumi_fishing_20010904_small

Posted by Paul at 08:08 PM

August 21, 2010

Let’s Kill More Salmon Before They Spawn ‘Too Much.’ Huh?

Now that we've got a half-decent run of sockeye salmon on the Fraser River for the first time in several years, the "let's harvest more!" crowd are out in force. Gluttony and opportunism are reviving their old, baseless, self-centred, anti-social arguments.

As a society, we have the collective attention span of a two-year-old child. And a matching lack of historical awareness.

FEED ME! NOW!

The "over-escapement" letters to editors are starting to fly, accusing the Department of Fisheries and Oceans of not allowing more "harvest" (isn't that a nice, benign word?).

I've never understood the argument that us enlightened human managers of the world might make the apparently huge mistake of letting too many salmon reach their spawning grounds.

What?! Horrors!

The "over-escapers" say this will lead to "over-competition," disrupted redds, blah, blah.

The Fraser used to regularly, year after year, have salmon runs 3, 5, perhaps even 10 times the volume of what we have now in our best year out of five. And since there were none of us enlightened, scientific, white folks around to harvest them with vast nets and motorized vessels, or chew up their habitat with our housing and commercial buildings, or poison them with our sewage and chemicals, the bulk of those salmon got past the First Nations fishers who literally had a life-or-death dependence upon them for millennia.

So how is it that salmon managed to thrive and fill rivers from bank to bank without our scientific, commercial intervention, year after year for centuries?

And as for that "over-competition" argument, well, that's nature's way of ensuring healthy populations. The big, strong, healthy salmon get to partner, get to spawn, get to stir up and replace the redds of smaller, weaker fish.

Nature thrives on competition.

If I were a fisher truly looking forward to the future of this "resource," I'd say let *all* the sockeye through for several generations of fair natural selection until we get tens of millions of huge fish back again - - *on a regular basis*.

Instead of directing your anger at DFO for not allowing you to scoop the LAST FISH, you might focus your efforts on habitat preservation, a shift to tertiary sewage treatment. . .

It's only whining Canadian humans who demand self-centred changes to government regulations that happen to benefit and suit them in the short term. The fish have no voice, no party, no cabinet ministers. . .

UPDATE (Aug. 30): I was happy to see the Vancouver Sun's Stephen Hume tackle "over-escapement" on the front page of the Aug. 30 paper.

UPDATE (Aug. 30): Ernie Crey of the Sto:lo First Nation also warns against overfishing in CBC article.

Posted by Paul at 08:59 PM

May 05, 2010

DFO Must Act Now to Save Pacific Salmon

". . .anglers who care about their sport and the stocks that sustain it are already putting their rods away. Only the greedy and the stupid squabble over who gets to kill the last fish for fun."

Good article from Stephen Hume on how several first nations are moving to stop fishing completely, while DFO still dithers on recreational and commercial fisheries.

Posted by Paul at 08:02 AM

March 04, 2010

Fish Kill in Burnaby’s Byrne Creek March 4, 2010

A chemical entered Byrne Creek in southeast Burnaby in the mid-to-late afternoon today, killing fish. Someone called Environment Canada [CORRECT: in fact the City of Burnaby received the call from the BC provincial enviro ministry after a youth called the Provincial Emergency Program], who then called the City, and streamkeepers also noticed the kill around the same time. City staff took samples and worked on tracing the source, which likely came from a storm drain, while streamkeepers took photos for documentation and sampled pH in the creek at several points. Both City staff and streamkeepers plan to follow up tomorrow. Here are some photos:

fish_kill_byrne_creek_7_20100304 

The fish ladder at the pond west of Griffiths Dr.
Water is covered with foam and slick to the touch.
There was an ammonia smell coming out of the pipe.

fish_kill_byrne_creek_5_20100304

Dead fish on bottom of pool.

fish_kill_byrne_creek_2_20100304

Dead cutthroat with hazy water visible. That's a size 12 boot
toe beside it for comparison.

fish_kill_byrne_creek_3_20100304

fish_kill_byrne_creek_4_20100304

fish_kill_byrne_creek_6_20100304

Just a few days ago, streamkeepers were excited to see baby salmon
fry popping out of the gravel. We are concerned that they may also have
been affected.

I find it hard to believe that after decades of education efforts, such
kills still happen.

Please, folks, remember that all drains on roads and parking lots lead to fish habitat!

Posted by Paul at 10:20 PM

January 12, 2009

Human Predators Impact Size of Prey

According to this article, "WASHINGTON (Reuters) ? Hunting and gathering has a profound impact on animals and plants, driving an evolutionary process that makes them become smaller and reproduce earlier, U.S. researchers reported on Monday."

"Their study of hunting, fishing and collecting of 29 different species shows that under human pressure, creatures on average become 20 percent smaller and their reproductive age advances by 25 percent."

Complete article here.

Over-harvesting of fish (and other species) results not only in reduced numbers, but smaller survivors....

If you think about this, it appears obvious -- think of trophy hunting -- we're constantly culling the biggest animals.

What does this say about the long-term sustainability of species that we "harvest"?

Posted by Paul at 04:43 PM

September 07, 2008

Canoeing, Camping Lightning Lake

We finally got away for our first camping trip this year! I'm zonked so I'll add to this later, but here are a few photos....

osprey_lighting_lake_bc_20080907.jpg
Osprey on a perch.

osprey_flight_lighting_lake_bc_20080907.jpg
Osprey in flight.

loon_lightning_lake_bc_20080907.jpg
Loon in the morning mist.

The above shots were taken hand-held in a moving canoe at my Canon S5 IS's maximum telephoto of 432mm (35mm equivalent). Not bad, though I wouldn't want to blow them up to 8 X 10s :-). They were taken within about 30 minutes of each other, showing how fast the light can change in the morning in the mountains.

lighting_lake_bc_sparkles_20080907.jpg

lighting_lake_bc_2_20080907.jpg

lighting_lake_bc_3_20080907.jpg

lighting_lake_bc_20080907.jpg

lighting_lake_bc_bridge_20080907.jpg

Posted by Paul at 07:38 PM

August 07, 2007

Pink Salmon Too Cheap?

Whole fresh pink salmon (head off and gutted) were on sale today at Save On Foods at Highgate Mall in Burnaby for $2.99 each. Yes, I said "each." I was struck by what seemed to be the shockingly low price -- fishermen had to burn fuel and amortize boats and equipment to catch the fish, they had to be cleaned, and then shipped a fair distance.

The one I chose weighed in at 1.1 kg (I weighed it on a kitchen scale at home because the weights were not indicated on the packaging), or about 27 cents per 100 grams, less than the occasional sale price of 29 cents per 100 grams, and much less than the common price of 39 cents or more per 100 grams.

I wonder if our society is properly valuing this resource.

Addendum: I just discovered that Save On Foods is donating 50 cents from the sale of each salmon to the CKNW Orphans? Fund. While I laud the gesture, it doesn't ameliorate my concern -- in fact it makes me really wonder how low the wholesale price of these fish is...

Posted by Paul at 02:24 PM

June 20, 2007

Manning Park Day 2

We had a modest campfire last night at our site at the beautiful Lightning Lake campground at Manning Park, burning wood we brought with us that we had collected from a "free firewood" pile after someone cut a few trees down on their lot near our place in Burnaby several years ago. It being nearly the longest day of the year, it didn't get dark until well after 10:00. That also meant that it was getting light by 5:00 a.m., and the birds were in full chorus by 5:30. We should have gone fishing, but instead we dozed until 7:30.

We had breakfast, broke camp, and loaded the car before we tried some spincasting from shore. I had rainbow trout following my lure several times, and even had one hang about just a meter or two offshore for nearly a minute, but we didn't get a single bite. It's frustrating to see fish jumping to feed and not get a bite. Perhaps we should learn how to fly fish!

After an hour of fishing we pulled out and hiked the short Canyon Loop on the Similkameen River. It's a beautiful walk. We then drove up to the lookout on the alpine meadow road before heading back home.

canyon_trail_similkameen_river_20070620.jpg
A shot of the Similkameen from the canyon trail.

dying_pines_manning_park_20070620.jpg
Pine beetle devastation.

yumi_similkammen_river_20070620.jpg
Yumi checking out bugs in the river.

manning_park_lodge_lightning_lake_20070620.jpg
A view from the alpine meadow road lookout with Manning Park Lodge below and Lightning lake in the background.

stellers_jay_manning_park_20070620.jpg
A Steller's Jay harassed us while we picnicked at the west gate.

Posted by Paul at 08:14 PM

October 10, 2006

Adams River Sockeye Run

Yumi and I headed up to the Adams River yesterday afternoon to take in the sockeye run -- 2006 is one of the peak returns that happen every four years. I checked the BC Parks website and discovered that a campground near Vernon, Kekuli Bay, was still open, so we decided to spend the night there.

That evening it was cold and windy, and we chowed down on hot ramen and hot dogs in the dark.

kekuli_camping_20061009.jpg

The next morning, we had a chat with the park operator and complimented him on the clean site. The park is on the bare side, but still beautiful in its own way. We saw loads of small fish from the dock, and enjoyed the changing colors on Kalamalka Lake as the sun rose.

kekuli_bay_20061010.jpg

We drove up to Adams Lake via the Falkland-Chase road. It's a small highway with a stretch of gravel that passes through pretty country. When we arrived at Roderick Haig-Brown park, it was already crowded even on a weekday. There were lots of schoolbuses with hundreds of kids.

adams_river_schoolbuses_20061010.jpg

DFO staff were on hand to tell people about the sockeye, and disect a few dead ones.

adams_river_sockeye_disection_20061010.jpg

We headed out to the river to watch the fish. It is a breathtaking sight to see the thousands of spawners performing their final act before they die.

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We were surprised to see many chinook spawners as well -- they are huge fish compared to the sockeye. We hadn't seen any chinook when we visited the Adams run four years ago. Here's a dead chinook next to a dead sockeye and the size disparity is evident.

adams_river_sockeye_chinook_20061010.jpg

There were several people snorkelling and taking video and still images of the spawners.

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Here's one more image of a male sockeye in his full glory.

adams_river_sockeye_male_20061010.jpg

We spent over an hour walking along the river and watching these beautiful animals complete their life cycle. As a sign on the path poignantly pointed out, they're born orphans and die childless. A true wonder of nature.

We drove to Kamloops and then took the 5A south to Merrit, stopping for an hour of fishing at Stump Lake along the way. I had a couple of bites casting from shore, saw a trout following my lure, and had one on line for 10-15 seconds, but we didn't land any. We always use single, barbless hooks. Here's Yumi as the sun began to drop in the sky.

stump_lake_yumi_fishing_20061010.jpg

Posted by Paul at 10:00 PM

September 02, 2006

Fraser Fishing Sees Bullhead, Squawfish, Carp

Cousin Stacy took Yumi and me out on the Fraser River today. It was sunny and hot, and while the sockeye were running, we didn't catch a single salmon. I struck first with a small bullhead, Stacy followed up with a slightly larger squawfish, and Yumi topped us both with a carp. All the fish were released.

We fished from the boat and we fished from a bar. We bounced various lures along the bottom, we trolled, we spincast... And the salmon skunked us, though we saw several jumping. Hope to try again soon!

fishing_fraser_yumi_20060902.jpg
Yumi behind the boat.

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Yumi's carp.

Posted by Paul at 07:55 PM

June 14, 2006

Coleman Canoe Arrives

We ordered a Coleman Ram-X 15.5 foot canoe about a month ago from Canadian Tire and it finally arrived today. We got a great price -- it was $200 off. Now I just hope we have some time to use it this summer!

It was a bit of an adventure getting it home. I had expected it to be in a box "with some assembly required," however we got a floor model that was ready to hit the water. We had ropes and bungy cords and got it home OK, but we'll have to figure out a more efficient way of strapping it onto the roof rack.

We have only one weekend free this month, and I'm raring to get up to Birkenhead Lake or another interior lake.

coleman_canoe_20060614.jpg

Posted by Paul at 06:10 PM

September 11, 2005

Fishing Chilliwack Lake

Yumi and I worked all day yesterday (Saturday) and this morning, clearing the decks of several translating and editing projects. Done by noon, we decided to reward ourselves with an afternoon trip to Chilliwack Lake.

There were only a few people on the beach, and we tried some fishing from the shoreline. The water was amazingly clear, and while we didn't catch anything, we were able to see an occasional trout following our lures.

We started out in rubber boots, but when Yumi snagged her lure, I trundled back to the car and got my chest waders on to rescue it. With the obvious advantage of being able to get closer to the drop-off, I kept them on and in the hour we fished my legs got pretty cold!

There were quite a few people fishing the Chilliwack River for salmon, however we don't have the proper gear, so we didn't try.

This was my third fishing trip in as many weeks after a 20-year hiatus, and I'm really enjoying it.

Paul_Chilliwack_Lake_20050911.jpg

Posted by Paul at 07:19 PM

September 09, 2005

Fishing Alice Lake

Yumi and I went out to Alice Lake just north of Squamish this afternoon for a bit of fishing and didn't get a bite.

It was still a relaxing outing, and Yumi learned how to spin-cast. She quickly got the hang of it, and soon was casting more accurately than I was. I ended up losing three lures, two in bottom snags and one in a tree, while she was incident-free!

Alice Lake is stocked with trout, but it must get intense fishing pressure all summer long being so close to the lower mainland. I know the campground is full from July through August, though there were not many people there on this September weekday.

Posted by Paul at 08:59 PM